The Books that Made Me Who I Am Today

Friday, October 10, 2014

I was recently inspired by a buzzfeed article that I read a couple weeks ago, and decided that what we read can also become a definition of who we are as a person, not just personal preference. Looking back, there are a number of books that have affected me greatly and made me who I am today. I can definitely say that I would not be the same having not read these books.

1. The Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce. I will forever be grateful to this amazing woman, because not only was she the one that really made me love reading, but she was my first taste of true feminist fiction. Strong heroines who could kick butt and take names. Women, who despite everyone telling her she couldn't, they actually went out and did better than the guys. As a middle schooler, not knowing who I was, reading this book gave me more confidence and just a general love for YA literature.

2. The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien. I grew up with my dad telling me of these tales at bed time. I watched the cartoons and went all fangirl on my family when the first movie came out when I was in sixth grade, having just finished the series for myself only a few months prior to the release. This was the series of books that made me love fantasy in its most archaic form.

3. The Mark of the Lion trilogy by Francine Rivers. The most life changing books beside the Bible I have ever read in my life. It's Christian fiction, but it's killer Christian fiction. Even to this day, I don't think there are many comparable writers. This lady is fantastic, and her characters are astoundingly affecting. Hadassah's journey through being a slave was at times heart wrenching and other times so wrought with danger and perseverance that there was no way I couldn't identify with this book.

4. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. This was the first classic that made me realize that not all classics should be deemed boring. This is also the book that has made me fall in love with what I study. I have read it five times and have written about six research papers over it, and it still never gets old.

5.  Divergent by Veronica Roth. Though I will be the first to say this wasn't my favorite book ever, this was definitely a book that I read at the most ideal time in my life. I read it just last March, and I couldn't have picked a better time. Tris' move from Abnegation to Dauntless was something that I truly identified with, and it just somehow hit home for me, and I felt like I really understood her character because of where I was in life.

6. Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover. This book tore my heart to shreds. I never really liked contemporary realistic fiction before I read her books, and I am so thankful that I decided to take a chance on this book. It was a book full of flawed and broken people, and I loved it all the more because of that.

What books have made you into who you are? Share with us!


  1. That's a hard question to answer... My first instinct would be to go with a lot of the books I read in childhood, because they instilled a love of reading in me that continues to this day. I might also include the first chapter book I read by myself (because that was kind of a big deal... at least, I thought so at the time).

    I'm not sure if I've read that many books that have had an impact on me as a person; at least, there's not really any one book I can point to. There are books that have impacted me as a reader and/or writer, though... like this one book I read where the author killed off the love interest right in the middle of the trilogy, and it blew my mind. It was like, "I didn't know authors were allowed to do that!" LOL Or, upon reading Jane Eyre for the first time, realizing that the first-person POV wasn't just a modern invention and that classics could be easy to read and understand.

    1. What trilogy was that? I'm curious! That's almost like a no-no for authors. Oh Jane Eyre, I love that book. Actually any book during that time period I love. I love all the Brontë sisters, Austen, Shelley, Gaskell. Ugh just all of them! Have you read North & South, or at the very least watched the BBC miniseries? It's SOOOO GOOD!

  2. If I tell you which trilogy it was, it would ruin the reading experience because the death happened in the middle of the second book. (If you're really interested, I can e-mail you the name of the series.) Oh, man... I was gutted. I actually went back and re-read those pages because I couldn't believe the author had just offed him like that!

    No, I haven't actually watched North & South or read the book. I'm only familiar with Elizabeth Gaskell through the BBC production of Cranford (which I quite enjoyed).

    1. Hhmmm... well, you may be right. I don't want to be spoiled if I end up getting ahold of whatever series it is. You NEED to at least watch North & South. It's on Netflix. I love it so much more than Cranford. I'm huge into BBC, so I can say that North & South is one of my all time favorite BBC miniseries. If you do end up watching it, let me know your thoughts.

  3. Oh I agree about Frankenstein! I always thought classics were horrible messes of just Austen and Bronte. (Which aren't horrible! I just...they're not for me. I was very narrow-visioned when I was smallish.) But after reading Frankenstein I actually got interested in them and read some George Orwell which I didn't mind (but I don't think I really understood it, hehe.) And of course Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan will remain my favourite classics.

    YES TO DIVERGENT. It got me off my "nothing I read will ever match The Hunger Games" epic slump. THG was like my introduction to YA and Divergent was like "hello there is a great big world of YA, go out and eat it". So I did. And look at me now. My mouth is always full of books.

    I absolutely LOVE that picture at the beginning of the post, too!! XD *hugs Allegiant*

    1. Oh I love Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. I first read the story only a couple of years ago. I fell in love at first sight!

      Divergent, yes! I'm the same I first read THG when it first came out, and my whole world changed.


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