Things Books Made Me Want to Do

Books can inspire you to do a lot of things: learn a new topic, go somewhere, or eat something you’ve never heard of before. Or they can just make you wish that something existed so you could actually do it.

For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, here are a few of the things books have made me want to do.

  • A Ring of Endless Light by Madleine L’Engle made me want to go to school for English. This is all because one person that the main character, Vicky, meets tells her that if she’s serious about her writing, she shouldn’t major in creative writing in college, but she should major in English so she can study stories. I may have been the only person I knew in middle school who knew what she was going to college for.

 

  • My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George made me want to live in the woods. If I could get my own peregrine falcon, even better.

  • Amelia’s Notebook series by Marissa Moss inspired me to fill my childhood journal with awesome doodles.

 

  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis gave my a lifelong desire to try Turkish Delight. (It didn’t work out so well.)

 

  • And, of course, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling made me hope, hope, hope that I would be a witch. Still waiting on that owl…

Check out The Broke and the Bookish for more lists! What have books made you want to do? There are still so many other foods books made me want to try…

Shared Character Experiences: A.J. Fikry and Turkish Delight

I’ve been following the trend of every other library staffer that I work with, and started reading Gabrielle Zevin’s The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. At one point the title character, who is a bookseller, is having a conversation with one of the book reps that’s come to town vaguely about food in books, and he brings up something that also haunted me — Turkish Delight.

“…I always wanted to try the Turkish Delight in Narnia. When I read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as a boy, I used to think that Turkish Delight must be incredibly delicious if it made Edmund betray his family…And it turned out to be this powder, gummy candy. I don’t think I’ve ever been so disappointed in my entire life.”

“Your childhood was officially over right then.”

“I was never the same,” A.J. says.

When I was in fifth grade, we read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as one of the assigned readings. I loved the book, yes, but I kept thinking — Turkish Delight must be amazing. I remember imagining the vivid red of Edmund’s mouth as he ate it, which invoked all my favorite flavors of candy: cherry, strawberry, or even, still my heart, raspberry.

Turkish Delight is not something a regular American kid encounters in the Shaw’s, so for years I never ate it, and almost forgot how much I’d wanted to. Then my husband (then my boyfriend) and I went to a candy shop on Cape Cod. A candy shop that sold European candy — including Turkish Delight. I was so excited. I’d finally get to try it! This delicious candy that Edmund loved so much! I bought one, and once in the car I ripped it open and bit in.

I think this is the actual brand I tried. Don’t try it.

I don’t remember the flavor. I think my brain is protecting me, trying to diminish the extreme disappointment. I only remember it was hard to swallow, and I didn’t finish the awful thing.

It’s true that most things are never as amazing as you thought they’d be. You expect them to at least be edible, though. I’m just glad wide-eyed 10-year-old me never encountered Turkish Delight outside a book. I might have never trusted an author’s culinary taste again.