5 Books That Have Made a Lasting Impression on Me

I love reading, it is part of my daily routine. I think books can make a significant impact on a person. I also think as a writer reading can only make you stronger. Not just because it helps with inspiration but because I am able to see the difference showing and telling and I can see proper grammar usage (because as much as I hate to admit it I make mistakes sometimes.) I have a lot of books I like to read but like everyone else I have books that made a lasting impression on me. Today, I want to share 5 books that have made a deep impression on me and why. So, let’s jump right in and get started on the list!

  1. Pride and Prejudice
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I can hear the groans now, it happens every time I mention this book. However, it really did make a deep lasting impression on me. Most people I talk to about Pride and Prejudice see a love story and that is true. It is a love story but it is so much more! It is about social class and shattering them. It is about a young woman who refused to be bound by the confounds of her sex. It is about a woman who refused to stand by and allow others to be bullied and wronged! Elizabeth Bennet is the kind of woman I hope to be someday! Intelligent and not easy to intimidate.

Even in the face of ridicule, she stayed true to who she was, her morals and her virtues. She saw wrong and called it out! She stood by her family even when she was embarrassed by them. She was never swayed by money even when others around her were. Liza only fell in love with her future husband when she saw the beauty in him, the beauty inside not on the outside. For me, this book is so much more than a love story. It is about a young woman finding her own way in a world that tells women what to do and who to be. I am always shocked when people say this book is boring, it’s so amazing!

2. Where the Red Fern Grows

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So much I can say about this book! Friendship, trust, love, perseverance, and loyalty. Billy and his relationship with his dogs Old Dan and Little Ann is so deep. They aren’t just dogs to him they are his friends and family. His determination to not only get the dogs but to make them the best coon dogs is to be admired. This is one of the only books that has ever made me cry! It is so beautifully told! The love Old Dan and Little Ann feel for Billy is deeper then the love most dogs have for their owners. When the dogs tree a mountain lion and Billy tries to save them but the dogs come to his rescue instead. As a child I was so saddened by this scene. Old Dan dying the next day still makes me tear up.

This book is full of symbolism least which is the red fern . It symbolizes the spirit of Billy’s beloved dogs and the impact they had on him. I still cannot pick this book up without visions of Billy going hunting the “ghost coon” with his companions. This book is a must read for anyone and will always be on my top 5 favorite books. It’s beautifully told with imagery that will haunt you forever. I still smile at the thought of an adult Billy at the beginning of the book seeing the old hound and recalling his best friends. I try to read this book at least once a year. This is truly one of the best books ever written in my opinion.

3. Frankenstein

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Frankenstein is a beautiful tale of madness, Secrecy, appearances, family, acceptance, and free will among others. I love this book! Victor Frankenstein is messing with science he doesn’t seem to quite understand. When he creates his monster he sees the ugly side of society, the lies, deceit, and distrust of people. He brings into the world an anguished being who can never belong, who will forever be on the fringes of society judged for the way he looks. Victor is so horrified by his creation he leaves his home and runs to a friend. There is he sickened with a fever. He wants to return to his family in Geneva to regain his health. Before departing however he learns his brother has been killed. He sees the monster and instantly blames him for his brother’s murder and he grows more suspicious after learning a girl named Justine is accused of the murder.

The monster admits to Victor’s brother’s murder and begs forgiveness. The monster pleads for a mate and soon Victor relents and sets out to make him one. While in the process Victor is frightened at the prospect of what he is once again doing and destroys the monster’s mate. It is at this point the monster swears he will get revenge. The monster kills victor’s fiance and the two set off to destroy each other. When at long last Victor catches up to the monster, the ice beneath them cracks and falls, there is a rift separating them. Victor dies shortly after, never getting to extract revenge on his monster.

I gave more of a description on this book than the others because there is just so much going on it is better to describe it with the story itself. This book horrified and intrigued me. It is at once a book about love and acceptance and a book about hate and revenge. The scenes are beautiful and dark, told with imagery that will bring them to live. Frankenstein is easily in my top 2 favorite books. It is set in a world much like our own but so vastly different. It’s a great read and I hope everyone reads it at least once.

4. To Kill a Mockingbird

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I read this book for the first time when I was in the 6th grade. I have never forgotten it, it is such a touching tale. This book explores human nature and morals. It is told by Scout a little girl who believes everyone is good until she sees someone unjustly accused of a crime he didn’t commit. Tom Robinson is accused of rape but he is innocent, he serves as one of the mockingbirds in the book. He is the goodness that will ultimately be destroyed by evil. When Tom is accused of this heinous crime Atticus Scouts’ father represents him in court. A white man representing an accused black man is unheard of and shakes the community to its core. Boo Radley is another mockingbird in the book used to teach Scout and her brother Jem that differences aren’t always bad. Scout had many imaginings about the disturbed boy that is mistreated by his father. Boo saves Scout and Jem and shows them that he is a good soul living in a world that has been undoubtedly cruel to him and Scout begins to learn that goodness, allies, and morals lie in the unlikeliest of places.

There is prejudice that runs deep within its pages but so does love, kindness, loyalty, and friendship. My heart was shattered when Tom died trying to escape prison and it left me feeling that justice wasn’t served even if Boo came to the children’s rescue. I felt that by doing that Harper Lee was saying see the innocent man may have died but it’s all better because the two kids get to live. You come away feeling like maybe nothing was really learned by accusing an innocent man and sending him to prison to die (at least that was how it was for me). This is an amazing book to teach children about morals, racism, justice, the lack of justice and human nature. This book has forever changed the way I look at the world and it is still very relevant today.

5. The Strange Ce of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde

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This book left me feeling the same way Frankenstein did both intrigued and horrified. Dr. Jekyll gives into his monstrous side Mr Hyde and kills people. He is the very face of human duality, good and evil, right and wrong. He decided one day to separate his good self from his dark impulses, learning about a potion that transforms him into a deformed conscience free creature periodically. At first Dr. Jekyll is happy to be Hyde and leave behind his good morals and reputation. Soon however he discovers he is turning into Hyde against his will while he sleeps. He just accepts he is going to turn into Hyde forever and he goes out one night and violently kills . He is resolved to never turn into the monster again and for a time is successful, until he transforms into Hyde during the day while awake. Hyde is becoming stronger and Jekyll weaker.

Jekyll recruits a friend by the name Lanyon’s help but when he turns into Hyde in front of him the shock kills Lanyon. Jekyll cuts himself off from the world, no longer sociable and respectable. When he runs out of potion that allows him to transform from one to the other he kills himself, it is in his Hyde form he is found by his friends. I know I badly described this book and there is so, so much more to it but it is so involved describing everything would have been too long for this post. This book is disturbing because I think almost everyone can relate with wanting to rid ourselves of our dark urges and some of us may have even given into them from time to time. We can and have all been Mr. Hyde at some point in our lives. Our reputation tarnished by one instance. Dr. Jekyll will not be remembered for himself but for the monster he became and died as. It is hauntingly too real and close to home. This book was actually scary for me as a child because it felt like I saw Mr. Hyde’s everyday hiding as Dr. Jekyll’s. It speaks to us as a society and that can be very scary.

These are my top 5 books that made a lasting impression on me. What books have stuck with you and why? What would be your top 5? Share in the comments!

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