Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The 10 Books That Changed My Life

Jana shared her 10 books and even though she didn't nominate or ask me, I thought.. what a lovely idea!

Like Jana says (haha get it?!) it's hard not to get intimidated sometimes by other peoples favourites or recommendations. I look at some people's lists of their favourites, or books they want to read.. and I can barely understand or get into the synopsis, let alone the book itself. It makes me feel uneducated or uncultured. I feel silly or offended when my favourites aren't on their lists. What's wrong with that I like, I say? What's wrong with me that I don't like the same books, or that I didn't understand them? But like I've said before, you have to do you, you have to like what you like and screw everyone else. Aint nobody got time for doing anything they don't like, whether it's reading or exercise.

I don't want, or expect anyone to like every single thing that I do, so I can't expect myself to like every thing that other people like - which would be every thing in the whole world, and well... I'm not gonna live long enough to read all the books, go all the places, watch all the movies. That being said - I never turn my nose down at someone elses favourites or recommendations, because how else are you supposed to find your new favourites? Every book I read opens my eyes in some ways, whether it's a new love or the realisation that some people shouldn't write books.

Anyway. Today I wanted to share the 10 books that have changed my life. Maybe they'll change yours.

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

You might skim past this one because you already know I love it. I've rambled on about it so much. But I love it because it taught me so much. It's ok to have opinions, but you need to learn to accept when you're wrong. There are crappy people in this world, you don't have to go along with them. Stay true to yourself, love the people you love, love what you love. Looks can be decieving, everyone has a story. Don't judge a book by it's cover. I can read the same book every month for the rest of my life and find something new to love every time.

Cleo by Helen Brown

The cat lovers version of Marley and Me perhaps? This book touched my heart in so many ways and it's one that I think about often.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

This book took my breath away and crushed my heart.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

If I could recommend any book to any person every single day of my life, it's this one. I know, not even P&P has that claim. This book.. I think about it so very often, I read it maybe once a year.. I can't handle more often than that. So good.

Harry Potter and the Philsopher's Stone by J K Rowling

Yes, because I read the Philospher's Stone, not the Sorcer's. Just kidding, kind of. Anyway. I love all the Harry Potters, of course, but this book changed me because I am just amazed at the world that has been created and how many people just love this series. That kind of love makes me happy and these books hold so many memories for me. I love it more now than I did when I read the first few in high school.

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Before P&P there was this. The first time I really, truly, loved a book. It broke my heart, I cried so much, I laughed and loved these fictional characters more than anyone I knew in real life. I still love it, but not as much, but I'll always remember the first time I read it.
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

One of my favourite stories of all time. I love the movie too.

Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult

Talk about heart wrenching. This book has stuck with me since I read it so many years ago.
Matilda by Roald Dahl

This book made me start to think that maybe being a little (or a lot) different was not such a bad thing. And just because someone is related to you by blood does not make them family, and sometimes those who aren't related are your family.

The Babysitters Club (Kristy's Great Idea) by Ann M Martin

The books that started this love affair that is the longest relationship I have ever had.

Books are the only thing I have always loved and that have always loved me, no matter what. Thanks BSC.

Needless to say, my mum and KC are exempt from all these wild exclamations of love and whatnot. I would give up books for them, but they know and love me too much to ever be crazy enough to ask.

Don't forget to link up with Tracy and Alyssa on the 30th (next Tuesday!) for the last Training for Tuesday of the year!


Has a book ever changed your life? Do share.


  1. Haha I used to love reading the babysitters club!!!! This is bringing back so many good memories!
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

  2. I was obsessed with the BSC series too, but the very first series that hooked me on reading was Sweet Valley High...I totally devoured all of that drama, no matter how implausible! So, so fun to see you last night - can't wait to hear about the rest of your NYC trip! xoxo

  3. Oh yes yes yes to the Babysitters Club! I actually bought the movie too just because I had to have it hahah
    And you already know how much I love Harry Potter.

  4. I loved the Baby Sitters club and A Little Princess, too! And you know I'm a Potter head ;)!

  5. I've read 5 of these but I think I need to read the rest on your list! You made me want to re-read some of the ones I already read too!!

