The Books That Changed my Life

Internet, as a blogger who is also an English major, I’m something of an authority on books, right?

…Right?

[insert raucous laughter]

Ok, fine. But your lack of respect won’t stop me from telling you about some of the books that have been most important to me throughout my life. Some of them have affected me for the better, some for the worse, but here they are. The books that changed my life.

1) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by the illustrious J.K. Rowling

Picture this, if you will. The year is 2000. I’m 7 years old, at the mall bookstore when malls still had bookstores. My father picks up a copy of Harry Potter for me. That night, he reads the first chapter or so to me as a bedtime story. Mind you, this is before any of the movies came out, so I genuinely had no idea what would happen in the fresh chapter he read to me each night. Things continued that way through the first three books. When we got to the fourth, I was just old enough to read it on my own, and I was off- away from the world of bedtime stories and on my way to being an adult in the world of books. Also, a childhood full of reading led me to score perfect on the Critical Reading section of the SAT… and the ACT. Twice. Not to brag.

2) Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

A brilliant apologetic work I stumbled across when I needed it most. Since then, I’ve become a huge Lewis fan, from Narnia to The Screwtape Letters, but I owe the most to Mere Christianity.

3)Night by Elie Wiesel

A true account of Wiesel’s survival of the Holocaust, we had to do a huge project on it in 8th grade. I was scarred for life by the Nazi atrocities, but the flame of humanitarianism was lit in me and has not been extinguished. If at all possible I intend to spend time volunteering with the Peace Corps or Doctors Without Borders (Surprise! I want to go to medical school. Didn’t see that one coming, did ya’?).

And finally…

4) Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky

During a summer which will live in infamy, this book was assigned reading before my freshman year of high school. Basically, it makes the point that salt is the driving force behind… um… everything.

The Civil War? Salt.

The Silk Road? Salt.

CHINA?!? Salt.

I wish I were kidding.

I include this book not because it changed my life for the better, but because to this day looking at salt reminds me of that book. Oh, the horror.

It is worth noting that this same author also wrote an entire book on cod.

So, that’s my list. But the people want to know- has a book ever changed your life?

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “The Books That Changed my Life

  1. Carrie Wehmeyer

    To Kill a Mockingbird. I put off reading it for decades, but read it along with my son for his freshman English class. Many gentle and sweetly delivered lessons there, with just enough grit to make it a classic.

  2. I’ve read a lot of books that have had an effect on me, but to pick a single book that had the biggest impact, I would have to say The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan.

    I read constantly, most of the time at least a book a week if not two or three (of course this varies depending on how many pages the book has and how busy I am any given week). The Eye of the World is the first book in the series The Wheel of Time. That series is the single biggest reason that I read books today (I just did a post about that recently).

  3. HP didnt change my life really, it just gave me a heart for fantasy.

  4. El Kabong

    “Not to brag.” …… hee-hee!! Good one!
    Great writing style, though!!

  5. I fully concur with the value of Mere Christianity, and I’m highly entertained by your inclusion of the book “Salt” . . . not that I’m at all tempted to read it! 🙂

  6. Darcy Rocha

    Ok Mary, here’s my list!
    Little Women
    Race Matters
    Gone With the Wind
    Anne’s House of Dreams
    To Kill a Mockingbird
    The Poisonwood Bible
    The Kitchen God’s Wife

    I loved Mere Christianity. This reminds me that it’s been many years since I’ve read it and it’s time to give it another go round. Great post.

  7. M-Coops!

    HP series, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, and The Tale of Desperaux.

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