Friday, January 6, 2012

Top 10 Books That Have Most Influenced and Inspired Me. What About You?

Totally ripping this off from author and blogger Mike Duran.  Anyway, it's worthwhile to think of the works that have REALLY impacted me, not only as a writer but as a reader.  These aren't my FAVORITES, exactly...but the books that have left their mark on me, long after I finished reading....

1. The Stand, by Stephen King – forever converted me into a Stephen King fan. So epic, the ultimate battle between good and evil, spiritual, and the way he juggled all those main POVs…AMAZING.

2. Boy’s Life, by Robert McCammon – THIS is the book I wanted to cry after. One of those things that convinces me I’ll never be able to write as purely and as beautifully as this.

3. lost boy, lost girl, by Peter Straub – Again, there’s the horror of “monsters” and “demons” and serial killers, then there’s really wrenching stuff like child abuse, etc. Peter Straub was able to deal with something so horrible, yet write so eloquently and beautifully.

4. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury – so hauntingly poetic and rich. The type of book that MAKES you read passages over and over again, just to savor the language. And, the ULTIMATE Halloween thriller.

5. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury – one of the very few science fiction/dystopian future novels that have slapped me upside the head, saying: “WAKE UP! This is happening NOW.”

6. Dandelion Wine, by Ray Bradbury – first of all, proving Bradbury’s awesome range. Second, made me wish I’d grown up in the 20′s. And even though I grew up in the 80′s, my summers seemed just like Doug Spaulding’s…

7. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee – again, one of those PERFECT novels that makes me realize I’ll never write something as wonderful.

And now, I’m going to “cheat” with my last three:

8. The Repairman Jack series, by F. Paul Wilson – I was a huge Roland Deschain fan from Stephen King’s Dark Tower, but Jack is so…real. A regular guy. And he’s an anti-hero with a STRICT, almost old fashioned “code”. Hard to find these days in fiction. And Wilson’s style is so spare, he packs in TONS of action and plot into his stories, and it all reads so very well.

9. The Oxrun Station series, by the late Charles L. Grant – Introduced me to “quiet horror”, and I’ve never before encountered such subtle nuances and artistic prose. And, in a push-back against gore-horror, I love Charles’ respectful, modest restraint and tension. His writing is the first writing I’ve encountered that’s had a tangible affect on my writing.

10 The Foundation and Robot series, by Issac Asimov. I discovered him in high school, and it was the very first HUGE, mega-arc series I’d ever encountered, first one I HAD to have all the books to. And when he managed to tie his Foundation series together with his Robot series, I loved it. Had me primed for the Dark Tower saga long before I ever encountered.

Anyway, that’s it.  How about you? What books have inspired and influenced you?