Monday, November 15, 2010

Fifteen writers who have influenced me

A Facebook friend recently tagged me in her note and encouraged me to come up with my own list of "15 writers who have influenced me and will always stick with me."

The instructions were to list the first 15, or as many as I could recall, in no more than 15 minutes. So here goes...I could have easily listed 30. I always have a hard time limiting myself. (Actually I cheated and came up with 16!! Such a rule breaker!)

Little House on the Prairie Boxed Set1. Laura Ingalls Wilder (childhood favorite)

The Globe Illustrated Shakespeare: The Complete Works Annotated2. William Shakespeare (took a couple of Shakespeare classes in high school and have seen many plays over the years)

The Secret Garden3. Francis Hodgson Burnett (a favorite during a children's lit class in college--started reading A Secret Garden again recently to Kieran and was reminded of how much I enjoyed it)

Collected Poems4. Syvia Plath (loved her poetry in high school and have always been fascinated with her story)

The Complete Novels of Jane Austen5. Jane Austen (I was an English major, remember? And she was the subject of my first conversation with Mike)

6. Michael Gettel-Gilmartin (Mike and I wrote love letters during our courtship, when we lived an hour away from each other in Japan--I fell in love with him through his beautiful writing...I hope people beyond me and his writers' groups will discover him soon, too!)

The Color Purple7. Alice Walker (The Color Purple, which I read in Feminist Theology at PLU, changed my life)

Their Eyes Were Watching God8. Zora Neale Hurston (also discovered during Feminist Theology)

The Golden Notebook: Perennial Classics edition (Paperback)9. Doris Lessing (after reading The Golden Notebook in Feminist Theology, I designed an independent study course around her Children of Violence series and other texts)

Braided Lives10. Marge Piercy (read all of her novels and much of her poetry during college and the years after)

The Cider House Rules: A Novel (Modern Library)11. John Irving (first read The Cider House Rules on my travels, and then consumed most of his other novels...also got to hear him in person several years ago)

Jitterbug Perfume12. Tom Robbins (Jitterbug Perfume was my first Tom Robbins...haven't read him for awhile, but I should pick one of those mind-changing, thought-provoking books up again!)

The Bean Trees13. Barbara Kingsolver (a bookstore owner friend turned me onto Kingsolver way before she got so popular--I started with The Bean Trees--at the time the only novel she'd yet published!)

Midwives (Oprah's Book Club)14. Chris Bohjalian (I wrote a few weeks ago about how much I love his books--I started with Midwives and have never been disappointed)

My Year of Meats15. Ruth Ozeki (I loved My Year of Meats and All Over Creation--wish she would write some more!)

Harry Potter Complete Set books 1-716. JK Rowling ('nuff said!)

How about you? Who are your 15 (or 16)?


  1. Wow! I'm on this list?! I am overwhelmed and am over in the corner, doing a Sally Field impression.

    (Thank you. I love you.)

  2. Of course!! You'll always be my favorite writer.