World Book Day: we choose the books that changed our lives. What was yours?
March 5, 2015 | By: High50
What's the book that changed your life? We choose a few of ours, with some you've heard of, such as Catch-22, and some you may not have. Tell us in the Comments below what yours was

World Book Day. Life-changing books. Catch-22, Sunday at the Pool. Pride and Prejudice.

What’s the book that changed your life? We choose a few of ours, with some you’ve heard of, such as Catch-22, and some you may not have. Tell us in the Comments below what yours was.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

– Catch 22 confirmed what I knew from the black humour in adversity of my family background: bad, sad, mad, nonsensical concepts and events can be funny, and that almost nothing is as it seems.

– Yossarian, the hero, was flawed, deeply flawed, sometimes unlikeable, but he was still the hero. We were still on his side. It’s OK not to be perfect.

– It had a message that truly chimed with me when I first read it as a teenager: just because people are in authority doesn’t mean that they have the slightest clue about what’s going on nor what to do.

Chosen by Stefano Hatfield

  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

– Scary abject poverty. I thought we were poor growing up till I read this.

– Amazing spirit and fight among any group of people

– The most memorable end to any other book I’ve read.

Chosen by Steve Drysdale

A Sunday by the Pool in Kigali by Gil Courtemanche

– Courtemanche paints, in vibrant detail, the Rwandan capital before the genocide. Then the killings begin. This book brings to light a time we should not forget, where an estimated 800,000 Rwandans were killed in 100 days.

– Stark, unapologetic and incredible. It conveys the terror of Rwanda’s genocide through the eyes of the people.

– It changed me, and a book that makes you think, in my opinion, is worth its weight in gold.

Chosen by Chantal Borciani

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

– I wanted to be Elizabeth with her witty reposts, her strength, her playfulness and her flaws.

– I fell in love for the first time with Darcy. Kind, shy, generous, amusing, adventurous and, of course, rich. All girls dream of finding the one man that will stand up for you against all others and fall for you and only you.

– Elizabeth won Darcy from being smart not pretty; a good lesson to learn when you’re teenager. (Mind you, I’m still looking for my Darcy.)

Chosen by Rosanna Dickinson

Annapurna by Maurice Herzog

– French climber Maurice Herzog led the first ascent of Annapurna in 1950, at the time the highest mountain ever climbed. His account is a no-nonsense tale of triumph and frostbite that will make your toes curl (if you still have them).

– The book inspired a generation of climbers and adventurers, including me. I walked the Annapurna Loop within a year of reading the last page, suffering severe altitude sickness in the process.

– This is a book about courage and determination, not whinging celebrities being paid a fortune to drink their own pee in the jungle. Read it – it might just change your life.

Chosen by Jeremy Taylor

Groupie by Jenny Fabian and Johnny Byrne

– The title doesn’t do the book justice. Its heroine, Katie, is a great character: feisty, clever, independent.

– Her take on sex , drugs and rock’n’roll was unique and inspirational. It certainly changed my life, not necessarily in a good way!

Middlemarch by George Eliot

– The first novel I read which made me realise that a book can be both deeply serious and a totally absorbing page-turner.

– I learnt so much about human nature from this rich tapestry of English society. It’s got everything: gripping tales of personal downfalls, doomed love affairs, moral struggles, and characters you care deeply about, however infuriating they are.

Chosen by Celia Dodd

This Book Will Save Your Life by AM Homes

This concerns a divorced stockbroker living in frozen isolation, seeing only his housekeeper, trainer and nutritionist. People disconnected from themselves and others is a theme with me.

As he recovers from a heart attack, he faces all the things he’d been avoiding, and through random acts of kindness to various people he begins to reconnect with the world.

I love AM Homes’ sensitive and at times hilarious take on the subject. Reconnecting with the world is terrifying, but not doing so is fatal.

Chosen by Xenia Taliotis

Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

– It instilled a real sense of adventure in me

– It made me feel comfortable to imagine in normal day to day scenarios… to let my mind wander.

– This adventure and imagination combined with rural, rustic holidays to the highlands of Scotland empowered me to explore and led to a mass of memories and experiences which defined a few of my key values.

Chosen by Andrew Walker