10 Book Challenge: What Books Inspire You?

By Last Updated: September 1, 2014Views: 2761

A friend of mine recently tagged me on Facebook to do the 10 Book Challenge. The idea is to come up with 10 books that have influenced you or inspired you or just really entertained the hell out of you, narrow it down to 10 and share. Now I usually do my best to ignore this sort of thing but this one was intriguing and let’s face it, fun. Not to mention the fact that other people tagged in this “challenge” were people whose opinions I respect and admire … well I felt compelled to join in.

And it’s funny, when you actually sit down and try to think of a list it gets muddled and complicated. The first thing you think of are the books you are reading now, the ones that a fresh in the mind. Then immediately you flash to all the classics or the literary giants. Or maybe some obscure and lesser known books because you want to look impressive and cool. I for one kicked all these thoughts around for a while and finally settled on what made me say “wow” when I was done reading.

I have kept the list only to fiction (maybe I’ll do a non-fiction later) and only to ones that have just stuck with me, ones that have made me think or cry or laugh, sometimes all three at once. The list is not definitive and the numbering means nothing, there is no order, it’s just for organizational purposes only:

  1. Dune by Frank Herbert
    I read this book as an adventure story first, then as a political story, a religious story. The next time I read it it may be something else entirely.
  2. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
    Yes, I’m including all three books as one like God & Tolkien intended. I can not tell you how many times I have read this book(s). It continues to amaze me and thrill me.
  3. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
    This is a difficult book. It hurts to read sometimes. But it is beautiful and horrible and makes me think.
  4. Watership Down by Richard Adams
    Another one of those books that I originally read as an adventure. A Fantasy. It was only later, as an adult did i realize the political complexity involved.
  5. The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne
    I love this book. Love. And if you don’t think this is philosophy you’re not paying attention.
  6. Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
    It’s cold Yossarian…
  7. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
    I once thought I was Holden Caulfield. This is a novel that touches something deep within us, an authentic self that wants to get out. A self that sometimes has to hide.
  8. Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins
    Pure joy in a pack of Camels. I read this on the road following the Grateful Dead. Good times.
  9. Dangerous Visions edited by Harlan Ellison
    Some of the greatest speculative fiction ever. Just flipping brilliant.
  10. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
    If you want to know why read this: All That Road Going

So what books challenge you? Can you narrow it to just 10?

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