NINETEEN BOOKS THAT HAVE SHAPED MY WORLD…

I first compiled this list in 1997 when a friend asked me for a list of the 10 books that most shaped my life. Of course, I couldn’t restrict the list to just 10. I think in the original I kept it to a dozen or so. In the eighteen years since the list has grown to 19 as of 12 August 2015 with the addition of Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything, a book I put side-by-side with Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring.

Here they are in alphabetical order since I can’t really rank them any other meaningful way.

Chosen, The by Chaim Potok;

Clarence Darrow for the Defense by Irving Stone;

Crystal Cave, The by Mary Stewart;

Demon-Haunted World, The Carl Sagan.

Dune by Frank Herbert;

Hell’s Angels by Hunter S. Thompson;

Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien;

Movable Feast, A by Ernest Hemingway;

Narcissus and Goldmund by Herman Hesse;

Razor’s Edge, The by Somerset Maugham;

Shogun by James Clavell;

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson;

Slaughter House Five by Kurt Vonnegut;

Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein, the original uncut version;

Teachings of Don Juan, a Yaqui Way of Knowledge, The by Carlos Castaneda;

The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley;

This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein

Time Power by Charles Hobbs;

Walden by Henry David Thoreau; and

Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy.

19 Responses to “NINETEEN BOOKS THAT HAVE SHAPED MY WORLD…”

  1. jaclyn says:

    thanks jeff! I like that we have many similar tastes! :)

  2. Jeff Hess says:

    Shalom Jaclyn,

    No surprise there.

    B’shalom,

    Jeff

  3. […] short-story collections, plays or poetry. That’s hard to do. I was once asked to compile such a list and I couldn’t cut it further than […]

  4. […] swimming to and fro in the currents of time, give some attention to The Razor’s Edge [One of the 18 Books That Have Influenced My Life, JH.], Cakes And Ale, and The Moon And Sixpence.) p. […]

  5. […] my personal heroes and his The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark is one of the Eighteen Books That Have Shaped My World. In that book he provides his one Baloney Detection Kit and it has served me […]

  6. Mary Jo says:

    May I borrow a book or two from you? I promise to take good care.
    Mary Jo

  7. Jeff Hess says:

    Shalom Mary Jo,

    We do have such a great library system.

    B’shalom,

    Jeff

  8. […] I’ve ordered Dawkins’ book from the library, but it’s not available just yet. When it comes in I’ll share the text with my student. Perhaps it will help to innoculate him against the woo who lunies. While I’m waiting, I’m going to loan him my copy of Carl Sagan’s The Demon-Haunted Universe, a book that made my list of 18 books that shaped my world. […]

  9. […] friends are familiar with my Eighteen Books That Have Shaped My World list. I now want my friends (I do consider my readers to be my friends) to help me discover Book […]

  10. […] Clarence Darrow is one of my personal heroes and his biography, Clarence Darrow for the Defense is on my list of Eighteen Books That Have Shaped My World. […]

  11. […] Eight Four, Clockwork Orange and The Gnostic Gospels, none of which appear on my own list of the Eighteen Books That Have Shaped My World. When I see lists like Bowie’s, or this, I realize that in many ways the digital world is […]

  12. […] years. For me, a whiter-that-white male growing up on the fringes of Appalachia, these two men are touchstones of what I understand about this […]

  13. […] years. For me, a whiter-that-white male growing up on the fringes of Appalachia, these two men are touchstones of what I understand about this world. My reading goal for this month is to revisit both […]

  14. Daniella Lindquist says:

    Just counted that I read 10 on your list. It is funny because I was thinking a few days ago about the books that really lit me. Such as
    Sometimes a Great Notion
    One Hundred Years of Solitude
    Atlas Shrugged
    The Magnus
    There are more but this is your blog
    Be well Jeff!

  15. Jeff Hess says:

    Daniella,

    I just finished reading 100 years a few months ago.

    Are you still blogging?

    Jeff

    • Daniella Lindquist says:

      Not blogging but I miss it so much, I never felt as alive as when I blogged. So I am thinking of a new blog, it must be about really good things because that is what I wish for all of us.

      I like reading blogs and have followed you. I am FB friends with some of the old Blogappalooza days. I hope you keep going.

      Salut!

  16. […] one of the 18 books that have shaped my world, was first published by Chilton on 1 October 1965. One of the very few DVD/Blu-Ray discs in my […]

  17. […] book has become No. 19 on my list of the NINETEEN BOOKS THAT HAVE SHAPED MY WORLD. In my universe, this may be the bookend to Rachel seminal book Silent […]

  18. […] negro meant in the words of Malcolm X as recorded by Alex Haley in The Autobiography of Malcolm X, was formative. I have always viewed that alien experience through what I read there on the cusp of my […]

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