2 Apr 2011

B is for Books.

Part of my library.

B was a no-brainer for me. Books, of course. What else?

I learnt to read - more or less by accident - at age 4. My brother, who's a few years older than me, was learning at school, and I had the habit of eavesdropping when he practised his letters and words at home. Afterwards, I would sneak in, steal his textbook and try to match the pictures with the sounds.

My favourite reading chair.
Since then, I've read nearly everything I could get my hands on - and forgotten most of it. My taste in books is eclectic, to say the least.

I tend to read in bursts, fast, focusing more on characters than events. Often, all I'll remember about a novel after a few weeks, months or years are snippets of personality, intense emotions and sensory impressions.

Now, in honour of 'Books', I wanted to share a list of the books that have had the biggest impact on my life, and a few pictures of the favourite corners of my bookshelves.

Books that have affected me most:
  • Patrick Süskind - Perfume - it opened up my senses to a whole new level of awareness and made me pay much more attention to scents, flavours, colours, beauty and ugliness in the world outside.
  • Ursula K. Le Guin - Changing Planes - it made me realize that having a wild imagination isn't necessarily a bad thing.
  • Willa Cather - My Antonia - it made me consider that any setting or person - however plain or uninteresting they might seem at first - can be turned into a captivating story, providing you dig deep enough.
  • Marion Zimmer Bradley - Mists of Avalon - I read it as a teenager and it was the first time I encountered such a tragic and complex character (Morgaine) that I could at the same time like and dislike, understand and fault for what she did.
  • A.S. Byatt - Possession - because of the particular flavour of the interwoven worlds and characters, which gave me so much to think about.
  • Umberto Eco - Foucault's Pendulum - for bringing back mystery and magic at a time when I really needed it.
  • William Faulkner - Absalom Absalom! - because it was so wonderfully complicated and showed me how enjoyable it is to stretch your mind.

Favourite corners of my bookshelves:

Which books have had the biggest impact on your life?
♥ Bookmark or share this post ♥


  1. Your bookcases are beautiful!

    The first book that had a big impact on me was the Count of Monte Cristo. I loved the way there were all these story threads woven together and how the Count was so many characters himself. The second was Moonheart, by Charles de Lint. It was the first urban fantasy I ever read and I was blown away by the skillful writing.

  2. Great bookshelf views.

    Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, and Cormac McCarthy are the authors whose books have had the greatest influence on me in my adult life.

    Contrary to my usual practice of subscribing to comments, to save time during challenge I will not be doing so during April. If you want to respond to my comment , please email me directly from your email notification for the comment.

    Tossing It Out
    Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

  3. @CR: Thanks for reminding me about Moonheart. It's on my 'to read' list, and it just got bumped up :-)

    @Lee: will do, see you around :-)

  4. You have no idea how much I enjoy browsing other people's bookshelves. Thanks for that. And that Suskind book has been on my TBR pile forever. I have to read it.

    Some of the books that most influenced me:

    The Grapes of Wrath - reading the ending made me realize the reward is in the honesty of the emotion.

    Cold Mountain - it made me want to get serious about writing.

    MacBeth - I have a thing for Shakespeare, but this one especially. I think it's the psychological drama of it.

  5. Aha, you must be on the other side of the world because you're on B already! Well, books is an excellent choice. We only have one book in common on the read list -- Possession. I love what you say about not remembering---I forget SO much...ah, but that just makes it more fun when I get around to re-reading. ;)

  6. I see some science fiction in there!
    I'd have to say as a writer, Terry Brooks' Shannara series had the most impact.

  7. @L.G.: Ooh, Grapes of Wrath. Yes, good one. Haven't read Cold Mountain yet, so I might have to remedy that.

    @Nicki: Right in the centre of Europe, here, so bedtime is looming. I'm with you on re-reading: books continue to surprise me, even if I've read them before :-)

    @Alex J. Well spotted! :-) Glad you stopped by.

