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Books that changed you (1 Viewer)


Senior Member
Sorry if this one has been done before. I've done a lot of reading in my time, but only a handful of books have really changed my perspective on life/thinking/being/etc.

I'd like to hear from others about books you've read and on finishing them you realised you, in some way, weren't the same person anymore - and tell why this is so if you can.

For me I have:
Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck - a book with such horrendous, but real themes of poverty and human nature that it's impossible to be not touched by it. One of the ultra-few that I cried to.

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky - the main character Raskolnikov, by some scholars, has been directly aligned to some of the more fierce and menacing thinking of the 20th century. This book contained themes and ideas that had never been apparent to me and since reading I have had a different view of the human race - I wouldn't necessarily say an improved one. I'd go as far to call this one a 'dangerous' book.

Henry Miller (practically anything, but particularly The Tropics and The Rosy Crucifixion) - I'm not sure any other writer has had such enthusiasm and eloquence and force in being poor, destitute and individual. Possibly my favourite writer.

Well, that's my pretentious few. Anyone?


Senior Member
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
No book has moved me as much as this one, and I never found a character I related to more than Holden Caulfield.

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
My all time favorite book, inspired me to start writing again (I stopped for a while, lack of inspiration).

Survivor Chuck Palahniuk
Inspired a lot of my apocalyptic writing.
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Senior Member
Being Peace by Thich Nhat Hanh - It showed me why meditation can help anyone. It's not just a religious thing. It really helped me be less judgemental.
The Violent Bear it Away by Flannery O'Connor - This book shows perfectly how raising a child in any kind of environment where they are forced to believe something can, and will most likely, have terrible consequences.


Senior Member
Will to Power ~ Friedrich Nietzsche - I read it when I was 16 and it changed my view of the world.

A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek ~ Annie Dillard - the most beautifully written book I've ever read.

Siddhartha ~ Hermann Hesse - Truly inspirational.

As I lay Dying - William Faulkner - Faulkner was a master of the craft.

Catch-22 ~ Joseph Heller - Wonderful and profound book about war and the human experience.

^Yeah, Miller is great!


Senior Member
There was one book that did moderately well on the bestseller list that I had read once. I wont name names, but after I was finished I thought that I could do better. Been writing ever since.


Senior Member
american psycho, it showed me that I can write like that, [ I was only reading people like tom clancy and thought my writing style was wrong]

fight club was so rubbish at the end, hardly lasted.


A song of ice and fire changed me for a while. The books kind of demoralisd me. I thought: why should i write anything? Its all crap compared to this. But then i continued writing a while later.
ruksak said:
For me I have:
Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck - a book with such horrendous, but real themes of poverty and human nature that it's impossible to be not touched by it. One of the ultra-few that I cried to.

that one and mice and men...good film too
They Can't Hide us Anymore, by Richie Havens, part autobiography, part adventure of this man who has explored many parts of this world. (for those of you who don't know who Richie Havens is, he is the dude who opened the Woodstock Festival in 1969).

salad days

Senior Member
Mine would be the following book. I won't go as far as to say it "changed" me but rather it challenged my views on things. It was a wonderful, refreshing read.


Senior Member
American Psycho.

Catcher did nothing for me, as a moral lesson by a dumb delinquent was disappointing. Psycho was a moral armageddon and suited me to a tee. It awoke in me the knowledge that I was not alone, not without a voice - it was there, in American Psycho.


Senior Member
Spares by Michael Marshall Smith: I have never been so deeply moved by a book, ever. It deals with themes of poverty, war, and revenge of the most brutal kind. I can't recommend it enough.

The great and secret show by Clive Barker: I renember picking this one up second hand while I was on holiday when I was only fourteen. The whole book oozes sexuality and made me understand and finally realise what sex truely ment.

Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein: The name of the book is so rediculious it really should be taken seriously, but none the less it is a classic. It did the same for my views on politics as great and secret show did for my views on sexuality and sex. Not that i agree in any way with what the author represents as an utopia, but rather it made me realise the extremities that political thought could reach.


'Cotton Wool World' by Anna Westwood

Hi All,
I have just finished reading the above title which I found on the off chance at Amazon. Had no idea what it would be like but was looking for a new author to read. It's an incredable book which made me open my eyes and look at my life! The story follows a woman, disillusioned with what society expects of her and is written in a really unusual way, it sort of has a plot but follows the disjointed thought patterns that occur to the central character during the course of a flight. It is engaging and funny and full of risky issues some writers would be unsure of tackling. It is a book I wouldn't recommend to the faint of heart or strictly religious as it may be taken a touch offensively but it is an honest and unparalled work in my opinion. A real refreshing chance but one which may make you sit up and take notice of your own situation!


Senior Member
It's a self-published book by an otherwise unknown author, which was published just over a fortnight ago. How did you come to find out about it? And at that price - it is very expensive - what made you think it would be value for money, given that there are no reviews on Amazon?



Senior Member
christinec1 said:
there is one review 5star (oddly enough)

is a bit expensive tho i agree
Thanks Christine. That's odd. When I view the page on Amazon it offers the chance to be first to review.

-- Ah, Amazon.co.uk rather than .com. Got it. Thanks.

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The World Is Flat by Thomas L Friedman has got to be the #1 book that changed my life.

As for a fiction work, probably Great Expectations or Heart of Darkness.