Thursday, September 11, 2014

Ten Books/Authors That Have Inspired Me

My world-wandering friend Alexandria Murray challenged me to list Ten Books that inspired me. Friends and family know books are an addiction of mine. Rarely does a night go by without at least a few pages of reading. Some nights, it is hours of reading. There's a strong chance that Your Humble Narrator suffered from undiagnosed depression when he was a Late Teen, and reading was the only thing that helped him get through those dark, dark days. So this challenge must be taken up!

Unfortunately, picking only ten is impossible. So my list is actually going to be:

Top Ten Books/Authors That Have Inspired Me
  1. Fast Food Nation - Eric Schlosser - McDonald's hasn't received a single dime from me in almost 10yrs because of this book. Not only does it expose the seedy practices of the fast food industry but it elaborates on the war that corporations wage against consumers, wherein our health is sacrificed for corporate profits and their biggest advantage is our ignorance of their profit-driven practices. This changed everything about nutrition and eating for me.
  2. A People's History of the United States - Howard Zinn - Mind blowing. This one started me on my path to uncover other deceptions. So many of our beliefs are founded on myths and the truth is often strangers than fiction and usually difficult to swallow after being fooled so effectively for so many years.
  3. You Are Being Lied To - Russ Kick - A collection of world shattering essays that shed light on soooo many dark places. Dozens of articles and each a gift to curious minds. Where as Zinn discusses our past, Russ Kick deals with the modern world. And the Pandora's Box he opens has scarred me for life.
  4. Man's Search for Meaning - Viktor Frankl - This helped me understand the curse of materialism and the value of creating and maintaining happiness between each of us. 
  5. Getting Things Done - David Allen - Brought structure to my chaos and helped me understand the value of structured, orderly approaches to dealing with most situations.
  6. The Dreams in the Witch House - H.P. Lovecraft - As far as fiction goes, this was the first story from the first author that completely absorbed my attention. Have read every story from Lovecraft and his style of writing continues to have an effect on my own.
  7. *Anything by the "modern poets" - TS Eliot, Ezra Pound, Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, ee cummings.* - These guys write the way my thoughts naturally unfurl. Reading them is akin to hearing my own voice. For 30 years their works have been behind most of my thoughts. And there's this wild idea haunting me of making a short, black & white movie based on Elliot's The Wasteland.
  8. *Anything by James Howard Kunstler* - Kunstler is an author / speaker  that never ceases to amaze me with his keen insight, equal-opportunity-acidity and ability to cut through the non-stop illusions being played for us by various corporate / political entities.If only this guy would run for POTUS...
  9. *Anything by Leo Babauta* - As close to traditional spiritually as it gets for me, Leo writes articles on dealing with modern issues in this modern dystopia we're navigating. Like Kunstler, Babauta is weekly reading for me and his writing helps reshape Your Humble Narrator on a regular basis.
  10. *Anything by William Gibson* - Back on the topic of actual fiction, Gibson is one of the few (if only) authors that are required in my opinion. His writing style lines up nicely with the Modern Poets and his subject matter (usually dealing with some form of technology) is near and dear to me. Not sure if Gibson ever tours, but meeting him and getting a personal autograph is on my To Do List.
And now to challenge some friends to list their favorites...

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