Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Discussion Point – Life and the Books That Change it or Made an Impact



All of the past weeks there has been a whole song and dance in the UK press about the books that had either changed our life or really stand out of the pack.

This was not an earth-shattering, world-rocking change (at least not yet, if I ever get hit from behind while waiting to make a left, that might change). But it was a literary life lesson that has impacted me greatly. It’s like how I pay attention to the design of everything since reading The Cheese Monkeys by Chip Kidd.

On literary life lessons and books that change your life – Jodi Chromey

I knew i wanted to use that as a  Discussion Point topic, but looking back at my own reading life, i really had to take a few days to think about it, i had to weed through the dreaded bookshelf to see memories of my younger self, at one point i actually asked my mum what books did i refuse to get rid of, or which books hang around the house for more years than she would have liked.

When people say, i have been reading from some age like 3, 4 or 5  - I was being a kid. Growing up i enjoyed my childhood, i hated school, I fight with the boys until they realised which bits to hit the hardest, and tried my hardest to get my neighbours son to fall in love with me – he was about 20yrs older than i was – my first crush.

But books – nada, nothing – My earliest book i can remember actually loving was To Kill A Mocking Bird. Then there was Wide Sargasso Sea.


What all this is really about is trying to sidestep the reality that books are pretty useless to us. They don't keep us warm (unless you finally fling that unputdownable freak in the fire), they don't feed us, they wreck our environment by costing trees, and sometimes they're plain poisonous. Sure, they're enjoyable, but can that be justified?

Why Books Wont Change Your life – Alistair Harper


I was also really caught up in Shakespeare’s Twelve Night and I loved tragedy at that time and loves Macbeth and Bun-Hur (the screen play)

But did any of them shaped my life – Not really,  i don’t work in a book related industry, i have hopped around with my reading over the years too much to say, that book or this book, have shaped my love for a particular genre. Of course  we all would have read Frankenstein – paranormal at it’s best..

Tell me your first really distinct memory of a book you loved and has it actually made an impact on your life choice or your reading style.


14 Speak To Me:

Anonymous said...

I HATED reading. Teachers in school just MADE you hate it. Handing out ten page long book reports to do. Ick. I wanted to hang out with friends, go shopping and all that fun girly teenager stuff.

However, all through my life I had a love of "Happily Ever Afters". I'm a huge fan of Disney movies and an avid collector. My mother--an avid reader--was desperate to try and get me to read.

So one day (I think I was about 15 or 16) my mom hands me a book and says, "Try this."

I took one look at the cover which had some wild haired blonde lady and an Indian on it and thought, she's joking right?

Well, I sat down and began to read. I read and read and didn't stop unless forced to. I fell in love with the story. The name of the book was Sioux Splendor by Rosanne Bittner.

In any event so goes the story as to how I became such an avid romance reader. I do read some non-fiction, thrillers and a few biographies but love stories with HEA will always be my favorites. They are a great escape from the daily stresses of life.

Lea on 28 April 2009 at 16:12 said...

Good Morning EH!

Wow, tough question, great post. Impact on my reading choices or style?

I like you have done a lot of genre hopping over the years, however I guess my love of romance came certainly from reading Shakespeare's work.

I also still remember reading "The Flame and the Flower", and just gobbling up every historical romance novel I could find from that time on. :)

Then there was the introduction to paranormal through Anne Rice's work.

I don't think I can narrow it down to any one book.

Awesome post and topic as always EH!

Best Regards

Shawn Lane on 28 April 2009 at 18:02 said...

Hmm. Well I can't point to any one book, but I can say that my love of reading definitely led me to the choice of wanting to write stories myself. I did read a lot as a child and as a teenager (mysteries, romance, Shakespeare,Dickens,-never was a fan of Austin, sorry-even my dad's pilferred true-crime magazines) I've always been an introvert. I certainly did get out and play as a child but even then I created stories out of the games we played. So while I can't say, oh it was THAT book, it definitely shaped my life.

TheChicGeek on 28 April 2009 at 18:15 said...

