Gregory Fischer (who came into my life through Micky’s dear friend Stephanie Grand Jacques) passed along one of these “chain letters” that makes the rounds on Facebook. I tend to ignore them, but I really liked the premise behind this one – List 9 books that touched me. I spent way too much time thinking about this, but so it goes. Here is my list. I won’t pass it on so as to prevent spreading the pain 🙂
1) Siddhartha by Herman Hesse – I read this in 4th grade. Hatice gave it to me, and to this day I remember it like I’m still reading it in real time. I don’t know whether it was the father/son relationship, or the introduction to a foreign culture, but I can’t seem to let this one go
2) The Redwall Series by Brian Jacques – We had a program in elementary school where you took quizzes on books, got points, and then went to parties. I had the 2nd highest total at school, and found these books because they were that sweet spot of high points, but not too long to read. LOVED them, and read each one through Brian Jacques passing a few years back.
3) The Mythical Man Month by Fred Brooks – Read this during college, and started to realize that computer science was not engineering. This book still tickles me in the back of my head as I think about how to create systems that scale. It’s all about consistency & transparency, and not at all about more.
4) The Pragrammatic Programmer by Dave Thomas and Andy Hunt – When I was an engineer, this book shaped how I built software. I was never a good engineer, but I was definitely efficient when I actually focused and thought through the deliverable. Hat tip to Eishay Smith for this one
5) Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein – First book I read to Amelia. We read it in the NICU together, and Tim Bacon and I bonded about storytelling, getting out of the NICU, and getting back to normal. The poetry helped.
6) The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – I read this on our honeymoon, and it brought me back to reading fiction, and not just news, business books, etc.. I’d given up reading after English class 12th grade because the process of over analyzing book after book ruined the hobby for me
7) Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card – My favorite sci-fi book (or maybe I’d put Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson here).
8) The Giver by Lois Lowry – My first dystopian novel. I still don’t know why they would ask us to read this in 4th grade. The themes, the mood, everything about it is too much for a 9 year old’s world view. And yet I loved it.
That’s it. I couldn’t find #9
Good challenge. Great trip down memory lane.