My Top 55 Most Influential Books.

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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 variety of 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.”

Books have been a huge part of my life, ever since I was a small child. My mom has fond memories of coming downstairs in the morning and instead of seeing me in front of the TV, I was sitting by the shelf with my books. Library day, school book fairs and the book orders that came every month were like a passport to travel to strange worlds and amazing adventures. For some reason books held an allure on me. It was, as Richard Wright once said,

“I hungered for books, for new ways of looking and seeing. It was not a matter of believing or disbelieving what I read, but of feeling something new, of being affected by something that made the world look different.”

Indeed, these books helped shape the way I look at the world. These are stories of daring adventure, amazing discoveries, and life changing experiences. Through them I learned lessons of bravery, trust, love, family, friendship, faith, and sacrifice. I learned of power and its deadly allure, and I encountered betrayal, loss, death, and revenge. More over I learned that no one person is beyond change, and that there is hope for redemption.

I learned of the importance of words and how they can change lives. I learned that even the smallest of objects can make a he difference, and that the future, like so much in life, is not set in stone. I was reminded that there is great evil, both inside us and outside of us, but also that there is great potential for good, should we choose.

These books are the kind that Samwise Gamgee so eloquently described in the film version of the Two Towers,

“Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something even if you were too small to understand why.”

So, without further ado, here are my top 55 most influential books. Please not that a book series constitutes one entry on this list. Otherwise this list would be huge.

 

 

  1. The Chronicles of Narnia ( The Magician’s Nephew,  Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, The Horse and His Boy, Prince Caspian, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, and The Last Battle ) by CS Lewis-

    Narnia

    The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis

  2. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

    A Christmas Carol By Charles Dickens

    The Original cover of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

  3. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

    The Hobbit

    The Hobbit

  4. The Lord of the Rings ( The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, the Return of the King) JRR Tolkien

    The Lord of the Rings

    The Lord of the Rings

  5. The Time Quintet ( A Wrinkle in Time, Swiftly Tilting Planet, A Wind in the Doorway, Many Waters, and An Acceptable Time)-Madeline L’Engle

    The Time Quintet

    The Time Quintet

  6. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

    Cover to Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451

    Fahrenheit 451

  7. The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan

    The Pilgrim's Progress

    The Pilgrim’s Progress

  8. The Dark is Rising Sequence (Over Sea, Under Stone, The Dark Is Rising, Greenwitch, The Grey King, and  Silver on the Tree) by Susan Cooper

    The Dark is Rising

    The Dark is Rising

  9. The Circle Series ( Black, Red, White, Green)by Ted Dekker

    Circle

    The Circle Series

  10. The Gates of Heaven Series (The Wolf of Tebron, The Map Across Time, The Land of Darkness, The Unraveling of Wentwater, The Crystal Scepter, and The Sands of Ethryn) by CS Lakin

    The Gates of Heaven Series

    The Gates of Heaven Series

  11. The Firebird Trilogy ( Firebird, Fusion Fire, and Crown of Fire) by Kathy Tyers

    Firebird Trilogy by Kathy Tyers

    The Firebird Trilogy

  12. The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum

    The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus

    The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus

  13. The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury

    Illustrated Man

    Illustrated Man

  14. The Space Trilogy ( Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength) by CS Lewis

    The Space Trilogy

    The Space Trilogy

  15. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

    The Martian Chronicles

    The Martian Chronicles

  16. From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne

    From the Earth to The Moon

    From the Earth to The Moon

  17. The Cooper Kids Adventure Series  ( The Door in the Dragon’s Throat, Escape from the Island of Aquarius, The Tombs of Anak, Trapped at the Bottom of the Sea, Secret of the Desert Stone, The Deadly Curse of Toco-Ray, The Legend of Annie Murphy and Flying Blind) by Frank Peretti

