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Books That Most Influenced You

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Peter T. 26 Jun 03 - 09:52 AM
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Subject: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Peter T.
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 09:52 AM

The Leon Uris thread reminded me that there are books that are not absolutely great, but which can influence you personally because they hit you at the right moment. The book I was most influenced by in my life, in spite of all the rows of classics I have around me, was Betty Smith's A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, which hit me at age 15 like a thunderbolt -- for many years afterwards I read a page of the Bible and Shakespeare before going to bed, just like Francie . Best advice I ever got! But it was really the whole idea of reading that got to me -- and I was already an avid reader. Also the book just swallows you up. I remember also at the time giving it to a friend of mine who was a failing student, raving about it, and he got hooked too, started reading -- we had a Francie fan club for awhile. His grades shot up, and he is now a professor of chemistry at a big university.

I would be interested in hearing praise of other books that changed people's lives. I am sure that the Bible and Ayn Rand would be top choices for a lot of people (for better or worse). Or maybe Harry Potter for the next generation....?

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: chip a
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 10:03 AM

Huck Finn! Still more wisdom in that one than about everything else put together. Really!
Chip


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: GUEST,Rich A
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 10:05 AM

The 'Black Book' by Lionel Bacon.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Peter T.
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 10:09 AM

What did Huck Finn do for you, and when?

What's the "Black Book"? yours, Peter T.

(I am not so much interested in lists of titles, but on your thoughts about the book).


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Deckman
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 10:09 AM

"Night Life of the Gods," by Thorne Smith. I was about 15 when I read it. It started me laughing, at a time that I needed laughter, and I haven't stopped laughing yet! To this day, I always try see the zany and hilerous side of life. CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: kendall
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 10:14 AM

The Odyssey
A great lesson in overcoming obstacles, and sticking with it to the end.Penelope never could believe he was dead, and I liked the part where he came home and kicked ass.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Kim C
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 10:15 AM

The Black Flower, by my friend Howard Bahr.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Wesley S
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 10:20 AM

A Return To Love - by Marianne Williamson. It changed how I looked at myself and others.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 10:28 AM

Heinlein's sci-fi, and Ayn Rand showed me in their very different ways that it was possible to be both intelligent and dynamic in the world, and awoke in me a passion for the many faces of life at work; the Aeneid, believe it or not, actually touched me in a strange way, too. Catcher in the Rye, The Stranger, and one or two others opened another aside of the world, perhaps less valuable in the long term. I was excited by "The Dancing Wu Li Masters", even though it was derivative, and I found "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" to be important personally for reasons I havbe never quite sorted out.   And somehow I got flipped out by Benedetto Croce on Art and Communication, but given the period, the flipping ouit might be attributable to other elements at play. :>) (I just looked it up -- the proper title of Croce's best known work is Aesthetic as Science of Expression and General Linguistic (1902). Well, excyooooose me!) :>) Oh, and my life would not be the same without General Semantics (Korzybski) and The Nature of Scientific Revolutions by Kahn.    Marilyn Fergusen and Thomas Szasz also were important to me. And ee cummings and Dylan Thomas were in my heart from first reading. Now you're opening doors better left shut, Peter! LOL!! Thanks for reminding me of riches long neglected.

A



A


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: MAG
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 10:31 AM

As a child, Understood Betsy and Meet the Malones, because they gave me family models other than my own. Then I got into pulp SF, which showed me it's OK to have a very active imagination and to escape reality whenever you can. I suppose everyone here dove into Fannie Hill at a certain point; I did, when I hit that curious about sex age in college. (But I always thought Harrad Experiment was dumb.)

Then I got into the Womens Movement bigtime. The Second Sex. Descent of Woman. anything by marge Piercy. Robin Morgan's book.

That was all about finding my tribe. I'm a librarian and I've kept on reading. I read a lot of childrens literature since that's my area and yes I'm reading Harry and loving it. What a crossover from my professional discussion threads.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: alanabit
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 10:36 AM

Peter, did I read that correctly, or did you really hint that Huckleberry Finn was somehow overrated? I remember reading it as an entertaining adventure novel as a twelve year old and then again as a young adult. They were two very different experiences. As an adult it made me laugh on nearly every page - it is worth reading for the asides alone. "He charged nothing for his preaching - and it was worth it." However, the central themes of the book are weighty ones which are integrated cleverly into an entertaining story. It is a serious book as well for several different reasons. My favourite paradox is the fact that Huck believes himself less moral and less intelligent than the rest of society. He constantly proves to everyone except himself that this is untrue. Somehow these days, being entertaining seems to disqualify a book from having any real merit. Give me Mark Twain's readable, funny prose against Dickens's stodgy, stiff, Victorian moralising any time.
I should add that two other works which really shook me up when I read them were Somerset Maugham's "The Razor's Edge" and Shakespeare's "King Lear" -which still scares the daylights out of me!


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: GUEST,Ron Olesko
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 10:48 AM

This may sound odd, but the book M*A*S*H* was a huge part of my high school years. I read it after the film came out and before the TV series.   While the book was not as strongly anti-establishment as the film, it still opened up a world of rebellion in my eyes.

There was another book that I remember from high school - Pissing in the Snow. Aside from the great title, it was a book of folklore that opened my eyes to American cultures beyond my world in NJ.

Ron


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Giac
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 10:49 AM

David Copperfield.

My father died when I was not quite eight. He had taught me to read at a rather early age and I took solace from the books he left. I found David Copperfield and crawled between the covers.

David was a resilient little guy who taught me a lot about survival, along with the fact that there were many who had it worse than I thought I did.

Once I reached my teens, I discovered a seamier side of literature, in a dim, basement book shop, and devoured the "beat" poets, Ferlinghetti and Rexroth being my favorites. For a time, LF's Junkman's Obbligato became my guide to life. " ... I am the refined type. I cannot stand it. I am going where asses lie down with customs collectors who call themselves literary critics ... ."

Mary


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Sorcha
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 10:50 AM

When I was little it was Goodnight Moon. At age 16 Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged sent me to hospital with a Major Migraine.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: chip a
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 10:59 AM

I told 'em about Mr Clemmons' book but I seen right away it warn't no match for them fine books they was readin' up at that grammar school in Hannibal. Still, I thought Mr clemmons had sand.

;-),
Chip


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: catspaw49
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 11:08 AM

Hmmm.....Amos, I think we have some similarities......Try not to let it scare you.

PT, if I were to pick just one, Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird would fit your description. I loved reading as did my Mom and as soon as the book came out, she read it. I remember she enjoyed it tremendously but what I remember most was that she gave it to me and said she thought I might enjoy it. Although our tastes were often similar, a brief description of TKAM made me think it wasn't something I'd like so I put it off for several months. When I eventually got around to it, more out of desperation than anything else, I couldn't put it down. Although I would often re-read books later, I read this one again immediately. I started telling everyone about it but many of my friends couldn't see the point...just another book. We were busy with early dating, baseball, flying model planes, band practice and all those things of the early teen years. It wasn't a book easily explained.

It played on my mind for a long time and I read it over and over without knowing why. Soon though, things did begin to dawn on me and looking back I have long known that this book was a major influence on my life. Some lessons I learned and in other cases it verified what I was thinking and what my parents had been trying to impart.

One person can make a difference even when it appears they have failed. There were more elements to "being a man" than the rest of our culture often portrayed. Strength and courage were mental traits, not physical. "Gentle" was the first part of gentleman. The list goes on and on........

Back in the early eighties I was at a dinner where Mo Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center spoke. Along with many others, I waited to greet him afterwards and express my thanks and agreement with his remarks. I shook his hand and said something about enjoying his presentation and for reasons still unclear to me, I tailed it with, "Did you grow up wanting to be Atticus Finch?" He gave me a grin and said it was still his favorite book. We exchanged a few more words about it, although I don't recall exactly what they were, but I know he too may have learned a few lessons from Harper Lee as well.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: MudGuard
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 11:20 AM

42













(no, that was the answer, not the book ;-))
The book(s) was "Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams...


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: CarolC
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 11:33 AM

Harold and His Purple Crayon

(I'm serious)

I think it was the first book that taught me about endless possiblility and creative flow. I still love those Harold books.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: MMario
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 11:35 AM

Probably 1 fish 2 fish....


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 11:42 AM

The science fiction of Asimov & Heinlein at 11-13 (just open the mind to speculation) come to mind, but there were also the books I found in my grandmothers garage that had belonged to my father and uncles..Jerry Todd books, The Speedwell Boys..etc.. also "THe Wonder Book of Myths & Legends"...all the Greek & Roman heros for the 10 year old mind! Wonderful!

Then...at age 17, working as a grocery store checker on a slow Sunday afternoon, I picked up "The Age of Ideology" in paperback from the book rack...one of a series of introductions to Philosophical thought, Boom! hooked!...I even managed to sneak in a book report on Nietzsche's "Zarathustra" in American History class..*grin*

I will confess to having devoured ALL the Heinlein and Robert Rimmer 'social experiment' stuff in the 60s & 70s, and though I was well aware they were not great literature, they were important ideas. Rimmer used to provide lists of suggested further reading in the back pages that would keep one going for years.

Also...an interesting way of looking at the question....I once acquired a copy of Oswald Spengler's "Decline of the West" when I was 17-18...and didn't understand a word of it! The experience of finding something entirely too dense for my head to wrap around was good for me, and later, when I encountered "Chaos Theory" and other arcane concepts, it helped to have perspective on just what sort of things WERE suited to my own thought processes.
(I found I could NOT finish John Barth's "Giles Goat Boy", as much praise as it got from some...nor could I cope with much "sword & sorcery" sci-fi....but I could roar thru 'hard' sci-fi like "Ringworld" and "The Mote in God's Eye" at a blistering pace.

Fascinating thread....


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Micca
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 11:47 AM

The Rubiyat of Omar Khyyam both the Fitzgerald and later other translations, because of its doctrine of tolerance and questioning of things and for some basic tenets.. such as " drink, tomorrow you may be dead" and "the moving finger writes and having writ..." etc.
Asimov's "Intelligent mans guide to science" and his " Search for the Elements" both which made Science enjoyable and an adventure when it could easily have become just work.
"The Tain" translated by Thomas Kinsella for showing me the power of words is sometimes in how they feel and the rhythm in them and less in what the literally mean.
"The White Goddess" by Robert Graves for the reconnection with some things which are Celtic and Spiritual


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Matt_R
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 12:01 PM

"Lord of The Rings" - J.R.R. Tolkien
"The Silmarillion" - J.R.R. Tolkien
"The Iliad" - Homer


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 12:09 PM

'Birdsong' by Sebastian Foulkes. It helped me understand how bloody awful the WW1 was.

Sal


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: John Hardly
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 12:13 PM

Influencial? For me it was reading Eric Sloane's "A Reverence For Wood" as a 16 year old. It probably cememted my life as a craftsman.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Teribus
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 12:30 PM

Thor Heyerdahls "Aku Aku", at the age of ten was instrumental in my preference for non-fiction - stayed with me to this day.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Alba
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 12:45 PM

The Teachings of Don Juan by Carlos Castaneda when I was 15 blew me away as did Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Ron Di Santos....ah those where the days:>)
Later though and to this Day a Book already mentioned, The White Goddess by Robert Graves made a big impact in my Life.
A


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Bill D
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 12:57 PM

" Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance"....I think that was Robert Pirsig?


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Alba
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 01:10 PM

Your right Bill! Thank you. It was a while ago for me:>)
A


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: zanderfish3 (inactive)
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 01:28 PM

The Karma Sutra and The Perfumed Garden, no really ' A Man May Fish '
by TC Kingsmill-Moore


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Morticia
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 03:44 PM

Another one putting her hand up to Heinlein here, especially Stranger in a Strange Land and Time Enough for Love, also Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore and the Diary of Anne Frank.All altered the way I thought about things when I was young. Later, and perhaps not so mind-altering but the comfort and joy of my life I would pick out Austen and Dickens,and various poets.Music and books......what a wonderful world that contains both them and chocolate *G*....


