"She is, in a sense, acting as an observer," Lively says. "She's someone for whom reading has always been absolutely crucial ... She's thinking a lot about ... the way she is a product of everything she has read quite as much as a product of the way in which she has lived," said Penelope Lively in an interview in NPR news. ( She is Charlotte, the main character, in the book How it All Began by Penelope Lively.)
Can books shape our lives? What books influenced your life? A biography of Douglas McArthur which I first read when I was in high school gave me an idea of discipline and code of honor and how to conduct my life. Reading about the monks and Thomas Merton when I was in college helped me spiritually.