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September 30, 2015

11 Books that Impacted Me + Halloween Giveaway!!!

Banned Books Week began on September 27th and will end on October 3rd. In honor of literature, books, and authors I am sharing the 11 books that impacted me. (Although they may not be banned books.) 

1. Souls Perfection by Sylvia Browne

I read this book last year during a difficult time and it really opened my eyes to see that I am capable of getting through any hardships. Sylvia Browne answers the questions: What’s the meaning of life? And reveals how you can make your life meaningful. I know many people don’t like her beliefs and disagree with her on many topics, but this book was very enlightening for me.


“Without any negative rub in this life or phobias or worries, you wouldn’t gain any knowledge or insight.”

“So when you’re going through your trial and tribulations, you must say to yourself, “Chalk another one up for me. I have not succumbed to grief, futility, or despair.”

2. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

This book haunted me when I read it at seventeen. I actually wrote an essay about what it would be like if our world was like the one Aldous Huxley created, if people had no emotions. I don’t have that essay anymore (wish I did because it was good!) but I remember saying that I hope the world never becomes A Brave New World.

Angels & Demons by Dan Brown

This book is controversial because of the discussions about religion, creation, God, and science. I personally found it intelligent, reasonable, and to make perfect sense. Again, I wrote an essay inspired by what I read and my thoughts on creation and evolution. I probably won’t ever share it here though because I don’t like to broach these topics on social media platforms. Anyway, if you’re open-minded, check this book out as well as the one I listed as #1.

4. Are You My Mother? By P.D. Eastman

This children’s book has inspired me work more than any other children’s book. I reference it a few times in my unpublished series featuring Avrianna Heavenborn from Ghost of Death.

5. A Million Little Pieces by James Frey

I know that he got blasted for lying, but that doesn’t make this book any less good in my eyes. The thing that I liked the most was his style. There’s no quotation marks (which normal bugs me but worked well with this story) and every page has lines with just a few words. This is a raw and deep story about drug addiction complete with friendship, love, and emotion.


She stares at me.
I’m sorry.
She had been broken.
Truly, truly sorry.
Broken by me.

6. Tao Te Ching (Translation by Stephen Mitchell)

If you’re open to other religions and concepts, this work is the most wise and insightful writings you’ll ever find.


“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.”

“If you over esteem great men
People become powerless.
If you overvalue possessions,
People begin to steal.”

7. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

I first read this book in elementary school. When we finished it in class, I bought my own copy to read it again. I love it so much that I’ve read it several times. I’ve always been fascinated by World War II and stories about Jews (such as A Diary of A Young Girl by Anne Frank). This is a powerful book about the impact of war and Nazis for kids and adults.

The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells

This book is a heartfelt and honest story about the mother-daughter relationship. Reading this book felt like a journey. I really felt as though I was being told deep, dark secrets. I laughed until I couldn’t breathe and cried until I fell asleep. It made me look at life, love, and my mom in a new light.

9. Dragonfly Secret by Carolyn J. Gold

I read this book at a young age and it is 100% the reason why I love dragonflies today (I have a dragonfly tattoo) and believe in fairies. It’s a story about family, magic, imagination and belief.

10. Book of God: The Bible as a Novel by Walter Wangerin Jr.

The author took the Bible and created stories that read like fiction. This would be a great option for those who struggle to read the Bible and really want to get to the meat of the stories and enjoy them.

11. Footprints (Scripture with reflections inspire by the best-loved poem by Margaret Fishback Powers)

Footprints has always been one of my favorite poems and when paired with scripture, it becomes even more powerful.


“But I’m aware that during the most troublesome times of my life, there is only one set of footprints.”

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the river, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” [says the Lord.] Isaiah 43:2

QUESTION: What books have changed you or your life?


nashvillecats2 said...

WOW Chrys there's some good book there.
I loved the qoutes, the one about negativity and phobias are me to a tee.
Though mostly I am positive it's when I get one problem after another.
Wonderful post to read.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Some of those surprise me that they are banned books.
The Bible will always be the book that changed my life the most.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I don't think I could narrow my list of books down! So many books stay with me but the reasons why are so varied. One of my all time favorites is A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN by Betty Smith. :)

Unknown said...

These all seem so intriguing, and I didn't know most of them! Ah, more for the TBR pile ;) Have a wonderful October!

sherry fundin said...