  8. i love it. tomorrow i'm posting quotes about books.

  9. I did B for Books too, only mine was fiction.

  10. @Michelle Great, I'm looking forward to that! =)

    @damyanti I'll be over in a minute. See you! :-)

  11. Fantastic B! I love 'Perfume' too.

  12. Great list of books. I did B for books as well. My Books are for boys.

  13. lovely B Post...the books that influenced me most were Fountainhead, Tales of a 1001 Arabian Nights", Lost Island by James Norman Hall and I loved P.G.Wodehouse.

  14. @Talli Such a great book! I saw the film a few years ago and liked it too. Slightly different, but overall they captured the atmosphere well.

    @Joyce Great list of 'Books for Boys' as well. Now I know the secret formula! :-)

    @Rekha Thanks! More inspiration in there. I keep running into (people who like) Ayn Rand at the moment. Maybe it's a sign ...

  15. My bookshelves are packed and about to topple, which is one of the reasons I had to go to eReaders. We just didn't have room for any more shelves! Yours are so tidy. Amazing! LOL

    Thanks for stopping by the blog yesterday!

  16. in my post today i added a link to this post, plus one to V. R. Barkowski's blog where she has more quotes about books.

  17. I love reading and there is nothing quite like escaping to a good book. My favourite recent book is Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda.
    I’m now following you on GFC and I hope you have a chance to check out my blog!

  18. @India I didn't photograph the other side of the room ;-) I'm a big Kindle fan now, but some ebooks I miss having a paper copy of. Congratulations on your book, btw! :-)

    @Michelle Thanks a lot!

    @Monica I've never heard of Secret Daughter, and I'll probably have to write the author's name down before I'll remember it, but I'll have a look. I love finding new authors. Thanks for the recipes on your blog. I'm going to try your A-rtichoke dip tomorrow! :-)

  19. Ooh, I love your reading nook! So inviting! *sigh*
    The book(s) that has inspired me most is the scriptures. Yeah, I know, I'm such a nerd. But I do love Giants of the Frost by Kim Wilkins, she's great with world building, characterization, and plot!

    ♥.•*¨ Elizabeth ¨*•.♥

  20. Great photos! Catch-22 and just about everything by Joseph Heller and John Irving had a big impact on me. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and A Wrinkle in Time helped stimulate my imagination, and are a big reason why I write middle grade now.

  21. It's so interesting to see someone ALSO loving books, but reading so differently. I am also a character person, but I read slowly and my memory is pretty good. I ALSO love Mists of Avalon... (I compare every version of Arthur I see or read to it and none has lived up) my very FAVORITE detail though, is Lancelot's daughter needing to make Kevin the Bard fall in love with her, and learning the price of forcing love is loving... That twisted tale of be careful of falling on your own sword is BRILLIANT.

  22. @Elizabeth Thanks, I love the nook too :-)

    @Alison I should probably have mentioned John Irving as well. 'Hotel New Hampshire' was the 1st book I read from the grownup section or our library, after devouring all the children's books. I was only 10 at the time, and so not ready for H.N.H.

    @Hart Totally! Her characters and intrigues are so well written.

  23. Wow! You have a beautiful library. I'd have to say that the books that impacted me the most were Laurell K. Hamilton's early Anita Blake books.

  24. I found you on the A-Z challenge

  25. Hi, Giggle, Laugh, Cry. I'll pop over to say hi. :-)

  26. My, you do have a lot of books. I come from a reading family, and my parents have hundreds, my brother had hundreds, as do I. I've always been a non-fiction and memoir lover, so I was a big failure in book club when they were picking just novels. But I do read novels, and I liked The Time Traveler's Wife. I'm about to re-read Queen Noor's book Leap of Faith so maybe I can understand the Middle East a little more, with reflection on what's happening there today.

  27. Not nearly enough! =)

    I hardly ever read non-fiction, unless it's study, work or health-related.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...