Monday, 9 February 2015

3 Things - Books That Changed My Life

In true Sam fashion, this seems aptly dramatically named - I'm sure you want to know why I couldn't have just gone with "books that I liked'. Well, the answer's easy - I've been able to read for as long as I can remember. I could read when I started school, when I was a kid I used to sit on the landing and shout stories through the bathroom door to my Dad whilst he was in the bath (he found this very annoying and - to this day - he still rants at least once a week about how he still doesn't know how All American Girl by Meg Cabot ends). Since I've been able to read forever, I've read a lot of books, and I've loved a lot of books - but there are very few out there that really altered my perception on things, or brought something out from within me, or just generally changed my life even in some tiny, seemingly unremarkable way. So, I thought I'd pick my top three out of that lot - here's the three books that (at least somewhat) changed my life.

The Night Circus

This is the newest addition to the lot, and I devoured it in one sitting, it's a lovely offering about a girl who is given a miniature version of her own house as a wedding gift, and as new miniature fittings, furniture and dolls start to arrive, she realises that the miniaturist might just know more about her life than even the people in the household. This is well written, and the subplots are so intricate and captivating at times, you forget there's a main plot at all. This made me think about the way society has changed for women, the protagonist is an all too young 18 year old girl in 17th century Amsterdam, but it is also a stark reminder that sometimes the clues to what seems obvious in hindsight just might have been hidden in plain sight all along. 

This is one of the only books that me and my brother have ever had differing opinions on - it definitely is a marmite kind of book and I do get why. The first time I read this, I found it magical, and yet I didn't really see the point in it at all. This is, I have to admit, a strange book about a young girl and boy who act as the counters in an elaborate game set up by two men, each with strong magical abilities. Both children show extraordinary gifts and, unknowing what a dangerous game they're a part of, soon find their homes in a mysterious circus where they find their game seemingly never-ending, drawn ever closer to one another. This was a book lost on me the first time I read it but, as stupid and deep as it sounds, the second time I realised that this is about being a part of the bigger picture - or at least that's how it reads to me. It's about how the tiniest, most insignificant people and things can have a knock on effect that lasts for years. I found this charming, and magical, and well written - and to this day it's one of my favourite books.

Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba

Okay so this one is a little different as it's a set of short graphic stories by Brazilian twins, Moon and Ba. If you've read The Umbrella Academy by Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance fame you might recognise the pictures - but basically this is a graphic novel showing stories of urban brazil. Although the stories are sweet to follow, this changed my life for a very different reason - when I felt like I was the very bottom of a school full of amazing girls, my mum got me a copy of this (my brother later replaced it with the hardback version, hence two), and captivated by the harsh lines and block shading, I was amazed to find that I could recreate them, it really gave me a boost. If you read my A-Z of me, you'll know that I wanted to go into animation, and things like this are where it all started (helped along by Banksy, Blek Le Rat and The White Violin from the aforementioned Umbrella Academy).

So there they are, three books that changed my life in one way or another, hope you enjoyed! Have you read any of the books? What books changed your life?

Sammy xo.

If you liked this you might like: The Promise Of Happiness Book Review

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