From The Guardian:
What made film-maker Judd Apatow want to be be funny? Or inspired novelist Stephenie Meyer to create a world of vampires? In My Ideal Bookshelf, more than 100 writers and other cultural figures were asked to share the literary journeys that helped them realise their ambitions and find success.
I was the reader. That was my identity in my family: I was that girl who was always in a corner reading; I read my whole life away. I skipped children's books. My dad would read to us at night, and I first began to read on my own by reading ahead in those books. I was seven when I read Little Women for the first time, and it became nearly as real to me as the rest of my life. I always identified with Jo; I was the tomboy. My big sister was Meg, the pretty one, the sweet one. We didn't have a Beth, but my younger sister was definitely Amy, the frivolous one who liked nice things. I was like Jo in every way except for her passion for writing; I was perfectly content just to read. It wasn't until much later, after I had published three books, that I went back to Little Women and realised that I had become even more like Jo. Now I was a writer, too. Of all the heroines I was invested in throughout my childhood, Jane Eyre was the one I most identified with, despite my having a happy and supportive family. I liked heroines who weren't perfectly beautiful. I liked that everyone wasn't swept away and captivated by her. Jane Eyre has this huge stubborn streak, which I have, too. I have my ideals, and I really don't diverge from them – it's probably off-putting to a lot of people. Jane is like that, too; she sticks to things even when she's uncomfortable and unhappy and making other people feel the same way. Of course, she's pushed to deeper extremes than I've ever been forced to go to, but I always felt we would see eye to eye.