The Books That Changed My Life

As someone who is going in to their third year of studying English Literature and Philosophy, books have definitely had a big ol impact on my life.

I thought I would do something very different for my blog and talk about some of my favourite reads and how they changed and influenced my life. I found this really hard to narrow down so please let me know if you would enjoy a part two!

Tess of the D’Urbervilles

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When anybody asks me what my favourite book is, this springs to mind. For my birthday last year, Adam bought me a gorgeous copy that I am excited to reread in time after completely destroying my old copy from so much use! If you have never heard of this classic; Tess of the D’Urbervilles is about a young girl called Tess that is sexually assaulted by her “cousin”. She falls pregnant but her baby dies in infancy and the plot follows her stoic journey from the fake relative who abused her to the man who idolises her so much that his curated vision of her destroys their relationship. I personally find the book light years ahead of its time and I feel like Hardy did a fantastic job in creating a feminist piece of literature without potentially ever intending to. I cannot draw similarities with mine and Tess’ lives but there is something about her character that you can’t help but empathise with. Hardy’s rape scene perfectly crafts what appears as a dominant view across time – one that we now refer to as victim blaming. Where Hardy symapthises for Tess and how her assault essentially is the catalyst for the hardship in her life, characters see her as responsible for his crime through, ultimately, having a bit of a flirt. I think if you enjoy feminist literature, you will appreciate this book as it basically catapulted me in to these types of conversations and cemented my determinism to be a part of this discussion.

The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck

On a slightly more modern note, this book has completely helped changed my anxious little world. I definitely over think things, worry and allow myself to be consumed with how others choose to perceive me. Since reading this book, I have started to declutter my mind of these thoughts and instead replace them with much happier and positive ideas. I have begun to learn what steps I should take and what methods I should use to feel less overwhelmed with life commitments and focus on myself and my happiness. I love the humour in this book and it definitely makes what is essentially masked as a self help book be incredibly interesting and insightful.

The Harry Potter Series

This may be an incredibly obvious one for many people but I had to include it. Under this umbrella I must mention the film franchise also and the casting of Emma Watson as it all contributes to why the Harry Potter series helped changed and shape my life. The series has definitely touched and moulded so many lives but it is also responsible for creating a character that I totally aspired to as a child. I truly believe that I was a motivated individual because I was inspired by Hermione and Emma Watson’s portrayal of her. Hermione, and like wise Emma Watson, may have been representing a pretty ballsy character when it comes to on screen battles but coupled with her insane intelligence and dedication to learning – I had a friend for life. I wanted to be Hermione. I wanted (and still do) to be Emma. I aspired to be the girl with confidence, bravery and intelligence and if these aren’t qualities you want to take precedence in childhood then you’re crazy! I liked that she wasn’t about pink and unicorns and boys but rather creating her own path and totally bossing it.

What books have changed your life?

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25 Comments

  1. September 7, 2017 / 9:24 am

    Most definitely for me it is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I have read it when being 12 on holidays and it has set the values I have my life. I will check yours cos haven’t read it. Thx for sharing πŸ’•

    • September 7, 2017 / 12:10 pm

      Embarrassingly… that is still on my to read list! Oooops! I will definitely pick it up now though. So glad you liked this xx

  2. September 7, 2017 / 10:14 am

    I love love Harry Potter and especially Emma Watson. I really love the ‘St. Clare’s ‘ series too. I wanted to be friends with the twins for so bad xx

    • September 7, 2017 / 12:09 pm

      I’ve never heard about that! Emma Watson is just such an inspiration xxx

  3. September 7, 2017 / 10:59 am

    I know this may be controvertial but a book that changed my life is Twilight… It came to me in one of the darkest periods of my life and save me on so many levels. It’s not my favourite books whatsoever but it totally changed me! πŸ˜€

    • September 7, 2017 / 12:09 pm

      It isn’t controversial at all when you have such an amazing reason behind it. I am so glad that a book helped you in that way! xx

  4. September 7, 2017 / 11:20 am

    Yes Harry Potter! Hermione is amazing of course. I also really love Luna, she’s just so unapologetically weird and badass in her own right πŸ˜„
    Also is the Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck similar to The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck? Cause that book was so funny and definitely was a life changing book for me πŸ˜„

    • September 7, 2017 / 12:08 pm

      I’ve never heard of that one – maybe?! I absolutely love that book though! Oh my gosh, Luna is just the best xx

  5. September 7, 2017 / 12:26 pm

    This is such a good idea for a post, I need to read Harry Potter!

  6. September 7, 2017 / 1:07 pm

    Yes Harry Potter! They are definitely a series of books I believe everyone should read once in their life! The other books I have not read but they sound great so I’ll add them to my reading list! I absolutely love the book ‘Life of Pi’ and the film is just as good!

  7. September 7, 2017 / 4:03 pm

    I think I need to give ‘The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck’ a read – I’m a serious over-thinker and worrier! I might actually have a look into this!

  8. September 7, 2017 / 10:27 pm

    Loved this post! I find it so interesting what makes people love different books. Harry Potter has to be up there for me too, I reread it over and over again!

  9. September 8, 2017 / 6:19 am

    I remember reading Tess in high school, I never finished it, but I heard it was good. Books that changed my life were Understanding suicide, a daily devotional I had centered on love and Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi πŸ™‚

  10. September 8, 2017 / 10:43 pm

    Harry Potter!!!!!! A book that definitely changed my life was called Destined to Live which was about a girl in the holocaust. It was the first time I’d read about that event and got me interested in history and human rights

  11. September 9, 2017 / 2:05 pm

    I might just have to read Tess of the D’Urbervilles, it sounds incredible?! Thanks so much for sharing!

  12. September 9, 2017 / 2:19 pm

    Tess of the D’Urbevilles has been on my to read list forever but (without sounding too stupid) I had no idea what it was really about! This post has definitely inspired me to push it right up the list!

  13. September 10, 2017 / 5:03 am

    I grew up with the Harry Potter series so the impact it had on me was positively significant and I was more than happy to welcome it with open arms! I truly love each and every character though it wasn’t always like this. As a kid, I hated the villains for being the bad guys but over time I grew to understand their personalities and appreciate the complexity that Rowling put together. Saying that Harry Potter shaped much of my values and morals would be an understatement. <3

  14. September 11, 2017 / 2:42 am

    Your new blog looks amazing!

    • ellamaygarrett
      September 11, 2017 / 10:42 am

      I’m slowly putting it together!! Thank you!! xx

  15. Adam
    September 11, 2017 / 12:21 pm

    You are amazing

    • ellamaygarrett
      September 11, 2017 / 12:28 pm

      Love you xx

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