Monday, May 14, 2012

A Dozen Books that Have Influenced Me

I composed this list when I was trying to decide what kind of books to focus on for my Nerdy Book Club debut (see it here). These books are the ones I remember vividly and the ones that I will pick up and read again and again.
1. The Class by Eric Segal--my all time favorite novel. Tale of 5 guys from Harvard’s class of 1958. Lots changed during their college and young adulthood including them.

2. The Secret Garden--the beauty of this story was lost on me until I read it as part of an assignment for English Language ARts Methods class in college.
3. Having Our Say: The Delaney Sisters’ first 100 years--one of the best histories of the 20th century in America from an African American female perspective.

4. Savage Inequalities by Jonathan Kozol This book made me want to be a teacher more than I already did when I read it in college. 

5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling--great story, made me start reading YA/Juv books again. I remember waiting not so patiently for each one to come out. And I reread them when the movies started coming out. :)
6. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins--my fascination with dystopian books came flooding back
7. The Help by Kathryn Stockett--shocking by how much things have changed in just a generation or so. I clearly am one of the new women of the South. I would never treat anyone the way the privileged women in this book did.
8. Eating the Cheshire Cat: A Novel by Helen Ellis It was way cool to read a novel about the place and people I grew up with. The snarky attitude about life in a major university town was right on the money.

9. Kathryn Tucker Windham book of essays I cannot for the life of me remember the title, but I had it in print and on a cassette tape with the author reading it. It made me proud to be from the South.
10. All Over but the Shoutin ‘ by Rick Bragg--amazing story to ponder that he grew up so differently in the South when I was only a few years younger than he was.

11. Are you there God, it’s me Margaret? by Judy Blume I remember thinking everyone has secrets and that all girls wanted breasts long before they actually had a prayer of having them
12. The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom I learned about the horrors of the Holocaust and the power of faith from this book when I was about 10.

These are, of course, not the only books that have influenced me in almost 40 years of being a Nerdy Book Club member, but they are the ones that truly stand out for me.

What books have influenced you? Please add them to the comments!

1 comment:

jsnyder said...

The Help (along with The Firm by John Grisham)had an impact on me. I was very young and living in Mississippi during the Civil Rights movement and really didn't understand everything that was happening.