S.G. Browne

10 Books That Have Affected Me

There’s a meme on Facebook to list 10 books that have affected or stayed with you. You’re not supposed to dwell on your answer but just list the first 10 books that come to mind that have meant something to you for one reason or another. Perhaps they inspired you. Or terrified you. Or resonated with you in some manner that is personal.

I may have done this list previously. I’m sure it varies depending on my mood, or if I’ve read anything recently that became embedded in my DNA, so here is my current list of 10 Books That Have Affected Me (in no particular order):

*      *      *

1) Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk

2) Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

3) Lord of the Flies by William Golding

4) St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell

5) Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

6) The Stand by Stephen King

7) Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

8) The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

9) Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

10) American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

*      *      *

That’s my list. Feel free to share yours.


C is for Catcher, Cat’s, and City

There are a lot of “C” titles that didn’t make my list of favorite reads. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. Carrie by Stephen King. Choke by Chuck Palahniuk.

While I enjoyed all of them and more, I’m forcing myself to limit my choices to my top two or three, so it’s inevitable that some worthy reads won’t make the cut. But it’s not much of a list of favorites if I include everything, now is it?

So on to the winners:

First Place
Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
The fact that Mark David Chapman sat down to read this book after shooting John Lennon isn’t enough to keep it off the list, but I can’t think of this book without getting pissed off at Chapman, who apparently thought Lennon was a “phony.” Still, Salinger’s novel about teenage angst, identity, and alienation resonates nearly sixty years after its publication. Probably one of my favorite books of all time.

Tied For First
Cat’s Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut
The second Vonnegut novel to make an appearance here (and not the last), this is probably my favorite. Not only did he manage to skewer science, technology, and religion, but he created his own religion, the basic premise of which is that all religion, including Bokononism, is formed entirely of lies. Of course, if you believe these lies, you will at least have peace of mind. Nice, nice, very nice.

A Distant Third
City of Thieves, David Benioff
My most recent “C” novel that I’ve read, this one had great characters, a good story, and reminded me that the joy of reading is often the discovery of an author’s ability to craft words in such a way that makes you appreciate the beauty of the written word.

And the first Classic Literature Razzie goes to:
Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky
This was assigned for reading in my high school junior year Western Literature class. The crime was that the book was ever written. The punishment was that I had to read it.

Filed under: Movies and Books — Tags: , , , , — S.G. Browne @ 10:36 am