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: kendall
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 04:00 PM

I'm with Micca, the old tent maker was a treasure of wisdom.
When I was a boy, I got interested in reading with the Hardy Boys, and even Nancy Drew.
I'm now into Ishmael and Beyond Civilization by Daniel Quinn.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Peter T.
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 04:27 PM

Lots of interesting books I never heard of! Got to get a list off here and head to the library.

The greatest truly trashy books I ever read (we have had comic book threads here) were the John Carter of Mars series by Edgar Rice Burroughs, speaking of science fiction. Why no one has ever done them on film I do not know.

Concerning Huck Finn, I hope I never implied anywhere that it was overrated -- still the reverse, I think. Truly wonderful book. I was more influenced personally by Tom Sawyer (I lived in Missouri, and the cavern scenes were always in my mind). I got to Huck late, I guess (Tom Stoppard says somewhere that he read Madame Bovary at 29, which was too late for him -- he never quite says why).

Two other great books that influenced me both had similar names. The Great Gatsby and Le Grand Meaulnes. Gatsby was (is) the perfect book. Le Grand Meaulnes is the most beautiful book about fantasy, the French landscape around the Loire, boys growing up, you name it. Like being in French paintings from Watteau and Corot. If you want a book to paint beautiful pictures in your head, Le Grand Meaulnes is it. Gatsby too, I guess -- who else talks about summer lawns, pools with autumn leaves floating in them, rich houses seen by night, as well?

yours,
Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: fat B****rd
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 04:38 PM

Treasure Island.The Hound of the Baskervilles. On The Road. Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me. The Spenser Books etcetcetc.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 04:49 PM

Early on: Wonder Tales of the World. It was my dad's when he was young. Between us we almost wore it out. I was just reading one of them to Rog the other night. As it has meaningful stories specific to America, Arabia, Bulgaria, Japan, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, England, Korea, Norway, Scotland, New Zealand, Serbia, Persia, and Wales, I believe it had a great deal of influence on my love for diversity and tolerance, as well as seeing the lessons in life's experiences.

Of course, with my dad around, Kipling esp. the Jungle Books. I just knew we could talk to the animals and Kipling proved it!:-)

Also, White Witch by Elizabeth Goudge; The Afternoon Women (this was later, after I'd been married and had my son); Dracula; ghost stories of M.R. James; The Folk Tales book from the early Childcraft Books (anyone read "The Fox and his travels?") each one of these tales taught something, mostly about patience and perseverance, as well as kindness, honesty, etc.; the poems of Service, Badger Clark, and Riley.

Everything Spaw said about To Kill A Mockingbird. The Yearling also had a profound effect on me.

Do you just want early years, Peter...or later on, too?:-)


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 04:52 PM

Aarrgghh! How could I forget The Hound of the Baskervilles and other of Doyle's, Treasure Island, The Count of Monte Cristo, and Tale of Two Cities?!! Thanks FB!


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Sam L
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 04:52 PM

Huck Finn was the first big book I read, in fourth grade, and it messed me up. I read the other books and some lesser known stories like Tom Sawyer Detective, but Huck Finn was the thing. I'd second the observation about Huck's moral self-doubt, but the idea of a young person making real and serious choices, all that independence, freaked me out. Ibsen's Doll's House struck me in a similar but less out-freaking way, later, since I read it not as a feminist thing only, but a human thing, generally.

   Frankenstein was a big book of ideas for me. I liked Harriet the Spy. When I was a little guy a how-to book about American Indian technologies was one of my most treasured things, which I buried, and never saw again. I think it was all stolen, my arrowheads, some pictures, some toys.

   I think Nabokov's books may have saved my artistic life, beginning with Transparent Things, then all the others. I pretty much gave up on my art, but then this writer, so ill-suited to ever be worthwhile, so stagey, riddled with interest in artistic devices, florid, clever, dandyish, so completely corrupted by artfulness and everything that ordinarily sucks--he finds a way to make good of it. That was huge for me, although my own obstacles are not of the same order.

I also remember being struck by--I think it was page 36 of The Godfather, when I shouldn't have been reading it. And a part of Jaws, before the movie came out. The part the movie left out.

I've never been able to read Ayn Rand, or Robert Heinlein--I did read a couple of each, but couldn't get it.
   
   I remember thinking Rand avoided describing things that she wanted me to think were very significant--like that guy's architecture--then there was an insert in the book so I could order a newsletter and she'd explain the world to me, then I think I fell asleep.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Kim C
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 05:14 PM

Peter, I didn't like The Great Gatsby. I guess it would be more appropriate to say I just didn't like Gatsby. But this was 20 years ago... I bet if I read it again, I would probably think differently. Perhaps I owe it to myself to find out.

I read The Yearling many years ago... I think it was one of the first books that ever made me cry.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Bardford
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 05:38 PM

Good thread, Peter T.!

One of the books that influenced me early on was Dr. Suess' "Horton Hears a Who". Got me considering "the other", before the term existed.

Mark Twain's "Letters From the Earth" is one of my "desert island" picks. I first read it while in my early teens. That turned me on to Twain's writing more than Huck or Tom did. (I remember reading those books in an interesting format - kind of reversible books- Tom Sawyer on one side & turn the book over and the back cover is the front cover to Huck Finn. Good Companion Library, or something like that?)

Let Us Now Praise Famous Men - James Agee, with photographs by Walker Evans hit me pretty hard as well.

"Mickey Mouse Goes to the Moon" holds a special place in my memory, as I won it as a prize for spelling in kindergarten. Pretty much peaked academically, there.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Peter T.
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 05:41 PM

(Actually, I am interested in any part of the topic, but particularly a book or characters or whatever that shaped your life, and when). I certainly remember reading A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and thinking -- this is it. This is what it is all about. (Haven't really changed my opinion).
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Amergin
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 05:52 PM

bound for glory....it helped introduce the wide world of folk....and how people when they band together can accomplish miracles....grapes of wrath was the same....

marx for beginners by rius...it helps break the marxist doctrine and permits EVERYONE to understand what he was writing about...in ways Karl Marx himself never did...

also there are the various books of poetry and stories i grew up reading....Service...Poe...Twain...Shelley...Coleridge...and the mythologies...of greece, rome, britain and the americas...they all helped open the wide world of poetry and storytelling...which led me to write my own poetry and stories....


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Deckman
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 06:24 PM

John Hardly .... Yes John "Eric Sloan", for sure. I also am a lifetime woodworker. Did you know that he wrote four books, and I have them all! (wait a minute ... maybe it's only three?). CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 06:52 PM

I read "The Virginian" 3 times, over my lifetime, starting when I was a young teen. I loved it each time, but got such different understandings as I matured. The love story was very poignant at one point. Later I loved the art of exagerating stories and pulling in a sucker. The interplay of the guys and their power struggles was hard for me to relate to. I guess the descriptions of the Western landscape kept me wallowing in the essence of the book.

I read "Gone With the Wind" when I was about 12 and sobbed when Scarlet returned home and found her mother dead.

I read Michener's "The Source" when I had small children, and the descriptions of child sacrifices really upset me.

I've given a lot of thought/remembering to "Zen and the Art of Motorcyle Maintenance." Not only was that a thought-provoking book, it was (for me) a delight to read the descriptive passages.

Speaking of descriptive passages, I love the cadences of "Beach Music" and "Prince of Tides." (very Southern)


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Art Thieme
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 06:54 PM

I didn't like all the story lines of his books, but very real favorites of mine have ALWAYS BEEN the hundreds of poetic passages I have marked in all of THOMAS WOLF's voluminous novels. His books told the same rather autobiographical story over and over (and over and over) with different names given to the main characters. But absolutely nothing surpassed his flights and flocks of word birds when they took off and headed for the stratosphere. You can hear his great influence in the best of Jack Kerouac's writing as well as in some of Ray Bradbury's works. Bob Dylan too---as in "Tambourine Man".

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 06:56 PM

More books are flooding my memory now. Can't forget Grapes of Wrath.   It turned me on to the rest of Steinbeck.

I remember being disapointed with Kerouac's On the Road but I loved Dharma Bums. I started reading a lot of the other beat writers.   Charles Bukowski made a huge impact on me as well.

Ron


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 07:28 PM

Early on I was tremendously influenced by various comics, particularly the "Duck" comics by Carl Barks, which were quite brilliant in a number of ways. They honed an appetite in me for themes involving high adventure, humour, social satire, and exotic locales.

I also liked "Pogo" very much, for somewhat similar reasons, and because there was an alligator character in that strip. I was nuts about alligators as a kid.

That led directly to a period of voraciously reading adventure series such as: the Tarzan books (all fifty or so of them), the John Carter of Mars series (Dejah Thoris!), the Fu Manchu series (Karamaneh!), and stuff like that. This influenced the forming of my hopeless romanticisim about the female gender which led me into years of heartbreak as an adolescent and an adult, forever searching in vain for my very own Dejah Thoris/Karamaneh. Edgar Rice Burroughs and Sax Rohmer messed up my life bigtime!!! :-)

Soon those books began to seem a bit silly, so I moved on to C.S. Forester, writer of the marvelous Hornblower stories and other such adventures...Conan Doyle, writer of the Sherlock Holmes tales and others (The Lost World was a beauty)...H. Rider Haggard (King Solomon's Mines, etc.)...and H.J. Wells (I read everything he ever wrote, I think).

Then I finally got around to J.R.R. Tolkien, and loved that too. I was in my early twenties at the time.

Later in life I tended more and more toward spiritual books rather than adventure fiction. If I were to list them all here, I'd be typing till 2 AM.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: CarolC
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 07:33 PM

I think probably every single book I've ever read has influenced my life profoundly. I think I would be hard-pressed to select out some over the others.

I picked Harold because I think that one made room in my world for all the rest of them.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 08:18 PM

Peter,

I left out Douglas Adams, because although I treasure everything he wrote, I came on him late in life and he wasn't formative. But I can't be pardoned for leaving out Portrait of the Artist, which hung around my brain for a decade. And, I guess, honestly, Ulysses (Joyce's) haunted me and made me walk in awe of intellect, which I suppos emay not have been such a good influence, but also was inspiring in more heartfelt ways. (Yes, I will,,,yes,,,yes...).

The thing that really leaves me awestreuck is the number of wonderful books I have never gotten to read yet!


A


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: kendall
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 08:45 PM

Not enough room to name all of them


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 09:17 PM

Yeah, Thomas Wolfe. James Lee Burke made me think of him a few years ago...Burke is florid storyteller of detective tales. The Robicheaux novels...wordy stuff about Louisiana and police procedural and swamps. 'In the Electric Mist with the Confederate Dead' was the one I liked best.

Philip K. Dick for sci-fi. Heinrich Boll for German fiction. Joseph Conrad and Jerzy Kosinski...Poles who learned and wrote in English. Both excelled.

But the Bible probably influenced me the most because everyone around me follows it to one degree or another and reads it daily.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: John Hardly
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 09:23 PM

Deckman,
Glad to see another Sloane reader! I remember a book on Tools, a book called "Our Vanishing Landscape", a book of Barns (and a coffee table book of the same name with colorplates of his paintings), and a book "The Diary...." about a boy in colonial America. I stll have 'em all if I went up in th attic to dig 'em out.

I got the first when I was 17 and just out of high school. I read the rest in rapid succession and then lived with them for a while -- inclucing painting reproductions of several of his paintings.

I really liked tha books -- they were visually appealing with his wonderful inllustrations and that terrific font/calligraphy throughout.

He instilled in me the value of process and material -- that how something was done mattered. He gave me an appreciation for how things had been done and I then began to care more about how I approached my own craftsmanship.

Wonderful books!


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: John Hardly
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 09:25 PM

sorry for the typos.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 09:34 PM

The most obvious book is the Bible, above all others. The Little Prince has stayed with me since the first time that I read it, and I still find myself remembering key sentences.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 09:46 PM

Thanks, Jerry!! I had forgotten all about Saint-Exupery. Not so much Little Prince, although i enjoyed it, but his Vol de Buit gave me shivers and made me want to join the Explorers' Club!

I also have to say that Richard Bach is a writer I always found room for. And while I am making bald-faced confessions, I also love Clive Cussler!

