Monday, March 17, 2014

Influential Books

I've seen many youtubers talk about their most influential books, and I thought I might discuss mine. To be honest, I don't recall many of the books I read as a child. That makes me sad, because I know I enjoyed reading books. I just can't think of a book that profoundly affected me. Some books I mentioned instilled in me a renewed love for reading. Some books introduced me to a whole new genre. Some books inspired me. Some books taught me important life lessons.

Here are the books (in no particular order).

  • The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares: My best friend and I bonded over these books. We wrote fan fiction together, and we had fun watching the film adaptation together. We are still best friends to this day. 
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: This was one of the first classics that I reading high school, and I remember screaming "NO WAY" in the cafeteria when a certain man proposes to a certain girl. This book opened the door for more classics that I love. 
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: This book, more than any other, introduced me to the Young Adult genre. I remember picking the book up in the store and starting it. The next thing I know, I've read 50 pages and I'm going to the check-out counter. I spent the rest of the day finishing the book. I was hooked. Then I soon discovered the book blogging community, and the rest is history. 
  • The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling: This one deserves no explanation. I only finished this series last year, but even so, this book has had a profound impact on my love for literature. 
  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee: I read this in high school, but I'll never forget how eye-opening this book was. It taught be important lessons on prejudice, acceptance, and bravely sticking up for what is right. 
  • A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness: This book made me cry my eyes out. It's such a beautiful story that taught me that it's okay to let go. 
  • Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas: This series is important to me for a few reasons. I read the Queen of Glass manuscript back in high school, when it was still on FictionPress. When she took it down, I was heartbroken, but I knew it meant Sarah would work hard to get it published. Then Sarah announced she was querying, and thens he had an agent, and then she had a book deal! Seeing Sarah's publishing journey from first draft to book deal and published book was inspiring. She's a huge reason why I haven't given up on writing.
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte: Words cannot describe how much I love this book. While my romantic reader's heart loved Jane's blooming relationship with Mr. Rochester, Jane's time at the school with Helen had the most impact on me. Helen's strong faith, in the midst of difficulty, was inspiring to me as it was to Jane Eyre.
  • Love Comes Softly Series by Jeanette Oke: this series fueled my love for Christian Fiction and historical fiction. It's also another series my friend and I bonded over. And yes, we wrote fan fiction for it too. 
So what are some of your most influential books? What makes that book influential? Do you think that you should like a book that's influential? And do you remember books you read as a child? Maybe I wasn't as big of a reader as a child as I thought. It would explain why no particular book stands out. I also find it interesting that most of these books I discovered on my own--not through an English class curriculum. I don't know what that says about me, because I usually enjoyed books that were picked by my English teachers in high school. Those books just didn't impact me in a meaningful way. What about you? 

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