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Thread: Books that have changed your life

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    Member frustrated1's Avatar
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    Books that have changed your life

    Hi all,

    I am just fresh out of a break up and trying to get back some of the happiness in my life I have been lacking lately. I love to read and have read many books that have brought me great joy. I was wondering if you all had some suggestions for books that have changed your life. They could be self help books or just general fiction or non-fiction. Any books that have made a lasting impression on you. Hopefully for the better. Thanks in advance.

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    Jane Eyre, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Little House on the Prairie series (rereading them with my son), Gone With the Wind, Alain De Boton books, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou), many of Elizabeth Strout's books, Arrowsmith, Somerset Maugham books (forgot the title!) John Steinbeck (The Pearl and East of Eden especially), The Help, A Fine Romance (Judith Sills), The Kite Runner (and his other book)

    Many many more.

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    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Oh, this is my wheelhouse!

    "When Things Fall Apart," by Pema Chodron, a Buddhist nun, is just a terrific companion during hard stretches in life. Dip in, dip out, take comfort in the wisdom. I'm not a big self-help guy, but that one, if it counts, helped and helps.

    "The Mystery Guest," by Gregoire Boullier is my go-to breakup book. Short, hilarious, nails the swirl of overthinking without being maudlin, and is ultimately affirming about the fact that, even in a dark stretch, light is around the bend in a form we didn't see coming.

    "Anna Karenina" and "Madame Bovary" are always fun to revisit.

    General fiction/non-fiction that I adore: the recent trilogy by Rachel Cusk (Outline, Transit, Kudos); Freedom by Jonathan Franzen; American Pastoral by Philip Roth; every sentence Joan Didion has written; The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson (wonderful epic to take you away into a wild world).

    Not sure if it'll change me, but per a friend whose taste I trust next on tap for me is "The Friend" by Sigred Nunez, which is a meditation on loss. Maybe relevant and, hey, you'll know you're reading it alongside this digital stranger.

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    Member frustrated1's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions!

    Bluecastle I looked up "the mystery guest" but it seems kind of difficult to find. Will check out some local bookstores as it seems quite interesting. And being that it's hard to find makes it all the more intriguing to me lol. Might try reading "The Friend" in the meantime.

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    ''The Wisdom of No Escape,'' by Pema Chodron. Not as well known as some of her others. As much to do with the timing of the first read...but really helped shake up my perspective on "the bigger picture". Love this woman.

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    Elkhart Tolle "A New Earth"

    It brought me a great amount of perspective to my life and most of all acceptance of things I simply had no control over.

    Lost

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    When you just want something fun and lighthearted:
    A very entertaining detective story about sheep named "Three Bags Full" by Leonie Swann.
    "Pulp" by Charles Bukowski.


    When you want adventure:

    The absolute gem "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury.
    "On The Road" by Jack Kerouac.


    When short stories is all the brain can handle:
    The humorous "Welcome to the Monkey House" by Kurt Vonnegut.


    When in a more pensive / contemplative mood:

    An exceedingly easy to read and short nonfiction book called "Don't Sweat The Small Stuff" by Richard Carlson.
    "How to Influence People" by John C Maxwell is a marvelous nonfiction piece that helps to make you a positive influence and better leader in the lives of those around you.

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    Platinum Member Clio's Avatar
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    The power of Now by Elkhart Tolle
    Veronika decides to die by Paulo Coelho
    Dance, Dance, Dance by Haruki Murakami
    When Nietzsche wept by Irvin D. Yalom
    The curious incident of the dog in the night-time by Mark Haddon
    Uncoupling by Diane Vaughan
    The Odyssey by Homer
    Last edited by Clio; 01-09-2019 at 05:32 PM.

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    Life-changing for me, especially when I was in the situation you're currently in (but generally too!):

    Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway - Susan Jeffers
    The Power of Now - Eckhart Tolle

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    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by frustrated1
    Thanks for the suggestions!

    Bluecastle I looked up "the mystery guest" but it seems kind of difficult to find. Will check out some local bookstores as it seems quite interesting. And being that it's hard to find makes it all the more intriguing to me lol. Might try reading "The Friend" in the meantime.
    Is it not on Amazon?

    OMG—it's so freaking good! A true gem. Don't know about you, but I'm prone to spiraling into some real heady wormholes of self-loathing during breakups. He spins that stuff into comic gold, but always with heart. He's mocking himself, and, in the process, mocking anyone (i.e. you, me, and everyone on the planet) who gets maudlin when the heart is swollen. But it's gentle mocking, loving mocking, the kind that gives you perspective and, at least for me, helps you realize that the wormhole is never as devouring as it sometimes feels.

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