Like the other lists, these do not necessarily represent my FAVORITE books, which might be reference books such as Top Pop Singles or The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, or the World Almanac. Pretty much off the top of my head:
The Complete Grimm’s Fairy Tales. They weren’t called the brothers grim for nothing.
Growing Up by Russell Baker (1982). I used to love to read Baker’s columns in the New York Times, and this book, which I have signed by the author, captures this wonderfully. Funny, though, I don’t remember WHERE I was when I got it signed.
I Spy: Message from Moscow novelization I read as a tween several times, and learned the phrase, “Hoist by his own petard.” Alas, do not have this book anymore. I Spy was a TV show in the mid-1960s starring Robert Culp and Bill Cosby.
In Critical Condition: The Crisis in America’s Health Care by Edward M. Kennedy (1972). Those who think that Obamacare is the best or worst thing to happen to health care seem to have short memories about inadequate insurance policies, selective availability, and the pain of pre-existing conditions. I mentioned that it was my near-death experience in 1979 that defined my feeling about the American way of health, but even earlier, it was more likely this book.
The Methodist Hymnal (1935). This was the black book that I grew up with, which a former girlfriend of mine still refers to as the “real” Methodist hymnal. Holy, Holy, Holy is the first hymn.
O Albany! by William Kennedy (1983). While I never really got into his novels, Kennedy’s non-fiction treatise on New York’s capital city is marvelously insightful, and a great read.
Play the Game: the Book of Sport, edited by Mitchell V. Charnley (1931). This was an anthology of sports stories from American Boy magazine from 1923 to 1931, stories which I read over and over. STILL have the book.
The Sweeter The Juice by Shirlee Taylor Haizlip (1994). I wrote about this HERE.
The Wolf Shall Dwell with the Lamb by Eric H. F. Law (1993). This book is about multiculturalism, written shortly after the Los Angeles riots. My future wife and I attended a conference in Maryland to learn more about the author’s techniques. I think mutual invitation in meetings is definitely the way to go. Mutual invitation explained at length or in brief.
Your Erroneous Zones by Wayne Dyer (1977). I read this in 1978. REALLY helped me in dealing with a particular individual, maybe a bit heavy-handedly, but the book definitely made an impact on me at the time.
It’d be pretty easy to come up with ten more…