Recently, I was invited by Debdatta Dasgupta Sahay to participate in a blog hop which focuses on our appreciation of authors, otherwise known as International Authors' Day. Thank you, Debdatta!
I started thinking back to the first author who had an impact on me as a child, and that was Judy Blume. If you were a girl in the '70s or '80s, it's probably safe to say that her books touched you in some way. I didn't read all of her works, but Are You There God? It's Me Margaret was such an important book for me. The way Blume approached the topic of puberty with honesty and humor made it one of my favorite stories, and a timeless one at that. I introduced the book to my own daughter three or so years ago, and she became a fan as well.
Fast forward a couple more years when I read Blume's Forever. That was some steamy stuff, all right! The story of a teenage girl's first love and sexual experience had my rapt attention, and there was nothing left to the imagination in the telling of this story. Even the dudes knew exactly which pages to turn to. I was in the eighth grade when I had the book sitting on my desk in class. Without asking, the boy in front of me took it from my desk, turned to a certain section, read a few pages, and promptly returned it. I guess he'd gotten his jollies off for the day. By the way, the cover images to the right are the editions that belonged to me.
The first book I remember making me severely depressed was The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. It was recommended to me by a friend, and when I finished reading it I called her up to chew her ass. "Why in the world did you tell me to read that thing?" Yes, it was a great book, but it succeeded in making me bawl my eyes out, and left me down in the dumps for a week. Just so you know, this is one of the reasons I don't do sad books or movies. They have a lingering effect on me.
By high school I had become a V.C. Andrews addict. My Sweet Audrina was my introduction to the author, and I was hooked on her strange, and often icky plot lines. Among others, I went on to read the Flowers in the Attic series and quickly became obsessed with the massive dysfunction that was the Dollanganger family. They were the '80s equivalent of the Gallaghers on Showtime's Shameless, only upper crust.
Somewhere along the way, I lost interest in fiction and reading in general. When it really picked up again was when my oldest daughter was diagnosed with cancer at the age of four. It was then that I threw myself into non-fiction, religious, and philosophical texts. They were my lifeline and I devoured anything that might convince me my own outlook on things had the power to impact my daughter's fate. The New Testament, A Course in Miracles, Science of Mind, Bhagavad Gita, Conversations with God, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Richard Bach... Okay, so Richard Bach writes fiction, but you get the picture. And though reading those texts didn't end in the result I was seeking, I have no doubt they got me through the absolute worst time of my life.
Although I am a huge fan of Harry Potter and have seen every movie, I had never read any of the books before seeing Order of the Phoenix. Because I couldn't wait to see how it all ended, I then read the last two books in the series. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows turned out to be one of my all-time favorite books, despite the fact it left me a little blue because it meant saying good-bye to the characters I'd grown to love.
These days I'm into the light stuff--funny ladies are my thing. Nora Ephron is one of my faves and I thoroughly enjoyed Heartburn and I Feel Bad About My Neck. I also adored Erma Bombeck back in the day. Tina Fey is a riot, and I'm currently reading Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? And of course there are all the hugely talented authors I have befriended over the past couple of years. I am working my way through a long list of their books on my Kindle, and seldom am I disappointed. My most recent read was funny lady Bonnie Trachtenberg's Neurotically Yours, which I highly recommend.
So it is with much love and gratitude that I acknowledge a few of the many authors who have touched my life and continue to do so. Thanks for taking this little journey down memory lane with me.
Who are some of the authors who have touched you?