29 August 2014

Friday Fifteen: Jenny Blake

Friday Fifteen: Fifteen books which have influenced your life or your writing. Today, a warm welcome to well-known Aussie book blogger Jenny Blake, who brings back some familiar names from my childhood!

Fifteen authors who have influenced me

Enid Blyton

One of my first Enid Blyton books was Mr Gilliano’s birthday and I loved the book and series, but my favourite was the Magic Faraway series. I just loved it and wanted to climb the tree.

Colin Theile

In grade six my teacher was reading Sun on the Stubble then February’s Dragon when Colin Theile visited our school to talk to the grade 7’s. When he heard that our class was reading his books he came and talked to us and read some of February’s Dragon to us. How exciting!

Margaret Davidson

Helen Keller’s teacher was one of the books that really touched me. Reading about Annie Sullivan and how she overcame her start in life to then teach Helen Keller. I read this book so many times.

Dorothy Canfield

I read Betsy and loved the story of an orphan who goes from living in the city with her great aunt and aunt to living with relatives in the country. I still own this book and its falling apart from being read so much.

Johanna Spyri

I loved Heidi and the whole series and loved reading these books. It was another series mum read as a child.

CS Lewis

After reading these books I tried to get my wardrobe to take me to Narnia. Didn't we all!

Dorothy McKay Martin

I read the Peggy series so many times as a teen. I loved those stories.

Mary Bruce Grant

Reading the books my mum read as a teen felt special and that they were set in Australia which is even better. Loved the books.

Agatha Christie

I just loved reading the mysteries and trying to work out what happened. Agreed! I never managed to get it right, but it always seemed so obvious after Miss Marple explained everything.

Janette Oke

Janette Oke rekindled my love for reading. I read When Calls the Heart, the first in the Canadian West series and fell in love with Canada, Mounties, and reading again. I certainly remember reading this, and falling more than a little in love with Wynn myself.

Gilbert Morris

What can I say? He is such a great writer—his Civil War series taught me so much about the Civil War and I love the way he weaves history into the story.

Cheryl Wyatt

What can I say—I fell in love with Cheryl’s books when she mentioned cricket in the first book. It bonded us after I wrote a letter to her about her book, how much I loved it and my love of cricket which she also has.

Virginia Smith

One of Virginia’s books had a secondary character who resonated so much with me and the way she wrote her I could see so much of my situation in it and it gave me hope.

Kaye Marshall Strom

I read Once Blind the story about John Newton and it really moved me and seeing his life and what it was to what it became really had an impact on me.

Jillian Hart

I just love Jillian’s books, and through them I have become great friends with her.

JENNY BLAKE (aka AusJenny) is an avid reader. When not reading she enjoys watching cricket, in fact you could call her a cricket fanatic, scrapbooking and jigsaws. She volunteers at the local Christian bookshop where she can recommend books to customers. Her book blog is where she reviews books and interview authors. Her goal is to help promote new books and encourage authors. Her blog is at Come Meet AusJenny, she is a co-founder of and contributor to Australasian Christian Writers, and she is also the co-founder of the Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance.

Would you like to contribute a Friday Fifteen? If so, email me via my contact page to set a date. Contributions are welcome from anyone—readers, reviewers and authors. It's an opportunity to share some of the authors (and books) which have influenced you, and to pick up some ideas for new authors to read. The rules are simple: 

Take fifteen minutes and write down the names of fifteen authors who have influenced your reading life (or your life in general). If you've got a little more time, write down a sentence or two for each, explaining why you've chosen that author. That's it!


  1. Jenny, great list! Enid Blyton would top my list, too. Thanks for sharing :)

    1. Thanks Narelle I just loved Enid Blyton and then the secret seven and the famous five and naughtiest girl books.

  2. Hi Jenny,
    You've listed several great authors whose books I loved in my past too.

    1. We had some great books and a lot were from England and here. (could have added cherry Ames books, Pollyanna etc)

  3. Some great authors there! Thats for sharing xx

  4. Hi Jenny Thanks for sharing the books you love. Heidi, Lewis and Bylton were all favourites of mine too. Some books stay with your forever. Thanks Iola for a great series.

    1. Thanks Jeanette I still love remember those books and I love them. Enid Blyton got me through some bad times where I could escape.

  5. I thought I'd forgotten those books, Jenny but you've nudged my memory. My very first book I saved up for from my piggy bank was a real Aussie classic - The Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie by May Gibbs

  6. Hi Rita, that's one book I never got to read but I remember a skippy book and also blinky Bill (Still have Blinky Bill) I use to buy the golden books.