My Top 55 Most Influential Books.


Every writer has a list of books that inspired them the most. Some try to limit that list to ten but not me. I have been inspired, influenced and shaped by a verity off different genres and authors, some more than others. Bellow are lists of the books that inspired me the most.

As Sir Arthur Conan Doyle once said,

It is a great thing to start life with a small number of really good books which are your very own.”

And to quote from Henry David Thoreau,

““Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.” Continue reading

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“Some People Juggle Geese!”

One thing that has been said to me as I’ve approached my birthday is that it’s the age where it hits you that you have to “grow up.” I won’t reveal it here, but let’s just say it’s one of those numbers that when you think about it as a kid it just sounds “old”.  As I celebrated with my family and close friends it’s hard not to wonder just what that means, grown up. I’ve certainly grown taller, that’s for sure, but I’ve long wondered, ever since I graduated college what it really meant to be “grown up.”

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You Have Chosen Wisely

There are a number of factors that go into making your final decision as to which college you attend. Financial aid is a huge one these days. However, once that has been considered it is key to look at what classes the school offers, especially ones that are helpful to your major. However, even the most staunch academic advisor will suggest taking at least one or two “fun” courses to prevent burn out. After all, while you may be there to get a degree so you can get a good job, there is no reason you can’t have some fun along the way.

The courses offered were big factors in my decision making process when it came to choosing colleges. At that point I was torn between Bethel University and University of Northwestern-St. Paul (formerly Bethel College and Seminary and Northwestern College). Both schools were small, private four year schools in Minnesota. I had been accepted into both, and it was a hard choice as I had wanted to go to either school since I was in fifth grade. But as they say in The Highlander, “there can be only one”.

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Still Running: Celebrating 20 Years of Forrest Gump

Back when I was in fourth grade every kid in class was talking in a strange southern accent saying lines like “My names Forrest, Forrest Gump”, “Stupid is as stupid does” and “Life is Like a box of chocolates, you never know what ya gonna get.” These lines came from the movie Forrest Gump, which apparently everyone in class saw except me. In fact I wouldn’t even see the movie until for a few years later.

Forrest Gump

Forrest Gump


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My First Trip To A Galaxy Far, Far Away….

Most kids would have rather been doing anything but what I was doing over the summer of 1994. Twenty years ago, I was struggling with math in school, and was given enrichment packets by a teacher and that meant the summer months I would practice the problems that hadn’t been assigned in class to help broaden my skills. I worked as hard as I could, and mom tried as hard as she could to encourage me, and even help correct the problems, but it was still a grueling task for me.

Thankfully she bought me this real cool toy computer that talked and could drill me on math problems. Computers, even toy versions from the 1990s, are always fun. But still between the packets and the computer, something was needed to help escape for just a bit from the boredom of math. As I sat at the table working on the problems, the phone rang. Mom answered it and I could tell by the tone of her voice that it was my dad. Dad had stopped off at Target to ask about picking up a movie on video cassette, one that would provide that much needed escape.

“Yes,” she said. “I think he might like that…I suppose you could get it.”

Dad came home and as I got up from the table he showed me what he bought. It was a video called “Star Wars”. The box art, looked something like this:

Star Wars

Star Wars

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My Top 10 Favorite Aliens

This summer’s most surprising break out character is the alien tree person from Planet X best known as “Groot” from Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. The nine foot tall bipedal alien doesn’t say much, but he makes up for it in his warm and friendly expressions. He has joined the ranks of many beloved aliens to grace the silver screen, as he fought, charmed, and danced his way into our hearts.

I am Groot.

I am Groot.

Certainly, he was one of my favorite characters in the movie. In honor of Groot, here is a list of my other favorite aliens from science fiction film and television. While we may have had a favorite character in these stories, these strange creatures still found a way into our hearts and became our best friends in these strange worlds. Along the way, they’ve even taught us what it means to be human.

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Descent into Mystery: Celebrating the 25th Annviersery of Tim Burton’s Batman

When I was four years old, my four favorite superheroes were Superman, Batman, Robin and The Incredible Hulk. While I didn’t read the comic books at the time I did enjoy their exploits through films (as was the case for Superman) and TV (Batman and Hulk). Batman, for me, was must see TV. Everywhere I went, if there was a TV, be it grandma’s house, a hotel, or sitting with my mom in the waiting room of an auto repair shop, I had to watch Batman. This was part of the reason why, on Christmas of 1989, when my dad opened his present from my aunt and uncle, I was excited. The video box didn’t have any words, but that was OK. The symbol on the cover said all I needed or cared to know:

BATMANBatman '89 poster

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