Which Book Changed Your Life?

stickywicket
stickywicket Member Posts: 26,700
edited 31. Aug 2014, 17:09 in Community Chit-chat archive
There are loads of books that made me think differently and, surely, if an author can change someone's way of thinking, that's a fantastic achievement. I'd put Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, La Vida Es Sueno by Pedro Calderon de la Barca, Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes and A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M Miller in that category. But.....

I might have developed a love of, and fascination with, language without Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll but, because I came across it at such a young age, it first introduced me to the importance of words, their multiple meanings and usage, and the comedy and tragedy that arises when we either use them badly or misunderstand them. For years, my favourite chapter of any book was The Mad Hatter's Tea Party (http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~rgs/alice-VII.html ) It still makes me smile every time I read it. I'm sure it's but a short hop from there to both very deep philosophy and very funny 'I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue' on Radio 4.
«1

Comments

  • bubbadog
    bubbadog Member Posts: 5,544
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    The Book that changed my life was Long Walk To Freedom, The Auto-biography of Nelson Mandela, it was one of the thickest books I have ever read but I read it in 3 days, I was literally reading till 2am everyday! I couldn't put it down. And once I finished that I read Goodbye Bafana by James Gregory who was Nelson Mandela's Prison Guard for 20 years and during that time they became firm friends. It was very emotional yet hear warming story.
  • Numptydumpty
    Numptydumpty Member Posts: 6,415
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    "Old Lob" the first set of books I had at school. I loved them so much, and they instilled a love of reading in me. Old Lob was a farmer, he had a dog called Mr Dan, a cat called Miss Tibbs, a horse Dobbin, a cow Mrs Cuddy and Mr Grumps the goat, there was a pig too, I think his name was Willy.
    That was over fifty years ago, and I can picture them still!
    Now ask me what I did yesterday :lol: I won't remember.
    Numpty
  • Kitty
    Kitty Member Posts: 3,561
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. It brings out the social mores of life between the wars, and how a woman's social standing depended mainly on her marriage and friends. The little additional story of Septimus and his mental state and subsequent death adds poignancy to the story. Clarissa Dalloway is a woman of her times who is continually disappointed with her life as a socialite, but feels helpless to do anything about it.
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Sticky, I'm another Alice fan as well and a fan of I'm sorry I haven't a clue.

    Winnie the pooh and The House at Pooh Corner are books which while they may not have changed my life mean a lot to me as does Fox in Sox, and I still have my much battered childhood copies of all these and passed the love of them on to my daughter and Grandsons.

    One book I return to and which moves me more than any other is The Book Thief.

    But the one which did directly influence me was a children's book of real life stories which included that of Helen Keller. I was fascinated by the story and in particular the role paid by her teacher, Annie Sullivan and it ultimately led me to specialising as a teacher in the area of Special Needs, including 3 years teaching deaf-blind children.
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,257
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    George Orwell the rd to Wigan pier..the poverty around then but how they managed on next to nothing...I love History and read about the red Indians from Americas West...Bury my heart at wounded knee..you will never think of the Indians has the baddies again...so sad but true
    From my childhood Black Beauty...how some people could be so cruel but yet others be so kind..oh I have many more will have to think
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    When a child it was all the Pooh stories (my favourite is Eeyore's birthday) and anything by E Nesbitt, Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm. In my teens I discovered the short stories of Saki and Cold Comfort Farm, by Stella Gibbons, a farm with four cows: Feckless, Graceless, Aimless and Pointless. Thanks to Kindle I found her other novels and have read them all. Early adulthood was Victoria Clayton and Elizabeth Pewsey (who has written under three different names, I love all her work and, again thanks to Kindle, I have the lot). Now? Thrillers. :oops: They don't need as much concentration. :oops:

    I don't think any of them changed my life as such but they have certainly enhanced it. DD
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,700
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    This is fascinating. I see there are quite a few of us who found childhood books which made such an impression on us that it lingers still. Now that Winnie the Pooh has been mentioned, I recall my love of poetry probably began with A A Milne's When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six. The rhythms hit me first but also the images they created in my mind, the 'wheezles and sneezles', the 'delphiniums blue and geraniums red' and Christopher Robin's inability to concentrate on his night prayers. Wonderful stuff for a small child.

