Okay, Kate started this chain with this: This time...I'd like to focus on the flip side of the writing coin - reading. Specifically, what books have influenced you? This can be books that influenced you as a writer, or simply books that touched you as a human being. If you want to talk about one book, a top three, ten, or even twenty go right ahead.
Annie posted before me and Terri is up next. Everyone's been going all crazy about how they could go on and on about this topic.
Um, me? Not so much. See, I don't read to learn something new. About life, about the chemical reactions of copper and peroxide, about myself, about anything. To me, that's not what reading is for. I can Google if I want to learn something new. Or ask someone who already knows. Or just by trial and error. But reading? Pshaw. That takes the whole point of reading away. Because reading should be...well, keep reading. *winks*
I'm what you'd call a shallow reader. I read for fun. The end.
So books that have touched me? *scratches head*
Influenced me as a writer? *panic face*
Don't get me wrong, I love me some books. I've always loved books, but not in the way that they can teach me a lesson and/or influence my life. More like in the way that I can escape to a new place, experience something cool or get caught up in a romance that leaves me breathless. Reading, for me, has never been about the writing. It's been about the stories, the people, the places.
Only recently (translation: when I tried writing myself) did the books I read have any other purpose other than to entertain me. So if you're looking for something deep here, um, maybe you better go back to Archy's post. Or Christine's. Or Annie's. Or pretty much anyone else in this chain.
My list of books I love randomly changes based on what I've recently read that I love. Ha! Go figure. I've blogged about some of these before, but here's my best shot. You should note that these books are on my list for their entertainment value. Now, before you go all ballistic on me, that doesn't mean they're not written well. I just didn't happen to be paying attention to that at the time.
1. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
2. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
3. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. Heck, anything this man writes is pure entertainment for me. (And good writing.)
4. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
5. Percy Jackson and The Olympians by Rick Riordan
6. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
7. Maximum Ride by James Patterson
8. Alcatraz and the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson
9. The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud
These books I love because of the way the author wove words together. Some of them I didn't actually finish, because I wasn't entertained enough to do so. But the writing? Brilliant. I have pages folded down, images I've scrawled on post-its and happy faces in the margins of especially poignant sentences. This all came about after I decided to be a writer. I do think these books have helped me become a better writer, simply by helping me define what kind of writer I want to be.
1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
2. Enna Burning by Shannon Hale
3. Anything by Nancy Farmer or Cornelia Funke
4. Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith
5. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
6. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
Notice there are no classics in either list. Um, that's not fun reading. At least not for me. Heck, I was on the Academic Olympiad in high school *insert geek song of your choice*. We even had these totally schweet T-shirts and everything. I don't think any of my former geekalicious Olympiad's read this blog so I can say this out loud: I didn't read the books we were supposed to for the competition. Why? Cuz A Tale of Two Cities and Huckleberry Finn are NOT entertaining reading! That is not my idea of a fun time.
But reading about magic and moving staircases and hoverboards? Oh, yeah. Djinn and faeries and alternate realms? Bring it on. The first kiss and riding in the Sun God's chariot and jumping out the window of a fifty-story building and unfurling your wings? Yes, yes, YES!
There are also only young adult and middle grade books on my list. That's what I like to read (and write), because it's fun.
So I read for entertainment. Funnily enough, that's also why I write.
Can you answer Kate's question? What books have influenced you? And maybe just because they were a good yarn that kept you turning pages way past your bedtime.