Are there books or authors that have been major influences on your life?
“” from Goodreads
As a kid I had all of Marguerite Henry’s books about horses. I didn’t just read them over and over. I had them all memorized. I read them because I was already a horse crazy kid but having all these facts helped me when I joined 4-H and started competing in contests about horses. I ended up traveling all over the country to compete and winning several national titles certain didn’t hurt my vet school applications.
I think all veterinarians are influenced by him. Another vet at the clinic I work at and I were horrified to learn that none of the staff members had ever heard of him. His stories of being a vet in the 1930s are embedded in my brain and I have actually used some of his suggestions before on cases.
Grethe Cammermeyer was a nurse in the Army during Vietnam. In 1989 during an interview for a clearance to attend the War College she came out as a lesbian to the Army. She was discharged. She fought her discharge and won.
I was raised as a good evangelical Christian so I knew that homosexuality was wrong. Reading this book changed my mind.
Sue Monk Kidd
Everybody knows Sue Monk Kidd now as a bestselling author. Remember that evangelical childhood of mine? I knew her as a contributing author to Guideposts. I always remembered her name because I thought it was weird. Sorry. When I was getting out of Christianity, I found this book. It detailed her move away from her evangelical roots. This book made it seem ok. I reread it every few years.
Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins
Ok, this might seem weird following the last two but stick with me. If you don’t know, the Left Behind series is a story about the Rapture and Tribulation as imagined by fundamentalist Christians. It came out during my waffling stage when I was trying to decide whether to stay Christian or not. There is a character in this series named Chloe. She is the adult daughter of the main character. As Christians are persecuted she sets up a world-wide underground economy from a bunker. Pretty cool and smart, right? Yeah, except… these authors couldn’t have her be a strong woman. When she isn’t trying to save the world she needs to ask her husband and father for permission to do everything. She even asks if she can go outside. So she can run a huge business but can’t decide if it is safe to go outside and needs to defer to male judgement? She also had a baby because that’s what women do. They know that they are in a war that is going to last seven years and then Jesus will return. In those seven years they will be hunted and be on the run and they sit down and make the conscious decision to reproduce? It wasn’t an accident. It was deliberate. It infuriated me. It made it really obvious to me how much some Christians can’t deal with women. I hated what they turned her into. I just wanted her to die. As soon as Chloe was killed in the series (whoops, sorry baby!) I put down the book and walked away. I didn’t even finish that book.