What book has made an impact on your life?

Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by PrettyLittleBryan, Feb 24, 2017.

  1. Pinkymcfiddle

    Pinkymcfiddle Banned

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    The more I think about this, the more I realise that deep and meaningful reflections on the meaning of life and the human experience do not have much effect (with the exception of Steinbeck and Dostoyevsky- big exceptions- I know- but bear with me). I find fun flights of fantasy effect me more- I never forget the superb Pullman trilogy or Asimov's trilogy. Just great moments of pure escapism.
     
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  2. Dr.Meow

    Dr.Meow Active Member

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    Tolkien's The Hobbit, It's what made me get into fantasy fiction as a kid, and I am still obsessed with it to this day. Not life changing as in it affected my daily life, but it did affect my desire to write, and my interest in the genre.
     
  3. ajaye

    ajaye Active Member

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    Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance twisted me into a thousand knots. It made me appreciate so many things I have, expect, take for granted. It still does, I think it always will.
     
  4. badgerjelly

    badgerjelly Contributing Member

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    I got half through this. Really found him a little too obscure. I will go back and give it more attention one day though. I enjoyed Beyond Good and Evil, and have been intrigued by things I've read about his first work "The Birth of Tragedy".

    My issue is that I went from reading Kant to Nietzsche! Probably cannot more polarized approaches in philosophical styles.
     
  5. pyroglyphian

    pyroglyphian Active Member

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    The Tao Te Ching had very positive impact on me, though not all book-impacts have been as positive.

    Does God Play Dice? by Ian Stewart, for instance. His tone has an insidious charisma, as is often said about the Hitlers and other demons of history. As though it were a new drug, I shared the infernal tome among musician friends; none of us had any idea what mathematics was before then, or what we were letting ourselves in for. We were entranced by his extensive explanations - reborn through the rigorous arithmetic - and so from the fluttering of butterfly wings our Maths cult grew and grew until one day we all agreed it would be best to harness the power of song and take over the Hob Goblin pub in Bicester, a small town in Oxfordshire, England. Alas, our chaos-inspired freeform Fractal Jazz fusion was not well-received by an audience of locals who seemed not to care for heartfelt poetry about non-linear dynamics and strange attractors, and who booed and jeered us mercilessly. We left the stage cursing Ian Stewart and vowed never to speak his name again.
     
  6. socialleper

    socialleper Member

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    It is hard to pick just one.

    Animal Farm by Orwell. This was the first time I read one of those books that sometimes ends up on a banned list. It made me feel so adult when I was in the 9th grade. It is a brilliant retelling of the Russian Revolution.

    The Colour of Magic by Pratchett. This was the first time I really enjoyed reading. Books for most 7th graders are very boring. I borrowed my mother's copy of this. I didn't get all of the jokes, but I got enough of them to realize that reading could actually be fun.

    A Clockwork Orange by Burgess. I read it before seeing the movie. It hit me at just the right time. I love how totally messed up it is. I know Burgess hated it, but it is as technically brilliant as it is a good story.
     
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  7. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Contributing Member

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    That's one of those books I wish I'd read before I saw the movie. Included in that list would also be The Godfather, American Psycho, and Fight Club. Having seen the movies many times the books were hard to experience objectively. They were all good books but my imagination had already been compromised. Fight Club especially. I had no idea that was a book until very recently. One of those moments when I saw it on a friend's shelf and said, "This is a book? Get the fuck out of here!" I kept hefting it in my hand thinking it was going to disappear or something.
     
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  8. Stephen1974

    Stephen1974 Member

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    The Magic Faraway Tree - Enid Blyton.
    Cool characters and magical stories - as a kid, you just eat this stuff up. Would recommend to every single parent as the first 'proper' book to get for their kids.

    Amazon Adventure - Willard Price
    First book that really got me in to read and wanting to get the next in the series. Used to hire them from the library over and over again. DOn't think there was a bad book in the whole series. Apparently there are 4 new books by a diferent authour but carrying on the series with Hal and Rogers kids. Might have to pop down the library again.

    Dragons of Autumn Twilight - Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
    Got this book by accident and was going on holiday so took it with me. BEST BOOK EVER. No others need apply. Amazing character development. No one has done it better. Not even close. Still have my original copy. 27 years on. Still love reading it. Lead me to buying hundreds of Dragonlance books. Sometimes I would read two or three in a weekend. Lieing on my bed, forumula 1 on the TV in the background, only leaving my room when the ice cream van showed up.
     
