We've been talking about books that changed lives on a writers' loop and I'm interested in what books changed you. Not just resonated with you, but truly changed the way you look at life. These books are not my favorite incidentally, but they really did change the way I looked at life. They added a new perspective to my world.
One was "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" by Thomas Hardy because it made law versus love come to life in a way I had never understood.
Or "Two on a Tower" by Thomas Hardy because I saw the difference between love and lust in that story. (It does end happily, sort of, if you don't want a totally depressing Hardy.)
Another? "Crime and Punishment" because it's written so well and so deeply, that I think I could have been capable of killing the old woman. It showed me how much I feel the need for justice in the world. But from a murderer's standpoint? How weird is that?
"Lolita" changed me because it made me understand how a child molester came to be that way, and I didn't want to have any compassion on a child molester. Granted, I do take pleasure in watching his downfall, but what that book showed me is that people are always human at their core. Their sins, so ugly and obvious, but rooted in something. Granted, not that I care or want them to not be accountable -- I truly feel so much hatred for Humbert Humbert when he gleefully takes custody of his stepdaughter. It's the perfect storm of horrible behaviors and when they combine,it's tragic.
I was also really ticked in BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) studying the life of David. Hearing him called a man with a "whole heart for God" irritates me to no end because of all of his sins. As I age, I see that I have quite a bit of David in me. That people who are deeply emotional can also be deeply impulsive and ridiculous.
Since I tend to be a very happy person by nature, I find it surprising looking over my list that it's so dark. My son is reading "Lord of the Flies" and I remember thinking that kind of thing could never happen when I was his age. Now I know better, and I think I liked being blissfully ignorant better.
I'm reading "Holy Ghosts" right now about a man who didn't believe in anything ghostly until his house was haunted. He is a Christian and what I love about this book is that life has a way of taking our black and white world and bringing out the color. There's our beliefs, and then there's our experiences and sometimes, they don't line up and we have to change our world view.