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The Book That Made Me

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  248 ratings  ·  77 reviews
A book for book lovers!

The Book That Made Me is a celebration of the books that influenced some of the most acclaimed authors from Australia and the world. Inspirational. Affecting.

A perfect collection of personal stories for book lovers!

Personal stories by fantastic authors such as Markus Zusak, Jaclyn Moriarty, Shaun Tan, Mal Peet, Ambelin Kwaymullina, Simon French, Fion
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 1st 2016 by Walker Books Australia
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Average rating 3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  248 ratings  ·  77 reviews

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Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I don't know why I am like this but I love being like this. Because I love reading the reading experiences of everyone - their first books, their early reading memories, how they become readers and what makes them readers today. As long as it is books and reading, I am so ready to listen or read about it.

I loved this book. I was craving for a book about books for weeks and I got this at the right time and ..whoa, it didn't disappoint me.

I can relate well with the authors on how a particular bo
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
Jul 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Book That Made Me is a wonderful anthology of authors and the books that shaped their lives. It was incredibly charming with an abundance of humour and charm and the underlying message from the majority of authors is about representation and finding themselves within the pages of books.

Author Will Kostakis, who rewrote stories of how they should have been more inclusive, Randa Abdel-Fattah who read books where the diverse character was painted as exotic and found herself within the pages of
Diane Barnes
Nov 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Australian authors write about books that influenced their lives. Found some new titles and authors I'd like to check out.
Jul 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
So I might be biased as a contributor to this anthology but damn it, I don't care. This is a delicious book full of heartfelt, hilarious and poignant insights into the impact of literature on impressionable young readers. It's so much fun to see what books influenced which writers and how they shaped their work. :-D
May 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Well, it's my book, so I may be biased, but I didn't write most of it, and I sincerely think the contributions are all 5***** worthy!
Helen O'Toole
Sep 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
What an interesting read this was. Thirty two authors reflect on the book in their childhood or youth that changed them forever. In their case, the one particular book set them on their course to become a writer. It was like having 32 wonderful conversations with a fascinating group of people. I had not heard of many of the authors which shows I should read more young adolescent fiction or fantasy fiction. The editor very sensibly includes a list of every book that is mentioned plus she gives br ...more
Diane Challenor
In 2017 at my favourite Sydney literary event, the Sydney Writers’ Festival, I was browsing Gleebooks’ pop-up bookshop, which is always a source of unique treasures, when I discovered The Book That Made Me, edited by Judith Ridge. The book is a collection of mini-bibliomemoirs. They are personal reflections on books that had a profound impact on the writing life of some well known Australian and New Zealand authors. Each story led me down new pathways, introducing authors and books unfamiliar to ...more
Oct 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed The Book That Made Me. Full of wonderful authors that I love, The Book That Made Me tells the story of the book or books, that made the author who they are today, and make them want to be a writer.

I found each story equally intriguing. It is full of great writers, so of course the stories in the book are great, full of humour, wit, and truth. If you are a writer you will enjoy this book. If you are a reader, you will enjoy this book. And after reading each of their stories,
Kathleen Dixon
Nov 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Kathleen by: the Bookshop
Oh dear - now I'm going to have to make myself another lengthy challenge, which is to read books by all the authors in this book, and the books that were formative to their own writing careers. As I own this copy, however, I don't need to start on that immediately. I think it can wait until my next birthday (9 months away, which gives me some decent time to complete my current very long-running challenge which is also based on books mentioned in a book about books).

It's clear from the above that
The Book that Made Me is a collection of 32 stories by Australian and international authors, edited by Judith Ridge. All of the stories are about books and reading, with a focus on the first book that evoked strong feelings.

If you're in your twenties or older, this will probably be a very nostalgic book for you, if you too grew up reading. If you're younger than that, you have a whole list of books that you can now look forward to!

I loved each and every entry in this collection, often I reso
Alex  Baugh
Nov 09, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a very interesting book to read. I've thought a lot about books that I have read and that have changed me in some way, so it was interesting to discover what books changed well-known authors. The 31 authors are all published, and well-known, but the book is geared toward mostly Australian and English writers, many of whom American children not be familiar with. That is the only drawback for me. I would love to see a similar book done with American and Canadian authors, including authors ...more
Karen • The Book Return
Read this review and more on my blog.The Book Return Blog
'The Book That Made Me' is an anthology by several authors that tells about a book that influenced their life. 'The Book That Made Me' gives us a chance to look inside the authors' mind and how they first became inspired to write.
I am not usually big on anthologies. I'm a cover to cover reader and I don't like to skip stories (even if I don't enjoy them). I find that with most anthologies there are stories/essays I love, a few that are ok,
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
32 authors, mostly from Australia and New Zealand, contribute short essays on childhood reading that formed them as writers. Fun to read.
Marcus Hobson
Oct 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a great book. I always enjoy reading what people say about the books they read as children and it is even more interesting when all those people have turned into authors of one sort or another.
Even though you might think that all the stories would be the same, in fact they are all quite different and all interesting for different reasons. There are several New Zealand authors among the mainly Australian cast of authors and they are mainly writers of children's or young adult fiction. Fo
Miriam Mulcahy
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love people's stories of the books they love and how reading shaped their lives. You know those "list 10 books that have stayed with you" posts that do the the rounds every so often on social media? I read every bit of everyone's responses. I get a thrill every time someone mentions one of my own favourites and I'm fascinated to hear about all the books I've never come across before. Put that together with all these lovely glimpses into childhood memories and books intertwined with life and I' ...more
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
I'm not exactly sure what I expected from this book. I was hoping maybe I would find book recommendations or fun stories of childhood. Not only did I find neither, but I felt no real point to this book. A few of the stories i loved, however I barely payed attention while reading the others. I have decided i will stick to books with a real plot from now on.
Rania T
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
An interesting anthology featuring a diverse range of authors. It brought back memories of books that I had read in childhood but had forgotten about, as well as a new selection of books for my future to read list. For Book Lovers.
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Very enjoyable.

