A list of books and stories that influence my thoughts and writing.

The Hunger Game Series by Suzanne Collins
I first read this book in the Fall of 2011.  I heard a few people say it was amazing and realized it was going to be turned into a movie.  I ended up picking it for a new book club.  I didn’t even realize it was dystopian until I started reading it.  I was utterly blown away.  Collins created a beautiful character in Katniss and found a way to end a series that even the like of J.K. Rowling couldn’t achieve.

The Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld
Another young adult title, but incredible nonetheless. So many dystopain novels are built on the idea that our current world will fail, but the people of the future will still have access to our technology.  The mixture is frightening yet incredible to read.  No one does this better than Scott Westerfeld.  The world he creates (read all four) is unlike anything I have every encountered.

Ender’s Game Series by Orson Scott Card
Science Fiction at it’s best.  The entire series is breathtaking.  Card’s imagination is on a whole other realm.  His ability to give his characters incredible depth and intelligence is something I have never seen before.  I use this book to gauge someone’s intellectual level.  Give this book to a elementary or middle school student.  If they identify with Ender, you know that they suffer from increased intelligence.

Testimony by Anita Shreve
Probably my favorite literary book ever.  Shreve writes so beautifully.  Each character is so unique that you don’t really know who to root for.  Her ability to make you cringe, laugh, and cry is unmatched.  When I think about how I want to develop characters, I look here.

Feed by M. T. Anderson
Near future literature is unbeatable.  Feed is the untilmate warning to the future of technology.  Almost weekly, I stumble across a news article that reminds me of something from this book.  Anderson did his research.  The future of our world will be incredible, but impossible moral questions are waiting to jump up just around the corner.  I want to be able to form a story the way Anderson is able to.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
I have never finished this book.  Both times that I tried to read it were interrupted by school work.  I plan on reading it later this year.  Nevertheless, it has already influenced me greatly.  McCarthy is the author who made me realize you need to find your own style of writing.  While exploring that, I realized that stream of consciousness is how I need to write.  Following the norm is almost never the way to go.

The Egg by Andy Weir
I read this story a couple years ago.  It changed my life.  It’s not something to believe.  It is something to ponder. It addressed the golden rule in entirely new light.  “Do unto other as you would have them do unto you.”  It is a little long, but worth the time.

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