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AIBU?

To ask you for your all-time favourite life-changing books?

185 replies

frogsoup · 18/06/2018 11:59

Now my kids are getting older I'm finally getting the chance to start reading again. I'm at a bit of a crossroads in life and career terms and I'm feeling the need for books that are so amazing that they make you rethink life, the universe and everything. Any suggestions?

My starter for 10: Primo Levi's 'The truce', about his journey home from Auschwitz. One of the most astonishingly life-affirming books I've ever read.

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Sausagerollers · 18/06/2018 12:28

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari.
It just makes sense of EVERYTHING (though a warning to those who have faith in a higher power, you may not enjoy this book.)

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baxterboi · 18/06/2018 12:45

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari.

I bought that last week! Can't wait to start it after I finish my current one!

The unexpected joy of being sober was life changing for me after years of excessive drinking.

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frogsoup · 18/06/2018 20:35

Magic, thank you! Hopeful bump for any other suggestions - there must be more than three life-changing books out there Grin

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differentkindofpenguin · 18/06/2018 20:39

The Power by Naomi alderman ( I think)
The Book Thief ( the name of the author escapes me, and I'm too lazy to Google...)

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annandale · 18/06/2018 20:40

It's such a cliche on here but A Fine Balance really did change my life and make me much less dissatisfied for a long time.

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Emma198 · 18/06/2018 20:42

Daring Greatly and Rising Strong by Brene Brown

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newmobile · 18/06/2018 20:46

Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

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LotsToThinkOf · 18/06/2018 20:47

A Thousand Splendid Suns

The Bell Jar

White Noise

The Secret Life of Bees

The Color Purple

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Kannet · 18/06/2018 20:47

What Alice forgot by liane Moriarty. It's a fairly straight forward chick lit tile book, but it had a secondary story about Alice's sister struggle with infertility. It's amazing and she vocalised a lot of the feelings I had, especially with regards the anger you feel. Excellent book, it changed my life

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AllChangeNat · 18/06/2018 20:49

If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things by Jon McGregor. To discover the importance of the mundane.

Diary of an Ordinary Woman by Margaret Forster, about an ordinary woman living through remarkable times.

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HesterLee · 18/06/2018 20:51

Some Other Rainbow - Jill Morrell and John McCarthy. I could not put it down - was going to sleep about 3am every night!

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BlueKittens · 18/06/2018 20:54

What a lovely thread. Watching with interest and will have a think about mine

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pumpkintree · 18/06/2018 20:55

A child called it and the 2 other books that go with it are harrowing in bits of the book very good reads, took me a long time as so sad also Angela's ashes.

Nigel slaters books are also good the one called Toast.

Sorry if not what your looking for.

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crispysausagerolls · 18/06/2018 20:56

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

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frogsoup · 18/06/2018 20:56

Ooh fantastic, thanks - haven't read any of these, will add them to my list!

Another one from me in return - 'What should I do with my life' po Bronson. Not great literature but not at all like the self-help book the title implies, it's a great set of stories about people who've led interesting and unusual lives for various reasons.

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Whattheactualfuckmate · 18/06/2018 20:58

Ooooh some great books!

I’m going on holiday soon and will need a good read !

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PaintBySticker · 18/06/2018 20:59

The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris has made a big difference to me, in terms of the way I think about and deal with the annoying and unhelpful thoughts that pop up day to day and whether big or small.

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frogsoup · 18/06/2018 21:02

Ooh yes I loved Toast. Uncomfortable reading though, he totally nails the descriptions of the mundane cruelty of his upbringing.

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RiddleyW · 18/06/2018 21:03

East of Eden

It’s so so beautiful.

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ChipsAndKetchup · 18/06/2018 21:07

I second A Fine Balance. I'm reading it for a second time at the moment. It's the only book I'll ever read more than once. Outstanding.

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MyOtherUsernameisaPun · 18/06/2018 21:09

The Poisonwood Bible - best book ever

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frogsoup · 18/06/2018 21:09

East of Eden, yes! I read it as a teenager and it was the first book where I'd occasionally reread a page just because the writing was so beautiful. Will put it on my 'reread' list to see how it fares three decades down the line!

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ShirleyPhallus · 18/06/2018 21:09

Shadow of the wind

So beautifully written, so powerful

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muffinthepuffin · 18/06/2018 21:12

I'll third A Fine Balance. A little life was a good, if harrowing, recent read.
For non-fiction, how to win friends and influence people was great for me to learn how people tick and what motivates them. My sister said my reading it made me much nicer!

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Ploppymoodypants · 18/06/2018 21:13

Oh I also second
A Thousand Splendid Suns
It was an education to me, and haunts be often, years after I read it. Absolutely stunning and a world away from what I would usually read.

I think it resonates as I would have been the same age as one of the main characters and to start with her childhood was like mine. And I just kept think ‘wow’ this is based on real life events (although not a true story) and could totally be me if I had been born there.

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