Inspirations Part 1 was about the impact of libraries and books. Part 2 was about RPG book influences in particular. Favorite and inspirational comic books could fill more screens than most would want to read. So, for Part 3, I thought I’d be a little more specific about a few books and authors that made lasting impressions. Given my, ahem, experience, there’s a broad range, but perhaps some are unfamiliar and spark in interest in a reader or two. I could fill screen after screen with books I love, so I’ve tried to limit myself to a few of the more unusual.
Authors such as R. A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, E.R. Burroughs, Edgar Allan Poe and others are virtually required reading IMHO, but are very well known as well. Below are a few classics, a few you’ve probably never heard of, and maybe a future classic or two. If you choose to explore them, I hope you enjoy them as much as I have throughout the decad… years. No particular order here, just a general flow (at least to me) between genres.
There are so many options to find books these days that I hesitated to provide links. Some are likely in the public domain and possibly available in either (or both) print and electronic versions. This list is NOT intended to endorse (or imply endorsement) of any particular outlet, publisher, or edition; it’s just easiest to link to the Amazon versions. Caveat emptor (aka Your Mileage May Vary).
Friends and Favorites
Please note: many of these, like me, have been around awhile. There are a plethora of versions and editions. Where possible, I have linked to the one actually in my library. Where not, I went with what was available on Amazon.
- Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
- In the Trail of the Wind [Edited by John Bierhorst]
- Striking Thoughts by Bruce Lee
- The Book of Five Rings (Go Rin No Sho) by
- At last count there are nearly 2 gazillion translations of this work. I have 12 of them. The link is to the first one I read.
- The Iron Flute [Ruth Strout McCandless (Author),
- If you can find the hardcover version from Charles E. Tuttle Company; Publishers I highly recommend it
- Way-farer by Dennis A. Schmidt
- The Matadora by Steve Perry
- The 2nd in the series, but my favorite
- Chapterhouse Dune by Frank Herbert
- The Parafaith War by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.
- The first, but far from the last, of the L. E. Modesitt, Jr. books to land on my shelves
- Santiago by Mike Resnick
- Svaha by Charles de Lint
- Solomon Kane by R. E. Howard
- Like his more famous sibling, Solomon Kane has influenced innumerable books, movies, games, and RPGs, but many have never read the original.
- The Swords Trilogy (Chronicles of Corum) by Michael Moorcock
- The Face In The Abyss by Abraham Merritt
And now for something completely different…
- H.M.S. Ulysses by Alistair MacLean
- The Five Fingers by Gayle Rivers
- Blue Belle by Andrew Vachss
- 3rd in the Burke series, but can easily be read stand-alone
- Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson