Thursday, March 26, 2009

Under the Influence

I tagged myself on Sarah Laurenson's latest post, Under the Influence. Here are the top 25 authors who have influenced me, and the books they wrote that influenced me most (listed in no particular order):

Stephen King (The Stand, The Shining, Green Mile)

Neil Gaiman (American Gods, Smoke & Mirrors, Fragile Things)

Madeleine L'Engle (A Wrinkle in Time)

C.S. Lewis (The Narnia Series, Till We Have Faces)

J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit, LOTR)

J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter series)

Katherine Anne Porter (The Collected Short Stories of Katherine Anne Porter)

Shirley Jackson (The Lottery and Other Short Stories, The Haunting of Hill House)

Richard Matheson (I Am Legend)

Joe Hill (20th Century Ghosts, Heart-Shaped Box)

Gene Wolfe (Book of the New Sun series)

Fredericke Busch (The Night Inspector)

Mark Twain (The Complete Short Stories of Mark Twain)

Shakespeare (Macbeth)

Phillip Pullman (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife)

Angela Carter (Wise Children)

Ray Bradbury (Something Wicked This Way Comes, Farenheit 451)

Charles Dickens (Great Expectations, Bleak House, The Christmas Carol)

Marion Zimmer Bradley (The Mists of Avalon)

Judy Blume (Are You There God? It's Me Margaret, Blubber, Forever)

Beverly Cleary (The Ramona Collection)

Kathryn Kenny (the Trixie Belden series)

Alan Moore (V for Vendetta, Watchmen)

Frank Miller (The Sin City series)

Cormac McCarthy (No Country for Old Men, The Road)

As a kid, I was sick quite often with kidney problems (I was constantly getting kidney infections) and strep throat, not to mention I had surgery to correct the problem that was causing the kidney infections. So I had plenty of time to read, and one of my favorite things to read was Kathryn Kenny's books about Trixie Belden and the mysteries Trixie solved. I probably read a lot of Nancy Drew, too, but I don't remember now. I think I liked the Trixie books because she rode horses, and even as a kid I loved horses.

Sadly, the only Madeleine L'Engle book I read growing up was A Wrinkle in Time, but I'm proud to say I have my 12-year-old niece reading the series, and I can't wait to borrow the books from her to read them myself. I think I also only read Lewis's The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe as a kid, but I've read the entire series now. I read a lot as a kid, but most of it was forgettable drivel. There are many, many authors I wish I'd read as a kid: Daniel Pinkwater, Lewis Carroll, Ronald Doahl. Reading these authors now does bring out the kid in me, but I know I would have enjoyed Alice in Wonderland much more as a child.

As a teenager and in my early 20s, I loved Stephen King and his conversational style. I went through a period where all I wanted to read was Stephen King, a period I lament now, but I guess it was because my studies in music were so taxing, all I wanted was someone who knew how to talk to me in a book, and Stephen King fit that bill perfectly. All of the rest of these authors are people I discovered as an adult.


Anonymous said...

Ahh, I heart heart heart Trixie Belden. I read more Nancy Drew than it sounds like you did, but Trixie was def. my favorite.

I can't wait for you to read more L'Engle - the Time quartet is fantastic, but I think the third one is the very very best - way better than Wrinkle in Time.

Sarah Laurenson said...

My Mom got me started on the Hardy Boys and I didn't crack open a Nancy Drew until I was much older and not interested in the genre any more. Did not know Trixie Belden. I might have to read one of those as I was always horse mad.

Nice list. Some for me to look into further.

freddie said...

Hah - I thought I was going to get laughed at for the Trixie Beldon.

Wish I'd kept the books (and maybe my mother did). Some of them are going for 50 bucks on Amazon.

Not that I'd ever sell.

Robin S. said...

Trixie Belden! I loved those. And Nancy, of course. Had to love that Nancy.

I read Stephen King's 'Salem's Lot in the 70's and didn't read another one of his novels again until 3 or 4 years ago. Read Dolores Claiborne and loved it - then went on to Bag of Bones.\

You have eclectic taste, Miss Freddie!