Saturday, August 09, 2008

Twitter Speaks: More Than 50 Books that Have Had a Great Impact on Us

It's summer and I'm on a reading binge again. Our annual trip to the beach followed closely by a weekend of relative solitude (*gasp* imagine?) have given me the chance to get through a few titles at a much faster pace than regular life allows.

Right now I'm finishing up Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins and there are so many great passages/great lines that have made me stop to think about which books have spoken to me the most.

I subscribe to the belief that different books can mean different things to you depending on where you are in your life. Additionally, books can have varying impact on people reading them depending on the events going on in the world or the timing of the publication. For example, while I think On The Road must have been groundbreaking when it was written, I wasn't as blown away by it having had the experience myself of traveling without a plan--which is a far more common experience today than it was in the Fifties.

This thinking about reading and "the classics" led me to wonder what books had most influenced others. (My favorite section in Newsweek is A Life In Books... the brief interview with an author and the list of the author's favorite books and the book they felt was most overrated.) With trusty Twitter at my fingertips, I asked the following question to my Tweeps.

What book have you read, other than the bible, that has had the greatest impact on you?

Folks on Twitter (if you're not on there, you should be) were tremendously forthcoming with titles--so much so that the following list will keep my reading for years. While 140 characters didn't allow for much more than title and author, I did receive a few notes about why people had selected certain titles. I'm hoping that folks who contributed to the list (or others inspired by this post) might consider writing a post explaining why the book they listed had such an impact on them. I'm fascinated by these stories and am myself always looking for good recommendations.

Someone did come back to me wanting to know which book most influenced me and I do feel an obligation to share that information back. Unfortunately, I can't point to one particular title that has had the most influence. I love books. I always have. Each on it's own has affected me in one way or another. Do I have favorites? Absolutely. But even those that were difficult to get through have increased my love for words and added to my ability to think in words.

So without further ado, I give you...

Twitter Speaks: More Than 50 Books that Have Had an Affect on Us

Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald Mama Tulip

She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb Mama Tulip

I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb Send Chocolate & Mama Tulip

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides MamaTulip

Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck Karoli SoCalMom

Happy Hooker by Xaviera Hollander SoCalMom (you wouldn't believe how it could scare a 14 y.o)

Lamb by Christopher Moore Anissa Mayhew

The Pact by Jodi Picoult Jodifur

19 Minutes Jodi Picoult Jodifur & Hip Mom

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith Jessabean

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee Whit & GraceD & Dooblehvay

A Heatbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers Whit

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison Isabel Kallman

Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill Rumford

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott Flutter & Hip Mom

Teenage Liberation Handbook by Grace Llewellyn NoirBettie

Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser Neilochka

The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron Lola Goetz

The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger Devra

Foundation by Isaac Asimov YatPundit

Rebecca by Daphne DuMarier Casey Moosh in Indy

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby OpenBookJen

Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde Redneck Mommy

Leaves of Grass* by Walt Whitman Redneck Mommy

Lucky by Alice Sebold Flutter

A Separate Peace by John Knowles Samanthia & PunditMom

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxyby Douglas Adams Crunchy Carpets

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon Kiki Laughs it Off

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens Kiki Laughs it Off

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell Kiki Laughs it Off

The Witching Hour by Anne Rice Kiki Laughs it Off

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle Kiki Laughs it Off

Mullet Madness by Alan Henderson Undomestic Diva

Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera NOLANotes

A Sense of Honor by Jim Webb Gunfighter

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood Jodifur

Love and Other Impossible Pursuits by Ayelet Waldman Jodifur

The Princess Bride by William Goldman SueBob

A Course in Miracles SueBob

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White Assertagirl

Intermediate Man John Locks tag

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou GraceD

Laura Ingalls Wilder books GraceD

Bias by Bernard Goldberg Kiss My Gumbo

Evidence of Harm by David Kirby To Think

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley SoCal Mom

1984 by George Orwell SoCal Mom

Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut SoCal Mom

Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien PaullYoung

A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn khylek

Death Be Not Proud by John J. Gunther Slouchy

Atonement by Ian McEwan Slouchy

Superior Women by Alice Adams CharmingDriver

If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino Linseyk

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard FairlyOddMother

The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen Cindy Fey

How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie Mike Driehorst

Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner Pundit Mom

The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles Pundit Mom

Edited on 8/12/08 to add the following titles originally left off because, well, I'm just a dope.

