10 Books that Have Changed my Life

This post is inspired by The Wounded Healer’s post on the same subject, who in turn was given the idea by Mia of Sub Soare.  Funny how far stuff can travel around here, isn’t it?

In making this list, I discovered that some of these books I didn’t actually enjoy all that well, proving that the experiences that are the most broadening are rarely the ones you choose.

1) 1984 by George Orwell

I think it’s a real pity this book finds itself on the banned book list so often and that everyone isn’t required to read it in school.  It is one of those books that has shaped my worldview as well as my thoughts on government, personal privacy and the truth.

2) V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd

If 1984 was a story about the results of a dystopian society, then V for Vendetta was a lesson on how to take it apart, what you’re going to be left with and, most importantly, why you should.  A story about triumph, loss and personal choice, if you’ve read 1984 and you haven’t read V, you are missing out.

3) Write: 10 Days to Overcome Writer’s Block.  Period. by Karen E. Peterson

When I recommend books to other writers, this one always makes the list.  It’s a very clean cut approach to why we get writer’s block and how to overcome it.

4) “The Cold Equations” by Tom Godwin

Okay, it’s a short story and not technically a book, but I included it anyway.  I read “The Cold Equations” once 14 years ago and it was so burned into my memory I still give an internal shudder every time I think about it.  I can’t say I recommend it, but it taught me about the price of survival and the price of a childish error in judgement.

5) Paganism: A Introduction to Earth-Centered Religions by Joyce and River Higginbotham

The book that answered all of my questions about pagans and paganism, opening my eyes to yet another dimension of the world we live in and reinforced my appreciation of religious freedom.

6) Redshirts by John Scalzi

Authors always talk about the “rules” of writing, one of which is: never kill your character without a good reason.  Redshirts is, in many ways, an entire lesson on this rule and it changed the way I treat the extras in my own stories.

7) The Dark Side of Man by Michael Patrick Ghiglieri

The Dark Side of Man is a strictly evolutionary look at male violence.  It explains a great deal of why people in general, and men in particular, behave like they do and it has changed the way I look at human behavior.

8) Hogfather by Terry Pratchett

Aside from being loaded with Pratchett’s wonderful humor and story, the book taught me how necessary belief is to being human.

9) Rats, Bats and Vats by Eric Flint

Rats, Bats and Vats is a beautifully paced and funny as hell war story that is still fundamentally a war story, with all the death and tragedy that goes with it.  I always thought of war stories as dark and heavy reading until this book showed me that’s only a matter of perspective.

10) The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane by Robert E. Howard

The first date that led to my love for pulp fiction, Solomon Kane is actually collection of short stories by the same guy who wrote Conan the Barbarian.  The stories don’t have a ton of depth and some of them are blatantly racist, but they are also shameless action/adventure stories about a great hero versus ruthless villains and is part of the backbone of all those unrealistic fantasy tropes we don’t get to play with any more.

I’d also like to hand this prompt to other bloggers whose thoughts I find interesting: If Mermaids Wore Suspenderskindergartenknowledge and Ffigys Designs.



3 thoughts on “10 Books that Have Changed my Life

  1. Hmmm, you want me to write about 10 books that have changed my life? I’m terrible at remembering book titles, and most of my vast collection of books is currently in storage. I can’t access them until next week, so I’ll put this on my to-do list. It could be an interesting experience to pick out just 10 books from the hundreds that I’ve read. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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