Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Books that change your life

Not long ago I blogged that Marcus Zusak's The Book Thief was what I would consider a life-changing book for me.  That got me thinking - is it the book?  Is it the stage in our lives?  Or is it a combination of the two?

If I had read The Book Thief ten years ago (a difficult feat in itself since it hadn't actually been published, but that obvious flaw in my argument aside) - would it have had the same effect on me as it had when I read it last month?

I remember clearly the first time I read The Hobbit - my brother gave it to me for Christmas when I was about 11.  I spent the rest of Christmas Day curled up in Dad's chair, only coming out briefly for pavlova and Mum's Christmas pud.

We all have songs that we associate with different events in our life (I know that Phil Collins' Groovy Kind of Love, which once made me go all dewy eyed, now has the same effect as sticking my finger down my throat), but do we have books that we remember the same way?

I'd love some feedback on this.  What are some of your life-changing books?  And do you ever get nervous about re-reading a life changing book?


  1. Hmm. Anne of Green Gables, i think. It was the first non-contemporary book I ever read (breaking my diet of Babysitter 's Club) and the first book which made me cry. But that's more of a landmark than a life changer. I need to go through my booklists! Oh and Harry introduced me to the wacky world of fandom, bless him.

  2. I think I went through a stage of reading life-changing books. When I was about 14 I really got back into books again and read alot of YA. Alot of the characters in those books I couldn't necessarily relate to because I'd had a happy childhood and I was pretty sheltered I guess. One book that had a real impact on me and I can still remember how it made me feel was a book called Hard Man of the Swings. It was gritty and the subject matter was tough but it made me empathise with the main character.

    One author who has had a real impact on me is Sonya Hartnett. Her books are quite strange but they just seem to strike a chord with me (Thursday's Child in particular).