So there is a meme going around Facebook, asking you to list out 10 books that have had an impact on your life. My cousin tagged me, and I think someone tagged me last year. I honestly have struggled both times with this question, mostly because I read so many books that it is hard to choose 10. Thinking about it, I came up with 5 books fairly easily. I’m not sure about the other 5, so we’ll do this in phases.
Here are the five that I came up with quickly:
The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin: The book helped me think about setting specific goals to be manage my own happiness and also to think about what happiness means.
Start with Why, by Simon Sinek: This book is one of my favorites and has greatly influenced the way I think about communication and leadership. My Affirmation talk was largely based on this one.
Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card: As a kid, this was probably one of my favorite books, and one of the books that got me into Sci-Fi. I think it speaks to smart kids a lot.
The Dark is Rising series, by Susan Cooper: Another one of those series that I read as a kid, and I loved, and probably got me into epic fantasy. It is Arthurian legend tied up with good vs evil. You should never ever ever watch the movie that was based on this book.
The Harry Potter series, by JK Rowling: I started reading the series in a three day jag, right after I came back from my mission, and it really defined the next 6-7 years of my life. I was obsessed with theories and websites, and everything to do with Harry Potter.
Those were the 5 that I immediately thought of.
While I was writing up the list, I remembered one more.
The Oz series, by L. Frank Baum: My hometown library had a fantastic old set of the Oz series, and I read every single one of them. It was a great series for a kid.
I’m really struggling to pick others, so I think I’m just going to pick some of my favorite books from the last several years.
Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline: I picked this one up after my local library sponsored a game based on the same concept. Anyone who grew up in the 1980’s and 1990’s would absolutely love it. It is replete with references to the pop culture of the time, and it is a pretty snappy read.
Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang, by Kate Wilhelm: Have I raved about this book on my blog yet? Maybe? I don’t know. I picked it up at random while choosing audiobooks at the library. Didn’t know what I was getting into, but it wowed me. I made my book club read it the next month, to some degree of controversy. (It features some odd discussions of cloning and casual clone sex, so you are warned.) It was one of the first sci-fi books to deal with manmade environmental disaster, and raised some really interesting moral questions.
Anathem by Neal Stephenson: A really strange, kind of dense, have to learn a new language kind of book, but it was oddly satisfying and gripping. It’s gonna take some time to read, but in my opinion is worth the payout.
The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan: A koala only has one choice for what it eats: bamboo leaves. But we humans are omnivores, so almost everything is open to us. If we have all of that choice, how do we use it? What should we eat? Per Pollan: Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants. Got me thinking about how the way eat interacts with the environment, our health, and etc.
So, fairly successful listing, I guess. The last 4 are good ones, but I could have listed 6 or 7 other unique sets of 4 too. It’s hard to choose.
What books influence you?