Have you ever read a book in the past as a child, young adult or older that made an unforgettable impression on you?

Ruby Rose

Location: Canadian Prairies
Seeing we are in Lent, I thought I would share an experience I had on Good Friday in 1964. While stationed in Germany, my husband and I went for a drive and came upon a sign that basically said 'tourists come and visit the garden' and we did. It turned out to be one of the infamous Nazi Concentration Camps. The horrors of the war were firmly implanted in our mind as we walked, and talked only in whispers--we couldn't bring ourselves to talk normally. The ghosts of lost souls were all around you. You could hear, see, smell, and yet there was no one there now. We saw displays of remnants of people's lives: piles of children's shoes, dentures, eyeglasses . . . You left wearing a cloak of great sadness for what was. As said, our visit was made on Good Friday in Lent, which made it even more memorable, as something that shouldn't have been.

When I got back to the base, I visited the base library, and borrowed their book The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William Shirer. I wanted to educate myself about what I had just witnessed. I didn't know anything about the Holocaust until this time. This was my first historical book of any nature, and I have never forgotten the contents of that book. Also, then, I understood why my father and his brothers, military all, and my grandfather who had been part of World War One, all tried to stop me, without words but in other ways, from heading off to Germany.
 

raybar

Member
Location
Los Angeles
" ... as a child, young adult or older ... " pretty much covers one's entire life.

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"Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland" by Christopher R. Browning

from the back cover (copied & pasted from Amazon):

"Ordinary Men is the true story of Reserve Police Battalion 101 of the German Order Police, which was responsible for mass shootings as well as roundups of Jewish people for deportation to Nazi death camps in Poland in 1942. Browning argues that most of the men of RPB 101 were not fanatical Nazis but ordinary middle-aged, working-class men who committed these atrocities out of a mixture of motives, including the group dynamics of conformity, deference to authority, role adaptation, and the altering of moral norms to justify their actions. Very quickly three groups emerged within the battalion: a core of eager killers, a plurality who carried out their duties reliably but without initiative, and a small minority who evaded participation in the acts of killing without diminishing the murderous efficiency of the battalion whatsoever.

"While the book discusses a specific reserve unit during World War II, the general argument Browning makes is that most people are susceptible to the pressure of a group setting and committing actions they would never do of their own volition."

(emphasis added)
 
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Agatha Christie’s (writing as Mary Westmacott) “Absent in the Spring.” Through the plot and setting, the protagonist gradually comes to understand where she has fallen short with her family relationships and is ready as she arrives home to set a new, healthy course. Alas, at the last minute she reneges and resorts to the same in-a-rut habits and ways of relating.

I wanted to shout at her and give her a good shaking at the end, but I realized the ‘take-away ‘ was for me to remember how close she came to doing the right thing and then abandoning it, out of inability or fear of forging a new healthy way and to not fall into that same trap
 

asp3

Senior Member
I can't say that there is any one book where I recall all of it or the book itself was that much of a life changer. There are many bits and pieces of books that do stay with me and have altered my life.

The two books that I think might have had the earliest big impact on my life were both reading from a Psychology of Love class I took in college. The first, Leo Buscaglia's Love changed the dynamics between me and my family and also between other members of my family. The second, M Scott Peck's The Road Less Travelled gave me some lessons that I still use to this day. The definition of love from Peck's book is still the one I use as my framework for love to this day.
 

Ruby Rose

Location: Canadian Prairies
I read and have read such a variety of books throughout my life which I feel enriches my soul. For instance, let me recount the priceless words of Og Mandino: "The greatest legacy we can leave our children is happy memories; those precious moments so much like pebbles on the beach that are plucked from the sand and placed in tiny boxes that lies undisturbed on tall shelves until one day they spill out and time repeats itself, with joy and sweet sadness, in the child...now an adult. Memories. Love's best preservative."

I once read a quaint description of old photograph albums; "Just as the summer bee will stray where rich bloom fills the woodland dells, bearing the luscious drops away that help to store its golden cells; so do we gather in this book the great, the good, the kind, the dear, and bless the pages while we look on memory's honey gathered here."

I have also read the words of Leo Buscaglia and was duly inspired. Thank you for bringing him back to mind. I believe that memories, a connection with the flow of time if you will...even a favourite book that has been read over and over again, envelope us wrapping us in a hug...we are the essence of memory...filled to the brim with images and episodes of the past...to be enjoyed over and over again...as well as to sob as life's journey passes from one generation to the other.
 

Aunt Marg

Granny Pantie Power!
My reads were fun... not anything real, just good old-fashioned fiction stories for young children.

- Homer Price (The Doughnuts... 1963), by Robert McCloskey
- Another I remember reading was about a boy who flew a plane, wish I could remember the title and author...
- Tell Me A Mitzi, by Lore Segal (was read to me as a child, and as luck would have it, I found a copy in a secondhand book store and bought it so I could read it to my own children)
 

Lewkat

Well-known Member
Location
New Jersey, USA
I was a young teenager and after Mass, at the back of the church, there was a bulletin board with all the publications, movies, etc. that the Legion of Decency prohibited.

The movie, Forever Amber had just come out and was being talked about all over the place, so, knowing I'd never get in to see the movie, I went to a book store and bought the book.

What a lot of to do about nothing at all. It was a big nothing and no eye opening scenes were foisted upon mine. I did the same with Lady Chatterley's Lover and again, didn't know what all the brouhaha was about.

Obviously, when told not to do something or read it, I am going to embark on a quest to do so and find out why. Often, my whys went unanswered.
 

