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The Big Read - has any book ever changed your life?

(72 Posts)
ks Sat 25-Oct-03 22:35:23

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ScummyMummy Sat 25-Oct-03 23:08:57

Maybe he saw his daemon?

I think that some of the fiction I read as a kid taught me a lot "morally" and thus changed my life in a mundane but important way... Noel Streatfield, Arthur Ransome, Judy Blume, Bernard Ashley, Michelle Magorian, Diana Wynne Jones, Cynthia Voigt to name but a very few.

I think the window of opportunity for changing your readership fundamentally is quite small though. I can't think of any book I've read as an adult that has changed me profoundly, though I read a lot and enjoy so many different books. And so maybe it's indicative that there are so many "teenage" books on the Big Read shortlist- Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird, Jane Eyre (Villette is SO much better!), Wuthering Heights, Of Mice and Men, even Great Expectations. All really lovely books that are typically read for GCSE/O level or before...

ks Sat 25-Oct-03 23:11:47

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bossykate Sat 25-Oct-03 23:12:37

they all have!

ks Sat 25-Oct-03 23:14:34

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ks Sat 25-Oct-03 23:15:10

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bossykate Sat 25-Oct-03 23:15:42

it's the philip pullman trilogy, "the amber spyglass" etc. haven't read any of them, don't like fantasy myself...

anais Sat 25-Oct-03 23:36:36

I think most of the books I have read have changed my life in some small way - if only from the point of view of looking at something from a different perspective, or learning about a different way of life or whatever.

I was very proud of having read 16 of the top 100 books, considering the education I receievd I thought it wasn't bad! And I'm planning to work my way through the remaining 84

ScummyMummy Sat 25-Oct-03 23:43:32

I think Northern Lights- the first in the Pullman trilogy- *is* an excellent book- well worth a read even for fantasy haters.

Angeliz Sun 26-Oct-03 00:43:40

hi, the book that changed my life was "the Celestine Prophecy" by James Redfield! It was after reading the book that i met someone(an old lady) who had originally sent the book to my friend,whom i borrowed it from! I was so much happier after reading it and she liked my spirit and got me a job....through that job i met dp and we now have the most amazing little girl ever so i thank James!I think it was all fate and it still astounds me to think of how i came full circle around that book! It is AMAZING.......... It literally changed my life and one of the chapters was about personalitys..you are either....interogater-intimidator-aloof-poor_me...........and then it tells you how to break the cycle! Anyway, icould go on all night but i would say, read it

sobernow Sun 26-Oct-03 07:46:54

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Chinchilla Sun 26-Oct-03 08:20:56

I have read 30 of the top 100. 9 of the top 21. I have also printed off the list to make sure that I read the other 70. Pride and Prejudice is my favourite book anyway, so I'm glad that it is in the top 100. I just love the wry humour. I don't think that any book has changed my life, although I could never live in a world without books.

jodee Sun 26-Oct-03 09:57:02

All those Harry Potter books - really??? But then again I'm looking at it from the point of view of an adult - as a child I read all the CS Lewis books, Wind in the Willows, etc. so would probably have avidly read HP if they were around then. Just wonder if they stand the test of time like the others ...

bettys Sun 26-Oct-03 10:34:36

His Dark Materials is a fantastic trilogy - way ahead of Harry Potter - but I can't see how it would change your life apart from maybe your views on philosophy or religion.
I've read 54 out of the 100 books, but then I read a lot of sci-fi & that genre is very well represented. None has changed my life, unless you count a teenage conviction that I was going to meet Mr Darcy, which made me quite rude to a lot of young men, thinking they would find it intriguing.

ks Sun 26-Oct-03 12:32:39

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ks Sun 26-Oct-03 12:34:48

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lucy123 Sun 26-Oct-03 12:41:16

None of my favourite books were in the top 100. What does that say about me? (Slaughterhouse 5 and Regeneration at the moment. Will probably change).

But in answer to the question - yes, kinda. Like others say, a book can change your philosophy at least.

I have Ulysses on the shelf. One day.

mears Sun 26-Oct-03 12:41:21

I actually predominantly read books relating to midwifery care (currently waterbirth) and reading material for my Masters course. I also read guidance from the health department. I sometimes wish I had the time to read an actual 'story'.

ks Sun 26-Oct-03 12:43:10

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Bron Sun 26-Oct-03 13:44:48

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donnie Sun 26-Oct-03 13:50:49

Steinbeck's 'East of Eden'. Mind blowing, as is his earlier novel 'The Grapes of Wrath'. Both have changed my life by enriching and deepening my understanding of human nature and the relationship between Man and his environment.Too many others to mention but I agree with the shock of no Graham Greene. 'The Power and the Glory' and 'The Heart of the Matter' in particular are outstanding.

donnie Sun 26-Oct-03 13:52:51

hey bron - don't make excuses ! they are both brilliant novels.You should read them in spite of your teacher, not avoid them because of him/her.Get reading! (not trying to sound bossy).

Bron Sun 26-Oct-03 14:07:37

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Bron Sun 26-Oct-03 14:08:30

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jodee Sun 26-Oct-03 14:37:17

Bron, I've just finished The Secret History, I was so disappointed it had to end, what a brilliant book.
Out of the books on the list that I've actually read, it's only To Kill a Mockingbird that I find myself reading over and over again, I love Scout and Jem.

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