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Welcome & Ice Breakers > What books have changed your life?

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Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) | 2801 comments Mod
In the spirit of the month's theme for November 2014, I thought we could all do a little searching and come up with a list of books that we would consider "life changing" What are the top life changing books that you have read?

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) | 2801 comments Mod
As it is the middle of the night in California, I will be back in the morning with my top 10 life changers.

message 3: by Charity (new)

Charity | 540 comments I think I would put The Help and The Book Thief at the top of my list. The perspective of these books really helped to give me insight into these time periods.

message 5: by Susan (last edited Feb 17, 2015 06:43AM) (new)

Susan | 3390 comments Mod
This was a great idea, hard for me to decide what criteria to use. I finally ended up with a list of 4. I'm linking to editions of the books that have photos of the covers, rather than trying to identify what editions I might have had access to in the 50's and 60's.

Madame Curie - I read this as a teenager, and was amazed at how brilliant she was and the things she was able to accomplish in what was then clearly a man's world. It was written by her daughter, and for a long time I used to hunt up copies to give to teenage girls I knew who were interested in math or science, as an encouragement.

Black Like Me - This book gave me my first awareness of the oppression experienced by Blacks in this country (the U.S.). The author actually had his skin treated to pass as Black in the deep South, and wrote about his experiences.

The Disappearance - All the men in the world and all the women in the world suddenly find themselves in different worlds, without the other sex. The idea that each could actually do some of the work normally done by the other sex was revolutionary at the time.

The Left Hand of Darkness - I read all the other books listed as a teenager, but this one in my 50's. It opened up to me the world of science fiction, which I had pretty much avoided when I was younger; and I've been loving it ever since. As an individual work, it examines our assumptions about gender by presenting a culture which assigns gender roles and even sexual identity in a totally different way than we do.

I debated including Atlas Shrugged, but it didn't quite make the list. It gave me a lot to think about for a long time, but ultimately I rejected most of Rand's individualistic philosophy.

message 6: by Natalie (new)

Natalie | 1 comments Death be not Proud- About a boy in the 30's who has a brain tumor. Through all the hardships he had the brightest smile. It helped me realize life is all we have. Why not love and learn to the fullest extent.

The Hobbit- His writing style reminded me of the magic that every story is filled with.

message 7: by Lisa (new)

Lisa O'Rourke | 46 comments My top 8: you always need a little room for new favourites...
In no particular order:
A Room with a View
The Missing Shade of Blue
The Fountainhead
An Equal Music
The Painted Veil
A Gracious Plenty
Everything Beautiful Began After
Hotel Iris

and on the sometimes top 10 list depending on my mood: Lolita

message 8: by Blarneygod (new)

Blarneygod | 211 comments The four books that changed my life are the four books that got me interested in reading and/or fed my love/addiction to books:

1. The Giving Tree
2.Hot Ice
3. Pride and Prejudice
4. The Honk and Holler Opening Soon

message 9: by Tien (new)

Tien (tiensblurb) | 8404 comments Mod
Blarneygod wrote: "The four books that changed my life are the four books that got me interested in reading and/or fed my love/addiction to books:

1. The Giving Tree
2.Hot Ice
3. [book:Pr..."

interesting mix of books!

Maggie the Muskoka Library Mouse (mcurry1990) I was really affected by Khaled Hosseini's "The Kite Runner," Wilson Rawls' "Where the Red Fern Grows," and Lawrence Hill's "The Book of Negroes."

message 11: by ~Liz~ (new)

~Liz~ | 6 comments The Bible!!! <3

message 12: by Paula (new)

Paula | 1 comments Night by Elie Wiesel was a book that made me think of everything it just opened my eyes you know?

message 13: by ~Liz~ (new)

~Liz~ | 6 comments Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher definitely made me realize how one's actions can impact another person, in a positive or negative way. It reminded me to be more aware of how i treated others. :)

message 14: by Bea (new)

Bea | 4356 comments Mod
The book that I would highly recommend? Burnt Shadows. I read this book 5 years ago and still have not forgotten its impact on me.

message 15: by Karin (new)

Karin | 794 comments Liz wrote: "The Bible!!! <3"

Same here.

message 16: by Jordan (new)

Jordan Blaylock (thejordiebear) | 1 comments The Prophet, Eve, The Shack, The Book Thief. All changed my life and there are many more I am sure.