A


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: SINSULL
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 10:32 PM

The very earliest?
Grimm's Fairy Tales and Bullfinch's Mythology

The fairytale I studied over and over again was about two sisters Rose Red and Snow White. Not the two who befriend a bear but two who ahave magic powers and are chased by a witch with seven league boots (she lived under my bed and I still sometimes dread to put my feet on the floor at night). The problem I always had with it was if the sisters had enough magic power to turn themselves into roses, how could they have not had enough sense to choose the same color. Thewitch sees one white rose on a bush of red roses and plucks it knowing she has caught at least one of them.

Greek mythology (I snuck the unopened book from a friend's house) was a secret place all my own. No one else was interested. I had Jason and Medea, Hercules, centaurs, minotaurs, Medusa, Pegasus, etc. all to myself. And gradually I started to see relationships between my own religion and mythology. By the age of ten I had decided to learn Latin and Greek and study Classical literature.
I also found that same theme of forgetfulness, foolishness, whatever, bringing down hero after hero. Theseus "forgets" Ariadne and leaves her deserted on an island. Oedipus, who has been told that he will kill his father and marry his mother, "forgets" and marries a woman old enough to be his mother after accidentally killing her husband. DOH! Pandora, warned not to open the box, does anyway. And why is "HOPE" the only thing left in a box of evils? Is HOPE the ultimate evil. Fatal flaws, hubris, family relationships, mores,...

I was always told "You think too much". But I never regretted getting sucked into that particular line of thought.

Later? Ayn Rand. Robertson Davies. Clive Cussler. Jane Austin. Trollope. Faulkner. Sir Richard Burton. The Bronte Sisters. And any piece of horror trash I can get my hands on though Steven King bores me to tears except for The Shining - book not movie.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: DonMeixner
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 11:30 PM

Robert Heinlein's books, every one of them but Stranger in a Strange Land amazed and thrilled me. Kept me reading as a child. From there I went on to Mars (Barsoom) and Zitadars and Thoats. I came to appreciate the importance of having a friend with four arms in a sword fight.   Ayn Rand's Anthem was the first book I read where the importance of the indiviual was primary. Then I read The Fountainhead.
Skiffs and Schooners by Pete Culler and Sensible Cruising Designs by L. Francis Herreschoff are never far from the reading lamp. Neither are Horatio Hornblower or Louis LaMour. And now and then I'll crack open the Bible.

But for all round ripping fun and carry - me - back reading I'll go to the stack of Long Boxes in the closet and get a run of Jack Kirby comics and waste a rainy afternoon.

Don


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 11:37 PM

I'm sorry -- I have to add Joshua Slocum to my list. He only wrote onebook but it was a dilly. I've read it three times and never put it down without regret that I don't have it to read anew.

A


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: DonMeixner
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 11:47 PM

AH, "Sailing Alone Around The World." Amos, you might try "The Voyage of the Snark" by Jack London and then "Down the Alimentary Canal With Gun and Camera," by Robert Benchley, art by Gulyas Williams.

Don


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Metchosin
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 12:31 AM

When I was 10 or 11, animal stories by Sir Charles GD Roberts or stuff like Beautiful Joe, as a teenager, The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir, Silent Spring by Rachael Carsons and To Kill a Mockingbird.

Read a whole slew of great science fiction during that time too, such as More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon and other classics. I thought it was more of an escape than an influence, but on second thought, it probably had a more profound affect than I realize.

Since then, I have read so many others, some better described as great literature by comparison, but the stuff I read during my childhood and youth had the most impact.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 12:50 AM

The Joy Luck Club is a book I can highly recommend. I am also impressed by a number of the great writers of westerns, such as L'Amour, Zane Grey, and the guy who wrote Hombre and many others.

Another great book is Watership Down.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 01:54 AM

I forgot about Grimms Fairytales! Still have the same book.

Later on: Letters of a Woman Homesteader by ELinore Pruitt Stewart which gave me the strength to believe my stories of the prairie might be of interest, too; Waiting for the Galactic Bus & Snakeoil Remedy, both by Godwin some of the best sci-fi I've read, MUCH better imo than Douglas Adams:-); He, She, It by Marge Piercy; The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood; Thendara House - MZ Bradley, those last three had a great influence on my finding a stronger voice for myself and women in general.

While I don't read the Bible, I do love the Metaphysical Bible Dictionary by Charles Fillmore. I find it fascinating to read of the actual Aramaic and symbolic meanings of the names, etc. of the Bible.

The Dictionary, forever and always, ever since I can remember, big time influence!


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: fat B****rd
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 02:27 AM

It's a pleasure, Katlaughing. OK it's 'fess up time.....after reading all the books then available I wanted to be a certain spy/ special agent now played by Mr. Brosnan.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Metchosin
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 03:26 AM

Spaw, great to see that To Kill a Mockingbird did it for you too. When I was in Grade 10, I presented an oral book report on it.

Oral book reports were the thing I feared most in my young life. Partly because I usually bullshitted my way through most of them, as I rarely read what was on the prescribed school list and dreaded being discovered for the charlatan I was. Also, because I was excruciatingly self consciousness and shy.

Too Kill a Mockingbird was not required reading, in fact it was probably deemed not suitable for our age group, by the very conservative school I attended.

I finished the rogue report, expecting the worst. As I stood at the front of the class, the teacher commented, "Susan, you didn't read that book!" I thought to myself, "Oh Geeeeez, but I really did read this one!" "You didn't read it," he intoned, "You lived it."

I hadn't realized it, but my report had gone right through the bell that had ended the English period and not one student in the class had risen to leave.

I got my first A for a book report.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Metchosin
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 03:33 AM

and probably my only one.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: kendall
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 05:28 AM

Tale of Two Cities (Dickens(
Horatio Hornblower (C.S. Forrester)
Time and the riddle (Howard Fast)


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Peter T.
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 08:57 AM

There are also certain books associated with crucial moments: I remember doing a cycling tour of England and Ireland my first summer of university, and one day in Brighton I think I decided to stock up on books for the rest of the ride. I got a whole pile of must read Penguin modern classics, in the days when they had those beautiful greygreen paperbacks (why they mucked around with those perfect designs I still do not know, the older classics series in black was flawless, and then they started adding crap on the spine and then threw the designs to the wind, sorry, where was I?). Anyway, the books got into my pack and were poured rain on, and smunched up, but the whole rest of the trip was really woven through with these books I had never read, and are now associated with different landscapes -- Portrait of a Lady, Tender is the Night (the first half is even more perfect than Gatsby, if such a thing is possible), Passage to India, To the Lighthouse, Sound and the Fury, Those Barren Leaves. Time to read them again, I think!

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: zanderfish3 (inactive)
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 10:14 AM

SINSULL you should try Stephen King's ' The Green Mile ', very moving
Cheers, Dave


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Amos
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 10:18 AM

To the Lighthouse and Passage to India!! I had buried them in my ignored memories pile, Peter. Thanks for the reminder!

A


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 11:03 AM

Fat Bastard, me too, only it wasn't from reading them as much as seeing the movies when I was fairly young. Anything which had clandestine activities in it, esp. the old WWII movies and 007 made me want to be a spy even more. I used to play at it all of the time! Of course I was the only woman, surrounded by men; I even had one scenario as a resistance fighter living in a cave in Greece, though I was Scottish?! Ah, imagination is a wonderful thing, isn't it?

Way to go, Mets!

Also, forgot to mention Round the Bend by Nevil Shute. His best, imo.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Allan C.
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 01:43 PM

Nobody who knows me well could avoid learning of my love for Mark Twain's writings. While nearly everyone recognizes his humor and some make note of his cynicism; few credit him with the marvelous descriptive powers that are so often evident in his writings. Someday I hope to be able to produce lines such as those he used in the chapter about the "pirate" adventure on the island in "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer":


About midnight Joe awoke, and called the boys. There was a brooding oppressiveness in the air that seemed to bode something. The boys huddled them- selves together and sought the friendly companionship of the fire, though the dull dead heat of the breathless atmosphere was stifling. They sat still, intent and waiting. The solemn hush continued. Beyond the light of the fire everything was swallowed up in the blackness of darkness. Presently there came a quiver- ing glow that vaguely revealed the foliage for a moment and then vanished. By and by another came, a little stronger. Then another. Then a faint moan came sighing through the branches of the forest and the boys felt a fleeting breath upon their cheeks, and shuddered with the fancy that the Spirit of the Night had gone by. There was a pause. Now a weird flash turned night into day and showed every little grass-blade, separate and distinct, that grew about their feet. And it showed three white, startled faces, too. A deep peal of thunder went rolling and tumbling down the heavens and lost itself in sullen rumblings in the distance. A sweep of chilly air passed by, rustling all the leaves and snow- ing the flaky ashes broadcast about the fire. Another fierce glare lit up the forest and an instant crash followed that seemed to rend the tree-tops right over the boys` heads. They clung together in terror, in the thick gloom that followed. A few big rain-drops fell patter- ing upon the leaves.

"Quick! boys, go for the tent!" exclaimed Tom.

They sprang away, stumbling over roots and among vines in the dark, no two plunging in the same direction. A furious blast roared through the trees, making every- thing sing as it went. One blinding flash after another came, and peal on peal of deafening thunder. And now a drenching rain poured down and the rising hurricane drove it in sheets along the ground. The boys cried out to each other, but the roaring wind and the boom- ing thunder-blasts drowned their voices utterly. However, one by one they straggled in at last and took shelter under the tent, cold, scared, and streaming with water; but to have company in misery seemed something to be grateful for. They could not talk, the old sail flapped so furiously, even if the other noises would have allowed them. The tempest rose higher and higher, and presently the sail tore loose from its fastenings and went winging away on the blast. The boys seized each others` hands and fled, with many tumblings and bruises, to the shelter of a great oak that stood upon the river-bank. Now the battle was at its highest. Under the ceaseless conflagration of lightning that flamed in the skies, everything below stood out in clean-cut and shadowless distinctness: the bending trees, the billowy river, white with foam, the driving spray of spume-flakes, the dim outlines of the high bluffs on the other side, glimpsed through the drifting cloud-rack and the slanting veil of rain. Every little while some giant tree yielded the fight and fell crashing through the younger growth; and the unflagging thunder- peals came now in ear-splitting explosive bursts, keen and sharp, and unspeakably appalling. The storm culminated in one matchless effort that seemed likely to tear the island to pieces, burn it up, drown it to the tree-tops, blow it away, and deafen every creature in it, all at one and the same moment. It was a wild night for homeless young heads to be out in.


Or, expressing my own admiration for his humor, I would also love to be able to capture moments such as those observations he made of his early days as a cub pilot of a riverboat and his increasing admiration of Mr. Bixby, the master pilot in "Life On the Mississippi":

It was a rather dingy night, although a fair number of stars were out. The big mate was at the wheel, and he had the old tub pointed at a star and was holding her straight up the middle of the river. The shores on either hand were not much more than half a mile apart, but they seemed wonderfully far away and ever so vague and indistinct. The mate said:-
`We`ve got to land at Jones`s plantation, sir.`
The vengeful spirit in me exulted. I said to myself, I wish you joy of your job, Mr. Bixby; you`ll have a good time finding Mr. Jones`s plantation such a night as this; and I hope you never WILL find it as long as you live.

Mr. Bixby said to the mate:-
`Upper end of the plantation, or the lower.?`

`Upper.`

`I can`t do it. The stumps there are out of water at this stage: It`s no great distance to the lower, and you`ll have to get along with that.`

`All right, sir. If Jones don`t like it he`ll have to lump it, I reckon.`

And then the mate left. My exultation began to cool and my wonder to come up. Here was a man who not only proposed to find this plantation on such a night, but to find either end of it you preferred. I dreadfully wanted to ask a question, but I was carrying about as many short answers as my cargo-room would admit of, so I held my peace. All I desired to ask Mr. Bixby was the simple question whether he was ass enough to really imagine he was going to find that plantation on a night when all plantations were exactly alike and all the same color. But I held in. I used to have fine inspirations of prudence in those days.



