Sunday, March 30, 2014

Top 10 Most Influential Books: tag

This tag is essential just what it sounds like, a list of the ten books that had the biggest influence on you in any way. Keep in mind that this is not a list of straight up favourites, although the two topics will obviously cross over at some points. I've seen a couple of my favourite booktubers do this tag recently and since I am at my parents house currently,  I thought this would be prime time to do a tag like this since most of books are here. 

This is my stack of books, you'll notice there are only nine but we'll get to that shortly. I haven't put them in any ranking order because how can you rank things that had such an influence on you and that you love so much? Unless of course one was drastically more influential than the others. For me these books have various levels of importance but felt that ranking them wouldn't be quite right, so I've arranged them into categories of my age when I read them (childhood, highschool, post-graduation).


First up is the New Adventures of Mary Kate and Ashley series. I do believe I have all 46 of these books, the one in the picture is the case of the Blue Ribbon Horse as this was the first one I had, though apparently this is not the first of the series. These books really defined my childhood and made it what it was, mysteries were(are) cool and whenever I would hang out with my best friend of the time I would always want to play Mary Kate and Ashley, in which we would pretend to be spies/detectives and try to solve some mystery that we had come up with. This usually resulted in us snooping in her parents bedroom and ensuite bathroom, we never got caught but this was always very stressful, we even progressed to snooping in her older brothers room once I think; that was scary. My mom used to read these to me before I'd go to sleep, I was always really excited about it and wanted more than one chapter, though I rarely got two. 

Next is Spilled Water, my Aunt Judy used to live in Hong Kong and she sent this book to me one year for Christmas, I think. This was one of those things that didn't look appealing at first but I ended up reading it a couple years later. This was the first book to make me cry and it really opened me up to books that had more real stories that weren't necessarily just for fun. 

Here is the book that I sadly don't have my own copy of, Alone in an Untamed Land of the Dear Canada series. I have a few of these books but this was the first one I read, borrowing it from my school library in sixth grade. Everything about this book was amazing to me, it was exciting and sad and very compelling. This book gave me a spark of interest in history and what life was like in olden times, but basically it and the others of this series that I've read gave me a love of historical fiction that still lingers in my taste in novels today.


The Giver is such a classic and the only book that was read in my highschool that I believe to have been loved by everyone. (I loved it so much that I bought my own copy years later at a library sale, the blue sticker means it was 50 cents!) This really gave me the perspective that not all school books are going to be terrible, and I was a lot more open to enjoying books read in school after this point. This was also the first dystopian that I experienced, the "utopia" described in this book and how in depth this concept was studied in class paved the way for me to understand the worlds of things like The Hunger Games and Divergent. This book really got me thinking and I actually read ahead and finished it the weekend before it was going to be finished in class, and good thing I did because I cried when I first read the ending, and the last thing I needed was to have to run out of a classroom crying over a book again

In all honesty Twilight is what got me into reading. I have a talk shit get hit mentality over this book, criticism is one thing but straight up hate is not necessary. When it boils down to it Twilight is not the best book ever or even on this list, but it had a major influence on me personally as well as the Young Adult/Teen Fiction genre as we know it today. This series was huge in its time and it was a lot of peoples' favourite and a lot of peoples' inspiration to get into reading, including mine. Without Twilight I probably would not be typing this today, I just did not read the way I do now before I read this book, and who knows if I'd have come across anything to spark that interest if I hadn't read this first?

Madapple is an amazing novel that deserves a second read from me. Having read this before I really knew much of anything about the world and psychology was possibly a bad choice on an understanding level but I'm glad I did it. While this was beyond my years when I read it, It is something that I still think about today, and I read it several years ago. I took seven or eight psychology courses over my time at university and whenever I'd read or learn about something that was relevant to this book I would remember it out of nowhere, and this was addictive. The way the human brain works and develops plays a huge role in this novel and I would recommend it to anyone looking for something of this nature without being too obvious about it. I plan to re-read this one soon, to get an even better grasp on its concepts.

Everybody loves Chbosky. Find me someone who has read The Perks of Being a Wallflower and hasn't been influenced in some way by it, I dare you. This novel is really something special when it comes to depression and understanding, as well as tackling things like what love really is and friendship. This was an important read and it's something I think everyone should experience at least once (the book not the actual events of the story, there's some unfortunate stuff and things I would not recommend in there). This book manages to be an uplifting story despite its depression, and this is a really important aspect of the novel, it really helped me to understand the depressed mind a little better and understand depressed friends a little better than I would have before reading this and for that I will forever sing this novel's praises. 


Lets get that elephant in the room out of the way first. I didn't read the Harry Potter novels until all the movies were done. Please don't hurt me. This stems from how I didn't like reading as much until I read Twilight, as stated above. The Philosophers Stone was read out loud by my fourth grade teacher to my class. After that I tried to read The Chamber of Secrets and I just had a hard time following so I gave up. By the time I was felt confident enough to try again, the movies were at least half through and so I decided I'd wait til I'd seen all the films and then marathon read the entire series to make comparisons to the movies with a fresh mind, and also to postpone post-potter-depression, which I knew was coming. The only regret I have of this decision is the reactions I get from literally everyone. I loved all the movies and getting to marathon read all the novels the way that I did, no big surprises just pleasant extras and descriptions and characters added to a world that I already knew and loved. This gave me an upper-hand I think when it comes to my enjoyment of both mediums. I'm sure a lot of people have complaints about the films, having had their hopes up to match the book upon entering the theater, for me everything was new so what was there to be a disappointment? After this, reading the novels was like getting glasses for the first time, everything was so much clearer and more detailed. My experience was ideal, as getting glasses and experiencing things with them is lovely, while losing your glasses forever after having been used to them would be something awful to be bitter about. That being said, this entire series and franchise has really opened my eyes and creativity. There is so much wisdom packed into these seven novels than anything else I've ever experienced. 

Braless in Wonderland is by no means a masterpiece novel. It's a fluffy read but it really hit home wit me. I'm not planning to run off and be a professional model but I appreciated the look into the industry and its problems. I feel as though this book isn't very sought after simply because its topic seems, well, ditzy. And to be honest it kind of is. However, I chose this book over others for this list for a reason and that is that I felt different after having read this book than I did before. This book made me feel like it was okay to step out of your comfort zone, its okay to choose a creative path over standard university/or to take a gap year to work and figure things out, and it's okay to be confident in your appearance. When it boils down to it this book was important when I read it and I couldn't rightfully leave it out of this list.

Finally I have Clockwork Princess. I would call The Infernal Devices series my favourite book series, but the third and final book really takes the cake. The entire second half of this book I spent in tears, which was hours as this is a huge book and the crying slowed me down even more. This book really struck a cord with me on the topic of friendship and love. I don't want to spoil anyone so I'll just say that I really felt for Will in this book. To me, friendships are the most important relationships to exist in your life, nothing will be successful without a solid base (including romantic relationships). Will and Jem in this series have such a heartbreakingly beautiful friendship, it is truly something to strive to have in your life, and something to protect and take care of fiercely if you've already found it. This is a truly beautiful series with an ending so satisfying that it was hard to believe it was really it.

xoxo Megan

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