This week’s topic is the Top Five Books That Changed My Life.
This was definitely a challenging topic. Maybe it’s because I always think that something life changing has to be this big, dramatic moment.
But this prompt forced me to step back and reconsider. Because the books we read change us, usually for the better, and often in ways that we don’t really appreciate until later. And I think the books I picked today did exactly that for me.
Sorry in advance everyone, but it looks like this is going to be a really sentimental list. You’ve been warned.
Let’s get started.
Top Five Books That Changed My Life
I’ve always loved reading but, at least when I was growing up, book-smart protagonists weren’t exactly easy to find. It was hard sometimes, being an introverted kid with her nose constantly stuck in a book, never feeling like I could be the hero.
Matilda was probably the first story I read that really challenged that idea. Matilda’s love of books and reading is not only her defining trait, it’s also part of her superpowers, and ultimately it helps her to win the day.
And for a shy bookworm, it gave me just a little bit of confidence in myself, knowing that I could be the hero of my own story one day, just by being who I was. And who I still am.
Alanna and all the books in the Song of the Lioness Quartet, could probably be best described as the defining series of my childhood, and the one that’s most responsible for all the things I love in fantasy (and that inspires my own writing today).
It might not seem particularly groundbreaking now, but Song of the Lioness was the first book series I read with a heroine who fights and faces her challenges with bravery, daring, and a sword in her fist. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with heroines who don’t charge into battle, but Alanna was the kind of main character I always longed for but rarely found.
It was a series that taught me I could do anything, not matter what was set against me. And it’s still the series I look to for inspiration when I create my own heroines, and have them slay their own dragons.
A list like this would never be complete without mentioning the Harry Potter series. These books were such an integral part of my life growing up that entire chapters are better preserved in my mind than actual memories of my childhood.
Sorry twelfth birthday party, The Chamber of Secrets came out that year and there’s just not enough room here to remember both of you.
Despite the changes and challenges that have come over the years, this series taught me the importance of friendship and family, that prejudice and hatred only serve to divide us, and that it is never wrong to stand up for what you believe in: lessons I still hold deep in my heart.
This one might not be a strict ‘novel’ like the rest of my picks, but I still consider it to be one of the best and most influential works I’ve ever read.
I found Fullmetal Alchemist in University, when I was still discovering a lot about myself, and it absolutely blew me away with it’s writing: a near perfect blend of deep themes, fantasy, and just the right amount of humor. More than that it gave me two things that have stuck with me even to this day.
The first was an enduring love for hard magic systems. This series is filled with hard limits, rules, and forces anyone who wields alchemy to become a genius bookworm just to make sure they come out of it with all their limbs intact (most of the time). It’s fantastic and imaginative, and I wish I could come up with something this great.
The second was a newfound philosophy: the idea that for everything we want, there is a price to be paid to get it. And even more so, the idea that the bonds we forge are what give us strength. It’s a fantastic story that I continue to revisit year after year, and I’m pretty sure 2022 will be no different.
Of all the books on this list, Spin the Dawn was one I knew I had to mention from the start. Unlike the others though, this one didn’t change my outlook, or give me important values, or inspire my writing (at least not as much as the others on this list) but it did do something that makes it one of the most important novels on this list: it got me to start this blog.
Yup, my review on Spin the Dawn was the first one I ever posted on this site. Looking back at it now, there are a few things I’d change – for instance, maybe a bit less rambling – but I still can’t help but look at it with a little bit of pride.
This book got me started on this wonderful journey, and because of that, I’ve read so many more amazing books, and met so many incredible people. And for that, it deserves a spot on this list.
Well, those are the Top Five Books That Changed My Life. I’m sorry this post got a little sentimental and emotional, but I’m also kind of glad that it happened. This topic gave me the chance to look back and realize just how many great books I’ve read that have inspired and motivated me, and that (I hope) have helped change me into a better, stronger person.
I really hope that I can continue changing for the better, and I can’t wait to find more great books coming our way this year.
Thanks for reading everyone!
Are you looking forward to any of these books? What are your most anticipated reads for the months ahead? Comment below and let me know.