Ten Most Influential Books
September 18, 2014

Ten, really? Impossible. Instead, I've narrowed this down to the 15 most influential books I read as a child and another 15 I encountered from junior high on.

Books that most influenced me as a child:

  • Space Cadet Robert Heinlein

  • The Hobbit J.R.R. Tolkien

  • The Velvet Room Zilpha Keatley Snyder (actually, all of her books as a set)

  • Harriet the Spy Louise Fitzhugh

  • Dark is Rising Susan Cooper (the whole series, of course)

  • From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler E.L Konigsburg

  • Westing Game Ellen Raskin

  • The Borrowers Mary Norton (again, the whole series)

  • Ordinary Jack Helen Cresswell (whole series)

  • The Pushcart War Jean Merrill

  • The Boy Who Could Make Himself Disappear Kin Platt

  • The Cartoonist Betsy Byars

  • Seven Alone Honore Morrow

  • Bridge to Terabithia Katherine Paterson

  • I am the Cheese Robert Cormier

Then, the books which have influenced me the most from junior high on:

  • My Name Is Asher Lev Chaim Potok

  • It Stephen King

  • Ender's Game Orson Scott Card

  • Neuromancer William Gibson (actually the three books)

  • Snowcrash Neal Stephenson

  • Cryptonomicon Neal Stephenson

  • the Deryni books Katherine Kurtz (the whole darn series!)

  • Way to Rainy Mountain N. Scott Momaday

  • Ceremony Leslie Marmon Silko

  • the Vanyel trilogy Mercedes Lackey

  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Robert M. Pirsig

  • The Mask of Apollo Mary Renault (pretty much all of her Greek books)

  • Brooklyn Dreams J.M. DeMatteis, author; Glenn Barr, artist

  • The Body Stephen King

  • Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man James Joyce

Some of those books, like the Vanyel trilogy, simply came along at exactly the time I needed them. Others, like Ceremony, My Name Is Asher Lev and Way to Rainy Mountain had a profound overall influence.

Posted by Red Monkey at September 18, 2014 6:45 PM | Storytelling: She was, of course, supposed to be sleeping. | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |