I’m not sure if there has ever been a book that has literally changed my life, but there have been a few that have really influenced it.
Starting with Ella Enchanted – this book has been my favourite book for as long as I can remember. I still read it periodically, even though I’m a full grown adult. Ella Enchanted, for those who don’t know or who have only watched the movie which is a piece of trash, is a book about a young girl who has a curse and must break it on her own to save those she loves. It’s this great story of the young girl taking life into her own hands and not waiting for anyone else to save her. I first got it as a young girl, maybe 10-12, and it was instantly a favourite. It showed me how fairy tales can be written in favour of the “princess” being her own rescuer. I loved it.
Harry Potter – who would I be if I didn’t mention Harry Potter? I didn’t read these books until I was 28. Yes, you read that correctly. 28. I wasn’t allowed to read them as a child and lost interest in the story until I was in my early 20’s. I watched the movies for the first time at 24 and fell in love with the series. When I read the books, it was like something I had never experienced before! I got sucked right in. It was amazing. Even as an adult, these books are filled with wonder and magic. In the last 3.5 years, I’ve read them all 3 times. Which means it’s probably time for me to take another pass at them!
Children of Cain: Violence and the Violent in Latin America – Not exactly the type of book most would expect to see here. I first had to read this book for a university class, and my copy has notes in the margins for a paper I was writing. I’ve let others borrow my copy and almost every time it comes back with more notes in it. I love that it’s like the book is growing with each read. It’s a collection of mini-essays on violence and dictatorships and corruption in Latin America. It really opened my eyes to a side of the world I had no idea even existed and changed my course of study in university just slightly.
Not Wanted on the Voyage – Again, not one most would expect, and again, one I first read for a university course. It’s the story of Noah’s Ark but dark and twisted and deeply disturbed. I’m not exactly sure why I cling to it so much, but it’s definitely one of my favourite books of all time.
These books are all ones that have changed my perception of the world or have added to my own life in some way. It’s definitely not the entire list of books that have done this, but the ones that stick out the most. The ones that I will recommend to people over and over and over. The ones that I have copies on my bookshelf that have the spines broken from being read so many times and the pages are waterlogged from being in a basement flood and have torn edges and dog-eared pages.
Has a book ever changed your life? Influenced it? Share in the comments below, I’d love to hear about it.
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