Difficult to Choose
Social media fascinates me. I remember signing up for Friendster at the request of a good work friend, Hena Gomez. I think my entire friend list at that site was made up of people I worked with. It was a laugh, something silly. We wrote outlandish recommendations, reviews about each other and posted them to our profiles. Of course, when Myspace became the cat’s meow, we all migrated that direction. I took Myspace more seriously than I should have. I tried to meet people with similar interests, and though the internet was evolving, people were still mostly private, choosing to hide their identity behind screen names. It is hard to remember that sort of mentality, now that most of us use Facebook and Twitter with our real names and faces out there for everyone to see.
One of the things that continues to interest me is the modern “chain letter” aspect of social media. Someone posts something- A video, a list, a status update about cancer or tacos or…and then asks or tags others, inviting them to perpetuate the post. I used to be very critical of this stuff, refusing to post or play along, but my animosity towards such things has lessened. I don’t repost everything that comes my way, but certain things (ice bucket challenge, concert links, HONY photos, etc) I have no problem sharing and passing along.
Which brings me (in an oddly roundabout manner) to the point- I was tagged in a post, asking me to list 10 books that impacted me. My first thought was, only 10? Seriously, how do you pick ten from the hundreds of books, the thousands of pages you have read? My first list was over 25. But the point of this exercise, at least in my mind, was to pick the ten that pop up first. I cleared my head, trying to forget the 25 books I had already listed, and start over. Ten came pretty easy. I didn’t question them or try and rationalize others I may have left out. When I look at this list, I remember my first introduction to each of these texts. Each one shaped not only my life philosophy, but dictated what sorts of books I read later in life. These represent a road map of sorts, an introspective guide to who and what I am. Read some if you haven’t. Ask about those you have interest in. Mostly, just read.
1. Watership Down- Richard Adams
2. All Quiet on the Western Front- Erich Maria Remarque
3. Farenheit 451- Ray Bradbury
4. Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing- Hélène Cixous
5. The Trial- Franz Kafka
6. The Autobiography of Malcom X- As told to Alex Haley
7. Cloud Atlas- David Mitchell
8. All The Names- Jose Saramago
9. Discipline and Punish- Michel Foucault
10. Demian- Herman Hesse