    Did it change me? Yes, I think so. From a non-poet to someone who wanted more.
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Vespers was one of the lullabies that was sung to me, with my name put in. I sang it to my daughter and the tradition is continuing with my Grandsons. Other childhood favourites were Wind in the Willows, the Heidi books and the series of Katy books, What Katy Did etc. The copy I had had been handed down from my Grandmother and was a Sunday School prize in 1901!
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Oh! I forgot Heidi - how could I do that? DD
  • mig
    mig Member Posts: 7,152
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Children of the New Forest,didn't change my life but it set a path for my reading habits historical whether true or romantic, for light relieve a trashy paperback.Mig
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,700
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    What Katy did - oh yes, Slosh. I well recall (Actually, I only half recall :oops: ) the chapter in which the kindly older cousin(?) told her about the valuable lessons of Pain. (I was a sickly, asthmatic child even then :roll: )

    Why are we all going back to childhood? Are we more willing to learn and change our attitudes then?
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    For me it's about the memories that go with these books and links with family members who are no longer alive.
  • frogmella
    frogmella Member Posts: 1,115
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    A book that changed my point of view was Dead Man Walking. Until I read that, aged late teens, I had never appreciated that innocent people end up on death row, especially if they are poor and black. Or, indeed, that rich, white people escape even if they are guilty! Oh, the joys of youth, everything is soooo simple....
  • LignumVitae
    LignumVitae Member Posts: 1,972
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Plop the owl who was afraid of the dark was the first book I read to myself and devoured. Jane Eyre has been a companion at all sorts of times. An obscure academic text by Nan Fairbrother called 'New Lives, New Landscapes' was given to me by PhD supervisor and is still a fundamental text and philosophy for my work and research so I guess that would be my rather dull winner! Not exactly a sexy bodice ripper :lol:
  • bridesmum
    bridesmum Member Posts: 181
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I don't have any books which changed my life, but I have always been an avid reader. I loved all the Enid Blyton books and Monica Dickens follyfoot books. My husband used to read our 3 children a chapter from the magic wishing chair or the faraway tree by Enid Blyton every night before bed. I recently found a hardback copy which I bought for reading to my grandson when he is a little older.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I've finally recalled two books that had an effect on me: The Prophet by Khalil Gibran and a very small Penguin (remember them? The little square books which contained excerpts of bigger works?) which contained some of the thoughts of Marcus Aurelius. Splendid stuff. DD
  • tkachev
    tkachev Member Posts: 8,332
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Far too many to mention, but Clockwork Orange turned out to be brilliant.

    The book that changed my life was a guide book purchased at Berkely castle when i was about nine. I absolutely loved history from that point on.

    Elizabeth
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,700
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Wow! That's a powerful impact, Elizabeth. How lovely!
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    That reminded me of one of my favourite childhood books, The Fearless Treasure by Noel Streatfield in which a group of children travel back to,different periods in British history, looking at the different people who have invaded and lived here, Saxons, Romans, Vikings, Normans. It sparked my interest in history and in particular domestic history, how people lived in the past.
  • tkachev
    tkachev Member Posts: 8,332
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Noel Streatfield wrote Ballet shoes, another lovely book. The fearless treasure sounds really interesting so must get a copy.

    Elizabeth
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I loved Ballet shoes when I was a child. Lovely characters
  • Dakky
    Dakky Member Posts: 53
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Charlotte's Web

    When I was in primary school, at the end of the day our teacher would sit us all down and read a few pages to us. It was my favorite part of the day and I was almost excited to go to school just to get my next installment, kids around me would doze off, not me I was hooked!

    It was a sad day when that book ended. It had took a little bit of my innocence, but it also taught me empathy, sympathy and kindness. Something I feel I've carried on with me into adulthood and my everyday interactions with everyone I meet, and for that I'll always be indebted to Charlotte's web.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,700
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    That's lovely, Dakky. I know my grandsons love their bedtime stories and being read to is such a lovely part of childhood. And adulthood.
  • tjt6768
    tjt6768 Member Posts: 12,170
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Which book changed my life?

    The Bible. .

    I swore on on it in court and they locked me up :shock: :shock: :lol:
  • Boomer13
    Boomer13 Member Posts: 1,931
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    :lol::lol: That was funny.....

    So many have changed my life I'm having trouble picking one. I grew up with so many books. Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame was definitely one when I was young. My brother and I still recite passages to each other when they seem to fit one of life's funny moments. I still reread some of my favorite books periodically. I never really grew up :lol:

Who's Online

6
AnnR
AnnR
jamieA
jamieA
N1gel
N1gel
+3 Guests