What book changed your worldview?
For me, it was Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own. It wasn’t long book since it was really written as a long essay, but the message hit home, nonetheless. It was what I needed to hear at that time.
Later in life, Jane Goodall’s Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating changed how I viewed the food I consumed. It helped me make the decision to become a vegetarian for the following seven years.
Why are we drawn to certain books, I wonder? I can’t even remember when or why I picked up Goodall’s book at the time. English novelist E.M. Forster has an idea.
"I suggest that the only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little farther down our particular path than we have yet got ourselves," said E.M. Forster.
“I suggest that the only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little farther down our particular path than we have yet got ourselves,” said Forster.
There are books that have life-changing impact when read at one age than they do when read at another, wrote Nick Rennison, in the introduction of his book 100 Must-read Life-changing Books.“Some novels read in adolescence (Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, for example, or Kerouac’s On the Road), can fundamentally alter the way in which the reader views the world,” he added.
I’d go as far as to say we write books when we’re ready.
Although I’ve been wanting to write about my family’s experience as refugees in the United States, I wasn’t ready. I was busy putting the pieces of the puzzle together, trying to understand that experience myself over the past four decades.
Have I put those pieces together yet? Not at all. But I’m ready to write the book.
Now, more than ever, is the time for me to work on it.
To use Forster’s quote as inspiration, I wrote my own: “I suggest that the only books we write are those we are ready to write, and for which we’re willing to go a little farther down the particular path than we are comfortable.”
So what book changed your worldview and why?