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Which books changed your life, and why?

(36 Posts)
juniper904 Sun 23-Sep-12 01:11:28

I'm of the Catcher in the Rye camp. I know it's very mainstream and therefore I am a dick, but it genuinely changed my life. I remember lying in bed, with snow falling heavy outside, reading the book whilst I should have been at sixth form. It hit me in a way no other book has.

My DP was equally moved by To Kill A Mockingbird and wants to give our first born son the middle name Atticus, but that's a different thread but I didn't feel particularly enamoured by the book.

So which books have changed your life, and why? What should I read to have another heart-stopping, existence-questioning moment?

TheRealAmyFarrahFowler Sun 23-Sep-12 01:18:02

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov.
Because it opened my eyes to seeing everything from many different points of view.
I studied it for uni and the author is a genius.

juniper904 Sun 23-Sep-12 01:20:13

I saw Lolita as a film and thought it was fairly controversial, so I expected the book to be OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG etc. I found it weird that she just classed him as one of her many lovers...
But I haven't studied it.

LadySybildeChocolate Sun 23-Sep-12 01:22:00

The dictionary. I'd be screwed without it.

AugustMoon Sun 23-Sep-12 01:26:30

Also a bit of a cliche but 10+ years ago.... The Alchemist
All depends on the stage of life you are at though really - don't think I'd fall for it now!

TheRealAmyFarrahFowler Sun 23-Sep-12 01:34:58

juniper - you gotta read the annotated version. Everything means something else.
But on a more reading for pleasure note - The Book Thief was the first book in years that made me think WOW - books can be amazing. Just because it was so good.

rollmeover Sun 23-Sep-12 01:36:55

Oooh, great thread!

Trainspotting - to read a book the way I knew people to speak was amazing, it opened my eyes that not all "literature" has to be chaucer or shakespeare (though I do love a bit of will s) but that the current vernacular is just as acceptable. And also cause I'm a bit of a radge, ken.

And earlier to Trainspotting - Judy Blumes one about sex (Forever?) I always thought nice girls only had sex with one boy and that was the one they married. It was nice to be shown a less idealised way of life to a romantic teenager. Thank god I didnt marry my first boyfriend - having read that book it gave me the courage to end an abusive relationship and know that I wasnt a "slag". I always meant to write to Judy Blume and thank her.

juniper904 Sun 23-Sep-12 01:40:07

Judy Blume broke my heart. She told me you only need a bra and will be a proper woman when you can put a pencil under your boob and it doesn't fall loose.

Bitch. Ahem.

TheRealAmyFarrahFowler Sun 23-Sep-12 01:51:12

Oh my god I did the pencil under boobs thing because of that biatch!
When I was 11 I went to a jumble sale with my granny and bought a Judy Blume book cause I loved her. Granny's friend had a flick through it on the way home and told granny she thought it was a bit risque for wee girl. Forward thinking Granny left me to it. It was fekkin soft porn. It was called 'Wifey' and I loved it.

juniper904 Sun 23-Sep-12 02:03:10

"I must, I must, I must increase my bust"


SinisterBuggyMonth Sun 23-Sep-12 02:13:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

shockers Sun 23-Sep-12 09:41:39

I told all my friends in my first year of high school about 'Are You There God, it's Me Margaret' and there was a waiting list in the school library for it. It got back to the head that I'd started the craze and I had to write a review of the book for him, to explain why I had liked it so much blush.

CrunchyFrog Sun 23-Sep-12 09:51:24

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

I first read it at about 11 I think, and many times subsequently. It made me think in a new way about things, and led me in to my deep and abiding love of sci-fi.

hermioneweasley Sun 23-Sep-12 09:53:51

"whale done" by ken Blanchard. Completely changed te way I managed people and therefore changed my career and my life.

autumnlights12 Sun 23-Sep-12 10:15:24

The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield. I've not been able to look at life the same way since I read it eighteen years ago. Theres no such thing as a coincidence.

Littleprincessrocks Sun 23-Sep-12 10:18:38

I read a book as a student Nurse called "Hannah's Gift: Lessons from a life fully lived" by Maria Housden, which really opened my eyes to the way patients are treated in hospital, especially children.
Although I sobbed my eyes out at the end, I think it made me more proactive in considering how the children in my care felt about what they were going through.
My tutor at University wanted to make it part of the carriculum, but they decided not to, so she handed her copy of the book around all of our group.
It is a must read for all in the medical field in my opinion, and would help quite a few Doctors realise their bedside manor needs work.

janey68 Sun 23-Sep-12 12:03:21

Another one here for The Book Thief. Inspirational. Heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time. Definitely made me look at things in a new way. I remember feeling along the same lines as a teenager with things like Catcher and TKAMB but I find it rare as an adult to find something which has that life changing effect.

aldiwhore Sun 23-Sep-12 12:05:42

So many have really, each book changes my life a little! Astonishing Splashes of Colour was one that broke my heart, challenged my perceptions of motherhood and mental illness and warm my cockles without being sentimental and wishy wiashy. I am ashamed I can't remember the author's name.

(Also, my friend's nephew is called Atticus - I think it suits him)

Vinomcstephens Sun 23-Sep-12 12:07:51

Wuthering Heights for me - read it for the first time when I was 15 and I wanted that wild, passionate love and swore I'd never settle for anyone where that reckless passion didn't exist - and I haven't! I waited for my own Heathcliff and thank god he came along otherwise I'd end up 90 years old in my rocking chair, resolutely single and hating the damn book! grin

Fairylea Sun 23-Sep-12 12:11:16

A child called it.
Absolutely heartbreaking. And I could relate to some of it in the sense of having an unpredictable alcoholic mother with mental health issues.

Also the bfg. As a child that started my great love of reading.

KatMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 23-Sep-12 12:16:53

Hi there, we've moved this into Adult Fiction as it's not really an AIBU. Thanks.

maristella Sun 23-Sep-12 12:17:46

The Lovely Bones. Maybe a bit cliched, but it gave me a new perspective on how to let go of (for want of a better phrase) the beloved departed. It gave me a sense of allowing them to rest in peace.

Bluegingham Sun 23-Sep-12 12:18:00

Gosh this thread has amazed me! Read Catcher in the Rye and didn't get it at all. I thought I had a version with a chapter ripped out.

A child called it: a cynical piece of crap, didn't get the hype either.

What actually changed my life was "Feel the fear and do it anyway." Totally altered my outlook.

No offence to those who liked the books I didn't get. I'm missing something!

WanderingWhistle Sun 23-Sep-12 12:18:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bluegingham Sun 23-Sep-12 12:31:43

I love Wayne Dyer. Love him.

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