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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Book(s) That Changed Me

There are a lot of little notes and quizzes on Facebook, and I've been tagged on a few of them. There was one that I was hoping would not come my way. But today I got it: the book that changed me.

Now I have a hard time picking my favorite book, much less the one book that changed me. I think any book you read will change you, and hopefully for the better. But I'm going to answer this one twice. First, the most obvious answer:

1. TITLE:

The Bible

2. AUTHOR:

God

3. WHEN DID YOU FIRST READ IT?

When I was 13.

4. WHY DID IT STRIKE YOU SO MUCH?

It struck me because it offered hope in a very dark time in my life. The proof of absolutes in a muddy world, and the existence of a benevolent, all-powerful Creator who could be approached, but not by my own merit.

5. HAVE YOU RE-READ IT?

Many times

6. DOES IT FEEL THE SAME AS WHEN YOU FIRST READ IT?

yes

7. DO YOU RECOMMEND IT, OR IS IT A PRIVATE PASSION?

I recommend it highly.

Now, since that may not be the answer some people are looking for, let me reach deep and pull out another book that changed my life. And again, there have been so many. But I'm going to chose...

1. TITLE:

The Miracle Worker

2. AUTHOR:

William Gibson

3. WHEN DID YOU FIRST READ IT?

I'm thinking ninth grade.

4. WHY DID IT STRIKE YOU SO MUCH?

It really shaped my ideas of the difference between pity and love. It showed that love could lift a person out of the direst background--an idea echoed in both the lives of Anne Sullivan and Helen Keller. And it showed that where you came from didn't matter as much as what you did with that. We're not just victims of our circumstances.

5. HAVE YOU RE-READ IT?

Oh, yes.

6. DOES IT FEEL THE SAME AS WHEN YOU FIRST READ IT?

I think I saw it slightly differently as a teacher and as a parent. In later readings I saw the importance of persistence in prompting and tugging and pushing others into being all they could be.

7. DO YOU RECOMMEND IT, OR IS IT A PRIVATE PASSION?

Highly recommended.

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