The Book That Changed My Life

Anne Rice, whose latest addition to her ghoulish repertoire is Prince Lestat: The Vampire Chronicles, responded in an interview that “the book that changed {her} life” was Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.  Pip was her favorite character, and inspired her “lifelong struggle to be a writer…”

A quick google search yielded a book with the title – The Book That Changed My life: 77 Writers Celebrate the Books That Matter Most to Them.  “For Doris Kearns Goodwin it was Barbara Tuchman’s The Guns of August, which inspired her to enter a field, history writing, traditionally reserved for men.”  And the National Book Foundation, home of the National Book Award, has “The Book That Changed My Life Project,” a website linking authors to a life-altering read; for Stephen King, it was  The Lord of the Flies.

Although the question seems to be straight out of a Sunday supplement magazine, it had me thinking.  I have enough trouble remembering the books I have just read – a major reason for this site.  You could find me in a bookstore anytime, book in one hand, iPhone in the other, searching my site for the title that sounds vaguely familiar.  But one book from childhood is a still a favorite memory – although I’m not sure it9780385015837_p0_v1_s260x420 changed my life – D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths. Beautifully illustrated and full of adventure, I remember going back to reread the stories of my favorite heroes and heroines.  It’s been awhile and this might be a good time to lose myself in it again.

Do you remember a book from childhood that may have “changed your life”?

6 thoughts on “The Book That Changed My Life

  1. Hi, Rosemary and everyone! This is such a great question. I’m a psychologist who worked with survivors of severe trauma, mostly survivors of politically motivated torture from all over the world. There were several books that started me on this path. The very first was “Three Faces of Eve,” which arrived in my mother’s Reader’s Digest Condensed Books! The idea that a person’s mind could split into different personalities absolutely floored me! And I learned that it is indeed true. Then there was “Sybil” and “When Rabbit Howls.” None of these have anything to do with survivors of politically motivated torture, but they sure have a lot to do with profound trauma and they triggered my fascination with how our minds work.

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