Because of a challenge from my long time online friend Sunny, I had to put together a list of 10 books that I feel were influential in my life and why. Unlike how some other folks might have done it, I chose books because of their significance, not necessarily because they were the best. In explaining that, on my list I have the first book that got me thinking a certain way or doing something specific without really naming the best book in a particular series.
I think influence can be a different thing that “the best”, if you will. For instance, though many people say Michael Jordan was the greatest basketball player of all time, my favorite player, Wilt Chamberlain, made basketball change rules because of his dominance.
With that said, below are my top 10 influential books. The links… well, if you’re interested you can check the books out, and if you buy… I earn affiliate money. I think that’s fair! 🙂 Here we go:
1. Go Dog Go, Dr. Seuss. This wasn’t my first book but it’s the first book I actually remember reading on my own, which I still own, and loving it for not only its bright colors but because it taught me the words Constantinople and Timbuktu lol
2. The Autobiography of Frederick Douglass. In my preteens I was introduced to black history on a fluke and this was the first book I read on the subject. It changed the course of my life in realizing the legacy of black people in America.
3. Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card. My introduction into sci-fi other than Star Trek books, well written that became a 4-part series (5 if you count one book that concentrated on a different character from the original). I was surprised I got into it because I hadn’t read much fiction at the time; I have now because of it. It has to be good if I’m mentioning it, especially since Card turned out to be a homophobe…
4. Secrets Of the Millionaire Mind, T. Harv Eker. Not only a business motivational book but one that helps break down the barriers to what keeps people from having money in their life, even if they get rich a couple of times only to lose it all. It’s what helps me keep my eyes on the prize.
5. Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki. I was already working on my own when I came across it and in a story form it helped me to see wealth in future terms as opposed to having and wanting things now.
6. Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix, J. K. Rowlings. This is an odd choice because it’s actually the 5th book in the series. I didn’t know it was a series and I had no real idea what the entire story was about but after reading this one I went back and read the others in order, have read everyone by now, and continue reading them (actually listening to the recordings) over and over; I can’t think of any other books I’ve read more than three times. (the link here goes to a page to buy all 7 books)
7. Clemente!, Kal Wagenheim. Roberto Clemente is my favorite baseball player ever, but this was the first book I read on him. Since that time I not only have read every other book that’s come out about him, but it inspired me to start reading biographies of all sorts, athletes, musicians, presidents, scientists… whomever.
8. The Autobiography of Malcolm X. I actually read this twice, once as a kid and once as an adult, and I’m glad I read it as an adult because it’s a much deeper book with a lot more truth and understanding than I could have taken in when I was much younger. Strange enough, in his way he predicted some of what’s going on now in the states.
9. The 100; a Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History, Michael Hart. Very intriguing look at famous people (it’s about 20 years old now) and ranking them based on significance in historical consequences and not by popularity. Something that might intrigue some of you is that Muhammad is at #1, Jesus is at #3; try to figure out who’s at #2 (Neil deGrasse Tyson’s favorite person lol).
10. Feiffer’s Album, Jules Feiffer. This is the only other book I’ve read at least 3 times but it’s different than all the other books here. Feiffer was a political cartoonist for almost 50 years and his take on life, politics and presidents are both spot on and funny. Seeing Gerald Ford depicted with a little tin can cup on top of his head… classic! (unfortunately, this book’s out of print, so you might have to go to eBay to see if someone’s selling a copy)
There’s mine. As a meme, why not do the same thing on your blog and then let me know, or go ahead and share some of your favorite books here. As a blog topic, it’s one that will make you think, and it gets others thinking also. So, get ‘er done!