We asked our regular contributors through e-mail What is that one book, that absolutely changed your life? We got many interesting responses. Here are some of them. We have just copied and pasted their responses, not editing them in any way.
1. Probably Redwall because it got me into reading as a child, and later writing.
2. A Brief History Of Time. The insanity and complexity of the universe were explained in understandable terms, bonkers.
3. There is a Monster at the End of this Book. It really led me on a journey to overcome my fears and deeply examine what it means to be a monster. Also, pulling really hard against Grover to turn the pages helped me get buff. Really I was helping Grover face fears he was not ready to face. But we faced them together.
4. The Easy way to stop smoking by Allen Carr.
I had zero intention to stop smoking when I started reading that book. To say I was skeptical about it would be an understatement. I was a heavy chain smoker. Smoked more than anyone I knew. But I went cold turkey after I read it. 3 years strong. I have not had a single puff since finishing that book.
If you smoke. You want to read this book now. I wish I read it earlier.
5. Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut.
“The things other people have put into my head, at any rate, do not fit together nicely, are often useless and ugly, are out of proportion with one another, are out of proportion with life as it really is outside my head.”
6. Dune. Fear is the mind-killer.
Also, A Wrinkle in Time.
7. Where the Red Fern Grows. It still has the best imagery of any book I’ve ever read. A must-read for dog lovers.
8. The girl with the dragon tattoo when I was 18. I didn’t go to highschool for reasons and this book made me go get my highschool degree and go to college because I wanted to become a journalist because of that book. I graduated from college last month.
9. Maus; the first and only graphic novel to win a Pulitzer prize.
10. The End of Mr Y.
My ex-partner threw it at my face during an argument and knocked down and burst my forehead. So I left her and totally changed my ambitions in life. Kinda funny. Sometimes I see that book and scowl and wonder what people think is going on.
I know it’s more than a little late for this, but The Pillars of the Earth is without a doubt the book that formed the worldview that I have today.