10 Books that shaped my life
I'm an avid and eclectic reader, and these are ten books that are deeply important to me. I've avoided series of books here. A couple of honourable mentions that didn't make the top 10 include: Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari, Who Killed Kurt Cobain? by Halperin & Wallace, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and The Beach by Alex Garland.
- •Phantoms in the Brain by V.S. RamachandranThis book opened my eyes a lot to understanding the relationship between the body and the brain. It inspired several projects through college and university and even now. It is informative and accessible.
- •Never Let Me Go by Kazuo IshiguroI found Never Let Me Go deeply moving. An exciting and novel concept, I can't recommend this enough. It has haunted me for years.
- •The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark HaddonIt is so clear in my mind, the memory of the first time I read this book. I read it in one sitting on holiday, and I think there are very few novels that I have re-read as much as this one.
- •The Road by Cormac McCarthyThere is something uncanny about The Road which has made it so successful. It is an incredible story, and written such a clear and distinctive way.
- •Flood by Stephen BaxterI remember reading this and be terrified but compelled at the idea of a world slowly disappearing to rising tides. It is such an exciting and tense book. Another that I have revisited several times over the years.
- •Into the Wild by Jon KrakauerBefore reading this book I saw the film. Something I usually try and avoid if I can. However, I think that the two are such distinctly different ways of telling the same story, that I'm glad I approached them the way I did. The film being a grand narrative, the book more factual. Both have stuck with me for a long time.
- •American Psycho by Bret Easton EllisNormally I am not a squeamish person. This is the only book to have made me feel like I was going to pass out.
- •Fight Club by Chuck PalahniukI don't think there is much I can say about this book that hasn't been said before and said better. Aside from being a great story, I feel it is an essential read for understanding contemporary masculinity. (Although perhaps slightly less relevant today than its initial release)
- •The Psychopath Test by Jon RonsonJon Ronson has made me question the mental state of everyone I've ever known, including myself, and for a point in time had me convinced that I was surrounded by Psychopaths. That aside, this tackles an interesting subject matter in a unique way. An eye opening read.
- •Margrave of the Marshes by John PeelThis biography/auto-biography half written by Peel and then finished by his wife following his death opened me up to a new way of appreciating music. I'm a sucker for a music biography, but this book is something else. The man was more than just a radio DJ, and his appreciation for music was infectious, even for someone who never had the honour of meeting him.