Monday, July 13

Liz's Top Ten Books that...

Good morning! My apologies--I don't have ANYthing this morning. So I thought I'd do one of those Tens things. Of course, as soon as I decided that, my mind went blank on which Ten of What to do, so I'm going to stick with a tried and true. Below are ten books that have affected me as a writer. They may not be my favorites, and don't have a thing to do with me as a reader, but they are ones that have much to do with Liz Flaherty, Writer.

1. Little Women. Because Jo March is my hero.

2. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Understood Betsy, and Anne of Green Gables. I can't think of them separately...sorry. There were worlds created in those books that I can still go back and live in.

3. To Kill A Mockingbird . Because you couldn't read it without being changed.

4. Paintbox Summer. It's my favorite of Betty Cavanna's books for young girls. I'd still like to spend a summer on Cape Cod and write. (Kate painted, but I can't do that.)

5. Winter's Bounty. The first Muriel Jensen book I ever read. I wanted to do what she did, and it thrills me right down to my socks that we write for the same Harlequin imprint.

6. The Flame and the Flower. Because there was something about Woodiwiss.

7. Little Britches. Our fifth-grade teacher read the whole series to us (remember when story-time was built into the school day) and we listened, rapt. I wanted to make someone listen, rapt.

8. Heidi. See above, only it was the fourth grade.

9. Girl of the Limberlost. Because Gene Stratton-Porter was a geeky Hoosier just like I am and she wrote such glorious stuff.

10. One More Summer. Because I was so blessed to have that one book that "wrote itself."

How about you? Any books that changed you as a writer?

31 comments:

  1. Little Women (same reason as yours, lol!)
    Understood Betsy (loved that book!)
    Anne of Green Gables (I'd read it every fall; it motivated me to do well in school, ha ha!)
    Flame and the Flower (1st romance...I was hooked!)/1st Love by Silhouette books (devoured as many as I could!)
    Water Lust (Mary Winter-1st erotic romance)
    Little House series (I decided I was going to be the 80's version of LIW, ha ha....)
    Blue Ridge Billy (3rd grade teacher read this to us and I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy of my own!)
    books by Beverly Cleary, Anne Emery, and Rosamund Du Jardin (Love series books about families!)
    Dancer's Delight (Anny Cook)/Dragon In the System (Cindy Spencer Pape-1st paranormal romance books)
    On Your Knees (Brynn Paulin-1st BDSM romance)

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    1. Oh, the Little House books...those were strictly for the reader in me. Did you have a favorite one? Mine was Little Town on the Prairie, I think.

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    2. Tie between Little Town and These Happy Golden Days:)

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  2. Little Women is also on my list.
    Other books include You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay, Excuses Begone! by Wayne Dyer, The Wealthy Spirit by Chellie Campbell, Quiet by Susan Cain, Maeve Binchy's novels, Anna Quindlen's books (fiction and nonfiction), Louise Penny's novels.
    I'm a self-help junkie and love reading contemporary women's fiction.
    Joanne :)

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    1. I love women's fiction, too, and I think Maeve Binchy and Rosamund Pilcher started me on that track!

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  3. Great list. Really odd that Winter's Bounty is one of the very few Harlequins I still have on my "keeper shelf" from back in the day. I'd have to say Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books had the greatest effect on me. Turned me into a reader and a writer.

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    1. Me too, Jannine:) My copy of On The Banks of Plum Creek is missing its cover.

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    2. I don't think I ever owned the Little House books, though I certainly read them all enough times!

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    3. Liz! Jannine! I am flattered and humbled that you both remember Winter's Bounty! That'll sustain me for a couple of months. (You've all heard that To Kill a Mockingbird's sequel is released at midnight tonight?)

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    4. Forgot to the add I also have a copy of The Flame and the Flower. Still remember their names - Aislyn and Wolfgar. Sigh.

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    5. I've heard, and I'm not sure I want to read it. If Atticus Finch has a dark side (which is what I've heard), I don't want to know about it.

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    6. Muriel: Aaahhh, the Wolf and the Dove:) Also love Shanna and Ashes in the Wind:) I was thrilled when I came across a copy of an antho with a short story about Jeff, Brandon's little brother from FATF:)

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  4. I was a Nancy Drew fan as a child and still love mysteries with intrepid heroines. Although I read Anne of Green Gables, I wasn't as inspired by her as I probably should have been, little rebel that I was. To Kill A Mockingbird - yes - remains an inspiration on many levels.

