Sleepy Sunday: 10 Books That Influenced (Past) Me

A few years ago, there was a Facebook tag going around, asking people to name ten books that influenced them. I was looking back on the choices made by 18-year-old me and thought I’d share them with you, with some thoughts from present me!


1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern [Fantasy]
Full disclosure: I haven’t actually finished reading this. I must’ve been reading it around the time I made this list, but I definitely haven’t read enough to have the book influence me much. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed what I read, and hope to return to it soon.

2. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller [Play]
I’m quite sure I cried at the end of this, and any story that can evoke that much emotion is definitely an influencer for me. I remember being fascinated by the complexity of the main character — I wrote a blog post about him, if you’re interested. (Don’t worry, it’s spoiler-free!)

3. The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling [Fantasy/Children’s fiction]
If you’ve been around here long (at least five seconds) you might’ve noticed that I like Harry Potter. This series truly has been inspiring to me — it fostered not only my love of books and writing, but also stands as an example of what happens when you refuse to give up.

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5 Reasons Harry Potter is a Great Character

Harry Potter is one of the most underrated characters in his own series.

I have never heard anyone say that Harry is their favourite, and a quick Google search of ‘Harry Potter is a bad character’ (or something similar) shows no shortage of people who think he’s the worstWhile I must admit that he isn’t my favourite (Ron has that spot reserved — another underrated character I might rant about sometime), here are five reasons Harry is a great character, inspired largely by the unjustified hate he gets from others. Warning: spoilers ahead.

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A Quick Guide to Roald Dahl Reads

Happy Roald Dahl day! Mr Dahl was born on this day, 101 years ago. If you’ve been around here a while, you might know that I’ve found a friend or two in his writing, but if you’re still waiting to dive into his books, here is a list to help you choose the right book for the right occasion.

For an adventure, try…

James and the Giant Peach. If you’re in the mood to travel but feel too cosy at home, this is the book for you. Get ready for a wild journey with a tinge of magic, a series of mad schemes, and a very unusual cast of characters.

The BFG. The ingredients (magic… mad plans… unusual characters…) are the same, the story wildly different. But both books dare you to be brave, and to follow your dreams even if they take you in unexpected directions.

For an empowering read, try…

Matilda. It’s a story of mind over matter, sprinkled with moments of humour and hope. It encourages you to persevere, to believe in your abilities, and to stand up for what you believe in. It also makes a pretty good case for reading all the books you can get your hands on!

“Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog.” — Matilda to her friend Lavender

For something uplifting, try…

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