My old high school english teacher nominated me to list the top 10 most influential books in my life. I thought, ‘this is going to be hard’. So I thought about it for a few days and came up with the following list. Here are the 10 most influential books in my life, in no particular oder?
1. Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
It’s a book about human suffering and compassion wrapped up in a sci-fi story about the human race conquering alien worlds. What’s not to like?
2. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
Best fiction book ever written about the christian values of forgiveness and love.
3. Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield
A historical novel about how a select group of Spartans sacrificed their lives to save Greece from being invaded by the Persians, therefore saving all of Western Civilization and its budding political system… which is where we come from, people. HUGE.
4. The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice
I read this when I was looking for vampire literature that was more substantial than Twilight. This is a highly complex emotional and psychological book, and Lestat is the type of anti-hero the reader can’t help but love. Blurs the lines between right and wrong as only Anne Rice can.
5. The Silmarillion, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
The first covers the ancient myths, legends, and heroes of Middle-Earth. The second is a great adventure book. And the third is about how good can beat evil even when stacked against incredibly bad odds. I could wax long-winded about Tolkien, since he’s my favorite author and my biggest inspiration as a writer, but that’s a topic for another post.
6. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Again, these books are fundamentally about how good triumphs over evil; about how love, family, and friendship are more powerful than hate, greed, and lust for power. They’re also about magic… which makes them super cool.
7. His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman
This is a brilliant fantasy epic mixing elements from quantum physics, christian theology and pagan lore.
8. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Is Heatchliff’s and Cathy’s love something made in heaven or hell? I still don’t know. Most heartbreaking romantic tragedy ever written.
9. Peter Pan by James M. Barrie
The classic story about the boy who never grew up. It captures the fancy and nostalgia of childhood so well. I’m looking forward to reading this book to my kids.
10. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Because Austen rocks and there’s nothing more I need say about it.
What are some books that have influenced your life, and why?