I'd also like to emulate the well-mixed cynicism and humor of "Captain Stormfield's Visit To Heaven". In this scene he has just been admitted into heaven:

When I found myself perched on a cloud, with a million other people, I never felt so good in my life. Says I, "Now this is according to the promises; I`ve been having my doubts, but now I am in heaven, sure enough." I gave my palm branch a wave or two, for luck, and then I tautened up my harp-strings and struck in. Well, Peters, you can`t imagine anything like the row we made. It was grand to listen to, and made a body thrill all over, but there was considerable many tunes going on at once, and that was a drawback to the harmony, you understand; and then there was a lot of Injun tribes, and they kept up such another war-whooping that they kind of took the tuck out of the music. By and by I quit performing, and judged I`d take a rest. There was quite a nice mild old gentleman sitting next me, and I noticed he didn`t take a hand; I encouraged him, but he said he was naturally bashful, and was afraid to try before so many people. By and by the old gentleman said he never could seem to enjoy music somehow. The fact was, I was beginning to feel the same way; but I didn`t say anything. Him and I had a considerable long silence, then, but of course it warn`t noticeable in that place. After about sixteen or seventeen hours, during which I played and sung a little, now and then - always the same tune, because I didn`t know any other - I laid down my harp and begun to fan myself with my palm branch. Then we both got to sighing pretty regular. Finally, says he
"Don`t you know any tune but the one you`ve been pegging at all day?"
"Not another blessed one," says I.

"Don`t you reckon you could learn another one?" says he.

"Never," says I; "I`ve tried to, but I couldn`t manage it."

"It`s a long time to hang to the one - eternity, you know."

"Don`t break my heart," says I; "I`m getting low-spirited enough already."

After another long silence, says he
"Are you glad to be here?"

Says I, "Old man, I`ll be frank with you. This AIN`T just as near my idea of bliss as I thought it was going to be, when I used to go to church."


Certainly there are other authors whom I admire; but none so much as Mark Twain. I hope you'll forgive my lengthy pastings here. There was no way to link to these excerpts directly and I know there are some among you who haven't explored this man's wonderfully diverse writings.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Art Thieme
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 04:33 PM

Thomas WolfE has an "e" on the end of his name. Of course, I knew that.

Art ;-)


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: chip a
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 04:43 PM

Allan C

You made my day. Just wonderful. Thanks.

Chip


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: GUEST,heric
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 04:52 PM

Amos, do I have a present for you:

"Sailing Alone Around the World was Slocum's third book, the first being The Voyage of the Destroyer about the delivery of a warship to the Latin American country that had bought it, and the second The Voyage of the Liberdade which tells the story of how, with his wife and family, he was shipwrecked on the coast of Brazil, and then set about building a boat that carried them back to the U.S.A. "

http://www.arthur-ransome.org/ar/literary/sloc2_0.htm


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: GUEST,shonagh
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 05:14 PM

Last year I read Hamlet in High School, that was good!

Ive just finished reading the "Rhanna" Series and the "Kings Croft" Series by Christine Marion Fraser. Rhanna is a wee island(made up!!) and all about the folk that live there, their problems and how they overcome them. Kings Croft is the same, but about a family. Made me cry, made me laugh, made me wish I was so diffenent but also made me thank god I am the way I am! Fantastic books!

Also, I read Sophies World a few years back. Amazing!!


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Beccy
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 05:42 PM

The Bible
Sense and Sensibility (Jane Austen)
Little Women (Louisa May Alcott) as a child...
The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint Exupery)
A Wrinkle In Time (Madeleine L'Engle) again as a child...
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C.S. Lewis) again as a child...
Mere Christianity (C.S. Lewis)
On Joy (C.S. Lewis)
The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings trilogy (J.R.R. Tolkein)
The Screwtape Letters (C.S. Lewis)
Pilgrim's Progress (John Bunyan)

That's my short list... but I have to say that everything I read has influenced me in one way or another. It's just that these are the ones that stand out in my mind as having meant a lot to me or clarified my thinking or informed me about universal truths.

Beccy


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: alanabit
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 05:47 PM

Ah Allan C! Another Mark Twain fan. I am a huge fan of Huck Finn, as must be obvious from my earlier posting. I also think the A Connecticut Yankee At The Court of King Arthur and the stunning The Mysterious Stranger are also masterpieces - albeit a lot darker.
    It was good to be reminded of John Steinbeck's brilliance by Ron Olesko. Along With Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men and The Pearl, I read the lesser known The Winter of Our Discontent. It is set in the fifties or early sixties and is an equally haunting story set in small town America.
    I am enjoying this thread. It's reminding me of lots of good stuff.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Beccy
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 05:49 PM

I forgot to say that just about anything by Pearl S. Buck is up there...
Beccy


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Amos
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 05:58 PM

Heric:

Oh, Joy!! I mever imagined!! What a treat!

Thanks very very much!


A


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 06:08 PM

Why I am not a Christian, Bertrand Russell.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Gareth
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 07:00 PM

Hmmm ! Books and why ?

Well, and they are obscure but politically -

"In Place of Fear" - Nye Bevan

"A Candle in the Darkness" - Jenny Lee. I very much, very much, regret lending my autographed copy of this out - It was never returned.

Both political tomes - but dealt with practicalities

And C S Foresters Novel - "The General" predated the "Hornblower series - but as an analysis of a the thinking and sense of duty of an Army Officer, well it's without measure - get it fron your libuary and read, then re read.

And then there's the early (on publication date) C s Forster Hornblower series, "A Happy Return", " Ship of the Line" & "Flying Colours" - I can and do read them and read them again. I must confess that when I have a problem, if the answer is not clear I sit down and ask myself, 'What would Hornblower have done ?'

I would also bring to your collective attention some other Forester Novels

"Brown on Resolution" a study of duty and obligation, as is "Death to the French, aka The Adventures of Rifleman Dodd"

Foresters Novel "The Good Shepard" - a narrative of a USN Officer, stressed to the limit by his own limitations.

And "The Ship" - an examination of the mental processes of individual crew members of an RN light Cruiser, escorting a Convoy into Malta.
Possibly, just possibly, based on the history of HMS "Penlople".

Enjoy your reading !!!!!

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: jacqui c
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 07:16 PM

So many books - so little time! I'm reading Lord of the Rings at the moment - tried it a few years back and couldn't get into it but now.....

I think I've read everything Stephen King has written, my favourite being The Stand, classic good and evil. Science fiction in general, i've read the whole Dune series and will be starting on the prequels written by his son soon. Some Dickens - picked up Our Mutual Friend and couldn't put it down but never managed to finish Tale of Two Cities or Bleak House. I also like Jilly Cooper's books as light relief. A friend has recommended Pullman's Dark Materials trilogy - has anyone read it?

While we're on this one, has anybody out there got past the first chapter of Hawking's Brief History of Time????


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Amos
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 09:16 PM

I got through it, Jacqui, but I gave my copy away and have clean forgotten everything I learned from it. I guess I wasn't studying it for use, eh?

A


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Padre
Date: 28 Jun 03 - 12:02 AM

"The Confessions" of St. Augustine, because it showed me that no one is beyond the reach of God's grace.

   "Seek for yourself, O man; search for your true self. He who seeks shall find himself in God."


Padre


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: chip a
Date: 28 Jun 03 - 12:05 PM

Yes, The Winter of Our Discontent.Travels With Charlie. Cannery Row. EAst of Eden. Everything Steinbeck wrote.
Chip


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Desdemona
Date: 28 Jun 03 - 12:09 PM

Definitely "Alice in Wonderland", I've read it every few years or so since I was 9!

Most of Shakespeare, plays and sonnets; "Wuthering Heights"; "Huckleberry Finn"; "Tom Sawyer"; "Pride and Prejudice"....well, Jane Austen full stop, really; "Lonesome Dove" (a truly brilliant novel); "The Waning of the Middle Ages"; "The Grapes of Wrath"; most of EM Forster ("Maurice" being a notable exception); "The Lord of the Rings"; "The Chronicles of Narnia"; "Good Omens"; seemingly millions of med/Ren history texts.....one could go on forever....


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Amos
Date: 28 Jun 03 - 12:11 PM

East of Eden, which I rediscovered last year, is breathtakingly beautiful. I concur about Steinbeck.

This is off the original topic, buit in terms of sheer prose mastery I think Steinbeck is among the giants. Another one I rediscovered recently is John Cheever. His stories are written with a magic wand.

A


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Carly
Date: 28 Jun 03 - 01:09 PM

I've resisted getting into this, because I am sure my list could include thousands of titles, but I can't keep quiet, so here goes...

My earliest childhood (I began to read at 3) was spent with Pooh and Christopher Robin, and all the Oz books I could find. Dr. Dolittle taught me to pay attention to animals; they have things to say to us.

Louisa May Alcott's Eight Cousins and the sequel, Rose in Bloom, seemed to speak to me, more so than her more famous books. Likewise, what stuck with me in Kipling was Captains Courageous and a short story ,Baa Baa Black Sheep ,that had me sobbing all over the pages.

When I was 10, Arthur C. Clarke blew me away with Childhood's End, and sometime shortly thereafter Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress started me thinkng about the nature of the soul.

To Kill a Mockingbird has already been discussed here--I agree with everyone, it is one I reread periodically.

Did I mention our son's name is Samuel Clamons? (No, his middle name is not Langhorne.)

Dorothy Sayers proved to me that murder mysteries could be engaging, thoughtful and beautifully written; Gaudy Night is a gem of a book in any genre.

Mary Renault, in the King Must Die and The Bull from the Sea, gave me new ways of looking at beloved myths, and Michener's The Source opened for me the world of archaeology.

Escaping now and again into Jane Austin's world helps give me perspective on this one, and I love her prose and her humour.For pure escape into a complex time and place I've never found better than MM Kayes The Far Pavillion-- Kim with a love story!

There are so many more.....


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: GUEST,Susst
Date: 28 Jun 03 - 01:37 PM

Gayle Sheehy the first one all about the troublesome twenties
etc. Damm now I'm a "Path Finder"- must read that one or is it
trail blazer.

The chemistry of love by? - all about avoiding men want to be
your papa etc.
Damm I met them!

Oh yes and of course the Odyssey


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: alanabit
Date: 28 Jun 03 - 03:05 PM

Thanks for reminding me of CS Forester's The Ship, Gareth. I have read it twice. It is probably something to do with the fact that my father and maternal grandfather were in the Royal Navy and I went to the Royal Hospital School for four years. There is something about being taken so thoroughly inside the minds of sailors on WW2 ships which I found irresistable. Two other books which did that for me were Monserrat's "The Cruel Sea" and Alistair MacLean's "HMS Ulysees".
The latter choice may raise some eyebrows here, but I rate it as a book. MacLean had served on the Russian convoys and he knew what he was talking about.
I am surprised that no one has mentioned anything by Somerset Maugham or Oscar Wilde. In particular, Oscar Wilde's childrens' stories are memorable. I was barely able to read "The Selfish Giant" to my daughter without choking on it. There, what a great softie I am really!


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Sam L
Date: 28 Jun 03 - 07:02 PM

Nice--I keep hoping to hear more of how these books affected people, like that.

BigPinkLad, my little sister did a book report on Russell's WIANAC in 5th grade and carries a grudge to this day about being scolded for it in front of the class.

People don't like Russians much, it seems. My wife and I had a fun time reading War and Peace together. It's so engrossing it's nice to read in parallel with somebody. It influenced us together I think.

   I liked reading the Little House books to my daughter, had never read them, and they're pretty good. I think they suit that family cocooning mode when your kids are small, when you have a renewed appreciation for life's basic necessities.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Amos
Date: 29 Jun 03 - 02:43 AM

War and Peace was a major peace of my puzzle. The Red and the Black was also. So was Madame Bovary. I can't say they were electric the way that Ayn Rand was but I felt grounded by them, as though they helped me understand what living life meant...

A


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: MAG
Date: 29 Jun 03 - 03:05 AM

Thanks for reminding me about Joyce, guys. I know it's a "guy" book but the language is just magical. I needed to read it about three times in the course of my English major, and kept on reading it about once a year for a long time, until my life got too complicated. Stream of consciousness seems to mesh with the random abstract nature of my own thought processes. It was liberating to see that people wrote that way. What was that futuristic Russell Hoban novel written in stream of consciousness and an evolved English language?

I'm afraid I hated *Gone with the Wind* when I read it at 16 yrs. I had already been recruited into the civil rights mvmt by the radical thrology students from Princeton (thanks, guys) and the racism turned me off. I never have seen the movie, except for excerpts in movie docs.

