Thursday 3 April 2014

Most Influential Books in My LIfe

Jillian at Random Ramblings has challenged us to list the ten most influential books in our lives...without any supporting commentary!

She says "I love a lot of books. However, I've learned that the favorites list and the most influential list are two completely different things."

Without any further ado, here is my personal list of influential books.

1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
2.To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
4. Albert Speer: His Battle With Truth by Gitta Sereny
5. The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
6. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
7. Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
8. Cloudstreet by Tim Winton
9. The Great World by David Malouf
10. It & The Stand by Stephen King

Some of these books have been reviewed elsewhere on my blog, so you can find out the how & why of their influence on me by clicking on the links.

The rest if for you to guess :-)

What books have had a profound influence on you over the years?

I found that my favourites, childhood favourites, the books that have stayed with me and the books above share many of the same titles.


  1. This is such an interesting list of influential books. Thank you for reminding me of the book about Albert Speer -- I have had that very book on my shelf for well over a decade, and have not read it yet. I should GET TO IT!
    I am going to think about this, and perhaps write my own blog about it after I come up with a nice list of ten books, but, for sure, two that would be on my list are Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy and Anna Karenina by Tolstoy.
    I also agree with you regarding number 10. Reading The Stand when it first came out way back when, it really influenced my desire to develop a lifelong love of reading, because I was so captivated by the book.

    1. The Albert Speer book is one of the most amazing works on personal truth and accountability that I've ever read. Sereny quietly, gently, persistently questions Speer. He avoids, misleads and obfuscates at every turn. But it's a little like watching a spider catch her prey - she patiently waits, asks the right questions, gets under his skin...until....
      you'll have to read it yourself to find out :-)

      I hope you put your list together soon.

    2. Thank you for these extra thoughts about the book. It really sounds tantalizing.

  2. Jane Eyre would actually be at the top of my list as well.

    1. Jane Eyre was my first big classic challenge as a 12 year old.
      It also showed me the importance of rereading certain books at different times of your life as your experience and maturity brings new insights with each reading.

  3. The Albert Speer book sounds fascinating! I love this list idea. There is such a difference between favorite and influential--I think I've always converged the two.

  4. Such a wonderful list! P&P and Jane Eyre might both make mine. Also, Cloudstreet has been on my TBR stack as I've planned our Australia trip and you're making me want to bump it up the list. I've also been meaning to read It after some incredibly strong recommendations of it and I'm going to have to add your's to the growing list.

    1. Cloudstreet helped me realise that Australians could write...and write well. Thanks to Winton I started to seek out other Australian authors like David Malouf, Ruth Park, Peter Goldsworthy, Thea Astley, Robert Dessaix, Kate Grenville, Marion Halligan, Thomas Keneally, Richard Flanagan, Lily Brett, Robert Drewe, Inga Clendinnen....just to name a few.

    2. And don't forget, Peter Carey. He's an amazing Australian writer.

    3. My relationship with Peter Carey is more complicated than positive :-)

  5. My hubby is reading Jane Eyre for the first time right now. It's my fave book ever, so I'm a little worried about what he's thinking of it :-)

    I've nominated you for the Liebster Award -- read my blog post here for more info.

  6. I debated whether or not to put Jane Eyre, but I think that's more of a favorite book for me. Great list, and interesting that you put The Stand! I really like King's writing, but specifically on that book.

    1. It was one of the scariest books I've ever read, but the apocalyptic vision of The Stand was simply mesmerising from start to finish (well, almost - some of the desert scenes with Trash can man were too long for my liking.) It turned me onto the whole world of post-apocalyptic literature.

  7. I read Jane Eyre and I think the story really flowed nicely! :) I loved Jane most especially! Awesome list!! by the way, I just started a book blog around last week and I thought you might want to check it at least? Maybe we could follow each other too!! Just let me know okay! :) xx

    Jillian @ Jillian's Books

  8. You inspired me to write my own "Top Influential" blog tonight, and I gave you a shout-out.
    Happy reading to you.


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