ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

5 Life-Changing Books

Updated on April 23, 2019
Source

As a reader, I have never underestimated the power of the written word to open people’s eyes and change their way of seeing the world.

How can a book do that? The process of reading is something so profound and personal that it is impossible to predict the way it will affect us: It could be that the book gives us a piece of advice we need at that very moment, or makes us see a situation from a different point of view, or presents us a character that we can relate to, or even expresses some thoughts of ours that we had never been able to put into words. The truth is that every time we read, we do it from our own life experiences, our expectations, and our values.

I am aware that the books I have selected may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but I included them for a quality they have in common: They are a challenge. The following books, each on its own time, have changed the way I see the world, my life and myself. They have also changed profoundly the way I read and interpret all the other books, even those I love. They have made me sharper and more critical of the world I see, but they have also made me remember all the things in it that I am grateful for.

Please, proceed with an open mind.

Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand

In her most celebrated work, Ayn Rand presents an allegory of her philosophy, the Objectivism. Set in a dystopic future, where the world is in the edge of economic crisis, many of the most prominent businessmen, the ones that hold the responsibility for the principal industries of the United States begin to disappear mysteriously. Through our protagonist, Dagny Taggart, and other captivating characters, we get to see every step in the destruction of the world as we know it, all staged by a man who swore he would stop the motor that moves it. A story to make us reflex about the importance of values, and the consequences that the lack of them can have in our surroundings.

His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman

Unlike all the others in the list “His dark materials” belongs to the fantasy genre. There is a world in which the souls of its inhabitants are not inside of them, but walking by their side in the form of an animal. This is the world where Phillip Pullman’s trilogy begins, though not the only one will we get to visit through the story. Despite being a book directed to an infant public, its notorious criticism towards the Church and the Catholicism in general has made it quite controversial. It does not only questions certain aspects of religion, such as life before death and the image of God as superior and omnipotent, but also comes to the extent of contemplating the possibility of destroying Him. Science and religion, love and hate, faith and reason are mixed and defied in this novel.

1984 - George Orwell

This story is set in an undeterminated future when the world is divided into three big states. All the inhabitants have to follow the rules imposed by the "Party” an entity whose power is absolute, and which is headed by the “Big Brother”, who nobody has ever seen in person, but everyone venerates. Any discontent from part of the citizens is considered a crime and all sorts of basic things are also prohibited to prevent people to think by themselves. Winston Smith, a secret opponent of the system, eventually starts to transgress all those rules he has always hated. The troubles and dangers the character is willing to go through for the sake of feeling human are as inspiring as heartbreaking. I have to warn you: The story is cruel, but I think it transmits through its pages a message of hope that not many books are capable of sharing. It will make you wonder about life, that is for sure.

Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

Though the topics of this book are very much related to the ones “1984” presents, Aldous Huxley gives us a different insight, dealing with science in a way Orwell does not. In this world, people are not born in families but produced and prepared for life in laboratories. Society is composed of five castes: Alphas, Betas, Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons. Belonging to any caste does not depend on you, but on the conditioning, you have received. While Alphas and Betas are conditioned to have jobs and a good life, Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons are simply produced as workers. The members of each caste are conditioned to love who they are and mistrust the ones from other groups. Everybody is completely happy, but for the times that they are feeling a little down, they have the “Soma”, a drug that takes the unhappiness away. The central characters of this story are an Alpha who is unhappy with his life, and a man who was born in a savage territory, and therefore, has not been conditioned. The crudeness of the story-telling can be disturbing and terrifying at times. It scared me to death when I first read it, but it has improved my way of thinking a great deal.

Farhenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury

Guy Montag is a firefighter. However, his work does not consist of extinguishing the fire, but on creating it. In a society where books are prohibited, the firefighter's job is to find the illegal pieces and to burn them. Montag is satisfied with his way of living, until the moment when, in the middle of a fire, he steals a book. His acquisition will open a new world for him, and make him wonder about the reasons for the prohibition and the real danger behind his actions. Although “Fahrenheit 451” is considered science fiction, I would describe it as a book about books. Ray Bradbury’s way of speaking about them, the place he gives to them in the story is of enormous beauty. An option especially touching for book lovers.

© 2019 Literarycreature

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)