There are some serious contenders in the honorable mention category.
There’s Ake by Wole Soyinka which I can’t say enough about it terms of it teaching me about how people live. That they are basically the same but their circumstances aren’t.
There’s God’s Secretaries by Adam Nicolson (I bet this guy didn’t think he would make it onto anybody’s meaningful list but I think he makes it onto mine) A little non fiction biography of the guys that wrote the King James’ Bible. A terribly political book when you get right down to it.
There’s East of Eden by John Stienbeck- should be on all high school or college curriculum but I think people are afraid of it. Too much sex, violence and religious talk. The woman is too good at being evil. I wouldn’t want to try to explain that.
There’s ohh anything by Graham Greene- seductive and lost as all get out. Say seductive in a low voice and let yourself think of someone that your heart always clings to some aspect of their character that is so good it’s a fault. The End of the Affair simply curls my toes.
There’s Pride and Prejudice. Girls love it. Guys hate it. You do the math.
There’s Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman. A book I love not only because I love thinking about time but because the friend who gave it to me died too young and I wonder if time could have helped.
There’s Ramona Forever, Ramona Quimby, Age 8, Ramona and Beezus, which taught me to enjoy reading, even if I wasn’t very good at when I was age 8. I’m still going to grow up and be Ramona. A girl longing to keep that feeling in her fuzzy pajamas and decides she will wear them to school they are so nice feeling.
Yeah I’ll just keep pondering these for a while and ramble on about others as time goes on.
By the by, I would like to tag Gretchen and Todd... I need to be reading more of whatever they are reading.