I changed it quite a bit, instead of Books That Changed Your Life I used Books That Changed You. I realized the term “changed your life” is quite grand and overwhelming. Even I was intimidated by it.
So “changed me”, this is also quite overwhelming but a little manageable for lack of a better word. You see, you can use this topic loosely, by all means if the books really did change your life, please post about it, I would like to know. But as for my case, I have yet to encounter a book that will change my life, the 360 degree change kind. The books I am going to talk about today would be the books that changed something in me, stirred up something I didn’t know was inside me, may it be suppressed feelings, or a characteristic unbeknownst even to me or a perspective over something that I would never thought I would be having had it not for these books. There are a lot of books that changed me in different ways, but these books were a little different from the others.
Without further ado, these are the books that made a change in me.
1. I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron This is a non-fiction book. I was looking for I Feel Bad About My Neck also by her but couldn’t find a copy anywhere. I have heard a lot of things about her writing from dear friends who enjoyed her works a lot. In case you are not aware, she was the one who wrote When Harry Met Sally. I chanced upon this beautiful copy in a secondhand bookstore and thought I would give it a go. I read during one of the toughest moment of my life, when my dad was diagnosed with cancer. And again, as I have been telling, the perfect book will always find you, it is as if they have a mind of their own and will present themselves to you the very moment you need them. That was what I felt when I was reading this book, all the realizations of life came pouring in. To say I was engrossed would be an understatement. Her book is a breath of fresh air, like an affirmation of some sort. I loved how honest it is, how things were never sugarcoated. It made me see things differently, that life isn’t always sunshines and rainbows but you gotta make your own sunshine. The quotations and passages are so spot on, you could not help but agree. I specifically liked the part where I think she was already diagnosed ( she died I think over a year ago already)… Let me quote it.
The realization that I may have only a few good years remaining has hit me with real force, and I have done a lot of thinking as a result. I would like to have come up with something profound, but I haven’t. I try to figure out what I really want to do every day, I try to say to myself, If this is one of the last days of my life, am I doing exactly what I want to be doing? I aim low. My idea of a perfect day is a frozen custard at Shake Shack and a walk in the park. (Followed by a Lactaid.) My idea of a perfect night is a good play and dinner at Orso. (But no garlic, or I won’t be able to sleep.) The other day I found a bakery that bakes my favorite childhood cake, and it was everything I remembered; it made my week. The other night we were coming up the FDR Drive and Manhattan was doing its fabulous magical, twinkling thing, and all I could think was how lucky I’ve been to spend my adult life in New York City.
2. Invisible Monsters Remix by Chuck Palahniuk This is the weirdest book I have read to date. It is on my top favorite books of all freaking time. It was amazing and beguiling. Weirdly relatable and just truly twisted, it will leave you a little disoriented and questioning what the hell just happened. I love when books do that. Like your comprehension skills and existence are now being questioned, literally what is air? haha. That constant feeling that maybe you missed out on something, that feeling of being incomplete, open-ended, that unsettling feeling gnawing inside you – this book did just that to me, and surprisingly I succumbed and didn’t complain at all. This book made me into a critical thinker, not that I wasn’t before, but this one took it to a whole new level. Like I was taken as a shallow person but came out with a brand new thinking over a whole lot of things, somehow this book made me a deeper person, than I could care to admit.
“No matter how careful you are, there’s going to be the sense you missed something, the collapsed feeling under your skin that you didn’t experience it all. There’s that fallen heart feeling that you rushed right through the moments where you should’ve been paying attention.
Well, get used to that feeling. That’s how your whole life will feel some day.
This is all practice.”
― Chuck Palahniuk,
3. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami Read Haruki Murakami they say, and you will be left questioning almost everything. This was my first Haruki Murakami, which reminds me I should really get to the monster of a book 1Q84, crossing fingers I could read it this year, anyway, so Haruki Murakami presented us with this novel which at first I thought was just a romance novel with annoyingly cheesy characters. But boy I was mistaken. It was not at all annoying, not cheesy, but deep, way too deep. It was painstakingly beautiful, raw, haunting and just sad. There was a hole left in me after reading it. There were a lot of wisdom that poured out of this book. It will make you see things in a different light and see the bigger picture. It was not written to please the readers, it was written the way the author see fit – realistic and philosophical. This book made me a mature reader, made me crave for books that could instill wisdom and open my mind to things I would rather ignore.
To all Haruki Murakami virgins, I think this is the perfect book to get you started. Hope you’ll enjoy his writing style as much as I did, because no one writes like him, he is exceptional.
“But who can say what’s best? That’s why you need to grab whatever chance you have of happiness where you find it, and not worry about other people too much. My experience tells me that we get no more than two or three such chances in a life time, and if we let them go, we regret it for the rest of our lives.”
― Haruki Murakami,
There you have it, I hope you could find time to read these books, if you haven’t. So what books made it to your Top Three I would like to know!! Tag me! 🙂
For next Wednesday we will be talking about our Top Three Favorite Female Character, oh that should be easy! Have a great week ahead! 🙂