‘To Read without Reflecting is like Eating without Digesting’ – Edmund Burke

Below is a list of books that I have read and/or studied to help influence my own writing, some were more helpful than others.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck – A book that I have previously studied in English so I was already familiar with the writing style and techniques used. From this I took the use of foreshadowing, and attempted to replicate this in my own writing. In Steinbeck’s the foreshadowing comes when Carlson persuades (the old man) Candy to shoot his old dog (he says to put it out of its misery even though he is causing no one any harm), which unknown to the readers was a foretelling of what was to come, they kill the dog (you hear the gunshot) and in the end George has to shoot Lennie, to put him out of his misery.

Travelling to Infinity by Jane Hawking – A book that I began reading a while back but never finished. I decided that this was helpful to pick up again as it was written in a diary type form, in first person how I chose to write my own story. The book itself is a hefty one, and at points I find it difficult to stay attentive to what I am reading, this being said I am determined to finish it, as what she has to say is a love story. It comes across quite factual, this is something I didn’t want in my own writing.

Girl Online by Zoe Sugg – A book that I avoided for quite a while because I didn’t expect it to be my cup of tea, it wasn’t until I planned to do creative writing for this unit that I decided to take the plunge and purchase the book. I chose to list it here not because the themes directly related or I picked up a technique of writing but because I believe it has influenced me, because I was reading it (for fun) whilst writing my story. The book is from the point of view of a teenage girl, my character is 21 years of age, so in my eyes not so different. The book uses language that is easy to follow (unlike Travelling to Infinity) so it was more likely that my writing would be similar to this.

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman – A book suggested to me by a friend, who once heard about my idea thought of this short story. Not only was it extremely helpful as a reference but I also really enjoyed it. However I have such a vivid imagination that unfortunately for me, I can now picture a grudge like woman scraping past my walls. The character in the story is suffering from mental illness that her husband disbelieves, my character suffers from mental illness too, that the readers do not know about and believe her word.

honourable mentions:

  • The Slapstick Body by Kreider and O’leary (I was influenced by the rhythmic nature of the writing).
  • The Turn of the Screw by Henry James (the doubt you begin to feel in what you are being told).


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