General Question

MicaDirtCat's avatar

Has a book ever changed your life, outlook dramatically?

Asked by MicaDirtCat (297 points ) October 18th, 2008
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

33 Answers

generalspecific's avatar

Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
I can’t explain exactly how, but I love how he makes every single character in the book matter, no matter how small of part they have in the story. And how he shows how everything connects… I dunno, but I absolutely love that book. It just really made me think.

jrpowell's avatar

I think so. I read Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse when I was about 19. I can’t really put into works why the book influenced me, but I am pretty sure it did.

And Breakfast of Champions is very good too.

MicaDirtCat's avatar

I agree with both those choices being awesome,though it has been awhile since I read them. I have a tendency to forget I’ve evn read a book until fifty pages in!

shrubbery's avatar

The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay, and
Lighthousekeeping by Jeanette Winterson.
Beautiful books.

shrubbery's avatar

You know what I just realised? That The Power of One is the only library book that I’ve ever had overdue, and Lighthousekeeping is the only library book that I have ever borrowed twice. Haha.

Zaku's avatar

All Quiet on the Western Front
1984
the script of Henry IV, part I
Ishmael
Focusing
Confessions of an Economic Hitman

SuperMouse's avatar

Gardeners of God by Collete and Phillipe Jouvion; Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg.

beccalynnx's avatar

the diary of anne frank, and perks of being a wallflower. and it’s not a specific book, but i lot of buddhist and general indian scriptures have influenced my outlook/worldveiw.

laureth's avatar

“When God was a Woman” by Merlin Stone. Once I realized the basis upon which JudaeoChristianity was built, everything else in that vein was commentary. (Some of the information is out of date and has been replaced with newer research, but I believe it’s still true in the basic plot.)

Following that, I’d say “The Alphabet vs The Goddess,” by Leonard Schlain. Stone tells about what went down, and Schlain tells about how it affects us today.

augustlan's avatar

The Road Less Travelled…life is hard, and it helps to know that going in.

To Kill a Mockingbird…this book just resonates with me on a very deep level. It showed me what a good person really is.

hearkat's avatar

@Augustlan: My answer is also The Road Less Travelled by M. Scott Peck

The book was written many years ago, but what it teaches about love and personal integrity is timeless. It’s one of the few books I’ve read more than once.

jessturtle23's avatar

To Kill a Mockingbird when I was a kid, The Prophet in high school. The Poisonwood Bible as an adult.

MacBean's avatar

Reading the Twilight series all the way through without killing myself made me realize that I can handle anything.

cdwccrn's avatar

the Bible. It has all I need to discover joy and hope, peace and love.

greeeengloves's avatar

Slaughter-House five by Kurt Vonnegut.

Megan64's avatar

I don’t think any book changed my outlook, I always had the outlook, but there have been books that have made things much, much clearer for me, like epiphanies: Short stories by Borges, Cortzar, The Awakening by Chopin (easy there haters), The Last of the Just by Schwarz-Bart, Fireworks: Nine Profane Pieces by Carter. All have contributed little, important, lovely pieces to my life, and I hope there are more.

ljs22's avatar

The Razor’s Edge by Somerset Maugham

hearkat's avatar

@ljs22: Excellent book! I saw the film then read the novel. It was so long ago, I’d nearly forgotten!

ljs22's avatar

@hearkat: yes, I’ve read it multiple times. Even though it’s not really part of the canon, so to speak, I think Maugham was way ahead of the curve on the issue of spirituality and meaning in modern life. Well, him and Hesse.

Both of them can take some credit for the fact that I’m now a secular humanist/zen buddhist instead of a Catholic.

cdwccrn's avatar

sounds like flutherers are a well read bunch of people!

Response moderated
Emerson's avatar

Ever since I read On the Road by Jack Kerouac my life has never been the same.

After I read 1984 for the first time I was left with such a “whoa” feeling. I think everyone should read these two books to understand what “freedom” really is.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Slaughterhouse Five by Vonnegut started my interest in WW2, and it changed my reading habits forever. The book that changed my entire outlook on life in general was Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan. Very powerful book and one that remains a favorite in my library.

toomuchcoffee911's avatar

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Elumas's avatar

The Bible. :)

Ashpea9288's avatar

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, which has been my favorite book since age 11

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. It haunted me for weeks after I finished.

All the Harry Potter books :P

And anything by Kate Chopin.

tb1570's avatar

I’ve had many different books that have affected me greatly in different periods of my life, but all have had a profound effect, so I can’y really gauge one over the other. So here some of them are, in chronological order:

“Cars and Trucks and Things that Go” (or “Where’s Goldbug?”)
“Green Eggs and Ham”
“Where the Wild Things Are”
“Where the Sidewalk Ends”
“A Day no Pigs would Die”
“The Red Badge of Courage”
“The Catcher in the Rye”
“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” (I know it’s a poem, but I gotta include it)
“The Dharma Bums”
“The Things They Carried”
“The Grapes of Wrath”
“A Brief History of Time”
“Siddhartha”
“Blowback”
The New Practical Chinese Reader textbook series : )

Johnny_Rambo's avatar

Old Testament 39 Books
New Testament 27 Books

Quite a read for a country boy.

atlantis's avatar

The Qur’an
Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
Macbeth by Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet
Othello
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
Artisit of the Floating World by Ishigura
To Kill a Mockingbird
Universe in a Nutshell by Stephen Hawking
An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore

gilgamesh's avatar

The Sound and the Fury – Faulkner

seventeen123's avatar

What Happy People Know. I used to be extremely depressed. I read this book & the next day bam! I was happy again. However, it probably had to do with the will of my mind.. Great book though!

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Yes. I read The Autobiography of Malcolm X just as I was leaving private school and going into a public Jr. High and it really helped me at a time I was angry, afraid, hurt and really low on interest in others anymore.

stratman37's avatar

Book returned to Ohio library after 60 years…dewey prosecute him?

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther