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The Books that Shaped My World #worldbookday

It's world book day today, though I can't imagine celebrating books on only one day of the year. I think it should be world book day everyday :) Nonetheless, today's commemoration of #worldbookday is especially memorable for me, as it is my first one as a novelist. If you've been following my posts on any platform, you know my debut novel, A Divine Romance, released last month (and you can read more about the journey from idea to publication in my last blog post). I'm delighted that it not only has 100% 5-star reviews on all platforms so far, it also earned a gold star as the #1 Biblical Fiction Bestseller in Ingramspark's sales ranking. #proudauthor #proudpublisher If you haven't yet done so, I'd encourage you to order your copy and enjoy the journey into ancient Egypt, and if you do, please leave a review!

Now, back to world book day. When I think about the books that shaped my world, too many come to mind. Growing up in Nigeria and schooling in our British Educational system, I fell in love with the works of Enid Blyton, particularly her mystery series, like the Famous Five collection, and her boarding school adventure series, like the St. Clare series. Fun fact: I deliberately became a volunteer librarian at the school where my sister taught, just so I could check out three to five of these books a day, and devour them after I finished my homework! #fastreader I would definitely credit my love for adventures involving mystery, suspense, and fantasy to Enid Blyton's books, as well as to the stories that stemmed from the wonderfully imaginative mind of my late brother, Tony. He was a gifted fantasy storyteller and comic book illustrator and his spontaneous, oral stories had me on the very edge of my seat, hanging on to his every word, long before I discovered Enid Blyton's books. (I imagine he is proud of my finally embracing the storyteller he saw in me even when I didn't!)

In adulthood, discovering romantic suspense in books like the O'Malley series by Dee Henderson has been an absolute delight! #highlyrecommended Because as much as I enjoy the thrill of a mystery or any suspense-ridden tale, I absolutely love LOVE. Wholesome romances and happily-ever-afters are definitely my happy place as an adult reader, and better still if they involve suspense too. Growing up I got my happily ever after fixes from classic musicals like My Fair Lady, Calamity Jane, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and did not actually read any secular romance novels having been advised by my protective big-sister that they weren't "clean." Hence, I did not experience romance in books until I discovered Christian romances as a young adult in an unforgettable way, when I came across novel that changed my entire perspective on the power of storytelling inspired by, and centered around godly love. It is to date, my favorite #christianromance, and it is none other than Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. (If you have not yet read this award-winning, bestselling book, do yourself a favor and read it. And after that, go watch the movie! #youcanthankmelater While there have been multiple versions released, I actually read the original 1991 version of this novel, and my goodness, decades later, I am yet to recover. Never has a novel made the undying, unending, unquenchable love God has for people so alive in my heart, as portrayed by Ms. Rivers' tale of the love Michael Hosea has for Angel. Seeing the movie in theaters a week after its release date last February was my self-gifted birthday present! (Fun fact: The layout photo on this post is a before and after of me, en route the theater and and right after seeing the movie!) #lovedit Honestly, if I have a goal as a novelist it is that a novel I write would have the same inspiring effect on a reader that Redeeming Love had on me. (Yes, I dream big, and why not? Dreams are free after all!) #daretodream

Ultimately, I cannot write about books that shaped my world without mentioning the most important book of all. It is definitely the one I have read the most often, the one I have experienced the widest range of emotions reading, and the one I have loved the longest. I call it the #GOAT of love letters, as it was born from the incredible love the trinity of divinity has for the entirety of humanity, including you and I. Books may come and go, authors may rise and fall, but the greatest love letter of all time, the word of God, will never fade. And that's why it remains the number one book that has shaped my world, ever since I was a 7-year-old girl. My principles, my values, everything that may be admirable or commendable about me, exists because decades ago I picked up this sixty-six book, divine love letter that I still find irresistible, in the most mind-blowing, soul-stirring, heart-warming ways ever! #forGodsolovedtheworld

Today, on world book day, think about the books that have shaped your world. And maybe celebrate the authors who gifted you those literary gems, with a tweet, a post, or a 5-star review. #betterlatethannever

P.S. It's also Women's History Month, and I'm proud to be female, so I'll leave you with a linked poem of mine: WOMAN! Enjoy!


Ifueko Ogbomo

Reader, writer, and publisher of stories that inspire faith, hope, and love.

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