My Three Most Influential Books

By Stephanie Lopez

1. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut: This happens to be my favorite novel by one of my favorite authors. In last week’s blog I mentioned planning on getting a tattoo of a quote by Mr. Vonnegut and the quote is one that is repeated throughout this book; “So it goes.” The absurdist nature of Slaughterhouse-Five stayed with me after finishing it as I had never read something like it before and I found myself drawn to its tragic humor. In my opinion, it’s extraordinary and disjointed, full of characters beautifully insane in a way that some people, including myself, can relate to in a faint sense.

2. The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger: I read this book at the end of middle school while I was arguably at my most bewildered and felt as though nobody understood the feelings I was feeling for seemingly no reason. The main character, Holden Caulfield, is conceivably one of the whiniest characters in classic literature, but the difference between him and the others was that he was closest to my age at the time I read it. His wry perspective on life was something I was able to relate to as a thirteen year old and his ramblings throughout the novel made me feel less alone and more connected to someone, which is what I was subliminally yearning for.

3. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami: This novel centers around the transition from childhood to adulthood and the longing and mystification that surrounds it. It contains the subject of heartbreak and the hopeless feeling that comes with it, which is exactly what I was feeling at the time I read the book. To have my unclear emotions adequately expressed in written form was something I needed more than I ever had thought before. I believe Norwegian Wood (named after The Beatles’ song) helped me through one of the most life-altering events of my life thus far and for that, I’ll be forever grateful to Murakami.


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