5 Books That Have Influenced Me

Before National Reading Month officially closes next week, I wanted to talk about five influential books.

You grumble.

Hey, hey, hey…these five books got me further invested into writing (other than this incident). You may even find them interesting. Show a little bit of enthusiasm! Sheesh…

1. The City of Towers By Keith Baker

In elementary, I never liked fantasy because I thought it was…unrealistic. That all changed on my fourteenth birthday where I received this book as a gift. Suddenly, I became obsessed with the idea of magic, elves, dragons or whatever else fantasy writers and authors could think up. Baker opened up my mind to other genres and writing styles.

2. Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn

I remember the day I found this book. I was browsing the shelves in my middle school library looking for something to sink my teeth into. My fingertips brushing across the spines of assorted books until finally stopping at Nightingale. I flipped open to the first page and was transported into imaginary world. Its theme: feudral japan. I actually attempted to write this story out word for word and claim it as my own…then someone explained to me what plagiarism is. After that big let-down I decided to get serious about writing and made it a goal to pen my own manuscript(s).

3. Demon in My View by Amelia Atwater Rhodes

By high school, the only vampire book that I read was Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Demon in My View was my first paranormal romance book that I ever read. I enjoyed every word of it though it was the author that fascinated me. Why? Well Rhodes published her first book when she was 13! To me, that’s awesome.

4. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

So, we all know how it feels to be assigned a book to read. You start skipping to the last page, letting your mind wander while you’re reading, and so forth. That wasn’t the case for me with The Outsiders. Something about Darry, Sodapop, and Ponyboy really drew me in. Maybe it was the silly names, the friendships and convincing sibling rivalry? I think it was more the author that captured my attention. In the back flap I remember it saying that Hinton needed encouragement to write this book. The fact that she did write and publish it, was also an encouragement to me too.

5. Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton

This was the second assigned book that struck a chord with me. I actually read a couple of days ahead of schedule because I was so enthralled with the conflict. I wanted to know what happened to the preacher’s son in the end and if anything could be done to keep him (the preacher’s son) from facing the death penalty. I hadn’t read a book that had so much emotional value before. I interpreted Paton’s novel as a lesson of endurance in the face of strife (for example, in writing terms, rejection slips or writer’s block).

There you have it. Five books that have influenced and encouraged me to write over the years.

If you could choose five books that have had an influence on you, what would they be?

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