When I recently saw Bobbi Newman’s post about the seven books that changed her worldview, I immediately wanted to make my own list. So here is my contribution to the meme (such as it is) about seven books that changed my life.
- Buffalo Gals and Other Animal Presences (Ursula K Le Guin): A book of short stories and poems, Le Guin’s work fundamentally changed how I think about animals and the environment. The final story, ‘She Unnames Them,’ is positively chilling.
- Notes on Love in a Tamil Family (Margaret Trawick): A poetic and moving discourse on family love as fundamental to the human condition. I tend to view all of my close relationships through the filter of this book.
- The Corrections (Jonathan Franzen): A deceptively simple fictional account of the state of the modern middle-class American family which provides great insights into growing old, sibling relations and making up life as you go along.
- Co-Housing: A Contemporary Approach of Housing Ourselves (Kathryn M. Mccamant, Charles Durrett, Ellen Hertzman): This gentle book provides a blue print for community living in a time when many of us no longer live near extended families.
- The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley): A feminist retelling of the King Arthur tales. This beautiful book, a great read in itself, opened my eyes to the power of hearing a story from all perspectives.
- Jonathan Livingston Seagull: A story (Richard Bach): I know, corny, but I read this when I was a teenager and it helped me realise that happiness is a choice — and that is a powerful message, indeed, for a moody teenager.
- The Parable of the Sower (Octavia E. Butler): Anything by Octavia Butler will change your world, but I found this book — the tale of a young woman’s invention of a new religion in a war-ravished future — particularly inspiring.