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5 Books That Shaped Me: Teen Reads

March 15, 2016

I did say I would make it a series, didn’t I? Here’s the second post about books that shaped me. (The first one was about childhood memories.)

It’s terribly difficult to choose just five for this post because I read a lot as a teenager. I would devour anything that looked interesting (and sometimes books that didn’t as well) in the local library and it’s a period during which I (like all teenagers) evolved a lot, so my taste changed accordingly over those years. Anyway, I decided on these to represent my teens:


It’s a mix of supernatural genres. In my teen years, I really was most into science fiction. All my favourite TV shows were science fiction.

  • Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice was the first novel with a focus on vampires that I read. I went on to the next few in the series and found that I really enjoyed the narrator change (I was more for Lestat than Louis). In a way, these books inspired me to write about vampires in the first place. I still have a few of them around in my stories, but it’s probably needless to say that they are not very much like Anne Rice’s.
  • I had to include Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey because I read the Pern series right around the time when we got internet at home and the books became a catalyst for my interacting socially online (this was way before Facebook and Twitter, kids. We’re talking mailing lists and IRC here). They also made me start writing in English (albeit not very well to begin with) to share my own stories with others online.
  • Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles has to be on the list because our household had a number of his books (translated into Danish), and this one was my favourite. Science fiction, you know. I loved how the short stories were connected, and one of them included a poem by Lord Byron (my first encounter with him, I think).
  • I picked the first book of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books for this list although my favourite was probably The Prisoner of Azkaban. I  got started on the series rather late, but I fondly remember breezing through the first four books (the fifth wasn’t yet out at the time).
  • The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams kept me busy during a summer break. I remember getting the first book from the library to see if I liked it – and then the next ones a couple of days later. I loved the humour, I loved Ford Prefect. When I look back at the stories I wrote at the time, it’s clear that I was so inspired by Douglas Adams. Not so much when it came to plots, but I was definitely trying to be funny. Mostly Harmless was the first novel I read in English (it hadn’t been translated into Danish). Clearly I didn’t stop again.

Which books have changed you, helped you or shaped you? Please feel free to join me in the comment section or on your own blog (or other social media) using #5booksthatshapedme – I would love to hear which books mean something special to you!


3 Comments leave one →
  1. kathjoy permalink
    March 15, 2016 3:24 pm

    Every time I read lists like this I always feel so uncultured (as a kid anyway). Some fantastic titles. I did at least read Interview with the Vampire in my late teens! I too much preferred Lestat and Ann Rice’s portrayal of vampires to influence how I myself portray them in my work and it is what first sparked my fascination with vampires in the first place. The rest I have woefully not read even now. I haven’t even read the Harry Potter series and I was the prime age to read it when it came out!

    It makes me want to re-examine what I read as a kid. I’m not sure what it was but I have missed so many stellar titles, many of which I was well aware of I just didn’t get to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 15, 2016 4:59 pm

      Aw, I do know the feeling. I had plenty to pick from for this post, but I still feel that there are loads and loads of good books and classics that I have missed and am still missing. I think it’s almost universal, the feeling that the world is full of wonderful books that we never really got around to. 🙂
      Thank you for reading and commenting! 😀


  2. Maggie permalink
    March 16, 2016 12:18 am

    Dragonflight would be on my list! That, and Elizabeth Haydon’s Rhapsody and Barbara Hambly’s Dragonsbane (and all the books in those two series).


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