Tuesday, June 7

Books that Changed My View of the World



Let’s keep talking about books and authors, okay? Liz had a great blog here yesterday where she named fifteen authors who influenced her as a writer and asked you to share. Today, how about we share three books that changed how you see the world? This is an odd one, I know, but I think everyone’s read a book or two or three that made them see the world around them a little differently. Books that made them rethink their worldview or at least rethink what they wanted to do with their life. Did you?

Here are my three:

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery, which my mom read to us when I was about eight or ten. It changed my view of fathers, which had gotten a bit distorted by my dad, who abandoned our family when I was six. Even though our grandfather stepped in and tried to fill the gap, my view of fathers was that they left, they couldn’t be depended on, and they didn’t care about kids. Matthew Cuthbert, the gentle bachelor who, along with his sister, Marilla, loved and raised Anne Shirley was to my childish eyes, the ultimate father. He became my high-water mark for fathers and when I met Husband, his gentle nature, so like Matthew’s, drew me in immediately and I knew he’d be an extraordinary father. And he is. 

Practically Seventeen by Rosamund du Jardin is the first teen romance I read when I was eleven. My older sister brought it home from the high school library, I nabbed it one Saturday afternoon, and didn’t shut the book until I’d read to the very last page. I fell in love with romance right then and I knew right then that one day I would be a romance novelist. Now, I don’t write YA, but I love writing romance, and I still have all of Rosamund du Jardin’s teen novels on my keeper shelf.

Freshman year at Purdue, I read All This and Heaven, Too, Rachel Field’s biographical novel about a sensational murder in Paris that involved her great aunt Henriette Deluzy Desportes and was a huge scandal in France. I became fascinated with Paris and all things French, and I learned about how love can sometimes bring tragedy before you finally find your happily-ever-after. I haven't written a book set in Paris yet, but my first novel, Rule Number One has a fun love affair that has a small French flavor. 

Honestly, I could probably name at least twenty more books that changed my view of the world, but those are the three that came to mind first, and I want to hear yours. Come on, give it some thought—three books that changed how you see the world.  

10 comments:

  1. Oh, that's it, make me think first thing in the morning. I agree about Anne, but don't want to use the same ones...

    Little Women - because I was so completely there in Concord (and stayed there all the way through Jo's Boys) that it gave me a lifelong love for New England even before I went there. Understood Betsy continued my journey there.

    Little Britches - We read Ralph Moody's books at school (this is when the teacher read aloud because she had time and because it was manna for our minds) and taught me about memoirs, still one of my favorite things to read.

    No Quarter Asked - because that's when Janet Daily introduced me to Americans writing romance. I'm still enthralled.

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    1. Thinking is always good--even in the morning, mon amie! Great books! I agree about Little Women and I cut my category romance teeth on Janet Dailey, too!

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  2. Oooh, fun game, Nan (and Liz)...hmmm....

    Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume because Davey was so perfectly drawn as the angry, hurt and confused teenager...and she grew to be a strong woman.

    The Five People You Meet in Heaven - this is a more recent stick-with-me book, but I like the idea that heaven isn't just a place, it is people. And I like the idea that there are people whose lives we touch without knowing - until we meet in that otherworldly place.

    Irish Thoroughbred by Nora Roberts. I think this was her first published book, and I found it in a corner of my grandmother's bookshelf when I was about thirteen. I loved Adelia and the horses and it's one of the first romances I read...and a big part of why I still read (and love) the genre.

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    1. Judy Blume. . . I am just enough older than you that I haven't read her, but I hear great things about her books. Thanks for playing, Kristi!

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  3. I loved, loved, LOVED Rosamund Du Jardin's books! I checked them out from the library so much, my name was the only one on the card! I soooo wish I had copies of them, to reread over again and again. I was also a fan of Anne Emery, and of course, Judy Blume, Louisa May Alcott (my mother's copy of Little Women is missing both its covers!), and Lavryl Spencer.

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    1. Molly, so glad you stopped by and I'm delighted to meet another Du Jardin fan! I confess, every few years, I reread those books, just because they're wonderful stories and beautifully executed and so innocent...I miss that.

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  4. I also loved Little Women, Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury, and To Kill a Mockingbird.

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    1. Oh, Ilona, yes! To Kill a Mockingbird should be on everyone's list...it was a worldview changer to the max!

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  5. I think I'd have to say--mmm--

    Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume. She made me understand my body and my puberty emotions when I was too embarrassed to ask my mother.

    The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander because they opened my mind to worlds different from the ones I'd always known--places where magic, kings, and wizards existed.

    And The DaVinci Code because it made me question my beliefs and spirituality in a good way.

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  6. Great list, Margie! Yeah, the DaVinci code was a game changer in a lot of ways and surely made all of us think about what we believe--in a good way!

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