Raindropreflections: 6 Books That Changed My Life

Friday, 20 January 2012

6 Books That Changed My Life

I know that “6 Books That Changed My Life” is a heavy title- I mean, I’m sixteen! How much great literature could I have read in order to actually get enough books to write this post? So far, I haven’t read many classics. So far, I’ve only just dipped my toes into adult literature. So far, I know the YA section of my library inside and out. And so far, I’ve read enough books to be able to write out this post.

So, in no particular order, here we go. *clears throat*

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

This is a beautiful, beautiful book. It’s sad, yes. It’s depressing a lot of the time. But I (and I hate to say this) love tragedy. It gives life a completely different dimension, and here is the result. Read this book. If the writing doesn’t blow you away by the end, then dude, tell me what book trumps this one in writing, and I’ll make sure to read it.

How did it change my life? Maybe it was the stunning prose. Or the ending. Or the characters, so real that they jumped off the page, and my love for them. Maybe it was the sadness of the thing, proof that human lives so rarely have happy endings. Or that it’s okay to write about these things. It was all that and more.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

I’d read Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner before this, and while I absolutely love it, I have to say that A Thousand Splendid Suns resonated with me on a completely different level. The writing, the story, the ending- oh, my gosh. I love this book.

I think I love this book so much because although I disagreed with certain things in the book (things too political for me to feel free telling you my thoughts right here) there was the very human struggle to find meaning in life that is so universal. There were the characters. And I think I can read forever and ever about Afghanistan and never be tired of it.

The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling

I’m sure this one is VERY obvious. Which reader’s “changed my life” book list does this not feature on? I grew up reading and watching Harry Potter. I breathed spells and had Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans for lunch. I lived vicariously through those three iconic characters that I have no doubt I’ll remember forever. Potternerd forever.

(Where’s my letter from Hogwarts, people? Why hasn’t it arrived yet?)

Hansel and Gretel

I don’t know which version of the story I read, so I can’t say who the author was. *clears throat* Anyways, this is the first book that I ever read. It was a picture book, obviously, and I turned the pages so many times after that the book fell apart. I knew all the words by heart. I can still clearly see some of the pages in my mind.

This is the book that introduced me to the wonders of the written word. That showed me how a story is formed. It also grounded the (now discarded) belief in me that there must be happy endings or else. (Growing up watching Bollywood does that to you.) And now that I think about it, a happy ending cannot be from the brothers Grimm, can it? Who the heck was the author of this one? I owe them!

Blue Jasmine by Kashmira Sheth

As an immigrant child, I related with this one on a much deeper level than any other book I read at that time. I mean, I didn’t understand our language. I couldn’t speak it (still can’t speak it) without stumbling on every other word. But even with my perfectly normal Canadian accent, I could never shrug off the feeling that I wasn’t Canadian enough for Canadians, or Indian enough for Indians. I was always in the middle. Still am.

I’ve learned to appreciate being stuck between two places that will never completely be mine. I get a unique perspective on everything. This book helped me come to terms with that. Plus, I found out I wasn’t the only awkward immigrant kid in the world.

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

While this book is ridiculously funny and has the best supporting character in the history of supporting characters, Hassan, it was the book that started my addiction to young adult fiction. I hadn’t known that people wrote about that strange half-grown stage where you aren’t child or adult. And, well, this is the book that made me realize that I could write about this strange stage too, AND read more books about people my age. WIN.

And that’s that. How many of these books have YOU read? What’s a book that changed your life?


  1. I love books that change the way I think or feel about certain things.


  2. Awesome choices, Rida! And you know, A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS and HARRY POTTER would totally be on my list as well. Two of my absolute favorites!


  3. I'm glad they're on your list, too!


  4. Awesome choices. The first four books are surely on my books-that-changed-my-life-list.
    I loved the other book by Khaled Hussaini too. It's called The Kite Runner.

    PS:- I usually don't read and comment on book-reviewing-blogs but your blog got the moves like Jagger to make me fall in love with it. It's addictive, your blog. Actually I'm really bored and want to write an unnecessarily long comment over here. It happens with me occasionally, like a fit or spasm. And you know what (I just realized) that yours is the only blog I have read this week. Wow, consider yourself extremely lucky and privileged.

    Uff-Ho! The comment still isn't long enough. Let me tell you a weird-something-that-happened-with-me. I met a couple of bloggers today (a girl and a guy) and they were extremely nice. The girl complimented me a lot, said I was quite cute and stuff. Now, after when I got back home, I got a call from that guy blogger that,'She's mine. She is my love. You understand?". It was totally what-the-fuck moment and I responded with a I-don't-give-a-fuck. I'm sorry about the F* word. FYI it's my favorite word. AND you know WHAT? This gotta be the longest comment you ever got on your blog. No? Then I'm sure this MUST be the first comment with a Post-script much much longer than the original comment itself. Oh, I know that you adore me. Ciaos!


  5. HOLY. Well, I admire your I-don't-give-a-whatever attitude, so keep being awesome, Hamza. ­čśŤ Now I'm going to re-read this extremely long comment because it's just so strange and funny.


  6. Hmm…I might have too many to answer this one. I feel like new books change my life every day for different reasons. But, I'd say the book that started me reading YA was SPEAK. I also (eesh) have to give props to TWILIGHT for teaching me about commercial viability. And anything and everything by John Green has changed my life. I wish I could be him.


  7. YES for Speak. And Twilight certainly made YA so much more commercial. John Green! YES.


  8. You're adorable, Rida.
    I have too many books that did the whole changing-my-life thing. Harry Potter, obviously. I *really* was the Harry Potter generation. I was 17 when the 7th book (Harry was 17) came out, 11 when the first movie (Harry was 11) came out etc.
    Hansel And Gretel was my favourite fairy tale EVARR! Which everyone dreamt of their Prince Charming, I wished for a chocolate house. I mean, chocolate house + witch + siblings = WIN.
    Although, the first book I ever owned and read was Three Little Pigs, so that was important. It got me started with reading.
    But it was Enid Blyton and her Famous Five series (and everything else she wrote) that infected me with the reading bug. If not for her, I don't know where I would have been.
    Otherwise? Endless Rain, Missing Judy, The Kite Runner, Before I Die, The Lovely Bones, Ballads of Suburbia – like I said, too many.


  9. Phwah. I was the HP generation, too. Really! I was like, 11 when the third movie came out, so nearly there. ­čśŤ

    I loved Hansel. I was all like, this guy is so much better than that dude in Snow White who randomly kisses strange girls lying in coffins, you know? And The Three Little Pigs! ZOMG! Also, my dad is always telling me that Enid Blyton is one of the best writers ever, so I really need to read her books now.


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