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Books have played an integral part of my life. I remember getting a series of Classics for my 10th birthday, an introduction to H.G. Wells, Dickens, Twain, etc. My father had an Encyclopedia Brittanica set, including the Book of the Years, which made me very much a young brainiac, and the target of some disdain, growing up in a small town. As a teenager Playboys were as important to me as encyclopedias, for the most part. Although reading the Catcher in the Rye and the Grapes of Wrath my graduation year, one before and one after a near death experience, had a profound impact in my life. Salinger's Raise High the Roofbeams Carpenter and Seymour an Introduction, as well as Tolstoy's Writings on Non-Violence and Civil Disobedience inspired me to give most of my material possessions away upon moving to the city...

Reading Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov as an excerpt for a 1st year philosophy class had the most profound impact in my life, opening my heart to faith, and embracing some of the biblical teachings...Notre Dame de Paris inspired me to delve into linguistics. I don't read as voraciously as in my youth, which was Internet free, but I still like to read history. I have a penchant for National Geographic. The last good book I read was Lost Boy No more, that my Sudanese friend at work lent me, a very compelling story, which will make any trial you have experienced in life seem like a trifle...I still try to amass a library for future generations, though I give a lot of books away, to help promote literacy.
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May 9, 2012