    <3, Pamela
    Sequins & Sea Breezes

  6. This is so fun! I now want to read Cleo. :) I have been trying to make it though childhood classics that I did not read as a child... which is why I read Anne. I also have The Secret Garden and A Little Princess on that list. And a slew of others. Glad to know A Little Princess is one of your favorites. We watched the movie a lot as kids. :) I read the Time Traveler's Wife in College. I did not expect it to be more sad than a Nicholas Sparks story... but it was heartwrenching for me. I didn't do well with that one. Still planning to read The Book Thief next... if I can ever get more than 20 minutes to read. :) I have a lot of friends who also love to read, I have wanted to start a blog for a while... with multiple contributors. I even got two of them to give me their top 5 in post form... maybe they will go up someday. :) XO -Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

  7. twilight really changed my life. I had stopped reading for years while I was in college because I tend to start a book and not do anything until I finish it and God forbid if it's part of a series that I can get my hands on. Another book was Bamboo and Lace because it was one of the first books I read that showed me a different culture, much more strict for the females than I'd ever seen and it was almost a chance to witness it firsthand through fiction.

    I love that you brought in some of those books from childhood too. From that era for me it was the box car children and again seeing a different side of life. I think that's one of my favorite things about reading. Stepping into another reality, different than what I'm living and being able to escape mine even just a little. Great post!!

  8. I never read Babysitter's Club, I was more into Sweet Valley as a kid ;)

  9. Great list. I loved The Book Thief and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. What a killer.

    I also really loved The Time Traveler's Wife. I thought the writing was beautiful. I've done a few posts like this and reading them always makes me want to do more.

  10. Oh my gosh, Babysitter's Club started my love affair with books too! I love your list. :)

  11. I love how you put the babysitter's club books on there! Those started my love affair with reading as well. I remember being so excited to go to the library with my dad and check out like another 10 of them!

  12. I didn't know The Boy in the Striped Pajamas was a book! I saw the movie and few years ago and oh my gosh. No words. I love Jodi Picoult so I'll be checking that book out, too!

  13. I need to read so many of these! I just got ridiculously nostalgic for the Babysitter's Club!

  14. Oh yes BSC!! I hadn't really thought about it before but I think that was the first book series I really got into as a kid and wanted to read every single one! Of course P&P. And a lot of these others I haven't read but they sound amazing, I need to check them out!

  15. A Little Princess is one of my favorites! I haven't thought about that book in forever!

  16. I loved Jana's post and I love yours too!!! There are a few that I have not read and added to my list to read! It is amazing how a book can change your life! I love that BSC is on here! I started really getting in to reading with those, Sweet Valley High and The Boxcar Children!

  17. The Boy In the Striped Pajamas sounds interesting. I think different books touch us at different points and in different ways. I love any book that makes me feel, or think.

  18. "some people shouldn't write books" lol

  19. The Harry Potter books really changed my life. I remember reading them when I was in high school and I was going through some really shitty boyfriend drama... the books were my way of forgetting about everything and "escaping" to this magical world. they always made me feel better and less lonely. I love Harry Potter so much because of that!


  20. Oh my gosh, The Time Traveler's Wife made me a sobbing hot mess! It was a great book, but it was just SO sad I couldn't handle it. Love me some HP though!

  21. YES to the Babysitter's Club hah do you remember the TV shows also? I always wanted to be Stacey. The Time Traveler's Wife was definitely incredible!

  22. Oh man...I'd forgotten all about the Babysitter's Club! Matilda was a life-changer for me, too, and still one of my favorite books. Thanks for the reminder that I STILL need to read The Book Thief...It's been recommended to me over and over and over again. Cool post! You've got me feeling all nostalgic an whatnot :)

  23. I don't think I can say that any book has changed my life, but there have been a lot I enjoyed or that taught me a lot. So it's more like reading and books in general are a life changer. It's fun to see your list though! BSC was the best!! I'd love a future post from you on which characters you liked the best or which most represented you!