message 17: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Dembiec | 4 comments I recently finished Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman and loved it. It was very moving and I'd love to be her friend. We'd probably just stay in and do crossword puzzles. I keep thinking about it.

message 18: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 4 comments Little Women - First book I really read as a teen and started my love affair with reading
The Devil & Miss Prym - Thought provoking and a great introduction to Paulo Coelho
Marching Powder - Didn't think I would enjoy true account/biography type book but how I was wrong, loved this book.
Amazonia - Introduced me to James Rollins - My Fav Author - and a whole new genre

message 19: by Bob (new)

Bob Karen | 1 comments I've been recommending this book to everyone. I've read alot of books but don't remember a book that grabbed me and didn't let me go like this one. It was pretty graphic in places and a few of the abuse scenes made me squirm but it was extremely well written and the violence wasn't just for the sake of it. Memoirs are not usually my thing but I actually found myself caring about the people. It was very intense, first I was crying in despair and then in triumph. The ending left my mouth hanging open. Just a great read. Changed how I saw the world


message 20: by Dana (new)

Dana Youst (danayoust) | 1 comments I read 1984 in high school. I don't remember everything about it but it has stuck out to me ever since and I remember certain scenes when things come on the news. It is the one that has started to make me question everything. I'm not the type to start arguments over politics or anything, it is more a questioning within myself if that makes sense. It has definitely helped me think more for myself and less of what others have told me to believe.

message 21: by Tom (last edited Jan 17, 2018 12:34PM) (new)

Tom Behr) (tom_behr) | 2 comments Hi All- I'm new to this group. Life-long, hopelessly/joyfully-addicted reader.
I spend most of my time writing, now, so my books TBR list is mostly limited to my current project related research, not pure pleasure, unfortunately.

"Life Changing Books" (In the spirit of the question, this is a different list from "books that grabbed me by their power/artistry/insight/beauty, etc." That would be a VERY big list. :-)
These are the ones that grabbed and haven't let go. In no special order:
Tao te Ching
As You Like It ( Hey, a play is still a book, right?) - earlier in my life
King Lear - more recently
Don Quixote
Huckleberry Finn
Black Boy (Richard Wright)
The Last of the Just (Andre Schwartz-Bart)
Rumi's Poetry ( Hey, a book of poems is still a book, right?)

message 22: by Huma (new)

Huma | 2 comments Hi. I've never been so much into books but for 2018 I decided to leave the other things aside and focus on some good books just to enlighten my mind. I don't know about life changing factor but yes I read this book "The Bastard of Istanbul" and now I'm looking forward to read some more books.
Some good recommendations are humbly accepted :)

message 23: by Jay (last edited Feb 04, 2018 11:10PM) (new)

Jay Nair | 2 comments Books have always been of great value in influencing my views and way of looking at self and the World around me; some of the ones which made a real difference are:
1. Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd
- Amazing book for every marketeer; prof moon has a way with words; refreshing book on the subject.

2. How to Win Friends and Influence People
- The EQ we speak so much about today, written decades ago in such wonderful language

3. Winning
- The way a leader thinks; superbly written and straight from the heart

4. Only Love Is Real: A Story of Soulmates Reunited
- My entry into past life reading! WOW book to get hooked on to the concept.

5. Autobiography of a Yogi
- Surreal...spellbound! A must-read in your spiritual journey.

6. Konjo - Fighting Spirit
- Breathtaking! The power of 'can do'; pacy and a good read!

message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

Anne Frank! It taught me what happens when good men do nothing and nobody stands up for what is right. Thus, we all must always stand up and protect each other.

message 25: by Cheri (new)

Cheri | 2 comments "All the light we cannot see" by Antony Doerr really left a huge impact on me, I loved the story and the style of writing.

message 26: by Julie (new)

Julie (jataylor) | 1 comments I love the topic of this thread. In no particular order:

1. Stranger in a Strange Land - Great story about nature versus nurture, free will, religion and culture.

2. The Clan of the Cave Bear - I loved this, an in depth story about prehistoric society and personal strength.

3. Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch - I adore all books Pratchett, especially his Discworld series, but fun as they are, they're also excellent satire that always have me learning about myself.

