I invented this meme. Ha! I am first.
Name five books (in no particular order) that have guided or changed your life in some way and tell why (be brief).
1. The Holy Bible (by, various)
-- This book defines my moral and ethical compass. I consider it required reading and I reference often for nuggets of wisdom. I prefer the Catholic versions as they contain the Apocrypha, otherwise I'll take the NRSV. Always get one with full annotation and footnotes!
2. Rendezvous with Rama (by, Arthur C. Clarke)
-- I first encountered this book when I was in third grade. The sitter was reading it and I asked to borrow it when he was done. He refused stating that I was too young and wouldn't understand it. I protested, and he resisted. Years later, possibly in middle-school or high-school, I rediscovered the book. I read it and am convinced I would have understood it. I learned that a child should not be denied a book they are interested in. Kids know more than what we often give them credit for.
3. A Book on C (by, Al Kelley and Ira Pohl)
-- This book is so excellent for learning ANSI C programming. I refer to it constantly and read it just for the entertainment value (I am a Nerd God, if you recall
). I just enjoy reading technical manuals. This is truly the pinnacle of my technical library.
4. Stranger In A Strange Land (by, Robert A. Heinlein)
-- I originally started reading this novel back in high-school but got bored with it and never finished. I bought it last year but this version, republished by his wife, was what Heinlein originally wanted to publish. I was enthralled. It really captured a lot of the idiosyncrasies there are in our society. It really questions why we do the things we do. It also taught me how to observe objectively. Just because a house is white on one side, does not mean it is a white house, or that it is even a house and not just a facade.
5. Lone Wolf And Cub (by Kazuo Koike, Goseki Kojima, art by Frank Miller)
-- A great comic. The only comic I ever made a dedicated effort to collect. I recall I missed issue #23
. This is the comic that gave me a kick in the butt to go to Japan. I was fascinated before, now I was just enthralled. I forget the issue, but the one thing I took away was the concept of "Mu" or nothingness as a state of mentality. Such a state gives great clarity and focus to your actions. Later, I was able to live in Japan for a while. God, how I miss it: the food (sushi is such a SMALL part of it), the people, and their culture.