But I do like the idea of identifying my bookprint, so I'm going to try to pick the 5 books that influenced me the most. Here is my initial list, in no particular order.
- The Autobiography of Malcolm X - I feel like I learned much American history from this book, history that I was never taught in school. This book changed my way of thinking about mainstream perceptions and depictions of people who live outside the mainstream. (Does that even make sense?)
- Beloved by Toni Morrison - I have read this book so many times, first as a reader then as a grad student and then as a teacher. I love the use of language and the way Morrison starts in the middle and fills in the blanks as the story progresses.
- The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood - Another book that I've read multiple times. This is my all-time favorite dystopia. I love how Atwood depicts the possible outcomes of extreme religious right ideals. Every time I read a YA dystopia, I see the influence of The Handmaid's Tale in it, even if the book has nothing to do with religion or abortion.
- Superior Women by Alice Adams - I keep telling myself that I should reread this book to see if it's as great as I remember it. I think this was probably the first novel that I read that I would classify as feminist. As I recall, the women in this book, one of them in particular (can't remember which one right now), were determined to be more than just wives and mothers.
- The Women of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor - I've read this book two or three times. I love Naylor's story of these women who are from different generations and different socioeconomic status but who all have to deal with not just racial prejudice but also gender bias and bias among themselves.
What is your bookprint? Can you name the five books that influenced you the most?