Important Books in my Life

I’ve been having fun thinking of seven books that have been influential in my life, yet another Face Book tagging game. I’m sure there could have been others, but these are the ones that came to my mind first.

the book I re-read at least once a year, while occasionally wishing I was Kate DiCamillo (because she’s funny, wise, and such a good writer of middle grade novels)

one of the few “adult” novels I’ve read a few times (although I’ve never wished to be John Irving:)

the picture book that made me wonder if I couldn’t try writing my own picture books

one of my favorites from childhood; this is the 1958 edition I still have, although it was printed a couple of years before my birth. I’ve been sewing for a lot of my adult life, and maybe this story had something to do with that, and my obsession with making something of nothing.

during my English degree, I began noticing that certain authors were really good. I do wish Dickens had been a little less wordy, since all his books take a very long time to read, but I admire his artistry.

I got to live for a month in iconic Canadian artist Doris McCarthy’s Scarborough Bluffs home, Fool’s Paradise, in 2015, and I decided to start playing around with art the following year. I continue to seek  a publisher for a young person’s book about this amazing, gutsy, forthright woman, who was ahead of her time in a lot of ways.

and the novel that really set my course for the ten years since it was first published. Inspired by a man I know, this story of the Lost Boys of Sudan took almost five years to research and write; not sure I have that kind of energy for a writing project anymore, but if the right topic comes my way, who knows?

Thoughts? What books have been influential in your life? Like me, I’m sure you’re all doing more reading during these Covid times (and more Netflix watching, but that’s another topic…) Cheers!

8 thoughts on “Important Books in my Life

  1. These are all very good books. I would have a list a mile long I think. Has it really been 10 years since you published A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk? I loved that book and donated it to a school library when I moved to Spain. It’s been a very good ten years for you. xo

  2. mirkabreen

    I was happy to learn what your milestone books are. I never made a list and if I tried, half would be in Hebrew, which won’t resonate to readers in the Americas.
    But, like you, a good percentage are books for middle grades, which is why I write for kids.

  3. davewatsonauthor

    Thanks for sharing Jan. It’s fun to see the books others find meaningful to them. I’ve read several on your list. Wonderful picture of your golden retriever. What’s her(?) name?

  4. I really enjoyed your list. Because of Winn Dixie is one of my favorites too. So beautiful and compactly written. I love Dickens, but Great Expectations, which I had to read in high school, isn’t my favorite. I’m really enjoying Bleak House by him right now (since i already had it on my Kindle), and David Copperfield is my favorite. The others you’ve mention sound lovely, especially your own book, which I must get a copy of as soon as I can.

    1. “Compactly written.” I love that. I always admire Patricia McLachlan’s novels for that same reason; such wisdom in few pages. I should re-read David Copperfield. Thanks for stopping by; hope all is well in your world.

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