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.
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.