Inspired by http://youarewhatyouread.scholastic.com/adults/
Books that have changed my life or worldview
(not necessarily in order)
1. The Bible
I feel like this should go without saying. This book has been the foundation of my family and faith, and it is a huge part of my life. I try to model my life after it based on what God has revealed about himself in these words.
2. Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling
This is the first book I read in the series. I absolutely fell in love with this series. It was a huge instrument in my development of writing. Literally hundreds of fanfictions shaped the way I wrote. I also spent hours obsessing about the movies and roleplaying games.
3. The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne
This was one of the most influential books I read during my year at Revolution Hawaii. It really made me think about how my faith related to the way I lived, how I treated people, and the political standpoints I had.
4. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Read first at Ridgeview and later at PHS, this book is powerful. It showed me how strongly our society relied on pleasure and how far we had drifted away from morals and absolutes, but it also made me appreciate that we still had a semblance of them.
5. The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis
I read this series throughout my childhood, finishing by the time I was 12, and I would read the books to my sister Grace. I think CS Lewis and his worlds were a huge part in fostering my imagination and my love for books.
6. The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel
I learned so much about the validity of the New Testament reading this book. It made me feel like I wasn't crazy for believing an old book like the Bible.
7. Through Painted Deserts by Donald Miller
There is something about Miller's poetic imagery and thoughtful writing that really speaks to me. I loved Blue Like Jazz, but I loved this book even more, and I can't even describe why.
Books that have affected my writing
(not including books that are about writing, and again not necessarily in order)
1. Harry Potter series
Like I said, mainly because they inspired me to write so much. But I definitely picked up some of JK Rowling's habits.
2. The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
I could only DREAM about writing this beautifully, but it really impacted the way I treated war in my stories and the way I viewed story vs. truth vs. reality.
3. The Tomorrow series by James Marsden
Especially recently, I have taken a lot of inspiration from the Tomorrow series and what I feel is a very real representation of teenage characters in war. I feel the characterization of Ellie helped me shape Natalie, Tracey, and, to some extent, Jennifer.
4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Again, I have drawn inspiration from the way Suzanne Collins deals with war and its effects, especially psychologically on the protagonist.
There are a smattering of other books, too, especially ones I read in high school that introduced me to great literature: The Odyssey, Pride and Prejudice, 1984. But I feel like these are the most influential.
What about you? What are some books that changed your life?