On the advice of my best friend in high school I tried Ayn Rand. nope. I was already too far gone. And what is wrong, I still say, with testing out a new invention and assessing its impact on everything before blundering ahead??

I still dive into too much (quality) escapism. I love Bujold's Miles Vorkosigan sagas, and heaved a sigh of relief when he finally fell in love with someone who reciprocated. C.J. Cherryh is another I like, though I liked her earlier things with language better than the piled-up angst stuff she writes now.

To space out and take my mind to a place it needs to go I read Rumi.

But, like I said, I'm a reading addict. This is why I don't practice more and why my house is such a pit.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 29 Jun 03 - 03:59 AM

I learned a whole heck of a lot of trivia and quite a few life attitudes from John D. MacDonald's books--not just the Travis McGee novels, but his other stories as well. His characters were/are real.

There is a sentence in Michener's Drifters that impressed me a great deal, and still reminds me not to judge people by their surface persona. After a couple of hundred pages of consistently portraying the narrator as a serious Establishment wimp, Michener has him say, in a casual throw-away comment, something about "the last time I ran with the bulls [in Pamplona, Spain]". One sentence, yet it changed the way I thought about that character and his comments for the rest of the book. It's my understanding that the narrator (whose name escapes me, sorry) was patterned on Michener himself. I read that novel when I was about the same age as his characters, and Lord, I wanted to go buy a yellow pop-top Volkswagen bus and go to Europe! (I'm still thinking maybe one of these days...)

All Mary O'Hara's horse books: Thunderhead, My Friend Flicka, Green Grass of Wyoming, Walter Farley's Black Stallion stories, and Farley Mowat's Never Cry Wolf and The Dog Who Wouldn't Be. And of course The Yearling, already mentioned.

Actually, I can't recall any one book that "influenced" me. I think the fact that I've always read everything I could get my hands on is the "influence" you're asking about. There have been many, many worlds I've taken part in through books that I wouldn't have been able to touch any other way.

Thanks for the memory tweak, Peter T.

Lin


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Amos
Date: 29 Jun 03 - 10:24 AM

Lin:

I didn't discover Farley Mowat until about eight years ago and I love all his books. 'A Whale for the Killing ' was a heart-stopper. Thanks for the tweak yerself! :>)

A


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: MAG
Date: 29 Jun 03 - 11:13 AM

I also forgot about Nevil Shute's *On the Beach.* May have been my first serious push towards No Nukes. and I was talking about *Ulysses,* of course, above.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Peter T.
Date: 29 Jun 03 - 11:20 AM

People sort of look at me as if I am being arrogant when I say that I try and reread War and Peace every couple of years, but it really is so good, you get completely lost in it. Andrei, Peter, and Natasha are so real, and the whole story is so vast. I admit to skipping some of the theoretical chapters from time to time (enough already). If you can get maps of the Napoleonic period and the battles, it is even better.

The BBC War and Peace is perhaps the best transfer of a book to the screen I have ever seen. It is now available on video for about 100 dollars. Do yourself a favour and rent or buy it. If you haven't read the book, it is the nearest thing. Morag Hood, who was Natasha, died a few months ago, of what I am not sure, she wasn't very old. A great pity, she was so beautiful, and the perfect Natasha.


I forgot "Crime and Punishment" on my top list. I remember reading it at 16 and realizing that I was capable of terrible things. Always a good thing to know, when you are young and idealistic.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Amos
Date: 29 Jun 03 - 01:07 PM

PT

How could I forget my faskination with Raskolnikov...sheesh!

We be of one blood, ye and I!!

Thanks for a terrific thread!!


A


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: fat B****rd
Date: 29 Jun 03 - 02:31 PM

When I was about eight years old my late father borrowed "Mein Kampf" from a "Chap at work" for me to read. I didn't because I thought it was boring, but occasionally I wonder how much influence that might have had if I'd read it....by the way my dad was a lovely bloke, he bought me a studded leather belt for my tenth birthday !!


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: alanabit
Date: 29 Jun 03 - 02:39 PM

I read a couple of pages of Mein Kampf many years ago and was struck by the pomposity of its style. You can't get it in Germany unless you can show a very good scholastic reason for possessing it. I would like to read it out of curiosity, even though I am aware that it is a very bad book in many different ways. On the basis of what I read, I would say that writing, along with painting and politics was another bad career choice for the unpleasant little Austrian.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Shelley C
Date: 29 Jun 03 - 02:41 PM

When I saw your list, Beccy, I wondered why I ever gave away my copy of 'A Wrinkle in Time' by Madeleine L'Engle. I guess at the time I thought I had grown too old for it.
What a great book! As a kid in the sixties it was great to read a book with a strong female lead character. It has an exciting plot which literally transports you to other worlds. It also has subtle messages about individuality and the power of the state.   

Another book I loved at the same time was 'Marianne Dreams'. I forget who it was by. It didn't influence my ideas as much as 'A Wrinkle in Time', it just had a cracking plot. Again it had a strong female lead character - that was a bit of a rarity back in the sixties. Anyone remember it and who wrote it?

ShelleyC


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: jacqui c
Date: 29 Jun 03 - 02:55 PM

Mag - you've reminded me of Shute's On The Beach. I read that one just before the Cuban Missile Crisis and spent a number of years afterward, when I had my children, scared stiff of nuclear war. That was one very powerful book! The thing it taught me,in time, was that there are two kinds of worry, those you can do something about, so do it, and those you can't do anything about, so why worry?

Amos - I will have to try Brief History again - do you think it made any real difference to your life? I have a friend who insists that it is required reading, but I'm not sure that I believe him!


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Amos
Date: 29 Jun 03 - 11:07 PM

I doubt it made much difference in my main life as I have lived it, Jackquie, but it did broaden my theoretical horizons as to how to conceive of the universe. As for required reading, it depends entirely on what club ou are trying to join!! :>)



A


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Rapparee
Date: 30 Jun 03 - 08:54 AM

Dear lord. Books? In my case, bibliomaniac that I am, I can't rightly say. Everything I've read has influenced me one way or t'other.

My mother used to read her four kids the stuff from the "Morte D'Arthur" when I was about 6 or 7. Later, when I was studying it in college she read the textbook (in a night) and said, "What sort of studying is this? I read this to you years and years ago."

Authors, more likely. Heinlein. Clarke. Jefferson. Twain. Shera. Butler. King. Anonymous. Keats. Pope. Yeats. Joyce. Shakespeare. Donne. Steinem. Hoffer. Hawking. Asimov. Cervantes. Moliere. Goldsmith. Tennyson. Schiller. Baudelaire. Doyle. Freeman. Stabenow. Hillerman. Herge. Franklin. Hitler. Berton. Marx. Smith. Veblen. Aquinas. Plato. Bible. Tzu. Confucius. Fuller. Marsall. Montagu. Dostoyevsky. Tolstoy. Amergin. Bridget. Burns. Scott.

The above is not in any particular order, nor does it reflect only positive influences, since what ideas you reject define you as much as those you embrace.

I think I'll stop and not list every author I've ever read, even if I could remember them all.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: GUEST,Heidi F.
Date: 30 Jun 03 - 09:04 AM

Most definitely "The Happy Hooker" by Xaviera Hollander. An inspiring tale that set me on the path to my life's work.

xxxoooxxx

Heidi


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Wolfgang
Date: 30 Jun 03 - 06:29 PM

Two books have made me change my opinion radically at different times in my life.

Robert Havemann's 'Dialektik ohne Dogma' has made me see that socialism can be something very different from the 'Socialism' in East Europe.

D. Symons's 'The evolution of human sexuality' has made me change my mind radically on the influence of biology upon human behaviour. I tended to neglect it completely for mostly ideological reasons.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 30 Jun 03 - 08:56 PM

A publication known variously as "The Big Book", "The Blue Book" or "The Big Blue Book". For those who know what it is, no explanation is necessary. For those who don't know what it is, no explanation is possible.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: LadyJean
Date: 30 Jun 03 - 11:38 PM

When I was, perhaps, 14, I found myself in Gimbels' book department, where I spent 75cents on two volumes of Edna St. Vincent Millet's poems, and a copy of Sinclair Lewis's Babbit.
Reading Millet convinced me that I wanted to be a writer. (Though I do not write poetry.) Lewis taught me to question.
Though, I suppose the book that MOST influenced my life was James Thurber's "Is Sex Necessary?". My parents were reading it when they started dating. It was one of the things that brought them together. Obviously, they decided it WAS necessary. The book is still in print. Read it! It's a howl!


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Deckman
Date: 01 Jul 03 - 09:13 PM

I suspect that my contribution to this thread will seem quite obscure, as it is. I'm a voracious reader. I usually have several books going at the same time (I only need three hours sleep a night). However, I have to say the ONE book that has had, and continues to have, a profound influence in my life is "The Kalavala," by Ellis Lonrot, first published in 1838. I have several copies, one original in Finnish, and several English translations, the best being the "Peabody" from Indiana University about 1966. The "Kalavala" is the saga of the ancient Finns, their Gods, their stories, adventures and frequant missadventures. These stories were my Father's bedtime tales. I find them fascinating on several levels: Finnish is NOT my native language, though it was my Fathers, and I try to keep improving my language skills; the stories behind the stories help to explain my grandmother to me; and these stories help to to understand how the "old" Finnish/Russian culture evolved from the late 1800's into what I saw in America, beginning in the 30's. If you, as an American, want to explore this, I strongly suggest that you start with the Estonian version. George Goble, an American, published this version titled "The Kalavede", some years ago. I know it's out of print now, but searching will discover it, I'm sure. I suggest "The Kalevede" because it's based on one single story from "The Kalavala" and is much more readable and understable, in English. KITTOS, Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: gnu
Date: 02 Jul 03 - 06:20 AM

Trinity by Leon Uris... who just passed on. RIP.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Kim C
Date: 02 Jul 03 - 10:16 AM

How could I have forgotten... Lonesome Dove (don't mess with the other books in this series, they are cheap trash in comparison), and Dee Brown's Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Metchosin
Date: 02 Jul 03 - 11:55 AM

LadyJean, you reminded me of one I read a long time ago entitled "Married Love" published in the 1920s or there abouts. I will never forget a picture in it of a severely handicapped child, with the caption "The Results of Conception when the Father was Intoxicated". Good grief!!!


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Micca
Date: 02 Jul 03 - 07:06 PM

etchosin if you need to refresh your memory you will find Marie Stopes book here


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Gareth
Date: 02 Jul 03 - 07:14 PM

Alanabit, glad you bring up C S Foresters "The Ship". Personally I would suggest that that book and "The General" are his two finest works. And C S F is not an author to be underrated. I an afraid the later "Hornblower" Books and the US of A varient "A Captain fron Coneticutt" (SP?) aka "Beat to Quarters", were written as a commercial/pot boiler basis for a defined audience. In fact "The Commodore " not to be confused with the 'Patrick O'Brien' book of the same name, was a propaganda effort (Published 1944), and I put it in the same category as the war time films "San Demitrio - London", and that Tommy Trinder classic "The Bells Go Down" - all superbly crafted, written and acted, but propaganda.

BTW the late Charley Horne ex RN - a resident of Whitstable, was one of the few survivors of HMS "Penelope" following her torpedoing in 1943 - I lent him a copy of "The Ship", he spent most of the "Gulf of Sirte" action closed up in the forward magazine, but yes the book rang true to him.

Ah, the memories that wern't recorded.


MAG - I really appreciate Nevil Shute's simplistic style, I would also bring to your attention some of Shute's earlier works, in particular "Pastoral" - every day life on a 'Bomber Command Base', and his two unsurpassed works on racial discrimination, and the consequences, "The Chequer Board" , and "Round the Bend", well worth reading, and reading again.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Susan from California
Date: 02 Jul 03 - 07:16 PM

When I was young, "The Empty Barn", which was about a little girl who moved to a farm, and slowly filled her barn with animals. It allowed me to dream. Then I moved on to the "Little House" series, which I think helped to stoke a love for American History. I also enjoyed "Harriet the Spy", A story with a strong female lead, and later, "A Wrinkle in Time" because it allowed me to escape, and the message that love can trump evil is pretty darned powerful.

