(In response to Silkstone's Open Call here)
The books on my list of 10 aren't necessarily prize winning fiction or earth changing non-fiction but they have all resulted in shaping a piece in my mind and personality. So here they are:
The Bible - As the grandson of a Southern Baptist Minister. The King James Version of the Holy Bible was destined to be one of the first books that I was exposed too. I couldn't tell you for sure but I bet that it was read to me before even children's books since as a newborn I was dedicated shortly after birth. Later on in life it would also be the source of many a conflicted thought as I would question why this version was the only version that was acceptable but that is a topic for another day.
Child Garden of Verses - Robert Louis Stevenson -My paternal grandmother loved poetry and loved to read, so when spending summers with her she would always have some classic literature to read. She had me read these and always had the Readers Digest Best Loved Books Collections where I read the likes of Treasure Island, David Copperfield, and Edgar Allen Poe
The Giving Tree - Shel Silverstein - Again a gift from my grandmother but I didn't truly realize its effects until high school when I was reintroduced to it at several leadership workshops. Its message of giving and compassion took years to sink in but I thank my grandmother for teaching it to me first.
Strange But True Baseball Stories - Furman Bisher - As a baseball nut from early on I always went to the sports biography section of the library first. I read this book several times. The writer, for those unfamilar, was the epitome of the sports editors for the Atlanta Journal and Constitution.
Aaron - Henry Aaron and Furman Bisher - Another Baseball book. Growing up in Atlanta I idolized Hank Aaron, and still do. Barry Bonds can go suck eggs. Hank is the all-timer.
The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien - I used this for the big 5th grade visual book report. We had to dress as the character and read the book report in the library and the teachers picked a winner. I was Gandalf; I didn't win but I did read the Lord of the Rings Trilogy later, and the Hobbit was the inspiration for my interest in high fantasy.
The Hunt for Red October - Tom Clancy - I loved to read military history books. I always envisioned my father being part of them all. Then I came across this book about a submarine, so I read it. It was the inspiration for my interest in Military Intelligence and Jack Ryan was the reason my major at North Georgia College was economics. Thing didn't quite work out for me the way they did for Jack Ryan but there's still time.
The Lincoln Conspriracy - David W. Balsiger, Charles E. Sellier - Another book spawned from my interest in history lead me to this work. For those that don't remember, it espoused Edwin Stanton basically covered up and rewrote history about the Lincoln assasination. Its been picked apart over time, but it got me interested in the assassination of JFK which became the subject for several essays in high school and college.
US Army Survival Manual FM 21-76 - I spent 5 weeks in Green Platoon for the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment and 3 weeks at US Army SERE (Survival) school prior to spending 5 years in 160th. This manual was integral in both, therefore it remains one of the most influencial books during my time in the military, followed by the Maintainance Manuals for the MH-47E Darkhorse Chinook.
The Art of Happiness - His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama - My newest entry into the list; unfortunately for me it took over 40 years to be truly educated on what Buddhism is. I have read numerous books in my short time of studying the Dharma, this being the first. It continues to be of upmost importance to me.