Life Changing Books

          Cynthia Crossen’s “Dear Book Lover” column in the Weekend section of The Wall Street Journal is always an interesting read. Today she responded to a reader’s inquiry about whether a book can really change someone’s life.
          Crossen quotes writer Sherwin R. Nuland (author of How We Die and The Soul of Medicine) who said Ah, the Cave Man was his life changer. Nuland was seven years old when he discovered this first non-Dick-and-Jane-type book.  He says, “I had no idea that reading could be fun, that a boy could be transported to another place and time, and become so engrossed by descriptions and characters that he lost all consciousness of his surroundings, his worldly concerns and the very hour of the day.”
          I can’t recall a particular book that changed me but I can certainly identify with losing all consciousness of suroundings while reading – the back seat of our 1950 Chevrolet on long trips to visit relatives; dinner tables where I was the only child surrounded by adult conversation; any dairy in Kentucky or Southern Indiana while Dad made another “just-for-a-minute” stop to talk to a customer.
          Is there a book that changed your life?

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Published in: on February 20, 2009 at 4:11 pm  Comments (1)  
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  1. For me, the pivotal book was Gone With The Wind. Part of the magic was that I was so engrossed in it that I was able to finish that big fat book in quick order, being a weak reader and student in the eighth grade. What a story. What a book. What an achievement. — Joyce


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