I keep thinking about that Lizardek's Worldview-forming Booklist that I mentioned offhand a few posts back and which a few people then said they would like to see. But not yet enough to put it together. I think I need to do some more digging in my book-memory to be able to come up with a comprehensive list, the problem being that I don't have all the books that made up my make-up, as it were, so I can't easily and quickly access them.
But what I mean when I talk about worldview might not be at all what YOU mean. What DO you mean? I mean: my philosophies about life and the way it works; religion and my ideas about a higher consciousness, the afterlife and faith; ethics and morals and common courtesies and how they apply to me and the world that surrounds me. How to behave in any given situation. How to think about what I know and what I want to know, and maybe most importantly, what I don't yet know.
My worldview is still growing and changing and I still find that clarifications to my thought processes and belief system come from all kinds of unexpected sources. You never know when a piece of the existential puzzle will slot into place. Poetry holds keys, essays, books, conversations with people of all different faiths. Most of the books I am listing are not books that I read as an adult, but rather as a pre-adolescent, a teenager and a young adult in my twenties. And I'm not listing poems or poets that affected me greatly or we'd be here all night. This is the SHORT list of books that, for better or for worse, made a major impact on me and my philosophy:
- Jonathan Livingston Seagull and Illusions by Richard Bach
- Mister God, This is Anna by Finn
- You Were Born Again to Be Together by Dick Sutphen
- Little Women, Little Men, Jack & Jill and Eight Cousins, by Louisa May Alcott
- Diamonds and Toads by Charles Perrault
- Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
- Ishmael by Daniel Quinn
- Rite of Passage by Alexei Panshin
- Mandy by Julie Edwards
- The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
- The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
- Double Star, Stranger in a Strange Land and I Will Fear No Evil by Robert A. Heinlein
- Holding Wonder; The People: No Different Flesh and Pilgrimage by Zenna Henderson
- D'Auliare's Book of Greek Myths
- My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
- To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- Everything Madeleine L'Engle ever wrote
- Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald
- Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
- The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare
- Heidi by Joanna Spyri
- The Lives of a Cell by Thomas Lewis
- The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
- The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson
I've read the entire Bible as well, more than once, actually, when I was a teenager, but I've found that it wasn't and isn't so much the Bible itself that contributed to my worldview so much as everything that swirls about it: commentary, discussion, study, essays, and just plain conversation with the adults and contemporaries around me at the point in my life when I needed it. Let's just say that it's still under consideration and leave it at that.
What books would you put on your Worldview-forming List? Not the ones you have added to as an adult when you may have been Seriously Searching, but the ones that started it all, that grounded it, that became the basis for the mental map you navigate the world with.
Making My Day: Wild Things Left | Right; Calvin & Hobbes; Aw hell, the whole damn list (and the blog itself, which comes complete with tutorials)!
*Title from a quote by Carl Sandburg