October 20

Books That Made A Difference

Posted by lori . 24 Comments


I have long been a fan of a feature in O Magazine called Books That Made A Difference, where a celebrity lists several books that made a difference in their life.  Recently, I saw a post on Staying Awake where Jan listed her top titles.  She was inspired by a post on The Solitary Walker.  I’ve always wanted to compose my list and here it is (in no particular order)…books that made a difference to me.

1.  The Bible.  Any translation for informing how I live, the King James Version for the majesty of the language.

2.  Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White.  The book that made me a life-long reader.

3.  Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë.  My perfect heroine.

4.  Atonement by Ian McEwan.  A beautiful novel that captures the messiness of life and the consequences of our sometimes horrible choices.

5.  Little Golden Book – The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids.  My mom would do the different voices when she read this to me.  My favorite fairy tale.  I wish I still had my copy.

6.  The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.  A fascinating story that illustrates how people, place and time help form who we are.

7.  Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.  The first Shakespeare play I read and still my favorite.  Who can resist star-crossed lovers and a blood feud.

8.  Anything by Agatha Christie.  I love mysteries.  Agatha Christie introduced me to adult mysteries and is the Grande Dame to me.

9.  Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.  A frightening look at the thin veneer of civilization.

10.  A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.  My favorite tale of redemption.

What are books that made a difference to you?

Daily Inspiration

A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face.  It is one of the few havens remaining where a man’s mind can get both provocation and privacy.

Edward P. Morgan

This entry was posted on Saturday, October 20th, 2012 at 10:31 pm and is filed under Few and Well Chosen (Books), Lori's Lists. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

24 Responses to " Books That Made A Difference"

  • houndstooth says:

    Oh, I still love Jane Eyre! I read it in seventh grade and it was the first classic literature that I ever read. I felt so grown up and worldly when I read it. lol Les Miserables really stuck with me, too.

    Another one that I really loved was The Thirteenth Tale! It blends classic literature, mystery, tangled emotions and I just love it! I keep wishing she’d write another book.

  • I love anything by Agatha Christie too. Dickens is a long, hard slog though – you can see he got paid by the word!
    Lynne x

  • I used to love Agatha Christie, but when I tried to re-read my favourites a few years back, I found I’d moved on. And that’s the trouble with a list of ‘favourite’ books or movies, for me. Yes, I do have some which will always be loved, and did have an impact on me at a young age, but my tastes do change, so the list would be very, very long – and I’m not good at pruning lists!

    I’ve read about half of what you have on your list.

    • lori says:

      Actually coming up with a list is one of the reasons I never did this before. I do maintain the right to change my list at any time :).

  • Sue says:

    I love The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield. Don’t read as much as I’d like as I am such a slow reader.

  • genjiscorner says:

    Yay, I’ve read most of your list. Between listening and reading, I go through so many books every year. I should probably keep better track.

  • What a varied and interesting list. Mine would all be SF, fantasy, kiddy and mythology 🙂

  • Penelope says:

    Hmmm, My top 5 (in no particular order are):
    Wrinkle in Time (and the rest of the books in the series)by Madeleine L’Engle
    The Big Book of Fairy Tales. Illustrated by Charles Robinson. First published in 1911, my grand father was an old book seller and trader. He gave this to me when I was 3. This is the book that I wanted to read on my own and could read before I turned 4!
    Harry Harrison’s Stainless Steel Rat Series
    The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan
    Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy
    Now I am going to have to find the Poisonwood Chronicles
    Nellie’s Mommy

  • Bassetmomma says:

    I have a copy of A Tale of Two Cities from that was my Mother’s from school. It’s a little tattered but I cherish it! 🙂

    • lori says:

      I love A Tale of Two Cities too! I almost put that on my list, but I do truly love A Christmas Carol, so I went with that.

  • Sherri says:

    Wow…several books on this list are some that have impacted me the most. I’m going to use this as recommendations for other books. I would absolutely have the Bible, Jane Eyre, The Poisonwood Bible, and Charlotte’s Web on my list. I must have read Charlotte’s Web a dozen times as a kid. Trumpet of the Swan would also be on my list. and The Killer Angels (was required by a college history professor…left a lasting impression of the tragedy of war).

    • lori says:

      I love The Killer Angels. I would like to read it again. You know, I’ve never read Trumpet of the Swan. I need to do that.

  • Urban Hounds says:

    Nice list, I may have to make one some day too. I would definitely put Huckleberry Finn at the top with the Lord of The Rings, Harry Potter , Wyoming Stories by Annie Proulx and The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter on the list. I love to read and I have read some things on your list but not all, I guess I will have to check out the rest

    urban hounds

    • lori says:

      Wyoming Stories is on my list to read. I haven’t heard of The Bloody Chamber. I will check it out. I love you other picks too.

  • jan says:

    Hello Lori. I dreamed I left a comment here and thanked you for your visit to my blog. Now I can’t find it. Anyway I also love Charlotte’s Web – such a great book and so well written.

  • Heather says:

    I also love “Books That Made a Difference”! I have not given much thought to my favorite books in a few years. I normally read biographies, true crime, or horror, but one of my all time favorites is We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates. I have no idea how I even heard about the book as it is not the “norm” for me, but I am so glad to have read it.

    • lori says:

      Oh…I love that one too! I read it when it was an Oprah’s Book Club pick. I would love to read it again. I also enjoyed Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates. That’s all I’ve read of her books, although I’d like to read more. Her books are so rich and multi-layered to me. They don’t leave me.

  • Amber says:

    Hmmm, well…

    1) The Yearling and The Sojourner by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
    2) Call of the Wild and White Fang by Jack London
    3) Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
    4) Trinity, Mila 18, Battle Cry by Leon Uris
    5) Summer of Katya and Shibumi by Trevanian
    6) Sister Water by Nancy Willard
    7) Christy by Catherine Marshall
    8) A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
    9) Trade Wind, The Far Pavilions, Shadow of the Moon by MM Kaye
    10) Everything by Nevil Shute
    11) Winds of War and War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk
    12) Everything by James Herriot
    13) St. Agnes’ Stand, The Last Ride, All God’s Children by Thomas Eidson
    14) Beau Geste by Christopher Wren
    15) These Is My Words by Nancy Turner

    and a thousand more…

    • lori says:

      You have some here I have never heard of! I will be checking them out because I love a good recommendation. Thank you.

  • Amber says:

    Whoops, forgot one of my all-time favorites: Joy School by Elizabeth Berg

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