Which book has most changed your life? / by Kian West

Last Friday we started to ask some local literary folk "Which Book has most changed your life?" Because here at Mirage we are curious what has shaped Novocastrians view of the world and this seemed like an interesting question. 


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Seeing as how I shot this idea around to plenty of people I figured I should attach my own selection - Catcher in The Rye by J.D. Salinger. If you haven't had the pleasure, check this out if you are ever feeling a little sad and you kind of want to stay sad for a moment, but you know you need to get happy again. I've read this book so many times and every time it seems to give me inspiration to view my world from a slightly different perspective and it all starts to feel not so heavy again and yet highlights that it is ok for things not to be 10/10 all the time. 


Other entries we have seen so far via Instagram:

  • andyhomo The bible ✝
  • covetbeautysalon Anne of Green Gables | The Power of One | Vernon Godlittle
  • higher_being_guidance1111 The Lord of the Rings. The Pleiadian Agenda (new age)
  • maddyvardy18 Wurthering heights 💕
  • jennifer.c.howard For me it was Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility. I am a massive period drama novel fan and this one in particular made/makes me reassess how I see myself from the inside looking out and outside looking in. I like to think we all connect to characters in books because they speak to us in a way that assists in our self actualisation, and both Elinor and Marianne have continually spoken to me at different points of my life with the same words, but given me new lessons. I have read and re-read that story and every single time I step away from in knowing myself a little more.

  • villagerproperty Looking for alibrandi




We asked local writer Laura Kebby what book did it for her and she told us: 

In Cold Blood By Truman Capote

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I first read this book when I was in year 12 when writing my English major work. My teacher recommended this book to me by simply saying ‘if I’m sure of anything, you will love this’. See at times I was frustrated with my writing because to me (and luckily my very supportive teacher), the story and my characters were always real. I was constantly searching for a way to ensure that anyone who read my work was able to be truly present within the story, as if it were happening around them. I didn’t want to write something where the reader was simply shuffling along during a sequence or turn of events, waiting for a plot line or dramatic crescendo to save them. I wanted them to understand my characters, to get inside their minds, and truly believe in them as much as I did. This is what Capote does in “In Cold Blood”.

Capote takes the factual and fills the blank spaces with wonderful fiction. He does more than merely reconstruct a series of events, he walks you through with such a descriptive eloquence that you could have sworn you were there. Even now I can still feel the hurt created by a crime that shocked an entire community, but am somehow still able to empathise with the very people who left with blood on their hands. He continually answered questions I personally harboured over for countless hours when working with my characters. ‘What would they be thinking here’, ‘if they were here what would they be doing right now’, and most importantly ‘who were they outside of the sequence of events my story is based upon’. He made me question my empathetic loyalty and taught me the true beauty of the written word. To Capote I owe my love of descriptive language, the beauty of words, my admiration of a dark story line and true deep thought. See even for the writer, fiction should always be unpredictable. Because the story doesn't belong to you, it will always belong to your characters. Our only advantage as writers is that we see it first hand, as it all goes on in our heads…  And for this I am oh so thankful.


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@WhatJaneDid shot us back a response via Instagram: "Feeling Sorry for Celia" by Jaclyn Moriarty is the book that made me want to be a writer. I first picked it up when I was 13 and immediately fell head over heels for Jaclyn's storytelling style, which is kind of like chatting to a (particularly eloquent) friend over a cup of tea. I've definitely been inspired by her funny, quirky and conversational tone. Now whenever I start to lose confidence in my writing voice, "Feeling Sorry for Celia" reminds me that it's ok to be different and a little bit weird. 15 years later and I've still never connected with words on a page the same way I did with this book. Turns out a little bit of weird can go a long way.



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Then @You_Can_Totally_sit_with_us gave us: 'Lolita' by Vladimir Nabokov. Much like the novel, love can be all-consuming, multi-faceted, incredibly unethical, controversial and utterly necessary.

"Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin. My soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo.Lee.Ta".