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Thread: What book has had the most influence on your reading taste and view towards books?

  1. #31
    Well, for the longest time I simply read teenage fiction. Oh god, how sad I was. And then I got exposed to Macbeth and the whole world came crashing down. And now all I do is research classics, poetry and plays and pretty much anything with more depth than shallow puddles like Twilight.
    Ignore it.

  2. #32
    Talks to the Animals IJustMadeThatUp's Avatar
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    I was given The Red Pony by my Nanna when I was about ten, it really reminds me of her and how she used to encourage me to read by giving me books about horses My art teacher borrowed it and never gave it back

    Then I would have to say Watership Down which was given to me by my aunt when I was thirteen, it opened me up to books with substance.
    "Oh the clever
    Things I should say to you
    They got stuck somewhere
    Stuck between me and you"

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chava View Post
    The first book that tought me what it meant to not just read a book, but understand it, was Animal Farm by Orwell. Since then I have had a small passion for Orwell.
    The book was given to me by my 6th grade English teacher, since he felt I ought to read some extra curricular material; he also added a few others, Solzhenitsyn, Richard Bach, etc.
    But seriously, I remember the moment while reading in Animal Farm that it occured to me that this was not just a story about funny animals, and thus started to develop my passion for literary analysis.
    Oh yes same here! When you read the final words (and some earlier in the book), that feeling of realisation, and just general awesomeness, still stays with me today.
    As for me, it's a cross between Animal Farm and, strangely, 'The Return of the Native' by Thomas Hardy. This book just sprung me into Victorian literature and since it's been awesome! Also first page of Claire Tomalin's Hardy biography changed my views on writers: it made me realise the trauma and the events occuring underneath the text of books.

  4. #34
    Registered User jinjang's Avatar
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    How I forgot Le Petit Prince!

    Fox (Renard) and "get used to a friend" (apprivoiser) taught me the responsibilty to the friends I made.

    The whole book was a poem. I could go back to it again and again.
    Walk, meditate, forget - Victor Hugo
    Life is bigger than literature - Michael Cunningham

  5. #35
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    The book that influenced me most was Flann O'Brien's (Irish) The Third Policeman which is quite crazy but great to read. Thats the book that made me really want to write my own stuff. Its also influenced my style immensly (among with many other things).
    -the only way to resist a temptation is to yield to it-
    (Oscar Wilde, The Picture Of Dorian Grey)
    -The creatures looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again: but it was already impossible to say which was which.(George Orwell, Animal Farm)

  6. #36
    something witty blackbird_9's Avatar
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  7. #37
    Registered User blithe_spirit's Avatar
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    I remember reading Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre at about the age of ten and it was this novel that introduced me to the world of 'grown up' classics. Some years later Tolstoy's Resurrection introduced me to the Russian novel, of which I have been a fan ever since.
    Last edited by blithe_spirit; 05-07-2009 at 02:45 PM.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by mayneverhave View Post

    This play essentially ruined all other reading for me because it set the bar too high. I have never been content with pretty much everything since reading that play.
    Have you been able to watch a live (stage) production of the play? If not, I urge you to do so!

    For me (roughly in chronological order of when read) Paddington Bear...Just William...Catcher in the Rye...Great Expectations...Wuthering Heights...Staying On (Paul Scott)....Tess...John Thomas and Lady Jane...Bleak House...Death of a Salesman...Birdsong...The Handmaid's Tale...

    This is impossible!
    Last edited by emily00; 05-07-2009 at 06:49 PM.

  9. #39
    Registered User Zeruiah's Avatar
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    My book isn't a literature cannon like most people: The Last Samurai (which has nothing to do with the film). It's Helen Dewitt's debut novel. I read it when I was 12 years old, and I believe it to be my first mature novel read for pure pleasure.

    It's really a very complex work--and received a lot of censure for this reason--that I couldn't fully appreciate at that age, but it opened my mind to contemporary literature styles and showed me how to read a story for more than merely its plot. I tried to make my own little novella based off its style and get my friend to illustrate it for me. That didn't work out so well. I think I threw it in the trash a year later and forgot about it until just now.

    Recently, I picked up The Last Samurai again and found that I still highly enjoy it. All of the small allegories in their non sequitur assortments packed in like a Burroughs novel into the main story create an ecosystem of contradicting, yet balancing stories at once. I could sort of identify with the boy of the story. His interest in languages and classic literature is sort of like my own, except that he's actually achieved something with it.

    I recommend it to anyone who's looking for something a little different.
    "For a man to conquer himself is the first and noblest of all victories." - Plato

    "Out of damp and gloomy days, out of solitude, out of loveless words directed at us, conclusions grow up in us like fungus: one morning they are there, we know not how, and they gaze upon us, morose and gray. Woe to the thinker who is not the gardener but only the soil of the plants that grow in him."- Friedrich Nietzsche

  10. #40
    Registered User beroq's Avatar
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    At the age of 12th, I read Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath and then The Tortilla Flat. Those two shaped my literary taste, if any, greatly.
    ars sine scienta nihil

  11. #41
    Critical from Birth Dr. Hill's Avatar
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    Definitely Crime and Punishment. I feel like that has been my answer to every novel inquiry, but it's the way it is
    The salvation of the world is in man's suffering. - Faulkner

  12. #42
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    Wow, what a difficult question. I think I'd maybe say Romeo and Juliet. I saw the Baz Luhrmann film and I loved it. I knew my dad had a Complete Works of Shakespeare so I thought I'd have a go at reading it. I was about eleven and, although I devoured books before then, it was the first time I think I struggled through something more 'difficult'. Of course it was also my introduction to Shakespeare! I remember after I read it we had to give a presentation on the last book we read in English. Most of the other kids were reading Goosebumps etc and I felt so smug giving my presentation on Romeo and Juliet (it was probably an awful presentation but that's not the point!).

    I'm so glad I read it because - and this may come as a shock - I never once got to study Shakespeare in English at school. I happened to have a teacher who said he didn't see the point in spending weeks and weeks slogging through Shakespeare when we could get through five other texts in that time and have a wider choice for exams. I can see where he was coming from but I didn't get the chance to study Shakespeare in English until I went to university. I was lucky, though, because I did Advanced Higher drama and we studied A Midsummer Night's Dream. I also came across Shakespeare in various other acting groups I was involved in but the emphasis is obviously different when performing it to when you're analysing it.

  13. #43
    aspiring Arthurianist Wilde woman's Avatar
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    If I had to choose one, I'd say The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I read it in my sophomore year of high school and though I'd always been an avid reader, this was the first book that had me absolutely awed by its style. And once I was hooked stylistically, I became interested in all the little moral implications Hawthorne drew. That was probably the one book that swayed by decision to go into literature as a career. Ironically enough, I haven't read anything else by Hawthorne until recently, but now that I have I'm rediscovering my love for him.

    Also, I fell in love with Poe's essay The Poetic Principle, which I read the same year (very productive year). That text, more than anything else, sparked my interest in the aesthetic aspect of literature.

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