A plurk friend posted a challenge: share the five books that have been most influential in your life, or simply that you’ve enjoyed the most including at least one book from childhood, adolescence and adulthood and one that might be classified a “guilty pleasure”.
I love books. I read voraciously. Trying to come up with just five books is a very difficult task indeed!
My choice for young childhood would be The Velveteen Rabbit, such a beautiful tale about a beloved child’s toy.
Some of the authors and books that stand out from later childhood include Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, Agatha Christie, the Nancy Drew Books, The Fantastic Five, Stephen King (I recall my mother being horrified I was reading those before my teens), Dean Koontz … the most memorable thought would have to be The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. Such a fantastic journey, such beautiful images it created in my mind!
Adolescence saw me reading V.C. Andrews, more Stephen King & Dean Koontz, Kurt Vonnegut, George Orwell, Shakespeare, Hemingway, George Bernard Shaw, Jane Austen (yes those classics were all by choice). It’s easy though to pick the most influential book of that time of my life, as I became heavily involved with a Born Again Christian group, so the Bible was by far the most important and influential book of that time of my life.
Trying to pick a single book however, from my adulthood so far, feels darn near impossible. I’ve read Diana Gabaldon’s Outlader series, Jean M Auel’s Earth Children series, almost everything by Maragret Atwood, yet more Stephen King & Dean Koontz, Christopher Moore, Terry Brooks, Terry Pratchett, Jodi Picoult, Kelley Armstrong, Mary Higgins Clark, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and many more; quite the range! Some of the books that stand out for me include Richard Armstrong’s book God Doesn’t Shoot Craps, The Shack by William P. Young, Upside Down by Tim Bailey, August by Judith Rossner, One Door Away From Heaven by Dean Koontz, Or Your Money Back by Nicole Lorenz, Margaret Atwood’s Oryx & Crake, Terry Pratchett’s The Light Fantastic (simply because this was my introduction to him), The Horse Whisperer by Nicolas Sparks, My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult, The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.
I think if I really had to single out a book though, I’d pick The Stand by Stephen King, one of the best post-apocalyptic pieces of fiction I’ve read yet.
As for guilty pleasure book, I’d pick any of Laurell K. Hamilton’s faery books or Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books.
I’d love to hear other’s five picks!