To ask you for your all-time favourite life-changing books?
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.
AmIRightOrAMeringue · 18/06/2018 21:46
Wild Swans by Jung Chang. I've read it a few times and will read it again.
frogsoup · 18/06/2018 21:46
Just looking up the Jon ronson books, I only know his journalism, didn't know he'd written up so many of his investigations as books!
RayRayBidet · 18/06/2018 21:47
@crispysausagerolls you beat me to it with Captain Corelli's Mandolin. God, I laughed and cried.
Also Jane Eyre. Love that Jane is the ordinary girl, she's not a beauty or rich or successful but she lives the life she wants in spite of everyone else.
TulipsInAJug · 18/06/2018 21:48
Agree with Wild Swans and Don't let's go to the dogs tonight.
Pearl Buck also wrote some great memoirs of her childhood in China.
sherazade · 18/06/2018 21:49
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
I know Why the Caged Bird Sings
To kill a mockingbird
The handmaids tale
TheFoodtheFadandtheFugly · 18/06/2018 21:50
Of Mice and Men - yes it is GCSE, and unfashionable nowadays - but a lot of truth in that book.
The Code of the Woosters - or any single thing P G Wodehouse wrote. He is a master craftsman of the English language.
frogsoup · 18/06/2018 21:51
Wild swans is amazing.
It's weird how the memory of reading influential books can instantly catapult you back to particular points in your life. Except that I have a ten year parenting black hole. Annabel Karmel doesn't really qualify
TulipsInAJug · 18/06/2018 21:53
I know why the caged bird sings by Maya Angelou is unforgettable.
Zoflorabore · 18/06/2018 21:55
I've just finished reading "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne and it's transformed how I see the world. I loved it.
Ordered "The Magic" and arrived a few days ago, also loving it.
In this negative society it's great to read a book that's all about positivity. Is helping me with my OCD/MH issues and also making me a better person.
Dp thinks I've found some new religion or something
DoYouLikeHueyLewisandTheNews · 18/06/2018 21:58
The woman who walked into doors by Roddy Doyle. Heart breaking and funny. He gets it completely. It was such an eye opener when I first read it as a teenager. How you can strive to be the perfect daughter, wife and mother but at the same time deal with all life throws at you and incredibly hard times. The protagonist is flawed, she can be selfish, but she's had a shitty life and she loves her husband and her kids and hates how she's been shaped by everything from the street she grew up on and her arsehole teachers. I adore it.
Figmentofmyimagination · 18/06/2018 22:06
'Holy Shit - a brief history of swearing' by (i think) Melissa behr.
Fascinating book, as well as v entertaining. Published 2013.
ProjectGainsborough · 18/06/2018 22:08
Lucky Jim really captured that sense of powerless frustration I felt when I was younger and also made me snort on the tube. Probably not life changing, but it defined an era of my life IYSWIM.
Figmentofmyimagination · 18/06/2018 22:15
Anything by the amazing Timothy Snyder (well worth following on Twitter), especially Bloodlands if you can hear it - history of genocides in Eastern Europe up to world war 2. And his superb monograph - On Tyranny: 20 lessons from the 20th Century.
Mary Beard Women in Power
BaronessBlonde · 18/06/2018 22:17
Not a common one that people refer to but
Touching the void by Joe Simpson.
True story of a man "lost" on a mountain in the Andes, with a shattered leg.
There is a scene, where he is lost in a crevasse, when he decides to lower himself down.
It gets me every time I read it...I cannot imagine the bravery it took, to give up on the option of being pulled up (which was never going to happen. But, you know, ....hope).
It has helped me in situations where I have had to reach deep and pull out bravery.
Pikehau · 18/06/2018 22:18
Red notice bill browder
Made me ashamed to be british
Very powerful and scary
Coldilox · 18/06/2018 22:22
The Colour Purple and also its sort of sequel Possessing the Secret of Joy.
A Thousand Splendid Suns
Just finishing WE: A Manifesto for Women Everywhere and it's definitely given me a new outlook
frogsoup · 18/06/2018 22:24
I enjoyed touching the void, but knowing nothing about mountaineering I found the technical climbing descriptions totally baffling - I kept trying to relate the descriptions to my mental image of what a mountain looks like and failing miserably!
SabineUndine · 18/06/2018 22:25
Agree that Barbara Kingsolver is fantastic. The Bean Trees and its sequel Pigs In Heaven are wonderful. She writes about ordinary broke Americans so well.
One book that changed my life is The Women’s Room by Marion French. If you don’t understand why many women are feminists, it will show you.
frogsoup · 18/06/2018 22:26
(I know that's not really the point of the story, but i think he got a bit confused as to whether he was writing a popular bestseller or a self-justification to fellow climbers!)
happinessischocolate · 18/06/2018 22:27
Tricks of the mind by Derren Brown, I learnt a lot and not in the magician/mentalist way, okay maybe some of it was mentalist/psychology way.
And the God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
Angela's Ashes made me understand so much about the Irish attitude and how hard must have been years ago.
SerenDippitty · 18/06/2018 22:32
I’m OK You’re a Brat - setting the Priorities Straight and Freeing You from The Guilt and Mad Myths of Parenting, by Dr Susan Jeffers. An honest book about parenting. This book changed my life. I would recommend it to anyone involuntarily childless, struggling with parenthood, happily childfree, planning to have children or undecided as to whether to have them.
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