This is from a Facebook writing prompt. The 10 books that have influenced me the most.
Not sure why anyone would tag me, or be interested in ten books that influenced me, but here is a list.
1) Candide. Voltaire. Travel the world, figure out it’s all the same bullshit everywhere, then tend your own garden.
2) The Oxford Book of American Verse. I used to go to the Byron Public Library and check this out every six months. 1076 pages. I have since bought the book, but rarely open it anymore.
3) Love Is a Dog From Hell. Charles Bukowski. His best book of poetry. A gut punch if you’re not ready for it, or a real comfort if you need it.
4) A History of Western Philosophy. Bertrand Russell. I used to consistently raid the bookshelf of my first girlfriend’s father. He was a professor, and I will now confess I stole many of his books, including this one. Most philosophy is virtually impossible to read from the primary sources, so this survey, written in plain language, is invaluable to humanity.
5) Dungeon Master’s Guide. Gary Gygax. I think this was published 1977, so it was about five years later when I saw it and a band of fine fellows from Byron Middle school banded together to play, and were promptly banned from doing so on school grounds. The beginning of a long, fantastic journey into fantasy that I have treasured and never intend to return from.
6) The Riverside Shakespeare. William Shakespeare. Had the good fortune to study this book with professor Michael Quinn at Rock Valley College. He had learned the plays by heart while studying at trinity College in Dublin. To find an educator of that magnitude in a place like this was miraculous.
7) The Bible. The playbook of all the failed ideas of Western civilization. Nonetheless, indispensible in understanding why nothing works.
8)The Great Gatsby. As Bukowski might advice: don’t try.
9) The Crying of Lot 49. Thomas Pynchon. The center cannot hold.
10) Roger Ebert’s Movie Home Companion. I love a refernce book. And good writing. Maybe the best combination of the two.