Emergency Reading Kit

Remember those awful conversation-starters like "If you were alone on a desert island, what three books would you want to have with you?"  Here's a new one:

If you were facing the most challenging transition of your life so far...what books would you want in your
Emergency Reading Kit?

I've included practical books, spiritual reading favorites, a little Shakespeare, fiction favorites and newbies, fairytales and poetry:

I chose books that I knew I would want to be readily accessible, no matter what else I unpacked.  They're essentials for the mind, heart, and soul, to keep me sane through the first few weeks of this life-shift.  As I'm thinking about it, there are more I should have included, but this will be a good start for now.  Here's a breakdown of my Emergency Reading Kit.

Practical books:
Betty Crocker's Cookbook is a family favorite, with all the essential, basic recipes I could ask for.  There's a lot of love in this book - it was a gift from my mom when she found it at a book sale this summer.
Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House, another present from Mommy!  This is the go-to guide for anything from ironing to removing carpet stains and sewing buttons.  I'll alternate between this and calling home with questions. :)

Spiritual reading:
The Basic Book of Catholic Prayer: How to Pray and Why - I keep coming back to this gem from Fr. Lovasik.  It's extraordinarily readable, and contains so much wisdom.  I'm hoping it will help me rebuild my spiritual life around my new schedule.
Life of Christ, because how can you not have a Ven. Fulton Sheen book around?  This is one of my favorites of his.
The Privilege of Being a Woman did so much to shape me as a woman in high school and college.  I was blessed to hear Alice von Hildebrand once as a young girl, and again at my college commencement.  It's time for me to read this little book again as I'm starting out in the world.
The Four Temperaments is extremely handy, and I thought it would be good to read again as I learn more about my coworkers and roommate.  
An Introduction to the Devout Life is my favorite spiritual book of all time.  I have to have it on hand!
The Catholic Book of Character and Success - my mom read this book to us when I was in middle school, and I think I read it again in high school.  I asked for it for a birthday gift this year, and hope to read it soon - a good source-book for a brand-new "yuppie".

Because this is me.  Yes, I am bringing my complete Shakespeare (the smallest edition of the three) and a copy of Shadowplay by Clare Asquith.

Grimms' Fairy Tales

The Ballad of the White Horse will always lift me out of the blues and send shivers up my spine!
T. S. Eliot's The Wasteland, Prufrock and Other Poems brings back so many memories of college and my friends, plus it's just plain fun to read.
Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle...And Other Modern Verse is like talking to my mother as a young woman.  She loved this little collection from her school library, and presented me with a copy this summer.  I've found some new favorite poems, and now know some of her favorites too.
Top 500 Poems is a pretty darned good anthology, a relic of my Poetry & Poetics class.

I pulled out some old favorites and some new books I've been wanting to read:
Dean Koontz, Watchers and From the Corner of His Eye
Tom Holt, The Portable Door
Terry Pratchett, Going Postal
Baroness Orczy, El Dorado
Erin McCole Cupp, Jane_E and Don't You Forget About Me
Ellen Gable, Emily's Hope and A Subtle Grace
Ann Margaret Lewis, The Watson Chronicles
Megan Whalen Turner, The Thief