Books That Mattered To Me

Tweeted a list of 40 books you should read before you die made up by some book critics for a British web mag.  Thought they were interesting with some odd choices.  Made me rethink my list of books that mattered to me.  

Started to wonder what books had influenced me the most.  This is different then the best books.  These are books that had an impact on me for one reason or another.  Some of this list is authors rather than any one book.

Lord of the Flies—William Golding.  I found this book to be very disturbing.  The world of stranded children was fascinating and troubling in its assumptions.  It has stayed with me for a long time.

Catch-22—Joseph Heller.  One of the most powerful and funny books I have ever read.  How the humor was mixed with war horror was an amazing job of writing.  This is the only book this author wrote and it’s one of the best.  Went to the movie, was offended and left early, this was a story that could only be told as a book inside someone’s head.

Dune—Frank Herbert.  I have read a lot of sci-fi while growing up and tended to enjoy most of it.  This was a classic from the moment I read the book.  Capturing the texture of an entirely different place with such depth was great writing and a offered a splendid experience for the reader.

The Great Gatsby—F. Scott Fitzgerald.  Rich people partying, how can that make a great book; well it did.  Amazing characters both good and bad.  I thought it was a very sad book.  Usually that's not what I want to read but this book provided a greater depth to the sadness and had real impact.
Lord of the Rings/Hobbit—J.R.R. Tolkien.  The great adventure book.  This series of books absorbed me for hours.  One of many writers who has taken me to a new world to explore good versus evil in unique and insightful ways; but this is the best.  

Raymond Chandler.  I loved his books.  Great influence regarding my series Vincent Malone.  Thank you Mister Chandler.  The Big Sleep was my favorite.

Robert B. Parker.  This is not great literature, thank god.  Enjoyed every one of these even when they became obviously just another short story sold as a book to make money.  Spenser is a great character along with his pal Hawk.

Great Expectations---Charles Dickens.  Dickens was a great writer of popular fiction; which is to say he told stores people liked.  This one stuck with me in its unusual analysis of some of our more human flaws.  Another sad book to me; and I keep saying I don’t like sad books.

The Catcher in the Rye—J.D. Salinger.  Never was real sure if this was a great book or just a popular book; maybe that is not important.  The book felt important to me when I read it and definitely provided a lot of adolescent deep thought.  

One more thought.  I read all of the Ayn Rand books back in the day.  I know these books have some lingering importance in our political world but these were some of the worst books I have ever read.  They were not only bad but very, very long.  What a waste of time.  I read them because they were “important”, they were not.


Murder So Final, the last book in the Muckraker series is in it's final review stages.  Anticipating an e-book release date in December.  If you have not read the first two books you should check them out.  Murder So Wrong is the first book in the series.

Fiction No More, the third Vincent Malone book is in the editing stage.  Release date for this book looks like February 2019.  Good time to catch up with Vincent in the second book; Blue Flower Red Thorns.  


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