What books have influenced you most?

I’m joining PostADay2011! I don’t plan on responding to all of their prompts, but I will do some and will try to post other material as well so that I’m updating every day.  I know this prompt was from a few days ago, but I really wanted to answer the question.  I only listed 3, since I wanted to give more detailed explanations, but I’m sure I’ll be posting more eventually.

1. Harry Potter (the series) — J. K. Rowling
2. The Shadow of the Wind — Carlos Ruiz Zafon
3. Twilight — Stephanie Meyer

Now hear me out on my reasoning:

Harry Potter: I’m a huge HP nerd.  This series resonates for me because I spent a LOT of time reading as a kid.  There was a lot of conflict at home, so I would spend my time holed up in my room with a good book.  I remember dragging my parents to the bookstore each release date for the new HP book, and then not moving for 1-2 days until I finished it.  Then I’d start re-reading it!  The fantasy was easy to get swept away in, and since Harry had a troubled childhood as well I felt we understood each other.  I never let go of this HP obsession, and I still occasionally read fanfiction…okay, more than occasionally.  It’s my guilty pleasure.  There are a lot of really talented HP fans that write amazing stories using J. K. Rowling’s books as a basis for characters and plot.  I cried after the final movie.

The Shadow of the Wind

The Shadow of the Wind: This is a book that I discovered about 4 years ago, and have re-read twice in the past year.  I’ll probably post a review of this book in the relatively near future to give a more detailed explanation of why I love it.  The short version is that it’s AMAZING.  Twisty plot, dark secrets, unbelievable imagery, and the captivating environment of Barcelona.  The best part of the book though is that its central theme is about the importance of literature.  The plot revolves around The Cemetery of Forgotten Books – a maze of a library with rare and unique books that needed a safe place to be hidden.  The main character swears to protect his book and has to live up to this when he discovers someone has been systematically burning all of the other books by the author.  As he tries to discover who this is, he gets more swept up in the drama and personally involved.  It’s fascinating and I REALLY recommend you read this book.  It’s like nothing else you’ve ever read.  It blends every genre and the author has a fantastic story-telling ability.  There are a lot of really great quotes in it too.  Okay, enough on this for now, I’ll post a review later.

Twilight: Like, it’s just SO cool.  The super hot vampire (JK, I’m team Jacob), and I just, like, LOVE Bella’s character.  She’s, like, sooo interesting.  Okay, I may have been kidding about this one.  I did give Stephanie Meyer a chance.  I read Twilight and New Moon (the first 2 of the series), but that was torture and I couldn’t finish the series.  From what I hear, it only gets worse.  This book DID influence me, however, by teaching me that just because a book is popular does not mean it is good.  Meyer’s books are cliched, with ridiculous plots and unlikeable characters.  Edward is a creep with so many flaws I can’t even start.  I was also disappointed that she gave the books such a weak female character.  Bella is pathetic.  Also, she has all of one-dimension.  With that in mind, the movie didn’t do a half-bad job – Kristen Stewart didn’t manage to change her tone the entire film.

I’m going to stop hating on Twilight now, sorry for that.  If you like Twilight as a bit of a guilty pleasure, alright that’s fine.  I have no problem with that.  But whenever anyone tries to say it is actually good literature or that Meyer is a talented author I just have to leave.  Here’s what I am going to say: Meyer succeeded with what she wanted.  Her book gained immense popularity and fortune, so she must have done something right.  While I don’t like her writing, her book resonated deeply with her target audience and was a hit.  I’m never going to like it though.

That’s all for now.  Thanks for stopping by =)


9 comments on “What books have influenced you most?

  1. Great post. I loved Shadow of the Wind too! I’m actually writing a post about it later this week for my 40 Week Book Challenge series. Did you read the “prequel” The Angels Game? It wasn’t quite as awesome as SOFTW but still really good.

    • I did read The Angel’s Game! I agree – not quite as good, but still awesome. It was interesting since it was a darker book, and there were some really complex things in the plot that I liked, but it seemed a bit extreme at times. Also, there were a LOT of parallels in plot construction to The Shadow of the Wind, so it was a bit like he was just trying to recreate the first success. All of that aside, I did really like that one too.

      Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! I’ll have to look out for your post later this week 🙂

  2. MomMomHill says:

    Im so happy to find someone else who feels that way about Twilight books… I really did try to give it a chance, too… I saw the movie first and yes, the movies have become my guilty pleasure. So I figured, well, they say the book is always better than the movie… and there there was Twilight. I couldn’t bring myself to make it through to the end of that book. Terrible! So your post was a hoot! Thanks!

  3. engineerjosh says:

    I like Harry Potter too, it’s the first on my list. Though I won’t have much choices on favorite reads since I seldom open a book unless I get a good review from a friend, and a copy which could stay with me for at least a month.

  4. Adam says:

    I read somewhere that Zafon had planned on doing 4 books all revolving around the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, which I’m all for, Shadow of the Wind was fantastic and The Angel’s Game was also very good.

    I enjoyed the Harry Potter books (I just read the series this past summer, I had read the first four books years ago but then broke up with the girl I was borrowing them from) but I’d probably have to say that Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series is probably number one for me. It’s really the series that got me started on reading a lot as an adult.

    I haven’t read Twilight and I have no intention of ever reading it, but your statement that the books are doing something right is a very astute one.

    • I think I read something similar too about Zafon, but then it didn’t seem true or something. I’m not sure. I hope he comes out with more!

      I’ve never read the Wheel of Time series – I’ll have to look into that!

      Thanks for taking the time to read & comment 🙂

  5. […] What books have influenced you most? (booksandboston.wordpress.com) […]

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