Later, "To Kill a Mockingbird" because Atticus Finch was quite a role model, a model that I try to live up to, but I must admit I fall short of.

The Octavia Butler series "Parable of the Sower" etc caused me to look at life and the world in a whole different way. There are many others, but these jump out at me today. Tomorrow, it might be a slightly different list :-)


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Rapparee
Date: 02 Jul 03 - 09:08 PM

Deckman, I too think that the Kalavala is fascinating, as it offers an insight into a culture many in the West would not believe exists. I also like the Norse sagas (as preserved in Iceland), and the work of the skalds in general. To my mind, there is a whole world of literature "north of 60" to be explored -- and we "Southerners" have barely scratched the surface.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Cluin
Date: 02 Jul 03 - 09:22 PM

"The Sun Also Rises".

A perfect vacation would still be to get drunk with a wagonload of Basques and then go flyfishing.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 02 Jul 03 - 09:29 PM

The Games People Play
Cannot remember the author. My entire family read it. Profoundly affected our group dynamics. Probably for the better.

The Problem of Pain (C.S. Lewis)
The first step of my break with Christianity.

The Peter Principal

Buddhism, Its Essence and Development (Conze)


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 03 Jul 03 - 12:43 AM

Too many to list here, but will mention a couple of things. The Regeneration Trilogy, by Pat Barker: 1) Regeneration; 2)The Eye in the Door; 3) The Ghost Road. All three of them are can't-put-down books, fiction based loosely on the development of psychiatry in the treatment of battle stress during World War One, including the stories of Wilfred Owen and Sigfried Sassoon. I've read them twice, will read them again, and these are books I do not lend.

For those of you who like science fiction, read Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card, and its sequel, Speaker for the Dead. Morality tales told as excellent adventure.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: alanabit
Date: 03 Jul 03 - 03:27 AM

Games People Play is by Eric Berne. I should add that it is a much loved book by psychologists, mental nurses and social workers. Back in the seventies, when I read it, it was regarded a one of the standard works on transactional analysis. It's not a novel in case anyone is looking for a holiday read!


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Deckman
Date: 03 Jul 03 - 04:18 AM

Rapaire ... you got that right! Do you read Finnish? Bob


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Deckman
Date: 03 Jul 03 - 04:31 AM

To Guest pdc ... anything by Orson Scott Card is quite wonderful Did you know that it was written as a trilogy? Bob


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Rapparee
Date: 03 Jul 03 - 09:24 AM

Sorry Deckman, but the only word I know in Finnish is "Tak." Oh, wait, "Sako" -- but that's the name of a very, very expensive rifle I can't even begin to afford and don't need anyway. I do know some Finn jokes from the Upper Midwest, though.

Did you know that the Kalavala influenced the poem "Hiawatha"? Well, probably you did, but I bet lots of other people didn't.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Peter T.
Date: 03 Jul 03 - 09:40 AM

Completely politically incorrect, but the book that has what I think is the best feeling for Buddhism is Kipling's Kim. I never read it as a child, but knew about it (We played Kim's game a lot when I was growing up as a Boy Scout). When I read it as an adult I was amazed at the beauty of the portrayal of the Tibetan monk and his love for the boy. Kipling's father ran the museum at Lahore, so he knew quite a lot about Buddhist lore, but where he got the insight into Buddhism, I do not know. I always recommend it to people interested in Tibetan Buddhism. The monk is a perfect portrayal of some of the saintly figures I have known, with their elderly quirks. Anyone who writes knows how hard it is to write about someone surpassingly good.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 03 Jul 03 - 10:41 AM

alanabit
Thanks for the reminder. I didn't realize that "Games People Play" was/is taken seriously by professionals.

Peter T.
I read and enjoyed Kim as well, but recommended Conze for the scholarship and explication of doctrine. My interest in Buddhism wasn't sparked by exceptional individuals but by the way the Four Noble Truths nail it.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Metchosin
Date: 03 Jul 03 - 11:07 AM

Wow Micca, thanks for the link! I read Stopes book when I was in my teens in the 60's, but didn't realize then, her trailblazing contribution. However, on visiting the material again, I believe I may have confused it with another I read at the time.

The book with the photo I first mentioned had a section about discovering your intended wife's personal habits, by surreptitiously inspecting her bedchamber and quarters, to see if they were tidy and clean. Also checking the cleanliness of her fingernails was a priority. If she didn't pass inspection, the gentleman was advised to seek another prospect.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: JennieG
Date: 04 Jul 03 - 01:11 AM

I don't think I could single out a small number of all the books I have readover the years...but I would have to say that the most influence I gained was from reading a book on etiquette!
Cheers
JennieG


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 04 Jul 03 - 02:45 AM

My favorite books of my childhood include "Mike Mulligan And His Steamshovel," and "Three Young Rats," which was illustrated by Alexander Calder. I was a big Dr. Seuss fan, and what child wasn't? I was also fascinated as a small child by an art book on "African Folktales And Sculpture" my mother used to show me, along with the photographic classic "The Family Of Man." "The Fireside Book Of Folksongs" was always at the piano, and my mother used to sing out of it to my sister and I. The first novel that really affected me emotionally was Steinbeck's "Of Mice And Men." I read it when I was 13, and cried like a baby. I read Floyd Patterson's autobiography "Victory Over Myself" when I was in the 6th grade, and it sparked a lifelong interest in boxing, as well as being an absorbing and poignant account of his personal struggles while growing up. In the past ten to fifteen years, Stan Hugill's "Shanties From The Seven Seas" has been very influential. A personal account of WWII central Pacific island fighting, "With The Old Breed: At Peleliu And Okinawa" by Eugene Sledge is one of the most harrowing and deeply affecting books I've ever read. "Three lives For Mississippi" by William Bradford Huie, an account of Goodman/Chaney/Schwerner, is one I've read and re-read over the years. "Gandhi: His Relevance For Our Times" which I read when I was 21, started me on my interest in nonviolent action. My life would be less enriched if I'd never read those books.
Chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Gurney
Date: 04 Jul 03 - 06:37 AM

Thanks for some of those memories...

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, by Heinlein.
Books by Thorne Smith.
Books by Dick Francis.
Coral Island, by R.M.Ballantyne.
The Colditz Story.
Most books by Neville Shute.

I'd rather not have been reminded about..

On the Beach, by Neville Shute.
Black Sunday, by Colin??? (Who wrote the Roger Brooke series)


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Beccy
Date: 04 Jul 03 - 08:21 AM

Oooooh... I forgot:

The Art of War by Sun Tzu (it's great for strategic thought)
and
The Martial Artist's Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi (trans. by Steve Kaufman, Hanshi 10th Dan)

Beccy


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Peter T.
Date: 04 Jul 03 - 09:47 AM

With the Old Breed is a great book. There are all sorts of good books about the Pacific War, not nearly so many about the European War. Hard to know why. The Thin Red Line is the best of all of them, I think. The description of being in combat is so bleak and terrifying and true. I have not seen the movie, but the book is as good as any movie could be.
A really great book that had a strong influence on me was Barbara Tuchman's Stillwell and the American Experience in China. I knew absolutely nothing about the whole era, and nothing about Stillwell, and had little interest in the machinations of Chiang Kai-Shek when I picked the book up. I read it spellbound for about two days, couldn't put it down -- the way the blurbs say. I have read it two or three times since. Still my model for how to write history.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Amos
Date: 04 Jul 03 - 11:41 AM

All Quiet on the Western Front had a strong influence on me, I suppose...I never went to war after reading it!

A


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Gareth
Date: 04 Jul 03 - 01:08 PM

The Roger Brooke series was originally authored by Denis Wheately (SP?) His Majesty KG3's super agent against the perfidious French.

And don't forget the cause of the Nuclear Holecaust in Shutes "On the Beach", a nuclear attack by "terrrorists" on Israel.

Hmmm ! Taking into account Shutes "Beyond the Black Stump", "In the Wet", and " No Highway" - which last mentioned book examined the problems of Metal Fatigue before the demise of the original De Havilland Comet , and before yer Californians get too cocky, the original Boeing 707 ( fatigue in the Landing gear struts )

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 04 Jul 03 - 01:34 PM

Nevil Shute's In the Wet has what I think is a great idea for voting in a democracy -- the idea of the earned or merited vote, so that people who have contributed more to society get a greater voice in how it is run. Every time I suggest this idea I get shot down, but I always thought it had merit.

A book I read to my children: Am I a Bunny? by Ida Delage. It's been out of print for years now, so I got one from the library and photocopied it for my grandchildren. A well-written and illustrated book about identity, and because it's so funny, the moral lesson is not obvious. If anyone ever sees one for sale, please post, and I'll pay a fortune for it!

Incidentally, if anyone is looking for a book that is hard to find, the following website is invaluable:

Advanced Book Exchange


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Micca
Date: 04 Jul 03 - 03:53 PM

Powells in Seattle list a book by the same author called "what does a witch need?" pdc but not the one you want unfortunately, sorry


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: LadyJean
Date: 04 Jul 03 - 05:13 PM

I find myself obliged to explain that "Is Sex Necessary?" By James Thurber and E.B. White is NOT a serious work! Do not give it to your child to explain the facts of life. Do get the book and read about the young woman who believed she would have a two year old son named Ronald when her husband brought two bluebirds into a room full of flowers. I also reccomend the part about the dogs and the pigs in clover puzzle. My mother's first gift to my father was a pigs in clover puzzle.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Deckman
Date: 04 Jul 03 - 06:24 PM

Rapaire ... I recently learned that the "Rosicrucian" philosophy, or perhaps it's a religion, I don't know which, was taken largely from the Kalavala. I haven't researched this, but I intend to soon. I'm curious as to the spin! And Yes, Longfellow used the rythmn and the cadence of the poetry from the Kalavala for his piece "Hiawatha."   CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: GUEST,van lingle
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 09:43 AM

Two books that I read when I was about 10 or 12 hang with me. "Too Late the Phalarope" by Alan Paton and "The Holocaust Kingdom" whose author I forget. The former was a novel set in Apartheid South Africa and the latter was true story about one family's journeys through the death camps. Both of these books helped me develop a humanitarian world view. Another book which seems a little hokie to me now was "Last of the Mohicans" but I used to read it over and over and imagine my self padding through the pristine forests of upstate New York with Hawkeye and Uncas. It really gave me a passion for the outdoors. vl

Great thread, can't wait to read it all.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Hollowfox
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 01:55 PM

The first book that came to mind for me was The Blue Cat of Castle Town by Catherine Cate Coblentz (1949). Its a parable, really, as the town, all the characters, and all the things mentioned in the story are real. I was lucky enough to find it as a kid while I read everything on cats that the library could provide. I sent a copy to Katlaughing when I was her Secret Santa. Being both a children's book and a parable, trying to describe the plot makes the book sound more maudlin than it really is, but here goes. In Vermont in the 1830's, a blue kitten (think slate gray fur) must find a home, but it must be a place where he can teach someone the song of the Creator of All Things. He meets a pewterer, a weaver, a businessman, and in the course of things loses the song himself. A builder and joiner (architect) unknowingly teaches the song back to him, and the now grown cat teaches it to a woman, nobody special, who creates a beautiful carpet (which, by the way is in the collection at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art). This is more description than I wanted to write; suffice to say that the story transcends the people's jobs, what they made, or the species of the main character. I think maybe I'll re-read it tonight.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Peter T.
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 03:11 PM

Got The Reverence For Wood out of the library -- a real struggle, no copies anywhere, misfiled copy in the other library -- look forward to reading it from the Mudcat Recommended Great Reading List....yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Deckman
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 03:53 PM

Peter t ... this is a trilogy! look for the others! Bob


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Ely
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 11:19 AM

I loved _Grapes of Wrath_ (we read it in 11th grade English as a comparison to _The Fountainhead_, which I despised). But Steinbeck has always moved at a good pace for me.

When I was a kid, I liked _Squanto_, _The Mixed-Up Files of ??_ (where the kids run away to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art), and _Captain Kidd's Cat_.

