A thing is going around Facebook that asks you to list ten books that have inspired you, so here’s my list, in no particular order. I should note that this does not include short stories which have influenced me, which – once I have access to my books, because I am the absolute worst at remembering things – I’ll write about. Mostly because it’ll mean I’ll have an excuse to talk about Alice Munroe.
- The End of the Alphabet – by C.S. Richardson
This book makes me cry, every single time. It is a beautiful book short and poignant. Richardson’s use of language is extremely rich; it is the textual equivalent of hot chocolate made with cream and cacao.
- Harry Potter (series) – J.K. Rowling
No list of inspirational books is complete for me without Harry Potter. It is not that the books are inspirational for me so much as this is the series that really got me into reading. I read before HP, but this was my first literary obsession. It also inspired me to begin writing – I’m sure some of you are probably aware of my fanfiction days.
- Infidel – Ayaan Hirsi Ali
I read this book about the same time I began studying religion in University, and Ali’s story made me want to understand people, and the power of faith.
- Born Confused – Tanuja Desai Hidier
As one of the more outcast children at my school, this book helped me feel less alone.
- American Gods – Neil Gaiman
This book mixes everything I love together.
- The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
Dystopias make me supremely uncomfortable – I couldn’t even make it through the film adaptation of The Hunger Games – and this book reminded me why it’s important to be uncomfortable sometimes.
- Going Bovine – Libba Bray
An amazing story, an amazing adventure. This was one of my inspirations during college when I was really into “what is real” Don Quixote style stories.
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon
Brilliant example of a book that really gets you into someone else’s head.
- The Trouble With Goodbye – Sarra Cannon
This book helped me deal with my own sexual assault. It deals with rape in an awesome roundabout way rather than hitting you over the head with it. It helped me with the whole, “Rape happened to you; rape doesn’t define you” thing.
- You Don’t Know Me – David Klass
Every time I read this book, I cry. It helped me evaluate my home life in a really positive way.
Bonus – Are You My Mother? – Alison Bechdel
I have a huge writer crush on Alison Bechdel because of this graphic novel. It was one of the G.N.s that got me really interested in studying them academically, and really made me question my own relationship with my mother.