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Thread: Authors who Influenced You the Most

  1. #11


    As a child I'd say Tolkein - obviously mainly the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings as well as the other books.

    Also the Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery when I was a young adult - which is a magical book. They are totally different but some of his other books about the early days of flying are really interesting too.

    "How to be a Happy Homosexual" by Terry Sanderson was a big revelation to me when I was first trying to come out - obviously pretty dated now. I'm still working on fully accepting my sexuality 20 years later.

    As an adult I found Tolstoy's War and Peace pretty influential - which is a lot easier to read than people think. It is pretty relevant to some things that are happening in the world at the moment IMO.

    "For Whom the Bell Tolls" and "The Old Man by the Sea" by Ernest Hemmingway. Both very different. I probably wouldn't have agreed with him about much, except for a love of the sea and of Spain - but they are both very powerful books that influenced me.

    John Irving's "Cider House Rules" I liked - though I found some of his other books pretty hard to read.

    "All Quiet on the Western Front" by Enrique Maria Remarque was deeply moving and upsetting.

    Also for something a bit lighter I've really enjoyed Terry Pratchett's many books.

    I agree about William Golding, Mark Twain and Frank Herbert's Dune books that others have listed.

  2. #12


    George Orewell book 1984 and the book Atlis Shrugged I cant remember the ather. There are so many similarities between the book 1984 and todayís current events and it all can be summed up to lack of common sense. Alas Shrugged is probibly a book most people have never heard of much less read. If you have read it then you probibly prusue greater intalect and understanding. Itís a good read but itís long too. Stephen King books have always been a favorite lol.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Secretlife View Post
    George Orewell book 1984 and the book Atlis Shrugged I cant remember the ather. There are so many similarities between the book 1984 and today’s current events and it all can be summed up to lack of common sense. Alas Shrugged is probibly a book most people have never heard of much less read. If you have read it then you probibly prusue greater intalect and understanding. It’s a good read but it’s long too. Stephen King books have always been a favorite lol.
    I’m not going to list or count the Tech Manuals for all the engines and trucks iv worked on lol that would be a book in its self ��

  3. #13


    J.K Rowling. The harry potter books have given me happiness (and still do) when i've been in the worst places of my life.

    There would have been zero chance of completing school if not for those books.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

  4. #14


    Great topic,

    As an avid reader it's very hard for me to narrow down who my absolute favourites are, however, I can name some authors who have profoundly influenced me.

    When I was a kid/preteen I really enjoyed S.E. Hinton's young adult novels i.e. The Outsiders, Tex, That Was Then, This is Now and my personal favourite Rumble Fish. There was something about her depictions of rough and tumble youths that spoke to me as a bit of a latchkey kid and delinquent myself and my imagination. Her books have this sort of Neo-Realist feel that makes them genuinely palpable and immersive.

    I also really liked fantasy books. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series and Brian Jacques' Redwall series were and still are books that I'll occasionally revisit. Both series have such strong and diverse characters and exquisite world building.

    It should go without saying that I am also a comic fan, some of my earliest literary comics included Herge's Tin Tin series. Those books are masterpieces both narratively and visually.

    As an adult I have an eclectic repertoire. I really enjoy classic American authors like Mark Twain and John Steinbeck, for me they're everything that is great about American literature. Their books are rugged yet pure, poetic and natural, simple yet never naive or mundane. They are books that are filled with great characters, great topics and a simple, straightforward and unpretentious prose that makes them both captivating and accessible. As far as Twain is concerned, my favourite books are The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Pudd'nhead Wilson. Of Steinbeck's works I enjoy The Grapes of Wrath, Cannery Row and Of Mice and Men.

