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Thread: The Book That Changed Your Life

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    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    The Book That Changed Your Life

    Marathon Reading Celebrates Beloved Books

    NEW YORK - This book changed my life. That oft-mouthed phrase was the title of a 12-hour reading marathon on Saturday featuring actor John Lithgow, actress Rosie Perez and dozens of others all celebrating 70 years of The New York Times best-seller list.

    Lithgow's life-changing book was "Winnie the Pooh."

    "The characters are not hesitant to use wonderful words like 'pathetic' and 'bracken' reeds along the river. He uses those words, knowing kids will ask 'What does that mean?'" said Lithgow, star of the Broadway musical "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels."

    Rosie Perez read an excerpt from "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn." But the writing that changed her adult life was "The Princess Bride" by William Goldman, where a grandfather reads to his granddaughter while skipping from fairy tale to reality and back.

    "Oh, the humor! It's hysterical," said Perez. "And it's smart and goofy at the same time, kind of like a Neil Simon play or a Mel Brooks movie. I read it over and over again, and it changed me in the way of storytelling, seeing things differently."
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051023/...NlYwN5bmNhdA--
    _________________________

    This story got me thinking about the book(s) that changed my life. It's almost impossible to pick one: Atlas Shrugged impacted me at a young age (even though I'm not a devotee of Ayn Rand) and the works of Roald Dahl and J.R.R. Tolkien awakened my creative mind as a child. So many inflluential books, for so many varied reasons...

    What's the book that most influenced your life? Since the Book-of-the-Month Club did this survey years ago and the Bible was number one, let's list the books other than the Bible, since it tends to be a given for so many people.
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    That's all folks! Unklescott's Avatar
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    The book that changed my life is "Black Like Me" by John Griffin. It opened my eyes to racism and made me realize that you need to accept people for who they are, not what they are perceived to be. Being raised in Tennessee in the 50's there were many things that were just an accepted way of life that were no longer accepted by me after reading this book. Thank you Mrs. Seat my 8th grade English teacher for suggesting this book to our class.

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    Hypermediocrity Amanda's Avatar
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    Mine was very much like Unklescott's, in that it wasn't so much a creative influx that it provided me, but a harsh recognition of the reality of the world around me, and a determination not to give into the ugly status quo.



    Power, Privilege and Law was the textbook we read in law school for the class with the same name. I quit school as a direct response to this class & this book, and it has forever colored how I view myself, other people, and the way things are done in the world. Our slice of the world, anyway. The "civilized" () world.
    Last edited by Amanda; 09-28-2006 at 10:05 AM. Reason: Replaced image

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    Livin' the life Dinahann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unklescott
    The book that changed my life is "Black Like Me" by John Griffin. It opened my eyes to racism and made me realize that you need to accept people for who they are, not what they are perceived to be. Being raised in Tennessee in the 50's there were many things that were just an accepted way of life that were no longer accepted by me after reading this book. Thank you Mrs. Seat my 8th grade English teacher for suggesting this book to our class.
    Oooh, Unk, I remember the first time I read that book. It was a real eye-opener for me. It's always been one of my favorites; I've probably read it half a dozen times.

    A Tree Grows In Brooklyn made me really think about the American "melting pot" and the way different cultures were perceived in turn of the century America. And of course, to a Texas girl growing up in a small town Noo Yawk City was like a foreign land. I loved that book. If I want to cry I can go to the passage where the pragmatic Frannie threw caution to the wind and slept with the soldier *waves hands in front of face* I can't even think about that bit without sobbing.

    The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, The Bhagavad-gita by Swami Prabhupada and all the Carlos Castaneda books shaped my thinking in my twenties. Ahhh, to be mystical and in my twenties again. I wonder how many people thought I was a complete nut?
    Well I was born in a small town
    And I can breathe in a small town
    Gonna die in this small town
    And that's prob'ly where they'll bury me

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    Staying Afloat speedbump's Avatar
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    Mine isn't as nearly as deep as some of the above but "My Side Of the Mountain" by Jean Craighead was one of the earliest books I read which gave me the push for independence and a love for the outdoors. Twenty-five years later and I still long to be that innocent boy who ventured into the woods alone.

