Ten Influential Books in My Life

Yesterday, Jillian of Random Ramblings posted her “Most Influential Books” and asked me if I would share mine, too.

I really love her particular spin on this, which is that we share without giving any sort of explanation whatsoever.  It’s harder than it sounds! When I love a book, I want to tell everyone why & try to convince them to read it.  But, I can also see the beauty in sharing these favorites and allowing others to discover them completely on their own, and maybe fall in love with them for their own reasons.

So, here is a list of 10 books that have affected me greatly, for various reasons. I desperately want to say something about each of them, but I will refrain.  I challenge you all to give this a shot on your own blogs, and I especially challenge you to read a title from this list that you haven’t, yet!

In no particular order:

  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • The Confidence-Man by Herman Melville
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
  • Dream Boy by Jim Grimsley
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Care to share any books that have had a profound affect on your life?

21 Comments on “Ten Influential Books in My Life

    • The nice thing about this is that I don’t have to think about it in terms of “favorite” book or “best” book, but, instead, as the ones which have really stuck with me over the years, or which challenged me, touched me, etc. It’s a neat little spin.


      • It is and much harder to think of and like your list shows not always the best known books of a writer I always think of decline and fall in relation to waugh and his effect on me


      • I haven’t read that; the only Waugh I’ve read is Brideshead Revisited, which I loved.


  1. I realize this is heavily American. Perhaps I should have made an “American” list and a “non-American” list. This is the problem inherent with lists, though, yes? I’ll just expand from 10 to a few more, to include: Orlando by Virginia Woolf; Ulysses by James Joyce; The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde; Germinal by Emil Zola; and The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot. Because it’s my blog and I can do what I want. 🙂


  2. Wonderful list! Tender is the Night and Perks are both just incredible. As beautiful as The Great Gatsby is, Tender always felt infinitely more personal to me.


  3. I’ll have to think about what would make it on my top 10 most influential books to me–chances are they would be books I read as a child/teen or young adult.

    I still haven’t read Catcher in the Rye–I wonder if I’m now too old for it to influence me 🙂


  4. Pingback: Ten Influential Books in My Life | Lost in Literature

  5. Love it!! You are braver than me, choosing a specific HP book 😉 This a good eclectic mix, I’ve read all of them except for The Confidence-Man by Herman Melville. Thanks for doing this challenge! I agree that it was a little hard to just list them without giving any sort of explanation! Also, can’t help but ask people who have done this for the reasons now that I’ve read their lists haha


  6. Love this idea! I share The Giver, Harry Potter, and Perks of Being a Wallflower with you. The Bell Jar, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Norwegian Wood would also be on my list.


    • I haven’t read Norwegian Wood, but I can definitely understand the impact of the other two.


  7. I’ve popped by and read a few ‘influential’ lists now and my curiosity is growing to know why everyone has chosen the books they have 🙂
    For instance, I loved the Potter books, but I can’t say they were a big influence or had a big impact on my life…and I’m curious to know why they’re so important to others.

    I could have also added Huck Finn to my list as it was my first time with a book written in local dialect. I’d seen a tv series in my younger years and tried to read it in my teens but couldn’t get into it. It was a real challenge when I did read it in my early 20’s but I was deeply rewarded with such a rich human story and a sense of personal accomplishment – finally ‘getting’ a book that had eluded my before.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great list! This gives me a lot to think about. The ones that always come to mind for me are The Bell Jar and Return of the Native. Also Gone to Soldiers by Marge Piercy and Lonesome Dove maybe. On a non-literary front I might need to add Outlander since that actually got me to visit Scotland. I love that you included Harry Potter… I think her books have brought back magic and fantasy to a lot of us.


  9. Pingback: Book Bloggerista News: April 7, 2014 | Parajunkee

  10. Fantastic list! HP and HF have been pretty influential on me, too! I swear I had The Giver growing up but I looked in my mom’s basement (where all the books from childhood she didn’t let go of are kept) and I cannot find it and I cannot remember anything about reading it. Maybe I dreamed it all.


  11. Interesting list. I wonder what would be on mine. Harry Potter, A Wrinkle in Time, Pride and Prejudice, A Thousand Splendid Suns…


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