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books that changed your life

(44 Posts)
SenoraPostrophe Wed 27-Jul-05 20:37:14

This has probably been posted before, but I've just seen it on another forum and it's got me thinking.

I don't want to hear about the best books you've read, but the ones that change the way you think.

Mine are:

Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut (an absolutely ripping satire on politics and the nature of man)
Stark - Ben Elton (the root of my green politics I think)
Ulyses - James Joyce (didn't get very far: made me realise I'm not as clever as i thought I was )

I'm sure there are more though.

Miaou Wed 27-Jul-05 20:41:33

The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night Time (think I've got that right). For the first time ever I felt I had a (small) insight into Aspergers/ASD and it totally blew me away.

Angeliz Wed 27-Jul-05 20:43:38

Celestine Prophecies - made me think about my reaction to people and see the beauty of life and made me think that where-ever i am at any given point in time, i'm actually supposed to be there for a reason.

Tinker Wed 27-Jul-05 20:44:32

Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - made me think about what type of person I am.

Ditto James Joyce...zzzzzzzzzzzz.

roosmum Wed 27-Jul-05 20:44:39

not on the label - felicity lawrence.

a recent read for me, can't think of food/supermarkets in the same way ever again...

(ps ulysses...yawn! really think it's that clever??)

Jane63 Wed 27-Jul-05 20:52:07

I suppose The Power of your subconscious mind by Dr. Joseph Murphy. It makes buck my ideas up and try harder.

monkeytrousers Wed 27-Jul-05 20:56:48

The Selfish Gene - Richard Dawkins

A Room of Ones Own - Virginia Woolfe

Scallagrig - William Horwood

Jimjams Wed 27-Jul-05 20:59:27

Making the in laws read George and Sam (thank you Charlotte Moore).

Lucy's Story: Autism and Other Adventures by Lucy Blackman- a real insight into my son.

Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maughn

shrub Wed 27-Jul-05 21:10:02

Hi Jimjamshow are you?
Buddhism Plain and Simple by Steve hagen
Power of One by Bryce Courtenay
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
The Prophet by Kahil Gibran
If this is Man by Primo Levi

Tanzie Wed 27-Jul-05 21:13:59

The Bread of those Early Years by Heinrich Boll
The Call of the Toad by Gunther Grass
Eva by Meyer Levin

Angeliz Wed 27-Jul-05 21:15:06

oh shrub, my dp bought me Jonathon Livingston Seagull when we were very first together!

shrub Wed 27-Jul-05 21:23:39

Angeliz - have you read his other books including Bridge Across Forever and One? Recently found out he had split up from his soulmate

Angeliz Wed 27-Jul-05 21:27:15

No i haven't shrub but i will now
I'm going to get Stark too as i like the sound of that.
I'm really ready for a good book as i've been flicking through the same easy reading book every night for a week and can't get into it.

expatinscotland Wed 27-Jul-05 21:28:07

My Dream of You, by Nuala O'Faolain. It came my way during my painful divorce. Caitlinn de Burca's story showed how an unmarried childfree woman can be happy - if she accepts herself.

So I did. I started doing things I'd always wanted to do instead of searching for that man who would want to give me a family I looked for everywhere.

I sold everything, moved to Scotland . . . and the man entered my life.

I re-read the novel every year.

sheepgomeep Wed 27-Jul-05 22:51:48

Monkeytrousers oh my god yes to William Horwoods skallagrig. In fact most of Horwards books are spot on for me especially the Duncton wood chronicles

Cam Wed 27-Jul-05 23:03:50

When I was young and impressionable, Play Power by Richard Neville (editor of Oz Magazine)

Caligula Wed 27-Jul-05 23:08:33

Jill Tweedie - In the name of love. Made me realise what a cultural construct love is.

Richmal Comptom - The William books. Made me realise Tories could be funny and therefore are human too!

Jane Austen - Persuasion. Made me understand how much more profound and touching the depth of feeling of someone grown up is, to someone young and robust with the power to bounce back.

Fay Weldon - Remember Me. Just brilliant, humane, funny stuff about ownership of human beings.

Timothy Mo - The redundancy of courage. Made me see terrorism in a different light.

Eric Hobsbawm - The Age of Revolution. Obvious really.

Nemo1977 Wed 27-Jul-05 23:10:51

Ok dont laugh

charlottes web as before that i never realised a pig was ham/bacon. After reading it i became veggie at grand age of 7...although it only lasted until i was 21 when i got drunk and devoured a pack of BBQ ribs

Cam Wed 27-Jul-05 23:14:33

Oh one of your choices has reminded me, Caligula:

The Good Terrorist by Doris Lessing, again read when I was young and impressionable, brilliant insight (and condemnation) into left-wing anarchy

Fauve Thu 28-Jul-05 00:02:46

I keep thinking about The Good Terrorist, Cam. Can't think why

soapbox Thu 28-Jul-05 00:10:01

For me it has to be 'The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist'. My background would best be described as socially aware solid upper middle class

My father was a great socialist who was politically very active but from a middle class background - not quite Tony Benn but of that ilk IYKWIM!

I was always fairly socially aware as a child as a result and was quite precocious in my political lobbying at a very young age - with all of the self importance that youth brings

For me this was the first book that brought it all to life for me - what the struggle was all about. It was life changing in that my understanding that life for many people is far from perfect and therefore judging people for what they are rather than what they have is very important!

christie1 Fri 29-Jul-05 02:33:59

Lord of the Flies and Animal Farm- both books made me forever suspicious of the "group mentality" type things and often looking for motives behind those who claim to have my best interest at heart ie those who try to know what I should think and what is best for me. If I hear that phrase from some group " we are just trying to raise awareness on the part of the publi....." I get that orwellian thing in my brain going off like a red alert.

lunachic Fri 29-Jul-05 03:26:52

cosmic trigger by robert anton wilson

monkeytrousers Fri 29-Jul-05 11:07:31

Has anyone else read Scallagrig by William Horwood? I'd really recommend it. A beautiful story.

LittleMissNaughty Fri 29-Jul-05 11:10:47

Don't know if anyone else has mentioned it but 'A Child Called It' by Dave Pelzer really changed by life. It made me appreciate my life and realise that it is possible to become a stronger person when terrible things happen to you. I think Dave Pelzer is a role model for everyone.

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