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell Julie Pippert

Children of God by Mary Doria Russell Julie Pippert

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett Julie Pippert

*This book of poetry was given the highest recommendation when Redneck Mommy explained that it virtually got her through the death of her son. It will be next on my list for a number of reasons and I will think of T's beloved Bug as I soak up Whitman's words. Thank you T for being willing to share him with us.

25 Deserve Mamma's Love:

Anonymous said...

I was worried my "Mullet Madness" wouldn't make the cut. Thank god it did. You can all thank me after you've read it. I-N-S-P-I-R-A-T-I-O-N-A-L that one.

Neil said...

I might actually use this as my Fall personal reading list. Should I trust the taste of people on Twitter?

Anonymous said...

I am going to second Neil on that one....there are a few I have read, but many I have not...good list...wild mix!

Nancy said...

Thanks for the post ... I'll pick a few new ones to read from this list.

Mrs. Schmitty said...

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn is my absolute favorite! I read it while I was young and as a matter of fact I just bought it recently to read again.

YatPundit said...

some of these titles are a bit disturbing, but, by and large, it's a great list!

Loralee Choate said...

I love this list. LOVE IT. I think I'm going to print it out and stick it in my wallet for those trips to Borders.

Anonymous said...

I love how varied this list is. I think that I would come up with something similar if I had to pick books that have had an impact on my life. How to you come up with just one?

And I now feel compelled to go out and buy Mullet Madness... Don't think I ever would have found THAT one on my own.

amy turn sharp said...

Good list. You didn't like my suggestions? :( I promise they are good ones! xo

Ndinombethe said...

Ever read Mitch Albom's "'Five People you Meet In Heaven"? I'm not religious, and I'm not in to self help books so the title almost but me off but WHAT A GREAT LITTLE BOOK! Not self help, not religious. Brilliant!

PunditMom said...

I'd better start reading!

Annie said...

Off to the library! Thanks.

amy turn sharp said...

mama loves me! :) thanks babe!

Tara @ Feels Like Home said...

Thanks for putting this list together. Fun! I agree with Neil. The list will make a great fall reading list.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Neil (shhh, don't tell him, his ego may swell) and I think I'm going to use this list as my fall reading list.

I've read more than a few titles on this list and there are some great books listed.

Thanks for doing this, love. It was a great idea.

Gwen said...

Great list and fun to match the book to the reader.

sam {temptingmama} said...

I C&P your list to the one I got from Rhi's site the other day...

Looking forward to some good reads or I'll be heckling those who recommended on twitter.

flutter said...

this must have taken forever to type girl...

Anonymous said...

Seems we all have a lot of reading to do!!!

mamatulip said...

Wow - this is awesome!

Whit said...

Are CliffsNotes available for any of these?

Anonymous said...

I am favorite-ing this post and using it as a reference for years to come. Great round up - great selections - and great, unknown/new-to-me titles! That's good stuff.

Mom O Matic said...

What an awesome post! I have to go with Laura Ingalls Wilder books too. They were my first "big girl" books in the third grade. Even without pictures I can still see Pa grinding up the wheat in the coffee grinder. Oh Pa.

Tina@ SendChocolateNow said...

Wouldn't it be fun to read some of these, then post reviews at our blogs about them.

We could even hashtag it, #TwitBookClub or some such...

who's in? Could be good for some linky love...

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

I love this. (And tell Julie I have the Sparrow in my backpack right now waiting to be read.)