“What book influenced or changed your life? How did it influence/change you?”
I’m sure I’ve been influenced by a lot of books, but there are two that stick out in my mind as really shaping the way I perceive the world, love, and relationships.
I read Gone With the Wind in 8th grade because I loved the Accelerated Reader program at my school’s library and the book was a ton of points. I haven’t read it since, but what’s stuck with me is that life is never certain. Things can always get worse, people can die (I mean, come on, both twins), and the best laid plans can go astray. Nothing is for sure except your own resiliency. There are also the ideas that love for loves sake can never work out and we don’t know what we really want.
The Great Gatsby, which I read for the first time (and definitely not the last), in 10th grade, had similar ideas about life and love that reiterated how I approach the world. Love didn’t do anyone any good in that book, and Gatsby changed his fortunes, but it didn’t make him happy or even save him.
Kind of depressing books to influence my life now that I think about it, but I think they are the two defining books that have influenced what books I am drawn too and what kinds of stories I write myself.