I’m kind of excited about this weekend. Tonight my neighbors and I are having a fun little Wine Walk block party. My house is the last stop on the journey, which means I get to serve desserts (chocolate pretzel twists, Avalanche Bars, and pumpkin cookies [no link for these; I buy the cookie dough from my milkman--cheater!]). I’ve also got Apricot Ale and delish JFJ Sparkling Almond Wine–my favorite! Tomorrow, my girlie and I are having a super lazy day at home with movies and pedicures, and on Sunday we’re taking Mimi (my husband’s mom) to a Mad Hatter Tea Party at our local bakery. So fun!
But first, a Friday Five with Paper Hangover:
This is hard! There are so many amazing authors who’ve influenced and inspired me over the years. I had to go with six (I know, I know…). Here they are, in no particular order…
1. Beverly Cleary – Ramona! Ramona, Ramona, Ramona. I grew up with this precocious girl, and oh my goodness, did I adore her. Actually, I kind of wanted to be her. I wanted a big sister like Beezus, a best friend like Howie, and a neighborhood like Klickitat Street. I remember going to the hairdresser with my mom and asking to have my hair cut like Ramona. Now, I read the Ramona books to my daughter. She’s equally smitten.
2. Melina Marchetta – Sigh. An author whose work I love with a passion that borders on embarrassing. Her books absolutely gut me. (Jellicoe Road is my favorite young adult novel EVER.) Her characters get inside me and stay there (I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I totally want to name a future son Jonah :)). Her worlds, her writing, the complex plots and character relationships she builds and always brings full circle… Wow.
3. JK Rowling - I have a feeling the creator of Harry Potter has inspired just about every aspiring middle grade and young adult author. What a success story! Many credit her with helping a whole generation fall in love with fiction (fantasy, even!). I watched the interview she did with Oprah last year and was blown away by her creativity and brilliance, not to mention her humility and sense of humor. Such a class act.
4. Gayle Forman – If I Stay was the first YA book I read that made me think: I want to write like THAT. So emotional and beautiful and perfect. And Where She Went… Best. Follow-up. Ever. Plus, I find Gayle Forman to be a social media rock star. She’s incredibly eloquent and strikes me as thoughtful and intelligent. Also, when she recommends a book on her blog or Twitter, I know it will be good.
5. Judy Blume - I was (AM!) such a fan of Blubber, Just as Long as We’re Together, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, and Forever… Somehow Judy Blume manages to write for a large age span with such a perfectly authentic voice. Her books are moving no matter how silly the subject matter happens to be, and totally timeless. Who can’t relate to Margaret, or Katherine, or Stephanie at some point in their lives?
6. Jodi Picoult – Such a prolific author, one who knows her niche and embraces it. Her books are incredibly well-researched and usually spark political, moral, or ethical debate which, I think, is one sign of a powerful story. They’re also widely appealing. I read my first Jodi Picoult book in high school and loved it, and still find her work to be exceptional.
So, those are six authors who’ve inspired me. I’m curious… which authors inspire you?
And an incredibly profound Would you rather…?
Would you rather have a lifetime supply of ice cream, or a lifetime supply of chocolate?
(And NO, you can’t combine and have chocolate ice cream! Have fun mulling THAT one over!)
See you on Monday for a Debut Love post… Have a wonderful weekend!