Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Top Eleven Most Influential Books (and series)

Books are a big part of my life, and have been for a long time. They have massively influenced me in many different ways and I have read so many of them, for such a long time that my top ten most influential books was very hard to choose. Whilst some I knew instantaneously that they would make it to this list, it was hard to narrow it down to only ten as so many books have made such an impact on me. That is why I decided to add one more to the list and go for 11 instead as I simply could not decide which to choose. It will be in a pretty rough order of the most influential to the least (#10 and #11 are joint place) with a brief explanation for each.

#1 The Harry Potter series by J K Rowling
These books had to be on my list, to be honest they are probably on almost everyone's list. They inspired my intense love and passion for reading, have taught me so much about love and friendship, good and evil and to be quite frank, are pretty much my childhood, pretty much my life actually. The books give me a place to disappear to when my day, week or even month hasn't turned out the way I would have liked - I love this series more than almost anything (I guess you could say, apart from my family and friends) and I definitely wouldn't be the same person today, they shaped who I am in some senses (I know cringey but it's true).

#2  The Fault in our Stars by John Green
This books means a hell of a lot to me. It is a beautiful story, made me love reading even more and helped me through a time when I was struggling with the loss of my Grandma and Grandpa to cancer in the same year. For me, it really summed up how it feels and it has made a massive impact on my life. I can not even explain how important this story is to me.

#3 The Perks of being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Again, this book made me love reading even more. I actually read it when I was going through a hard time and the story and how the character felt really stuck with me. Charlie, the protagonist is finding life hard and one of his lines really hit home because it summed up exactly how I felt at that time. "So this is my life, and I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I am still trying to figure out how that could be". 

#4 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
This was the first classic I read (as far as I can recall) which makes it quite important and influential to me as even though it isn't a particularly hard classic to read, I was proud to say that I had read it. I love classics, having really enjoyed every one that I have read and this is the book that started that off. It is also a brilliant story with important themes. 

#5 Goodnight Mr Tom by Michelle Magorian
This is another book that really inspired my love of reading and holds quite a special place in my heart as one of my childhood favourites. It's a heart touching, emotional and real story that I will never forget and will go back to again and again.

#6 Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher 
I found this book very influential mainly because of the morals that this story held. It taught me that you never know what is going on in someone's life and therefore you should always treat people kindly and with respect (well, unless they don't deserve it) as even little bits disrespect and cruelty can really make someone's life considerably harder. You can find my review for it here.

#7 No and Me
This book is a very recent read and has taught me a few things about life. Firstly, that life is often unfair and cruel but you are expected to get on with it anyway because what else can you do. Secondly, that warnings do not come before a bad event, there is no chance to prepare or gather your thoughts - life is unpredictable and unexpected, there is no time to pause for a while. Finally, it showed how easy it is to get in over your head and end up in a situation that you don't want nor can deal with, which is terrifying. 

#8 Alone on a Wide Wide Sea by Michael Morpurgo 
Michael Morpurgo's books are brilliant stories for children aged 8-11 and they were a big part of this time of my life and I really loved them. They were the first books that read which were not the kiddy, girly stuff (starting off with My Secret Unicorn and then moving on to books by Jaqueline Wilson, Cathy Cassidy and the likes as I got older) which are great reads but there was a point when I was just rereading them again and again, maybe slightly past the age that I should have. Michael Morpurgo's stories marked the beginning of a new reading era and Alone on a Wide Wide Sea is one of my favourites and one that touched me.

#9 Sundae Girl by Cathy Cassidy
Even when I was young, I have always loved to read but Cathy Cassidy's books again marked a new reading era. I felt so grown up reading them, when in actual fact they are kind of a really huge part of my childhood and massively strengthened my love for reading. Sundae Girl was the first one I owned and read so it's means quite a bit to me.

#10 Room by Emma Donoghue
I can't really explain why this books was influential to me, it just was. For some reason, I felt that I couldn't remove it from this list. This book was just very deeply affecting and compelling and I think it made quite the impact on me and my life. It is not a book that I will forget.

#11 Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
I loved this book, and because it is such a prestigious novel and an important contribution to female literature I felt really proud to have read it. Not only could it be considered a challenging read due to the old fashioned language and somewhat traditional language, but it's actually written by a woman. A women living in the 1800s who stood up against all the prejudice towards females and actually managed to write this amazing book. That makes me proud to say I have read it. Don't get me wrong, I love this classic, but it's the history behind it and everything Austen must have put into this novel and  acted as a stand against the overpowering belief that I feel is the most spectacular, the most influential. 

I hope you enjoyed this post showcasing my most influential books and I hope that there is an off chance that you have been inspired to read one of them (if you haven't already). I know that in the future this list will change but I think that's pretty exciting and at this moment I'm quite proud of this list in a weird, nostalgic way. What have you read that have been influential? 
Ellen xxx