Ten Books with the Biggest Influence

I was reading a fellow author’s blog just the other day and he listed the books that he very much wanted his children to read in their lifetimes. Books that he said were the most influential to him in his life. The Bible topped the list. And for him, it was important that he offered these titles to his sons and daughters.

My two boys would most likely give me some big time ribbing if I made such a list. They would think it was somehow pretentious and terribly parental. “Seriously, Dad?”

But the post did get me thinking about the books that have made an impact of some sort. And maybe, if my sons see this, the idea of actually reading these books might rub off. Maybe. LOL.

Here are my ten in no particular order.

On the Road, Jack Kerouac

The Sun Also Rises, Ernst Hemingway

Go Dogs, Go, P.D. Eastman

Wild Stories, a collection nonfiction stories by the likes of P. J. O’Rourke, Rick Bass, Thomas McGuane, George Plimpton, and Hampton Sides, to name just a few. 

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Call of the Wild, Jack London

The White Album, Joan Didion

The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien

Tree of Smoke, Denis Johnson

Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats, William Butler Yeats

Oh, there are more. But I think this is a good top ten. And you?


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