Friday, 15 May 2009

Books That Changed My Life...

...or at least had a HUGE impact on me in some way or another!

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (trilogy) by Douglas Adams

Don't panic! :-)

I've read the entire 'trilogy' of five books...many, many times! I've probably read 'The Restaurant at the End of the Universe' alone a hundred times! It was the first book that made me laugh out loud and I did so, frequently, on the way to work. People are supposed to look at you funny on the London Underground though, aren't they...?

One character in particular, Wonko The Sane, is a man after my own heart!

TIP: Don't bother buying the books separately. If you read one I guarantee you'll read them all so save a few quid and buy the complete trilogy in the first place.

The Discworld Series by Terry Pratchett

Please don't ask me my favourite in this wonderful series - it changes all the time. (The link is to the very first book.) Pratchett looks at the world as I do, that is, from a funny angle. I've never read Tolkien and now I don't have to!

I'll read anything this man writes - I'd read a bus ticket if Pratchett wrote it!

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White

The only book to ever make me cry out loud. I read it when I was a girl and it's been with me in spirit ever since. If you haven't read it I won't spoil the plot, but I will say this: I'm terrified of spiders yet during one chapter I cried my eyes out. Brilliant.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (and What Alice Found There) by Lewis Carroll

Two of the most enduring, inspiring, intriguing and fantastical books ever to be written. The characters, quotes and Charles Dodgson's (aka Lewis Carroll) nonsense verses will live on forever. (It probably comes as no surprise that I like this, considering the title and web address of this blog!)

A typical conversation:

Alice: But I don't want to go among mad people.

The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you can't help that. We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.

Alice: How do you know I'm mad?

The Cat: You must be. Or you wouldn't have come here.

Alice: And how do you know that you're mad?

The Cat: To begin with, a dog's not mad. You grant that?

Alice: I suppose so,

The Cat: Well, then, you see, a dog growls when it's angry, and wags its tail when it's pleased. Now I growl when I'm pleased, and wag my tail when I'm angry. Therefore I'm mad.

Total Forgiveness by R.T. Kendall
Kendall is both an amazing speaker and an amazing writer. I've never really been one for religious literature, self-help books and suchlike, but this book was recommended to me by a good friend and I now owe that friend a great debt of thanks!

I've been practising 'total forgiveness' every day since I read the very first chapter and it's completely changed my outlook and attitude to life, the world and everyone else in it. A truly remarkable book which EVERYONE should read, Christian or otherwise!

(BTW; I've already bought the companion book, Forgiving ourselves and am looking forward to reading all his other books, too!)

Monkey by Wu Ch'eng-en (translated by Arthur Waley)

I love this!!! Buddhist teachings, spirituality and early Eastern politics all beautifully wrapped up in a great tale of friendship, sacrifice and courage. So funny and easy to read, you could think it had only been written last year! The central character, a monk called Tripitaka, really did exist and really did go on a great pilgrimage. Such was his fame that many legends and stories abounded about his travels. Ch'eng-en has collected all these stories and presents a coherent version version which is simply a joy to read!

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
My absolute favourite book in this series is the very first one; The Magician's Nephew. Many people think that The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is the first book, but although that was written before The Magician's Nephew, that book was written as a prequel and was always, even according to Lewis himself, intended to be read first.

I got so lost in that first story - I was completely there - and have been looking for just the right setting to do a photographic tribute. If anyone knows any magical beech woods with a carpet of lush green grass and possibly some pools of water, PLEASE let me know!!!

(Again, buy the whole set - you won't regret it!)

Bye for now!
Em x

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