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.
TigerDroveAgain · 18/06/2018 22:32
Testament of Youth: Vera Britten. Read it at 18. Changed my life - there’s so much more out there.
Namechange128 · 18/06/2018 22:36
Cosmos by Carl Sagan. I was rubbish at science at school and usually only read fiction (and often trashy fiction at that!), but was hiding from my in laws on a family holiday and idly flicked through this... it felt like suddenly blinkers fell off as it gave me a completely different perspective on our lives on earth and the scale and amazingness of the universe. Since then I've been more open to reading other great non fiction too - like EO Wilson The Diversity of Life - but this was the one that changed my whole thinking.
DorothyBastard · 18/06/2018 22:36
Beloved by Toni Morrison
The Handmaids Tale
The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
LemonysSnicket · 18/06/2018 22:37
The way of kings - Brandon Sanderson
The Name of the Wind - Patrick Rothfuss
Both are trilogies, i have a tattoo of one of he illustrations (my only tattoo)
I have never felt the world explode in-front of me until I read those books. Breathtaking, magnificent, awful and awe inspiring fantasy.
frogsoup · 18/06/2018 22:48
Just off to bed with a significantly longer amazon wishlist than this morning! Awesome work, women of mumsnet, thank you.
MaryLennoxsScowl · 18/06/2018 22:48
Taking notes of the ones I haven’t read!
The Handmaid’s Tale, The Poisonwood Bible (I lent my copy to someone and never got it back - must get a new one!), The Color Purple, Jane Eyre, The Bell Jar, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - yes!
Lucky by Alice Sebold was my reason to become a feminist.
I Capture the Castle - I didn’t like it as a young teen as i don’t think I got it - it reminds of that moment when I realised I’d grown up enough to appreciate it.
The Grapes of Wrath had a big effect on me, I can still remember where I was when reading it.
BasinHaircut · 18/06/2018 22:48
The Kite Runner
Boy in the striped Pyjamas
To kill a mockingbird
Rachel’s holiday - totally agree, also the Mystery of mercy close, another of Marian Keyes’ books with a fabulous and heartbreaking portrayal of depression, especially if you already know the central character from her other books.
BBTHREE76 · 18/06/2018 22:48
Of Mice and Men, as already mentioned (which I have got to enjoy again in the last few years as both my children have read this in GCSE English and came home and discussed/debated it with it. Also a poem I read many years ago “Not waving but drowning”
BasinHaircut · 18/06/2018 22:49
So many books on this thread I’ve never even heard of. Need to make a list
ItIsUnnervinglyQuietInHere · 18/06/2018 22:49
I came on to suggest If This Is A Man and The Truce!
HesterLee · 18/06/2018 22:56
Agree with Wild Swans. I read it whilst travelling in India, which was life changing in itself.
Carouselfish · 18/06/2018 23:00
The Outsider by Colin Wilson
Portrait of a Burger as a Young Calf by Peter Lovenheim
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean
Inkstainedmags · 19/06/2018 01:39
The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron changed my life.
Lamb, the Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal (Christopher Moore) is possibly my favourite fiction book of all time - silly and breathtakingly funny but also thoughtful, with genius wordsmithery.
SheGotBetteDavisEyes · 19/06/2018 01:48
Alexandra Fuller Don't let's go to the dogs tonight
I read this years ago - wonderful book, and a good prompt for a reread.
Cheerymom · 19/06/2018 02:47
Anything by Primo Levi
Call the Midwife
Philip Larkin poems
Emily Dickinson poems
Diana Athill, anything but 'Instead of a Letter' very good
The Wind in the Willows
Anne of Green Gables
Anything by Shakespeare
Figmentofmyimagination · 19/06/2018 06:22
Margaret Forster's 'The Seduction of Mrs Pendlebury' and any of her books exploring generational relationships between women - 'Have the men had enough?', 'Private Papers'.
The Seduction of Mrs Pendlebury is about an old couple who have always lived in a house in Islington. It's about neighbours, human relations, gentrification, marriage, and dementia. It's a superb book.
stopfuckingshoutingatme · 19/06/2018 06:32
Am revreading the poisenwood bible
I also agree that Rachel’s holidays starts off as chick lit and turns into something cleverer
For sheer scale I love that Donna Tartt one (golden bird ) it’s such an epic and it really grabbed me
Any reca for anxiety and stress / depression ?
stopfuckingshoutingatme · 19/06/2018 06:34
And yes to Beloved
I am slightly ashamed that it was that book that really hammered it home why there is this residual sadness , hostility in the US around race relations .the Underground Railroad was pretty strong too
Tallyhooo · 19/06/2018 06:38
The Power of Now - Eckhart Tolle - that was and still is a 'life changing' book for me...
But as for a fictional 'life affirming' one I recently read 'The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry - Rachel Joyce' - thought it was a beautiful read!
stopfuckingshoutingatme · 19/06/2018 06:39
Oryk and crake trilogy
Such an imagination and portrays what we have now in terms of pharma , Ai and tech could so easily morph
God that woman’s brain !
Taffeta · 19/06/2018 06:43
I think it’s so much about when you read a book too
eg I read The Cleft by Doris Lessing just after I had my calm DD, having already had an at war with the world DS. So much resonated, but in an allegorical rather than non fiction way if that makes sense
Some books stay with me because the characters were painted so well eg The Goldfinch, Never Let Me Go
And other books are just so utterly perfect I’d never loan them out eg Station Eleven
SnartyFartBlast · 19/06/2018 06:48
These aren't fiction but;
The life changing magic of tidying up by Marie Kondo
You can heal your life by Louise Hay
SnartyFartBlast · 19/06/2018 06:51
I have GAD and there's a collection of essays by a psychology lecturer that have really helped-
12 rules for life by Jordan B Peterson
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