Books with Big Impact

Red Ravine‘s writing topic yesterday was titled 10 Slam Dunks:

List the Top 10 books that have had the most impact on your life.

Your entire life. From the time you first started reading – or were read to by your parents – to the present moment. Which books (and by extraction, writers) had the most influence on you?

This is tough! But I’m up to it.

1. Breakfast of Champions or Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut (i couldn’t decide!)
2. Cat’s Eye, Margaret Atwood
3. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
4. Slouching Toward Bethlehem, Joan Didion
5. Video Night in Kathmandu, Pico Iyer
6. Norwiegan Wood, by Haruki Marakami
7. The Chronicles of Narnia series, C.S. Lewis
8. Kitchen, Banana Yoshimoto
9. In Cold Blood, Truman Capote
10. Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts, Maxine Hong Kingston

Some others that I’d hate to leave out:

Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger; Kate Chopin’s The Awakening; A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle; On the Road, Jack Kerouac; Jitterbug Perfume, by Tom Robbins; and something by Judy Blume (though I no longer remember which book I liked the best).

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3 thoughts on “Books with Big Impact

  1. Cat’s Eye! I loved that book. Now that you jogged my memory, I have to list it on my list, too. It brought back so many memories of how mean young girls can be to one another.

    And have you ever heard A Wrinkle in Time on tape? One of the old ladies has the most wonderful voice. My girls and I use it all the time on one another when we want to be sort of scary and funny all at once.

  2. In Cold Blood’s on my list for sure. I haven’t decided which Vonnegut book yet. And Jitterbug Perfume! I forgot all about that one. It’s hard to stick to 10, isn’t it?

  3. Impossible to make such a short list. But certainly nonfiction books would be included:

    The Bible.
    The Iliad, by Homer.
    The Odyssey, by Homer.
    Moby Dick, by Melville.
    The Sun Also Rises, by Hemingway.
    The Great Gatsby, by Fitzgerald.
    Young Men and Fire, by Maclean.
    Gilgamesh.
    Cosmos, by Carl Sagan.
    Asimov on Astronomy, by Isaac Asimov.

    Runners up:

    The Ramayana, by Valmiki (or also the Tamil version).
    Catcher in the Rye.
    Magic, Science and Religion, by Malinowski.
    Beowulf.
    Starship Troopers.
    Dune.
    Six Easy Pieces, by Richard Feynman.
    Medieval Technology and Social Change.

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