When did a story change your life?

At DNTO, we know that stories can make you laugh and cry... and everything in between. But can a story change a life? On this week's episode, we look at moments where a particular narrative launched someone in a whole new direction.

DNTO Dec. 7 / 17

Listen to the full episode1:14:39
At DNTO, we know that stories can make you laugh, cry, and everything in between. But can a story change a life? 

Whether it's a book, a movie, a tall tale that takes on a life of its own, or a family legend passed down from generation to generation - we're all inspired and influenced by great stories, true and false.
So this week, along with  Canada Reads 2014, we look at stories with impact. From plots that change your perspective, to characters that change your heart. These are stories that can provoke action and inspire social change. Got a story to share? Send it in to CBC Books Stories of Change

On this week's show:

This week on Twitter we asked YOU for the story that changed your life. We got tons of great responses and one of those tales is leading off our show! Thanks to @bizarrojimmyols (aka Evan, a podcast listener in Atlanta, Georgia) who tweeted us his blustery European engagement story and then phoned it in.

Canadian funny woman and Daily Show star Samantha Bee drops by the DNTO studio to unload about a co-worker she hated... until she found out his backstory. It's a tale that changed Samantha's life and reminded her never to judge a book by its proverbial cover.

Sam Bee Smaller.jpg

Young Navid.jpg
After Navid Khavari's family was forced to leave Iran, they eventually ended up making their way to rural Ontario. Navid, as one of the only Iranian kids in town, felt isolated, alone, and unpopular. But that all changed when one particular Disney movie hit theatres.

Lauren Herschel.jpg
Lauren Herschel was 8 years old when she read a story in a newspaper about an organ donor. The story would not only change her life - but the life of someone she would never meet, after Lauren donated her left kidney anonymously. Read more about her life as an organ donor on her blog.

Peggy and Book.jpg
As a girl, Peggy Orenstein was captivated by the vintage adventure story of a courageous young woman who moves to the Canadian north and marries a Mountie. Peggy modelled her own behaviour and choices on the book... until she met the authors and found out more than she ever intended about her heroine.  

We've all got our "family stories" - but few are as epic and swashbuckling as Marc Kuly's. He'll share why his great grandfather's journey to Canada has haunted him his whole life.

Sook-Yin Lee hits the streets to find out: what's the one story that you just can't seem to leave behind? 

When Kathleen Goldhar was 11 years old, she had what some might call an active imagination. Find out how she managed to convince her family that she had dined with a former Canadian prime minister... and why that tall tale came back to bite her in the butt, 10 years later.
Janice Sm.jpg
Years ago,  Janice Eisenhauer was an Alberta mom who had never left Canada. But that all changed after she read an article in Homemakers Magazine about the treatment of Afghan women under the Taliban. She'll share her inspiring journey to Afghanistan, and the story behind her founding of  Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan. (Photo Courtesy Janice Eisenhauer, on right) 

Molly Sega
A lot of us have family heirlooms that have a rich history behind them. But sometimes, the real tale is the story behind the story... just ask Molly Segal. She'll explain how her grandfather's antique watch turned out to be much more than it seemed.

When Frank Verpaelst was growing up, he had a poster of his favourite movie hero, Rocky, hanging in his bedroom. Little did Frank know that, at age 17, the story behind that poster would become the inspiration he needed to take on his toughest opponent ever.

Carol Off live.jpg
Before Carol Off became the hard-nosed host of CBC Radio's As It Happens, she was a struggling arts reporter, dreaming of her big break. Then a fateful trip to Pakistan changed everything for her, and hundreds of other people.

This week's playlist:
Bon Iver - Skinny Love
Inlet Sound - Blizzard Baby
The Beatles- Paperback Writer
Jenn Grant - The Fighter
Paper Lions - Little Liar
Magnolia - Anyone's Neighbour
Ray Charles - I Didn't Know What Time it Was
Islands - In a Dream it Seemed Real 


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.