Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme in which we answer a question about books or reading. Go over there and check out the other answers.
This week we’re asked two fairly similar questions:
- Has a book ever inspired you to change anything in your life, fiction or non-fiction alike?
- There have been books I loved, books that I fell in love with, and books that changed my life, and they’re not always the same nor mutually exclusive.
There are lots of books in my life that has been part of changing processes, the two main processes being:
- When I was going through my “trying to be religious”-phase I read a lot of different “non-fiction” books on mainstream religions and the more out there things like different new age stuff, astronomy and so on. Nothing made much sense really. Then I started reading non-fiction books by agnostics and eventually atheists. They made a lot of sense.
- When I was coming out as a lesbian I read a lot of both fiction and non-fiction about being gay. Growing up to be a lesbian doesn’t mean that you don’t have a heap of stereotypical thinking and fears about gays to get rid of. The books certainly helped.
The one book that started me on doing something I hadn’t though about before I read it, is a YA book by Ebba Haslund called “Miss Eriksen oppdager Amerika” (Miss Eriksen discovers America). It’s about a Norwegian girl who goes to the US for a year as an exchange student. I guess I was about 9-10 years old when I read it. There and then I decided that I wanted to do this when I got old enough. So when I was 16 I applied to AFS. I was lucky enough to get accepted and spent a year in Los Angeles, celebrating my 18 birthday on horseback in the Hollywood hills. My host family is still part of our lives and usually referred to as my bonus family. So, while I can’t say that I wouldn’t have done the same without that book, it certainly kickstarted that particular adventure.