07 January 2011

Book Blogger Hop: What Book Influenced You?

Book Blogger Hop

My computer died at the end of the old year and I've been visiting family in the frozen hinterlands of middle America since January 1, so I'm happy just to be getting my first blog post of the new year in by the end of the first week.  This week's hop question, sponsored at Crazy-for-Books, is what book influenced or changed your life and how did it do so?

Well, lots of books do that.  I think people who are sensitive readers come away a little bit changed from most reading experiences.  But the first book to have a marked influence on me is Madeleine L'Engle's wonderful Newbery award winning book, A Wrinkle in Time.  It was published in 1962 and very revolutionary for the time.  My sister Cathi gave it to me for my 6th Christmas in 1978 and it was pretty revolutionary then, too.

 I've been almost a life-long reader.  My mother taught me to read when I was two and I was reading chapter books on the middle grade level by the time I was four, devouring most of C. S. Lewis's Narnia books before I started first grade. The problem, as with so many precocious readers, was finding material that challenged me without being ridiculously age inappropriate.

The day I sat down with my sister's gift, I was mesmerized.  Oh, I'd read much of the day's usual suspects: Beverly Cleary, E. B. White, C. S. Lewis.  My mom took pains to introduce me to two real Wisconsin (my home state at the time) heroines: Caddie Woodlawn and Laura Ingalls.  (Not Judy Blume, though.  My family's natural midwestern conservatism deemed her too racy for me. And though Nancy Drew was encouraged, I loathed her.  Simply loathed her.)  But when I first made friends with Meg Murray and her little brother Charles Wallace, I learned for the first time that smart, awkward, and quirky girls  (i.e. girls a little bit like me) could be heroes, too, and that you don't always have to know all of the answers to life's questions.  Two pretty good lessons to learn at the tender age of six, if you ask me.

Alas! If only the precociousness of my youth carried over into my adulthood.

What about you?  What book has influenced or changed your life?

18 comments:

  1. Hi
    Just hopping by and following through. Great answer - thanks for sharing it!

    Shelleyrae @ book'd Out

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  2. Stopping by through the Hop & Follow.

    I find it interesting that you've been a life long reader when I posted that I hated reading (now I'm a librarian & read a ridiculous amount). :) But one of the few books I had enjoyed were the Chronicles of Narnia. I have a beautiful set of the Time trilogy books from my mom, but as I never really got into A Wrinkle in Time, I don't think I've even opened these books up. Maybe I should give them another try.

    Jennifer (An Abundance of Books)

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  3. Oh I love Madeline L'Engle's books, especially the series about the Murray children. Oddly enough, I just started re-reading a Wrinkle in Time last night!!!! Em, we must have good taste.

    I would put these books, the Narnia books, the Little House on the Prarie books, and James Herriot's books on my list a major influences on my childhood reading. Loved them all! :)

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  4. Hello there! Hopping by! I love the answers to this week’s question.
    I have a huge prize pack giveaway at the blog. A contest reminder is included in my book blogger hop post. I hope you drop by!
    Here’s my post.

    Have a nice weekend!

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  5. I really need to read a Wrinkle in Time. It's been on my TBR forever, but now hearing how influential it can be, I really want to see what it's all about. :-)

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  6. A Wrinkle in Time is one unique book. I don't think I've read anything like it in children's lit before. It's a great introduction to science fiction for kids. Like good science fiction, Wrinkle makes you think.

    Thanks for stopping by The Prairie Library. For following, you might try the "follow" button at the top left of my blog. I find that still functions when Google Friend Connect acts wonky. I hope that works! Otherwise, there's always RSS feeds.

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  7. I don't have a single book to point to. Come by and see why.

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  8. This will probably come of something as a surprise but the book that changed/influenced my life (more than any other) is a non-fiction book. I know we all focus on novels and the fanciful fiction we love to read but The Four Work Week is the book that gets all the credit. I know the title sounds fictional but it really isn’t. Hop over to my blog and find out why – http://www.howardsherman.net

    Happy Book Blogger Hop Day!


    Howard A. Sherman

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  9. Thanks for stopping by and following. I'm a new follower! Great answer and I loved A Wrinkle in Time as well. I really need to read another one of her books.

    Have a great weekend!

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  10. Rock on. A Wrinkle in Time was my pick, as well. Blew my little 8-year old mind, it did. Fell in love with the fantastic, and never looked back. ^_^

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  11. Hopping through. New follower!
    I want to re-read Wrinkle In Time. I didn't like it as a kid, but I hate anything fantasy or sci fi. Now I like those genres a lot better.
    Have you read When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead? It plays homage to AWIT.
    Happy weekend!
    My Hop

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  12. Diana Gabaldon's "OUTLANDER" did it for me. I cannot stop reading since I read her books last October. She is the reason why I started blogging about books. Have a super weekend. I am your newest follower. Come and visit me at www.mandysescape.blogspot.com

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  13. Stopping by from the blog hop...interesting answer.

    Happy New Year....

    My answer is at: http://silversolara.blogspot.com

    Elizabeth

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  14. Stopping by from the hop. Have a great weekend! New follower.

    My hop is here

    Happy Reading,
    Zakiya LadyWings

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  15. Hi. Just dropping by to tell you that I have an award for you in my blog. :) Check it out at Clandestine Sanctuary

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  16. Have you read WHEN YOU REACH ME? It's an amazing MG with a plot tied to A WRINKLE IN TIME. I'd say, without reservation, that it was one of the best books I read last year. (Won the Newbery!)

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  17. Actually, yes, I did. And I really, really liked it! I'm not sure I liked it quite as well as you did, but I thought it was thoroughly engaging and handled the time travel aspects really well--they're so hard to get right, don't you think?

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  18. I read A Wrinkle in Time for the first time last year, and it taught me that reading fantasy might be fun. I have had an aversion to fantasy for a long while, but reading children's books is bringing back a love for it. I'll be reading the Narnia books eventually (I own them.)

    I read The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe as a kid and LOVED it, but somehow between then and now, I forgot how to believe in "magic." Books like this one bring back that wonder I experienced the first time I read CS Lewis. :-)

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Please, sir, may I have some more? (Comments, that is!)