Five Books that Changed Me
Frederick by Leo Lionni - this story is one of the first books I remember my mother reading to me. It's about a family of five field mice getting ready for the winter. Four of the mice work hard to collect enough food, but one, Fredrick doesn't help out at all. He's too busy collecting daydreams. The story taught me that a daydreamer does have a place in a family.
Risk by Dick Francis - before finding this book when I was fourteen, I'd been reading Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys mysteries. While I enjoyed them, they were starting to get predictable. Risk, was an entirely different mystery. Written in first person point of view, the action didn't stop and I could never close the book at the end of the chapter. This fast-paced story telling influenced my own writing as I use first person point of view and try to end each chapter with a cliffhanger.
The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. LeGuin - after reading nothing but mysteries for all my life, my future brother-in-law, Chris gave me this book to read when I was seventeen so I could "try something different." The story about a man whose dreams could change the world astounded me and hooked me into reading science fiction novels.
A Spell for Chameleon by Piers Anthony - this book introduced me to the fantasy genre. At first I had a difficult time wrapping my mind around a fantastical world that didn't exist in our world or in any time in history. But it didn't take me long to "catch on," and I was soon reading Tolkien and all the classics.
Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt - I almost put this book down after a few pages because the Irish dialect was distracting. But a friend encouraged me to keep reading and I'm glad I did. This book opened my eyes to the suffering of others and just how good my life is. No one in our world should go hungry and since reading this book, I've been very active with our local food bank and donating money to international organizations that help feed those in need.
What book had a big influence on you? I'd love to hear which book and why!