This is a followup to an article I published the other day titled, 7 Books I wish I Read When I Was 14. These are the books I’m most glad I read when I was younger because they were so integral in my reading career and helped me decide what books to read next!
This list is only 7 entries long but as a child I read tons of books, these are just the most memorable upon reflection.
1. The Shining by Stephen King
…Then again, maybe not!
This classic horror novel doesn’t take long to read, it’s widely frightening, well-written and entertaining. The book introduced me to the art of story telling – something I had never focused on before. Maybe it was just the timing of when I read it, or perhaps it was the page turning that lasted well into the night. Whatever it was the story took me for a ride I will never forget!
Note: Everything became doubly enlightening after reading On Writing, Stephen Kings memoir on the craft. The art of story telling both explained and demonstrated by a master of the art. Stephen king is a fabulous writer and after The Shining I would recommend Cujo or Dreamcatcher ,but never IT… Never IT.
2. Eon by Greg Bear
This book was a breakthrough and introduced me to a much large world of imaginative understanding. In the very first chapter some astronomers are watching an asteroid at the edge of our solar system when all of a sudden the asteroid takes an impossible right turn and starts heading straight for the Earth! Soon the large rock is in orbit around our planet and when people go up to investigate, a whole new world opens up.
3. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A Heinlein
This is a master work and it is destined to go down in history as one of the best Sci-Fi stories of all time. Earth has been sending their prisoners to the Moon, and after many generations to lunar population is sick of it. Viva La Luna! featuring artificial intelligence, rockets, important societal consequences, and the largest catapult of all time.
4. Tao Te Ching by Lao Tsu
The creation of this book is shrouded in a mythical cloud of simplicity and wonder. Legend has it that a farmer living on the edge of a mountain range met a wise old man who he could tell was in the process of disappearing into the sanctitude of the wilderness. The farmer asked the old man to write down what he had learned and the resulting text is the product of this legend. over 2500 years old the lessons contained in these books inform an entire religion and are practically applicable for anyone on their path to spiritual plenty.
5. The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff
Along the same line is a more recent work drawing the connection between A. A. Milne’s Winnie The Pooh and the zen philosophy of Taoism. The book highlights the profound wisdom of a fictional bear and elegantly deconstructs Pooh’s holistic character. I also read Benjamin Hoff’s Te of Piglet and it too was whimsical and insightful. A very good book to launch a literary upbringing!
6. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Wow! These books are hilarious, intellectual, childish and ridiculous. The five part trilogy tells the tale of a reluctant Englishman on a galactic adventure that begins when he discovers his best friend is an alien and the Earth is about to be destroyed to make way for an intergalactic highway.
My favorite story from the series is probably that time Arthur Dent (said Englishman) crash landed by himself into a primitive society of alien cavemen. These aliens were excited at first and curious to learn about all the great technology of Arthur’s futuristic civilization. Soon a depression slumped over Arthur as he realized he was practically useless and could not make anything even remotely technological.
Deep into his depression he made himself sandwich and the cavemen were in awe. Word soon spread of the strange and delicious sandwiches made by the shipwrecked stranger. When Arthur’s friends finally came to pick him up, he was reluctant to go having found so much peace in the art of sandwich making.
P.s These pictures are from the movie about the first book. I enjoyed the I enjoyed the movie and thought it was well done. Boviously not as good as the books because that’s generally unheard of, but well done nevertheless! Plus I’m a big fan of Martin Freeman’s acting… and Mos Def for that matter… and also Sam Rockwell, Malkovich, and Alan Rickman – Damn they had a good cast for that film!
P.s.s, Zoe Deschanel is also a rather pleasant musician.
7. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Ending on a classic. Narnia was a fantastic journey into a foreign, yet familiar magical realm. These books translated nicely into some of the first plays I ever saw – the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe has been good to me.