The 5 Books That Changed My Life

I am happy to say that I officially completed my first semester of grad school! I turned in my last final Sunday night, and my classes don’t start until after MLK Day. So to celebrate being one step closer to being a master of literature, I thought it would be a nice time to look back at the 5 books that changed my life.

Five Life-Changing Books

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone When I was 8, my cousin got married in California, so we made the trip from Maine. I spent the entire trip reading the first Harry Potter book, and it was probably the longest book I had ever read at that time. As anyone who has read it knows, it is pure magic (pun intended) and it especially was to my little elementary-school self. Ever since then, I’ve preferred my books nice and long.

As You Like It This was the first Shakespeare play I read at the ripe old age of 10. I was in an advanced language arts class from fifth grade on (which was why I read it at age 10), and towards the end of the school year, we read As You Like It out loud. It was difficult and challenging and I didn’t understand a lot of it, but I knew enough to be fascinated by it.I’ve read a lot of Shakespeare since then, including an entire class on comedies and histories in undergrad. And here I am, 14.5 years later, and I just turned in a 12-page paper on a 16th century play as my final for my graduate program.

Elizabeth I: Red Rose of the House of Tudor, England, 1544 Who else remembers these and the “gold”-edged pages? The Royal Diaries is a series of books written as diary entries by famous princesses or royal ladies of similar rank. This was the first one I read, and it’s about Queen Elizabeth I, staring when she is 12 or 13. These books made me hungry to learn as much as I could about various royal houses, and they probably are what made me so interested in the British royal family.

Pride and Prejudice This was the first Austen book I read, and it sparked within me a deep love for her literature. More specifically, I went through a phase where I wanted to read everything she ever wrote, including her unfinished works. Every now and then, I like to reread Pride and Prejudice because it is so beautifully written and is everything we associate with Jane Austen .

And, of course, Aureole. As long as I’ve been reading, I’ve wanted to be a published author. So I sat down an wrote a novel my senior year of high school, starting with NaNoWriMo, and I published it after my junior year of college. For those of you who don’t know, I read Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park and hated the ending. Obviously, the logical solution was to write a modern version with a different ending. Aureole hopefully won’t be the only book I write – my goal is to finish the first draft of my second novel in January – but it is my first. While it may not be award-winning, it’s my book, and I’m so proud of it. My senior year of high school and my junior year of college were both incredibly difficult years, and the fact that I wrote and then edited and published a novel in those years makes me proud of who I am.

What books changed your life?

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  • Reply Kati Rose

    Congrats on being done with your first semester of grad school!

    December 15, 2015 at 9:12 am
  • Reply Amanda @ Rhyme & Ribbons

    Congratulations on being done with the first semester! It’s a big accomplishment! x

    December 15, 2015 at 9:57 am
    • Reply Kate Mitchell

      Thank you!! I’m so happy to be done.

      December 15, 2015 at 10:50 am
  • Reply Chelsea

    Hooray for finishing up your first semester!

    December 15, 2015 at 10:16 am
    • Reply Kate Mitchell

      Thank you!! I still feel like I have an assignment due tomorrow haha

      December 15, 2015 at 10:49 am
  • Reply Heidi Kokborg

    I am with you on Pride and Prejudice and Harry Potter! Such incredible books… & congrats on finishing your first semester. That’s wonderful 🙂

    December 15, 2015 at 11:26 am
  • Reply India H.

    Pride and Prejudice is on my desk and I haven’t picked it up yet. I keep hearing such good things about it, so I’m definitely a little intimidated!

    December 15, 2015 at 7:34 pm
  • Reply Tayler

    That’s awesome that you published a book! That’s a dream of mine! And, I totally agree with you on all the books. I am obsessed with Shakespeare. One of my Shakespeare undergrad classes, we had to write a Shakespearean scene, so I added in a scene to the end of The Taming of Shrew from the women’s perspective and it was voted best written to authenticity in my class!

    December 17, 2015 at 3:16 pm
  • Reply Darrian Duckworth

    I’m still waiting to find the perfect time to write my first novel. It is amazing that you managed to do it at such a hectic time in your life! Maybe that’s my problem, I keep waiting!

    I love your list and I definitely want to write a post like this.

    January 20, 2016 at 10:28 am
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