The Books That Changed Our World

The RT BOOK REVIEWS staff (@RTReadSmarter) has been watching the latest trend to sweep the Twitter-verse. And even if you aren't on Twitter, you'll want to check this out. It's a new hash tag, (Twitter's name for a group of tweets about the same subject) #booksthatchangedmyworld. For all the readers who don't speak Twitter, that's "Books That Changed My World."

  When the conversation began, many of the tweets were about literary fiction titles. A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving and Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger were on the list several times. But as more people tweeted, the book selections became more varied. Now they range across all genres and age groups. A tweet about Harry Potter sits next to someone's Austen top-pick. The works of Dr. Seuss also made their way into the mix. And many people tweeted about cult-classics too, like Jean M. Auel's The Clan Of The Cavebear and Stephen Chbosky's The Perks Of Being A Wallflower. When we last checked in, the conversation had taken a turn back towards literary fiction with several people mentioning Jose Saramago's Blindness as one of their all-time favorites.


Inspired, we took a poll around the office about which titles are the books that changed our world:

Faygie Levy remembers the two books "that set me on my path to romantic-suspense-fandom." Her picks are the Rebecca York trilogy Peregrine Connection and Alison Tyler's Jennifer Heath novels. Levy still has her original copy of Tyler's Chase The Wind from that series.

  Stephanie Klose chose The Alienist by Caleb Carr is her pick. "It wasn't like anything I had ever read before. [It had] real characters appearing in a novel and a compelling mystery."


Elissa Petruzzi had this to say. "I've always always loved books. But you know what I read again and again? Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic, The Secret Garden. I don't re-read books now I did read that over and over."

  Morgan Doremus says her favorite author is Gabriel Garcia Marquez and his novel One Hundred Years Of Solitude. "How can anyone feel alone in this world knowing that people like the Buendia family may exist?" And then she revealed, "My second choice isn't a book, per se. But rather a collection of early historical romances by Julie Garwood. Now I can't say that she has actually changed my life, but I can say that she has made it better. Whenever I am facing an impossible situation, I grab a Garwood. Her stories are the ultimate stress reliever. My personal favorites: Honor's Splendour, The Bride and Guardian Angel."


Whitney Sullivan knew her book off the top of her head. "No contest, it's Seaward by Susan Cooper. I've had my mom's copy since I was in my teens and I re-read it before every major life transition!"

  Karl Kablisk, couldn't pick just one book. His choice? The entire Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. "It's just a totally different way to look at the world. He throws out all common conventions and makes his own universe - not just a world, a universe ... even through it's nonsensical, it's still not non-sense."


All of these choices and more are up on our Twitter @RTReadSmarter. But we want to know: What are the books that changed your world? Not on Twitter? Let us know what you are reading in the comment box below!