    I enjoy a lot of Beat Generation authors as well like Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and Ken Kesey. Their works just ooze cool, it's the closest literature has come to emulating jazz. Their works are free-form,thoughtful and more than a little unfiltered. I know some people feel that their works tend to ramble a bit, Kerouac particularly has been criticized for this, but to me, their works are pure feeling and experience... I dig that! Their books are also wickedly insightful and liberating too, some of the issues they tackle i.e. working class angst, existential philosophy, queer identity and the myth of the American dream are still relevant to this day. My favourite Ginsberg works are Howl and Reality Sandwiches, My Favourite Kerouac's are The Dharma Bums and Big Sur. My favourite Ken Kesey books are One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Sometimes a Great Notion.

    I also really enjoy the works of Alan Sillitoe, a really great British author who I don't think is too well known outside of Britain. He wrote what has come to be dubbed as "kitchen-sink" realism. His books are very raw and pungent, yet insanely human and kind of freeing as well. Much like the great American authors, Twain and Steinbeck, Sillitoe really writes in an unpretentious manner, you know exactly what he's getting at and you are always swept away by the characters and their lived-in realities. Of his works I love Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, Key to the Door and The Flame of Life.

    Those are my favourite authors past and present. I also enjoy me some Dickens and Dostoyevsky.

  5. #15

  6. #16


    My first would have to be Henry David Thoreau, who wrote 'Walden' and 'Civil Disobedience'. Second, an author I would only recommend to the strong-minded, Albert Camus, author of 'The Stranger', 'The Plague', and 'Caligula'. Despite the dark and Kafka-esque nature of Camus, his work taught me to take control of my life and my own personal happiness, to embrace the cycle of pain that grips us and enjoy life regardless. He taught me that life is worth loving even in the worst of times, and that the best way to face hard times is by laughing at them. He made me face my own darkness, and I am far better for it.

  7. #17


    Quote Originally Posted by Secretlife View Post
    Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand
    This won't be a short list . . . .
    Mostly I like these authors because they write well-crafted and/or entertaining stories (since I read mostly for some escapism):
    Mercedes Lackey
    Anne McCaffrey
    John Ringo
    David Weber
    Anne Bishop
    Lois McMaster Bujold
    Jim Butcher
    Patrick Rothfuss
    Tanya Huff
    Roald Dahl
    L Frank Baum
    . . . i think that's enough

  8. #18


    I'm surprised nobody has said.... the bible. Religion and belief aside, it does have a lot of passages that are relavent for guiding world and personal perspectives.

    Of course, the bible must be "taken with a grain of salt". There are unfortunately a lot of passeges which are outdated, wrong or even a little horrifing. As long as it is read logically then it can be a great help. If read blindly it can easily be misleading and even lead to war (as is past evident).

  9. #19


    Well, there's the one Psalm, I forget the number, that the end reads, "Happy will I be when I dash thy little ones against the rock". It referred to when the Jews were held captive by the Babylonians. Pretty good reading there...cringe. There also are some beautiful passages though.

  10. #20


    Hmm, this is an interesting topic. It's a hard one for me to answer because I've read a lot and I don't keep that great track of whose ideas came from where, they tend to get all mixed up these days. That said, I'd call out a few. Tolkien for influencing my childhood and early adolescence. I was a D&D kid as well, and Tolkien's works are still some of the most beautiful, most powerful images for me. He just totally nailed it in a bunch of critical ways.

    I'd also call out Hemmingway's The Sun Also Rises. It's the story of a man dealing with some very serious struggles and his ability to find beauty, reprieve, and occasionally even happiness in other places, which I've always found quite motivating, and a place and remembrance I can turn to when I'm not feeling at my best.

    I'd also point to Joseph Raz, who none of you have probably ever heard of. Raz wrote a book that called The Authority of Law: Essays on Law and Morality, which I've found quite influential in my legal career. It's rather hard to summarize, but takes a more flexible philosophical stance than some of the more classical works, couching law not in some objective universal morality, but rather in the practical need to structure society and allow many people to live together through the difficulties of coordinating many people and the difficulties of human nature.

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