Personal

What Book Changed Your Life?

A few weeks ago at the Blue Ridge conference, Steve Laube gave a keynote speech during which he asked, “Except the Bible, what book changed your life?”

More than one book changed my life, but the first one that popped into my mind was Looking Out for Number One by Robert J. Ringer.

Despite the ruthless title, the content is practical. The message isn’t, “Step on anyone and everyone to get to the top.” Rather, the author,  offers tips to help readers cope with the world, and how to get along with others while maintaining self-respect. I read this as a teenager, and I won’t reread it for this blog post. Instead, I’ll cite from memory a key point that’s kept me going throughout life:

There is one to a box. Don’t get married so that you won’t die alone. Because you will die alone. At the end of my life, I will face God alone. My husband won’t be with me as an advocate. I won’t get into Heaven because my grandfather was a church deacon, or because my grandmother served on the altar guild. I’m okay with this. I am an independent person despite my deep ties to others. As a result of pondering this point, I am not in the habit of placing blame on others, and I have always taken responsibility for my actions.

As promised, I wrote this blog post from memory. But out of the thousands of books I own, I was able to locate my copy of “Looking Out for Number One” in fewer than thirty seconds. I just might read it again.

 

Your turn:

What book changed your life? When did you read it?

Why did this book change your life?

 

 

 

Leave a Comment

Oh, What a Time I’ve Had

There are so many things about being an agent that I love. Finding new writers whose work resonated with, and moved, me. Building relationships with my amazing clients. The joy of working with them on their projects. Playing “matchmaker” and finding just the right publisher for them. Seeing publishers treat …

Read More

Is Your Glass Half Empty?

Over the decades it has been interesting to listen to and read the various pundits regarding the publishing industry. Typically those who spell out doom and gloom get the attention (fortifying the idea that “if it bleeds, it leads”). At the same time there is the optimist position which is …

Read More

The Infiltration of Anger

Yesterday, anger almost took my husband from me. Don was coming out of the grocery store when he realized two young men were screaming at each other just to the side of the doors. One, let’s call him Jim, whose pregnant wife was sitting in their car, yelled at the …

Read More

Print and Prejudice

For the last ten years, since the unveiling of the Kindle reader, there has been a constant conversation about reader’s preferences. Print or Ebook? While ebook sales grew exponentially and paper sales stagnated many declared victory for the ebook. I have a number of friends who have not purchased a …

Read More

Obstacles are a Pain

You may have noticed that my blog was missing last week. That’s because I’ve been fighting with today’s obstacle: chronic pain. I’ve had a series of headaches and migraines that have made it hard for me to think, let alone write a blog. I’ve dealt with pain before, but this…this …

Read More

Repeal and Replace

Writers live full and demanding lives. Let’s become more focused and productive with my unscientific version of Repeal and Replace! Repeal: Exhaustion. Replace: Go to bed earlier. Even fifteen minutes can help. If you like how you feel, shave off a few more minutes until you find that perfect bedtime. …

Read More

Dark Friday

Contemplate the sacrifice. Contemplate the mystery. While you contemplate, listen to this instrumental piece called “Gethsemane” from Jeff Johnson’s album “No Shadow of Turning.” A new version of the piece can be found on Jeff’s album “Thin Places” You can listen to it at this link. Then please listen to …

Read More

Easily Entertained

Recently my husband, daughter, and I had dinner with my parents at King’s Barbeque in Petersburg, Virginia. My paternal grandfather discovered this restaurant in the 1950s and it is still one of our family’s favorite places. Since it was near Christmas, they displayed a unique decoration – a pig wearing …

Read More