8 books that have inspired us and changed the way we think

8 books that have inspired us and changed the way we think

In celebration of World Book Day, Team YP shares the novels that had a big impact on them

To celebrate this day dedicated to books, the Young Post team share the works of literature that have influenced them in some way.

An inspiring hero

Wolf of the Plains, by Conn Iggulden. So, Iggulden is famous for writing The Dangerous Book for Boys – which really, every boy should read. But I really enjoyed his books about the Mongolian leader, Genghis Khan.

It can be a bit confusing because the same books are published under different titles depending on where they are in the world. There are five books in all, and the series is complete. I recommend you start with Wolf of the Plains to understand what a truly remarkable leader Genghis Khan was.

It’s a novel, and it’s epic. A boy is born on the unforgiving grasslands in Mongolia. His father is a tribal leader, a risk taker and murdered before the boy is old enough to take over the clan. Outcast from the very people he’s known all his life, his small family must survive, living on roots, berries and whatever tiny animals they can catch. Death is always a breath away.

But the boy remains unbroken; even when he is caught by his mortal enemies, he keeps his head, takes stunning chances, crafting clever alliances and generally refusing to die.

Wolf of the Plains inspired me to read the rest of the series and then fed my passion for all things about the Mongolian empire, the man who forged it, and his family.

Susan Ramsay, Editor

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Converted LOTR fan

Oddly enough, it was The Lord of the Rings. When I was in Year 7 or 8, I had flatly refused to watch the film or the book series, because I was, like, totally a Potterhead, and there was no way I was going to join the dark side. When I received the books for Christmas, I read them because I felt like I should ... and I loved them! The Harry Potter series opened up a whole new world of reading for many people across the world, but it was the Lord of the Rings series that changed my mind about the way books could really make a difference in people’s lives.

Ginny Wong, Sub-editor

Fact in fiction

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I enjoy reading golden-age detective fiction for fun, but this is the book that changed my views about how the world should work. It’s a philosophical, political and economic statement wrapped in the guise of a work of fiction and though I don’t agree with all of it, it is still a brilliant work that I reread from time to time.

Jamie Lam, Sub-editor

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Cheesy but true

I know this is super cliché, but my dad made me read Who Moved My Cheese?, and that convinced me to leave my old job (I’m very afraid of change), but that got me to Young Post, so I’m grateful he did!

Nicole Moraleda, Sub-editor

Reading can be fun?

I would say that Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy probably helped change my mind about reading. I used to think that reading was boring and tiresome, but Hitchhiker’s Guide was genuinely enjoyable and made me realise reading can actually be fun.

Joshua Lee, Reporter

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Broaden your horizons

I love to read, but almost exclusively fiction. The only non-fiction I ever enjoyed were cookbooks or those on etymology – the study of the origins of words (not entomology – the study of insects, *shudder*). That is, until a friend insisted that I read the autobiography of one of my favourite authors, Agatha Christie. Realising that biographical writing could be engaging and story-worthy while true was a revelation, and made me realise that I needed to be more open-minded when it came to trying new things.

Karly Cox, Deputy Editor

The end of a dry spell

I never really enjoyed reading before high school, I was only reading this weekly comics magazine called Coco which was very popular back then. I remember thinking to myself, “Why read a book with a lot of words when I can just read comic strips with great pictures for the rest of my life?”

High school was approaching, and my mother wanted to prepare me for international school, so she hired a English tutor to help me with my English. My tutor soon realised I didn’t read much except for comics and started to force me to read aloud books to her at the end of every lesson (I hated this).

The first book she made me read was Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I remember hating having to read it, but after the fifth or sixth time reading it to her, I actually started enjoying it, and even started reading it outside of lessons. The Harry Potter books are not my favourite but they had the most impact on my read habits.

Alejo Rodriguez Lo, Videographer

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A lesson on life

The Stranger by Albert Camus changed my life because it was the first novel I read that didn’t follow a conventional storyline, with characters that clearly fit into the archetypal hero, villain roles. The actions taken by some of the characters are often, for lack of a better word, random and devoid of any real purpose or meaning. And beneath the surface, the The Stranger is actually a very deep commentary on the meaning, or lack of meaning, of life itself.

Ben Young, Reporter

Edited by Nicole Moraleda

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
8 life-changing reads


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