Thursday, 8 October 2009

Booking Through Thursday: If You Could Ask One Question

Suggested by Barbara H:
I was wanting to try a certain author and wished I knew someone who had read her works so I could get a recommendation when it occurred to me that having a “YOU ask the question” Booking Through Thursday might be fun. Each participant could ask a question they’ve wanted to discuss with other readers. Perhaps, like me, you’d like a recommendation of a certain author’s best work, or perhaps you LOVE a certain genre or series but no one else you know does and you’d just like to discuss it with someone. Or perhaps you want to try a new genre and would like recommendations from seasoned readers.
It would help if everyone put some idea of the question or topic in their response comment here rather than just saying, “My post is up” so that those who can’t get around to everyone can see what the topics are and get to those which most interest them.

Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

My question is: Is there a book that, as a teenager, made you think differently from how you had thought before?

The reason I am asking is that I just re-read Brave New World by Aldous Huxley which, despite, or maybe because of, its dystopian themes made me think differently, or maybe I should say more, about the relations between men and women, how we look at sexual relationships and how our consumer society is shaping us. It was one of those books that left me forever changed.


Amanda said...

I read As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner my junior year of high school, and it opened up whole new vistas of writing to me. Very influential. That's the only one I can think of, though. I didn't read much in my teen years.

Todd said...

Good question:
There's a whole list of books that I read when I was on the cusp of being a grown-up in my first two years of college, but the most life altering were

1984 by George Orwell (gave me nightmares)

The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry (let me know that someone from a small town in Texas could write novels of literary merit)

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque (war at its worst, a different picture than I was getting from the uber-patriotism of the Reagan years)

The Stranger by Albert Camus (my first taste of existentialism)

and the short story "Hills Like White Elephants" by Hemingway (began a lifelong love of Hemingway)

Jessica said...

I read "Walden" when I was a junior. It really caught my attention when I realized that anybody could sort of drop everything and create a new lifestyle.

I also read H.G. Wells's "Outline of History" when I was a senior. It blew my mind and I've been fascinated with history ever since - that's what I studied when I went on to college years later.

Table Talk said...

'Brave New World' certainly made me see the world differently as well and interestingly, I was only thinking the other day that I would chose it as my next book group selection, because I'd like to see if it stood up to the test of time. The text that changed my life was actually a production of a play. I was twelve when I first saw 'As You Like It' on TV and realised that Shakespeare had written it just for me:) My life was changed irrevocably at that moment and it wouldn't be too great an exaggeration to say that I owe my whole career to that performance.

Kristin said...

I agree with Todd that Camus's The Stranger was very influential. That book as well as well as Shakespeare's Hamlet led me to feel much less alone, and understand that there were others in the world that had felt the way that I had - depressed, alienated, etc.

Two other books had much greater influence on my thinking - Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason completely changed my religious thinking for good, and Kerouac's On the Road, which made me see that life is precious, and should be lived to the fullest.

Great question!

Tina Kubala said...

To Live Again by Robert Silverberg. Science fiction, of course, and one of the first grown up books I every read. It happened to be miss shelved at the library. A few things gave it away to my 12 year old self as not a YA book. But it wasn't just the naughty factor. It was intellectually stimulating in a way I'd not known the genre could be.