August 21, 2009

The lost cause

The theme at Goat Rope lately has been books, specifically the 10 books that had the biggest impact on me growing up.

(Note: this series has appeared while I'm on furlough and was written in advance, hence no links or comments about current events. Regular publication will resume Monday.)

Here's the lineup so far 1. The Bible 2. Book of Common Prayer 3. Poe's stories and poems 4. Lord of the Rings 5. Tao Te Ching 6. Karate-Do Kyohan 7. Freud/Jung tie 8. Nietzsche's Thus Spake Zarathustra 9. Camus' The Plague.

Now that I'm down to #10, I'm having a hard time picking the last one. I think I'll go with Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls. I read it around age 20 at about the same time I started thinking about things like politics and social justice.

I haven't revisited the book since then but this story of an American volunteer fighting against the Fascists during the Spanish Civil War in a hopeless struggle left a pretty big impact.

All of these books hit me hard by the time I was 20 years old or so. Since then, I've gotten more from different authors but early influences run deep. And I still like most of them.

How about you?

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