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    Can They Do It?? mrdobolina's Avatar
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    That's a good one Speed! I read "My Side Of The Mountain" when I was young, and I loved it too.

    However, the book that changed my life(again, like Speedy, not as deep as everyone else's) was "The Stand" by Stephen King. I'm not even a King fan, but someone recommended that book to me when I was thinking about moving out to Colorado. That book convinced me that moving to Boulder was the right thing to do, and moving out here changed my life.
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    What's a sitcom? Toxic's Avatar
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    Kind of wierd, but in the 7th grade I read the book 'Dune', and it made me question faith and religion. It showed me how a messiah is created and not born. At the time I was also going through Lutheran catechism classes, which is a big dose of anti-Catholic teaching. So it all kind of gelled my outlook on organized religion at a very young age.

    In my early 20's I read ' Fight Club '. Mind blowing passages on consumerism and materialism. A nice little package of angst and nihlism written in punchy, memorable lines. I still think its the most important book written in the past 30 years, and should be required reading in college. Hopefully, time treats it nicely.
    Last edited by Toxic; 10-25-2005 at 11:14 AM.

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    Just Forting Around roseskid's Avatar
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    Critical, what a great idea for a thread. This has been such fun thinking back to books I've loved. I can't pick just one, though.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dinahann
    The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, The Bhagavad-gita by Swami Prabhupada and all the Carlos Castaneda books shaped my thinking in my twenties. Ahhh, to be mystical and in my twenties again. I wonder how many people thought I was a complete nut?
    Ooh, we are soul sistahs, Dinah! I lived and breathed Castaneda's books in my twenties as well, and always had a copy of The Prophet in my car. And yes I had flowers in my hair and peace in my heart.

    Speedy, some of my fondest memories are reading My Side of the Mountain to Lil Rose at bedtime, along with Julie of the Wolves and On the Far side of the Mountain. What a wonderful imagination Jean Craighead George has...I wanted to run away to that forest too.

    Toxic, the Dune series is one of Mr. Rose's favorites.

    I loved Frank McCourt's Angelas Ashes so much, I've read it many times and all the other books he and his brother have written, although I can't say they changed my life. That honor would be Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo and Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy , simply because these two books made a huge impact on my perception of life in general.
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    Can They Do It?? mrdobolina's Avatar
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    Oooh, I just remembered another one...."Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger. Only because it is probably my favorite book ever, and it just makes me laugh until I cry.
    "You don't own a TV?!? What's all your furniture pointed at?" Joey Tribianni

    It's not who you are underneath, but what you do that defines you.

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    Livin' the life Dinahann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roseskid
    Critical,I loved Frank McCourt's Angelas Ashes so much, I've read it many times and all the other books he and his brother have written, although I can't say they changed my life. That honor would be Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo and Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy simply because these two books made a huge impact on my perception of life in general.
    Oh my God, Roses, I can't bu - leeve I forgot about Johnny Got His Gun! One of my many bottom-feeder BF's gave me that book for my 25th birthday and it has stuck with me throughout my life. Can I get an anti-war chant going? Possibly the most poignant book I have ever read. Trumbo was blacklisted for writing it, and my kids read the book when they were in their teens, inspired by Metallica's One, which was inspired by the book. (and remains one of my all-time favorite pieces of music)

    The cover was sheer genius. I still have nightmares about poor Johnny. S.O.S *sob*

    Angela's Ashes was another great inspirational immigrant book. I've read all the McCourt books, but the first remains the best, to me.
    Well I was born in a small town
    And I can breathe in a small town
    Gonna die in this small town
    And that's prob'ly where they'll bury me

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