Shirley Garrett, uttered to me last April. I have spent the last five months walking around completely confused as to my sense of purpose, or just ignoring it. What used to be a keen focus and an ability to compartmentalize has slipped through the gap that separates my middle left finger and pinky.
Share via Email Howard Jacobson I'm not sure that any book has ever truly changed my life in the sense of dramatically altering its course, but I can think of one that determined it, and that's Palgrave's Golden Treasury of the Best Songs and Lyrical Poems in the English Language. It was my mother's book and she read to me from it, as I imagine, in the dark.
It was from Palgrave that I learned that literature had a sound, that language mattered more than story, that rhythm haunted the imagination, and that love and grief and loneliness interested me more than any other subject.
But the only book I can think of that effected a large and immediately felt change was My Secret Life, the Sex Diary of a Victorian Gentleman author unknown.
I discovered it on my grandparents' bookshelf at the age of My dad bought it eagerly but gave up on it a few chapters in. My mum had a go then, but found Nabokov's baroque style irritatingly impenetrable. I asked to read it and my parents said absolutely not. I didn't waste my breath arguing.
I simply waited till I had the opportunity to whip the distinctive yellow dustwrapper off Lolita and rejacket it with the Catherine Cookson novel I was reading. I spent the next week reading in the bath, in bed, at playtimes, at school. It was a total revelation to me.
I hadn't realised you could use language in such a rich and elegant way, and I was amazed at the subject matter. I thought it the most wonderful and exciting book I'd ever read.
I realised that literature could be outrageous and mind-stretching and utterly extraordinary. I was about 12, trapped in the weird and miserable bubble of prep-school life where my experience of sexual desire and violence edging on sadism was largely restricted to my French teacher.
The book introduced me to a whole new world. Even the Jamaican setting seemed impossibly exotic. DBC Pierre Forming an outlook on life isn't all beer and skittles.
By the time you've wondered what parts of a world view should be instinct or intellect, asked yourself if all perspective isn't just a product of bias and dogma, and then worked out that, in any event, the viewpoint you ended up with is no longer in service, nobody can blame you for seeking strong drink.
Pirsig continues his philosophical exploration in the form of a yacht journey down the Hudson river, accompanied by an easy woman - though her virtue is also open to argument. Written in everyday language, with searing disrespect for academia, this meandering holiday was a life-changer for me, both as a novel and a thesis.
But I had no precise idea of how to direct this passion until I came across my parents' copy of Eminent Victorians by Lytton Strachey, at the age of I had just become Catholic and was attending a convent. I was deeply excited by reading Strachey, especially the essay on Cardinal Manning.
What the convent library did contain was the official two volume life of Manning - just the kind of Victorian number Strachey had written to debunk.
Immediately I began to compare the two versions with critical zest, beginning to form my own third one: Kamila Shamsie I don't remember who wrote the book that changed my life. I don't even remember anything about its plot or characters. But I remember vividly finding a musty old hardback novel called All Dogs Go to Heaven on my grandfather's bookshelf.
And I remember weeping - copiously - as I read the book, weeping for my pet dog who had recently died. I also recall my best friend, Asad, coming over and, in response to my "You must read this - it's set in dog heaven", saying, "Why don't we write a book set in dog heaven?
It was called A Dog's Life, and After. I was 11, and I never stopped writing after that. I was 21, on the brink of my last year at university. In the evenings I sat in tavernas writing my diary and reading about Ishmael, Ahab and the white whale.
I found it exhilarating - not just the quest, but Melville's language, which was so alive and stirring, with the rhythms and image-richness I already loved in Shakespeare but had never encountered in prose before. I was giddy with it. I kept stopping to lean my bike on harbour walls and stare at the sea, looking for disturbances in the surface of the water.
In the late 50s, I was at Hull University and I had decided to become a poet, but I wasn't quite sure what that involved. InI came across The Beat Scene. It was made up of poems and interviews from the New York and San Francisco poetry scene at that time.
There were well-known poets such as Corso, Ferlinghetti and Ginsberg alongside others I hadn't heard of.
I realised just how big the world of poetry was.Writing has changed my life by allowing me to express myself freely. When I speak publicly, I tend to get very nervous and stumble through my thoughts.
Instead, by writing, I am able to let my thoughts flow and correct it as I go. Turnitin provides instructors with the tools to prevent plagiarism, engage students in the writing process, and provide personalized feedback.
Fiction writing was only a faraway dream; writing it in English was beyond my wildest dream. I started “writing,” not because I wanted to write any books, but because I desperately needed help. I was a very negative person in an unhappy marriage, and I tried hard to change the situation.
The book that changed my life was One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey. I read it as a teenager and instantly became completely absorbed by it.
I read it as a teenager and instantly became. John Kralik was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and attended the University of Michigan for college and law school.
He practiced law for 30 years, and was a partner in the law firms of Hughes Hubbard & Reed, Miller Tokuyama Kralik & Sur, and Kralik & Jacobs.
Nov 22, · The Book That Changed My Life As it’s Book Week Scotland this week, I thought I’d devote a post to one of my all-time favourite novels. I first read The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton in my early days of High School, and without getting too melodramatic here, I’d go so far as to say it completely changed my life.