Other favorites are _In Cold Blood_ and _the Mayor of Casterbridge_. I know Thomas Hardy can be tedious, but I like _Mayor_ much better than Tess or Jude.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: jacqui c
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 04:38 PM

I've just remembered an author who influenced me - to look at the way that writers represent people. I had to read Hemingway for my A level course and can't think of any author who has made me feel so strongly that I never wanted to read any other of his books again. The course book was the one about WW1 - I hated it so much that I can't even remember the title - and for comparison I read 'For Whom The Bell Tolls', which I got half-way through and threw it across the room. To this day I still haven't quite worked out exactly why that man caused such a reaction. I think it might be a female thing!

Amos - thanks for that comment - I have a friend who seems to think that Hawking is required reading for any intelligent person. I think he's wrong


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 06 Jul 03 - 07:47 PM

I'm with you, Peter T, re "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" and with Spaw and others re "To Kill a Mockingbird" (but it could hardly be simpler to describe, Spaw!). I got another wonderful peek at small-town America from "Lolita." Two other stateside books that come immediately to mind are "Zen" and "Grapes of Wrath."

But above all these for me are Tawney's "Religion and the Rise of Capitalism" from which I realised that if the deceit that is religion had not existed, capitalism would have had to invent it; and "Small is Beautiful" by E F Schumacher - the first economist to appreciate that the earth's finite resources, including its atmosphere, should be treated as fixed assets rather than disposable income.

Among more recent stuff: "Stalingrad" by Anthony Beevor about what was overwhelmingly the most significant front in WW2, and the staggering cruelties and privations endured on both sides. (By all accounts, his "Berlin: the Downfall" is an equal achievement.)

Lastly, surely the most ambitious novel in history, a colossal tour de force, a rivetingly detailed portrait of a great city, drawn entirely from 20-year-old memories, the city being Dublin, the book being Ulysses.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: alanabit
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 08:10 AM

Ah - van Lingle! You have reminded me of one of the most important books I have ever read, which was, "Cry The Beloved Country" by Alan Paton. The book was probably the first to really make me care about apartheid, rather than simply believe it was just wrong. The film is a masterpeice, with a (young) Sidney Poittier giving a towering performance as an old man. It's sentimental, but I don't mind that. There is a sort of sentimentality which does not insult my intelligence.
I also think Hermann Hesse's "Siddhartta" is a very important book. It is free of the pomposity of "Steppenwolf" and presents the ideas in beautiful, clear prose. I had better try to read it in German one day.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Sam L
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 10:19 AM

Ely, that's From The Mixed-Up Files Of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

I had the same Hemingway reaction to the same book, Jacqui c, unless he wrote more than one of them, but The Killers later struck me as a good short-story.

Ladyjean I'm glad you explained that Is Sex Necesary was humor, before I got in any more trouble. Thurber is under-rated.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: GUEST,PDC
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 10:48 AM

On this forum, this suggestion might be overwhelmed by responses, but I wonder if anyone else has been influenced hugely by specific music, as I was when I was a child. Don't want to start unless someone is interested in this topic.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Peter T.
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 12:41 PM

PDC there is another thread with that title -- try a search!
Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises was very influential for me, as was most of A Farewell to Arms -- he got mannered later, but those still seem to me to stand up. yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Renegade
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 01:55 PM

No one's mentioned "Catcher in the Rye"? I am a little surprised; maybe it's too obvious. But let's see, I read it in 1966, age of 13, and finally shook Holden's voice in my head (a running commentary) about 4 years ago. I still call a few obnoxious people "a goddam prince" every now and then. Just to keep my hand in, you know.

I read mostly American History. I would strongly recommend Bernard De Voto's trilogy on the West: Across the Wide Missouri, Year of Decision, and Course of Empire. De Voto's a novelist writing history; brings the best of both diciplines. He also wrote a very influential book on M. Twain,(circa 1932) and was the curator or editor (can't remember the title) of Twain's papers for quite a few years.

In fiction, I read Southern lit exclusively. All the short story writers, especially O'Conner and Welty. Love Faulkner's short stories, can't hang in there with the novels. My all-time favorite is Walker Percy. Those new to him should try his first, The Moviegoer. To me, Binx Bolling, the moviegoer, is Holden at 30.

Thanks for a great thread. I'm going through my home library tonight, see what I've forgotten.

Bill


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Cluin
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 05:52 PM

jacqui c, For Whom the Bell Tolls is a dreary slog and the male-female dialogue gets downright irritating. I'm a Hemingway fan and I don't like that book. Still can't get through it. Definitely not Ernie's best. I prefer his short stories, especially the Nick Adams ones. Also, Islands in the Stream, To Have and Have Not (don't make the mistake of thinking you know the story if you've seen the movie; about all they have in common is the name and a bit of smuggling action), The Old Man & The Sea, etc. I don't like his war books as much.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Amergin
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 08:30 PM

I read for whom the bell tolls...and i liked it....til i reaad the end...and it pissed me off...

when the wind blows by raymond briggs is a very chilling dark comedy looking at an elderly couple struggling in the days after a nuclear attack...


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Peter T.
Date: 08 Jul 03 - 09:56 AM

Catcher in the Rye! Beyond influential: like an intravenous to the mind....yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Ron Olesko
Date: 08 Jul 03 - 10:34 AM

I probably should re-read Catcher in the Rye. I remember reading it in high school and wondering what all the fuss was about. I thought it rambled and couldn't find the point.   I guess it might have been my youth, but I do remember being excited by Steinback back then.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Renegade
Date: 08 Jul 03 - 05:10 PM

I love Steinbeck. Think he's under-rated.

Recently re-read "Travels with Charlie". My favorite of his though is "Cannery Row". I think someone mentioned it previously.

Read it in my teens also, and was enamored with Mack and and the other men. (bums or hobos then, homeless now?) I thought they were so cool; Steinbeck noted that they were so cool they wouldn't even turn around to see a parade pass by.

There was a movie; Nick Nolte played Doc, as I recall. But they turned Mack and the boys into the 3 Stooges. I like the Stooges a lot, but Mack et al were tough hombres, not pie-in-the-face clowns. Ruined the movie for me.

Maybe that's another thread, Peter T. Love the book/hate the movie, or vice versa.

While I'm on movies: someone above mentioned Hemingway's Have and Have Not, and he was dead on about the book vs the movie.

The book takes place in FL, or in the Carribean, while the movie is in, where, French Morocco or some other exotic port of call? Harry, in the book, is married; in the movie obviously not, and on and on.
Not even close, methinks.
   
Bill


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Peter T.
Date: 08 Jul 03 - 06:46 PM

I think that in To Have and Have Not (the movie), they are in one of the French Caribbean islands (I forget which). I guess the movie has nothing to do with the book, but it does capture a kind of "eau de Hemingway". All the rest of the Hemingway films I have seen are ghastly -- including the original A Farewell to Arms which I had high hopes for, with the young Cooper. For some reason, the people are often right -- Cooper, Bergman (well, she was great looking), Ava Gardner (!), etc., etc., but there is no life in the films, or they are melodramas. "The Killers" is pretty good, if overwrought. "The Old Man and the Sea" is -- I don't know what, false. The Fitzgerald films are all a mess too. I wonder why. Sometimes just bad luck: if the last Gatsby had not been dragged down by Mia Farrow and flashy cars, it might have made it. Hollywood seems to be tone deaf to these 20's and 30's books each time they come around to remake them, but tone deaf in a different way: maybe they are all too famous as properties, or the 20's and 30's are just too cliched. (If only the director of Bonnie and Clyde had immediately gone after Gatsby as his next film!). It is funny to think that every single one of these American classics are sitting around, still waiting to be made properly, while all this crap gets made. A good, tough, film of "Tender is the Night" would make a ton of money.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Deckman
Date: 08 Jul 03 - 07:07 PM

A total thread creep! I often tease "Bride Judy" by telling her that the real reason I married her was because she brought every book Steinbeck wrote to our library! (she usually hits me then). Several years ago, we took our belated honeymoon and gave ourselves a "Steinbeck vacation," to Monteray and all the surrounding areas. I also re-newed my aquaintance with Robinson Jeffers of Big Sur fame. This is a fun thread ... my appologies for the thread creep ... sorta! Bob


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Jenny Islander
Date: 08 Jul 03 - 08:15 PM

The first book I ever read to death was The Big Little Golden Book of Natural History. Dated even then--swamp-dwelling diplodoci and the Great Chain of Being--but it started my love of natural history.

Then The Chronicles of Narnia and Little House on the Prairie for lessons in courage, humility, and decency. An illustrated King James bible and a comic-book-style Children's Bible got me reading the Bible earlier than I would have.

At summer camp, the only little kid there because my mother was the cook, I had nothing to read but The Golden Bough, a bunch of paperback shortstoryizations of Star Trek Original Series episodes, and a huge stack of ancient Life and Reader's Digest back issues. An unconventional education in the possibilities of imagination.

When the Sky is Like Lace. It still rings in my memory. I wish the publisher would reprint it. I still love bimulous nights.

A Child's Garden of Verse got me into poetry, specifically accessible rhyming and/or rhythmic poetry, which I still devour--Millay, Frost, Tennyson, etc.

Tolkien! I had to grow into the books. Taught me how much one person can do with imagination and a pen--and what greatness one Christian can contribute to others.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: MAG
Date: 08 Jul 03 - 09:26 PM

*When the Sky is Like Lace* was still available the last time I reordered it for my Library ...   the illustrator, Barbara Cooney, died not that long ago. Very much missed in the children's book world.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 08 Jul 03 - 09:46 PM

Oh, Mag -- could you try to find out if "Am I a Bunny" by Ida deLage is available, or will be reprinted?


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: MAG
Date: 09 Jul 03 - 01:53 AM

I am a bunny, by Richard Scarry, was reprinted in 1990 and is available, according to amazon.com. You can get it there, or any decent bookstore can order it for you. Support your independents!


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 09 Jul 03 - 01:55 AM

Discovered science fiction when I was 8 with Judith Merril' Year's Best SF series. Never looked back.

Bob, Son of Battle
All of CS Forester's stuff, especially the Hornblower series
Farley Mowat's The Dog who wouldn't be, as well the stuff I discovered later.
Heinlein, especially his juveniles
Even though I liked him in persona, Asimov wrote too much like a professor to keep me happy. I got him to go sailing for the first and only time in his life shortly before his demise.
Sam Clemens, all of him
Joshua Slocum's compete collection of writings
The Fagles translation of the Iliad and the Odessey. It got me to read the Aeneid. Interesting contrast between the two philophies. Homer had the Gods in charge. Virgil allowed his characters a lot more freedom. No one but a fool would have voluntarily taken the path between Scylla and Charybdis. [ps, it's a real place.]

etc, etc, etc


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: GUEST,jim
Date: 09 Jul 03 - 08:46 AM

the ragge trousered philanthropists by robert tressall
one lunp or two? by the great frank worhington
ned the lonely donkey by ladybird books
    cheers
       jim


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 09 Jul 03 - 04:26 PM

How could I have forgotten A.Payson Terhune and his great dog series?


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Cluin
Date: 09 Jul 03 - 07:21 PM

Strangely enough, the screenplay to "To Have and Have Not" (directed by Howard Hawks) was written by Jules Furthman and William Faulkner.

It's not a bad movie. It's just nothing at all like the book.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Li'l Aussie Bleeder
Date: 09 Jul 03 - 10:23 PM

'The Blackboard Jungle" was a forbidden fruit book for me at age 11, my Father had it hidden on top of his wardrobe so I read it on Saturday afternoons when the parents went to the footy. It was a fairly mature theme for a child but none the less a little more intelectual for me than my mother's "Mills and Boon" and "True Confessions". After that, I don't think much surprised me. Access to decent literature was a problem in my tender years.
In later years i seem to have skimmed many different genres and read so many books and there are so many I havn't read. I recall 'The Carpetbaggers" kept me rivetted for a couple of days, at work, I couldn't put it down.
Recently I enjoyed 'Billy' by Pamela Stephenson, also i couldn't put 'Angela's Ashes' down (I mean the book).
This thread has made me caste my mind back and I have read heaps of books but then again there are heaps i havn't read.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Li'l Aussie Bleeder
Date: 09 Jul 03 - 10:29 PM

Oh yes 'Alice In Wonderland' was a complete no go for me, in spite of several attempts to read it (when I was younger) I just thought it was silly, no message in there for me.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 09 Jul 03 - 10:41 PM

Thanks Mag -- but as they say, close but no cigar! I have read and enjoyed Scarry's I am a Bunny, but the book I'm looking for (which I love) is called Am I a Bunny? and is by Ida DeLage.

