Monday, February 27, 2012

What Books have Impacted Your Life?

Today I have been attending the Indian Education For All Best Practices Conference.  It is one of the best conferences that I have attended in a long time.  This evening several of us were discussing the conference.  Julie asked the group what books have been influential in our lives.
She turned to me and said you should blog about this.  So I am.

That question is very challenging for me.  It's like asking me for my favorite book.  I have so many.  It is usually the last one I read.  But back to the question, "which books have been influential in my life?"

The first book is "Mr Dog: The Dog Who Belonged to Himself" by Margaret Wise Brown

My mother read this to me before I ever went to school.  At the end of the story she would ask me, "Whose little girl are you?

"Daddy's little girl?"


"Your little girl?"

"No.  You are your own little girl.  You belong to yourself."

It took me many , many years to replace this book.  I received such a wonderful gift of self because of this book. 

The second book that is memorable for its impact on my life is "The Magnificent Obsession"  By Lloyd Cassel Douglas.  My copy is a red hard bound.  I read this book when I was in my early 20's.  It taught me about making investments in other people.  In my opinion the book is better than the movie.

The third book is a very recent read.  "The Simple Act of Gratitude" by John Kralik.  I loved the story of how writing 365 thank you notes changed his life.  

It is a book that found its way to me after I chose gratitude as "my one little word."  Its a very fast read.  

There are other books that have influenced me in so many ways.  I have been influenced by an authors writing style.  I have been haunted by stories.  I have been uplifted by the gift of humor that some authors share.

Can you name three books that have influenced you?  I hope you share your list.


  1. I love the wisdom and generosity of your mother's words:
    "You are your own little girl. You belong to yourself."
    How true...this is something all children deserve to hear early on - especially little girls.
    My book list would have to include "Anna Karenina," "The Golden Notebook," and "To The Lighthouse."

  2. This question requires longer time to think. The first two books that come to my mind are Mitch Albom's "Tuesdays with Morrie" and "The Five People You Meet in Heaven."
    Thank you for sharing the books from your list.

  3. Love this post because I love reading about books that stand out for people. I think I will save my books for a slice during March, though. Plus, it will give me a little time to narrow it down to three. I'm not sure I can do that!

  4. From when I was young...B is for Betsey- Haywood (I became a reader), Secret Garden- Burnett,(I started to visualize) Reach Out- Tyndale-Living Bible New Testament (I deepened my walk with Christ in my High School years). I have so many adult books, but you said 3 ! :)

  5. It's wonderful to hear the why of your three books, especially the golden book and the words from your mother. The only reading that comes to mind right now is that my grandfather read the old poems to me when I was little, Wordsworth, Shakespeare, and on. I remember his voice, just being with him, and loving the sound of the words. I suspect it was the foundation of my love of poetry without even knowing it. Thanks for the question, Ruth. I'll have to think and think about this.

  6. 3 - that is a hard one but I will try
    The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown
    The Giver by Lois Lowry
    The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

  7. This is a good question to ponder. I'm thinking this topic might save me when I am scrambling for an idea to write about in March. So for now I will name The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. More thoughts to come.

  8. Thank you for sharing your three. It would take a lot of thinking for me to come up with the three most influential books in my life. Might be one of my slices.

    I also might find that book, Mister Dog, for my daughter.

  9. Three? Wow. Like the others, this is one to ponder and narrow down. A possible March slice.

    However, I've already reserved the gratitude book you mentioned at my library! Looks good!

    Thanks for sharing,

  10. I am like you, struggling to narrow it down to three. And like the others, I will need time as well as the opportunity to explain why. I most loved hearing your explanations! This reminds me of the concept of the Scholastic "Bookprint."

  11. Ah, I am thinking.
    I like it. (the idea AND the thinking)
    I will answer said question on Thursday. It will be interesting to see how many others will have this for their first SOL for March! Looking forward to reading others.

  12. Hmm. I blogged my top ten on Nerdy Book Club awhile back and that was hard - three? I'll try:

    A Monster at the End of This Book

    Are you there God? It's me, Margaret.

    The Lightning Thief.

    All for crazily different reasons. :)

  13. Three I can think of off the top of my head: Miss Rumphius, Gifts from the Sea and When the Heart Waits.

  14. Like others have said, I'm finding it hard to narrow it down to just three. I can give one though and that is 'Where is Spot?' You know the one with the little flaps that you can lift to peek in to see where Spot is, or isn't? My son loved that book and nothing gave me such joy as to hear his giggle every time we found Spot. Thanks for such a thoughtful slice and for making me think about those 'special' books.


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