Written by Karen D. Swim
When I was tagged by The Villager for a meme, 25 Writers Shaping My World, I was more than willing to participate. This was a list I could actually complete with ease! This particular meme also happens to occur in a month where reading and writing are being celebrated across the globe.
Today is the National Education Association’s Annual Read Across America Day. The program is focused on motivating children to read. Lillie Ammann tipped me off to Words Matter Week (March 2-6). Visit her blog to find out how you can get involved. Joyful Jubilant Learning is hosting A Love Affair with Books , described as an “annual love-fest with reading.” On the 21st we celebrate World Poetry Day. All of this and St. Patrick’s Day too. What a month!
Now for my list of 25 writers shaping my world (in no particular order). My list includes writers who inspired, challenged, educated or motivated me in the past or present. The rules encourage me to tag others but when have you ever known me to color inside the lines? If you would like to offer your own list, consider yourself tagged.
- William Shakespeare
- James Baldwin
- Maya Angelou
- The Bible
- Ernest Hemingway
- Jack Kerouac
- Albert Camus
- Valerie Wilson Wesley
- Soren Kierkegaard
- Stephen King
- Richard Wright
- Wally Lamb
- Langston Hughes
- Jennifer Weiner
- Janet Evanovich
- Natalie Goldberg
- Alice Walker
- Nikki Giovanni
- Frank Peretti
- Sojourner Truth
- Stormie Omartian
- J.D. Salinger
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning
- The Grey’s Anatomy Writing Team
- Og Mandino
If you’re interested in any of my picks, you can browse through the entire list here.
How has technology influenced your reading habits? Share your thoughts on reading and writing in the comments.
Karen Swim says
@Jamie, I miss indie bookshops too although I must admit I miss them because I moved out of the state. 🙂 I had never discovered any here in Michigan so have simply used the big chains and Amazon of course for reading finds. Interesting how that has changed. I still love the library though which is a little like an indie book shop.
@Brad, I am always amazed by how much I haven’t read! it is astounding how much has been and continues to be published which is good news for writers and readers. 🙂
@Kelly, my dad loved Shakespeare and introduced me to him so Bill does indeed hold a special place in my literary heart. When I am feeling less than I pull Maya off the shelf to get my groove back, nothing like a little Maya to get you back on track. I’d love to see your list, perhaps a topic for the Round table. 😉
@Alina, the NEA is not doing a very good job of publicizing Read Across America, sadly. Perhaps you can offer them a little PR assistance. 🙂 I’m glad you liked my list and am glad I was able to share new names. I love trading books, and authors with other readers!
@Andrew, I have NIV, KJV and New KJV but must profess a love for the KJV. I think it has a lot to do with my love of Shakespeare. The NIV is definitely plain english but the KJV has such a beauty of language. For example, the Song of Solomon is blush worthy in the King James, not the same in the NIV.
Just out of curiosity, which translation (of the bible) do you use? Have you looked at any different translations? Which ones were your favorites? (Personally, I just read NIV)
Andrew´s last blog post..Thoughts for a nation in shock
Alina Popescu says
I’d have at least 3 of these names on my list! Great selection Karen! And thanks for telling me about the Read Across America Day. I knew nothing of it!
Alina Popescu´s last blog post..Monday Reading Roundup Take #24
Because I loved Friar’s way of looking at it I went back and counted. I’ve not heard of four, and I’ve not read anything by seven of them. I’m off to find out more in a second!
You’ve got a few of the most influential writers in my life on this list. I don’t know where I’d be without Maya Angelou. I first read her when I was about 14, and she’s been as big an influence as… well, almost as big as Shakespeare, anyway. Don’t know where I’d be without old Bill, either, but for different reasons.
A lovely list. You march to the beat of a mighty fine drummer, I’d say. 🙂
Kelly´s last blog post..Announcing the MCE Round Table
Brad Shorr says
Karen, Many of your choices are unfamiliar to me. Not matter how much reading I do, it still seems like there’s 99% more to go! I do share your enthusiasm for the Bible, Camus, and Hemingway.
Brad Shorr´s last blog post..7-1/2 Reasons Why I Won’t Follow Someone on Twitter
Jamie Grove - How Not to Write says
What a great list, Karen! I’ll have to do one of these on HNTW.
On tech and reading, I have to say that technology has helped me find the great next reads of my life. This used to be the role of the independent bookseller (the sppedy loss of whom I mourn), but in some ways technology provides an even deeper chance to explore lost classics and thinkers new and old.
Of course, I probably spend too much time reading blogs to really get much use out of all those fancy words I just said. 🙂
Jamie Grove – How Not to Write´s last blog post..Thoughts on a Writer’s Ab(s)
Karen Swim says
@Friar, lol! I am not sure what it says about you but it might signal that I definitely dance to the beat of an unknown drummer! 🙂
@Barbara, I love being turned on to new writers (meaning new to me)! Thanks for those recommendations, will have to check them out! Isn’t it wonderful that there is so much talent and diversity out there, always someone new to discover.
@Andrew, I still love reading actual books, papers and magazines too. I of course enjoy blogs and online newspapers too but they have not replaced my traditional reading habits. I like Luke too but my absolute favorite is Paul. I love the way he logically lays out his points. I also find such beauty in the psalms and the Song of Solomon – in addition to the message from a literary perspective the language is just beautiful.
With respect to your question, technology has not had a particularly great impact upon my reading habits – apart of course from reading blogs.
Since I live in Korea, I like to occasionally browse the Australian newspapers online, since these are not available in Korea.
But most of my reading is done either at the dinner table, on the couch or on the long distance bus, where physical magazines, newspapers and books are still the most convenient medium.
I am curious, which biblical writer is your favorite? Personally, if I were to pick, I would say that I really like Luke, especially because of the bibliographic manner which permeates throughout his gospel.
Andrew´s last blog post..A little about my life in Korea (draft 2)
Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach says
My ultimate favorite modern writers are
Donna Gillespie (The Light Bearer, Lady of the Light)
Cathy Cash Spellman (Paint The Wind)
These two women can cause you to live a lifetime while reading their books. I’ve never seen mastery as good.
Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach´s last blog post..GRAB this free quality OTO script – one time offer!
I’ve only read FOUR authors on your list!
And I’ve never heard of sixteen of them.
(Oh dear…what does THAT say about my literary ignorance?) 🙂
Friar´s last blog post..Travels with the Bear: From Sea to Sea to Sea