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message 1: by Lidiana (new)

Lidiana | 440 comments Mod
Hi everyone...

I received a "literary challenge" from a friend, I wanted to share with you because it sounded like fun and a good way to know the literary tastes of each other :)

You have to list 15 authors that had a great influence on you. Put the name and a short explanation why. The trap is that you cannot take longer than 15 minutes to make the list and post it. No "overthinking" is allowed :)


message 2: by Samanta (last edited Jun 07, 2016 09:34AM) (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) | 183 comments Anne Rice - the world she created, her prose and the sensuality of it
Jane Austen - wit, humor, irony and sarcasm, but also an accurate description of society
Anthony Doerr - style of writing, his prose....mesmerizing
J. K. Rowling - she created Harry Potter and that says it all
G. R. R. Martin - now that's some great imagination, with killer instincts...literally :) Great knowledge of history
J. R. R. Tolkien - Um....Lord of the Rings
M. M. Kaye - beautiful descriptions of (to me) exotic places, no-nonsense heroines
Elizabeth Gaskell - descriptions of society in Victorian England...and her love stories too :)
Miro Gavran - he manages to make bland characters into human beings you can connect with
Edgar Allan Poe - definitely the darkness
Đuro Sudeta - only read one book by him, but that one turned me from a reluctant reader into an incurable bookworm
August Šenoa - national historical themes
Mikhail Lermontov - I can't really explain why, but I experienced a "love at first sight" with Pechorin in high school, and I'm still not over it
Marija Jurić Zagorka - beautiful prose with national historical elements, but more than that her personality...she was a fighter
Lewis Carroll - because of Alice


The Reading Bibliophile | 564 comments Mod
Samanta, there are some authors I've absolutely never heard about. I'm looking forward to checking them out! Thank you for sharing this with us :-)


message 4: by The Reading Bibliophile (last edited Jun 07, 2016 11:13AM) (new)

The Reading Bibliophile | 564 comments Mod
Voltaire: for the enlightenment.
Camus Albert: for his humanism, because he's one of the greatest thinkers of all times; he's one of my spiritual guides.
Chekhov Anton: for his humanism, his in timeless theatre, his short stories; he's another of my spiritual guides.
Victor Hugo: for his Le Dernier Jour D'un Condamné amongst other writings.
Émile Zola: for his amazing sociological descriptive books (about France) and his "J'accuse!"
Stefan Zweig: for his humanism (yes, again) and his prose.
Charles Dickens: for his amazing sociological books (about Britain).
Oscar Wilde: for his incredible humour and because he was a deadly victim of homophobia.
Joseph Kessel: he was a journalist and wrote many beautiful novels (about the resistance among others).
George Orwell: for his humanism and because he is one the greatest thinkers of all times.
So, there is the French guy, Camus, and the English guy, Orwell. Both were ill with tuberculosis. Camus died at the age of 46 (in a car crash), Orwell at the age of 47 (he wrote 1984 while dying).
Pier Paolo Pasolini: for his great mind, beautiful poems, and he was another victim of homophobia.
Irène Némirovsky: she had a beautiful prose and she wrote a romanced biography of Chekhov that made me fall in love with Chekhov.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross: she was a pioneer in palliative care. She also described the five stages of grief. She had an amazing life. Her books bring peace.
Alice Miller: she's one of the greatest psychologists of all times and almost nobody knows it. She studied the effects of child abuse in adult life. Everyone who ought to have kids should read her books.
Aaaargh, I want to add so many more....! This is not fair!
So the last author is Karen Blixen: she loved Africa, she had an incredible life, she wrote in 3 languages, beautiful prose.

Of course, there are many many many others and all those authors whose works I've not yet read.


message 5: by Samanta (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) | 183 comments Cynthia wrote: "Samanta, there are some authors I've absolutely never heard about. I'm looking forward to checking them out! Thank you for sharing this with us :-)"

I presume the Croatian ones :)


message 6: by Pedro (new)

Pedro Henrique | 36 comments 1. Rowling - growing up with Harry, Ron and Hermione definatelly influence you on your chilldhood/teenage years
2. Victor Hugo - Les Miserables is absolutely my favorite book of all times, I lost track of hay many times I've read it (the full version)
3. Machado de Assis - Pretty much what made me fall in love with literature, mandatory elementary and high school reading.
4. Karl Ove Kanusgard - my most recent and impactant author. Definatelly made me take another look on biographies, which was always a genre that I didn't like that much before
5.Jack Kerouac - he simply made me fell in love by the Beat Generation and all it's literature, it had great impact on me and inspired me to do more roadtrips
6.Nick Hornby - from high fidelity to brooklyn, such a simple and easy reading, but always filled with music references that I absolutally loved, and discovered so many things
7.Neil Gaiman - from all it's darkness and mythological references, made me glad to explore such a dark supernatural and undergrond world.
8.Chimamanda Ngozi - rethinking postcolonial literature through her eys is simply mind blowing, expanded so much my horizon.
9.Stieg Larsson - He managed to get me so mesmerazied with such deep characters that I picked up his books and couldn't put it down until I finished it.. litereally read every book of the trilogy in a day.
10.George Orwell - From reading Animal Farm as a child, and then again older you realize how genious he was and how interpretation and context can be everything in a book.
11. Lemony Snicket - from all the silly and satirical childhood books, this one was one of my favorites, and also was a series, which I love
12.Gabriel Garcia Marquez - Do I really need a reason why?
13. Philip Pullman - it's incredible parallel universe and its daemons were just a new way to re-think creativity.
14.David Mitchell - He managed to construct so many different histories and timelines, and perfectly sew them all together in one of my favorite book/movies from all times
15.Ondjaki - As Chimamanda, he was also a door opener to post colonian african literature


message 7: by Samanta (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) | 183 comments Love your list, Pedro :)


The Reading Bibliophile | 564 comments Mod
Samanta wrote: "Cynthia wrote: "Samanta, there are some authors I've absolutely never heard about. I'm looking forward to checking them out! Thank you for sharing this with us :-)"

I presume the Croatian ones :)"


Yes, and MM Kaye ;-) Now, I have to look whether these authors are translated into a language I can read...


