7 Best-Selling Authors Share The Books That Changed Their Life

“It’s my go-to comfort book. I re-read it at least once a year."

You never forget your first love. The novel that let you peer into the looking glass of a different universe, while at the same time reflecting a projection of your own hopes, dreams and desires back at you.

For many of us, it was it was young adult fictions that drew us in, under the spell of supernatural love triangles, heroic journey’s and angsty teenage protagonists.

Over the past month, marie claire has sat down with a slew of award-winning authors to pick their brains on the books that have shaped them both personally and creatively into the revolutionary story-tellers of their time. Which are the books authors recommend?

The 7 Books Authors Recommend From Their Youth

Trent Dalton, Boy Swallows Universe

Basketball diaries

“This was a profoundly meaningful book to me when I was 15. I was going through this whole drug-addicted writer’s journey where I read all these books about junkies, because that’s what was happening in the world around me.”

Basket Ball Diaries by Jim Carroll, $34.50.

Sophie Kinsella, Confessions of a Shopaholic

The overstory

“[After reading The Overstory] I became obsessed with trees. As a result, I planted a field full of trees at my home, and every time I see them I think of this book.”

The Overstory by Richard Powers, $20.35.

Sarah J Mass, A Court of Thorn and Roses

pride and prejudice

“It’s my go-to comfort book. I re-read it at least once a year, and discover new layers of meaning and wit every single time.”

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, $14.25.

Caroline Kepnes, You

american psycho

“I wasn’t sleeping. I was riveted, rereading the Whitney Houston passages, closing it and staring at the cover when I got too disturbed … terrified and obsessed in a way that made me want to dive into scary psyches.”

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis, $19.75.

Margaret Atwood, Handmaiden’s Tale


“I got to interview George Orwell [who also wrote the novella Animal Farm] in one of my short stories for Old Babes in the Wood. I made it so that he’s allowed to smoke in the afterworld.”

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, $20.35.

Jojo Moyes, Me Before You

behind the scenes at the museum

“This book [which narrates fragments of the protagonist’s life over several chapters of self-discovery] taught me the importance of voice.”

Behind the scenes at the museum by Kate Atkinson, $20.35.

Isabel Allende, The House of the Spirits

hundred years of solitude

“One of the best novels ever written, a classic. I plunged into the crazy, magical universe of the novel with such joy!”

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, $33.40.

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