Welcome back to Four Book Friday, a continuing series where writers and readers tell us about four books that changed their life! This week’s post comes from Caitlin Jacobs, an aspiring epic fantasy writer and life-long reader. Here are the four books that changed her life!
Four books that changed my life. That’s a tall order for just different rearrangements of the same twenty-six letters. Nevertheless, words have power like that. In fact, narrowing it down to just four was a bit of a chore. But here it is:
I Capture the Castle by Dodi Smith – A friend gave me this one for my birthday. It started out so lighthearted and fun and through its pages somehow wormed its way deeper into me without my realizing it. As I cried over the last chapter, I wondered how Cassandra had grown so much without anyone even noticing. It made me realize how much growing I could do, even if it didn’t look to anyone else like anything was happening.
In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan – This book drastically changed the way I eat. Its basic premise is this: Eat real food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Since reading it, I’ve switched out a lot of meat for a lot of vegetables and started making a lot more of our food from scratch. We probably eat meat about two meals a week, and even then not very much. We’re not super hardcore about the whole thing – if we’re not eating at home I just eat whatever looks good. But, with a few definite exceptions, we try to eat real, whole foods most of the time. And trust me, it’s delicious.
Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson – I’ve always loved fantasy but for a few years in college I just couldn’t find any I really liked. I thought I might be growing out of it and that saddened me. I bought Mistborn but left it sitting, unread, on my shelf for years because I hated the cover. Finally I picked it I up. Mistborn brought back to me what I hadn’t experienced in years. I didn’t just fall into that book – I plunged in and grabbed hold of the adventure, inhaling deep of the magic on its pages. Mistborn reminded me how much I really do love fantasy. It reawakened a piece of me that’s been dancing with life ever since, spinning is way out onto the pages of the book I’m writing.
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss – I read two pages of this book before becoming dejected. I could never write this prettily, I thought to myself. The words just jumped off the page and wrapped themselves around me in a way I’d never experienced before, weaving themselves into something beautiful and shimmery, ethereal and earthy all at the same time. I read and loved the rest of the book, then wrote Pat an email telling him how much I’d enjoyed it and how I hoped I could someday write half so prettily. He emailed me back (I pretty much freaked out) and encouraged me to write the way only I can. And that’s exactly what I’ve tried to do. Hopefully it comes out my own kind of pretty.
Caitln Jacobs writes epic fantasy for adults who never let go of the magic we all know as children. She spends her time writing, reading, cooking, eating giant bowls of mint chocolate chip ice cream, and adventuring outside. She lives with her husband in California. She is currently seeking representation for her debut novel. For more thrilling details about her and her book, visit her website and read her blog at authorcaitlinjacobs.com.
Want more Four Book Friday? Here are more posts in the series:
- Smatt Read on The Little Prince, Black and White, E.B. White, and Mazes!
- Jenny Kaczorowski on A Little Princess, Beatrix Potter, and the two books that brought her back to YA
- Katy Upperman on A Thousand Splendid Suns, Gayle Forman, Caroline B. Cooney, and Blubber
- Krista Van Dolzer on To Kill a Mockingbird, Lois Lowry, Stargirl and the power of introverts
- Hannah Thompson on Rumble Fish, Harry Potter, Chris Crutcher, and John Green.
- Clarissa Hadge on A Wrinkle In Time, Tamora Pierce, North to Freedom, and Mi Revalueshanary Fren
- Mackenzi Lee on Laini Taylor, One Day, The Thief Lord, and a book about a man and his steam shovel