Friday, October 24, 2014

Most Influential Post-21 Books

Back in August a meme was going around Facebook asking for your most influential books, and like most people, ALL of mine were from my first 21 years. I get that those are influential because of the place you're in emotionally, still trying to figure out who you are, who you're becoming, what you will do with your life, what is important to you, and so on. But does that truly mean that for the rest of our lives, even the great books we read just roll off of us like water off a duck's back, not penetrating at all? That just can't be. So I decided to make a second list:

10 Best Books I've Read Since I Turned 22
(I didn't do "most influential" because that has a different connotation, but books that have truly stuck with me, that I still think back on occasionally, still recommend, and wish I could reread for the first time. I'm not including any books I edited or acquired.) In no particular order:
  1. Making History by Stephen Fry
  2. The Rapture of Canaan by Sheri Reynolds 
  3. All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
  4. Dead Man Walking: The Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty That Sparked a National Debate by Helen Prejean
  5. And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic by Randy Shilts
  6. The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler
  7. The Inn at Lake Devine by Elinor Lipman
  8. Poachers by Tom Franklin
  9. Straight Man by Richard Russo
  10. The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist
Okay, all but the last one of these I read in my 20s. Why is it so hard to find books that resonate like these did, these days? Is it where my mind is now? Is it that I have already read a lot of great classics (and modern classics) and so now have to settle for second-tier books? I do find it interesting that half of what I read is nonfiction, but only two of these books are. Why do I love reading nonfiction if so few of them make much of an impact on me? 

Darn it. Okay, should I make a third list of books I loved in my 30s?

1 comment:

Kristen said...

I'm glad The Unit made the list. Even more interesting that it's the only one not from more than a decade ago. I still think of it and recommend it to people all the time too.