Book Boy

Renowned American author Philip Roth grew up in Newark, New Jersey . From an early age, he used the Newark Public Library to fuel his growing love of literature. According to our fellow scribe Philip, the following fifteen books had the most significant impact on him during the first half of his life, from 14 to 41:

Age 14  Citizen Tom Paine by Howard Fast
Age 16  Finley Wren by Philip Wylie
Age 17  Look Homeward Angel by Thomas Wolfe
Age 20  Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
Age 21  The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow
Age 23  A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
Age 24  The Assistant by Bernard Malamud
Age 25  Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Age 25  The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
Age 27  The Trial by Franz Kafka
Age 30  The Fall by Albert Camus
Age 35  Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Age 37  Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Age 40  Cheri by Colette
Age 41  Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz

What a fabulous and fruitful idea to keep a running list of the books that influence on your writing! I wonder if Philip began keeping his list early on with an eye toward literary posterity, or if he reconstructed it later. Either way, it’s a great idea. I’m going to check out some of these and start making a list of my own of the books that really affected me at key points in my life. How about you — what books would be on your list? I’d love to know!
Write on!

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About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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