Full review coming soon
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars, 2016
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-libraries
2.5 I think I would have liked it more if I had known more of the contributing authors, but I do appreciate all their stories of how books changed their lives.
Dec 21, 2018 rated it liked it
The title was similar to another one I was looking up in my library catalog and intrigued me so I checked it out. Turns out it is a collection of essays by writers (of childrens/young adult books) living in New Zealand and Australia. The essays are about these favorite authors favorite or most meaningful books - often from childhood. While I didn't recognize most of the authors it was interesting to see points of view on books from another part of the world. Often they read books set in America ...more
Kelly Hager
This is an anthology of stories from Australian authors, detailing the book (or books) most responsible for making them who they are as readers, authors and people.

This is the kind of book that every reader will be able to identify with. We all have books that we can point to that make us US. (Matilda is one of mine, as I'm sure thousands of others will agree.)

The stories are both incredibly familiar to me and incredibly foreign. I haven't read many of the novels mentioned, which is awesome (I
Holly L'Heureux
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing. I loved looking into the lives of so many different writers. Their backgrounds and the way they wrote their mini biographies really showed who they are as people and as writers. I really cannot wait to read more books by these fantastic authors.
Dani St-Onge (Literary Lion)

Disclaimer: A free copy of this book was received through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Authors are most often also avid readers - and as such the books they read usually influence their lives. Thirty-one authors write about the books that inspired them, changed them or just made them happy. From first childhood reads to books read in middle age, every reader knows the thrill of finding a book that stays with you.

There are a wealth of different storie
Amy (Lost in a Good Book)
A version of this review was published on Lost in a Good Book

I picked up this book because there were stories from authors that I love to read and the premise sounded really interesting. There’s always a risk with anthologies that a reader won’t enjoy all the stories equally and unfortunately this was the case for me. Sometimes it is only a few but I found with this collection I couldn’t engage with a lot of the stories. I wanted to enjoy them, I wanted to read about what books had an impact on
Christine (allthingschristine)
Disclaimer: This book was provided to me by Candlewick Press in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and we're in no way influenced by the publisher.

When Candlewick Press contacted me asking me if I was interested in this book I was thrilled. I had thought about a book like this in the back of my mind for many years, and I was so excited to see that someone had the same idea I did and turned it into a reality!

This book was such a fun read! You can easily fly through it in a f
Rebekah Crain
Feb 15, 2017 rated it did not like it
Tried to read this the other day, but just couldn't get into it. I think my trouble was I didn't have any real idea who any of the authors were who wrote the essays in this compilation. Out of all of them I recognized exactly 1. Perhaps I'd have enjoyed it more if I was familiar with the authors because then what books they found inspiration in would have seemed more meaningful. As it was, I couldn't even finish this. I struggled for days with it, and eventually gave up around the 75% mark. Sill ...more
It’s not surprising that many authors were readers as youngsters, but it is interesting to think about what book(s) impacted them significantly. Ridge, an Australian expert on children’s and young adult literature, has collected essays by thirty-two authors, mostly from Australia or New Zealand, about the books that influenced them and/or led them to become authors. Responses are remarkably varied and are heavily weighted toward contemporary classics like Watership Down, Anne of Green Gables, Ni ...more
Allison Outlund
This is a charming and eclectic collection of stories about stories. Thirty-two unique authors write about the stories that made indelible impressions on them in their youth and shaped their pathways as adults. From manga illustrators to novelists, these artists teach us about the astounding ripple effect that occurs when a child finds a story that speaks to them.

As an avid reader and aspiring writer, I love learning about how others respond to stories. It is such a magical process to interpet
Sam Schroder
Aug 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A collection of musings by some of our most talented writers. Each presents the reader with a trip down memory lane to show us a particular book and the circumstances that placed it in their hands. For each author, the book discussed holds a special place in their hearts. Some stand out comments, for me, included Mandy Hager telling us that great fiction 'can either provide a mirror in which to reflect what's going on (in ourselves or our world) or it can become a window (to see into a life or a ...more
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