5) The Mouse and The Motorcycle – Beverly Cleary
Like most writers, I loved to read as a child and my favourite author was Beverly Cleary. When it came time to pick which novel of hers I loved the most, I had to pick the mouse, for one reason and one reason only … the visual. A mouse. On a motorcycle. And she totally sold it. Beverly Cleary made me use my imagination to visualize the impossible. I will forever be grateful.
4) The Stand – Stephen King
Wow. That’s all I can say about Stephen King’s writing. Wow. He makes storytelling effortless. I understand that there are those that see him as a horror writer, but he is so much more than that. More than any author I’ve been exposed to, he pulls me fully and completely into the world he’s built without making me feel like I’m reading a book. The Stand was the first time I’d read Stephen King and it’s still my favourite. M-O-O-N spells awesome.
3) The Alchemist – Paulo Coehlo
This is the book that made me realize I’m not crazy to have this dream of writing. This book is about realizing your passion and following its journey. It’s simply written, and yet it’s still the book I think of most often when I find myself drifting from what I believe is my path. The Alchemist reminds you that following your heart is not always as easy as the movies make it out to be, but there are many like-minded souls out there trying to do the same thing … so I’m not that crazy after all.
2) About A Boy – Nick Hornby
Here’s where I start talking about my idols. Nick Hornby is definitely in that category. I loved, loved, loved this book … for two reasons. Reason Number 1: His protagonist is a complete mess – a guy who has no job, no passion and no close relationships … and yet somehow he makes the reader love him. How does he do that? And Reason Number 2: He makes the darkest subjects funny … and without looking like he’s even trying. This book is about a boy who has a depressed mum who tries to commit suicide and fails. How is that humorous??? I have no idea … but it is. Very. And that’s what makes Nick Hornby so great.
1) Bridget Jones Diary – Helen FieldingThis is the book that made me want to write chick lit. I was stumbling around after watching the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice wondering why no one else was as obsessed with Colin Firth as I was. Except there was someone as obsessed as I was … Bridget Jones. It was a perfect concoction of timely pop-culture-references, lovable heroine meets unlovable hero, and an accessible journal-type story format. Helen Fielding helped me figure out what type of writer I wanted to be … now just to be it.