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Jen | 15 comments Hello fellow Book-A-Holics. Eliza recently started a good discussion under the Welcome forum. I thought it deserved (OK, so Wes reprimanded us.) its own topic.

What five books have impacted your life or changed your outlook?

This question leads me to believe that I need to begin to read books with more substance. In the meantime, my list is:

1. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
2. Night - Elie Wiesel
3. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith
4. Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
5. The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver (I once heard a woman say that after reading this book she realized that all people in all cultures love their children the same. It's stuck with me ever since.)




message 2: by Wes, Moderator (new)

Wes (pricerightbooks) | 473 comments Mod
Sure Jen make me feel bad, I just felt your wonderful idea should be better exposed to its greatness.


Amy | 6 comments A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was my first "grown-up" read. My mom took me to the bookstore in 4th grade and told the lady that I was ready for my first novel and she recommended this book. It is for sure, still one of my all-time favorites and I have since read it several times. A great classic.


Mandy The Kite Runner definitely opened my eyes and also From Baghdad With Love.


Tana Lacy I love this topic. I have a small list...
The Great Divorce by CS Lewis
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
The Alchemist by Paulo Choelho
Three weeks with my brother by Nicholas Sparks

all of these books have taught me something about myself or the person I want to be...


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

I think we should change the topic heading to "top 5" to make it stand out.
It changes slightly with time but let's see-early top 5 were

1.Walden by Thoreau
2. Jonathan Livingston Seagull yah maybe juvenile but oh well-Illusions was in here too at this time.
3. Crime and Punishment
4. The Prophet by Kahil Gibran
5. The Pill Versus the Springhill Mine Disaster-Richard Brautigan

It might be interesting to put this into decades.



Roni (V_A_B) I only have 4, but I would say that is pretty good for a 14-year-old.

1.The Giver by Lois Lowry
2.Feed by M. T. Anderson
3. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
4.To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee


Jen | 15 comments Good idea, Maureen! I've editted the topic.


Kelly (Bookwormonwheelz) | 13 comments My Top 5 are:

1. Great Expectations- Charles Dickens
2. Nicholas Nickleby-Charles Dickens
3. The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexander Dumas (SP?)
4.The Picture of Dorian Gray-Oscar Wilde
5. The Scarlet Letter- Nathaniel Hawthorne


Elyse (elysedraper) | 6 comments My top 5 are:
1. The True Believer Eric Hoffer
2. Le Mur Jean-Paul Sartre
3. The Book Thief Markus Zusak
4. Reaper man Terry Pratchett
5. The Brothers Karamazov Fyodor Dostoevsky

Not in any particular order but the five books I don’t think I could go without reading at least once a year.



Matthew | 13 comments Well for me i have to start with

1. Desert Solitare - Ed Abbey
2. Sand County Almanac - Aldo Leopold
3. Last Temptation of Christ - not even gonna try
4. The Brave Cowboy - Ed again
5. Gates of Fire - Steven Pressfield

The first two are the reasons (big parts anyway) i do what i do. The third was read at a crossroad and was partly responsible for the direction i chose. As for the last two there are characters in them that i connect with on so many levels and just flat out love the books!


Ben This is like the question at the end of "The Time Machine" when he poses the question to the housekeeper, what books would you take to restart civilization. Ok, not exactly but it does take alot of thought because why would you say these books.

Confess, Fletch, Confess-- by Gregory MacDonald because it's probably the wittest of the Fletch series in concern to the repartee between Fletch and Inspector Flynn.

Dean Kootnz's the Face--probably the scariest book I've ever read.

Story by Robert McKee--for any writer that is thinking about working on teleplays or any type of script work.

The Elements of Style-- by EB White and Strunk. A classic in how to write essays and writing in general. Any person who writes for a living and can say the live without this how to guide needs to pick it up.

Ten Little Indians by Agatha Christie-- a who-done-it like no other, because they all did it and they are all being Judged, they just don't know it till the end.


Rachael | 11 comments 1. Tuesdays with Morrie
2. Love You, Mean It
3. My Sergei
4. Little Women
5. Anne of Green Gables


Cindy Pierce (cookiejarprincess) Hmm. This is hard. I'm not sure I can narrow it down to just five but I'll give it a try.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I read this book for the first time when I was ten and I've read it at least once a year every year since. Atticus Finch is probably one of my favorite literary characters ever.

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. This is another book I've read every year since I was ten. It's a much deeper story than a lot of people think. Scarlett is such a complex woman. Mitchell did an amazing job developing her characters.

The entire Ramona Quimby series by Beverly Cleary. I've loved Ramona since I was a little kid. Ramona taught me that it was okay to march to the beat of a different drummer.

The Stand by Stephen King. This book scared me to death. My mom read it when I was young and it is probably the only book she has ever had to put down and not finish. It scared her too much to read all the way through. I put off reading it for years because of that but when I finally did read it I understood how she felt. But as scary as it is, I love it. I know this is not a popular opinion but King is a great story-teller.

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry. The classic love story.


message 15: by Christopher (last edited Apr 21, 2008 11:24AM) (new)

Christopher (cmkeel) | 12 comments This is a great topic!

1. The Soul's Code by James Hillman. This book totally changed my life. Hillman bases his ideas on Plato's Myth of Er. He contends that we all come into the world with a purpose to be fulfilled. Finding that purpose is key to living a fulfilling life. This theory also helps put failure into perspective. Just because we fail doesn't necessarily mean that we are failures in general, it just means that we haven't found our niche' yet.


2.Yhe Violent Bear it Away by Flannery O'Connor
This book really turned me on to the wonderful world of classic fiction. I've never been much of a fiction reader. Prior to reading this book, years ago, in a basic literature class, my only fiction reading were mostly Louis L'Amour Westerns.

3. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. This series of books gave me many many hours of enjoyment as a kid. It really stimulated my imagination.

4. Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time by Marcus Borg. I was raised in a conservative Christian background. Once I got older and began searching and thinking for myself, I found that I could no longer accept many of the things I was taught as a kid. Borg, however, made Christ and Christianity accessible to me again.

5. The One Purpose of God: An Answer to the Doctrine of Eternal Punishment by Jan Bonda. The idea of eternal retribution was really problematic for me. Bonda helps put it in perspective and offers an alternate perspective. This, too, really helped me approach faith with a new attitude.

And I have one more...


6. The Story of Philosophy by Will Durant. This book stimulated my interest in philosophy. I read it years ago and my interest in philosophy has not receded at all.


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