Saturday, 12 May 2012

6 Books Which Changed My Life

I am a voracious reader. Like the little princess, I prefer to "gobble" my books rather than simply read them. I love my kindle, but it keeps breaking, I don't know if it runs out of steam or something. Anyway.
I get pleasure from reading pretty much any book, but these particular ones have stayed in my mind for the immense value I have attained from them:

  • Don't Eat This Book, by Morgan Spurlock
    This book is the world's best appetite suppressant. It's written by the guy who made the Super Size Me documentary, and it's all about the evils of fast food companies. I basically read it any time I want to stop eating junk food for a while, because I get riled up about all the ways these companies are screwing us over, and a magical thing happens. I just don't want to eat the stuff they make any more! Now, the effect wears off after a couple of weeks, but all the same, it is a very rare accomplishment, so Mr Spurlock, I salute you.

  • How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie
    I realise, this book takes a lot of flak now for being old-fashioned, but when I read it as a painfully insecure fourteen year old, the kindly language no-nonsense tips truly aided me in improving my self-confidence and social skills. In my opinion, the author does not encourage you to be fake or manipulative, as some critics believe. Rather, he simply impresses upon you the importance of making others feel important, and always listening to what people have to say.

  • Minimalism: Essential Essays, by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus
    I received a free electronic copy of this through an offer on the authors' website (the offer is unfortunately closed - sorry guys!). It is a short collection of essays with a powerful and inspiring idea at its core. I have only recently discovered minimalism through Ryan and Joshua's website, but I am becoming increasingly convinced that it may be the solution to my organisational/untidiness problems. Although I obtained immense value from these articles, I wouldn't bother paying for the book as the articles can all be found free of charge on The Minimalists.

  • The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch
    Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams. That was the title of Randy Pausch's last ever lecture. A computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, Pausch was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and died at the age of 47. But during in the short time before he died, he gave a truly inspiring lecture to his students, and later to people around the world. His lecture was not about dying. It was about living life to the fullest possible degree. This book made me so grateful for what I have, and so determined to achieve my goals.

Life As We Knew It, by Susan Pfeffer
Ok, moving on to works of fiction now. The story is about the terrible ramifications which occur when an asteroid hits the moon, and is told from the perspective of a teenage girl. Every time I read it, I get completely sucked in, and begin mentally listing all the emergency supplies I need to stockpile in the event of Armageddon. This book changed my life, though, because it introduced me to the wonderful world of science fiction.   Without it, I might never have moved on to gems such as The Day of The Triffids, Ender's Game, The Handmaid's Tale, or Jurassic Park (YES IT'S A BOOK. By the guy who created ER. FEEL FREE TO FREAK OUT NOW).

  • Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen
    Again, this book was a gateway for me, this time into the world of classical literature. I started it on a rainy day when I was home from school with the flu, and figured I might as well read something worthwhile. I'm ashamed to admit I didn't realise how good it was going to be. That's the thing I've discovered about classics - they have lasted such a long time because they are actually brilliant stories. I was amazed by how teenage-y both this book and others like Jane Eyre are. The plots are fast paced, - it only took two days to read it - dramatic, and written with expert skill.

    So there you have it. They were life changing for me at any rate! Enjoy! (And sorry, the bullet points kind of messed up the layout, but what can you do?)

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