Literary Impact

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To be honest, I stole this idea. A few weeks ago I noticed people posting on Facebook about literary works that had impacted them.  Regardless of why, but just a work that had stayed with them.

I wanted to do the same.  But rather than just provide a laundry list, I wanted to give a little bit of color on why.

So, in no particular order…

A Scandal in Bohemia, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

I love Sherlock Holmes.  I was obsessed with every story.  But this particular one is home to my favorite literary character of all time: Irene Adler, the only woman to ever outsmart Holmes.

Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas

I have no idea what happened in my classes during the week I read this. I never wanted it to end.

Anything written by E.W. Hildick

I read so many of his McGurk Mysteries as a kid.  I believe it’s what got me truly hooked onto the mystery genre.  After this, I consumed every Encyclopedia Brown and Sherlock Holmes story.

The Mist, by Stephen King

Because of this novella, foggy days make me uncomfortable.  Especially, living in a high-rise, when you don’t know what’s going to come at your windows.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, by James Thurber

I was, am, a constant daydreamer.  So is Walter. I can’t put on a pair of gloves without thinking of Walter’s own fantasy of being a surgeon.

Catcher in the Rye, by JD Salinger

I know it’s such a cliché.  But I have reread this book almost every year since I was 14.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain

I have never hated a fictional character as much as I hated Tom Sawyer at the end of this. I’m angry thinking about it right now.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X, as told to Alex Haley

This was the first time I started to think about my spiritual identity.  His struggle to recognize his, started me on my own path.

Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell

The thousand-page novel took a few tries to get into.  But once I was in, I couldn’t let go.  It was the first time characters felt like they had personally offended me by their actions.  I remember being very disappointed in Scarlett on several occassions.

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2 thoughts on “Literary Impact

  1. Grapes of Wrath – this my “stuck on a desert island” book, the story is amazing but it’s those random chapters that have nothing to do with the storyline that gives me goosebumps

    The Lord of the Rings trilogy – nothing as epic and grand as this, with all of the moral absolutism that a young Muslim could ask for

    Game of Thrones – as epic and grand with all of the moral ambiguity that a Muslim adult has accepted

    Hagakure – not sure if it counts as literature but it’s a 17th-century manual on how to be a samurai.

    Blue Highways – my favorite “travel lit” book, nothing makes me feel so restless as this book. It made me a fan of Paul Theroux, Peter Hessler and so many other travel writers, but no one ever did it as well as William Least-Heat Moon in this book

    The Autobiography of Malcolm X – there are paragraphs in this book that contain more insight and criticism than whole essays

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