Very interesting list of books, Chrys. Do I believe in ghosts? I sure do love to read about them. LOL

betty said...

This is quite an impressive list of books featured here Chyrs :) I honestly can say I haven't read any of them, but they seemed to make a great impact on your life :) I would say the Bible for me as changing my life :)


Chrys Fey said...

Oh, I don't think they all are banned. I mentioned that in the beginning.

Chrys Fey said...

I shared that quote once for IWSG Day because I felt it was so perfect and true. :) Thanks, Yvonne!

Chrys Fey said...

I've been wanting to read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn!

Chrys Fey said...

My TBR list is ever-growing too. Thanks, Anne! I hope you have a great October too. :)

Chrys Fey said...

I love to read about them too. ;)

Chrys Fey said...

The Bible is definitely a good one, and on I imagine almost everyone would say changed their lives.

Pat Hatt said...

Angels & Demons was a good one. The movie, not so much though haha

Chrys Fey said...

I haven't seen the movie. I watched part of The Da Vinci Code but stopped before even halfway.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I've only read one of those books but reading the Bible as a novel sounds interesting.

Chrys Fey said...

It is a really good book. It stays true to the Bible but is easier to read and sink into because it's written like fiction.

Carrie-Anne said...

I also love The Tao Te Ching, though my translation is the classic Seventies one from Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English. It has such beautiful black and white photographs of nature, with the original Classical Chinese text. Other very important books to me are Hermann Hesse's Demian and Steppenwolf, the late Isabella Leitner's Fragments of Isabella and Saving the Fragments, Aranka Siegal's Upon the Head of the Goat, and Ida Vos's Hide and Seek.

My Friday post will be on a Banned Books Week theme too.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Some of these books I've not heard of, but they do sound interesting. I must take a look. When I was teaching fifth-grade, we read Number the Stars as a class. Before we started reading, the students spent two week researching WW11 because they had no idea what it was like. They came up with some wonderful reports of what they'd learned. Thanks for the list.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I hated the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, which I suppose speaks well for the book. I read it as a social worker and just felt like it was glorified child abuse. I've talked to so many who told me I read it all wrong, which I suppose is true. And it's a great reminder that every reader brings their own views and subjectivity to the book, so you will never please all the readers all the time.

Lidy said...

Love that picture. That is so me in junior high, since I was reading books like Forever by Judy Blume around then. I didn’t even know the book and all the others I’ve read were banned but the authorities would’ve said something along the lines of, “ignorance is not an excuse.” I’ve read Brave New World and Angels & Demons (and the following books up to The Lost Symbol). But if I have to say which books changed my life, I’d say Little Women because it ignited my passion for reading. And my desire to be a writer one day just like Jo March. The Giver because of the importance of choice. How I am the ‘master of my fate’ (Invictus by WILLIAM ERNEST HENLEY) and the choices I make should be mine to make, no one else. Harry Potter because family, friendship, compassion, love and loyalty is the greatest magic we as human beings have.

Sherry Ellis said...

Congratulations to Christine! I think the whole banned books thing is ridiculous. I can understand some of them, but most, I just scratch my head about and wonder why.

Anonymous said...

The only books on your list I've read are The Da Vinci Code, which was OK, but I prefer Angels and Demons more, and Are You My Mother?, which I've read to my little girl. She likes it.

I think the first book to ever inspire me and is still with me is really a trilogy, His Dark Materials. When it came out, it was banned or challenged for years. Great, great story though. Got my 13 year old brain thinking a lot. And of course, Harry Potter :) I grew up with it, but actually had to deal with a protest when I went to go pick up a pre-order of I think the 4th one.

I don't think any books should be banned. Who's to say what's appropriate or not, really? It's different for everyone. I think any book that teaches a different perspective is good, especially for kids (and these sorts of books are disproportionately challenged).

Loni Townsend said...

Great list, Chrys. I think one of the books that changed my life was Magic Kingdom for Sale: Sold by Terry Brooks. I loved the world and the people, and it just stuck with me over years of growing up. Yeah, not so inspiring with quotes or anything, but I don't really have any of those. :)

Anonymous said...

I don't think I've read any of those books. >.>

Crystal Collier said...

Are You My Mother... I had to track that one down for the kid a few years back. Super cute.

