This is a list that has been making its rounds on Facebook, but I have too much to say to make it a simple numbered list.
First, the rules: list ten books that have had an impact on you in some way. The books don’t have to be epic works of literature, just a book that has had a lasting impression in some way.
So here I go:
1. Harry Potter series (J.K. Rowling)
Call it cliche, as I have seen this series on basically everyone’s list, but these books have stayed with me for many years. When Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone released in 1997, I was just five years old. Ten years later at age 15, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows was released. Amidst that, eight films were released and they all did one thing for me: instill a love for magic, other worlds and fantasy. This series largely sparked my love for books and films such as Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and Game of Thrones.
2. Of Mice and Men (John Steinbeck)
I think that I first read this book in middle school and I have read it several times since. Only around 100 pages long, this book is my go to quick read that packs a lot of punch. The relationship between Lennie and George is my favorite part. Every time I read this book, I am captivated by Lennie’s character and his dependence on George.
3. The BFG (Roald Dahl)
Right in line with Roald Dahl’s other work (Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, etc), The BFG has always stayed with me. It was quirky and introduced me to the concept that people (or giants) aren’t always who you assume them to be.
4. The Awakening (Kate Chopin)
The summer before my senior year at Western Michigan University, I took a seven-week English literature course and we read The Awakening. Although I just read it a little over a year ago, the book has resonated with me since. Published in 1899, Chopin’s book brought to light things that were unorthodox to think about, let alone act on: what motherhood and feminism should mean. The book is often referenced as an early work of feminist literature that is painfully honest.
5. The Scarlet Letter (Nathaniel Hawthorne)
I first read The Scarlet Letter in high school and while many others were complaining about another 1800s book, I was drawn in by Hester Prynne’s choices and the consequences that came of it. While probably not the main point of the book, what stays with me is the question: Should someone’s life worth be characterized by one (or a few) things they did? It reminds me to not base my perception of a person on one interaction.
6. Pendragon series (D. J. MacHale)
The Pendragon series was my go to series when I was a kid. There was love, friendship, adventure and fantasy. I haven’t read the series in years but even as early as two weeks ago I was buying one of the books in the series to complete my collection. Like Harry Potter, Pendragon helped in developing my love for fantasy books.
7. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Rebecca Skloot)
A perfect blend of science, history and family, this book hits on every one of my loves. While I love fiction and fantasy, the real world has some amazing stories and this is one of them. This book has sparked my love for non-fiction books that tell the sometimes insane stories of real people and events.
8. The Phantom Tollbooth (Norton Juster)
One of my favorite books of all time, The Phantom Tollbooth explored the English language and love for knowledge in a fun quirky way. From the jump to the Island of Conclusions to Princess Rhyme and Princess Reason, this book is packed full with a love for language and helped me greatly to develop my own love for English.
9. The Three and Many Wishes of Jason Reid (Hazel Hutchins)
For the last three years, I have been trying to figure out the name to this book. All I could remember was that it was about three wishes, a boy and baseball. Not much to go on. Finally, with the help of my mom, I figured out the book. I can’t exactly tell you what stayed with me but the fact that at 22 years old, I was still thinking about this book and trying to figure out its name should say something about it.
10. Silverwing (Kenneth Oppel)
I can still remember picking this book off of the shelf in fifth grade. The story follows the young and very small bat Shade as he tries to find his way back to his family. Even though it was perfect reading for an 11-year-old, I have read the book as recent as a year ago and have also bought it’s prequels and sequels.
- My Sister’s Keeper (Jodi Picoult)-This book ignited my love for Jodi Picoult books.
- Carrie (Stephen King)-Having already seen the movies, I decided to read Carrie and I have since upped my Stephen King collection from zero to around 20 of his books.