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I listen to a lot of podcasts of which many of them are about literature. A lot of them seem to be doing the same theme: “books that change my life”. Usually this involves the podcast host interviewing some author or great celebrity who lauds a book that moved them to become an author themself or a different sort of person. Once in a while I learn of a book that sounds worthwhile to read myself; there is no excitement like hearing of a good book.

I thought to copycat by posting once a week or so twelve books that made an impact in my life.  They are not necessarily ‘great books’ nor do I think everyone should read them (although many are TGRs (thumping good reads); I will point these out when they arise).  They are the books that changed me in some way and not always for the better. Perhaps you have a similar list of books; I would love to hear about them.

In no particular order here it goes. Let’s see if the Spo-fans like this. 

#1 – Hurricanes and Twisters.

Why: it introduced me to science. 

Back in elementary school there was some sort of book order club which allowed us to buy books. The class would get the catalog and we would check the books we wanted and a few weeks later a large cardboard box appeared in class and the teacher would open it at the end of the day in great ceremony and distribute our orders. This had all the anticipation and delight of Santa Clause opening his sack to give out our long-coveted Christmas prizes. I have a vague memory of recent asking the teacher about thunderstorms and tornados: where do they come from and how do they work. Teacher said I should order this book and find out. I was bewildered because books up until then all had stories and fairy tales in them. I didn’t know one could ‘read’ science. I purchased the book along with some others but the rest are lost to memory. I was mesmerized by this junior science book. Unlike all the ones I had read until then this book I could read in chapters and reread for reference. I thought then if there was a book about weather there might be others about rocks and oceans and animals and dinosaurs – and so there were !  The library was chock-full of them!

“Hurricane and twisters” made me long to be a scientist – and I did. I still read books with scientific themes. Sometimes when on holiday someone looks at my book and asks me if I am a teacher implying who else would read a book on science. I smile and explain and remember “Hurricane and Twisters” which started my lifelong  lust to learn how things work. 

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September 2020

Spo-Reflections 2006-2018