HAVE YOU BEEN CHANGED BY A BOOK? Which one? How? I am a read-a-holic. This Daily Post Question needd some thought. I suspect many will cite one or another sacred scripture. Here are some I know others will site Catcher in the Rye, On the Road, Steppenwolf and one of my early boy friend’s found his life changed by Stranger in a Strange Land. I know my favorite book of all times is The Once and Future King by T.H.White, but that affirmed some of my ideas as did To Kill a Mocking Bird. Then there was Black Like Me, Malcolm X, and Peace in Every Step. More recently Bateson’s Ecology of the Mind has been affirming. I am currently reading a great deal of fourth and fifth century history and would say James Carroll’s Contantiine’s Sword has been powerfully affirming of many of my beliefs. But this wandering through some of the books that have stayed with me brings me to the one that did substantially change my world view–Simone de Beauvoir’s.
How? Freed me sexually, attuned me to the oppression of women and their sexuality. The capacity of the human body to join and find pleasure in the joining has always seemed miraculous and creator given. It’s perversion into something evil unless used for creating life is deeply saddening to me. A related book of fiction that also influenced me was Marilyn French’s book The Woman’s Room. I’ve read a great deal of other feminist tracts, but these were the most powerful.
Reading keeps me strong. It takes me away from myself. Good books help me think more deeply about what matters, broadens my understanding of others and this world. Good movies do the same. What works for you?
Name a book that changed your life. How?