Booking Through Thursday: Life-Changing

36.52: The Blue Room

This week’s Booking Through Thursday prompt is “Which book changed your life?” I’m not sure I can pick just one book, but I’ll talk about a few books I’ve read that I considered monumental or life-changing in some way.

Gone With the Wind was the first “adult” book I’d read. I remember my mom had it out in the living room, and I was turning it over and looking at it. She asked me if I wanted to read it. It was really thick. The mass market paperback copy my mom had was about 1,000 pages long. It never occurred to me I might be ready to read an adult book, or that my mom thought I could. I am not sure why because my mother never tried to prevent me from reading anything. She always encouraged me to read. Because it opened the door of adult fiction to me, Gone With the Wind will remain important to me.

To Kill a Mockingbird opened some doors for me, too. It was the first book I read for school that I can remember enjoying—and I didn’t read it until 11th grade, so that’s a sad statement in itself. I loved the characters. I love the voice. I loved everything about it.

The Lord of the Rings opened the doors of fantasy fiction to me. Prior to reading this epic, I hadn’t really read much fantasy, but I truly enjoyed this book. Another benefit to my reading this book has been a connection with my father. It’s a favorite of his as well, and it gave us many great discussions.

Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series has been influential to my own writing. I learned a lot about the craft of writing from Diana Gabaldon, both through examining her choices as a writer and in reading about them in The Outlandish Companion.

J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series has brought me a great deal of joy. I began reading it at a time when I wasn’t very happy, and it was something I shared with my oldest daughter. I will always treasure our first read of it together. But beyond that, it’s given me a hobby and interest that I’ve enjoyed. I owe J.K. Rowling many, many countless hours of happiness. It has been nice to escape into her world from time to time. I’ve been mocked both directly and indirectly for being an adult fan of this series, and the only thing I have to say to those people is that I’m sad they have nothing better to do than to scrutinize anyone’s reading choices, especially when they’re relatively harmless—I mean, it’s not like I read instruction manuals for how to build bombs or get away with nefarious crimes.

photo credit: by Janine

6 thoughts on “Booking Through Thursday: Life-Changing

  1. Harry Potter was a unique experience for me because it was a book I thought I would hate until I picked it up and read it on the advice of my boss who was a Harry Potter fanatic. I'm grateful I did, so I'm one of those adult fans now. It's amazing how such a simple thing as some bound paper with words on them can elicit such strong responses in us. I think ever book has such potential to change ones life.

  2. I love, love, love Harry Potter. In fact, all of those books/series you discussed except the Diana Gabaldon series, are books I love. But, Harry Potter is the first books that I will say I became obsessed with — they've been with me through the ups and downs of my adult life.

  3. I am new to reading your blog, but almost laughed out loud when I read this post. Every. single. one. of the titles you listed are huge for me as well! I am a huge HP fan, and am still sick over the fact that the books are finished. I remember finishing Gone with the Wind and feeling like I was finally a "grown-up". To Kill a Mockingbird was one of those "books I should have read in school" that I only read for the first time last summer. (I know I appreciated it more than I would have at 15 or 16.) "The Lord of the Rings" movie trilogy got me hooked on reading the books. After I saw the first movie, I wouldn't see any more until I had read all of the books. And finally, Diana Gabaldon– she can write some steamy romance, but I don't feel too guilty about it since the rest of her writing is so well-crafted and her information is well-researched.

    I think I can count on you to be a good indicator of what I might and might not like in reading! 🙂

    1. I know what you mean! There are a few readers out there who seem to like everything I do! I have one Goodreads friend who I am dying of curiosity about because we like ALL the same books, and there are so few exceptions it's spooky.

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