Instructions: go with gut, not ten favorites or ten best, but ten that affected how you think about the world and see yourself in it, as described in article by Ross Douthat in NYT March 25, 2020 http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/25/the-influential-books-game/?ref=books
This is an engaging exercise that will lead you to think about your roots.
Here’s my list – done quickly with very little revision.
Doris Lessing - The Grass is Singing – because for the first time I saw myself in a book.
Walter Farley – The Black Stallion series because I loved reading it so much and it was one swift adventure after another – this is important to remember when writing stories.
Lewis Thomas - Lives of a Cell - read for Biology 101 in college. I remember it as an invitation to look and question and wonder why that confirmed importance of being curious.
Ernest Hemingway: Cat in the Rain because the story puzzled me and I accepted the authority of anything in a book so if I didn’t get it, it meant I had more to learn. This short story and my curiosity about it represent why I read and wonder and try to do the same for another reader. It also taught me not to give credence to something just because it is printed in a book.
Genesis – stories in THE authoritative religious text for Jews and Christians contradict one another and ultimately show that important stories do not have to be logical, God is not a very good creator and neither are most of us (we are created in His image)and that we have a deep need to tell stories when trying to figure things out.
"Masks of the Universe," Edward Harrison – introduced me to idea of anthropy –each age writes its own history and is convinced of the authenticity of that history. Used idea in essay about my mother and time traveling.
T.S. Eliot – poems Auslander gave us to read in senior English class in 1963. Mind-blowing. And later, in 1994, began to read The Four Quartets. The poems push me into a different way of thinking that is both personal and introspective and universal. I go back to them several times a year.
Joy of Cooking and Mom’s green cook book – where I learned how to make fudge, layered cakes, beef stew, etc. I still have Mom’s copies of both books.
Blood Meridian by Cormack McCarthy changed how I think about humanity – what humans are capable of every day, any place you name: we kill one another.
Diary of Anne Frank – how could it not be on this list? I read it when I was a young teen and wanted to be like her: brave and funny and sassy. And first book I read that had a truly tragic ending – wrong people died. See above.
Causes Priscilla Hodgkins Supports
Stillpoint Retreat Center, Mechancville, NY...