Jillian at Random Ramblings recently posted a list of the most influential books in her life. She writes,
I love a lot of books. However, I’ve learned that the favorites list and the most influential list are two completely different things. Today, I’ll list the books that have been influential in my life in some way. I will try my best to say NOTHING as to why they are important. I challenge you to do the same.
So far I’ve seen lists from Roof Beam Reader and Brona’s Books.
It’s got me thinking about the difference between favorite books and influential books. I realized I have usually conflated the two concepts. I thought about it, slept on it, and the books that immediately came to mind are the ones that I list here:
- Dracula by Bram Stoker
- The Good Old Days–They Were Terrible! by Otto Bettman
- The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
- The Great Santini by Pat Conroy
- Sudden Death by Rita Mae Brown
- The Seven Story Mountain by Thomas Merton
- Bananas, Bases, and Beaches by Cynthia Enloe
- Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
- A Lantern in Her Hand by Bess Streeter Aldrich
- Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters
The hardest part of this exercise is taking Jilllian’s lead and saying absolutely nothing about why these books are so influential.