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life altering books... (1 Viewer)



The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton,
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson,
and Chasing Redbird by Sharon Creech.

Three great reads!


Fairytales such as Rapunzel and Rumplestiltskin, life lessons such as three little pigs, Richard Scarrys books had me into reference books at an early age..

The mouse and the motorcycle, Beverly Cleary

Little House on the Prairie books,

Fire From Heaven and the rest of the series, novels about alexander the great, Mary Renault

The 12 Ceasars

Illusions by Richard Bach

The Holographic Universe

Each and every book I have read has its effect..some more than others and I love a good novel...


Dune, by Frank Herbert.

It made me realize that through extensive knowledge and proper logic, one can figure out anything, no matter how miniscule.
Night by Elie Wiesel because it really happened and is one of the most honest books I've read.

The Long Death (I forget the author) because I didn't realize until I read this book just how amazingly cruel the US government was to the Native American when they were being forced off their lands. This book makes you angry at the people of the time (also proves just how unintelligent and overly arrogant Custer really was).

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card because I learned a lot about politic, perception, and war through this book.


Frankenstein by Marey Shelley
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

both books create such a wonderful picture of human nature. In my eyes they both define how we all think inside.


I'll play, too. (And hey!--My first post!) In random order:

(1) Umberto Eco's "The Island of the Day Before"
(2) "Corelli's Mandolin" by Louis De Bernieres
(3) Washington Irving's "Sketch Book"
(4) "Leaves of Grass" by Whitman ...and...
(5) the Sherlock Holmes canon written by Conan Doyle.



Senior Member
hmm. many, actually. lol. The Bell Jar, Jonathon Livingston Seagull, How I Live Now, A Dog's Life(I was six! Give me a break!!), etc. it depends on what part of my life i'm in. i could go on! haha. they're all great. try any of them.


Senior Member
All depends on who you were when you read them. For me there have been a few books, which upon completion, I knew I was no longer the same person. Sometimes I became better - other times worse to be honest. The books which had these impacts on me are in the order listed:
1. Lord of the Rings (because it was the first ever book I read which I hadn't been told to read - I was 22)
2. Nineteen-eighty-four (my first introduction to what I would call genuinely thought-provoking literature)
3. The Grapes of Wrath (staggeringly cruel and beautiful)
4. Almost anything by Henry Miller (just read him)
5. Crime and Punishment (perhaps the most dangerous book to have ever been written)

And, yes, I am a pretentious ar*e!

M. L. Doyle

Very true about depends and when you read them...but in recent memory
The Known World
Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield
A Conspiracy of Paper by David Liss
Crossing the River by Cormac McCarthy

There are a million more but these are what come to mind at this moment.

red lantern

Senior Member
I have a thing for the 'Complete idiots guide to: 'books (I swear the luird orange covers draw me to the shelves) and I am a slighlty rotund individual so I can honesty vouch for these three:

The complete idiots guide to weight loss
The complete idiots guide to mediation

and funnily enough

The complete idiots guide to writing a novel??


Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
1984 - George Orwell
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Series - Douglas Adams


Senior Member
i read slaughterhouse five and cats cradle one after the other
both were life changing to me

many books have strongly effected me, most of which have been listed


This thread could be far more interesting if more people explained what these books have actually changed in their lives. I personally love Lord of the Rings, but don't understand how it could be life-altering.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance helped me to think logically and critically as opposed to having a disorganized mass of thoughts in my head. It gave me the ability to better distinguish between rhetoric and logic. It set me to thinking about basic philosophical questions such as "What exists?" and "What is right?".


Senior Member
Anarkos said:
Camus - The Stranger
...will quite possibly sap you will to live by pointing out just how stupid, absurd and meaningless life/humanity can be.

Soren Kierkegaard's work, however, may provoke mild insanity as you attempt to comprehend his thirty seven thousand bizarro pen-names and self-contradictions, but it might just give you a new reason to live.

If I ever get around to writing something that is more than fragmentary ranting and stop scratching my armpits long enough to edit it and somehow get published, I might call Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code life changing. Well, the first three chapters of it. The rest is why I too this day have ink stains on my arse. Not even good for loo-paper I tell you. But it told me this if that chump can get published, so could a dead cat.


For a long time in my mid to late teens I didn't read at all. I literally didn't pick up a book for years. When I was about 18 or 19 (I'm now 36), my younger brother persuaded me to pick up Gridlock by Ben Elton, followed closely by Complicity by Iain Banks (aka Iain M Banks of sci-fi fame). I loved them and they kickstarted me back into reading. Around then, a large UK bookshop was hawking its 100 classic reads, so I embarked upon Catch 22, Brave New World and a whole host of others. I suppose you could say these changed my outlook and therefore my life. They're not earth-shatteringly important books but it's what they mean to you at the time that makes the difference.

Only one book since then has actually affected me and my outlook on life. I would urge you to read Dangerous Parking by Stuart Browne. Don't read the notes about the author until after you've read the book - that's what blew me away.


Senior Member
Peejaydee said:
When I was about 18 or 19 (I'm now 36), my younger brother persuaded me to pick up Gridlock by Ben Elton, followed closely by Complicity by Iain Banks (aka Iain M Banks of sci-fi fame). I loved them and they kickstarted me back into reading.

Your brother has good taste.