4. The Handmaid's Tale - this really struck me when I read it and had me pay attention to women's autonomy and roles in today's culture.

message 27: by Petra (new)

Petra Jacob A great idea for a thread!
For me:
I'm the King of the Castle - Susan Hill - a story of one young boy psychologically destroying another, read when I was a teenager. It put into words a lot of the cruelty I saw around me. It was a such a relief to know that somebody understood it.
The Chrysalids - John Wyndam - read when I was ten or so. It's about life after a nuclear war, and I loved how sinister and claustrophobic it was. It's also got a character with my name in it, which was exciting when I was ten.
Living Well with Pain and Illness -Vidyamala Burch - read after I had a serious accident thirteen years ago. I was in constant pain for years, and painkillers and medical intervention didn't really help. This book wasn't the only reason I got better (time and the right medication were also essential) but it was definitely a catylist. I'd recommend it to anyone who's struggling.

message 28: by Leigh (new)

Leigh (leighgray) | 3 comments Marie (UK) wrote: "top of my list
Sophie's World
600 Hours of Edward
The Alchemist"

Ohhhh, Sophie's World... what a book. I don't even have the words for how much I love this one and its place in my internal landsape.

message 29: by Leigh (new)

Leigh (leighgray) | 3 comments I've thought about this question quite a bit - it turns up on Facebook and in conversation periodically - and it's such a tough one! As someone (hi, Tom!) said above, it's a different question than just "what are some books you've loved." Books that have changed my life, for me, are books that have stirred something deep in me; have made me think and see the world and people and myself in new ways; have changed me, somehow, and therefore changed my life. Counting both childhood/adolescence and adulthood, I would include

The Egypt Game for it's depiction (in 1967) of interracial best friends - just like myself and my best friend(s) at the time.

A Wrinkle in Time, in which the family reminded me of my own and made it cool to be brainy.

The Outsiders} - I carried this book around in my purse when I was 13.

[book:The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing
- Racism and what love is and what it isn't and tragedy

Sophie's World for giving a landscape to so many of my thoughts and wonderings

The Razor's Edge - transcendence is a process, not just a state of being

message 30: by Gail (new)

Gail Stencel | 1 comments Life changing is all together different than books I loved. I think - The Bible - Mindset - The Reason for God, - The Hiding Place - A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Tuesdays with Morrie - Ghost Girl & Beautiful Child - A Good Dog, The Story of Orson - One Second After - Safely Home and Kisses for Katie. All these had a major impact on the way I see life. There are more, but I thought the list was getting too long. I don't think I realized how much the books I have read impacted who I am today.

message 31: by Kayla (new)

Kayla (kaylaneson) Oh goodness where to start.

The Harry Potter series-- This is the series that made me a reader.
The Series of Unfortunate Events-- These came out during a pretty chaotic part of my childhood so I had a strong connection.
The Woman in White-- Helped hook me on classics.
Love Medicine-- Helped me start reading things that were outside my comfort zone.
Song of Solomon-- Like Love Medicine, this helped me get into things outside of my comfort zone.
Eragon-- Inspired me to start writing.
Naruto-- My first exploration of manga

I'm sure there are many more that I just can't think of right now.

message 32: by Muyina (new)

Muyina Some of the books that had an real impact on me, although in different ways:
Martin Chuzzlewit
Crime and Punishment

message 33: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Allen (stephanieanneallen) | 5 comments Honestly the 3 books that changed my life are:

My Mental Madness Memoir
How to Survive Depression
How to Survive Bipolar Disorder

Stephanie Anne Allen

I wrote all three and not only have they changed my life, but they have deeply touched the lives of my readers!


message 34: by Alixendra (new)

Alixendra (travel_bug) | 16 comments I've read a number of books over the years that have changed my life, but one of my favorites is Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War. I highly recommend it as it is also not that long of a read!

message 35: by Petti (new)

Petti (petti_benben) | 1 comments Jane Eyre... only book I've read over 5 times.

The Fault in our stars... I just can't forget it... it hurt my heart.

message 36: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Whitehead | 7 comments I would say Harry Potter series definitely as it got me back into reading.

Other ones that have made an impression are
Room by Emma Donoghue - Just a great book but such a tough read
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - Still not over it
The Radium Girls The Dark Story of America's Shining Women by Kate Moore - The greed, the lies the indifference...those poor girls

message 37: by Shii (new)

Shii (shiina_tamazaki) | 2 comments [Veronica decides to die] was an important book for me, really gained a lot of insight from it. Probably every chapter there was a quote worthy line.

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