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You've GOT to Read This Book!: 55 People Tell the Story of the Book That Changed Their Life Hardcover – August 15, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1St Edition edition (August 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060891696
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060891695
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,383,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Canfield, the brains behind the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, and Hendricks (Conscious Living) stay in the inspirational mode with this collection of dozens of entertainers, sports personalities, businesspeople, writers, environmentalists and activists telling up-by-their-bootstraps stories involving books. Some, like Dave Barry (inspired by humorist Robert Benchley) and Lou Holtz (David Schwartz's The Magic of Thinking Big) are well known. Other are recognizable for the products they've created: Craigslist founder Craig Newmark praises The Cluetrain Manifesto, which mirrored his own early belief in the power of the Internet. Among the more memorable contributions is that of 21-year-old Farrah Gray, who spent his early childhood on public assistance, read Deepak Chopra's The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success at age 11 and made his first million at 14. Two contributors—motivational speaker Lisa Nichols and eBay COO Maynard Webb—cite Stephen Covey's best-selling The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Covey himself was uplifted by heady reading—Holocaust survivor Victor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning and E.F. Schumacher's A Guide for the Perplexed—both books, he says, affecting everything from his parenting to his teaching. It's a mixed bag, more uplifting than literary, but readers may find the book that turns them on the way these contributors were. (Sept.).
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Canfield, the co-creator and editor of the enormously successful Chicken Soup for the Soulseries, and psychologist and author Hendricks have surveyed 55 individuals--each of whom qualifies as a leader or a visionary in their respective fields--to compile a fascinating collection of stories about the undisputedly transformative power of reading. Representative actors, politicians, musicians, writers, athletes, psychologists, businessmen, human-rights advocates, and many others--both familiar and unfamiliar--talk about the one book that impacted their soul and changed the emotional, physical, spiritual, or material course of their life. What makes this especially intriguing reading is not only the diversity of titles cited as life altering and life affirming but also the instantaneously visceral reactions recounted by the readers. Well-known contributors include Dave Barry, Catherine Oxenburg, Kenny Loggins, Jacquelyn Mitchard, Lou Holtz, Max Edelman, Bernie Siegal, and a host of others. Not so much about the books themselves, but more about the absolutely magical power of the written word, this must-read is sure to provide inspiration, motivation, and a springboard for discussion among book people and book clubs everywhere. Margaret Flanagan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

This book is one of the best I have ever read, I too could not put it down and finished it in 3 days!
H. D. Tombazzi
I liked the simple (Chicken Soup for the Soul) format; the book is easy to read (It will take you several hours only.), and the stories are entertaining.
And Then Some Publishing LLC
This should have special meaning to people who love to read, because we have all had one or more books that have radically changed our lives.
Greg Ferguson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Kearney VINE VOICE on September 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I've read a number of books and articles about reading. I love to read and find it fascinating to see what others read and how the books have influenced their lives. More often than not, the list includes the same titles. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD and THE CATCHER IN THE RYE are usual favorites. GREAT EXPECTATIONS and THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV are often mentioned by more adventurous readers and of course, a work of Shakespeare has to be included on such a list. I planned on passing by YOU'VE GOT TO READ THIS BOOK since I figured I already know what's going to be in it, but when I looked in the back of the book, glanced at the titles, I was impressed by the variety of contributors, the wide array of books selected, and the stories that followed. Each contributor selects a book, tells a personal story and the way the book impacted their life.

Author Jacquelyn Mitchard's entry begins the compilation with the story behind her choice, A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN, and how it influenced her as a writer and person. The book includes familiar standards: writer Debbie Macomber selected the Bible, businessperson Jim Guy selected The Teachings of the Buddha, and Rafe Esquith selected TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, which is a great choice considering that would probably be my choice if someone asked what book influenced me most, though if I ma truthful, it would be the Bible since I've studied scripture and am in ministry as a Catholic priest. Perhaps the most interesting choice is Hitler's MEIN KAMPF by Max Edelman, a survivor of the Holocaust. Edelman did not subscribe to Hitler's philosophy, but it did teach him a great deal about hatred and how hatred can be such a destructive choice which challenged him to work for the positive.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Paul Gilbert on September 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I came across this book at a very opportune time, as I'd been wrestling with a tough career decision for months and needed some fresh insight and perspective. Having read Jack Canfield's The Success Principles (and numerous Chicken Soups) and also seen Gay Hendricks speak in person, I had a feeling that this might be one of those special books that comes into your life at just the right time.

Once I started, I couldn't put it down. So many of the stories reminded me that if you really want to go for it in life, you have to trust your instincts and follow your heart. The central message that runs through here is that we are who and what we think we are. People who are doing big things with their lives, as well as really giving back to the world, have all had to develop a vision and take action. And for each of these 55 personalities, it was a book that either ignited their passion or showed them how to channel it.

It's quite inspiring to listen to some of the sharpest, most spirited and successful (in the true sense of the word) individuals around and find out what book transformed their lives. Kind of like getting the Cliffs Notes to an extraordinary reading list.

I don't know yet if this book will change my life, but it certainly got me thinking about it.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By H. D. Tombazzi on September 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book is one of the best I have ever read, I too could not put it down and finished it in 3 days! I was sad when I finished it. The stories were all so exciting. I couldn't wait to read some of their recommended books! I do hope there will be more editions of this book to follow.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Reading my way thru life on December 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
There's a question that I love to hear the answers to! I KNEW I had to read this book the first time I saw the title and skimmed through the pages.
This reminded me of a stranger I met several years ago. -while at the beach, a woman in the next room was out on her balcony and we got to talking. She loved books, (I didn't at that time) and I remember her telling me that whenever she met someone new she wanted to know what was the best book they ever read. She said it with such enthusiasm, I could tell that she really wanted to know. I thought it weird at the time, and even wondered to myself, "What difference does it make?" Now, I know! It's about sharing the meaning or inspiration we've found in life!

This book is essay style, and features various people who tell about the book that changed their life, along with the how or why's. Each chapter (essay) begins with the persons name and there's a brief paragraph about that person, what they're well known for or have accomplished in their life, then they tell their book story.

I love books like this! I like to find out about great books so that I can read them myself! I like to hear how books changed people for the better, because really, isn't that what reading books is all about?

I think so.
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34 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Khyraen on March 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I picked up this book hoping for a list of fascinating stories and biographies--and hoping there would be many new ideas for future reading. What a found was a list composed more of self-help books and spiritualist thinking (think New Age) than must read stories.

I could not finish this book, I was so disappointed in it; I got about half-way through. I could not recommend this book to anyone.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By JoeJ on October 18, 2010
Format: Paperback
I loved the idea of this book, but I found almost all of the entries to be lightweight. I started every entry and had to skip most out of boredom or disgust. If you are into self-help books perhaps you will like this book. If you enjoy literature or just good writing I think you will be better served elsewhere. Somehow it seems telling that monsieurs Canfield and Hendricks included their own entries; I think this book is more about self-promotion (not necessarily only their own) than great-book promotion.
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