Tuesday, January 30, 2007

You've Got to Read This Book!

That's the title of a book I'm reading now by Jack Canfield, the creater of the Chicken Soup series. A bunch of famous and rich people tell the book that changed their lives. It got me to thinking.

The book that changed my life was True Story magazine, anybody remember them? My mom used to read them and leave them laying around. I guess she was hungry for romance.

When I was seven, I had already gone to four schools and lived in, I think five towns. Somewhere I'd learned phonics. I was bored one day, leaning against the radio where we spent much of our time being entertained and I picked up my mom's magazine. I thought since I knew the sound each letter made, I could sound out the words.

I did. By the end of the year, I was checking out big books from the library and I'd found my salvation from the world of degradation and poverty we lived in.

True Story is not an appropriate magazine for a seven-year-old. But it saved me.

What book changed your life?


Bookslinger said...

North to Freedom.
The Saracen Blade.
The Good Earth.
The Hobbit.
Lord of the Rings trilogy.
The Jerusalem Bible.
Foundation series (Asimov).
The Book of Mormon.
Start Something (Earl Woods, Tiger's dad).

R. Gary said...

My favorites are three electronic LDS libraries and the LDS Scriptures CD.

"We are admonished to seek ' out of the best books words of wisdom.' (D&C 88:118.) Surely, such books must first include the scriptures. Next must be the words of prophets, seers, and revelators." (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, Sept. 1988, p. 5.)

We live in a marvelous day and time. My current notebook computer weighs no more than my old worn out copy of McConkie's Mormon Doctrine, yet now I can instantly search the full text of thousands of LDS books and periodicals (and carry them all with me wherever I go). And I have spent literally thousands of hours reading and pondering and feasting out of those ' best books.'

"Emerson was once asked which one of all the books he had read had most affected his life. His response was that he could no more remember the books he had read than he could remember the meals he had eaten, but they had made him." (Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, May 1982, p. 42.)

Barb said...

Annegb, I think True Story is the magazine that a friend from work let me read. There were indeed some very touching stories.

That is a hard question to answer as far as a book that changed my life. I think the book I have mentioned The Man who Mistook His Wife for a Hat really impacted me a lot. I love cognitive science. What I really loved about this book is that it seemed to challenge some prevailing theories and also really make me contemplate what it is that gives different people meaning whether it is music or numbers and how interestiing it is to have excessive talents in areas or shortcomings. It was a touching commentary on humanity in my opinion.

Ann said...

The Road Less Traveled.
Killing the Buddha: A Heretic's Bible.

annegb said...

Thanks for your comments, guys.

Bookslinger, and Gary, are there books that changed your life, or gave you an aha! moment?

Bookslinger, the only one of those books I've read is The Good Earth and I have read all of Pearl Buck's books. She rocks.

Barb, True Story is definitely not appropriate for little kids. I think there was a lot of sex in them, but there also were stories of people who loved each other. Which didn't happen at my house.

The revelation to me was that I could figure out what the words were, and from then on, with the help of nice librarians wherever we landed, my life was better.

Ann, I'm thinking of becoming a Budhist Mormon. Because the first level is "life is hard" which M. Scott Peck keeps harping on :).

The one thing (besides hardship equals normal) I took from that book is the problem of delayed gratification in abused children. I have that problem and I see it in my sisters and others who grew up as I did.

I just read (and loved) Alice Hoffman's newest book. She's my guilty pleasure.

Sarebear said...

The Agony and the Ecstasy. I saw and see art a whole different way, now.

I FEEL it. I sound like a dork, Class A.