Inspiring books- which books are just must reads?

(50 Posts)
yummymummy345 Sun 02-Oct-11 15:24:17

As the title suggests- what have been the most inspiring/life changing books you have read? busy mum of 2 but now finding time to start reading.

Just reading 'the road less travelled' very good read...

Anything by Jane Austen - not life-changing but too good to miss.
Try Douglas Coupland - Girlfriend In A Corner or Life After God, maybe.
Skellig by David Almond is a children's book but absolutely beautiful and encourages us to view people/the world in a slightly different way.
I really liked Tuesdays With Morrie, though lots of people on here hate it.

Landoni112 Tue 04-Oct-11 19:46:50

All quiet on the western front.
Only just read it, although was familiar with the name....was amazing! Best book I have read for a v long time....

babycham42 Tue 04-Oct-11 19:48:39

"Down and Out in Paris and London" George Orwell

smileitssunny Wed 05-Oct-11 15:27:33

I've just finished 'Major Pettigrew's Last Stand' by Helen Simonson - LOVED it! different to the books I usually read. I'd love to hear if anyone else has read it, and what they thought?

ClaudiaSchiffer Thu 06-Oct-11 00:06:17

I'm reading that right now smileitssunny! About 1/3 way through and enjoying it. Not sure I'm LOVING it though, although I'm rather dipping in and out which isn't great. I need to get a concentrated go at it <eyes children resentfully>

smileitssunny Thu 06-Oct-11 16:55:50

I don't know Claudia I also was able to put it down and come back to it, but I really really liked it even though it wasn't 'unputdownable'. It just seemed to be such an interesting view of the English culture... and I was really rooting for the Major all the way through, despite his idiosyncracies (sp?).

Glad it's not just me who occasionally feels resentful of the children - why won't DD just go to sleep?? She said she was tired! Grr.

yummymummy345 Thu 06-Oct-11 19:18:52

Ah thanks for replying- will look out for those, few hours reading (once you get a chance!) and your perspective can change quite radically I find ......

yummymummy345 Fri 07-Oct-11 16:52:31

any others out there?

Conflugenglugen Fri 07-Oct-11 17:34:28

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy - the style takes a bit of getting used to, but it shook me to the core
Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs

BrokenBananaTantrum Fri 07-Oct-11 17:37:27

Not life changing but a brilliant read is I heard the owl call my name by Margaret Craven. Just read it again this week, 20 years after I first read it. I love it.

BsshBossh Fri 07-Oct-11 19:46:17

Too many to mention, but scanning my bookshelves as I type this:

Thought provoking: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Intense, brooding, gripping: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Complex, meaty, intellectual: The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
Beautifully written, exquisite characterisation, one of the few books to have made me cry: Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich
Surreal: The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
Laugh out loud hilarious: She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb

Authors that generally inspire me for a variety of reasons:
All the above
Margaret Atwood
Kiran Desai
David Mitchell
Carol Shields
Ian McEwan
Paul Auster
Isabella Allende
William Gibson

Oh and so many more!

Willabywallaby Sun 09-Oct-11 18:18:25

I'm trying to get inspiration for my choice for my book club, just ordered 'She's come undone'!

Bucharest Sun 09-Oct-11 18:27:05

Testament of Youth- Vera Brittain
All Quiet on the Western Front EM Remarque
The Little Prince
The Blood of Others Simone de Beauvoir
Gone to Soldiers Marge Piercy

All books which I read in my youth but have recently re-read, and maintain that the world would be a better place if everyone was made to read them when they were teenagers...

AuraofDora Sun 09-Oct-11 18:34:47

nice to see All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque getting a mention amazing book, know it well
reading Orlando by Virginia Woolf just now, not totally into it yet..
Finished Herzog by SaulBellow, not overwhelmed..
recently finished a very interesting book on artists Dora Carrington, Mark Gertler, Stanley Spencer - cant remember title sorry, compelling biogs and interesting time
What sort of books do you like OP? Has to be fiction?

Oh yes, yes, yes to The Little Prince - gorgeous book.

yummymummy345 Mon 10-Oct-11 10:17:45

Apart from reading Psychology at uni, I have been very lazy when it comes to reading but now need to make time for it.... Loads of interests just dont know where to start with the books, so thought I would post. so thanks for all of your replies

minsmum Mon 10-Oct-11 10:24:39

I know this much is true- Wally Lamb

HappyDoll Tue 11-Oct-11 16:19:59

Stuart - A life backwards by Alexander Masters certainly altered my perspective on many things for a time.

strandednomore Tue 11-Oct-11 18:17:59

Most of Primo Levi - in particular If This is a Man
And because I am going to see him tonight at the Literary Festival (and because it's brilliant) - Joe Simpson's Touching the Void.

leatherlover Tue 11-Oct-11 18:21:16

Could be lifechanging depending on your viewpoint but
The Reconnection by Eric Pearl..fascinating...
Most things by the Dalai Lama..
Veronika decides to die by Paulo Coehlo.
Must read rather than lifechanging:
Wild swans by Jung Chang,
Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics
and for pure escapism anything written by Wilbur Smith but particularly his Egyptian series -River God, Birds of Prey and Warlock.
Finally one of my recent favourites....Pride, Predjudice and Zombies -a very clever horror take on Jane Austen's Pride and Predjudice published by Quirk Classics..http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pride-Prejudice-Zombies-Romance-now-Ultraviolent/dp/1594743347

I love P&P with Zombies - it's an absolute hoot. You can also get Sense And Sensibility And Seamonsters. And Touching The Void is another good read.

I really didn't like Wild Swans - I thought it was v badly written and irritating - but I know that most people love it.

I Love Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. It's not inspring though, very dark for it's time and it's depiction of how not everyone wants the American Dream and the white picket fence, but they feel that they have to pretend they do.

Love The Kite Runner, The Help, One Day, Therese Racquin, The Little Stranger, The Collector.

Oh and i second Jeffrey Eugenides - The Virgin Suicides is so beautifully written, i was spellbound.

Yes to The Virgin Suicides, which is brilliant. I liked Middlesex but those white dressed virgins are the best!

Shudder at The Collector - good but scary.

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