Ruth n Jersey

Well-known Member
When I was very young I was given a book about Abraham Lincoln. It wasn't a Golden Book but one of the larger size books with beautiful big illustrations. I read it over and over again. I think his simple upbringing is what I found most interesting.
When I was in my teens and became more and more interested in medicine I bought a series of paperbacks about Doctor Tom Dooley. Not to be confused with the song. He was a missionary who was one of the first to bring modern medicine to remote foreign countries.
His books were so inspiring.
 

Ruby Rose

Location: Canadian Prairies
My reads were fun... not anything real, just good old-fashioned fiction stories for young children.

- Homer Price (The Doughnuts... 1963), by Robert McCloskey
- Another I remember reading was about a boy who flew a plane, wish I could remember the title and author...
- Tell Me A Mitzi, by Lore Segal (was read to me as a child, and as luck would have it, I found a copy in a secondhand book store and bought it so I could read it to my own children)
A book series that I read was 'Little Women' and of course the Nancy Drew series and the list goes on and on...I simply loved reading and still do.
 

Jim W.

Member
Catch-22.

Read it when I was 13.

Too young, really.

My best friend loaned me his copy and it became our bible. Every conversation we had for years afterward was peppered with quotes and references from the pages of that book.

The main character Yossarian rubbed off on me at an impressionable age and I think from then on I subconsciously tried to be like him in terms of his non-conformity, questioning authority, having a kind of rebellious attitude, etc.

I don't know if it harmed me or served me well.

Probably a bit of both.
 
Jack Kerouac's On the Road and The Dharma Bums.
Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms.
Ken Kesey's Sometimes a Great Notion.
And, for some reason, Dickens' Oliver Twist. Read it in one sitting on an airplane and remember it vividly.
 

asp3

Senior Member
My reads were fun... not anything real, just good old-fashioned fiction stories for young children.

- Homer Price (The Doughnuts... 1963), by Robert McCloskey
Wow, that brings back memories. I read that book too but had forgotten about it. The books I remember from my childhood are the Danny Dunn books and the Herbert books. I think there's another series as well but if forget it now.
 

Warrigal

SF VIP
Aged 17, I took my first solo trip out west from Sydney to visit relatives. It involved a steam train from Sydney to Parkes where we changed to a diesel driven train for Broken Hill. I had a sleeping berth but on the return journey I did not. The whole trip took about 23 hours so I bought two books to read - Aldous Huxley's Brave New World and 1984 by George Orwell. I read both of them on the way home to Sydney without going to sleep.

My mind often comes back to the two different depictions of what society might become. One, 1984, opened my eyes to the way populations can be controlled by a totalitarian ruler and I think its lessons are still important today in the 21st century. The other, Brave New World, showed me, then a science student at university, that while science is a wonderful thing, it cannot and should not replace the core values that humanity has followed for millennia - the values of love and family - and which are handed on from generation to generation by parents and teachers. These values are embedded in the great literature of the culture. Huxley pointed to the Bible and the works of Shakespeare to make his point.

These two quite different books both showed me the meaning of the word dystopia and they have remained somewhere in a deep part of my brain ever since. Perhaps they have helped me to reconcile my love of science with an understanding of the ancient scriptures and to value great literature.
 

grahamg

Well-known Member
Aged 17, I took my first solo trip out west from Sydney to visit relatives. It involved a steam train from Sydney to Parkes where we changed to a diesel driven train for Broken Hill. I had a sleeping berth but on the return journey I did not. The whole trip took about 23 hours so I bought two books to read - Aldous Huxley's Brave New World and 1984 by George Orwell. I read both of them on the way home to Sydney without going to sleep.
My mind often comes back to the two different depictions of what society might become. One, 1984, opened my eyes to the way populations can be controlled by a totalitarian ruler and I think its lessons are still important today in the 21st century. The other, Brave New World, showed me, then a science student at university, that while science is a wonderful thing, it cannot and should not replace the core values that humanity has followed for millennia - the values of love and family - and which are handed on from generation to generation by parents and teachers. These values are embedded in the great literature of the culture. Huxley pointed to the Bible and the works of Shakespeare to make his point.
These two quite different books both showed me the meaning of the word dystopia and they have remained somewhere in a deep part of my brain ever since. Perhaps they have helped me to reconcile my love of science with an understanding of the ancient scriptures and to value great literature.
My school encouraged us to read both those books, and I chose another famous George Orwell book, "Animal Farm" as a prize for doing well one year in the history class.
However, great as those books are, and the lessons within them, (much of which took time to sink in, or re-reading the books), I think "Utopia" by Sir Thomas More blew my mind away when I read it, so thick with novel ideas did I find the book, (described by a friend lets say, as a "dry old book"!).
The Dickens novels I've read all grabbed me too, but biographies, and autobiographies have been probably the most influential in my thinking, since I've grown up at least.
 

Jondalar7

Member
Location
Reno, NV
I read a book in 1982 that cemented the vision of the man I wanted to be. Maybe it was just a vision of myself and it grew stronger as the series progressed. What I admired about this man was that he was with an incredible woman and did not need to shrink her to fit him. He could marvel at her abilities and not feel less of a man. Firm in his own manhood and talents he chose to lift her up. The book was the second of Jean Auels, Earths children series, Valley of the Horses.
 
I borrowed a book from the library and liked it so much, I bought it: Who Will Take Care of Me When I'm Old? by Joy Loverde. Full of help for aging in place, or help facing the fact that sometimes you're not able to age in place (unless you're a multi-billionaire); lots of good advice without sugarcoating any of it. (Now if I could just get Huzz to read it or believe anything in it, sigh.)
 

Jondalar7

Member
Location
Reno, NV
Who Will Take Care of Me When I'm Old? I posted in sharing a home with strangers because I want to be part of the caring and cared for in a group home. I will get that book thank you for posting it.
 
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