Maxine Miller My sister and I were bred to be scholars. Born to two intellectuals with unusually high I.Q.s, my parents loved reading. My mother, Jayne, used to tell me that reading was a first-class ticket to anywhere in the world. My father, Mitchell, said that reading would lead to a better life.

So they read to us. Everywhere. My mother carried books around back then like a cellphone. My father said I was reading at a year and a half, and by age three I had a sizable library of my own.

As a child, surprisingly my favorites were biographies and memoirs. I loved history and learning details of people’s lives. This love of reading embedded in my DNA translated to a love of writing as I got older and learned to develop my own writing style.

I lost my mother when I was very young, and I employed bettering myself as grief counseling. Going back to college and developing interests into talents has given me a drive to not only honor her memory, but thrive, and I owe it all to reading.