10 Books That Influenced Me

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After doing a post about the 10 most influential books to literature,  I wanted to create a post about the 10 books I consider the most influential books to  me.  I am open to all suggestions.

Hamlet. William Shakespeare.

The Iliad. Homer.

Le Morte d’ Arthur. Sir Thomas Malory.

The Lord Of The Rings. J.R.R. Tolkien.

Fahrenheit 451. Ray Bradbury.

The Stand. Stephen King.

The Shadow of the Wind. Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

Don Quixote. Miguel de Cervantes.

Frankenstein. Mary Shelley.

Dracula.  Bram Stoker.

What are some of the most influential books for you?

Quotations on Perseverance

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One of the most important qualities for writers is that of perseverance. So many other circumstances have impact on success and failure that are outside of the direct control of the writer, but there is one that is in his/her ability to control: perseverance, the ability to keep writing, no matter what is happening. Here are a few quotations about that quality:

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“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.”

                                                             Abraham Lincoln

 

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“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”

              Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

 

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“If you fell down yesterday, stand up today.”

                                                                       H.G. Wells

 

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“If you want to be a writer, then you must write–every day if you can. Remember that you must never give up.”

                                                                 Charles F. French

 

Reading–The Food For Writers!

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“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”

                                                                                  Stephen King

 

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“Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it.Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.”

                                                                   William Faulkner

 

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“We live for books.”   Umberto Eco

 

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“Reading is the one essential food needed for writers. Without reading, our writing imaginations will starve.”

                                                                        Charles F. French

True Magic In Writing!

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There is magic in stories. Magic is the transmutation of objects or the manipulation of the world in ways that move outside the realm of science. Whether or not magic is real in the sense of the here and now world is not the point; magic is a metaphor for fiction. Stephen King says, “books are a uniquely portable magic” (104). This magic is in the words, in their transmitting from the writer to the reader other worlds and ideas. In writing fiction, writers create a world that was not there; even so-called realistic, literary writers create an alternate world that readers inhabit when they read the book. The writers and the readers, in a mystical incantation, create another reality, one that can be so strong sometimes that readers can be moved to tears or laughter or sadness or joy or grief or sorrow or despair or hope. Readers come to care about the characters and feel empathy as if they were real.

That truly is a kind of magic.

Neil Gaiman, in his introduction to Ray Bradbury’s  60th Anniversary Edition Fahrenheit 451, speaks to the power of the written word and stories: “Ideas—written ideas—are special. They are the way we our stories and our thoughts from one generation to the next. If we lose them, we lose our shared history. We lose much of what makes us human. And fiction gives us empathy: it puts us inside the minds of other people, gives us the gift of seeing the world through their eyes. Fiction is a lie that tells us true things, over and over” (xvi). It is through the creation of artificial worlds, no matter how speculative or fantastic, that we experience our world in more intensity and with deeper clarity. This act of magic is what we share as writers and readers. I am honored to be a mere apprentice in the magic of writing novels.

Works Cited

Gaiman, Neil. “Introduction.” Ray Bradbury. 60th Anniversary Edition Fahrenheit 451. New

York: Simon & Schuster, 2013.

King, Stephen. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. New York: Scribner, 2000.

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Quotations on Writing

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“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”

                                                                              Stephen King

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“You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”

                                                                             Ray Bradbury

 

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“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

                                                                             Toni Morrison

 

Quotations on Book Banning

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“I hate it that Americans are taught to fear some books and some ideas as though they were diseases.”

                                                                     Kurt Vonnegut

 

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“Having the freedom to read and the freedom to choose is one of the best gifts my parents ever gave me.”

                                                                     Judy Blume

 

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“Censorship and the suppression of reading materials are rarely about family values and almost always about controlabout who is snapping the whip, who is saying no, and who is saying go. Censorship’s bottom line is this: if the novel Christine offends me, I don’t want just to make sure it’s kept from my kid; I want to make sure it’s kept from your kid, as well, and all the kids. This bit of intellectual arrogance, undemocratic and as old as time, is best expressed this way: “If it’s bad for me and my family, it’s bad for everyone’s family.”

Yet when books are run out of school classrooms and even out of school libraries as a result of this idea, I’m never much disturbed not as a citizen, not as a writer, not even as a schoolteacher . . . which I used to be. What I tell kids is, Don’t get mad, get even. Don’t spend time waving signs or carrying petitions around the neighborhood. Instead, run, don’t walk, to the nearest nonschool library or to the local bookstore and get whatever it was that they banned. Read whatever they’re trying to keep out of your eyes and your brain, because that’s exactly what you need to know.”

                                                                                 Stephen King

Quotations on Fantasy Literature

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“One day, you will be old enough to start reading fairytales again.”

                                                                          C. S. Lewis

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“Fantasy fiction is essentially about the concept of power; great fantasy fiction is about people who find it at great cost or lose it tragically; mediocre fantasy fiction is about people who have it and never lose it but simply wield it.”

                                                                        Stephen King

 

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“Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisoned by the enemy, don’t we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we’re partisans of liberty, then it’s our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!”

                                                                       J. R. R. Tolkien