Love Ya Like a Sister Book Tour

Today as a part of the book tour for Love Ya Like a Sister, hosted by The Teen {Book} Scene, the author, Tom Kelper is here in a guest post. He graciously wrote a post about the ten books that had an impact on his life. I hope you enjoy reading what Tom has written! Also, stay tuned for my review of the book.

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Here is my list of 10 books, roughly in the order that I read them in my life. I am an eclectic reader, and this list reminds me of that fact. I can read anything, though, and am happier reading the labels on bottles or the back of food packages than reading nothing.

1.    The Black Stallion, by Walter Farley--This was the first big book I remember reading. I still remember the thrill of having the story explode in my mind: desert islands, wild horses, and the literal "dark horse" racing against all odds.

2.   Tunnel in the Sky, by Robert Heinlein--In this science fiction thriller, a high school survival class has a week-long "lab" of surviving on a planet for a week with no adults. The main character is talked into taking only a hunting knife for defense because then he will be motivated to "stay alert." And then a nearby star super-novas . . . and then . . . This young adult novel is one of many that Heinlein wrote during the golden age of science fiction. Stranger in a Strange Land is a later book that my friends and I read in high school and talked about a lot.

3.   The Selected Poems of Federico Garcia Lorca--The poems of Garcia Lorca use language in a way that I had never experienced before. His vision of the world and his description of his vision were so original that I felt I was perceiving the world through totally new eyes.

4.   The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkein--This was my first experience with world-building. My friends and I fell into the trilogy like fish into water--refreshed and saved from the suffocation of too much reality.

Tiny Tom
   5.    Ariel, poems by Sylvia Plath--Yes, she died by suicide, and her poems are starkly bleak. It was through Plath, though, that I realized that beauty is everywhere and in everything. She wrote about darkness and depression so beautifully. Plath wrote beautiful poems about ugliness and despair.

  6.   The Sound and the Fury, by William Faulkner--My first immersion in stream of consciousness writing, I still find Faulkner's prose to be a tidal wave of language, a tsunami of words, great and almost beyond comprehension, a tumult of meaning.

7.   Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen--As both teacher and writer, I admire Gary Paulsen's ability to structure a story so that it is accessible to the intended reader. He knows his audience and knows how to write books that they will love. And it's also cool how he has written alternative sequels to this book.

Recent Picture of Tom
8.   Down the Long Hills, by Louis L'Amour--That's right, this is a western novel, but it's about kids and their big red stallion who have to survive on their own. I like L'Amour for his ability to write simply and to allow the reader to use imagination. He is so good at suggesting and allowing the reader to fill in the details.

9.   Foreigner, by C.J. Cherryh--First of a series of twelve science fiction novels, Cherryh is the master of creating unique realities, and her Foreigner series is wonderful--isolated humans sharing a planet with another race, learning to live by thinking like the aliens--whose culture, by the way, utilizes an assassin's guild as its "lawyers."

10. Daniel Martin, by John Fowles--A novel of character, maybe the greatest novel I've ever read. I read this every few years to remind myself of how it should be done. Fowles is a master novelist; for instance, in this novel, the last lines of the novel lead effortlessly into the first lines of the novel, creating a circle.

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Leave a Comment: What is one  book that changed your life?