Tuesday, September 2, 2014

10 Most Influential Books


I was challenged on Facebook for the 10 book challenge: I had to list the top 10 books (or book series) that have affected me in some way after reading them. Then I had to list 10 friends who are supposed to do the same. This is not a list of the best books I've ever read, just a few that have stuck with me for years. Here they are. 

1. Bobbsey Twins series: my mother read these to my brother and sisters before bedtime for years. It is one of my fondest childhood memories.




2. Enid Blyton's The Famous Five and Secret Seven series. I devoured these as a kid. Couldn't get enough of them! I loved her other series, but these two were the biggest influences.

3. Lost in the Everglades by Lucy Salamanca. My mom took a break from the Bobbsey twins to read this to us. It was so intriguing - about a young boy lost in the Everglades having to use survival tactics to make it out alive. It was terrifying and fascinating at the same time. I've always been interested in survival type books/shows since.





4. Forever, by Judy Blume. I think this was a right of passage for all teenage girls in the 80's. However, I still giggle whenever I meet anyone named Ralph.

5. Skye O'Malley by Bertrice Small. My first foray into adult romance. It was utter trash - long, epic, overdone but full of sex. I read it at 16 and thought it was the greatest book ever. Read it years later and couldn't get through it! Met Ms. Small at the Long Island Romance Writer's tea years ago and told her how much the book meant to me as a teen. She said she hears that a lot!




6. Trinity by Leon Uris. My mother let me read this when I was 15. It was the first adult book I ever read. There was no going back to kid books afterward. I loved it. Ironically, years later I ended up being Leon Uris' editor on his book A God In Ruins. I had great conversations with Leon during our many hours of editing, his rewriting and chatting. It's one of the great perks of my job!

7. Anthem by Ayn Rand. Also read as a teenager. I thought it was fascinating. Couldn't get into her other books.





8. Suffer the Children by John Saul. I read a few of his books the summer when I was 15, quickly followed by a few Stephen Kings and finally The Amityville Horror. I haven't read any horror since. That was enough! Didn't sleep all summer!

9. Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt. I was lucky enough to read this as a manuscript for another editor when I was at S&S. it was un-put-downable. Another perk of being in this industry. Met him at a book signing with his brother, Malachy. That was a thrill.


10. This is a little different. I read The Bridges of Madison County when I moved to NYC. It was THE book of the year and everyone was talking about it. I hated it. HATED it. (loved the movie though, go figure). In an interview at a publishing house I was asked if I would have bought the book if I was an editor. I struggled to answer honestly but did. The interviewer laughed and said he passed on it too. I didn't get the job and worried I would make an awful editor.


I'm nominating anyone who wants to do this. Just save the link to your top 10 in my comment pages. I'd love to hear what books influenced you!