Tag s | Reading

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?




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Criticizing the Reader

Since I’ve been in publishing, I’ve heard rumblings of why can’t Christian novels be “edgy” or “better” in avoiding tropes, formulas, and the like. In other words, why can’t Christians write and publish great literature? Know that the definition of great literature varies from person to person. A Google search …

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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 …

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A Ghostwriting Masterpiece

The Christian Writers Institute has just released a marvelous book by Cec Murphey, Ghostwriting: the Murphey Method. It is a wonderful look behind the scenes in how so many bestselling books are created. Cec is the writer who helped craft many bestselling books including Gifted Hands by Ben Carson and 90 Minutes in …

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A Year of Reading Dangerously

Be careful what you read. It may change your life! Franz Kafka wrote that books can “wound and stab us… wake us up with a blow on the head… affect us like a disaster… grieve us deeply.” As we move, over the next month, into the Spring, a time of renewal…and …

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