13 Examples Of When A Good Author Changes Your Heart, Your Life, And Your Mind

13 Examples Of When A Good Author Changes Your Heart, Your Life, And Your Mind

A good book is nothing without the incredible writer behind it.

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I'm an avid reader. I have been since I was old enough to walk over to the bookshelf and yank out every book on the lower shelves. (Just ask my parents.)

Books have always fascinated me with their abilities to tell stories of all kinds, to transport you for even a few minutes to a whole other world. I could--and do, when I have the time--sit for hours curled up with a good book, oblivious to the world around me but for the fictional one between my hands.

I love talking with others about books. I could talk for hours about books, comparing opinions and recommending individual books or series. It's almost like a spell, to talk about something I love so dearly: like a wave of peace coming over me.

November 1 was National Author Day. Out of curiosity, I created a survey to see what my fellow writers would name as their favorite authors. And amazingly, not a single response that I got was the same.

1. Jane Austen

First Page Wonders - Tumblr

"Jane Austen, because her 18th century novels depict rebellion of society, which I relate to as I refuse to follow society and its ways." - Female, 21

2. Rupi Kaur

"I read her poetry books when I was in a very abusive relationship. It opened my eyes that I am not who he defined me to be. I'm not an object, I'm a living human being that is a force to be reckoned with and I can take on the world!" - Female, 19

3. J.K. Rowling

"I have always been an avid reader, but when I was in fifth grade and I decided to read the Harry Potter series I was blown away. I truly was in a whole new universe when I read those books and it made me even more of a reader. That series and her writing made me appreciate the reading world so much. I guarantee if I had not read those books I wouldn't be half of the book nerd I am today." - female, 19

(Surprisingly, I didn't write this. But this was my experience with Harry Potter as well, and I have so much respect for JKR and the community she gave countless amounts of people around the world.)

4. Joseph Bruchac

"Joseph Bruchac changed my life when I met him at a book reading at a Native American Museum. He read some of my poetry and told me I was doing an amazing job and to keep up with the writing. That inspired me to always make time to write." - Female, 20

5. Stephen King

"[He] helped me become the horror fan I am today!" - Female, 19

6. Rick Riordan

"Rick Riordan, because his books started my love for reading!" - Female, 19

7. Zora Neal Hurston

"In high school, I read her novel 'Their Eyes Were Watching God' and it was the first time that I truly fell in love with a novel. Not a young adult sappy vampire novel or anything, but a real book. To this day, it's still my favorite." - Female, 20

8. Stephen Chbosky

"He made me believe that I deserve love and my feelings matter." - Female, 20

9.  Nicola Yoon

"Nicole Yoon has been one of my favorite authors because she has diverse characters. Each character is unique and untraditionally and I really admire that." - Female, 19

10.  Ernest Hemingway

"Because he taught me how to be myself and learn life the interesting way." - Male, 21

11.  John Green

"His books got me back into reading when I was in high school, and they taught me how to love little quirks about other people!" - Female, 19

Fun fact: I used this as my quote for my high school graduation ceremony (we all had to choose one quote or phrase we wanted to be read as we walked to get our diploma).

12.  Alan Bradley

"His mystery novels never fail to put me at a peace of mind. I could re-read his books a dozen times and not got bored of the same story." - Female, 18

13.  Toni Morrison

"I think Toni Morrison changed my life immensely, especially after transferring schools. I was able to see the world from a different perspective other than my own. I was also able to see that as a black woman, I need to understand what my role is in this world and how I can make a difference for my community." - Female, 19

And as for me? I'd say JKR and Rick Riordan - both writers of series that turned me into the massive nerdy fangirl I tend to be nowadays. Both created whole worlds within the pages of their series, something I had never truly experienced before - at least, certainly not on the level I did with Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.

I'd also say John Green. "The Fault In Our Stars" is really his only seriously cheesy book. "Turtles All the Way Down" really got into what it's like to live with anxiety and OCD in an almost visceral way, and that meant a lot to me. As someone who has lived with anxiety from a young age, to see a writer use their wide readership for something so big meant a lot.

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The Horrible Tale of Medusa

Medusa is known as a monster, but what led a beautiful and faithful servant girl to turn into a snake monster?
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One of the most popular beings from Greek mythology is not even a god or a monster; she is actually a cursed woman who is a victim to a horrendous crime. Her name meant "guardian" and "protectress." Her tale shows the cruelty of the Greek gods and how mankind is nothing but items to the gods. Medusa is known as a woman with snakes for hair and a gaze that turns men into stone. But who knows the truth behind this woman? This is her story.

Medusa was a priestess to the goddess Athena, the virgin goddess of wisdom and battle. One requirement to be a priestess for Athena is that the young woman must be a virgin and give her life to the goddess. One day, Poseidon, the god of the Sea and rival to Athena, saw Medusa and decided to humiliate Athena by raping the priestess on the steps of Athena's temple. Poseidon vanished after he was done and left Medusa vulnerable and weak.

Medusa prayed to Athena for guidance and forgiveness. After all, in those days, the gods claimed their mates as their partner forever, and Medusa was now Poseidon's wife. Athena looked down in anger and cursed Medusa for betraying her. Medusa was sent to a faraway island and was cursed so that no man would want her. She was given chicken legs, giant metal wings, cracked skin, madness, and her signature snake hair and stone eyes. Medusa was now a monster woman.

Medusa was banished from civilization to an island by herself. She was alone and only saw men chase her, trying to kill her. She looked at them in fear and saw them turn to stone in front of them. She was scared of her powers and angry at the gods for cursing her. She took her revenge on the men that were sent to kill her. Anybody who took one step on her island were marked now for death at the hands of the Gorgon Medusa.