    The Cooper Kids Adventure Series

    The Cooper Kids Adventure Series

  18. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

    Ender's Game

    Ender’s Game

  19. The War of the Worlds by HG Wells

    The War of the Worlds

    The War of the Worlds

  20. Till We Have Faces by CS Lewis

    Till We Have Faces

    Till We Have Faces

  21. The Time Machine by HG Wells

    Time Machine

    Time Machine

  22.  The Lucky Star Series by Isaac Asimov

    The Lucky Starr Series

    The Lucky Starr Series

  23. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

    20000 Leagues Under the Sea

    20000 Leagues Under the Sea

  24. The Complete Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

    The Complete Sherlock Holmes

    The Complete Sherlock Holmes

  25. Ice by Shane Johnson

    Ice

    Ice

  26. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

    Jurassic Park

    Jurassic Park

  27. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

    The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

    The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

  28. Favorite Norse Myths retold by Mary Pope Osborn, illustrations by Troy Howell

    Favorite Norse Myths

    Favorite Norse Myths

  29. Black Ships Before Troy by Rosemary Suttcliff, illustrations by Alan Lee

    Black Ships Before Troy

    Black Ships Before Troy

  30. Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire by Steve Perry

    Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire

    Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire

  31. Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy (Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command) by Timothy Zahn

    The Thrawn Trilogy

    The Thrawn Trilogy

  32. The Daystar Voyages Series ( Secret of the Planet Makon, Wizards of the Galaxy, Escape from the Red Comet, Dark Spell Over Morlandria, Revenge of the Space Pirate, Invasion of the Killer Locusts, Dangers of the Rainbow Nebula, The Frozen Space Pilot, The White Dragon of Sharnu, Attack of the Denebian Starship) by Gilbert Morris and Dan Meeks.

    Daystar Voyages

    Daystar Voyages

  33. Beowulf translated by JRR Tolkien, edited by Christopher Tolkien

    Beowulf

    Beowulf

  34. Bulfinch’s Mythology-compiled by Thomas Bulfinch

    Bulfinch's Mythology

    Bulfinch’s Mythology

  35. The Epic of Gilgamesh translated by Stephen Mitchell

    Gilgamesh

    Gilgamesh

  36. Tales from Ancient Egypt by Roger Lancelyn Green

    Tales of Ancient Egypt

    Tales of Ancient Egypt

  37. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

    The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

    The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

  38. The Rocketeer: Jet Pack Adventures by various authors, illustrations by J. Bone
  39. The Essential Tales and Poems of Edger Allen Poe

    The Rocketeer: Jet-Pack Adventures

    The Rocketeer: Jet-Pack Adventures

  40. The Martian Tales of Edger Rice Burroughs

    John Carter of Mars series

    John Carter of Mars series

  41. The CyberQuest series (Pharaoh’s Tomb , Knights Honour, Pirate’s Cross , Outlaw’s Gold , Soldier’s Aim, and Galilee Man )by Sigmund Brouwer

    CyberQuest

    CyberQuest

  42. 1984 by George Orwell

    1984

    1984

  43. Antigone by Sophocles

    Antigone

    Antigone

  44. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

    The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

    The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

  45. Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, translated by Walter Kaufmann

    Faust

    Faust

  46. The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    The Screwtape Letters

    The Screwtape Letters

  47. Lord Foulgrin’s Letters by Randy Alcorn

    Lord Foulgrin's Letters

    Lord Foulgrin’s Letters

  48. Paradise Lost & Paradise Regained by John Milton

    Paradise Lost & Paradise Regained

    Paradise Lost & Paradise Regained

  49. The Man in the Iron Mask Alexander Dumas

    The Man in The Iron Mask

    The Man in The Iron Mask

  50. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

    Les Miserables

    Les Miserables

  51. The  Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

  52. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

  53. White Fang by Jack London

    White Fang

    White Fang

  54. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

    A Tale of Two Cities

    A Tale of Two Cities

  55. Pride& Prejudice by Jane Austen

    Pride&Prejudice

    Pride&Prejudice

 

 

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About jonathondsvendsen

Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog! Somehow you stumbled upon it. Whatever brought you around, I'm glad you're here. I am a free-lance writer and independent scholar of pop-cultural mythology, living and working in Minnesota. An aspiring mythmaker, I dream of voyages through space, fantastic worlds, and even my own superhero or two. I am also an established public speaker and have guest-lectured for college classes on the topic of comic book superheroes. I graduated from Bethel University in 2007 with a degree in Literature and Creative writing. I also write for the website NarniaFans.com. Head on over and you can check out my book reviews , a few fun interviews and even my April Fools Day jokes.
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