10 books that have had some kind of impact on me

I got asked on Facebook to write a list of 10 books that have stayed with me, in one way or another. I don’t have much time thanks to internet connections in Dili, so I’m going to make a rushed list of books that come to mind immediately, some with comments and some without. These are not necessarily my favs, they are not necessarily the best things I have ever read, and they are not necessarily the worst things I have read either. They are just the first things to come to mind which means they must have stayed with me, in one way or another!

  1. A Handmaid’s Tale- Margaret Atwood> this got me really thinking about feminism, language and human behaviour on a deeper level for the first time.
  2. Harry Potter- all of them- J K Rowling> So many people are not putting this on their lists. Maybe you all forgot how DAMN AWESOME you thought these books were when you were a teen. DAMN AWESOME.
  3. Balkan Ghosts- Robert Kaplan> History yo, it’ll blow your mind.
  4. Translations- Brian Friel (play)> I read it in highschool and it said a lot to me about the importance of language.
  5. Living Dolls- Natasha Walter> Excellent contemporary feminist text.
  6. The 7th book in the Narnia Series- C.S. Lewis> Even as a child I felt that this book sucked. I dedicated a lot of my precious, childhood time to the previous 6 books, as well as hours opening cupboard doors trying to find Narnia only to realise, at the end of the 7th book, that they were all just re-workings of bible stories. Aslan was Jesus all along! The stories aren’t any better or worse because of this, but I really felt like I’d been conned. It was like I’d dressed up for a party, been dropped off at the door, and walked in to find that I was actually going to be attending Sunday school. The most annoying thing was that it was a really bad ending. The final book sucked. Spoiler: everyone dies and the only way to get to Narnia is to go to heaven… which means you have to die too. Maybe in a cupboard… I’m not sure…
  7. A Brave New World- Aldous Huxley> I still think about this book all the time even though I read it when I was 12 or something. It says and incredible amount about human behaviour and is well written enough to engage any reader in it’s fantasy, sci-fi world.
  8. The Curious Feminist- Cynthia Enloe> Feminism is so good, have I mentioned it lately?
  9. Middlesex- Jeffrey Eugenides
  10. The Magic Faraway Tree- Enid Blyton> I read the first three pages of this book and put it down, never to pick it up again. It taught me that I don’t need to like “classics”, sometimes “classics” are sexist, and Dick and Fanny used to be used as names for people not just names for wangs and wah-wahs.
I was too immature to get passed the use of names in this book.

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