What Book Has Helped Shape Who You Are Today?

One of the best things about books is their ability to help define you as a person. If you had to choose just one book that shaped who you are today (whether you read it as a kid or just last week), what would it be?

It might be hard to pick just one book, but think about which book(s) influenced your career choice, your interests or your philosophy on life. Ones that have helped you through life's ups and downs are also good candidates.

Share that book with us below so that we can discover life-changing books to read from each other.


    Don't laugh: Pollyanna

    It taught me to look for the positive in everything.

    Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

    Specifically, the advice contained on its cover.

      The advice written in Large Friendly Letters is very good advice.

      The "B" Ark of the Golgafrinchans theory helped make me the cynical curmudgeon that I am today.

        Jynnan-tonnyx all around, then. And have you got any of those little biscuits? You know, the cheesy ones?

    Body, Mind and Sport by John Douillard. Taught me a new way to exercise, a greater understanding of the human body (ayurveda) and introduced me to meditation. There wouldn't be many days that go past where some of its wisdom doesn't affect what I do or how I perceive the world.

    'The Paper Bag Princess' by Robert Munsch - it taught me that if someone doesn't want to accept who you are, then you're better off without them in your life.

    The Way of the Weasel - Scott Adams

    In summary, the book states an all-encompassing anthropological theory: "People are weasels"

    The riftwar series by Raymond E Feist

    let me escape from my stresses of study, work, and general shitness of daily life

    One by Richard Bach. Made me recognise how the decisions we make in life can effect the paths our lives take. Also introduced me to many-worlds quantum.

    Zen Flesh, Zen Bones - Paul Reps
    Walking - Casey Meyers
    The Higher Taste - A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
    The Richest Man in Babylon - George S. Clason

    Thanks to these guys, I'm a rich, happy, healthy vegetarian.

    The Bible - most read book in human existence and it's full of useful life giving nuggets.


    career influence...I am a priest.

    After that - Raymond E. Feist: Riftwar Saga

    The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. Not a day goes past without me quoting it.

    Belgariad/ Mallorean by David Eddings.

    Read the Belgariad three times to help combat acute clinical depression. It's plausible I'd be dead without it.

    Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - Robert M. Pirsig.

    Great travelling book and provides some useful interpretations on values and what's really important

    The millionaire next door was a big influence for me as was rich dad poor dad and the richest man in babylon

    Roots - Alex Haley
    The Prince - Machiavelli
    Art of War - Sun Tzu

    The first made me understand empathy, while the other two helped me understand the world and people's motivators a lot more. That in turn helped me navigate tricky growing-up situations like High School, Teen Dating, High School.

    Batmna: Year One. It introduce me into buying more Batman comics

    The Empire series from Janny Wurts and Raymond E. Feist. A lesson in courage, honour, dealing with adversity and thinking outside the box.

    1984. It confirmed I should trust no-one completely. I also work for an equivalent of the Ministry of Truth, and it sucks. I expect, like Winston, I shall see what's in Room 101 one day. On a related note, your chocolate ration has just been increased. Maybe.

    The Hobbit, read about age 10. It was the very first fantasy book I'd ever read and it opened up a whole world of geekishness for me to embrace.

    And at 23, "How to start with no savings and get rich safely," by Brian Costello. It used simple math and simple words to show how making small changes can lead to big rewards over time. I paid out my credit cards (and destroyed them) and went back to uni to study finance because of that book.

    Last edited 16/01/13 6:12 pm

    The Bible

    Lotus 123 user manual. Version 1. "My God, do you realise what this computer thingy can do!?"

    For me it is Crime & Punishment , it totally changed the way i view the world :)

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