What books have been an influence in your life?
After you have looked through this I challenge you to put up a list of your own .. with or without the commentary . :)
Sometime last Fall Lakota Phillips put up a challenge to write down the books that had had an influence on our lives. I was on vacation at the time and never got a chance to respond. I wrote out the list and forgot about it .. I just found the list so am posting it now
- The Land that Time Forgot, The People that Time Forgot and Out of Times Abyss - A trilogy under one cover by Edgar Rice Burroughs .. It got me motivated to read voraciously.
- The Wailing Astroid – by Leister .. an early science fiction novel .. that later came true .. in some ways.
- Lorna Doone by Blackmore – Classical Romance .. cant remember the story very much but it made me realize classical novels were interesting too.
- Man, his Origin and Destiny by Joseph Fielding Smith .. first time I ever argued with a book. It was very good for me.
- A Marvellous Work and a Wonder by Grant. – an aha book.
- Jesus the Christ by Talmage .. – wow did he have a vocabulary .. and I learned a lot about scholarship.
- The Three Musketeers --- Historical Fun
- The Count of Monte Cristo .. ooo mysteries too
- The Bible .. specifically the Old testament .. started reading it to put myself to sleep .. got to the begats .. hmmmm dirty book .. read through Kings and Chronicles and suddenly found I knew more than most (no body reads the bible) .. and I learned to love it. .. and ponder .. and even think for myself .
- The Book of Mormon .. required reading for good Mormon boys .. .. .. this encouraged me to think and ponder for myself .. I never shied away from the big questions .. but I didn’t give up quickly either. .. shaped my philosophical beliefs regarding good and bad and helping the weak.
- Down the Long Hills – Louis Lamour – relaxation reading .. recently re-read it .. not nearly as good now as it seemed then. .. but it opened a genre of western novels to me. It made me proud to be a small town cowboy.
- 1984 .. Orwell .. hmmm now this one made me think about communism .. and study more about Orwell. .. Not sure what I learned but it seems to stick in my mind. .. Big brother is alive and well today ..
- Passions of the Mind by Irving Stone .. emphasized the Intellectual courage that Freud had. He started seeing hidden truths that people did not want to know about. It takes a lot of courage to keep looking when society says Don’t. .. He knew there was something there so he kept probing. He opened the doors to the mind.
- Les Miserables - probably the best novel I have ever read .. this was story telling at its very best. Except for the chapter on the Battle of Waterloo.
- Grahame Greens Novel ..”Suffering and unhappiness are omnipresent in the world Greene depicts; and Catholicism is presented against a background of unvarying human evil, sin, and doubt. V. S. Pritchett praised Greene as the first English novelist since Henry James to present, and grapple with, the reality of evil. Greene concentrated on portraying the characters' internal lives – their mental, emotional, and spiritual depths.” .(from Wikipedia) I cant remember the name of the novel I read .. It was about a lowly worker MI6.. (CIA Britain) and how the office was affected by an ongoing hunt for a traitor. .. it is very low key .. near the end of the book you suddenly discover that the main character who is describing the hurtful things that the spy is doing and causing .. is in fact the spy. .. Suddenly your mind has to do a total shift .. it is quite thrilling to watch your self do this. I have read one other book that did this.
- Crime and Punishment .. by Dostoyevsky .. I read this one in the dark .. in the middle of winter above the arctic circle in Norway .. time was becoming irrelevant .. and the darkness of this Novel invaded me. .. awesome feeling. .. scary even. .. but Dostoyevsky has a way of writing that still fascinates me.
- Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy .. John Le Carre .. and the sequel Smileys People ..Frumpy old George Smiley became so much more the hero than James Bond ever could be.
- Integral Trees .. Larry Niven .. Best “What if” book I have read. But I did like Vernor Vinges book “the Witling” too ..
- 1917 / The birth of the Nazi Party / Confessions of an Economic Hitman .. 3 books . read in rapid succession .. Russian Revolution, Germanys revolution prior to Hitler .. and modern day America. .. wow for similarities .. and scary.
- Shock Doctrine .. Naomi Kline .. torture .. economics .. how the Corporatists are taking over.
- David D’Angelo .. dating book... more importantly .. an intro to Evolutionary Psychology.... I forgot the parts about picking up chicks .. but the Evolutionary Pscyhology still wanders through my mind.
- Napoleons Buttons. The history and interrelations of Chemical compounds. Gunpowder Nitroglycerin Alfred Nobel Heart medicine ... all related. Viagra. .. mandrake, witches brooms, mind medicines also all related.
- Quiet Flows the Don .and its sequel The Don Flows Home to The sea. .. Michael Sholokov .. became my favorite for a time .. Until Solshynitsyn said Sholokov didn’t write it . .. Story is about a Don Cossack boy who grows up during the Russian Revolution. His loves, his naiveté and his final successes against the backdrop of the Russian Revolution .. far better than Dr. Zivago.
- Bjornsterne Bjornsen’s En Glad Gutt .. (A happy boy) .. the first book I ever read in a foreign language .. great training in culture.
- 1491 – North America before the advent of the white man. .. New archeological advances show that the “Indians” were vastly different than we thought they were. Columbus brought disease on his first trip that wiped out 85% of the North and South American population within 15 years. Can you imagine the social upheaval . There is no wonder we don’t have records of these civilizations. When the explorers finally started looking round in the 1600s, these civilizations had been wiped out for 100 years, the people that remained had had 5 generations of confusion. The records were considered heathen. Archaeology was non-existent.
Hope you enjoyed the commentary .. I challenge you to put up a list of your own .. with or without the commentary .