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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:18 pm 
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How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.
Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862), Walden: Reading, 1854

This quote came up in a different forum and set me thinking of which books had affected my life. Not necessarily in a dramatic, life altering way, but books that had an effect on the way I thought or what I did or raised a new interest.


Here are the first ones that I thought of

Lord of The Rings -JRR Tolkien

I read this way back in 1961, long before it became "Flavour of the Year". It introduced me to the whole genre of fantasy authors like Raymond Feist, Janny Wurtz, David Eddings, Patricia Kenneally, Melanie Rawn and so many more right through to Harry Potter!

But, this in itself has always given me the perfect means to relax when life gets too busy, and I can truly escape to another world.

The Prophet -Kahlil Gibran

This was given to me at a difficult time in my life and provided such wise comfort in beautiful words. To be able to write like that was such a gift. It really made me reassess many of the ways I thought.

I have turned to it many times in different situations, not just sad or difficult, but happy ones too and it is just such a pleasure to read.

Maybe others in the forums would like to share, or recommend books that had made a particular impression on their lives?

GT


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 2:37 am 
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So many books, so little time! Yes, The Prophet is in my top 5, definitely. But from childhood, I must mention a few that have not received the acclaim of which I feel they're worthy: Gone-Away Lake, The Enormous Egg, and a nonfiction tome for youngsters entitled You Will Go To The Moon. Not a very catchy title, admittedly, but the info & illustrations were brilliant. Growing up & older, I bonded with Herman Hesse (Damian, Beneath the Wheel, Steppenwolf, etc.), Vonnegut (Cat's Cradle, Mother Night, Slaughterhouse Five, Breakfast of Champions), Maugham (Cakes & Ale, Moon & Sixpence, Razor's Edge, Of Human Bondage) - and there's a common theme after all these years: slow down, observe, pay attention, take the gift of being alive more seriously than you do your place in the Grand Scheme of 'Things'.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 12:54 pm 
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Chiquita wrote:
So many books, so little time!


So true!

Welcome to the forums Chiquita, and thank you for your comments. With mentioning Maugham you reminded me of old favourites to read again.

All the best

GT


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 6:45 am 
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lol wow i just posted something really similiar to this topic on another topic board
but im wondering have you read the little prince [im pretty, almost absolutely sure thats the title] :?:


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:38 am 
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The Art of War
by Sun Tsu

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 4:57 pm 
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The book that I think had the most influence upon my life would be Siddhartha by Herman Hessee, that book just really spoke to me on such a deep level. I read it in highschool and it was required for a class, but I just felt I could relate to it in so many ways, there was so much I took into myself from that book.

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Every man carries a circle of hell around his head like a halo. Every man, every man has to go through hell to reach his paradise.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 8:54 pm 
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"Catcher in the Rye" is the book that actually got me into reading more, and from Salinger I learned to enjoy it.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:40 am 
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The Harry Potter series. Those books helped immensely my reading scores at school and got me writing my own stories. I read the Philosopher's Stone when I was eight and have been completely hooked ever since.

Another book I found truly amazing was Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. And another would be the Twilight series; though, I haven't finished all three books yet, lol.

By the way, I'm currently working on my own novel. It shall be called The Voice Within and I've been working on it for some time now. (Currently on page 135.)


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 4:28 pm 
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I think it is easy to be glib & answer a question like this off the top of your head. I had a think about this!

Dostoyevsky's 'Crime & Punishment' put me on the road to a lot of Russian literature, let alone reading the rest of his novels. The effect it had on me is difficult to put into words exactly. Its psychological intensity & the exploration of the nihilistic are an amazing experience to read. It is a detective story as well, supposedly a great influence for the U.S. TV series Colombo.

When I was a teenager I read Robert A. Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land. This also had a deep effect on the way I looked at reality. I like the idea of analysing the human condition through the use of an 'outsider' which was new to me at the time.

The complete Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle have also had an effect on the way I view other literary heroes. Holmes is such a flawed human being in many ways; yet brilliant & almost superhuman in others. I think the character has spawned many of the superheroes in comic books.

Several years ago now I was in my local library & they were selling off old books. I saw a pristine (originally reference only) first edition of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction edited by Peter Nicholls. They wanted 50 pence (Sterling) for it. At first, when I picked it up, I thought it would be another load of 'Klingons & Daleks' strictly for anoraks!

Instead, I discovered it to be one of the most intelligently written & academic books I have ever read on the subject. I believe it is still in print now (in an expanded edition).

I also have a great affinity for Joyce's Finnegans Wake, which I still love to read again & again.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:15 pm 
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Hello out there, I am totally new on this site, but as an English teacher for over 20 years, I was drawn to these topics. Without a doubt,
"To Kill a Mockingbird" has affected me deeply. My oldest daughter reads it again every year near her birthday because she loves it so much. I named my dog Scout after the little girl and my daughter has a dog named Atticus.
As an adult and a teacher, OF MICE AND MEN has had a terrific impact on me and my students. I realize that these are not even on the list of the 100 Greatest Books but they are in my opinon. Any else out there like these two?


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 Post subject: influential books
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:11 am 
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I adore Dickens, it's like shrugging on an old dressing gown and curling up on the sofa, but I think the book that first affected me deeply was Skellig (David Almond?). The dry rustle of wings haunted me for a long time. I always read British literature before my daughter, whose friend was studying literature at Uni, introduced me to the Americans. The style is so different it really excites the brain. Chuck Palahniuk (how DO you pronounce that??) has a flowing lyrical style and ironical wit that simply blew me away.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:00 am 
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There is this amazing book called Nectar in a Sieve Power by Kamala Markandaya that I think everyone should read. It’s her first published novel and is set in rural India during a time of great change. But what I find especially compelling about the novel is its treatment of power. Power is an important force in Nectar in a Sieve. Much of the novel is driven by the fact that the characters are often powerless against external circumstances.. However, power is also about the will of an individual. Though the main characters, Rukmani and Nathan are forced into certain directions by outside power, those forces allow them to develop tremendous personal power. They have hope in spite of everything around them, and this hope gives them the power to go on. This is a great message to keep with you in trying times as well. Shmoop has some good resource material and opinions on Nectar in a Sieve, especially if you are looking for the political and social context of the novel.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 9:05 am 
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A boy I was dating back in the 70's was studying philosophy at one of the universities in our city. The Mandago and Falconhurst books were required reading in some of his classes. He asked me to read the books as he finished them and it was a life changing experience for me. I could for the first time view the world through the eyes as a person of color. It was profound. The heartbreaking cruelty that the slaves, men, women and children, endured at the hands of the plantation owners and others was extremely hard to read at times and a real eye opener. We certainly have come a long way since then, or so it seems through my eyes, but back in the day it should have been required reading for all; maybe at the senior high school level as the content is violent and erotic.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:12 pm 
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I have read many book that have changed the way I have thought about things......Kurt Vonnegut is one author who comes to mind...from "Breakfast of Champions"...to his last group of essays "Man Without A country"....he knew lots about life did Kurt...I miss him !!!!!


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 Post subject: Vonnegut
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:48 am 
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Thank you for the tidbit. I love tidbits. More please.


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