Monday, November 08, 2010

Authors Who Have Influenced Me

My friend Katie posted a note on Facebook of the fifteen authors who have influenced her the most. She tagged me to post my own list, which I did on Facebook. I decided that it'd be fun to post it here as well, along with a few of the reasons why these authors are important to me:

(in alphabetical order)

Chris Bohjalian Midwives was the first of Bohjalian's books that I read. Before You Know Kindness is an all-time favorite. I love how he writes about issues and situations and makes me think in new ways.

Ray Bradbury Two of the books I read in high school that have really stuck with me are both by Bradbury: Fahrenheit 451 and Dandelion Wine.

"Carolyn Keene" I adored Nancy Drew as a child! I consider her to be one of my early role models.

Barbara Kingsolver Kingsolver's novels have changed the way I view the world. I especially loved Animal Dreams . I'll be reading her latest novel, The Lacuna, this month with the Book Buddies.

E.L. Konigsburg My favorite novel in third grade was Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth. I also will never forget reading From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, which gave me my first urgings to someday visit New York City. As an adult, I still love Konigsburg's work - and I'm currently listening to the audiobook of The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place.

Harold Kushner I've read most of Kushner's books, and although he is a Jewish rabbi and I am a lifelong Christian, I've gained great insights into God and His workings with His children from Kushner. I especially loved When All You've Ever Wanted Isn't Enough.

Madeleine L'Engle L'Engle is another author whose work has influenced me throughout my life. As a young person, I loved reading A Wrinkle in Time and A Ring of Endless Light, getting to know the Murrays and the Austins. (I'd love to re-read all of those books some day!) Now L'Engle's adult novel A Live Coal in the Sea is an all-time favorite.

Harper Lee I think that To Kill a Mockingbird, which I first read as a high school senior, was a direct influence in the development of my world view, my sense of social justice.

C.S. Lewis The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is an all-time favorite of mine from childhood, and I'm also influenced by much of Lewis' non-fiction work on Christianity.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh Gift from the Sea is one of the few books that I have read over and over. This classic non-fiction book was given to me by my mother after I had graduated from college and taken a job in another state. The issues Lindbergh explores are just as pertinent to women today as they were when it was first published in 1955. My copy is filled with highlighting and notes.

Chaim Potok I first fell in love with Potok when I read The Chosen. I also was able to hear him speak while I was at BYU. Some of my love of the Jewish culture comes from Potok's work.

William Shakespeare It probably goes without saying that Shakespeare is a major influence on the world. I particularly have enjoyed seeing his work performed at the Utah Shakespeare Festival every year since 1998, the first year I attended.

Jerry Spinelli I adore Stargirl. I want to be Stargirl when I grow up. Spinelli has also written some other pretty good books.

Anne Tyler I've read every one of Tyler's novels, beginning with Dinner at Homesick Restaurant. Her characters are quirky and lovable.

E.B. White I have vivid memories of listening to my third-grade teacher read The Trumpet of the Swan. And who didn't use The Elements of Style as a reference in college?

Which authors have influenced you the most?


  1. What a great list! I loved loved L.M. Montgomery as a child/young teen.

  2. I couldn't agree more, Ray Bradbury and Harper Lee are definitely high up on my list too!

    An author I recently discovered was Peter E. Meltzer, who spent 15 years writing this amazing reference book called The Thinker's Thesaurus. Whenever I need a unique word, I am able to quickly look one up in this entertaining, top-selling book. Worth a look if you're into reading a great book and expanding your writing skills.

  3. Oh... I see a few of my favorite authors here too: E.B. White, Ray Bradbury, and Harper Lee. I've read their books and LOVE them!

  4. Awesome post! And what a list here! Wow. I agree with many, but there's also quite a bit I'm not so familiar with. Now you've got me wondering who would be on my list? I'll have to ponder...

  5. Janssen: Can you believe I have never read L.M. Montgomery?!

    Clark: The Thinker's Thesaurus looks like fun.

    Alice: Definitely some great authors there!

    Suey: I'd love to know who you'd put on your list!