Scott posted one of those “learn more about you” questions on his blog and I decided to participate. This one is relatively simple:
Rules: Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you’ve read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.
- Dune by Frank Herbert – Utterly compelling story that’s stuck with me
- Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card – Another compelling story with a definite dark side
- Snow Crash by Neil Stephenson – To call this one thought provoking is an understatement
- Inferno by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle – Taught me that reading can be extremely fun
- Watership Down by Richard Adams – Who new a story about rabbits could be so dramatic
- Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous by George Berkeley – Taught me that the obviously absurd may not be as absurd as first thought
- Meditations of First Philosophy by René Descartes – I learned that doubt is one of the best tools we have to create knowledge
- The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan – I for one welcome our new corn overlords
- Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov – Read these so long ago that I’ve forgotten much of thier content, but I remember the love I had for them
- The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien – This has been read to me at least twice in my life. The level of intimacy created by such an act is profound
- Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien – These were also read to me
- Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky – First classic that I choose to read
- The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins – Helped me refine my theological thinking and enabled me to be more out about my atheism
- Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis – Reminded me that just because it’s Christian doesn’t automatically make it foolish
- Gödel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter – Felt like I was in the presence of a genius the entire time I read it. I wish I understood more of it
And I thought 15 would be difficult to come up with. They are listed in a very particular order – the order in which I thought of them. The downside is that since coming up with these initial ones, I keep thinking of so many more that have impacted my thinking. If these were listed by importance, I’d definitely have to include “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for His Hat” by Oliver Sacks, “Rethinking Life and Death” by Peter Singer, and “Utilitarianism” by John Stuart Mill. These books along with a few others in my list helped me rebuild a worldview after freeing myself from religion.
I’m sure there are so many others that slipped my mind today for whatever reason. What’s your list?