Write on Wednesday … Books that cause Change

October 10, 2008 § 6 Comments

One of Becca’s favorite mantras:
Words are a form of action, capable of producing change.  Ingrid Bengis

Her writing prompt this week centers on the above quote. Taken in the larger sense, as in written works that have caused change, has me dashing off a crazy mish-mash list of writing that has, for any number of reasons, caused some kind of change somewhere. 

Unsafe at any Speed – Ralph Nader (Did anyone stop driving their Corvair after reading this?)

The Good Earth Catalog  (I wish I ‘d kept my copy. Suited my philosophies at the time.)

On Walden Pond – Thoreau (I tore my first copy apart and pasted it all over my dorm room)
I forgot the exact title – Dr. Spock’s book on bringing up baby (my first-baby “bible” – second one, too)
A Brief History of Time – Stephen Hawkins (have started it six times but changed my concept in that I could read and understand it if I applied myself)

The Feminine Mystique – Betty Friedan  (didn’t really care one way or the other but thought it was important to read)

The Bible  (as literature that causes change? It has to be on the list)

gonzo journalism (writing style that caused a change – what’s next?)

Valley of the Dolls (Patty Duke made this kind of “literature” OK when she starred in the movie)

Rabbit, Run   (long before Desperate Housewive, Updike was one of the first to write about the suburbs)

the Magna Carta  (come on, right?)

James Joyce’s Ulysses  (opened up writing style … and subject)

Romeo and Juliet – Shakespeare  (the story stops people in their tracks, people who don’t even like to read)

The Scarlet Letter – Hawthorne  (where we came from, what we could be)

Bright Lights, Big City – McInerny (first to use “you” as the storyteller)

The Awakening – Kate Chopin  (first chicklit but not as we would now define it) 
Silent Spring – Rachel Carson  (on coffee table at Gran’s house for years; she was an avant reader)
Times They Are A Changin’ – Bob Dylan (OK, not a book but a lyrical prophet nonetheless)

Also, from Commenters …
Simple Abundance – Bon Branach
Gifts from the Sea – Anne Morrow Lindberg
Gone with the Wind 
Anne of Green Gables
Straight Man
Tender at the Bone
Cloister Walk
The Man Who Ate Everything

Got anything to add? You might want to give your reason for adding it, too… 



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§ 6 Responses to Write on Wednesday … Books that cause Change

  • I see a great list although I couldn’t read Ulysses beyond page 4!

    Terry Pratchett is good. I think he suits more for Young adults. After reading I gave my copy to my niece. Hope she likes it. He and Neil Gaiman have written many a books together. I like Gaiman too.

  • yolanda says:

    So many of these are my favorites. Thanks so much for sharing this list.

  • Jeanie says:

    I add “Simple Abundance” (Sarah Ban Branach) simply because it really changed my outlook on how I lived my life and looked at the world. Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s “A Gift from the Sea” had a similar effect on me.

  • anno says:

    Great list! And I’ve read shockingly few of these, so it’s good to have some new reading material to add to my own TBR list.

    The books that have affected me the most are seldom the great ones — probably reflective of some lack in my character — but more books such as Gone With the Wind, Anne of Green Gables, and Straight Man. Also Tender at the Bone, Cloister Walk, and The Man Who Ate Everything. Probably others, but the truth is, I’d rather laugh than think too hard.

  • oh says:

    GT – thanks for the update on Pratchett, and Gaiman, too.
    Yolanda – I have to admit, I haven’t read Nader’s book, and since the Corvair is long gone, guess I don’t have to?
    Thanks, Jeanie – will add them to the list. And look into Simple Abundance as well.
    Anno – you made me laugh with your last comment! I’m adding your books to the list, too. There’s all kinds of change that follows reading, right?

  • oh says:

    Anno, I haven’t read ANY of those you mentioned (except GWTW and Anne…!) I must relearn to use my library card. I must. I must.

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