There have been so many that have made me stop, think, re-evaluate - but what springs to mind as most recent is We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. There is certianly a twist at the end of this very unusual novel. Without giving too much away it is about a broken family in the USA but that is too tame a discription. If you do decide to read it stick with it and do NOT under any circumstances reads the end first. It will shock, surprise and inspire. It really sets Lionel Shriver out as an excellent writer.
I too enjoyed the Twilight books, I would not usually read romance, but these books grab you and take you on a roller coaster ride, that is part fantasy, part supernatural, part horror, part teen, and definately romantic fiction! I did not find them life changing though!
The book that changed my life was 'The Gift of Fear' by Gavin De Becker. It asserts thast your fear is a protective mechanism, yet modern society has you frightened of the wrong things. I read it and kept thinking 'Of course, why didn't I realise that before?' De Becker is a liberating author, and this book should be mandatory reading for all high school pupils.
too many to mention but here's a few, Exodus by Leon Uris, The land of Green ghosts by Pascal Khoo Thwe, journey of Socrates by Dan Millman, In the Spirt of Crazy Horse, Peter mathiesen,"The voice of hope." by Daw Aung Sang Su Kyi,
If you want to put the whole religion versus 'doing what i want, guilt free' thing into perspective then look at 'Illusions' The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach. I accept that this is a comment on an OU page, and people have a modicum of smarts. This only stimulates thought in the same way that Castenada does.
My first thought was Lord of the Rings - it has to be my favourite book of all time and I've read it seven or eight times and it never gets stale.
However, thinking a bit further, the one that actually changed my life was probably Magician by Raymond E Feist. It's a good old sword and sorcery fantasy novel and I picked up my brother's copy at the age of about 10 or 11 and have been a fantasy nut ever since (20+ years and counting). It also ignited my love of reading in general and I have no doubt that reading Magician led me eventually to LOTR so it probably has to take the title.
The Complete Fursey by Mervyn Wall - any man that can have 300 demons of various types rampaging across the Irish countryside accompanying a monk with a bad stammer because he cant say the exorcism rite has my vote.
also mc carthys bar and anything by bill bryson,
but if I had to say something that moved me its the section of Joyce's Dubliners that begins with ' she was fast asleep, it brings the hairs up on the back of my neck everytime. I can't say I have read the rest of the book but that section is amazing
Without doubt the book that changed my life was "The Portrait of Dorian Grey" by Oscar Wilde - no idea why!!! but I was massively inspired and have since read most of his works, shame he is dead!!!
And actually who hasnt read "The Celestine Prophecy" ?
this is a must read book.
Coming Up for Air by George Orwell. After reading this I contemplated my 6 yr relationship with my partner, ended it and moved to South Korea!
Can't say that any particular book has changed my life but the one that had the most effect upon me, (actually reduced me to tears), was Kathy's Story: A Childhood Hell Inside the Magdalen Laundries by Kathy O'Beirne. Kathy was just 12 when she was placed in the Magdalen Laundry, which were notorious workhouses operated in Ireland throughout the twentieth century. It was so heartrending, especially as the wrongdoers were supposed to be the upholders of good over evil, Irish Nuns!
Worth a read!
Games People Play by Eric Berne
Without a doubt it changed my life in more ways than I could ever explain. I learned a lot about transactional analysis after reading this and cognitive behaviour after that.
To Kill a Mockingbird... I cant really say it changed my life but it made me realise that there are people out there who can tell stories which can whole heartedly capture my interest. I recommend it to everyone.
Books have always been a major part of my life. I've read so many that I could say have had an influence in one way or another.
However, I would suggest that probably came down to the first 2 books that I read. "The Children of the New Forest" by Capt. Marryat, which was a book owned by my grandfather and he read it to me when I was ill with the measles (aged about 3). Shortly after that, I then had the mumps, and he borrowed "Wind in the Willows" by Kenneth Grahame from the library and used it to teach me to read for myself. At age 4, the local library were prepared to lend me one book at a time and the librarian was always astonished when I returned them the following day!
I can't pick just 1book !!!!!!!
A gcse book ... I'm the king of the castle by susan hill. Although I studied it for a gcse it is one of the books that will be etched on my brain for life. As a teenager reading of another teenagers struggle and the end result was a real eye opener.
Also Junk by Melvin Burgess read again while I was at school around the age of 15 quite controversial books for teenagers and I am more than certain some parents if they knew the content of his books would not allow their children to read them but both books that I will never forget.
Though I am only 20, I have been an obsessive reader since a young age. I'd like to say it was some amazing traditional book that changed my life, but in all honesty, it wasn't.
I was maybe 14 at the time, I hadn't read a book in years, I was studying for GCSE's and my social life seemed more important. Then one weekend, my best friend went away to a weedding. Instead of not doing anything. I sat down and read Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman. It's an amazing story of segregation and love and family drama. It takes on a kind of slave era view, but in this case, people of colour are more powerful in the world and it's those of pale skin who are considered 'Noughts' and are highly inferior to the 'Crosses'. The story was amazing and I ended up reading the whole trilogy during the weekend. It is now a set of four books. At the time, it really engaged me and re-ignited my love for reading.
