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Book that 'changed your life'

Created: 10/16/10

Replies: 7

Posted Mar. 19, 2011 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert

Join Date: 10/11/10

Posts: 369


Book that 'changed your life'

To say a book has "changed your life" might be a bit extreme, but most of us have read books that, at the particular point in our lives when we read them, caused us to sit up and reassess things; and, indeed, changed the course of our lives to some degree. Is there a book that has done that to you, and how did it change you?

Posted Mar. 24, 2011 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert

Join Date: 10/18/10

Posts: 40

Fast Food Nation

The true answer to the question "What book changed your life?" is "Almost every book I've read." I think my personal definition of a good book is one that has changed my perspective somehow. So when I first saw this topic, dozens of books ran through my head. But I chose Fast Food Nation because it gave me a big push to change physical aspects of my life, not just mental.

I had already stopped eating beef when I read Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser. My reasons were fuzzy and hard to explain to other people, but this book gave me sound-bite-worthy answers to their constant questions. If they thought that 'saving the environment' wasn't a good reason, I'd talk about the horrific working conditions in American slaughterhouses. If they thought that was stupid, I'd talk about food safety and how no one in this country is testing for Mad Cow, and therefore no one is finding it - and how E. coli is a direct result of the factory farming system. And on and on.

After reading Fast Food Nation, I quit eating at all fast food restaurants. What I learned in this book helped me to stay on course with my healthy food choices when I was tempted to eat junk. It was well-written and informative, so I started reading more non-fiction (especially food-related books, such as The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver). I shop local and organic at every opportunity. The way I shop and eat has completely transformed in the last 10 years, and much of that can be credited to Fast Food Nation.

Posted Apr. 14, 2011 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert

Join Date: 04/11/11

Posts: 37

RE: Book that 'changed your life'

I think the book that had the most impact on me as a teenager was "The Wall" by John Hersey. It is a fictionalized account of the uprising of the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. I remember having a difficult time reading some of the book because of the depiction of persecution, starvation, betrayal. I remember my English teacher telling me I might not be able to handle the information,but I am glad I read on. It was based on research of actual events and people who were in the Ghetto and still reminds me of how powerful the will to live no matter how dire the conditions may be or to fight to die with the knowledge you fought for those who could not fight. It was published many years ago but is still a very good read and a book worth re-reading.

Posted Apr. 15, 2011 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert

Join Date: 04/15/11

Posts: 3

RE: Book that 'changed your life'

Many books have had an impact on me. The most recent is Nomad by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Her first book, Infidel, was about her growing up life in Somalia and other African countries. It was difficult to read but was encouraging when she got away and she made her way to Holland and, ultimately, to the U.S. I just finished her second book, Nomad, where she relates a little more about her family to help people who didn't read the first book to understand where she is coming from. She feels she has some answers to some of the problems of Islamists migrating to different countries and then forming their own cultural and religious conclaves. She talks about possible solutions for the host country to try and for the migrants to try as well. I had been vacilating back and forth between various thoughts, but this book helped me to put my thoughts together and come to my own opinions. I recommend both books to all.

Posted Apr. 20, 2011 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Lea Ann

Join Date: 04/20/11

Posts: 83


RE: Book that 'changed your life'

Yes, to say a book changed my life may be a bit of a hyperbole. However, one that certainly caused me to sit back and rethink some of my ideas re life on Earth, the possibility of life on other planets and what it costs in human relationships to search for that life is "The Sparrow" by Mary Doria Russell. A truly remarkable volume that set my mind to spinning with many more questions than answers and which I have recommended over and over again to others, have in fact purchased several copies to give to others.

Posted Apr. 21, 2011 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 2

Bloomability by Sharon Creech

This is a young adult book for grades 5 to 8, but adults can enjoy it too. I had to take a children's lit class in college and this is one of the books I selected. It is about Dinnie, who comes to terms with her past and establishes a secure identity for the future. Her older sister and brother tend to get into various kinds of trouble, and her parents are always looking for a new "opportunity" in some other town. By the second chapter, Dinnie explains that she's been "kidnapped" by her Aunt Sandy and Uncle Max, who take her with them to Switzerland to attend the school where Max is headmaster.
In Dinnie's "second life" in Europe, her family continues to neglect her, forgetting even to let her know where they've relocated. Dinnie gradually adjusts to her new environment as she makes friends with other students from around the world: exuberant Guthrie; bitter Lila; and language-mangling Keisuke, who says "bloomable" when he means "possible." Together, these middle schoolers share classes and adventures. Everyone can relate to the hard struggles of life, but, as the heroine comes to realize, the world is still full of "bloomability."
I loved the descriptions of living in Switzerland and the fact that there is a whole community of expatriates living and working overseas. After finishing college, I applied to international schools overseas because of how wonderful this book was. I spent the best 2 years of my life at an international school in Thailand discovering my "bloomabilities." This book was definitely a factor in my decision.

Posted Jun. 15, 2011 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert

Join Date: 06/15/11

Posts: 136


RE: Book that 'changed your life'

I agree with others that every book has changed me in some way or I wouldn't keep reading! Ones that had an impact on me at various times in my life that come to mind are: SOME MEN ARE MORE PERFECT THAN OTHERS, OLD YELLER, WHERE PEACHTREE MEETS SWEET AUBURN, PEACHTREE ROAD, THE RICH PART OF LIFE, ANDERSONVILLE, GREAT EXPECTATIONS; applying the principles of a book on win-win fight resolutions definitely made me a much better parent!

Posted Jun. 16, 2011 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pennyn's Gravatar

Join Date: 10/21/10

Posts: 23

RE: Book that 'changed your life'

Nisei Daughter by Monica Itoi Sone -- I read this book when it came out. I don't know how I picked it. But it moved me to tears, frightened me and still resonates strongly in my heart. The books tells the story of an American Japanese family from the Northwest during WWII. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor they were rounded up like criminals and interred in barracks in Idaho. Living conditions were despicable. The lesson I learned taught me to trust people first - not to judge them by actions of others, skin color, eye folds, language and religion. Many years later I found out my own ancestry included white, black and native American branches. Sometimes it still feels as tho' this book somehow pulled the genetic imprinting from my soul to allow me to see myself and this family being treated in the same way. Past and present - it is STILL happening.



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