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Books That Most Influenced You

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Rapparee 03 Sep 09 - 04:08 PM
Bill D 03 Sep 09 - 03:20 PM
SINSULL 03 Sep 09 - 01:43 PM
Allan C. 19 Jul 03 - 11:49 PM
Deckman 19 Jul 03 - 10:10 PM
Chanteyranger 19 Jul 03 - 09:49 PM
Deckman 19 Jul 03 - 01:45 AM
Chanteyranger 19 Jul 03 - 01:08 AM
Joe_F 18 Jul 03 - 06:19 PM
Lonesome EJ 17 Jul 03 - 08:22 PM
jacqui c 17 Jul 03 - 06:25 PM
GUEST,Bo in KY 17 Jul 03 - 10:57 AM
Bert 14 Jul 03 - 11:43 PM
Kim C 14 Jul 03 - 04:22 PM
akenaton 13 Jul 03 - 05:17 PM
Sam L 12 Jul 03 - 05:41 PM
GUEST,Yurena 12 Jul 03 - 09:22 AM
fogie 11 Jul 03 - 12:57 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 11 Jul 03 - 07:44 AM
Renegade 10 Jul 03 - 04:14 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 10 Jul 03 - 01:56 PM
Renegade 10 Jul 03 - 01:10 PM
Renegade 10 Jul 03 - 01:01 PM
GUEST,pdc 10 Jul 03 - 10:46 AM
Li'l Aussie Bleeder 10 Jul 03 - 04:29 AM
Li'l Aussie Bleeder 10 Jul 03 - 01:07 AM
GUEST,pdc 09 Jul 03 - 10:41 PM
Li'l Aussie Bleeder 09 Jul 03 - 10:29 PM
Li'l Aussie Bleeder 09 Jul 03 - 10:23 PM
Cluin 09 Jul 03 - 07:21 PM
EBarnacle1 09 Jul 03 - 04:26 PM
GUEST,jim 09 Jul 03 - 08:46 AM
EBarnacle1 09 Jul 03 - 01:55 AM
MAG 09 Jul 03 - 01:53 AM
GUEST,pdc 08 Jul 03 - 09:46 PM
MAG 08 Jul 03 - 09:26 PM
Jenny Islander 08 Jul 03 - 08:15 PM
Deckman 08 Jul 03 - 07:07 PM
Peter T. 08 Jul 03 - 06:46 PM
Renegade 08 Jul 03 - 05:10 PM
Ron Olesko 08 Jul 03 - 10:34 AM
Peter T. 08 Jul 03 - 09:56 AM
Amergin 07 Jul 03 - 08:30 PM
Cluin 07 Jul 03 - 05:52 PM
Renegade 07 Jul 03 - 01:55 PM
Peter T. 07 Jul 03 - 12:41 PM
GUEST,PDC 07 Jul 03 - 10:48 AM
Sam L 07 Jul 03 - 10:19 AM
alanabit 07 Jul 03 - 08:10 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 06 Jul 03 - 07:47 PM
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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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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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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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