Years later and many men later, Perseus came to the island with a shield from Athena, flying shoes from Hermes and a sword and crown from Zeus. He outsmarted Medusa and cut off her head to take back with him to save his mother from marrying a jerk. From Medusa's body came a winged horse, Pegasus, and a golden warrior named Chrysaor. Many years later, Perseus presented the head of Medusa to Athena, who took the severed head and turned it into an ultimate shield with a metal head of Medusa terrifying many enemies with a single look.

Medusa was a loyal woman who spent her youth training to become a priestess to a goddess she worshiped and believed was the strongest of all the Olympians. Athena also liked Medusa because Medusa was a beautiful woman who chose the goddess instead of any man. However, the immortal feud between Athena and Poseidon affects much more than just those two; it splits Olympus and ruins many lives.

Their feud has 3 main spikes: the representative of Athens, the events with Odysseus, and the claiming of Medusa. Medusa, after being raped, was cursed for betraying her goddess. Medusa's destiny was a harsh one she had no control over. However, she does spend all her life with Athena, as she protects her goddess against many foes. So, in a twisted series of events, Medusa fulfills her role of protecting Athena. However, it also led to snakes hating mankind for worshiping the Olympians. This is one story that shows the cruelty of the Greek Gods.

Cover Image Credit: Movie Fanatic

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11 Of The Most Influential Books Ever, According To My Friends

I asked my friends for one book that changed their lives. Here are their responses.

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With it finally being summer, I decided to compile a reading list that tops all other reading lists. This is no ordinary list of books. I asked some of my dearest friends and most important people in my life for one book that changed their lives and why. I'm no expert but behold, the most powerful list of books on the face of the planet.

Disclaimer: participants in this survey were put on the spot and these are their raw, unedited, some serious, and some funny responses.

1. "The Summer I Turned Pretty" trilogy by Jenny Han

the summer i turned pretty trilogy

"'The Summer I Turned Pretty' trilogy made me realize that my perception of myself does not necessarily match the perception of others who know me or meet me. The books helped me understand that not only is my opinion of myself extremely important but that I need to be kind to everyone I meet because I can't possibly know what is going on in their lives."

2. "I'll Give You The Sun" by Jandy Nelson

i'll give you the sun

"It genuinely changed my life, not in some big impactful way, but I think about it almost every day and have read it probably five or six times. Plus, it's 300-400 pages, so not a light read. It's about twins, boy and girl, told from each perspective, once when they're 12-years-old from the boy and 16-years-old from the girl. The boy is super into art and the girl used to be popular, but then became the quirky girl that loves ghosts. I'm super passionate about art and spirits have always been cool to me so the topics are perfect. It's just about their life in the rocky beaches of Northern California and it's just soooo cool. The writing is beautiful and I can easily depict all of it. It just fits my vibe as a person and I can read it a million times and never get bored because the plot is so good and the writing is just WOW!"

"I also have a strong personal connection to the sun, so the name really sticks out to me and makes me so genuinely happy. I'm so in love with this book that I want to name my children after it, want twins because of it, and may even get a tattoo because of it. I'm considering ordering a second copy of it to write and draw in because I cannot taint the original one I read. This book is like a bible to me and I love it more than anything and recommend it 100000%."

"It also gave me a strong connection to family, nature, art, dead relatives/ghosts, and myself. Like, wow, thank you, Jandy for changing my life."

3. "The Screwtape Letters" by C.S. Lewis

the screwtape letters

"In high school, I read 'The Screwtape Letters' for an assignment, but ended up reading the book again in college. It altered the way I thought and perceived things and from a completely opposite point of view. It made me realize or think about how the things I was doing could possibly not even be my choice, but whatever I was influenced by."

4. "Where the Red Fern Grows" by Wilson Rawls

where the red fern grows

"I read 'Where the Red Fern Grows' in 6th grade and I finished it within a week. I had always been a big reader in elementary school, but it was mostly for the ever-cool AR points. This book was the first one that ever made me feel something. So much that I cried in the middle of class."

5. "After" by Anna Todd

after

"'After' is the best book because it taught me true love, blah, blah, blah. It taught me to be myself, and that it's okay to be who you really are. Wait 'til you find the right person, and they'll absolutely love everything about you."

6. The Bible

the bible

"It keeps me focused."

"Well, no matter the situation, God is always the answer. Everything happens for a reason and God has a plan for every step you take."

7. "The Reapers are the Angels" by Alden Bell

the reapers are the angels

"It showed me that relationships are complex and shape our entire life, relationships with other people, and ourselves."

8. "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Brontë

wuthering heights

"'Wuthering Heights' because it's very dark and twisted, and the characters are evil but you can't help but root for true love despite how despicable the characters are."

9. "A Series of Unfortunate Events" by Lemony Snicket and "The Outsiders" by S.E. Hinton

a series of unfortunate events

"Read them my 7th-grade year. First 'real' books I ever read. Reading them brought me to the realization I don't need a screen to experience a story. 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' brought me to an imaginary world through pages for the first time. 'The Outsiders' made me feel real emotion and ties to a world that could have been real. Those books sparked my love for reading and still remain ingrained in my memory, and I'm sure they always will."

10. "Allegiant" by Veronica Roth

allegiant

"The only book that ever made me cry was 'Allegiant.' I don't know, when Tris died and just Four's reaction afterward. It was really just a shock, like, I did NOT expect her to die because most books usually don't kill their main character, especially young adult books like that."

11. "My Dog Skip" by Willie Morris

Skip: June 5, 1997-September 24, 2014

Grant Pride

"'My Dog Skip' because I had a Jack Russell terrier named Skip too, and it felt too real reading it as a kid."

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