Chrys Fey said...

I would love to have a copy of The Teo Te Ching like the one you have.

I'm looking forward to your post, Carrie-Anne!

Chrys Fey said...

Fifth graders had no idea what WWII was? Wow! We're surely not educating our kids as they should be. At least they learned a lot and did great reports.

Chrys Fey said...

You're right that every reader has a different reaction. I thought many parts were beautiful but other parts were heartbreaking and even horrifying. The child abuse parts were hard to take in.

Chrys Fey said...

I have but haven't read The Lost Symbol. I plan to...some time. Little Women would definitely be on my list of top 20. Probably #12. I wanted to be Jo is badly. I haven't read The Giver.

Chrys Fey said...

I think it's ridiculous to ban books too. But some countries/religious don't like certain topics and want to keep their people from reading about that. It's sad because these books don't harm anyone.

Chrys Fey said...

I didn't care for The Da Vinci Code at all but LOVED Angels and Demons.

I've never heard of His Dark Materials. I'll have to look into that!

I agree! It's stupid to try to keep people from certain information, perspectives, and stories. These books won't corrupt anyone or harm anyone.

Chrys Fey said...

I've never heard of that book. I'll have to look it up. :)

Chrys Fey said...

HAHA! That's okay. :P

Chrys Fey said...

It'll always be one of my favorites. :)

Denise said...

Biggest impact on my life growing up? Reading 'Atlas Shrugged' by Ayn Rand.

Chrys Fey said...

That's on my TBR list! :)

Liz A. said...

I've read a few of those. I don't think any book has ever changed my life. Well, maybe some of Anne McCaffrey's. That's what pushed me into trying my hand at this writing thing.

Yolanda Renée said...

All the books I've ever read, especially as a youngster changed my life. Good post, banning books, ridiculous!
Nice giveaway!

J.H. Moncrieff said...

Great post! Sorry to say I haven't read any of your picks - I'll have to rectify that. One book that changed my life was Tuesdays with Morrie. It moved me so much that I immediately bought a bunch of copies to give away.

On Writing by Stephen King changed my life as well, because it got me to write fiction again when nothing else worked.

Patsy said...

I haven't read any of these!

I think every book we read changes us a little.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Great list!

Arlee Bird said...

Books that changed a life? Interesting topic to consider. I haven't even heard of half of yours, but I'm probably not as informed as are many readers.

Of those that I've heard of I've only read Brave New World many decades ago and I might have read the Dan Brown book but I'm not sure.

Arlee Bird
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out

Jeffrey Scott said...

I don't think I've read any of these. Maybe "Are You My Mother" if that's the one I'm thinking of. I really don't do as much reading as I should. But I have read the bible in it's entirety. That's got to be worth something.
Dragonfly Secret? Tell me more. I love dragonflies too. There's even a Dragonfly inspired poem I wrote on my blog entitled, "Sunrise Delight". I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.
I think I may have already mentioned my favourite book, "Flowers for Algernon". It's a great sociological book and makes me always wonder what the true motives of other people are.

New Release Books said...

Congratulations to Christine! Interesting topic...maybe A Woman of Substance by Barbara Taylor Bradford.

sage said...

Interesting exercise... and it has me pondering what I would place on my list. Brave New World and its sequel were big books for me in college.

TBM said...

Gosh, I've only read Brave New World from your list. I'm trying to think what books changed me, but can't really think at the moment. Need more tea. Happy Friday!

Chrys Fey said...

I don't think I've read anything by Anne McCaffrey.

Chrys Fey said...

Books really shape our minds and who we are when we're children.

Chrys Fey said...

I haven't read Tuesdays with Morrie. If it moved you so much, I'm adding it to my TBR list.

Chrys Fey said...

I believe that too. :)

Chrys Fey said...


Chrys Fey said...

Not drastically changed a life, of course, that's pretty impossible for a book to do but change a life as in impacting you...yup. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Dragonfly Secret is a sweet children's chapter book. It solidified my belief in fairies.

I'll try to find your poem. :)

I've heard people mention Flowers for Algernon before but I haven't read it yet.

Chrys Fey said...

Oh. A new book for me to look up. :)

Chrys Fey said...

I never read the sequel. And don't think I will because the first book haunts me still.

Chrys Fey said...

Happy Friday, TBM! :D