Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature from The Broke and the Bookish.
This week’s topic is all about the things you’ve been inspired to do after reading a book, like climb a mountain or tell the truth. It’s interesting to see how reading really does impact our lives and how it changes or aspires to change us. A lot of the time I’ve been encouraged NOT to do something a protagonist has done–learning through their trials and mishaps, but here are ten books that have inspired me in a more positive way.
- The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank inspired me to keep a diary. I’ve kept one (with more or less success) since high school. Keeping a journal has taught me the importance of writing in keeping my thoughts straight. I’ve read out parts of my diary too, which makes me conscious about privacy–once you write something down, it exists, no matter how personal it is. Even while writing the diary, Anne was conscious that it could be published and actually edited a lot of it.
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling encouraged me to believe in magic. I was definitely one of those kids awaiting an acceptance letter for my magical education.
- Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing drove my love of adaptation and encouraged me to write adaptations, which I still love doing.
- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde nurtured a longing to get my portrait painted from life in oils. You’d think the book would have the opposite effect, but I hope I wouldn’t be so foolish as to make wishes or bargains with a piece of art.
- Kevin Henkes’ Julius, the Baby of the World made me want to be a better older sister. In fact, I think that was probably the whole idea behind reading it to me…
- Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher inspired me to not only tell great stories, but to listen for them in other people and find ways to make them my own. This is another great book to read if you’re into Renee Ahdieh’s books right now.
- The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker has made me want to make strudel from scratch in the worst way. I’ve always been really intimidated by that recipe, but I’m going to try it out and share my results with you.
- Chasing the Rose by Andrea di Robilant deepened my desire to go on a seemingly frivolous quest that would make a real impact on my life. I’m still working on this one.
- Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand encouraged me to see the power in words and poetry and inspired me to offer custom love letters on my Etsy site, which are each hand crafted for their recipient based on the information I receive from the giver when they fill out my questionnaire. I love writing these letters, which I hope allow people to express their feelings in a new way.
- L. Frank Baum’s The Emerald City of Oz was given to me as a goodbye present by my second grade teacher. This is a book that has taught me many things, but it gave me courage to start school in a new place with new people (something that wasn’t always easy for me), and it showed me how importance books were as objects–that they held wisdom and reassurance simply by being books. I love books, and so naturally I give them as gifts, but I think it was this book that showed me that could have great meaning.
Books have been extraordinarily important in my life–and a good book always inspires me to learn more and look at the world with a critical eye. How have you been inspired by your (or your library’s) bookshelf? Let me know in the comments.