What Three Books Made An Impact?

Could you choose three books that have made an impact on your life? Photo shows seven books lined up
Photo by Emily
Affiliate links have been used in this post. For more information please see my disclosure page.

I was really quite cross at having to change my app over to Jetpack from WordPress. At the time it seemed like such a faff! But the daily prompts are very, very helpful. And though they don’t always pop up at the right time, like this one about three books, I save them to my drafts folder. This means I don’t forget about them. Or I can stumble across them at the right time.

I’ve a bad case of block today, words are not my friend and post writing is like wading through treacle. (But not as tasty!) Unable to settle, I’ve ben for a walk, grabbed lunch with a friend and now I’m sat listening to tunes. While the gentle offerings permeate my brain I’m sifting through the afore-mentioned draft folder. Stumble across this Jetpack daily prompt from a couple of weeks back:

List three books that have had an impact on you. Why?

Reminded of a conversation from a few days after I saved this I couldn’t stop the words from writing themselves. With so many books which have been beneficial to my world, how could I narrow down my list? Well…

As it happens there are three books that have had a particular impact on me.

And I don’t mean as a spanking implement, but maybe that would be something to explore?!

Up first is Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With The Wind.

I first read this fifteen years ago. I didn’t own it any reason other than picking it up for pennies in a charity shop. Then placed it on my bookshelf where it stayed until I grabbed it in impatience at the large brick filling my shelves, stopping me from buying more.

It is a gritty tale of dark times, young love, war, death… I wasn’t expecting to enjoy the historical epic novel, but as it was a classic I felt it should be read. (Though I now know that Shoulds Are Shit, I’m glad I didn’t at the time!) What I was expecting was a conventional love story set amongst a backdrop of turmoil in Georgia. I thought I might learn about the Southern States, about the struggle for life against a backdrop of bloody violence.

What I wasn’t expecting was to discover a taste of the erotic. Who knew that such a basic intimacy would cause such a long lasting heat within me. To this day, Margaret Mitchell’s depiction of the kiss between Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler is my favourite way of reading (and writing) the erotic. It left me in no uncertainty about the depths of their passion. The fire of her lusty paragraphs prompting one-handed reading more fulfilling than much of the smut I’d read, or written. Before or since.

My second choice of the three books is Marina and Sergey Dyachenko’s Vita Nostra

I read this back in 2021, for an online book club. A tale of magic, mystery, tasks and an education unlike any other, I was devastated when I finished it. So invested was I in the twists and turns Sashas life that I was utterly unprepared for the ending. My book hangover was long and painful. I skimmed from book to book, lost in a fug of disappointment that I couldn’t go and live in the world created by the Dyachenkos.

But even though the story is majestic, the writing pure magic, and the characters unbelievably understandable, it is on a whole ‘nother level that this one packs such a punch for me. I would use the word Spiritual, but I’m not sure it quite works. While reading I was able to see the parallels of Sasha’s journey to her final exams, and my own life as a submissive. S being my equivalent to her Farit. The tasks set for her, so individual. The fact that he would never ask more than he knew she could achieve. The confusion over the destination, but absolute trust in the guide for the journey. An empathy for the main character, and a different lens to see my own world through.

Last but not least Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly.

This one was another charity shop find. 50p, if I remember right. CC had sent me a TedTalk by Brene Brown a couple of years before. It was called The Power Of Vulnerability, and I was instantly curious. When I saw her name on the spine I picked up the book and ran to the counter though, with my brain being in such a pickle at the time I doubted I’d ever get round to reading it. But, as with all curiosities they draw me back in.

In this case, the Ted Talk often popped into my head.

In 2019 life took a certain path, a confusing one. Once again I found myself in front of my bookshelves. This spine leapt out and I crept inside the covers, much as I assumed I would arrive at a Ted Talk. Soon enthralled, with her 12 years of social research and her findings on… you guessed it, The Power Of Vulnerability. Personally, I love her style of writing – Mum teases that it’s high brow, but I find her so engaging it is more like an autobiography or a historical drama than a research based document. It is well considered, full of life. To say her words inspired me is an understatement.

Over the years, her findings have come back to me repeatedly.

And learning to be vulnerable has been a work in progress, often taking two steps forward and one step back. But Brene Brown is right, there is strength in vulnerability. It’s the route to real, deep connections, and a fulfilling life. With my ability to manage boundaries perhaps now, the ability to share my soft underbelly is safer? More often now I find myself allowing that part of me out to play. Or, more accurately, she lets herself out to play before I have a chance to lock the door! And I steer clear of people who I feel guarded against. And avoid those who aren’t willing to be vulnerable with me. Perhaps that’s the point I’ve reached? It’s a two-way conversation after all.

So, these are my three books!

A classic love story, a modern, twisted fantasy and a research-based self help book. Each of the three books very different from the other. All having a huge impact on my life’s journey, for very different reasons. The links I’m sharing below are for Bookshop.org. They are affiliate links, and so I might earn a small commission if you purchase from these. However, it is the individual bookshops who really benefit when we take our custom there over the internet giant retailers.

Margaret Mitchell: Gone With The Wind – £7.59

Marina and Sergey Dyachenko: Vita Nostra – £9.49

Brene Brown: Daring Greatly – £9.49

And, because I’m not very good at following the rules for questions like this… There is a fourth book that has changed my life. My first published piece of erotica, the book entitled He Will Obey. If you’d like to buy your own copy, it’s available through Amazon and Kindle.


  1. Thank you for sharing the three books (well, actually four) that made an impact on you! I recently read “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig. Perhaps it is just where I am in my life right now, but this book really made an impact. XOXO

  2. I read A LOT. Like, I’ve finished over 100 books this year. So there are plenty of books that have made an impact throughout my life, but *what kind* of impact and why? … I could spend weeks trying to answer this question! *laugh*

    I think the books that stick with me the most — is that impact? — are things I read as a kid. Little Women, The Chronicles of Narnia, and even Dr Seuss.

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