In the Sanctuary of Outcasts by Neil White
This memoir was very eye opening for me. It is about a man who is sentenced to a year in a prison that doubles as a leper colony of sorts. I actually picked it up because it was on this list of best books to read. I really enjoyed the journey that this man took. He went from being all about making the most money, and being known. Like his purpose before being put in this place was about being the best... but the book is his transformation from that man to one that recognizes that the recognition of being the best is nothing compared to the relationships of knowing people. At least that is what I got out of it. We can all so easily get sucked into our lives, and doing things that are causing harm to those around us, but we just can't stop. Like we know what a mess it is making but we keep doing it, until something breaks us of that habit.
So for me this book helped me to really examine my life. To think about the things that I had gotten stuck in, the things that I just wasn't dealing with. Sometimes being an adult means facing those things that we don't want to face. The things that we know we have made poor decisions about, and changing it for the better.
Also.... this book helped me to face my own bias about Lepers, or those that are "different" from me. It is amazing to think about how certain members of our nation and dour world have been cast out in so much of our history. Hopefully we continue to learn from that history.