The Ones That Shook Me, Pushed Me, Slapped Me, Passionately Embrased Me, Scared the Crap Out of Me and Changed Me

12 Sep

A blogging buddy of mine, Jackie Cangro, recently posted a list of books that influenced her the most, and just as she did with her what-makes-me-happy list she manged to totally inspire me to create one of my own. In my 39 years of eating chocolate these are the books that made the most impact in my life.

It wasn’t just because of the story, it was the characters. They were both flawed and heroic. I wanted to meet them. They inspired me in some way, they changed my perspective. I think any book that changes you in some way is a great book. Some of these are complex, intense sagas, some are simple stories, a few are fiction, while others are based on people’s lives. Fact or fiction they share their truths, sufferings, A-ha moments, life lessons, and successful outcomes.

They’re written with such magic that they’ve left an imprint in my life. These stories left a profound impact and changed the course of my direction, whether I was a teenager in high school, a 20-something learning about myself, or a 30-something badass still learning about myself. There are a lot of books out there I haven’t read yet so many fall on my to-do list. But for now, this is my Shook Me-Pushed Me-Slapped Me-Thelma and Louise Awakened Me- Passionately Embraced Me-Scared The Crap Out of Me-and Changed Me List.

What are some of yours?









The Alchemist–Paulo Coelho



Daughter of Fortune–Isabel Allende



The Catcher in The Rye–J.D. Salinger



Pudd’nhead Wilson–Mark Twain



Life of Pi–Yann Martel



Invisible Man–Ralph Ellison



Native Son–Richard Wright



The Notebook–Nicholas Sparks



The Count of Monte Cristo–Alexandre Dumas


One Hundred Years of Solitude–Gabriel Garcia Marrquez



Eat, Pray, Love–Elizabeth Gilbert



Tuesdays With Morrie–Mitch Albom



The Last Lecture–Randy Pausch



In Cuba I was a German Shephard (The Short Story)–Ana Menendez



18 Responses to “The Ones That Shook Me, Pushed Me, Slapped Me, Passionately Embrased Me, Scared the Crap Out of Me and Changed Me”

  1. The Wanderlust Gene September 13, 2014 at 2:34 AM #

    Ummm … very interesting 🙂 I’ll have to think about it, but yes, some of yours would be on my list …

    • The Guat September 14, 2014 at 3:52 PM #

      Yeah it was a tough list to compile as there were a couple great books still out there, but for now this is it. I’m sure if I discover a new one it’ll make it here.

  2. 76sanfermo September 13, 2014 at 6:02 AM #

    And some are in my list, too!

    • The Guat September 14, 2014 at 3:52 PM #

      Thanks.Glad you enjoyed my list and have some of my favorites on yours.

  3. susielindau September 13, 2014 at 6:12 AM #

    I’ve read several of these and am simultaneously reading The Goldfinch and Catcher in the Rye. The former breaks all the modern rules of avoiding adverbs, adjectives and she loads it down in places with similes and metaphor. The latter is like stream of conscious writing. Do you think any book could become a best seller with that (Catcher in the Rye) style of writing today?

    • The Guat September 14, 2014 at 4:13 PM #

      That was recommended to me by my uncle and I really liked it when I read it way back in the day. I loved that character and his whole thought process, but if someone wrote something in that same style don’t know if it would receive “best seller” status. Depends who writes it, has to be someone great.

  4. Jackie Cangro September 13, 2014 at 6:57 AM #

    I just love your list. I read Puddnhead Wilson in high school. It’s such an underrated book by Twain, isn’t it? More people should know about it.

    Oh, The Alchemist. I should have added that to mine. That’s a book that stays with you forever. Did you see that Paulo Coelho was interviewed by Oprah? I just watched it online yesterday. He said he wrote the book in two weeks!

    Thanks for the shout out!

    • The Guat September 14, 2014 at 4:29 PM #

      Thanks! You totally inspired me 🙂 I’m so glad someone out there also loves PuddnHead Wilson. It is an awesome book. I remember reading it and something inside me clicking … thinking … wow…now that’s how you’re supposed to write a story. Learned a lot about being a writer from that novel, plus the story itself was pretty awesome. And The Alchemist is the one that had me take the plunge into writing, was hoping the universe was conspiring with me … the cosmos are a little late.

  5. nymuse88 September 13, 2014 at 9:25 AM #

    Great list! I would also add To Kill A Mockingbird for my list though. I really connected to Scout when I was younger and the story itself was life changing. From the subject of racism to not judging someone right away.

    • The Guat September 19, 2014 at 10:09 PM #

      That was a really good book! Read it back in the 10th grade and still think Scout was a chick way ahead of her time. Great character.

  6. Marcia Clarke September 13, 2014 at 9:29 AM #

    Great list, I’ve read most of these books. Some of my favorites are: Viktor E. Frankl’s, Man’s Search for Meaning; Carol Pearson’ s, The Hero Within and Tracy Kidde’ s, Mountains Beyond Mountains. There many others too, I just love to read!

    • The Guat September 14, 2014 at 4:30 PM #

      Gracias chica! I haven’t read those books that you mention, I gonna have to check them out. 🙂

  7. peacelovegreatcountrymusic September 13, 2014 at 11:19 AM #

    Thank you for a fantastic, instructive post that I’m using as my winter reading list. I have The Last Lecture on my nightstand and it’s been a fave. That guy was awesome.

    • The Guat September 14, 2014 at 4:34 PM #

      Glad you enjoyed it. Those books definitely did something for me and wasn’t Randy totally awesome? Dude he was totally inspiring, totally amazing. Totally made me look at life differently. A must read for sure 🙂

  8. TBM September 15, 2014 at 7:07 AM #

    Yeah, Life of Pi made it. It was fun reading that one together. I’ve read a few from your list, but not all. Probably should change that. And I should check Jackie’s list

    • The Guat September 15, 2014 at 10:55 PM #

      Yeah she had some good ones. Unbroken was one that is definitely next for me. Check out her list I’m sure you’ll discover some good ones.

  9. Norm 2.0 September 20, 2014 at 5:25 AM #

    A few of these I haven’t read yet, and a few others would be on my list as well. This might just make me put my own list together.

    • The Guat September 22, 2014 at 11:26 PM #

      It’s definitely a fun list to make. When I saw my friend’s list I was totally inspired, hope you share your list when it’s ready. Have fun narrowing it down, that was a tough one for me 🙂

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