Sunday, August 11, 2013

Reading Rocks: 5 Books That Shaped Me

I have read A LOT of books but I don't think I could pin down a "favourite".  Over the years my "favourite" book has changed.  I can't decide if current life circumstances influence one's intake of media, or if media influences one's life circumstances.  Did I read Babysitter's Club because I loved to babysit?  Or did I like babysitting because I read Babysitter's Club?

In either case, today I share the books I feel have played significant roles in my life and why: 

1.  Come Over To My House by Theo LeSing - This is a kid's book I've recommended on my blog in the past.  My Dad read this to me and my brother as a child - he did voices of the kids from different areas of the world (Australian, Russian, Scottish, etc) and we would laugh and beg for him to read it again.  It might have influenced my tolerance for other cultures... I found it on eBay after my boys were born, left it at my parent's home and apparently my Dad reads it with the same silly voices to his Grandkids.  

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2.  Forever by Judy Blume - I can name 3 Judy Blume books that I would consider influential in my life (Are You There God? It's Me Margaret and Tiger Eyes are the other two).  But Forever was the first book I read with sex in it.  Not erotica sex (erotica is usually as fake as porn - although not often as raunchy).  No, this book had real, first-time teenage sex, and a realistic aftermath.  

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3.  Twilight by Stephanie Meyer - this is a book that I am often embarrassed to admit to reading.  Why was it an influence in my life?  It was the first book (series) I picked up after my kids were born.  I remember reading a Dan Brown book the week I was due with my first son (December, 2005).  Until Twilight (June 2008), I hadn't read a single book.  It got me excited to read again, it gave me the "must stay up until 2am to finish" feeling, even though I KNEW I should sleep when the new baby slept.  It also made me realize I could read "fluff" as an adult.

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4.  Phantom by Susan Hay - This was the first adult book I ever read.  I think I was 14 years old.  Before Phantom I was reading Babysitter's Club books (like 2 per week), Fear Street, Christopher Pike and Lois Duncan.  At the time I was obsessed with Phantom of the Opera, I had seen it like 3 times in only a year and a half.  This book is about the life of the man who became the Phantom - essentially it tells how he ended up under the opera house and what/who influenced his life and path to become who he became.  Told from different perspectives starting with his birth, it ends where the musical/movie begins.

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5. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien - I haven't actually finished the book yet (technically that is).  My father told me the story of the Hobbit as a bedtime story when I was a child.  To this day I can trace my love of fantasy and sci-fi back to this book.  After the movie came out in 2012, I picked it up and (finally) started to read it.  

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