This popped up on Facebook and someone asked me to answer it, so I thought this might be a good place to post it! Leave some notes on your opinions.
While these probably change daily and I’m sure I’m forgetting some, here are (currently) the ten books that have had the most impact on me.. I’ve included three non-fiction books because I took “impact” as also including “changing the way you think or act” as well as “struck you as super awesome stories.”
1.) The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley – easily my entrance into fantasy as a genre, before I understood what it was (I was like 11). Strangely I started my fantasy journey with two books that had females as the lead character, something that certainly wasn’t popular 20 years ago when I started reading.
2.) The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss – at some point it transformed from a fantasy novel into a thing of beauty. I love this book and I hate Patrick Rothfuss for not being an actual musician and understanding music so well.
3.) Memory of Light (last book in Wheel of Time). It’s rare that I have to stop reading a book midway because I can’t take the emotional strain. I literally put this book down after “the Last Battle” chapter and had to take a break. I’m not a huge fan of the denouement, but that was like the best chapter ever written.
4.) The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingslover. Just a really emotionally gripping story about a missionary family in Africa that I still think about many years after reading it.
5.) Catch-22. Being in the military and having a dry sense of humor, this is a must read for anyone and I absolutely loved it.
6.) Starship Troopers – Again, colored by my military experience, I read very few novels that really get across what it feels like to be in the service. This was one of them.
7.) It Starts With Food – Non fiction book explaining the biological impacts of the standard American diet and what you can do to change it. If there was one book to sum up the “real food” movement and why it’s important, this it it (and it doesn’t talk about GMO, so don’t start acting like a jackass because that debate makes your internet-muscles flex)
8.) The Five Love Languages – Cheesy, I know, but every couple must read this book. It will change the way you think about communicating with your spouse. Actually, it can be expanded to include communicating with everyone.
9.) Husband Coached Childbirth – Completely reshaped how my wife and I went through pregnancy and birth together, as a team. Changing the way we thought about childbirth (as in destroying the modern stereotypes and looking at how we were designed to do this) has had a real and tangible effect on how it all unfolded with my daughter’s birth.
10.) Brian Jacques’ Redwall series – I’m reaching a bit, here as I run out of books (I read a lot of books but I don’t know that many have really made a huge impact) but these were a huge part of my childhood reading experience and I still get hungry when I think of the feast scenes that are ubiquitous in the series
11.) Fifty Shades of..err…umm. Nevermind.