I have always been the kind of person that cannot go too long without some sort of reading material, whether it be required reading or not. Usually I have a book that I enjoy reading (which I pick out myself) on top of the required reading for a course. I don't typically like the books that I am required to read in English classes, mostly because I find them dull and uninteresting, very boring, or maybe even depressing. In high school I usually read about 3 to 5 novels throughout a semester along with several short stories, poems, epic poems, or plays. Out of all these novels I can only remember a select few, which tells me that I did not enjoy the majority of them. Required reading that I actually like are few and far between, but there were a few I'm glad I got to read. For example, I loved Lord of the Flies by William Golding and Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. We dissected every book as a class in high school, and those in particular were enriched by analysis and it made me appreciate them more. I also enjoyed Night by Elie Wiesel (though it was somewhat morbid), Animal Farm by George Orwell, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, the short story The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell, and a play called Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand. A few that I hated were: Death Be Not Proud by John Gunther (very boring, very depressing, way too eloquent for such a simple book) and Truth and Beauty by Ann Patchett (this was our freshman required reading coming in to Clemson and it was just awful). I can't even remember anything else right now which must mean they didn't do much for me.
I tend to enjoy anything fantasy/science fiction related and I also have an interest in history, so you can probably see why I liked the books I did. As far as reading on my own, my favorites are the Harry Potter series (what self-respecting reader doesn't love Harry Potter?), the Inheritance Cycle (more commonly referred to as Eragon), and growing up I was really into the Redwall Series. I also loved the His Dark Materials Trilogy (Golden Compass, Subtle Knife, and Amber Spyglass); I think those deserve more credit than they get. When I was very young, I loved the Animorphs series and the Hank the Cowdog series, as well as a few random books like A Wrinkle in Time and Dragon's Milk.
I like to think of myself as a writer, and I can usually produce high quality, creative work when I put my mind to it. I would eventually like to become a published writer, but that will take a lot of time and effort, which I cannot spare at this time so it will have to wait until later in life. I love to write fantasy stories of my own, and have ever since I was a kid. When I was in fifth grade I won a required school wide writing competition. It was the kind where they give you a prompt to begin a story and you take it from there. Mine was "I woke up this morning and looked outside, and you'll never guess what I saw..." from which I came up with a story about a Godzilla-like monster attacking the city and how I saved the day. In eighth grade I won a similar required school-wide writing contest. The idea this time was "If you could go back in time and bring back any figure from history, who would it be and illustrate with a short story." Most people were talking about bringing back Benjamin Franklin or Abraham Lincoln and using them to solve a problem or invent something new. I deciding to tell a story about how I went back in time to bring back the caveman who discovered fire, and the fantastic adventure I had with him in the land of the dinosaurs. So you can see I always try to think outside the box a little bit. When I was in seventh grade, I begin developing ideas for a few novels I eventually want to write. Those ideas later developed into one that I think will actually work. In high school I continued to develop those ideas until I thought I was ready to begin work on a full science fiction/fantasy based trilogy. I began writing a book that took place in the future and involved alien invasions and otherworldly wars for power and prophecy.