It was Top Ten
Tuesday yesterday, but the subject was swoon-y books, and I don’t think I swoon,
I’m too bitter. Anyway. I couldn’t think of anything. But there is a video going
around the booktube, where you list the top ten books that have been most
influential, to you, not like world changing, but books that had a major impact
on you. Anyway. These are the books that have had an impact on me. Woo.
books by Astrid Lindgren
I think my mother
gave me the Pippi books. And I really loved them, and I loved her, cause she’s
strong, and a badass. And I wanted to be her when I was a kid. I freaking love
her. And reading the books made me realize how amazing reading is, and I wanted
to read more books.
The Aurora books by Anne-Cath.
Anne-Cath. Vestly is
a really important Norwegian children’s book writer, or was, she’s dead. She
wrote a lot of children’s books and she did sort of revolutionary things. She
basically told kids, if not outright, that kids come from inside mom’s belly, not the stork.
Which was huge in the 1950s. And in the Aurora books, which were my favorite
books growing up, the mom went to work, and the dad stayed home, which was kind
of a big deal in the 60s when the books came out. I don’t think I thought much
of it, because I read them in the 90s, and my mom went to work, but yeah, they
were huge for me. Aurora was a kind of weird kid, she had an interesting
family, with a tough mom. I feel like, looking back, that my parents pushed
badass women at me, through books.
Matilda by Roald Dahl
I think I read
Matilda about 10 times growing up. I really liked her, because she was nerdy,
and sort of precocious, and she was strong and interesting, and at some point I
will buy the book, and read it in English.
Harry Potter and the
Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
My mother, as always
my mother is the book pusher, bought me Harry Potter when the first book came
in Norwegian. And I read it in about three days, because I found it so
fascinating and exciting that I stayed up all night to read it. It was amazing.
And it was the first series where I just started waiting excitedly for the next
book. It changed my whole reading life.
Harry Potter and the
Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
Before the fifth book
I waited for the books to come out in Norwegian, because I didn’t think I was
strong enough in English to read the books in English. When the Order of the
Phoenix came out I was like… 16, and I felt I could probably do it. And I read
it in English and this whole world of books opened up for me. Also, it’s one of
my favorite Harry Potter books, it goes so dark, and it introduces one of the
creepiest villains in Harry Potter, the hag that is Dolores Umbridge. It’s
The Eye of the World
by Robert Jordan
Robert Jordan led to
me discovering the world of Fantasy literature. I knew it existed, but I didn’t
really know how to find them, or if it was for me. And then I got this book for
Christmas, and while it took me a while to read it, I was so excited when I
did. I realize that there are problems with Wheel of Time, I realize it isn’t
perfect, I don’t care. Wheel of Time is amazing. It led me to the
Comic/Fantasy/Sci-fi book store in my town, and I found the other books, and oh
yey. It was awesome.
by Kurt Vonnegut
When I read
Slaughterhouse-Five I think my first thought was basically: WHY HAVE I NOT READ
HIM BEFORE? He is amazing. He’s funny, he’s sarcastic, he is sharp, and reading
Slaughterhouse-Five was a revelation.
How to be a Woman by Caitlin
As mentioned I have
parents who pushed books with strong women on me. I have a working mom, she was
a teenager in the 70s, and she doesn’t even have my dad’s last name (although
to be fair, it’s quite common in Norway, in her generation), she took me to an
International Women’s day March when I was like 8, I wanna say. Looking back,
my mom might be weird, and awesome.
So even though she never told me; women are awesome, you’re worth as much as a
boy, you should be a feminist, it was always there, she has insidiously given
me this idea. To be fair to my father he is a seriously supportive awesome guy
who always told me I could do anything. This was a long road to me discovering
Caitlin Moran. Caitlin Moran wrote basically a biography, which is also about
her discovering Germaine Greer and becoming a feminist. And it helped me put
into words what I thought about women, and being a woman. I know that I am
fortunate to live in a country where equality is something we work hard on, and
a country where we are apparently known for equality, I didn’t know that, but
we are. Yay us. Anyway, this book made me more aware of what feminism is and
that it is important still.
Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen
I dabbled in classics
when I was younger and I never really figured them out. I just found them
annoying, and I worried that I was just stupid and didn’t get it. And then I
read Pride and Prejudice, and it was friggin’ awesome. Jane Austen is funny and
snarky, and she’s cool and it suddenly felt like I wasn’t an idiot, because I
liked it, and I wasn’t alone. And it was great. I don’t know if it means that I
now “get it”, but I’ll keep reading them, and see what happens. And by classics
I mean both the canon of Jane Austen, Dickens, and that crew, and also the
classics that aren’t from the 1800s or whatever, but books that are timeless, and
work out of time (can’t think of a single example, to Kill a Mockingbird?).
The Hobbit by J.R.R.
My mother grew up
reading this book, and always really liked it, so when my sister was maybe
five, and I was eight, or we were even younger, I don’t remember, she read the
Hobbit to us. I was asked once what my favorite fairytale was and I couldn’t
think of anything because my mother read the Hobbit to me, and it was the only
“fairytale-like” story I could remember. I grew up on the book. I will read it
again and again. I own four copies of the Hobbit, and a graphic novel
adaptation. I love the movies, and it’s like a family event to see the movies.