Today's inspiring book is a special one. I think it might actually be the the most inspiring book I read as a kid, and the one that has changed my writing aspirations, writing style, and world view the most.
Skellig, by David Almond (also, here), has already been (rightly) recognised as a ground breaking, long lasting classic. His prose is sparse, poetic and philosophical and the story is an understated exploration of what life is for a young kid, what magic is, what miracles mean, and how people work. It's more than that, too. You should read it.
My own writing is very deliberately influenced by Almond's style. I think as a stylist, he's a master, and as a story teller he's unique even still amongst British authors. He won the Hans Christian Anderson Award in 2010, the highest international children's book award there is. What more to say?
When I first read Skellig my expectations of what a book was were turned on their head. From the brief chapters to the minimalist language to the ending and the ambiguity Almond loves, I was drawn in and my eyes really were opened to the possibilities beyond my own limited definition of Good Book. That's what drives me now - wanting to write something that will have that exact effect on another reader, another kid somewhere who picks up EREN and gets all the way to the end.
I only picked up Skellig because of the cover. Pretty cool, isn't it? But that act changed my life and, hopefully, my career as I work my way to being an author.