  24. I absolutely agree with focusing on our own tastes and not judging ourselves or others for the differences! Though I had to admit that when someone says that Fifty Shades of Grey is one of their favorites I do judge them a little bit (silently, of course.)

    We are all so different, and writing is a form of art, and alike any other for of art, it touches different people in different ways. So for instance, while I felt like The Time-Traveler's Wife broke me then put me back together, then left me broken-hearted but with a new understanding of love and the sacrifices we make for it, The Book Thief left me so disappointed... and kind of pissed off, actually. I just coulnd't connect with it much at all. It was a lovely story, but something about the writing style just bothered me and distracted me and often pulled me out of the reading, so that I couldn't go "full-immersion", as I so often do when reading a good book. Bummer.

    And of course I love P&P in all its forms and I am already looking forward to the next time I read it or watch one of the several TV adaptations.

    I read The Little Princess many years ago, as a kid, and I remember it as one of the loveliest books ever. The movie was so good, too – which as we know, it's so rare.

    I don't have my list of books that changed my life yet, but I can think of a couple, in addition to The Time Traveler's Wife: Jane Austen's Emma, War Breaker by Brandon Sanderson, The Lovely Bones, The Hunger Games trilogy (which I'm sure I'm worth judging for ;-) ), Anne Rice's The Witching Hour, which made me fall in love with New Orleans without having ever been there, The Traveller (which to me is a reminder that we should never judge others as we all have our very own particular challenges and upbringing), The Help (which gave me new understanding for the extent of white privilege.)

    Oh, look at that, maybe I do have that list after all :-)

    Happy Holidays Kristen!!

  25. Every now and then I think about what my top 10 favourite books (movies, or shows) are... I think it would take some time to think about it and make sure I'm not forgetting any but Harry Potter would definitely be in there. That's a given. Top 10 lists are great because (well, obviously not everyone likes all the same things, but) if it's a favourite for someone then it must be good. Some of these are on my "to-read" list for sure (ahem, the book thief, how is it that I haven't read that one yet?!)... The Boy in the Striped Pajamas was excellent. It's so tough to pick only 10 haha. And actually, I went through a huge Jodi Picoult phase and Handle With Care is probably my favourite one.

  26. Aw I have to agree with P&P, HP and the Book Thief - amazing and life changing books for me as well! I haven't heard of most of the other titles, but will have to look them up now :)

  27. I used to love Babysitter's Club! My friends & I always wanted to start our own...despite the fact that we practically still needed babysitters ourselves.

  28. I love, love, love this. May have to do my own list — some of yours are mine too :) and thanks for the linkup shout out! :) xoxo

  29. I need to do one of this list!! Ive read a lot of these and the time travellers wife is such a good book. I amanita a Harry Potter fan though and Im in the minority on that one so I know my faves won't be everyones :)

  30. We're book soulmates, I've read all of these. I should give you the list of books that I cherish and see if you'd enjoy them!

  31. I haven't read a lot of these yet - thanks for the recs, girl! :)

  32. I have a post similar to this one in the pipeline (Ugh, I've always hated that phrase, but really how else can you say it?), featuring 3 books. Two of the three are on this list. Book twins for real!

    Also, I'm doing that "binge-commenting to make up for my absence" thing again :)

  33. Do not ever worry about comparing your faves to any others. One of my top ten books is The Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx. A book written by a member of Motley Crue. I do not apologize for this.

    The Book Thief is definitely one of those books that I jumped on the hype bandwagon and am riding that train forever. It is so beautiful and makes me feel so many emotions. I don't re-read books, like pretty much hardly ever, but I will re-read that one.

  34. “There are some who believe that the path to cheap ray bans Republican victory is to run to the mushy middle, is to blur distinctions,” he said. “ray ban wayfarers online  I think recent history has shown us that’s not a path to success. It doesn’ t work. It’s a failed electoral strategy.” ray ban sunglasses australia But Cruz aides say this approach is calculatedly pragmatic rather than ideologically stubborn.


Thank you so much for your comment! I reply to my comments via email, but I can't do that if you are a no-reply blogger.