The Reading Bibliophile | 564 comments Mod
Pedro wrote: "1. Rowling - growing up with Harry, Ron and Hermione definatelly influence you on your chilldhood/teenage years
2. Victor Hugo - Les Miserables is absolutely my favorite book of all times, I lost t..."


Oh, yes, Sieg Larsson!
Karl Ove Kanusgard is on my TBR list.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adachie's Americanahis underway.
Ondjaki: thanks for the discovery! :-)


message 10: by Pedro (new)

Pedro Henrique | 36 comments Cynthia wrote: "Pedro wrote: "1. Rowling - growing up with Harry, Ron and Hermione definatelly influence you on your chilldhood/teenage years
2. Victor Hugo - Les Miserables is absolutely my favorite book of all t..."


Cynthia, My struggle, from Karl Ove is simply perfect and so honest. I am really enjoying this series!
from Chimamanda I also recomend Half of a Yellow Sun and Purple Hibiscus.
And from Ondjaki, my favorite one is Os Transparentes !


The Reading Bibliophile | 564 comments Mod
Thanks Pedro! I have the first book of My Struggle.
Chimamanda is a literary phenomenon over here as well. (I'm usually wary of public success but here it is well-earned!).


message 12: by Samanta (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) | 183 comments Cynthia wrote: "Samanta wrote: "Cynthia wrote: "Samanta, there are some authors I've absolutely never heard about. I'm looking forward to checking them out! Thank you for sharing this with us :-)"

I presume the C..."


M.M. Kaye is an English author, so that won't be a problem. You have Miro Gavran (I put his Biblical trilogy somewhere on our TMAM discussion - for the first few chapters, I think). You also have "The Goldsmith's Treasure" from August Šenoa. Unfortunately, Zagorka is not translated to English (there are a few? books translated to German, though). That's about it, as far as I know.


message 13: by Lidiana (new)

Lidiana | 440 comments Mod
Fascinating lists :) I love how we learn so much from these recommendations...

I have read Chimamanda's Americanah and it was mindblowing. Just today I started Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie I'll check it out the other author you mentioned, Pedro.


message 14: by Lidiana (new)

Lidiana | 440 comments Mod
So here is my list... Sorry for any typos and repetition :)

1- William Shakespeare - the bard was responsible for my literary awakening. Act IV, from Macbeth will be forever my literary piece!

2- Joseph Conrad - for allowing me to rethink history…

3- Guimarães Rosa João: for making me fall in love with the Brazilian literary canon.

4- Agatha Christie: for turning me into a reader

5- J R R Tolkien: because Lord of the Rings was the epitome of fantastic literature.

6- Ernest Hemingway: for showing me that sometimes a writing style can make you ignore some point of views you do not agree with. Hemingway managed to be a jerk sometimes, but his writing makes me forgive him :)

7- Samuel Beckett: for introducing me to the fantastic absurdist world!

8- Kurt Vonnegut: for his wit and caustic sense of humor…

9- Amélie Nothomb: for being a female modern version of Vonnegut! Oh, and for her thoughts on “white chocolate” :)

10- Albert Camus: for constant questioning of the ethos

11- Charles Dickens: for making me fall in love with England!

12- Julian Barnes: for making me open my mind to more contemporary authors

13- Marcos Rey: the best Brazilian author for any child in process of formation as a reader!

14- J. M. Barrie: for keeping my childhood imagination alive

15- Lewis Carroll: for his inventive mind and for making me so curious about the English language!


The Reading Bibliophile | 564 comments Mod
Samanta wrote: "Cynthia wrote: "Samanta wrote: "Cynthia wrote:..."

Thank you Samanta :-)


The Reading Bibliophile | 564 comments Mod
Lidiana wrote: "So here is my list... Sorry for any typos and repetition :)"

Amélie Nothomb: I read most of her novels published in the 90s. I lost interest in her later work because she had become a too much of a publishing phenomenon in France, writing on command and becoming more "mainstream". A bit like Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt. I do not know anything about her latest novels, I think she has come back to the sort of writing she did in her early years (having evolved of course). I should try and read her works again. But, yes, her novels published up to 2000 were mind-blowing.


message 17: by Lidiana (new)

Lidiana | 440 comments Mod
Cynthia wrote: "Lidiana wrote: "So here is my list... Sorry for any typos and repetition :)"

Amélie Nothomb: I read most of her novels published in the 90s. I lost interest in her later work because she had becom..."


i understand how the mainstream effect can make us lose interest in some writer, bands... Here in Brazil she never became that, exactly the opposite. Only her 4 first books were released in Portuguese and then the publishing house stopped publishing them because there was no public for her. So I went on to read some of her other novels in English. I stopped reading them since I started studying French because I plan to read them in their original language someday. I have already bought some of them in French, but still haven't had the guts to try it.


The Reading Bibliophile | 564 comments Mod
This is great, Lidiana! Maybe you can start reading in French the books you read in English or in Portuguese. I think the most accessible ones are her biographical ones such as Stupeur et tremblements (gosh, how I laughed at reading that book).
For instance, I wouldn't recommend you reading Hygiène de l'assassin in French right away.

About reading in French in general, I would recommend also reading L'Étranger. In this book, Camus' prose is very simple though extremely powerful. My partner (he's Italian) gained back all his French notions from school by reading this book :-)


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