TTT: Top 10 Things Books Have Made Me Want to Learn About/Do After Reading Them

Posted July 26, 2016 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Link Up / 5 Comments

One of the many things that make books magical is how they expose us to worlds, cultures, and lifestyles we might never have known about. A truly great book can get us so excited about the lives of the characters that we want to live that way too!

As a kid, I DEFINITELY spent a lot of time pretending to live in different time periods and countries, but I often overlooked how books piqued my interest in new activities. Looking back, there were TONS of subjects I got passionate about after reading about them…and it still happens today! Here are my top ten things I wanted to learn/do after reading books about it. Enjoy! 🙂


Ten Things Books Made Me Want to Learn/Do

Writing — Inkheart

Technically this is something I already do, but whenever I reread Inkheart, it supercharges my inspiration and makes me ache to write something—anything! The power and beauty of stories is an overarching theme through all the Inkheart books. The author builds a lush, magical world where the written word has power, and each chapter starts with quotes about books and writing. If you ever need a book to get your creative juices flowing, this it!


Comics — Calvin & Hobbes

art, creative, creativity

A friend of mine introduced me to Calvin & Hobbes as a kid, and I now have every single CH anthology except one. After I got into Calvin & Hobbes, I experimented with drawing my own comics. It became a hobby all through school (including college). I even drew myth-themed comics on the back of my mythology quizzes…which sometimes got me extra credit!

The comic I invested the most time in was called Bungee the Wicki, which was about a world populated by stick figures. The Wickis were a theater troupe who went on adventures, led by their precocious leader Bungee. I honestly don’t remember much about the plot, but I DO remember they wound up on a deserted island once…and they had an army of coconut praetorians! 🙂


Embroidery — Gathering Blue

Even though it’s been years since I read Gathering Blue, I still remember that it made embroidery sound like a rich and rewarding process. I began learning more about it after I finished the book (no doubt dreaming of all the glorious tapestries I would one day weave)…and that’s when I discovered that elaborate sewing projects take a LONG TIME and lots of HARD WORK. I must have glossed over all the descriptions of Kira’s hours spent bent over her work with cramped fingers! In the end, I decided to admire embroidery from afar rather than take it up myself.


Sailing — The Wanderer

I was a HUGE fan of Sharon Creech books as a kid, and The Wanderer was my all-time favorite. I loved the characters and the unique POVs, but most of all I loved the beautiful, lyrical way Creech captured the many moods of the sea.

Of course, my native Illinois didn’t offer many opportunities for seafaring, so I contented myself with reading lots of other ocean-centric books. One of my favorites is Shackleton’s Stowaway!


Bagpipes — The Moorchild

Free stock photo of streets, people, crowd, music

 I kid you not, I wanted to learn to play bagpipes as a kid. In The Moorchild, the main character Saaski learns to play them over the course of the story, but the songs she plays are described as strange and ethereal—not at all like the songs the other villagers have heard growing up. I loved the idea of playing something haunting and mystical on a set of pipes, but I think my parents were genuinely relieved when my interest faded. 😉

Herbal Medicine — The Midwife’s Apprentice

Vegetables and Beans on Brown Wooden Measuring Spoon

This is a book I read in middle school, and I honestly don’t remember anything about it except that the main character learned the craft of herbal medicine to help with delivering children. Though the herbs were only a minor theme in the book, I was fascinated with how biology always seems to provide the answers to its own problems. And even though I knew the effects were caused by science, sometimes it seemed like magic!
I never really lost that sense of wonder for herbal medicine. I can’t truly call myself a naturalist, but I’ve learned a few things about natural remedies over the years (my house is never without Epsom salt, peppermint tea, and tea tree oil). Every time I sip mint tea to settle my tummy or soothe a sore muscle with an Epsom soak, I feel a little like a witch from the old stories. 🙂

Sleuthing — Harriet the Spy

Full disclosure: I’ve never actually read Harriet the Spy. But I loved the movie as a kid—so much that I started pretending I was Harriet. I carried a pair of plastic binoculars and kept a notebook where I wrote about the comings and goings of people in the neighborhood (which involved a lot of gardening and going out to get groceries). Once I even hopped the fence into my neighbor’s yard when they were out…and hopped right back over because that was enough excitement for one day. #ThugLife

I probably should I have been grateful that I lived in such an uneventful neighborhood, but at the time I could only bemoan the fact that it made for poor journalism. After a month or two I gave up sleuthing, but the notebooks came in handy when I discovered I liked writing! 🙂


Gardening — The Secret Garden

healthy, vegetables, hand

This book SO made me wish I didn’t kill every plant I touched. The descriptions of the plants as they grew and bloomed sounded so amazing, as did making life rise up from just a handful of seeds in the dirt. Even so, I think I’ll stick with the two hearty little plants I’ve managed not to kill off, my potted strawberry and basil.

Pioneering — The Little House Books

Brown Wooden House on White Snow Filed Forest With Trees

 This one was definitely more in theory than in practice. I have MAJOR allergies, so even as a kid I was decidedly indoorsy. But that didn’t stop me from trying to be a pioneer like Laura Ingalls. I spent hours pretending to plow fields, bake bread, sew, and weather blizzards. And of course I spent lots of time packing up my toys and trekking to far corners of the house so I could “settle” uncharted territory.


Magic — Harry Potter

White Owl

 Don’t pretend you didn’t spend your 11th birthday waiting for your Hogwarts letter. We all did! I couldn’t help wishing I could go away to a school that taught cool stuff like potion-making and charms instead of math. I’m still convinced that my life would be 100% better if I could turn myself into chair every time I’m supposed to be off fulfilling social obligations. 😉


What have books made YOU want to learn?











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5 responses to “TTT: Top 10 Things Books Have Made Me Want to Learn About/Do After Reading Them

  1. Cait @ Paper Fury

    OH ALL OF THESE. I LOVE THIS LIST. And such good bookish picks, omg because I’ve read a ton of these too. :’) I always have wanted to write, and Inkheart just made me want to find myself a Mo. Or, well, BE a Mo. C’MON THAT WOULD BE THE MOST FUN AND EPIC OF EVER. And I also used to sew and kind of forgot Gathering Blue featured it so much! And endless love for Harry Potter of course. XD I didn’t spend my 11th birthday waiting for a letter because I was a Narnia addict (I was totally poking around in my wardrobe though for secret passageways ahem) but…like, the magic of Harry Potter is everything. I was definitely inspired to want to try butterbeer. :’) Someday I’ll make some! Here’s my TTT!

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