I was just reading a FB post about books that influenced women in a life changing sort of way. I became intrigued. I know again I am diverging from what I usually write about but I started to think back to what books changed my life.
I would have to start with a very old book my grandmother gave me as a gift. I don’t remember how old I was but I still have this book somewhere. It was called The Five Little Peppers and How they Grew.
This was a wonderful story about 5 children and their mother, set in the turn of the century or there about. I found the love between the children and the mother and the sacrifices made for the sake of the family very moving. There was no father in the story. He may have died or gone to war. I grew up in a family where we didn’t have to make physical sacrifices to make ends meet. There was enough money, but emotional sacrifices; over the years there were many.
The next book that changed me, was Little Women by Louisa May Alcott as well as Little Men. I believe I am a writer today because of the character, Jo. She was the rebellious child, the storyteller who had her sisters dress up and act out her characters. I loved the characters in Alcott’s stories. I wanted to jump in and experience their lives. Again, a book with no father. I’m sensing a pattern.
I never saw this pattern before. I wonder what it says about me. I had a father at home. He worked a lot. He was difficult at times and the rest is for another blog. I learn new things about myself all the time.
Then, of course, there were the Anne of Green Gables series and the Nancy Drew mysteries. There were many and I’m sure I’ve left many out from my childhood.
Some I came to late in life. The Little Prince, The Giving Tree, The Velveteen Rabbit. I’m not sure why these came to me later as an adult, but they were nevertheless important. They spoke to me of the importance of love and giving ( sacrifice again), and the necessity of seeing things rightly, with the heart.
All the books above, as well as many others, inspired me to write. I wrote many poems and stories as a child, as well as throughout my life. I never did anything with them. The curse of the writer who has no confidence in themselves. I have saved some of these old writings. Maybe they’ll show up in a book someday.
Today, I have the confidence and the time. Yes, I’m older, 57, but I just remind myself age really has nothing to do with creativity. Remember Grandma Moses, who didn’t start painting till she was in her 80s. I still got a few years left!
To tie this in to my usual blog subjects, I wonder what books my female ancestors read. Most of them were educated to about the 8th grade. I wonder what books were popular for girls when they were growing up. Something to look up on Google.
Books are my lifeblood. I always read.
I don’t remember a time when I didn’t. Books have changed my life and always when I needed some sort of assurance, peace, love or need. I will write now because I can and because now is my time. It has been a long time coming but here it is. Wish me luck.