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My Favorite Books – Part I

BooksI’ve always loved books, both fiction and nonfiction. In previous blogs I’ve written about some of my favorites, and this week and next I’m going to share a more extensive list of books that have inspired and enriched me.


My Early Favorites

When I was a kid, my dad read me Aesop’s Fables, illustrated by Ann Cellars Leaf, which imparted wisdom with its parables about animals and people with high emotional intelligence. The Golden Book of Bible Stories helped me form my values regarding right and wrong, and James Otis’s Toby Tyler, or Ten Weeks with a Circus, a 19th-century children’s story about a boy’s adventures with the circus, made me cry and introduced me to the joy of reading fiction.


The Wizard Oz by Frank Baum taught me that we already have the power, but we don’t know it, and that there are more things to appreciate about our home and our life than we may realize.


I read Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl, in junior high school. This real-life story recounting the author’s adventurous journey sailing on a primitive raft from South America across the Pacific Ocean to the Polynesian Islands inspired me to see that with courage and persistence anything can be accomplished.


George Orwell’s Animal Farm taught me that although something may start out to be well intentioned, the culture that forms around it can breed hypocrisy, and how the strong few can use this to manipulate the masses.


In high school I read Orwell’s 1984, which he wrote in 1949. Amazingly, his description of the world as he imagined it would be in 1984 uncannily matches life today. The book shows the reader a bizarre futuristic form of mass manipulation, using “big brother is watching” and “doublethink.” It’s incredible how true it all came to be.



Later Favorites

Albert Camus’s novel The Stranger showed me the life of absurd thinking and how it affects us all.


I read several of Isaac Asimov’s science books, which helped clarify the Big Bang theory and the modern physics of the time the books were written.


Edgar Cayce: The Sleeping Prophet by Jess Stearn started my interest in renowned mystic Edgar Cayce. I was fascinated to learn that Cayce, while in a trance, diagnosed people who were ill and suggested cures that in some cases hadn’t even been invented yet. It opened me to the possibility that the human mind has capacities I’d never considered.


Next week, in Part II, I’ll share more books that entertained me, enlightened me, and changed my life.



photo credit: the bbp via photopin cc

  • 16 Oct, 2014
  • Posted by Steve Fogel
  • 6 Tags

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