Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Book That Changed My Life by Roxanne J. Coady & Joy Johannesson, eds.

Posted by Rebecca Brendel


Reviewed by: José Beltrán

What I Read: The Book That Changed My Life by Roxanne J. Coady & Joy Johannesson, eds.

Find It @YCLD: Here!


What it’s About: The editors selected 72 authors' short essays about what book they themselves love that changed their lives and ultimately inspired them to become famous authors in their own right. The editors' Read to Grow Foundation is a 100% donor-supported nonprofit organization that distributes free books through volunteers to the needy. Roxanne J. Coady won the Publishers Weekly Bookseller of the Year Award in 1995.

What I Thought: These essays cover the gamut of book publishing. There are so many quotable passages in these essays from all walks of life. You should read it just to select your own favorite quotes. Not only did I come away with many quotes, but a large list of books to read, both by these authors, and yes, from their favorite authors too.

The touching, moving “I Think I Can” about The Little Engine That Could: Jeff Benedict recalls the many lessons his single mom taught him from the stories she read to him each night.

Robert Ballard, deep-sea explorer and bestselling author on the Titanic: the reason for being, raison d’être, is not the view at the end, but the act of becoming. “Life is the act of becoming.” He is the founder of the Jason Project to mentor middle school students by scientists from NASA, NOAA, DOE, and the National Geographic Society.

“You could read the same text repeatedly over time, and something fresh and new would declare itself with each reading”: Nichikas A. Basbanes on Shakespeare.

Chris Bhojalian: “I learned the comfort that can be taken from the pages of a book, and the friendship that can be found in a story.”

Da Chen, Chinese peasant to Wall Street Investment Banker, wrote “I write because my heart demands so.”

Patricia Cornwell wrote on her ancestor Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin: “The original sin: the abuse of power, the ultimate result which is enslavement, impoverishment, suffering, and death."

Cuban exile Carlos Eire wrote: “Books have made me who I am". Carlos recommends three Spanish books: Tres tristes tigresCien años de soledad, and Imitación De Cristo.

Robert Kurson wrote of Denial of Death by Ernest Becker: "…started reading. By the time I got up, I viewed the world differently, by the time I got up, I was a different person."

Yes, politicians do read! Senator Joe Lieberman: “Every time you read and learn …your life is changed dramatically over time as you continue learning and thinking." Senator John McCain wrote “For Whom the Bell Tolls is full of adventure, and fighting and romance…"

Sherwin B. Nuland: “Books are actually the stuff of which dreams are made.”

Frenchman, Jacques Pepin wrote of The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus:  “We must be responsible for our actions.”

Ian Rankin:  “There was no rating on books, anybody could read anything.”

Lisa Scottoline: “Every book I read changes me in some way… and that’s why books matter. Lisa on “Angela’s Ashes” It breaks your heart and puts it back together again, but better”

Liz Smith on Voltaire: "I began to question and seek".

Michael Stern as a country boy was transported to unknown worlds by the Sears catalogue.

Frank McCourt tastes the words from Shakespeare's Henry VIII:  "It's like having jewels in my mouth when I say the words."

Readalikes: You've Got To Read This Book! by Jack Canfield, ed.

Or look this book up on NoveList!

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