Louis Sachar - Holes. Made me wonder why I wasn't eating raw onions and digging holes in the desert all day.
Fast-forward a few years and I actually tried digging a 5 feet wide- 5 feet deep hole in solid ground, with the help of a friend. Made me re-think some things about my life; and also, definitely not as easy as it sounds in the book.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower. It was very appropriate for my life when I read it.
I really wanted to say Brave New World, but dang.
So, I’m going to go with Tuesday’s With Morrie. The book itself is nothing to write home about and is pretty standard writing. But the reason it made me rethink my whole life is because in grade 12 my English teacher had us do a large section of a semester just on this book. And while he read it out loud to us he would stop and bring up topics for him to discuss with us that relate to the book. We were a room full of grade 12 students in our first semester and in our final year of high school. Then was the perfect time to use that book to discuss life the way he did and bring up things people neglect to even think about. The wisdom he shared with us and realizations he made each individual student have is something that I’ll only grow more grateful for as time goes on.
My teacher made that class so amazing and I’ll never forget him, the book, or my classmates who went from being just angsty teenagers to a group of close 17-18 year olds all coming to terms that *this is life, and it is what you make of it*, and that we’re all a lot more alike than we’ll ever admit.
Our final project for the book was to write journal entries on the topics discussed in class. The following are just a few of the discussions I wrote about and handed in.
- are doctors still emotionally affected when it’s required of them to tell a patient that they’re going to die
- How do you know when you’ve found the one
- the quote of “Friends for a season, friends for a reason and friends for a lifetime”
- if you were given the choice to know when you were going to die, would you take it?
- “What’s stopping you from saying ‘I love you’ to the people that you love?”
- do you want to be buried or cremated?
I went deep in those journal responses. Poured my heart out, and in the process learned what my values are and what it is that I want to get out of life. I still need to buy a copy of the book for myself. Thinking of going back and having him sign it.
His Dark Materials totally changed my views on life and death. It helped me a lot in facing my fears of death. Hands down one of the best trilogies I've ever come across.
**The Diary of Anne Frank**. I read it when I was about 13 and it completely changed my perspective on my life and made me think about how lucky I was.
I also ended up majoring in history with a primary focus on WWII in university and that book definitely set me on that path.
Le Petit Prince, it's like The Little Prince but French.
I don't think I've ever had a book made me rethink my life tbh, maybe it's cause I've only lived like a quarter of it or maybe it's cause I don't read the books properly.
Not one book, but the 6 Dune books written by Frank Herbert
*The Secret History*. I read it when my religious faith was waning. Doubts were creeping in, but I had experienced religious ecstasy and this, to me, was proof that there was a God.
Then when I read *The Secret History*, and learned about bacchanalia and went down a Wikipedia rabbit-hole about religious ecstatic experiences. That severed the final thread for me.
*Vineland*; and *V.*; both by Thomas Pynchon.
**Fool’s Errand** by Scott Horton
It’s about the never-ending war in Afghanistan. Thoroughly researched and cited. It’s obviously a nonfiction, but Scott wrote it really well. It’ll turn your previous thoughts on the Middle East and America’s involvement upside down. Scott Horton is vetted on foreign policy with over 4,000 recorded interviews under his belt, a podcast, editing antiwar.com and other projects. I admire his work greatly.
Although I did really like the hunger games, it surprises me to see it on top.
My pick would be elementary particles / atomised by Michel Houellebecq. I think it made me more understanding of other peoples motives and ideas, as well as less emotionally instable and naive.
The narrative of Frederick Douglas. Really opened my eyes about a lot of things. I always knew slavery was evil but it was really interesting to read what it did even to the Slave holders. So many lessons in that book.
Animal Farm - George Orwell
Not just my life but the society as a whole, and my place in it. It's a short novel (less than 100 pages) but I think it's great.
The places in between by Rory Stewart For those out there who are close minded it will open you. For those who are open minded it will just be a great reinforcement.
The Good Earth by Pearl Buck and The Death of a Salesman both left me thinking for a while.
Follow the River by James Alexander Thom
Heart of Darkness. Definitely changed the way I see the world in that it highlighted the immense impact of colonialism.
Not a book but Gaiman’s the Sandman did it for me
The Defining Decade by Meg Jay, in it the author talks about how important the twenties are in a person's life. They talk about how they've dealt with people who made mistakes in their twenties and ended up paying for it later or wished they'd worked harder when they were younger.
There was a lot of solid advice that made me start to re-hash aspects of my life and where I'm investing my free time. She even goes over relationships during this time in a person's life and shares the stories of people who are in their early or mid-twenties and how they started to work on turning their lives around to accomplish their goals.
I ended up reading it because it was recommended in another thread about a year ago about books people had wished they had read early on in their adulthood.