The Ponder Effect | What is one book that has impacted my life?
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What is one book that has impacted my life?

This question requires pondering, but it’s one we can all give answer to. When you think back through the stages of your life and the books that helped steer your course, what titles come to mind?

Was there one that substantially broadened your perspective or honed your focus? Was there one that prompted you to act or swept you away? One that made you believe in love or helped you believe in yourself? Do you remember who gave it to you? Did you pass it on to anyone else?

Why was it important to you?

You may have 2 books like this or 3 or 5 or more. No need to choose, name them all. But if we all could share at least one and if we sent the question to some friends so they could post, too, think how valuable such a list would be. Let’s compile it as a gift for one another. We can name it The List of Impactful Must-Read Books from our Awesome Collective of Pondering People.

What’s first? What’s next?

Share your thoughts [All posts are 100% anonymous]

17 Ponderings
  • Anonymous

    February 17, 2019 at 6:45 pm

    The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo

  • Anonymous

    February 17, 2019 at 10:21 pm

    Love Does by Bob Geoff
    One of my best friends from college sent it to me. I gave a copy to several friends and family members that year. It’s a memoir but much more than that.

    All the Light We Cannot See

  • Anonymous

    February 18, 2019 at 9:26 am

    Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
    We Were Liars by E.Lockhart

  • Anonymous

    February 18, 2019 at 9:57 am

    All the Light We Cannot See
    Ordinary Grace
    The Book Thief

  • Anonymous

    February 18, 2019 at 10:49 am

    The Giving Tree
    Charlotte’s Web
    The Yearling
    To Kill A Mockingbird
    The Great Gatsby
    A Room of One’s Own
    Mere Christianity
    The Road

  • Anonymous

    February 18, 2019 at 10:57 am

    Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

    In the Kingdom of Ice by Hampton Sides

    West with the Night by Beryl Markham

    Bella Figura: How to Eat Live and Love the Italian Way

  • Anonymous

    February 18, 2019 at 11:13 am

    Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

    This book imaginatively explores destiny vs. ‘being the master of your own fate.’ It was central to my childhood, but its witty narrative and universal themes keep it evergreen. This is a read that helps me let go when I feel overwhelmed.

  • Anonymous

    February 18, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    A Separate Peace by John Knowles taught me what true friendship is.
    Choice Theory by William Glasser taught me to take ownership of my emotions, actions and consequently, life.
    Walking on Water by Madeleine L’Engle taught me that creativity is a likeness of God, it should be cherished.
    The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown taught me so much about judgement, empathy, creativity and leadership.
    You are Special by Max Lucado taught me what it is to pursue excellence instead of achievement (written in 1997, it has a great metaphor that has become reality for us today through social media).

  • Anonymous

    February 18, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    A little life
    East of Eden

  • Anonymous

    February 19, 2019 at 1:12 pm

    I know it is a child’s book, but there is great wisdom in “The Velveteen Rabbit.” I just love the lines, “Real isn’t how you are made…. It’s something that happens to you…When you are Real, you don’t mid being hurt.” Some people never achieve “Real” because they don’t expect people to like who they REAlly are. And sometimes it only partially happens…with a limited number of people in your life.

    I think everyine should ask themselves, “What would it take to be “Real” in my life?” and “With whom can I be Real in my life?” I think the answer to the second question gives great insight into people that should be a part of your life and people that shouldn’t.


  • Anonymous

    February 20, 2019 at 10:03 am

    A fun question!

    Moby Dick (Melville), Brothers Karamazov (Dostoevsky), Boys in the Boat (James), Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage (Lansing), A Short History of Nearly Everything (Bryson)

  • Anonymous

    February 20, 2019 at 6:42 pm

    What a great question! And what great books people are sharing. I wish we could all FaceTime.

    First and foremost the Bible because it has taught me the framework of who I am and how I (should) live.
    Gone With The Wind for sense of place and how it can speak to and entangle our inner most being like a siren call.
    Pat Conroy’s Prince of Tides for the stunning beauty of the language and the depth and breadth of rampant imagination. And The Lords of Discipline for the beautiful sentences and unabridged raw reality.
    Fates and Furies by Lauren Goff for her writing and layer upon layer of meaning and motivation. It is the only book that I have ever re-read immediately after finishing it.
    Between The Dreaming and The Coming True by Robert Benson (a gift from a friend) for reminding me that children come trailing clouds of glory with a very real sense of the presence of God.

  • Anonymous

    February 20, 2019 at 8:32 pm

    A Little Life

  • Anonymous

    February 21, 2019 at 7:10 am

    Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl
    The Goldfinch by Dona Tartt
    The Gift of our Imperfections by Brene Brown
    The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
    The Bible, my constant companion

  • Anonymous

    February 21, 2019 at 1:26 pm

    A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. This book taught me that life should not be filled with thinking and small breaks for space, but rather should be filled with space and small breaks for thinking. It also taught me to let go of both waiting and wanting.

  • Anonymous

    February 22, 2019 at 7:38 am

    Life of the Beloved by Henry Nouwen
    Great With Child by Beth Ann Fennelly
    An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor
    We Make the Road By Walking by Brian MacLaren

  • Anonymous

    March 11, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    Return to Love by Marianne Williams