I was reading some blog where the author listed the 10 books that have most influenced him. I didn't much care for his list (Ayn Rand? sooooo predictable), but it did inspire me to write my own. It's less than 10 because I am lazy with a small attention span.
Life of Pi by Yann MartelI read this book for my senior lit project in high school, and it was the first book that I ever really "got" and (independently, without instruction) understood what the author was trying to say. It was a huge lesson in trusting myself, trusting my experience, and trusting my interpretations.
Power of One by Bryce CourtenayI so related to Peekay and the difficulty of finding yourself amid what everyone else tells you you are. It's a book I continually go back to and it gets richer every time I read it.
Fact of a Doorframe by Adriane RichShe was the first poet that I read and went "Ooohh, that's why you write poetry...got it." Beautiful exposition of a woman finding herself.
Heart of Darkness by Joseph ConradI never want to read this book again, but the idea that to know pure light, you must know pure dark has stuck with me ever since.
My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim PotokThe idea of being a whore when you do what you love for the wrong reasons is a concept rarely discussed, and Potok does it with such beauty. Utterly heartbreaking.
The World is Flat by Thomas Freedman
I don't agree with quite a few of his arguments, and, yes, I realize this is a book on globalization from an American perspective, but his points have stuck with me. It made me think that in the future, invention, innovation, and new ideas will be the saving graces of any country. It makes a strong case for an excellent public education system and a society that appreciates what it has, two ideas I can very much support. I read it while I was studying Business Ethics at Gonzaga, where my professor's course taught the idea that a society can use tools at its disposal -- government regulation, tax structures, and grassroots movements -- to create a ethical value system within a capitalist system. Fascinating. It brought ideas into my head that hadn't been there before.
Hmmm.... my five readers - what are the books that've most influenced you?