A Partial ListA copy of the 1929 children's poetry book Silver Pennies was the first book I cherished and began my love for beautiful books. It had been my mother's and she entrusted it to me when I was six. The cover bears the silhouette of a girl sitting on a hill with silver pennies streaming from her outstretched hands up to the crescent moon. The preface advises that "You must have a silver penny to get into Fairyland". Inside are classic poems, children's poems and magical poems interspersed with beautiful pen and ink drawings of fairies and children. This book still has the honor of sitting on my desk in my library because it was my entrance to magical worlds.
Diary of Anne Frank. The first time I realized the horrors that can happen in this world. Lord of the Flies added more to that realization, showing me that it could happen within any group.
Luther's Small Catechism studied in Cathecism Class leading to my confirmation as a pre-teen is the first book that made me look at and question beliefs that were being handed to me. At that time I finally accepted everything I was being told,as a good girl does, but a few years later while in college I got the book back down from the shelf and read it again. This time I formed my own opinions and re-evaluated my beliefs.
Robert A. Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, Asimov's Foundation Trilogy, and Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey began my love for science fiction and fueled my mind to dream of what might be, my heart to believe that maybe all is not always as it seems.
The works of Shakespeare which I studied in high school are in part responsible for my interest in psychology and human nature.
Faulkner. Particularly Light in August and The Sound and the Fury--stream-of-consciousness, the story being told through the chaotic thoughts of a character. For some reason this and his use of symbolism had a great impact on me.
My dad's tattered copy of The Story of Edgar Cayce:There is a River by Thomas Sugrue that I read as a teen inspired my search into metaphysics and realms outside the norm.
Ram Das's 1971 classic Be Here Now truly opened my eyes to a new way of seeing myself and the world around me. Followed by the works of Carlos Castaneda increasing my desire to open my awareness and see beyond into nonordinary reality.
Self-help books including those by Louise Hay, Shakti Gawain, Deepak Chopra--change your mind and change your life.
The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards. A Course in Miracles. How to Know God by Deepak Chopra. Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach. Women Who Run With the Wolves by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés. The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz-- all for helping me look at things a different way.
I know there are many more books that played a part in who I am, but for one reason or another, these were all milestone books for me.