  9. S A Lee

    S A Lee Active Member

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    Vampire Hunter D by Hideyuki Kikuchi (translated by Kevin Leahy) was probably the thing that made me want to invert the stereotype around supernatural creatures as villains. I also fell in love with Yoshitaka Amano's art through this.

    Anything by Roald Dahl, particularly Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda and James and the Giant Peach.

    There's also The Firework Maker's Daughter. I read a little in a group reading exercise aged 9 and two years later I saw it in the library and read the whole thing.
     
  10. Night Herald

    Night Herald Member

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    The Hobbit and Ender's Game were the first "real" books I ever read; they helped me fall in love with Fantasy and Sci-Fi, respectively, and reading in general. They opened my young mind way up to all sorts of new ideas and perspectives. Both also had me crying by the end.

    More recently, A day in the life of Ivan Denisovich had quite the impact on me. Seeing someone that ecstatic over a slice of bread made me really appreciate the little things in life, such as not living in a Siberian Gulag. Tremendous book.
     
  11. Aardvark

    Aardvark Member

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    Jeannette Walls' The Glass Castle. A tremendous and brave work. She crafted an astonishing good book on growing up with mentally ill parents.
     
  12. Trish

    Trish ......Lost Contributor

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    I always loved to read, and I started stealing my mom's romance novels (they were the only ones around) when I was about 9. I read R.L. Stine and other typical books for my age as well, but I read too fast, so they would only buy me one every two weeks (if I was lucky). So, I was 9 and my grandmother took me to the book store and said I could get any book I wanted (within certain sections of course and no sex). I searched until I found the biggest one I could find, it happened to be People Of The Wolf by Kathleen O'neal Gear and Michael W. Gear and it was 448 pages. It took me a week because it was a bit beyond my ability, but I fell in love with the way they brought history to life. I've read every book they've written.

    And, the other one would be The Road by Cormac McCarthy, although the general consensus in reviews and such, make me think I must have read an entirely different book or that my brain is broken.

    Oh, and Of Mice and Men. For many reasons. I have a lot of them.
     
  13. Night Herald

    Night Herald Member

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    R.L Stine's books were the earliest ones I could get my hands on. I don't know how I managed it, because I had no money, but somehow I ended up with a sizable collection of those. I remember especially one of those "choose your own adventure" books where there narrator is on a weird tropical island.
     
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  14. Trish

    Trish ......Lost Contributor

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    I had so many. I remember at Christmas, my stocking would be all books. Every relative "What do you want for Christmas?" Answer - "Books. Just books."

    The choose your own adventure ones were great, because you got more reading time. You could start over and choose different! The one I remember the most had to do with funhouse mirrors at a carnival. Yeah, I still can't deal with those.:eek:
     
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  15. FourPointedStar

    FourPointedStar New Member

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    The first book(s) to really change my life in some fashion were Small Gods by Terry Pratchett, and the God Delusion by Richard Dawkins.

    Small Gods, started my questioning of what i really beleived. In truth, Sir Terry moulded my opinions and thoughts a great deal through adolescence. I then started to delve into the pop psych books. The God Delusion formed into arguments a lot of the same thoughts i was having on religion. I won't stick up for the man, as he is often rude and far too direct, but the arguments presented in that book solidified by theological views.

    The only other book to really affect me was Silent Scream by Josh Cannon. It's a autobiographical book that starts with an attempted suicide before going into how he got there, and his journey after that. A very difficult read, if only because it pulls no punches. It opened my eyes to a lot of self harm and suicidal tendancies. I knew a friend going through a lot of that, and this book did wonders for me in helping her, and helping to really try and understand what she was going through
     
  16. Lew

    Lew Contributing Member Contributor

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    Robert Heinlein's entire set of science fiction. I was eight or nine when I discovered him. Kids a bit older than me making rockets in their garages, talking to the moon on their ham stations, starship troopers (maybe a bit later)... they shaped the direction my life would take for the next 60 years, my politics. By the time the 70s came around, he was past his prime, but he had done his work on me, taking me from a poor cab-driver's son with probably no future beyond gas station attendant, to a naval officer (from his school, no less) working on a master's degree in aero engineering at Monterey.
     
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