Another would be 'Nothing to Fear' by Karen Rose. Karen Rose is a very talented writer, I was in my first year of Sixth Form when I read Nothing to Fear and it was the first adult book I had really read. It is a brilliant crime thriller and every page keeps you completely hooked.
The diving bell and the butterfly... autobiographgy by the french editor of Vogue magazine after he had a stroke and had 'locked in syndrome'... he dictated the book by moving his left eye only... wonderful read and truly moving... definitely recommend it
I'd like to say that quite a few books have changed my life. But the one series I could say made me into what I am today is the Harry Potter series.
I've been a huge fan since I was nine years old, so that's almost ten years dedication! It really made me start to enjoy my childhood and my early adolescence. Things at home weren't great and these books were a fantastic source of escapism.
A little more recently than that, though, I've really been getting into books by Tess Gerritsen. I love the thiller and horror genre and this author really knows how to creep me out! In a good way, that is.
Jane Eyre definitely had a huge effect on me. I learnt the value of reason from that book and from then on I've tried a to use it to govern how I act, rather than the letting emotions get in the way. It also encouraged me to work harder, to stand by my beliefs and to explore my feelings objectively. The images of hardship and perseverence really made me respect the characters, but also made me sympathise with them. The unapologetic conversation was sort of thrilling and satisfying. I think I owe a lot of the growing up I did in my early twenties to Charlotte Bronte and this will forever be my favourite book.
Mine would have to be Keep The Aspidistra Flying by George Orwell. Someone who's dissatisfied with his life and makes attempts to escape it. I think most people can relate to the Gordon Comstock character.
mine was the bible and I was late coming to it, and only having experienced some very difficult times in my life.
Bridge across my Sorrows, an autobiographical story by Christina Noble an Irish lady with a terrible childhood and an unhappy marriage. She felt a calling to go to Vietnam and look after the street children. Her story is an inspiration to women that there is so much you can do in the world and achieve so much even though life hasn't treated you too kindly. As a matter of fact you come out stronger and able to face anything.
Jane Eyre my mum brought it for me when i was off school with tonsailtis and it tought me to always go my own way.
Tales from the city by Armstead Maupin - great for when you are ill or want to escape for a while.
the woman in white by wilkie Collins - Count Fosco is a fantastic bad guy.
Necropolis by Catherine Arnold a fab slice of London social history
The Shape of Snakes by Minette Walters. a brilliant crime thriller that had me in tears at the end.
u might agree or u might think i'm writing a load of ol' cobblers.
Definitely not writing "load of old cobblers". You are a true reader, taking lessons from everything. I am still trying to get round to reading "woman in white", (maybe if I buy a copy I'd have a greater chance of starting!) Hope you are well right now Lise, Mary.
P.S. Thinking of doing Arts and Humanities myself with OU, if I'm brave enough. Long time since I studied. M.
OK, corny coming up - The Open University course choice book changed my life - really!!
BUT, books that have moved me are many. Frankenstein is a lovely book and heart-wrenching, Harry Potter - excellent, I don't care what anyone else thinks, the Twilight Saga is Romeo and Juliet feathered with good morals and good deeds, The Lovely Bones, The Pile of Stuff at the Bottom of the Stairs, and the Bronte and Austen classics....
I just love a book that draws me into the story completely so I leave my own world behind to live, breathe and join in the plots, plans and lives of the characters and the environment.
Janet and John "readers" changed my life. "Look John see Spot run" was not relevant to my life, but it taught me about equality and the lack of it.
They did teach(?) me to read so that I could indulge in the real classics of the day. "The Beano" and "The Dandy".
Having been made to read J&J, I now read for information. The comics developed into John Le Carre novels.
Great books which had a great impact on me:
"The Shadow of the Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafron
Amazing story. Don't have many words to describe it, you just have to read and experience it yourself.
I have just finished "Incendiary" by Chris Cleave. I kept reading and kept me up till the small hours, but it was well worth it. It is funny, sad, wit and much more. A big mixture of emotions.
I've read so many that there's too many to mention but one would definitely have to be The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, such a beautiful and inspiring book.
the book that has tottaly changed the way of thinking and subsequently my life is the SECRET by rhonda byrne...its a spellbinding book..:)
There are a couple that have changed my life in different ways! The Harry Potter series helped me 'escape' and get through some tough school days years ago, I'll admit.
But the books by Danny Wallace ('Join Me', 'Random Acts of Kindness: 365 Ways to Make the World a Better Place') about a man who accidentally started a group who do a random act of kindness for strangers every Friday, though written tongue in cheek, definitely changed my way of thinking for a bit. And my neighbours would vouch for that if they knew it was me who posted scratchcards and various gifts through their doors!
I have taken down some of the books that people have read and they're on my wish list at Amazon - I love finding a book that I can't put down!
Unfortunately I've not found a book that has changed my life, however every book I read always has some kind of effect on me and my perspective on things.
My favourite book so far is Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. I loved it so much I've never read the ending as I can't bear for the story to be over. I'm a bit sad I know.
His storry is about making a new life after escaping from prison and heroin addiction - he finds himself in the chaos and madness that is Bombay. The way he describes the beauty of bombay and India is just perfect - so much so I am visiting India in November.
I recommend it to EVERYONE. :)
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