Influencers – A Book List

Recently someone asked me about the authors who influenced me as a writer, and I thought back to this list that I compiled several years ago. Re-reading it, I asked myself if these books influenced me more as a writer, or as a person, and decided that I can’t really separate the two.

  1. The Road Less Travelled – Scott Peck. A new way of thinking.
  2. The “Anne” books by L.M. Montgomery. You can’t read a series that many times as an impressionable child and not absorb some of the ethics.
  3. 1984 – George Orwell and Brave New World – Aldous Huxley. Put fear in my heart and established purpose.
  4. On Death and Dying – Elizabeth Kubler Ross. I read that in grade seven and started preparing for death at an early age.
  5. Margaret Lawrence and Margaret Mitchell – influenced me as a writer: M.L. because I wanted to be able to do for others what she’d done for me, and M.M. because even though she had no confidence, she still wrote a masterpiece.
  6. Cheaper by the Dozen – Frank Bunker Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey. I’ve been practicing motion efficiency ever since.
  7. The Object of my Affection – Stephen McCauley & Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe. For the wonderful pleasure of reading aloud.
  8. Crime and Punishment – Dostoevsky. Hunger.
  9. Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak. The perfect book. It’s got poetry, symmetry, mystery . . . and it’s psychologically satisfying. AND Sendak drew monsters because he wasn’t capable of drawing horses. How good it that?
  10. The Sound and the Fury – Faulkner. For the flabbergasting realization that there are other ways to write than in a straight line.

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