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    1. In all honesty, I was more inspired by the Anne movies than I was the books, but the books definitely changed something for me on the first reading of them.

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  5. Ah, are we not sisters of the heart, my friend? You listed all my favorites--all the ones that made me want to be a writer. I would add Gene Stratton-Porter's The Harvester because David Langston is my ultimate romance hero. And as far as books that made me want to be a romance writer, all of Rosamund du Jardin's and Mary Stoltz's novels for teens (from the '50s and '60s). I read them so voraciously and from the first one (Tobey Heydon's Class Ring) thought, "This is what I want to do!"

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    1. Mary Stoltz! I'd forgotten her! Elisabeth Hamilton Friermood and Janet Lambert were biggies with me, too--more Hoosier ladies.

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    2. I'm soooo glad I'm not the only one who remembers Rosamund Du Jardin:) Think I found those books at my Jr. High library or bookmobile; wish I had my own copies....I'd love to reread them!

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    3. Molly, I got lucky enough to find most of the Marcy books at out library discard sales over the years. And when my oldest daughter got into reading, I had her read them, and she loved them too.

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  6. We didn't have children's books in the house growing up. My mother started us out on books like John D. McDonald - Travis McGee series, Agatha Christie - Miss Marple series, and Dashiell Hammett - Sam Spade series.
    When I had my own children we read all the classic children's books I could find - many you've named here.

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    1. We didn't have many of them, either--I think the older siblings wore them out--but we were twice-a-week library visitors. I read some of the Travis McGee series and quite a bit of Agatha Christie, but not until I was in high school. And they didn't stay with me the way the ones on my list did. I don't remember any of them, only that yes, I did read them.

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  7. Great list, Liz, some of my favorites are on there! The Little House books are on my list, along with the Chronicles of Narnia (both for sense of place) but also on the list is a book called Snow Bride by Margery Hilton, which is the first Harlequin Presents I ever read...I still love it!

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    1. I think we all owe something to those Harlequin authors who paved our way for us!

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  8. Great books, including some of my faves: Little Women, Flame and the Flower, and Girl of the Limberlost. Other faves were the Nancy Drew series, The Phantom Tollbooth, Shel Silversteen. I loved Gone with the Wind in 8th grade, too, but I'm not sure I could swallow it now. Times have changed and so have I.

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    1. I still like GWTW, but kind of the way I like The Flame and the Flower and Mark Twain. I love them for the storytelling aspect, though some parts make me flinch.

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  9. OMG we could be sistahs!! I'll add The Nancy Drew and Trixie Beldon mysteries were always a favorite and the original YA heroines. I'll add my two cents and say that Pride and Prejudice changed the way I viewed romance novels as a teen and when I read Shanna ( Woodiwiss again) I was changed forever as a reader and writer of romance! Great great post.

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    1. Oh, yes, Trixie! She was the sister of my heart! I loved P & P, too, but didn't even connect it to the genre till much later.

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    2. I also loved Trixie, and my mom's mysteries: Cherry Ames, Dana Girls, Vicki Barr:)

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  10. As a writer??? Well, Little Women probably tops the list because who didn't want to be Jo March? I'm a child of the seventies as my choices will bear out..The Outsiders by S.E.Hinton--she was published before her 18rth birthday!! That was always so inspiring to me as a teenager who wanted to write. The Pigman by Paul Zindel. And like so many before me, Rosamund Du Jardin--those were the first young romances I ever read and I still love them.

    If I could emulate anyone's career though, it would be Michael Crichton's. I love that he never repeated himself--Dinosaurs, check. Aliens-check. Sexual harrassment with a twist--check.

    I know that's about half a list but it's late and I'm going to bed :)

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    1. Still a good list, Margie. I loved S.E. Hinton. I read her when my kids did.

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  11. Great post, Liz! I'm entering this discussion late. I was busy yesterday and away from my computer. You hit many of my favorites. I would add the Little House series as well as Sir Arther Conan Doyle. I have always had a love of a great mystery. I just finished "A Good Killing" by Allison Leotta. It's one that will stay with you for a while. Also, One More Summer, time to read that favorite again. I just got a notice from Amazon that Small Town Summer is on my Kindle. Can't wait to read that also.

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    1. Thanks, Carolyn! I never read Doyle, though I can't even say why not, because I think they're interesting characters. I've always loved cozy mysteries, but have to admit I haven't read all that many.

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