I've seen people challenging other people on Facebook to list the 10 most influential books in their life, but nobody has challenged me! Seemed like a good subject though, so I thought I'd write about it. So here you go, listed by number, but for the most part not really in any particular order. All the years are the completion year.
1. The Bible by God - circa 90
Of course this is the most influential book in my life, being as I'm a Christian. This is Holy Scripture where God Himself speaks to us. I know this is an obvious choice, but I didn't want to just say it didn't count in this list, because it counts more than any other.
2. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis - 1952
Though I don't agree with some of Lewis' conclusions, because I don't think they are backed up in the first book on my list here, I think this book is one of the most logical and practical books on human worldview in existence that is easily read by a layman like me. I like it for its simple and practical approach to some of life's most complex and large questions.
3. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien - 1955
This entry includes all three books from the trilogy and I'll also throw in the Hobbit as well. If you have read my blog over the last few years, you knew this would be on here. It is an epic in every sense of the word and describes such a vast and detailed land that once I start reading I'm only thinking Middle-earth and the realness that it is. My basement is LotR, my favorite board game is LotR, I plan midnight showing LotR parties, this is influential.
4. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis - 1956
I remember being scared the first time my mom tried to read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to me. The stories are fun, exciting, scary, and yet still personal and real as the children in each of the books encounter very real and very important life choices and learn how to view their own world through Narnia's lens. I experienced this and learned it right along with them.
5. The Scottish Chiefs by Jane Porter - 1810
This is the book that got me looking for other books that were illustrated by N.C. Wyeth. It began my infatuation with historical fiction, which continues today, and it showed me how villainous a character in a book could be. I remember always thinking that Wallace shouldn't do the right thing, but the smart thing, but he was always the chivalrous and perfect knight. I know that this is such a romanticized version of Wallace's story that perhaps it is too far, but in the same way that Braveheart made him a barbarian warrior and I loved it, I like this for making him the gallant knight.
6. Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle - 1927
This includes all the short stories, novels, etc. My grandma bought me a collection of stories in a large hardcover book from Half Price Books for my 12th birthday in 1995 and I've read them all many times since. Holmes' personal imperfection, yet professional vigor and ability has always intrigued me. I have always found reading in a narration form (for the most part) by Dr. Watson as a style that put me in Watson's shoes and being flabbergasted by Holmes' apparent wizardry.
7. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas - 1845
The ultimate tale of revenge. As you read this book, it just gives you the feeling of hopelessness and hate and desire. I think it really began my enjoyment of the down-on-their-luck protagonists that somehow make something of themselves. A classic that you should seek out and enjoy reading, though very tough for me to decide which book took this slot. I could've easily chosen Treasure Island, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Last of the Mohicans, A Christmas Carol, Kidnapped!, or many other classic novels of the 19th century.
8. The Iron Marshall by Louis L'Amour - 1979
This book is influential, because I'm pretty sure it was the first L'Amour book I ever read. I read it at my uncle & aunt's house in Minnesota and now own about 110 L'Amour books. So that is why it is on this list, though my favorite of his books are The Walking Drum, The Haunted Mesa, and The First Fast Draw. L'Amour writes simple, fun, and historically accurate Westerns and frontier stories that I love reading and will continue to love reading.
9. The Tower Adventure by Franklin Dixon - 1927
Again, not so much this individual book, but the Hardy Boys in general. I read them all as a kid, and Nancy Drew, and Trixie Belden (Yeah, I know, pretty girly, but I didn't care!). Young kids solving mysteries was my thing! I remember being very disappointed and feeling deceived when I learned that Franklin Dixon wasn't a real person and these were just collections of authors.
10. The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel - 1998
Strobel lays it out in very logical and matter of fact way. I remember reading this first in high school, then again in college, then again after college. I like how he just talks about his journey and each little hiccup that he had with Christianity. I've given this book to friends a couple times and it is one that I'm sure I'll continue to go back to on a regular basis.
So there you have it. My 10 most influential books. Thanks for tagging me and having me write about them. Oh yeah, you didn't, so I just did.