Today we’re excited to feature the talented Belle Malory, Author of The Twelfth Keeper Series and Wanderlove. You can learn more about her books and writing at her blog- here. Below, Belle shares a list of the books that have impacted and shaped her along the road to who and where she is today.
The Books Along the Way
Chances are, you didn’t wake up one morning and decide who you are.
You didn’t think to yourself, Hmm…I think I’ll go to medical school and become a doctor. I’m going to be a fan of country music. And my fashion style will be vintage-chic.
We can write characters on a whim, but we don’t write our lives that way. If you decide to go to medical school, you were inspired to do it. Whether it was money, a passion for saving lives, or a family member, that drive to achieve came from somewhere. It didn’t just happen out of the blue.
Where am I going with this?
Well, it doesn’t happen that way for authors either. None of us wake up one morning and decide we want to write a hundred thousand words for kicks. There was inspiration along the way, usually in the form of books.
Do you remember your first books? The ones that held so much magic and heart, the ones your mother read to you before bed, and the same ones that inspired you to create stories in your head, keeping you up for hours at night?
As the mom of a toddler, I get to relive my childhood through my daughter’s eyes.
It takes me back to when I was young, helping me to remember where all this passion for telling stories came from. As Antoine de Saint-Exupery says in The Little Prince, “All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.”
We need to remember it. Because when we don’t, we become jaded robots, doing one mundane thing after another because we have to. We forget what we love. So here’s to remembering. And here are some of my favorite childhood books.
The book that taught me how to read:
Are You My Mother? By Dr. Suess
It’s almost poetic that I have vivid memories of sitting on my mom’s bed, reading this book to her. When I’d get stumped on a word, she’d asked me to sound it out. She was a single, hard-working mother. Life didn’t come easy for her, and she knew it wouldn’t come easy for me either. Thanks to her, I could read long before I entered grade school. And I knew exactly who my mother was. She was the amazing woman who filled the shoes of both Mom and Dad.
The books that taught me the beauty of words and the beauty of giving:
The Giving Tree and Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
I paired these books together because I remember them that way. These books should be on every child’s bookshelf. The Giving Tree is a story that touches your heart, teaches you about being selfless and caring, and Where the Sidewalk Ends shows you how words can be strung together to make a work of art. The drawings are pretty fun too.
The book that taught me about magic:
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Need I say more?
I’m pretty sure we all know the magic that is Harry Potter, and if you don’t, you’re living under a rock. As a kid, this magic is only magnified.
The book that taught me about happy ever afters:
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
Don’t compare this book to the movie. Sorry Anne Hathaway, but the movie doesn’t do it justice. This is every girl’s fairy tale. This book taught me that we can take a classic story and weave it into something greater. Ms. Levine was inspired by Cinderella, and I was inspired by Ella Enchanted. The circle of life. This book turned our classic damsel in distress “Cinderella” and transformed her into a real, badass heroine who could fight off ogres and overcome obstacles like being bound by obedience. As a pre-teen living in a man’s world, this was exactly the book I needed to read. One that inspired me to become a strong, young adult.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this list. And I hope it makes you think about the books you used to love as a child.