December 29, 2009

2010 Reading Resolution Challenge: What Book Changed Your Life?

Dear Readers,

Since last week I took a look back at this past year, this week I’m taking a look forward at the year to come... with a CHALLENGE! I’m inviting anyone reading this blog or following me on Twitter to participate.

After reading a really great blog entry by Jenny over at Jenny Loves to Read ( I’m joining her 2010 Reading Resolution Challenge.

My Resolution: I will read 52 books this year. Easy, you say? Of course that’s the easy part! The hard part is that I’m not going to pick them. YOU will. But I WILL read them. And here’s why—

I’ve heard that the best way to get to know a person is by the company they keep. If this is true, the second-best way to get to know a person is by the books they read. Aren’t these companions almost as alive as people? Didn’t it take even more time and just as much love to bring them into existence?

So even though I’m designing this challenge, it’s really about you. Please leave a comment, or send me a tweet, or shoot me an email about a book that means something to you. Tell me,"What book changed your life?" Feel free to tell me anything else you want me to know about you or your book. I’ll track down the books, make a list, and start reading. You can track my progress on a list on the sidebar of my blog and Jenny will help me by checking back in every two months. I can only promise to read the FIRST 52 books, so contact me ASAP! I’ll blog about how each book affected me- maybe you’ll tell me about how the book affected you too?

Again, official rules:
1 entry per person
You must be FOLLOWING me on either Twitter or this blog
Any genre/age

I encourage everyone to make their own reading resolution and PLEASE help me to make mine- it will only take a minute of your time now and no commitment in the future. Have a happy new year, everyone!



  1. The book that changed my life is actually nonfiction. (Both top 2 are, actually.)

    "The Optimistic Child" by Martin Seligman is a program to inoculate your child against depression. Since I'd suffered from depression since age 16, I decided to read it, but my son, then two, was too young to start him on the program. I did all the exercises myself and then closed the book for when he would be older.

    In the next four years, I had a baby--who died--and then another baby. I kept expecting debilitating depression to hit, but it never did. I was confused, but glad. I figured for sure after having a baby who died, I'd be incapacitated, and yet I only had a clean, healthy grief without that heaviness and hopelessness. And again, after having a baby who lived, no postpartum depression. It was all so very odd.

    When my son was old enough to do the program,I re-read the book, and I was stunned to see how much of Seligman's program I had implemented within myself! Without intending to, I'd internalized about half his lessons and techniques,and they were helping. I re-read the book to pick up on the rest of them, and it's amazing how much my outlook has changed since then.

    Twelve years of depression, banished because of a book. That's how my life got changed. :-)

    If I could recommend a second book, it was the one that introduced me to angels, but that would violate the rules,'ll just have to enjoy Martin Seligman. :-)

  2. I'm so sorry- and amazed! That's definitely a book I want to read (and you can bet I'm going to read it).

  3. Read Orson Scott Card's ENDER'S GAME. The characterization is so deep and the emotional tension is so thick, you'll feel the protagonist's journey has become your own. Your heart will be with Ender.

  4. @jmartinlibrarian--I'm adding it to my list!

  5. This is an older one, but so good I have reread it innumerable times. I first read it in late middle/early high school, and I remember staying up until 3am to read the end, bawling. I don't think I can describe the ways this book affected me, but when/if you read it, you'll probably get it.

    It's Magic's Pawn by Mercedes Lackey and it's the first of a trilogy. It's also part of a ginormous series (I love series, and this was my first). She's still coming out with books in this series, too.


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  7. I read James C. Christensen's Voyage of the Basset at least once a year, and more often if I'm having a tough spell. I don't know if it changed my life, per say -- but it reminds me, both in its whimsical text and in its brilliant sketches and illustrations, to approach life with a belief in the impossible and an unbeatable love for the world around me.

  8. @Larissa-->
    @Rachel--->Thanks, guys! They're on my list.

  9. the last lecture: randy pausch (sp?)

  10. I love this! I'm adding the books from your other blog readers to my Goodreads list! If you haven't read it, I love THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD by Zora Neale Hurston. It's such a poetic book and it's one of my favorites. If you've already read it, I have a couple of other books I can suggest instead. :)

  11. The Awakening by Kate Chopin, hands down :)

  12. The Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers changed my opinion about Christian Fiction. I realized that I wanted to be a Christian writer, not just a writer. This genre is gaining quite a following, and it is exciting!

  13. You tossed down this gauntlet to me on twitter, and I thought about it all through my workout. I would think of one book, then backtrack to a book before that one or a later one. My head started spinning a little bit. Which one changed my life? Eep.

    Then it finally hit me that it wasn't necessarily a book, but an author that changed my life. Because of her (and her website), I've come further with my writing in the last two and a half years than in all the previous years combined. So, I'm going with the first book of hers that I read (and I'm still a huge fan - I think I own nearly everything she's written).

    Bitten by Kelley Armstrong :)

  14. Hi Rayna and welcome to my challenge. Please forgive me and my tardy welcome.

    I read a wide variety of books so I guess that says I like variety or that I'm eclectic.

    I can't think of a book that changed me, or affected me deeply, per se. However I can give you some of my favorites, and then you decide since you may have read them already.

    Pride and Predjudice by Austen becasue she is one of my favorite authors.

    The Other Boleyn Girl by Gregory because it really sparked my reading again and made me research the facts about Anne.

    Gone With the Wind by Mitchell, because of Scarlett's determination to do things her way and for herself. Although it may have been to her own detriment sometimes, she still tried to do right by herself and her family. Tomorrow is a nother day.

    Can't think of anything else at the moment, so good luck and I look forward to your reviews :)

  15. @Jenny--if it's okay, I'm going to add The Other Boleyn girl because I'm mid-way through P&P and Gone with the Wind is already on the list, plus a few other reasons of my own (to be revealed in the post about it!). Thanks so much and I look forward to talking to you this year :)

  16. Watership Down changed my life. My dad wouldn't rent the video due to the violence, and it piqued my interest. I had to steal it from the "advanced" secton of the school library in the good ol' days of card catalogs and stamps.

    It was the biggest book I had ever read, back in second grade. And the most violent. To this day, I feel that I know those rabbits better than most of the people I've met. Twenty-five years later, the end still makes me cry.

  17. @Delilah--I am so glad you said that! I've been wanting to read Watership Down for the longest time! Now I just have to restrain myself from reading it next- it just wouldn't be fair ;)