IELTS CUE CARD #Describe a book that had a major influence on you

Describe a book that had a major influence on you.

You should say:

  • what the book was
  • how you first heard of the book
  • what is the main story of the book

and why it plays such an important role in your life.

Sample Answer:

Reading has been a very integral part of my life. I try to read books as and when I can find time and my interests vary vividly, from philosophy to fantasy, horror to religions, non-fiction to autobiography. The book that has changed my perspectives and helped me become a better person is Autobiography of a Yogi written by the celebrated philosopher guru Paramahansa Yogananda.

I found that most of the religious societies and philosophers highly recommend it due to the values it helps inculcate in the young minds. Fans have recommended this book all over the internet.‘ Some people even commented that this is the best book ever written in the century. I decided in my head that this  should be on number 1 of my reading list. I ordered the book immediately from amazon and it was delivered to me in  a week. I started reading it the same day.

The book was first published in 1946  in New York, USA and archived in the philosophers library. The book was an international success and reached No. 1 position on the New York Times best-selling book list. Autobiography of a Yogi talks about the life of Paramahansa Yogananda and his numerous encounters with spiritual figures of both the East and West. The book begins with his childhood, to finding his guru, to becoming a rebellious monk and establishing his teachings of Kriya Yoga meditation. The book further talks about 1920 when Yogananda accepts an invitation to speak in a religious congress in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. He then travels across America lecturing and establishing his teachings in Los Angeles, California. In 1935 he revisits  India for a year. When he returns to America, he continues to establish his teachings, including writing this book. The book is an enchanting source for understanding  the methods of attaining God-realization .The author also announces that the writing of the book was prophesied long ago by the nineteenth-century master Lahiri Mahasaya.

The story telling of author is magical and brief. With Every passing page the urge to read more increased which further tempted me gather more knowledge about the same man. Not for a single moment, I could have stopped thinking about the events and characters of the books and that had a breath-taking influence on me. The characters have their own charismatic powers and followed their own paths and that was such a huge inspiration.

The story was told like a good story teller should and I thought it was a wonderful read. It surely left a powerful lasting impression on me. (427 words)


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