The book that changed my life (TED Lesson-10)

We’re talking about books today with a TED Talk by Lisa Bu. Books are a huge part of my life. Both my parents taught me to love reading. I start and finish every day with a book. I’ve learned many important life lessons through books and I get excited whenever I find a new author. A few years ago I started reading e-books. Now, I read most books on my iPhone or iPad. During the day I read a variety of non-fiction. I treat myself to fiction in the morning and before I go to sleep. I believe both fiction and non-fiction books are equally capable of changing our lives. More than one book has changed my life. One book in particular pointed me towards learning languages and living abroad. Look at the picture of my bookshelf. Can you guess which book? Click here to see it full-size.


1. How many books do you have?
2. Tell me about a book you are reading now (or the last one you read).
3. Do you like reading?


1. Have you read any of the books Lisa mentioned?
2. Lisa talks about how translation helped her see some Chinese words in a new way. Have you ever noticed this with Japanese or English words?
3. Tell me about a book that has special meaning to you.


Watch the talk again and listen for these words and phrases. Try replacing Lisa’s words and making your own sentences.

1. They firmly believed there’s only one sure way to happiness: (a safe and well-paid job.)
2. At age (15), I knew I was too old to…
3. I turned to (books).
4. I satisfied my hunger for (parental advice) from…
5. I was inspired to (study abroad) after…
6. I have come to believe that…
7. If you know a foreign language, it’s fun to…

You can download a copy of the questions and transcript here.

I would love to know what books have made a big impact on your life. Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to guess which book changed my life!

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