So, I’m a little late, but I’ve decided not to do this challenge on Facebook. Instead, I’ll make it into a blog post! It may take me a little longer than a few minutes, but yolo, right? Thanks to my mom and brother for tagging me! Instructions:
“Don’t take more than a few minutes and don’t think too hard – they don’t have to be the “right” books or great works of literature, just the ones that have affected you in some way.”
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
Yeah, there are 13 books… I know. In any case, these books were my favourite for a long time, even more so than Harry Potter (until book 7, of course). I remember reading the first book in this series, The Bad Beginning, in a single evening after elementary school. For me, that was when my love for books and writing really started.
And besides, have you seen the movie with Jim Carrey? The fact that there were never any sequels produced is one of the great human atrocities.
Harry Potter and the Whole Goddamn Series (Obviously)
Another series, but how could I not? I have such admiration for JK Rowling as a writer and for the world she created. I really love how all-encompassing it is for people and how all-encompassing it was for me. I remember staying up all night to read these bad boys and I distinctly remember crying when some of the characters died… Okay, I cried almost every time.
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
I have never once been so riled up by a book. Oryx and Crake follows a man who has survived a global pandemic who recalls the details of his life, his dead lover, and his best friend who was responsible for it all. This book made me many things: sad, angry, and even disgusted — only Margaret Atwood could pull off a child pornography scene (you read correctly). In fact, the feeling of being disturbed is why I think this book was so powerful to me. Margaret Atwood has always been one of my favourite authors, but this book is her best in my opinion. If you’re a fan of speculative fiction with a literary flair intertwined with a healthy dose of cynicism, then this book is right for you.
1984 and Brave New World
I’ll group book four and five together, mostly because their content is related. For the longest time, 1984 by George Orwell was my favourite book… And then I read Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. If you haven’t heard of either, I implore you to surface from under your rock and read them. THIS INSTANT. For me as a young reader and writer, these two novels were one of the biggest influences for my debut novel coming out in 2015. Dystopia is just so interesting!
Intrigued? Stay tuned.
The Great Gatsby and This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby? Amazing. It was one of those novels I appreciated as I got older and I became kind of obsessed with the Jazz Age and the I-don’t-care attitude for a while there.
This Side of Paradise? Even better. Maybe it’s because I can relate so much to the main character. Yeah, he’s whiny and entitled and cynical, but he would fit right in in this age of millennial disappointment and a general distaste for real life. If you haven’t read it but adore Fitzgerald as much as I do, this is a must!
The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
Mr. Rothfuss gets a bad rep for taking such a long time between installations of his trilogy The Kingkiller Chronicle, but this second book was well worth the four years I had to wait for it. He has such a way with words and his world-building skills remind me of Tolkien. Yeah, he may not have mentioned anything about his third book for this trilogy lately, but he has a new companion book coming out in October. I can’t wait!
Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind
I’m not gonna lie, I kind of fell off the bandwagon after book four of The Sword of Truth series, but I did love this book. This was the first book I read post-Harry Potter that was in the fantasy genre and it definitely piqued my interest… enough to write a whole manuscript in the genre. Yes, that manuscript sucked and will never be published (EVER), but the initial inspiration was there thanks to Mr. Goodkind.
And the moment you’ve all been waiting for… Twilight
It’s not what you think. Really. I didn’t even read all of the first one. In fact the Twilight Saga didn’t stick with me because I enjoyed the story or because it was well-written. Instead, it instilled in me a critical eye. I just wanted to understand. Why was it so successful even though I thought it was lacking in both story and style? Why were people freaking out over it? I gave it a try, really I did, but I just couldn’t do it.
The Twilight Saga impacted me for one reason: I didn’t like it but it was popular and successful nonetheless. It sent me on a crusade to *not* do all the things that made me cringe in the book. Frankly, it made me want to write something that wasn’t terrible. It also gave me hope that my own work could be published. I’m not saying I’m an amazing author or anything, but there’s definitely no Bella Swan in my work.