Welcome to The Book That Changed My Life Carnival!

My YA summer reading list

Welcome to The Book That Changed My Life Carnival!

There are so many ways a book can change a life.

Many of us fondly recall our first loves: the special book that really grabbed us and sold us on reading forever. For me, it was Emily of New Moon. I was quite young when I stayed up all night reading it under the covers. My husband didn’t fall in love with reading until high school, when he encountered John Grisham’s The Firm. My daughter’s 7, and I wonder if she’ll remember–as I do–how she really began to read when she was determined to find out what happened next to Felicity in the American Girl books. I hope some of you share your first loves.

There are books that walk with us through difficult times. Susan Yates’s And Then I Had Kids: Encouragement for Mothers of Young Children gave me hope when I was an exhausted new mother. I was in the middle of The Divine Conspiracy when our son was diagnosed with cancer, and reading that book at that time was a gift.

Books can help us glimpse our life’s calling and alter the course of our lives. Books can teach us skills that blossom into vocations and hobbies and sources of joy.

The right book can help us navigate a difficult relationship. Strengthen our faith. Give us hope. Or help us come to terms with loss.

Don’t underestimate the power of good fiction. A good novel can let us slip into another’s shoes and walk around a little while, and this heightened sense of empathy spills over into our real lives and relationships. We can travel through time and around the world if a good author shows us the way.

Sometimes, we’ll encounter a book that shakes us to the core. Or affirms something about ourselves we’ve suspected for a long time, but were afraid to admit.

But those are just a few ways a book can change a life. I’m excited to see how your life has been changed by something you’ve read.

Here’s how this works:

  • Link up a post you’ve written about a book that’s changed your life, and leave the link to that specific post (not your home page).
  • Link back to this post so your readers can find everyone’s posts. (Feel free to copy the carnival image to use on your blog.)
  • Please visit at least a few other blogs. I’m sure they’d love to hear your comments!
  • Please share about the carnival through facebook, twitter, pinterest as you feel comfortable.
  • Let me know in the comments what your favorite posts are. I’ll be sharing your favorites (and mine) on the blog later this week, and on facebook and twitter. (Join my facebook community here, or follow me on twitter here.)

Thanks so much for sharing your words and for coming here to read Modern Mrs Darcy. I’m so grateful for you and for the community here.

Link will be open until Friday at midnight EST.

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  1. If you want to talk about the book that I’ll remember forever, it would have to be “Little House in the Big Woods”, because it was the first book I read by myself after my mom taught me to read. I still have that tattered copy. I remember sitting just off the kitchen on the floor of our long hallway, sounding out words. Every few minutes, my mom would have to stop working on dinner to come help me, but she didn’t mind at all. I still remember when reading “clicked”, and I never looked back! πŸ™‚

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  3. I am loving this carnival, Anne! Great job for hosting it! (I have had no time to write this week, but I am hoping to get a post up !)

    I loved the Little House Books when I was little…oh memories. I also loved and orphan girl series but I can’t remember what they were. Now I need to go check so I can remember!

  4. Carrie says:

    I added my link above and also added another book to my list: How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of your Doctor by Robert Mendelsohn. How could I forget it!?

  5. SANDY says:

    I greatly enjoyed reading all these posts — thanks for this wonderful idea, Anne! : )
    I don’t have a blog but will share a much-loved book here: Emily of Deep Valley, by Maud Hart Lovelace. I loved all the Betsy-Tacy books growing up (and still do), but I didn’t discover Emily of Deep Valley until I was older. Emily, an orphan, is more serious and less flighty and frivolous than the other Betsy-Tacy high school characters are at times (much as I love them, too!). Although a successful student and champion debater in high school, Emily is unable to attend college as she must stay home with the grandfather who raised her. The part of the book that influenced me the most was the chapter “Emily Musters Her Wits.” When I find myself feeling paralyzed or having a pity party, this book comes to mind, and I remind myself to muster my wits, and make a plan of action! : ) I also love how later in the book, Emily reaches out to the immigrant community in Deep Valley, helping the Syrian women with English, forming a boys’ club, and teaching piano to Syrian children. I have become friends with a wonderful Iraqi refugee family in my city and I’m experiencing the joy and blessing Emily did through her friendships with the Syrian community. Emily turns her disappointments into something much more beautiful and meaningful than what she missed out on.

    • Anne says:

      Sandy, this is a beautiful story that also makes me happy on a personal level: my 7 year old daughter just finished reading the first Betsy-Tacy book this week and she is in love.

      Thanks so much for sharing this title and how it’s stuck with you over the years. I continue to be amazed at the deep and lasting impact good childhood fiction has on our small little souls, and the impact doesn’t fade as we get older.

  6. Darby Dugger says:

    I think I might be too late to write a blog post for this, but I love the idea of this and have come away with so many great book titles. I would have to say that, hands down, Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers is the best book I’ve ever read. I am pretty sure I have read it at least 8 times and one of those times I read it out loud to my husband on a road trip. It is the best and a must read. Thanks for doing this!

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  8. 'Becca says:

    Thanks for hosting this! I already had a post summarizing almost 30 books that made a big difference to me, so I linked that one.

    I also want to mention, though, that I just finished reading Saint Maybe by Anne Tyler for what must be the 6th or 7th time, and I love it more every time! It’s a very warm, real story about a 17-year-old boy named Ian who makes a selfish, impulsive decision that triggers his big brother to commit suicide and how Ian, through joining a church (of an interesting fictional denomination), finds healing by raising his brother’s stepchildren. The story covers 25 years and is told from the perspectives of various family members. The dialogue, sensory descriptions, and Christian insights are just wonderful!

    You know, I think I’ll just copy that paragraph and paste it into a new post. πŸ™‚ Everybody should read Saint Maybe.

  9. Leanne Penny says:

    As I think about my childhood best book that changed my life it may have been “Where the Red Fern Grows.” Something about the hard work and connection between the boy and his two dogs that captivated me, and then in the end when he had to say goodbye to it all and be strong, it was a lesson I wouldn’t forget that started me down a journey.

    I still have my old copy under my bed to share with my own kids as soon as they’re ready, I pray that they’re readers…

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