I have read many books during my life, but I know that I should spend more time reading. I read a lot of books in high school, with required books. I read in the summer as well, because I have plenty of free time to do so. There are at least ten authors who have influenced me in my life.
1. Dr. Seuss.
I chose Dr. Seuss because he was a part of my childhood. I have always enjoyed his books and I loved it when my mom would read me his books. Something about the way he writes/rhymes just makes me happy. Here's a fun fact... my mom actually got to meet him, shake his hand, and get a book autographed by him -- I am super jealous. I enjoy any and all of his books, from Cat in the Hat, to Yertle the Turtle.
2. Isabel Allende
During my junior year of high school, we were assigned to read The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende. Honestly, that book is probably one of my favorite books of all time. I thoroughly enjoyed that book and was always on the edge of my seat. At first I was intimidated by it, with its lengthy chapters. Every page was necessary though to build up the story line. She is an excellent author, thus, why she is on my list as well.
3. John Steinbeck
Last year, during my senior year, one of the last assigned books we read was The Grapes of Wrath. I really enjoyed this book as well. Throughout this list of books, many of the authors that I chose are "classic" writers. Their books will go down in history and will always be classic and timeless. I loved The Grapes of Wrath. It was written about a time that was hard on everyone, especially those in the Midwest and the west coast. His writing style is beautiful, with clear descriptions, and a surprising twist at the very end.
4. Charlotte Bronte
Jane Eyre, a classic book, and a book that I had to read my senior year of high school. Again, I really do enjoy reading classic books. I absolutely love mystery stories as well as romantic ones. This is the perfect combination. It is both a mystery story with suspense and horror, with a romantic plot line, that pulls at our heartstrings. For Christmas, I actually asked to get this book; I enjoyed it so much.
5. Richard Castle
This might be the oddball of the group. Richard Castle is not actually a real person. He is a character on the hit show on ABC, Castle. In the show, Richard Castle is a writer who works with the NYPD on solving crimes. In the shows, he states that is going to write about about the people he works with; he is basing his books off the NYPD and the people who work for it. He is writing a book in the show and then the viewers found out that the books are actually going to be printed for the public, which is awesome. So far, "Richard Castle" has written three books, and I have bought all of them. I absolutely love the show and the books are just as good. Again, my love of mystery and suspense is being fulfilled with the Richard Castle series.
6. Harper Lee
Here we go again... another classic. My sophomore year of high school, we were assigned to read To Kill a Mockingbird. Surprise, surprise.... I loved it. As I stated earlier, I enjoy mystery books, and even though this isn't a mystery books, it can be closely tied with it because it deals with a crime and a courtroom.. which is often associated with mystery. She is such a wonderful writer and I just couldn't get enough of this book.
7. Roald Dahl
Here is another author from my childhood... Roald Dahl. I read everything from The Witches, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and The BFG. He was truly a part of my childhood. Even though I haven't read one of his books in a very long time, he impacted my life. His books have also stood the test of time with many movies made from his creations.
8. L. Frank Baum
When I was in 7th grade, I picked up a book that I was familiar with, but because I had seen it on television so many times--The Wizard of Oz. I picked it up to read for fun and I am glad that I did. A movie that I have seen millions of times, was now in my hands. When I was reading it, I noticed many differences, one example being that Dorothy's slippers were actually silver, and not ruby red. Aside from the differences, I really enjoyed reading his book. Once again, my love of classics is very evident in my influential authors.
9. William Shakespeare
Ever since freshman year in high school, we were required to read Shakespeare's works: Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Othello, and Hamlet. When I think of a "great" author, who had stood the test of time and is cited in many pieces of work, it has to be Shakespeare. He has shaped everyone in some way and some form. He is a crucial part of literature. I enjoyed all of the books that we were assigned to read; there wasn't one that stood out as the best. Every story had their own plot, mystery, suspense, romance, and so much more. Shakespeare influences all.
10. Don Freeman
Lastly, here is another book from my childhood. Don Freeman wrote a book that my brother and I would read over and over again when we were younger-- Corduroy. I have not read it in what seems like forever, but I remember it was always on my side of the bookshelf at home. I would read it all the time.
All of these books have influence me in one way or another, whether childhood or as an adolescent. They have shaped me into who I am: a person who loves the classics, but still loves the good ol' days of her childhood and wishes to be young again. They all shaped me into who I am today, and because of that, I love to read.