I saw a list of other people’s favourite books… not just favourite, actually, but books they felt changed their lives. For some people it was novels, for others it was philosophical or religious books, or autobiographies, history… here is a selection of some which didn’t really surprise me:
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
- Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger – chosen by two people one of whom said it was the book which got them into reading
- To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee – chosen not only as a personal favourite but also because it influenced their students
- 1984 George Orwell – three people chose this, one commenting ‘it opened my eyes to political reality and the importance of knowing one’s history.’
- Roots by Alex Haley
- Iliad and Odyssey by Homer
- Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. by Robert .M. Prisig – two people chose this one commenting that ‘it put into prose a question I wasn’t able to express myself’
- The Bible – two people mentioned this
- The women’s room by Marilyn French and two people cited this
- Virgil – books not specified but maybe the Aeneid?
There were other books which are the sort of books which are written to help and instruct people and try and influence and change their lives, which were listed by people:
- The Westminster Shorter Catechism – and there was an interesting and moving explanation: ‘Its rich vocabulary and beautiful sentence construction gave me my love of language. Committing it to memory taught me how to knuckle down,’; however there was a sadder, maybe darker side to this ‘it robbed me of a normal childhood and the freedom to think for myself’
- The Selfish Gene, by Richard Dawkins
- The Fast Diet by Dr Michael Mosley
- The Problem of Political Authority: An Examination of the Right to Coerce and the Duty to Obey by Michael Huemer
- The most dangerous superstition – Larken Rose
- This Book Will Save Your Life by A.M. Homes
- The 7 habits of highly effective people, by Stephen R. Covey
- The Boundaries Book by Dr Henry Cloud and John Townsend
- The Janet and John series taught one person to read so really was life-changing.
- The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Talab – changed the way one person thinks
There were quite a few choices which I wonder if were favourite rather than life-changing books, but i guess different people see and learn different things from any experience, and her are just three:.
- The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell. – ‘I discovered the book aged 13 and it quite literally opened my eyes to a world unknown. I’ve been fighting the wrong sort of systems ever since.’
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, -‘ ”I was midway through a military career and left to follow my dreams. They run a pace do dreams so I’m trying to catch up with them.’
- The Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton – ‘gave me hope in life’
There were over seventy books mentioned altogether and such a wide variety which just shows that as a writer you never know how you are going to influence, help or affect people…
And a book which changed my life? Tinker, Tailor Soldier Spy by John le Carré
Mine’s The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer
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I read that such a long time ago… I must have a look at it again – Germaine writes so well even though I don’t always like or agree with what she writes!
She’s very provocative, always has been, but I like some of her books. The Obstacle Race, about women painters, is very good.
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I’ve not come across the Obstacle Race, I’ll look it up now!