Ten books that influenced me


I have not felt very inspired to write prompts at the moment. I don’t want to write about negative things and I can’t think of anything particularly positive for this weeks topics so I decided to rather use an idea for a post that I got from author and English professor, Charles French.

If you don’t know Charles, you should go over and visit his site. He shares great ideas and tips about writing and lots of incentivisation to keep writing no matter what. He also has some excellent novels and non-fiction works.

So, on to my list of ten adult books that have influenced me, in no particular order. If you click on the link, you’ll find my review.

  1. The Stand by Stephen King;
  2. Dracula by Bram Stoker;
  3. Anthem by Ayn Rand;
  4. The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane;
  5. 1984 by George Orwell;
  6. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte;
  7. The Shining by Stephen King;
  8. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
  9. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough; and
  10. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

You can read Charles’ post here: https://charlesfrenchonwordsreadingandwriting.wordpress.com/2020/03/26/10-books-that-influenced-me/

What books have influenced you?


72 thoughts on “Ten books that influenced me

  1. I am so glad it isn’t just me, Robbie…Well not glad at all but I feel deflated as if all the air has been sucked out of me…a weird feeling…Have just read the news and lockdown could last until June…I agree with the Queen I think this will be my annus horribilis. Be well x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Is that in Thailand, Carol? The lockdown is a miserable failure to date in South Africa despite the defense force being out and about. You cannot lock down people who don’t have proper homes containing bathrooms or at least a toilet, who don’t have food and water and who live from day-to-day. I am scared that our poor are going to start starving.


  2. Good list, Robbie. Mine would probably change hour-by-hour the more I thought about it, but for this moment:
    1. Bible
    2. The Exorcist
    3. The Amityville Horror
    4. Intensity (Koontz)
    5. My Name is Asher Lev and The Gift of Asher Lev (Potok)
    6. Dracula
    7. Where the Red Fern Grows
    8. The Mummy Market (Brelis)
    9. Jay’s Journal (Sparks)
    10. Moby Dick


  3. This is such an interesting prompt from Charles because my immediate thought is: How are we defining influence? Influenced how, in what way? If I go in the direction of influence as life-changing epiphany, there are three works I’d name:

    1. Cathedral, a collection of short stories by Raymond Carver
    2. “Barn Burning,” a short story by William Faulkner
    3. Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Books that influenced my writing and my life
    1. Pride and Prejudice
    2. Anne of Green Gables
    3. Little Women
    4. The Blind Assassin
    5. The Great Gadsby
    6. Fall on Your Knees
    7. Doctor Zhivago
    8. Gone With The Wind
    9. To Kill a Mockingbird
    10.Black Beauty

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Some of the books you list are definitely worth revisiting. I will have to think for awhile on this. But it’s a good prompt during a time when we feel out of focus. (K)


  6. What a good list. I have 3 of those on my list–Anthem, 1984, and Red Badge of Courage. The last, I often use allusions to it. Nice job, Robbie.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. No I was reading about the UK… Here I don’t know… There is money available for the poor here so if things get worse they should be ok… The banks closed last week for two days to help the poor make their applications for the money. Thais help each other… I am not worried about anyone starving here.. But I see your point Robbie total lockdown woudnt work in those circumstances.. Be safe xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. In no particular order (I read some of these when I was a kid and others relatively recently) and there are so many more that probably should be here:

    1. Look Homeward, Angel (Thomas Wolfe)
    2. Angelique (and subsequent books in the series) Anne Golan
    3. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
    4. King of the Wind (Marguerite Henry)
    5. The Far Arena (Richard Ben Sapir)
    6. Nine Princes in Amber (and subsequent books in the series) (Roger Zelazny)
    7. Shogun (James Clavell)
    8. Lord of the Rings (J.R.R. Tolkein
    9. The Door Into Summer (Robert Heinlein)
    10. A Distant Mirror (Barbara Tuchman)
    11. Earth Abides (George R. Stewart)]
    12. All You Zombies (short stories) (Robert Heinlein)
    13. Everything about the Discworld by Terry Pratchett
    14. Harry Dresden series (Jim Butcher)
    15. O Jerusalem: Day by Day and Minute by Minute the Historic Struggle for Jerusalem and the Birth of Israel
    (Larry Collins, and Dominique Lapierre)
    16. Judas, My Brother (Frank Yerby)

    I’m sorry if it’s too many. I’ve read too many books. This is the very tip of a huge iceberg!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A fabulous list, Marilyn, thank you for sharing. I haven’t read all of these but have added them to my list [which is also very long]. I hadn’t thought of Shogun which is a marvelous book. I am not a huge fantasy reader and preferred The Hobbit to LOTR’s but don’t tell my son as he is a LOTR’s addict.


      1. It took me a LONG time to get into LOTR. You have to wade through about 350 pages in the beginning while Tolkien sets up his world, the languages, the peoples, the geography, history, and pre-history. I read it while I was in the hospital for about 5 months at which point I would read ANYTHING. I wasn’t allowed out of bed and my level of boredom reached epic proportions. BUT once I get past the world-building, the books grabbed me and didn’t let me go. The audiobooks are even better because the narrator is exceptional. My husband, on the other hand, was never ready and probably never will be ready to read anything that long, no matter what it is, but he loved the movies. .


  9. I should mention that I am having a lot of trouble writing anything that isn’t depressing. Although life hasn’t changed much in terms of what we do, it has changed so much emotionally I don’t even know how to manage it.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Little Women for me. I’ve read a lot of the books on your list and some are on my TBR because they are on the List of 100 Essential Books scratch off poster I got for Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. A terrific list! Here are a few of mine:
    1- “Adventures In The Screen Trade” by William Goldman. He was a great writer of screenplays like “Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid” and yes, he wrote the NOVEL “The Princess Bride” before doing the film’s screenplay – but this is his non-fiction look at the crazy world of Hollywood, where he came up with the legendary phrase “nobody knows anything” to describe the entertainment business!
    2- “The Name Of The Rose” by Umberto Eco. This historical drama was the first “serious” book I ever bought in hardcover, and I still own it. Made me realize the power of words.
    3-“The Happy Isles Of Oceania” by Paul Theroux. You know I love this travel Writer and Author of novels such as “The Mosquito Coast” – this is his travelogue as he paddled a canoe through the South Pacific and dodged deadly encounters with animals – and people – the entire journey. Riveting.
    4-“Kitchen Confidential” by Anthony Bourdain. The memoir where a great Writer finds his voice and becomes the most influential food writer in the world.
    5-“Cry Of The Kalahari” by Mark and Delia Owens. Their memoir of living in Africa trying to save wild animals from poachers.
    The list could go on and on; “The Stand” of course proved just how powerful and profound a horror story could be.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have read so many things I’m not really interested in reading recently that I don’t even know what I like anymore. Sometimes I’ll come upon a book I like (enjoying Crispina Kemp’s “Spinner’s Game” right now), but fulfilling challenges and reading what I “should” doesn’t necessarily do it for me.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Reading is supposed to be a pleasurable activity, H. I undertook the reading challenge because I was struggling to read with all this news going on and I thought the deadlines might help. They have so I broke through my apathy. Happy reading.

          Liked by 1 person

  12. My seven books that have influenced me.
    White Swans by Jung Chang.
    Imagica by Clive Barker
    A Thousand Splendid Sun’s
    The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
    The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen
    The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne.
    An extra
    The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

    There are some great books on your list.💜

    Liked by 1 person

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