books-stacked2My friend Rebecca posted a list of already read books that had a lasting impact on her. I thought this was an interesting little project, so I embarked on writing my own list. I did spend way too much time on compiling the list and for a while there I kept adding and taking books off the list. Finally I decided that it would be best just to put up what I had.

Some of these books have had a mind altering effect on me others just made me think. I know there will be more books to add to the list, but here I list the top ten in no particular order.

The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien
thehobbitI was introduced to this book by my 8th grade teacher (I think.. I know it was a teacher, but am fuzzy about the grade). He was very much into this book and used it throughout the year to teach us everything from grammar to how to write using the Futhorc runes. The book introduced me to the world of fantasy. I was unable to put it down the first time I read it.

The Lord Of The Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
The Lord Of The RingsOf course, once you read the Hobbit you must read the Lord Of The Rings trilogy. I truly enjoyed this book (although it is a series of books, you can find it in one physical book so I am counting it as one). The first time I read it, I was somewhat confused by the many references to historical (for the story) events. This is one of the very few books that I have read more than once.

Z For Zacharia by Robert C. O’Brien
ZforZachariahThis book was the first book I read which I just picked up off the shelf without knowing what it was about. The synopsis on the back intrigued me enough that I had to read it. I did not want the story to end when I got to the last page. I found the book in the Young Adult’s section of the Queens, NY library I was a frequent patron of, I spent many months in that section looking for and reading many good books.

Pet’s Cementary by Stephen King
Pet's SemataryThis book introduced me to Stephen King. To date he is my favorite author. The story had me riveted, and I have to admit it scared me a little. When I was almost finished with the book, it was late at night and I was alone in the living room. The description of the living room was so similar to where I sat that I had to stop and check the house to ensure that nothing undead was in there with me trying to finish me off. Since then I have read almost everything that has come from Mr. Stephen King and quite a few of his books have left an imprint on me.

Birthright – The Book Of Man by Mike Resnick
birthrightThis book, I recently read and was one of those I could not put down. The book could actually be called a collection of short stories, because each chapter is it’s own story with different characters. All the stories are linked to each other by the time line that goes throughout the book. If you enjoy reading science fiction or just like thinking about the future of mankind, I would highly recommend this book.

Underground: Tales of Hacking, Madness and Obsession on the Electronic Frontier by Suelette Dreyfus
UndergroundIf technology interests you in any way, this is a great book. It tells the story of the start of the Hacker Underground. This is not a work of fiction, but more of a dramatized account of factual events. This book allows you to see how we have come to where we are. Many of the technologies we have today are due to some of the events that are described in this book.

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
PrayerForOwenMeanyThis story introduced me to John Irving. It is the story of a man who recounts his friendship with a small boy named Owen Meany. The events that take place are used by the narrator to explain why his faith is what it is. Although the story does feel like it can get preachy, it actually does not. It is such a good story that I recommend it often to those that I meet that haven’t read it.

Thurston House by Danielle Steele
thurstonhouseOne summer, my mother had us stay with our grandmother. She had several books in the house and I began to go through them. I read Amityville Horror, Jaws, a couple of books on the mafia, and some others that I can’t remember. Each time I went to the shelf, I would see the Thurston House by Danielle Steele book. I would move it aside and pick something else to read. At the time, I only knew of Danielle Steele as a writer of “women’s novels”. I thought that the book would be some sappy love story that I would not enjoy. A few weeks into our stay, I had read every book in the house except for this one. After a while I couldn’t hold off any longer and I picked the book up. To my utter suprise, I was captivated by the book. It is a great story about a family and what their lives are like through generations. I couldn’t put the book down. At night, (after my grandmother turned off the lights) I would read using the light streaming in through the window from the street light. This book taught me never to judge a book by it’s cover (or author for that matter).

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
shorthistoryIf history books were written more like Bill Bryson’s book, we would have way more people interested in history today. This book takes a subject that is considered boring to most and makes it unbelievably interesting. The title does not mislead either, the book covers everything from the universe to our founding fathers. What is so great about this book is that it takes historical facts and makes them more interesting by recounting events or things about the people involved that makes them more human. It literally makes you relate to history. I would highly recommend this book to all, especially those with children.

On Writing by Stephen King
onwritingThe only reason I picked up this book was because it was written by Stephen King. I am glad that I did though. I was always interested in writing, but thought that the only way one can write stories and novels is by going to school and dedicating themselves to this. After reading this book, I realized that writing can be done by anyone. It may not be good writing, but if one keeps practicing it does get better. So I guess I must thank Mr. King for not only encouraging my love of reading, but encouraging me to write. If you have thought about writing anything and thought that it would be too difficult, read this book and I think you’ll realize (as I did) that anyone can do this (perhaps not as good as Mr. King, but it is possible).

As I came to the end of my list, I thought of other books that have had a lasting impression on me: The Stand by Stephen King, Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin, A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking and Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card are just a few. I know that there will be more to come as well. I have decided to review each book I read from now on. Maybe something I read will inspire someone else to pick up a book and expand their world.