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Books that Change Lives: a Display Series: EC Seniors '16, May 2016

Each month, a member of the Earlham community offers the top 40 books that have most influenced him/her, personally and professionally.
Click on the tabs below to view their selections.

Each month, a member of the Earlham community offers the top 40 books that have most influenced him/her, personally and professionally.


"Deepak Chopra's teachings of synchronicity succinctly deconstructs linear time, binary oppositions and separation. The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire asks "is there a part of ourselves that is connected to everything that exists?" I read this book the summer between my second and third year of college. It taught me to recognize small, seemingly insignificant events and coincidences as divine guidance."
- Allie Eykholt, WGSS major

"Akutagawa positions art as a way for the artist to feel both community with and isolation from others. It's arguably creative nonfiction, told through numbered fragments. The fragmented form literally isolates the narrative into separate chunks, but also invites the reader to connect across these sections and enter a kind of emotional dialogue with the author.  It’s modular form is something I aspire to in my own writing."
- Lindsay Friday, English major and Creative Writing minor

"It's a short play, and is influential to me because it introduced me to a different way of presenting characters and using dialogue to tell a story."
- Eleanor Hinkle, English major and Creative Writing minor

Seniors 2016 2

"It was one of the first books I remember reading where history was told unlike anything I'd ever been taught in school."
- Lena Morrow, English major and Theatre Arts minor

"I like to think that there is more things in the world than we are aware of. I love the adventure and the determination that is so evident throughout the novel. Also it's the Odyssey for rabbits."
- Charlie Page, senior Art History major and English and Museum Studies minor​

"One of my favorite series growing up was His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. It encouraged me to think critically about systems I otherwise took for granted, and they were the first books to break my heart. I read Paradise Lost in my Intro to Lit class as a freshman, and I realized that His Dark Materials is a rewriting of Paradise Lost. I also loved the challenge and reward of reading Paradise Lost, and I think that the lyrics are beautiful. The connection between these two sets of works introduced me to my love of reading intertextually and seeking connections between texts."
- Alisha Puckett, senior English major and Creative Writing minor

Seniors 2016 3

"I first read Lord of the Rings in middle school and I was fascinated by Tolkien's languages. He created more than 10 complete con-languages and much of his writing is based on filling in the history for the fictional cultures who spoke his languages. The Lord of the Rings, and Tolkien's other works, gave me a lasting passion for languages and linguistics leading me to the CLL major at Earlham. Having multiple languages at my disposal for academic research, for travel, and for communicating with people in general, has had a lasting impact on my life. I still read The Lord of the Rings once a year, and Tolkien's words and languages continue to inspire me."
- Hope Safford, senior Music and CLL major

"It is important to me because it had a major impact on changing how I read books, and its style is influential to me as a reader and as a writer."
- Nate Taylor, senior English major and Creative Writing and Film minor

"In real life, we constantly think we should care nothing and live as freely as possible in our twenties. However, the author explained how important it is for people in their twenties to build a good foundation in order to live well in their coming thirties. In the book, the author showed us how work, relationship, identity, social networks, personality and even brain can change, if we use time wisely. I strongly recommend this book, The defining decade."
- Youxi Zhou, Japanese Studies and International Studies major

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