And yes, I do support independent booksellers. I've never been into a CH****RS, and I promise not to go.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Li'l Aussie Bleeder
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 01:07 AM

I wonder just how much our literature reflects our society or our society is influenced by our literature!!


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Li'l Aussie Bleeder
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 04:29 AM

'The Dice Man' left quite an impression on me for quite a long time.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 10:46 AM

To Lil Aussie:

"I wonder just how much our literature reflects our society or our society is influenced by our literature!!"

The old question: does art reflect culture, or create it? Unfortunately, I would have to say that TV has replaced literature in this query nowadays.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Renegade
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 01:01 PM

Cluin:

Agreed. Have/Have Not is a good movie indeed. Especially like the Bogie/Bacall stuff; he's 44 + or -, she's 18 maybe.

Didn't know Faulkner's contribution. He also wrote the screenplay for the movie of one of my favorite books, "The Big Sleep". Movie starred, guess who...Bogart/Bacall. Bogart played a great Phillip Marlowe.

I'd recommend all of Chandler's books, and the short stories are wonderful also....."Down these mean streets a man must go...."

You don't have to like private eyes at all; just enjoy the despcriptive writing about 1940's LA.

Bill


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Renegade
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 01:10 PM

Fergot something...

Peter T: You're right; cannot find a decent Hemingway movie, although I'd wager that I enjoy "The Killers" more than you. Largely because of the film noir style, much more so than the Hemingway source. And Ava Gardner a course.

Amen on Gatsby. It is unwatchable because of Farrow, methinks. Redford didn't look all that comfortable either.

Bill


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 01:56 PM

Extraordinary that no-one's made a case for Joseph Heller's Catch-22, phrases from which had seeped into the language on a Shakespearean scale by the 1970s.

Renegade, Amos was dozens of posts ahead of you with "Catcher in the Rye! Was it Holden who was mad, or just the world around him? It's not automatic that he'd get a better deal these days, so maybe the book wasn't as influential as it should have been.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Renegade
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 04:14 PM

My apologies to Amos. I knew I couldn't have been the first one with that book.

Fion: Angry-Mad or Hamlet-Mad? I don't think either, myself. Holden is the archetypical alienated teenager, with sarcasm as defensive weapon. He was incredibly intelligent, and perhaps too sensitive, but sensitive enough to know the world can break his heart.

Intelligence is debatable, but I was one myself, (minus the breakdown, fortunately) and I imagine 99% of this board was at one time also, however briefly.

Is that not a rite of passage?   

As I mentioned in my original post, I shook his voice only a few years ago.

Thanks, Fion, for pointing out my duplication.
Bill


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 11 Jul 03 - 07:44 AM

Well just mad enough to be telling his story from within some kind of institution, as I recall? (Hope that voice in your head didn't put you in the same kind of place, Bill!)


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: fogie
Date: 11 Jul 03 - 12:57 PM

Has anyone mentioned Huysman's A Rebour =against nature The one Oscar Wilde said was a great inspiration to him?


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: GUEST,Yurena
Date: 12 Jul 03 - 09:22 AM

Michael Moore's "Stupid White Men"


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Sam L
Date: 12 Jul 03 - 05:41 PM

in non-fiction, Patent It Yourself by David Pressman influenced me quite a bit, along with large sections of the patent examiner's manual. Even without having any particular purpose, the body of legal thought in regard to creativity is deep and fascinating. You can begin to feel instinctively that certain sorts of rulings and cases must exist, and then find them, because the key concepts and purposes predict them. The challenge of respecting and balancing the interests of different parties, of distiguishing mere ideas from full-blooded achievements, has great drama in it too. And it's poignant and hilarious what crazy things people have painstakingly developed, that one has never heard of.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: akenaton
Date: 13 Jul 03 - 05:17 PM

Lewis Grassic Gibbon --A Scots Quair influenced me profoundly and really made me the person i am .It explains the effects of the continual process of change on sosiety,(Something the trad navel gazers of mudcat should think about) And tells us that the only constant thing on this earth is the ever present cycle of nature.
This novel Tells us to get rid of the ego ,realise that the important thing about this planet is nature and not the human race ,which is striving to destroy it.....Viva Akenaton.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Kim C
Date: 14 Jul 03 - 04:22 PM

Renegade, if you are a Southern lit man, then by all means read Howard Bahr's two novels, The Black Flower and The Year of Jubilo, if you haven't already. Before he was a novelist, Howard was the curator of the Faulkner home in Mississippi. And don't be fooled by those serious book-jacket portraits - Howard is lively and has a fabulous sense of humor. :-) (I told him for the next portrait, he should wear a fez, and not look so stern.)


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Bert
Date: 14 Jul 03 - 11:43 PM

My favorite first book was Black Beauty. It left me with a love of animals which will last for ever.

Other books which have influenced me as an adult are Herodotus,
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Heinlein,
Oedipus by Henry Treece;
anything be Lewis Carrol especially "The Hunting of the Snark"
Trapps War by Brian Callison.

I read a lot of Algernon Blackwood and Dennis Wheatley as a teenager but grew out of those.

I read just about every Zane Grey that I could find. Then there was Hammond Innes and Alistair Mclean and Desmond Bagley.

Then there are those books that were part of the family when we were kids. Dad bought a copy of "The King's English Dictionary" just before they got bombed out during the war and he never had to pay for it, we thumbed through it over and over again looking at the illustrations. The poor thing looked quite pathetic when we had done with it. He also had 1001 gems of English poetry which we must have read 1001 times.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: GUEST,Bo in KY
Date: 17 Jul 03 - 10:57 AM

I am amazed by how often Robert Heinlein has come up in this thread - I have never read him. Off to the library!
In the SF/Fantasy genre, I would add that the Thomas Covenant trilogy (the 1st one!) by Steven Donaldson blew me away in my late teens. As did the Space trilogy by C.S. Lewis, and anything by Ray Bradbury.

The walls of my house would probably collapse were it not for the bookcases, so it is hard to pinpoint who "most influenced" me, but here are some authors that have not been mentioned:

G.K. Chesterton - esp. "The Man Who Was Thursday" which is a combination detective story/theological treatise/fantasy/social commentary and then some.Brilliant!The rest of his writings have the uncanny ability to make you laugh and think deeply at the same time.

Annie Dillard - there are parts of "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek" that can still give me goosebumps after multiple re-readings

Frederick Buechner - brilliant essayist and his ficion has a writing style that makes me envious.

Kathleen Norris - beautiful, thought-provoking essayist; more recent, but has influenced me recently - makes me want to be monastic.

M. Scott Peck - More wisdom than most of the rest of the "self-help" crap, "The Road Less Traveled" is a classic of common-sense psychology and spirituality.

I was a bit of a Jesus freak in high school (to say nothing of now!), so the books that influenced me were more theological or philosophical in nature. Thought I'd add my 2 cents to the mix....

Shalom,
Bo


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: jacqui c
Date: 17 Jul 03 - 06:25 PM

What a wonderful thread! I'm just sitting here going 'oh, yes!!' every time I come across yet another book/author I've forgotten.

'Billy' was superb - gave me more respect for the great man, and his wife.

'The Road Less Travelled' I found difficult to put down and need to find time for more of his work.

Most Sci-fi goes down well with me, as long as it's well written. I think I first read Bradbury's 'The Illustrated Man when I was about twelve.

Couldn't read 'When the Wind Blows' -anything do do with nuclear war is a no no after readin 'On the Beach' just a few months before the Cuba Crisis, when I was only about fourteen.

Matbe I will try some other Hemingway sometime. At the moment I'm finsihing Lord of the Rings and have Bernard Cornwell's new book, plus the latest Stephen King paperback and Jilly Cooper's Pandora lined up for attention. That lot should keep me going until Christmas 'cause I just don't have the time for all the reading I would like to do! Now if I could just cut out sleep!


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 17 Jul 03 - 08:22 PM

The Snow Leopard. I can't remember the author's name, but I do remember that he searched the Himalayas high and low for this beast that was once thought legendary. He never found it, but the leopard became a sort of symbol for the kind of quest in which one finds not his stated goal but the greater one of self-knowledge.

My Father's Dragon. My favorite first adventure book. It set the stage for every adventure novel that I have loved since then. I bought it for my daughter when she was 5, and she loved it too.

The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann. The central character escorts his cousin to an isolated TB sanatorium in Switzerland and becomes infected. He is confined and experiences a microcosm of the World here, falling under the sway of different mentors who each teach him a way of seeing life.

The Fountainhead. Ayn Rand. I read this in my senior year of High School. I realize that Rand affects different people differently, but she nearly made an arch-Republican of me for about six months.

Grendel. Read this in college after reading Beowulf my last year of High School. Besides being an example of excellent writing, it taught me that there were always two sides to every story.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Joe_F
Date: 18 Jul 03 - 06:19 PM

In no particular order:

Orwell: 1984; Collected Essays, Letters, & Journalism
Tolstoy: War & Peace
Kipling: Captains Courageous
Twain: Huckleberry Finn; The Mysterious Stranger
Carroll: Alice in Wonderland; Through the Looking Glass
Huie: The Revolt of Mamie Stover
Lovejoy & Boas: Primitivism & Related Ideas in Antiquity
Lewis: The Screwtape Letters
Luce & Raiffa: Games & Decisions
Agee: A Death in the Family
Burdick: The Ninth Wave
Russell: History of Western Philosophy
Skinner: Walden Two
Wiener: Cybernetics
Stewart: Earth Abides; Storm
Kornbluth: The Syndic
Kornbluth & Pohl: The Space Merchants
Bradbury: Fahrenheit 451
Koestler: Darkness at Noon; The Age of Longing


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 19 Jul 03 - 01:08 AM

Peter T., I never considered reading B. Tuchman's book on Stillwell, though I've known of its existence for years, but from what you say, it sounds like it's worth a look.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Deckman
Date: 19 Jul 03 - 01:45 AM

To Lonesome EJ. I also read and was facinated by "The Snow Leopard." How's this for weird. I can certainly remember that the authors name was "Peter." But that's only his first name. What a strange thing is ones' mind. Wait a minute, was his last name perhaps something like "Matthesson." (sp?) Bob


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 19 Jul 03 - 09:49 PM

That's the guy. I think it's spelled "Matthiessen."


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Deckman
Date: 19 Jul 03 - 10:10 PM

You see ... that's the difference between the two of us. HE spells it correctly! Oh well! CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Allan C.
Date: 19 Jul 03 - 11:49 PM

I probably should have mentioned Poe except that I would be referring to his short stories rather than a book. From him I learned sentence structure. From him I learned suspense and surprise. From him I learned how to make a short story long. *G*


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: SINSULL
Date: 03 Sep 09 - 01:43 PM

I found the witch, her boots and the picture:
http://www.digregor.com/FairyTales/roland2.html

My memory was off. One white rose on a brier bush caight the witch's attention. But the picture was right there.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Bill D
Date: 03 Sep 09 - 03:20 PM

I always try to guess who has refreshed an old thread....I get it right maybe ¼ of the time.....but this time I missed totally. *grin*


Nice to remind myself of the items on the list.


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Subject: RE: Books That Most Influenced You
From: Rapparee
Date: 03 Sep 09 - 04:08 PM

There have been so damned MANY!!! I'm sorry, but I really can't list them all, but here are a few authors (in no particular order) who come to mind. You can supply the first names.

Heinlein
Asimov
De Camp
Pohl
Paine
Jefferson
Locke
Hobbes
Watterson
Le Guin
Macrae
Shakespeare
Donne
Milton
Chaucer
Anonymous
Chesterton
Twain
Russell
Aristotle
Caesar
Owen
Butler
Byron
Pope
Miller
Heraclitus
Jung
Freud
Goldwater
Carter
Newton
de Pisa
Copernicus
Shera
Lang
etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum

(I'm still being influenced.)


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