Neat post, E.H. :)
You have listed some good choices here.
When I was young we used to read Hans Christian Anderson fairy tales. I loved those.
As a middle-schooler I loved Island of the Blue Dolphin. I think that book shaped me in a lot of ways. I could identify with the girl in that she was a big sister taking care of things and her little brother. I loved the survival element of the book, the friendship with the animals. That book made me feel like I could be powerful and self-sufficient. I liked that.
As an adult, The Road Less Traveled is an all time favorite. That book truly transformed my life in so many positive ways.
I also loved Healing the Shame that Binds You. Another really powerful book.
That was fun :) Thank You!
Have a Beautiful Day, E.H.!

Val on 28 April 2009 at 20:42 said...

What a great topic! I too remember some wonderful kids' book like The Island of the Blue Dolphins, Harriet the Spy, The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander, The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper.

Probably one of the most amazing books I've ever read was Dune by Frank Herbert. Its epic, futuristic scope and the world-building and intrigue just blew my socks off! (I'm so bummed about the greatly inferior "prequels" recently written by other people.)

I didn't become a science-fiction writer but I'd still consider Dune an unforgettable, life-changing book.

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming on 28 April 2009 at 23:41 said...

Interesting topic, definitely Gone With the Wind changed my life. I read it for the first time when I was around 12 years old and then it just took over my life! I kept reading it over and over for the next two years! I'm sure some of Scarlett rubbed off on me, I'm sorry to say. I do recognize her in me sometimes, and not her best qualities. *eep!* Because of it though, I always have a soft spot in my heart for her, I feel such a kindred spirit towards her, and GWTW was the first romantic story I had read - I was such a sucker for Rhett, I fell hook line and sinker! It will forever be one of my favorite books. I feel like I grew up with Scarlett!

Lily on 29 April 2009 at 04:19 said...

Another awesome post!!

I've always loved to read, when I was young I was into Nancy Drew, Little Women and I also really like reading the classic fairy tales.

I remember when I was about 12 I found a Harlequin and totally fell in love with Romance books. I still remember a bit about the book, which is a miracle as it was over 30 years ago. Lynnette was a young and sweet (virginal) Nanny who came to take care of the niece and nephew of Richard, a rich business who lived in (I think) California. After that book, I read hundreds, maybe thousands, of Harlequins.

A few years later I read The Flame and the Flower, OMG did I love that book. I lost count of the times I reread that book. That launched a few years of reading historical romances.

I then read The Stand by Stephen King (to this day one of my all time favorite books!!!) That led to a few years of reading horror (supernatural) books, King, Anne Rice and Brian Lumley to name a few. I then found the combo of romance and supernatural when I discovered Christine Feehan's Dark series. That led to a few years of reading Feehan, Kenyon, Ward and others in that genre.

Then I discovered M/M books and for the past three years or so that's all I've been reading.
Somewhere in there I also read the Harry Potter books which I loved.

After all that rambling, to answer your question, I have lots of distinct memories of books from different periods of my life and some did impact my choice of reading for a while. However, they didn't really impact a life choice.


Cecile Smutty Hussy on 29 April 2009 at 05:30 said...

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I love the post... it is getting late here... so I am going to do this post tomorrow because it is very fastinating!

Erotic Horizon on 29 April 2009 at 08:34 said...


That's about the age i got into reading as well - never read that book - but so get you on the fact that your Mom introduced you to something that is still with you even now..

HEA.. do have a charm to them..


Erotic Horizon on 29 April 2009 at 08:37 said...

Hey Lea,

I love my Shakespeare, even now as an adult - i bring it out every now and then..

I have never read the Flame and The Flower...

I shout read it, it one of the most talked about book to start people off in the romance genre.

My paranormal was good old Hammer Horror Movies


Erotic Horizon on 29 April 2009 at 08:42 said...

I can see you having loads of fantasy growing up - this reflected in your writing.

Join the queue my dear, a lot of us did not like Austin.. still don't.


Erotic Horizon on 29 April 2009 at 08:44 said...


you have reminded me of some wonderful books of my growing up years... Hans Christian Andersen.. SO good..

I loved when Danny Kane did a movie about his life..

The Road Less Travelled should now be classed as a classic... it was beautiful..


Erotic Horizon on 29 April 2009 at 08:46 said...


Another great set of book..

I love how ecclectic your taste was growing up...

And - Dune - Great choice...


Erotic Horizon on 29 April 2009 at 08:48 said...

"I do recognize her in me sometimes, and not her best qualities. *eep!*"

Thanks for letting us know...

I have not read the book, but seen the movie and heard all the controversy that surrounded it over the years...

GOne with The Wind - Great Choice