Follow Up: Top Influential Books In My Life

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Almost a month ago, I wrote a post listing my top influential books in my life. The biggest challenge for that exercise was NOT to say any reasons whatsoever. I decided to write a follow up post to that, but also decided to film a video talking about them! I gave very brief reasons and I tried not to ramble. If you have time, please watch.

If you would just like to read, here are my very basic reasons as to why these books are included in my top influential books list. 
  • The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling 
    This was my gateway to reading, writing, and all things books. It made me realize the power of imagination and creativity, and my dreams were heavily inspired by this series.
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
    I opened my eyes to the realities of human condition, and made me want to learn about mental health. It also made me realize the importance of stability, not just in our careers, finances, and goals in life, but also in our relationships with others, but more importantly, our relationship with ourselves.  
  • 100 Love Sonnets by Pablo Neruda 
    This introduced me to the world of poetry. In high school, after reading this book, I started writing a lot of poetry, drawing inspiration from his work. Sonnet 17 is still my favorite poem/sonnet of all time.
  • Ishmael by Daniel Quinn
    I read this the week of my high school graduation in 2007, and this was recommended to me by my English teacher! It was an interesting read, and the process was a great learning experience.
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
    The is the one book that got me started interested in learning about that time in our history as human beings. It was a powerful testament that life can be good despite the rough times, and it also made me see the true power of words in our lives.
  • Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
    This was one of the first books I read when I first came here to the U.S. after living in the Philippines for 15 years. English was hardly a second language to me; I understood and spoke it fluently, but my vocabulary wasn't that great. This book had tons of words I couldn't really understand or haven't used before, so it opened up so many opportunities to learn more. It what ignited my appreciation and love for linguistics and language.
  • The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan
    I read this during a tough break up. It was a good book to accompany me during the healing process!
  • The Stranger by Albert Camus
    I was 10 years old (or so) when my grandparents sneakily took my cousins and I to the bookstore. At that time, my parents didn't want me to get more books because they were only supposed to be given as a prize if we were doing good at school, etc. But my grandparents told us we could pick ONE book of our choice anyway, no questions asked. The cover of The Stranger caught my eye, and it was in a language I couldn't understand - French. It sort of was the beginning of me being a Francophile, but in all honesty, I just loved that my grandparents let me pick any book, giving me freedom. Having grandparents who not only supported reading, but also encouraged it, will always be something I will be thankful for.
  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
    I was a kid when I first read it, so I only appreciated its story and its artwork (which is fantastic!) But now that I think about it, it's what inspired me to start writing short stories, and I remember always imitating the book's style. Today, I feel like there was so much more to this book. It contains so many hidden messages about life and humanity. 

So that's it for my reasons!! Tell me your reasons for your list that you added. 

Here were the other bloggers that participated in this challenge. 


  1. I enjoyed The Lover's Dictionary. And I really need to read the Book Thief!

  2. Aww, I'm so glad you gave your explanations. I've been resisting posting on this, but I think I'm going to have to do it. I'm never done a vlog, maybe I'll do one for this subject! I love your reasons for The Stranger, family that supports reading is just priceless.

    1. I resisted as well, but couldn't help it!

  3. The Bell Jar would be on my list too. I read it when I was about 16 and it completely changed my way of thinking.
    I enjoyed reading this post :)

    1. 16? I wish I was mature enough at that age to appreciate The Bell Jar :)

  4. We had to read and analyze The Stranger in French when I was in high school. I remember being somewhat unsettled by the main character. We were told he was an existentialist... but he seemed more like a sociopath to me. Anyway, we also read it the following year in English... or, we were supposed to read it in English, but I didn't bother because it was still pretty fresh in my mind.