I have often felt that books had the power to change lives. I know when I read, I often feel a connection to what the author is writing about. Sometimes I learn something new that may help change my mind about a certain subject or person.This spring I read The Books that Changed My Life, Reflections by 100 Authors, Actors, Musicians, and other Remarkable People, edited by Bethanne Patrick. It was just published in 2016. This book gives us insight into why books mean so much to people.
A few responses are generic, such as “I love all books,” but often still mention a few special books. It includes readers of cookbooks, classics, memoirs, business, poetry, children’s books and more.It was interesting to see how books I read affected others and what information or insight I may have missed or not have needed at the time. Some are not surprising, others were. It also made me want to read some books I hadn’t read yet.
It was interesting to see what types of books these people liked and a brief why.
The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf shows it’s OK to be different.
The Andy Warhol Diaries shows that words can be art supplies.
Tommy Hilfiger chose Steve Jobs by Walter Jacobson. He likes to read books about successful individuals, how they think, what makes them think, and show that even brilliant mind like Jobs make a lot of mistakes along the way. Mistakes are almost gifts, a challenge. Jobs was passionate about what he was doing.
For Lisi Lampanetti it was Solemate: Master the art of aloneness and transform your life by Lauren Mackler “…I learn these life lessons thru books in a way that doesn’t happen with anything else; reading forces you to slow down and focus”
Peter Straub chose Look Homeward Angel by Thomas Wolfe “You’re not the same person when you reread a book, he said.”
Al Roker, who said he likes figuring things out, chose The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle..For Susan Orlean it was The Sound & the Fury, by Faulkner, “Feeling the transformational power of a book was world changing for me.”
Louise Fitzhugh’s Harriet the Spy was about an eleven-year-old girl who was called a spy. What she was really doing as she scribbled in her notebook was learning how to become a writer.Tony P Hall, who was in congress for 20 years, became U.S. Ambassador to the UN Agencies for Food and Agriculture and director of the Alliance to End Hunger, chose The Bible. “The Bible is clear about how we are meant to deal with the issues of poverty and hunger.”
As Patrick says in the introduction, “Reading has power.”
I agree with her. Books can just be enjoyable diversions or entertainment, but they also make me think, learn, and empathize with others. I would recommend this book to people who love to read, especially if they like variety and are interested in what others enjoy reading. It’s a book you can go back to again and again.