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Books That Most Influenced You

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Peter T. 26 Jun 03 - 09:52 AM
chip a 26 Jun 03 - 10:03 AM
GUEST,Rich A 26 Jun 03 - 10:05 AM
Peter T. 26 Jun 03 - 10:09 AM
Deckman 26 Jun 03 - 10:09 AM
kendall 26 Jun 03 - 10:14 AM
Kim C 26 Jun 03 - 10:15 AM
Wesley S 26 Jun 03 - 10:20 AM
Amos 26 Jun 03 - 10:28 AM
MAG 26 Jun 03 - 10:31 AM
alanabit 26 Jun 03 - 10:36 AM
GUEST,Ron Olesko 26 Jun 03 - 10:48 AM
Giac 26 Jun 03 - 10:49 AM
Sorcha 26 Jun 03 - 10:50 AM
chip a 26 Jun 03 - 10:59 AM
catspaw49 26 Jun 03 - 11:08 AM
MudGuard 26 Jun 03 - 11:20 AM
CarolC 26 Jun 03 - 11:33 AM
MMario 26 Jun 03 - 11:35 AM
Bill D 26 Jun 03 - 11:42 AM
Micca 26 Jun 03 - 11:47 AM
Matt_R 26 Jun 03 - 12:01 PM
the lemonade lady 26 Jun 03 - 12:09 PM
John Hardly 26 Jun 03 - 12:13 PM
Teribus 26 Jun 03 - 12:30 PM
Alba 26 Jun 03 - 12:45 PM
Bill D 26 Jun 03 - 12:57 PM
Alba 26 Jun 03 - 01:10 PM
zanderfish3 (inactive) 26 Jun 03 - 01:28 PM
Morticia 26 Jun 03 - 03:44 PM
kendall 26 Jun 03 - 04:00 PM
Peter T. 26 Jun 03 - 04:27 PM
fat B****rd 26 Jun 03 - 04:38 PM
katlaughing 26 Jun 03 - 04:49 PM
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Sam L 26 Jun 03 - 04:52 PM
Kim C 26 Jun 03 - 05:14 PM
Bardford 26 Jun 03 - 05:38 PM
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Mary in Kentucky 26 Jun 03 - 06:52 PM
Art Thieme 26 Jun 03 - 06:54 PM
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Little Hawk 26 Jun 03 - 07:28 PM
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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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