Sometimes reading is just NOT ENOUGH.
I see these characters with their fabulous hair and their fabulous wit committing fabulous acts and I either get (A) enormously jealous because I can’t even make unburnt toast and here they are conquering the kingdom, or (B) I get enormously inspired to go and do ALL THE THINGS LIKE THEY DID IN THE BOOKS. Just because it’s a book doesn’t mean it’s not real. Books are inspiring. Books changes lives.
Reason #39839 why reading is super dangerous. IT CAN INSPIRE YOU TO GREATNESS.
Now obviously dragon riding and kingdom conquering are my ultimate goals in life — but it’s hard to get that done and be home for dinner. Because #priorities. But regardless of that, today’s list is about books that have seriously inspired me to do things. I will also let you know if I acted on this inspiration or not. Because hahahhaha, usually no. I mean experiencing life is great and all that if you’re into disease and sunburn and nature, but I like my dark hobbit hole.
Today’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is “Top Ten Things Books Have Made Me Want To Do or Learn About After Reading Them“ which will be ever so fun, because you can see just how UNORIGINAL MY LIFE IS because 96% of things I do I got the idea from a book anyway. Seriously. My dream career is writing. Where did I get that idea? FROM A BOOK.
1. THIS SAVAGE SONG BY V.E. SCHWAB
I seriously cannot wait for my order of this to arrive, because I’m dying for it for BOOKSTAGRAM REASONS. As you do. But moving forward! This Savage Song actually inspired me to get back into music. Sure the music in this book is a violin played by a monster who uses the music to EAT YOUR SOUL. It just made me feel really incompetent about my own music abilities. All I’ve ever managed to do with my violining is make ears bleed.
Regardless, it’s been like 4 years since I quit the violin, and 12 months since I stopped playing cello/piano. I CONFESS I MISS IT. Thanks for reminding me, This Savage Song.
2. THE SCORPIO RACES BY MAGGIE STIEFVATER
I finished my re-read of this a few weeks ago and (A) remembered how ridiculously in love I am with the island of Thisby; (B) plus how ridiculously in love I am with Sean Kendrick, (C) OH AND ALSO the fact that I really really want to ride a horse.
I would really really love to ride an actual horse. See, I’d even leave my hobbit hole for this. THIS IS KINDA BIG DEAL.
Also, fun fact: during my re-read of The Scorpio Races last month, I startlingly came across Sean Kendrick using the phrase “I’m tolerable” which is a phrase I utter at least NINE TIMES A DAY. Because it’s classier than saying “meh”. Needless to say I didn’t realise I’d inherited this from Sean Kendrick. Nothing in my life is original. I am 97.9% a book.
3. I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN BY JANDY NELSON
This book 100% inspired me to ART. And I actually did act on this a little and got enthused about my zentangling habits! And promptly dumped my zentangling habits because I’m also super lazy and a perfectionist and if I can’t do it perfectly the first time, I WON’T DO IT, BOB.
But seriously, this book is so suffocatingly arty I dare you to read it and ignore the feeling that you must PAINT THE MONA LISA BEFORE DAWN.
If you want to see my zentangles, look here on my instagram.
4. NARNIA BY C.S. LEWIS
Okay! I admit! Growing up reading The Chronicles of Narnia (and by “reading” I mean “re-reading each book at least 93839 times per month) I was definitely inspired to check my wardrobe for Narnia. I…I did not find it. #fail
While we’re on this topic, also, Edmund is my spirit animal.
5. A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC BY V.E. SCHWAB
“Cait why is your list drowning in Schwab books?” you ask politely.
IT’S BECAUSE I HAVE NO OTHER CHOICE.
Also I’m aware I’m talking about Book 1: A Darker Shade of Magic, and the photo is of Book 2: A Gathering of Shadows. This is because I DON’T OWN BOOK 1. And this is a great life tragedy and I shed tears generally on Monday to Thursday about it.
Moving forward. ADSOM absolutely inspired me to write adult fantasy. I know this book gets marketed as YA a lot…but it’s actually adult. The protagonists are in their early 20s. Which could be considered New Adult, but is that actually a category OR JUST A JOKE? Who can know. But regardless: I am frequently told that my YA fantasy is too violent and I really want to write DARK FANTASY. So. I shall. This series reminded me you can write fantasy with a YA style, but age up the characters, cut the school themes, and smite everyone most bloodily. Good times.
And for all that are interested, here’s the pinterest board for this adult fantasy I’m plotting. I’M HALFWAY THROUGH THE OUTLINE NOW. It’s all very exciting. And very serious as you can see from this tweet.
6. THE FAULT IN OUR STARS BY JOHN GREEN
Not only did this book encourage me to increase my levels of fangirling (because I mean Level Fangirling: Augustus Waters Over Books is the ultimate aim) but it gave me the most dastardly brilliant idea to end a book in the middle of a sentence someday! Which I’m sure is not the idea John Green was putting forth! But nevertheless! Here I am!
Because honestly, this is an accurate and legit relaying of how it happened:
Augustus: Tell me this book does not end in the middle of a sentence.
Hazel: I know right?! It’s so wrong!
Augustus: It should be illegal!
Hazel: It isn’t fair to the readers.
Me: OMG THIS IS A BRILLIANT IDEA, I AM ABSOLUTELY 1000% DOING THIS, THANKYOU. WOW, WHERE IS MY TO-DO LIST?
Hazel & Augustus: No.
7. CINDER BY MARISSA MEYER
Raising her fist, she thunked the android hard on the side of its head, barely catching it before it toppled over onto the table. The prince jumped.
Cinder set the android back on its treads and jabbed the power button but nothing happened. “You’d be surprised at how often that works.”
The prince let out a single, awkward chuckle. “Are you sure you’re Linh Cinder? The mechanic?”
Reading about Cinder’s mechanical capabilities which involved whacking computers to get them working again is honestly my life’s inspiration. I have done this. I attest to it working. I frequently pummel my clock so it continues telling time. Cinder is an inspiration to us all.
And again, GOSH, I do not own Cinder. I literally own the entire series (MISMATCHED THOUGH #SOBBING) but not Cinder. What is my life. What are my choices.
8. THE WRATH AND THE DAWN BY RENEE AHDIEH
This inspired me to want to eat all the Persian food of ever. Which is a big deal because I’m not really one for curries. And when I say “not really” I mean I have the palette of a sensitive flower and if you suggest some strange food to me I will wither and die. BUT C’MON. READ THIS:
…setting plates of food in front of each guest — aromatic rice with fresh dill and split fava beans, lamb simmered in sauce of turmeric and caramelized onions, skewers of chicken and roasted tomatoes, fresh vegetables garnished with mint and chopped parsley, olives marinated in fine oil, lavash bread with rounds of goat cheese and seemingly endless sweet preserves…
9. A GAME OF THRONES BY GEORGE RR MARTIN
Obviously, I haven’t done it yet, but probably tomorrow. Or the weekend because I have library books due and I don’t want fines. I am an evil overlord with respect for library rules, okay?
10. BOOKS IN GENERAL
I just find the whole concept of imagining wild and epic worlds and then mixing up 26 letters in the alphabet to end up with hundreds and thousands of words to tell a story about something that never even happened and that’s printed on the skin of dead trees VERY VERY COOL. Books in general are just freakishly inspiring. And they make me want to be a writer. Ever since I was 12, I’ve dreamed of walking into a bookshop and seeing my books shelved neatly around James Dashner and Susan Dennard.
Just reading any book is inspiring. Like “HELLO, I too have a wild imagination where I create imaginary friends and kill them and this is a legit career please sign me up immediately!” #goals