News » News Stories

What Book Has Caused a Significant Change in Your Attitude or Beliefs?

Week of July 18, 2001


Clarkie Smith
Journeyman Plumber
"Yeah, I read this book Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive. It gave me an understanding about being successful. It told me there is no successful business in America unless that business has some skeletons in its closet, that if you go by the book you stay broke or just break even."

Bob Slonim
"The Seven Pillars of Wisdom made a big impression on me. T.E. Lawrence -- Lawrence of Arabia -- was a misfit in English society, absolutely bonkers in all directions. But his book made me realize that the normal, traditional path isn't always the best for all situations and circumstances, and therefore there was hope that I would fit in as a 14-year-old looking for life's meanings."

Bob Raaf
Mortgage Broker, First Equity Funding
"Out of all the books I've ever read, The Catcher in the Rye stands out. I was the last in an Irish-Catholic family without any priests, and my mother had put me in the seminary, although I didn't want to be there. Reading Catcher, in 1961, was a soul-searching comparison between myself and Mr. Caulfield. Two months later, I left the seminary, essentially cheating my destiny of being a Maryknoll missionary in Angola."

Rachel Smith
Clerk, Left Bank Books
"Hunger by Knut Hamsun. The nameless narrator tries to make ends meet, but he can never get work, so he wanders the streets, asking people ridiculous questions. His starvation takes a toll on his mind and body, and sometimes he's arrogant and cocky, but he's really a good man. It's very touching, and it made me feel like I'm not the only one who had to eat mustard and crackers for dinner when I was a student."

Paul Brockmann
The Last Sensitive Man
"The book would be Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. It helps both parties in a relationship understand one another's unique and seemingly alien perspective. But it does more harm than good when only one of us reads it!"

Les Farrington
Singer/Songwriter, Sugarbomb
"It's a short one by Dr. Seuss called The Sneetches. It's a brilliant story I read when I was a kid, and at the time I thought, 'That's so true! Everyone wants to think they're special, but, really, everyone is collectively special.' That story will prepare a child for the onslaught of American pop culture."

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.