For a few years my parents been kind enough to store a few things in their house as my husband and I bounced from apartment to Very Nifty 1835 Rental House to, finally, Rather Old 1874 House We Bought. They're all mine now (yay?) including several boxes of books that had been packed up years ago.
|My copy of Ann Rinaldi's Wolf by the Ears |
was worn-- I remember re-reading this one.
What was in the boxes? Lots of historical fiction and quite a bit of fantasy, too. The historical fiction didn't surprise me--I remembered reading it a lot as a kid, and since I loved history, it was always a "safe" choice. There were the American Girl books (of course...didn't most of us read those?) plus a lot of Ann Rinaldi and Scott O'Dell.
I still read some historical fiction today, though I admit that the subjects Rinaldi and O'Dell picked were ones I enjoyed more than a lot of the royal court focus I see in "grown-up" hist-fic--I guess I loved "normal people" stories then and now!
|If you haven't read this book, read it!|
Even if you're not into fantasy.
I've boxed a lot of these back up for the elusive "when I have kids who want to read these" day, and plenty of books from the boxes have been relegated to the "donate" bin (mostly school assignments--I admit I don't have a desire to re-read most of those).
Still, I'm not sure that the books I enjoyed when I was younger explicitly shaped who I am as a writer today. For one, I read in my youth for the stories more than for the writing style, and while story is important to me as a writer, it's in digging into the writing itself that I really find satisfaction. (To be honest, I have a feeling if I dove back into some books from my youth, I'd be disappointed--just because my taste has evolved. Sabriel is an exception, and I recognized even then the extraordinary magic behind Nix's writing--it was one of the first books I remember for the writing, not just the story.) Something shifted in my high school years in that I started to think more about how things were written and less about what was written.
Second, and maybe more interesting--I write neither historical fiction nor fantasy! I used to write quite a bit of historical fiction, but the subjects I chose and style I liked weren't compatible with where histfic is right now. And I've never written fantasy--for some reason it feels over my head.
So while it was a fun walk through memory lane (or memory library), I don't know that it shed any light on "where I came from" as a writer--or perhaps I'm too dense to see it.
How about you? Are there books from your childhood that shaped your writing, or patterns of reading that you see cropping up in how and what you write? Ever have the fun opportunity to unpack a box of books like this?