Thursday, 28 August 2014

Meme: 10 Books That Changed My Life

I was tagged by Ashe Sedai on Facebook.

10 books that changed me, or had a profound effect on me. (In no particular order)

1 - Animal Farm by George Orwell
"Must work harder..."

This is my un-offical favorite book. I don't remember how I heard about Animal Farm, but something about it intrigued me when I was younger, so I hunted it down. I loved it, it was horrifying! A brilliant story, amazingly quotable, and it really stuck with me. I have, in my lifetime, purchased the book four times. Currently my home has two copies of it. I recommend it to everyone.

2 - Poison Elves by Drew Hayes
"Say goodnight to the Sandman."
Poison Elves fed my sense of high-fantasy and kept it alive. It directly influenced Elven Lacryment in both tone and aesthetics. The little therapy session between Parinatchin and Luse still grabs me by the throat after all these years. We lost a visionary when Drew passed away. Since then, they brought Poison Elves back but it's not even close to what it used to be.

3 - DooM by Dafydd ab Hugh
"(something something something) Enervated (something something)"

This was the first book I ever read because it was so bad it was ...well...not good, but reading it was like watching a bad movie with friends. I enjoyed the badness. I had never done that before.

4 - The Death of Bunny Munro by Nick Cave
"I just found this world a hard place to be good in"  

I just finished this book a few weeks ago. I liked it a lot, and I learned that no matter how vile and despicable the actions of your protagonist, you, the reader, can still have a good time. Reading this book is like having your drunk fratboy friend tell you all the horrible things he did while he was drunk and in a frat. Filthy, shameless, vicarious fun.

For anyone who's sick of the internet screaming about Social Justice, safe spaces, misogyny, victim blaming and slut-shaming and just want to revel in horrible things, this book is a haven.

5 - HOUSE of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski.
"We all create stories to protect ourselves."
This book legitimately frightened me. I don't want to say anymore. Read this book.
I tried his second book but only got to page two. It seemed MZD believed his own hype. Once is a brilliant fluke, twice is try-hard.
I need to re-read this and see if it holds up.

6 - No Place Like Home by Mary Higgins Clarke
SCREW THIS BOOK! I HATE this book. I despise this book. I loathe this book. It's terrible. This book was the first book I hate-read. I would not let this book beat me. You'd think life would be too short to spend on bad books. Roll your eyes, drop it and move on to better things. But no. No, this book wasn't good or bad enough for me to abandon it. I had to finish it. If I didn't, it would have won. It would be sitting there in a pile of unloved books all smug and unassuming.

You might have noticed I'm putting quotes in each of these listings. I wanted to put a quote about how "un-fucking-belivably lovable" the main character was, but it turned out that was a different book! I can remember no quote about this book. At all.

7 - John Dies At the End by David Wong
“I tried to say something cool, wound up stammering something like, “WANNA YOU WANNA WEENIE ME?” The end kind of trailed off in a shrill, choking warble.”

My favourite book I have ever read. Hilarious, terrifying. It's basically HOUSE of Leaves written by a 10 year old on sugar. I totally now want a HOUSE of Leave/JDatE crossover. You know Johnny Truant, David Wong and John Cheese would be BFFs. MAKE THIS HAPPEN, INTERNET.

8 - Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi

"“Since we place so much value on human life, why do we glorify, in a perverse sort of way, the extinguishment of life? The answer to that question, whatever it is, is at least a partial answer to why people continue to be fascinated by Hitler, Jack the Ripper—Manson.”"

The first biography I ever read. The first true crime I ever read. My first real exposure to Charles Manson. My copy is from the 70's, as it was my father's copy. It's falling apart. I should maybe get a new copy, but I have no idea if newer editions have amendments or new content. Would be interesting to see if there are major differences.

  9 - The Maxx by Sam Kieth
"Sorry, I know you're just trying to look out for me, like you always do."

The last issue made me cry. That's all I need to say at this point.

10 - World War Z by Max Brooks
"Fear is the most basic emotion we have. Fear is primal. Fear sells."

This book was actually purchased for a friend but I ended up reading it on an airplane. I devoured it, then I made everyone else read it. This book kicked off an epidemic of reading in my family that lasted over a year and spanned several books.


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