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TulaneLSU
TBD Fan
Member since Aug 2003
Member since Dec 2007
11742 posts

10 most influential authors in your life?
Friends,

Chicken, by his sticky post on the OT, wants this board to increase. So let's talk about authors. I'm not asking for your favorite, simply those whose words have changed your life and changed how you think and behave. If you would like to discuss how, I would enjoy reading. I will leave you with my Top 10.

10. Tom Fitzmorris
9. Walker Percy
8. George Herbert
7. Leo Tolstoy
6. George Washington Cable
5. Soren Kierkegaard
4. Karl Barth
3. John Calvin
2. St. Paul
1. Augustine of Hippo

I wanted to include Rick Steves, but I've only seen his show. I look forward to your responses.

Sincerely,
TulaneLSU


Decisions
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2015
1194 posts

re: 10 most influential authors in your life?
These aren’t necessarily in order, but merely how they came to me.

1. Tolkien. There’s no doubt in my mind that reading him at a young age greatly improved my diction. He also inspired much of my original belief in ideal heroes and their values.
2. Jules Verne. Journey to the Center of the Earth and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea touched on and fanned the flames of adventure and curiosity that I had as a child. They’re still burning strong today.
3. Orson Scott Card. I felt a certain resonation with Ender. At times it seemed like he was as much an alien to his classmates as the Formics.
4. G. R. R. Martin. He did a wonderful job of illustrating political intrigue and personal struggle. Real life might not be as dramatic or high stakes, but people largely act as he depicted them.
5. Steven Erikson. Specifically his second book: Deadhouse Gates. The march of Coltaine and his Chain of Dogs was....almost biblical in a sense. Like Martin, the character relations within were very educationally real. It caused a certain damage to the ideals I held humanity up to before.

I suppose I can only come up with five who have truly influenced me so far. After writing them out it feels like a commentary on my growth from a naive child to a cynical adult, but such is life. Perhaps I’ll find the other five before I die.


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21
ecb
LSU Fan
Member since Jul 2010
6119 posts

re: 10 most influential authors in your life?
In the order that I remember encountering them...

Mark Twain
Arthur C Clarke
Kurt Vonnegut
Isaac Asimov
JRR Tolkien
William Faulkner
Ernest Hemingway
Walker Percy
Anthony Demello
CS Lewis


PillPusher
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Gulf Coast
Member since Oct 2009
3641 posts

re: 10 most influential authors in your life?
Steinbeck
Hemingway
McCarthy
Dylan
McCullers
Larry Brown
Roth
Richard Ford
Kerouac
Rushdie


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Tigris
Hawaii Fan
Mexican Home
Member since Jul 2005
10585 posts

re: 10 most influential authors in your life?
A little over 10:

Robert Heinlein
Tom Robbins
Nassim Taleb
Umberto Eco
Kurt Vonnegut
PJ O'Rourke
Dan Carlin (Podcasts)
David Foster Wallace
Neal Stephenson
Roger Zelazny/Neal Gaiman
Mark Helprin
Patrick O'Brian



Paperbackwriter
Member since Feb 2020
7 posts

re: 10 most influential authors in your life?
Defining influential as I always learned something by their writing, here goes, in no order

Flannery O'Connor
Eudora Welty
C.S. Lewis
Thomas Sowell
Joan Didion
Paul Harvey
Erma Bombeck
James Dobson
Ray Bradbury
Harper Lee


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Chef Free Gold Bloom
USA Fan
Area 51
Member since Dec 2019
1284 posts

re: 10 most influential authors in your life?
No order:

Tolkien - the LotR trilogy remain an untouchable masterpiece. But I credit the Hobbit with my love of reading.

King - I’ve read an reread many King books more than I care to admit. The Stand, Salem’s Lot, It, Pet Semetary, etc...

John Sandford- mindless fun but quick light reading serves its purpose and John Sandford usually delivers. I’m a sucker for the Prey series.

Orson Scott Card - Reading Ender’s game in high school fueled and accelerated my love of reading and of scifi

Brian Jacques - I owned and read every book in the red wall series before I was 13 and I absolutely loved those books.

Douglas Adams - Hitchhiker’s Guide needs no introduction

George Orwell - has written and produced some fantastic works, but Animal Farm will always remain one of my top 3 favorite all time books

CS Lewis - I read the Screwtape Letters in high school and it blew me way. Been a fan of Lewis ever since

Shel Silverstein- I credit Silverstein with my love of poetry. I still own all of his books and I read them occasionally. Can’t wait for my son to be old enough to appreciate them.

Roald Dahl - A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.

Hon. Men.

Bill Watterson - I don’t know if you technically consider him an author or creator but I cannot talk about my love for reading without mentioning Calvin and Hobbes


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30
Macavity92
LSU Fan
Member since Dec 2004
5542 posts

re: 10 most influential authors in your life?
The Bard — the levels and depth of his work was amazing, especially since play writing was not considered an art

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Hemingway
Twain
Tolstoy
Bill Watterson
Gore Vidal
Alexander Hamilton
T.S. Eliot
Thoreau


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20
Adajax
LSU Fan
Member since Nov 2015
2407 posts

re: 10 most influential authors in your life?
C. S. Lewis.


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Boo Krewe
Member since Apr 2015
7557 posts

re: 10 most influential authors in your life?
Bailey city kids


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CajunPhil
LSU Fan
Chimes
Member since Aug 2013
628 posts

re: 10 most influential authors in your life?
Umberto Eco
Tom Robbins
Kurt Vonnegut
Isaac Asimov
Walter Rudin
Thomas Pynchon-one book only-"The Crying of Lot 49"
Charles Dickens
John Barth
Cixin Liu
Mark Twain
Joseph Heller


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10
VOR
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Member since Apr 2009
60463 posts

re: 10 most influential authors in your life?
- Faulkner(a master)
- Flannery O’Conner( downbeat, but fascinating, well-constructed stories)
- Fenimore-Cooper-wrote America’s first great novel
- Vonnegut(absurdist fiction)
- John Connolly- creepy crime novels with the most fascinating recurring character, ever
- Capote
Malcolm Gladwell((unique and interesting)
Thomas Aquinas
This post was edited on 3/27 at 10:31 am


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TDcline
Navy Fan
American Gardens building 11th flor
Member since Aug 2015
8124 posts

re: 10 most influential authors in your life?
1. Hemingway
2. Hemingway
3. Hemingway
4. Steinbeck
5. Hemingway
.
.
.
This post was edited on 3/28 at 6:13 pm


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11
10 Blade
Member since Jul 2017
76 posts

re: 10 most influential authors in your life?
No particular order
William Styron
Vladimir Nabokov
John Irving
Kurt Vonnegut
Stephen Ambrose
Walker Percy
Tony Horwitz
Hillary Mantel
Harper Lee
Paul Theroux



Babu Bhatt
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2014
94 posts

re: 10 most influential authors in your life?
No order.

Kurt Vonnegut
Charles Bukowski
JD Salinger
David Foster Wallace
Haruki Murakami
Cormac McCarthy
Raymond Carver
George Saunders
Ernest Hemingway
Milan Kundera




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Sneaky__Sally
Alabama Fan
Member since Jul 2015
8986 posts
 Online 

re: 10 most influential authors in your life?
Wasn't going to try cause I initially thought it would be too hard - but was encouraged by some other responses. No ranking specifically, but I'll give a discussion on how and where they generally fit in for each.

Brian Jacques really cultivated my love of reading and specially,the types of books and stories I still enjoy. His redwall series has 20+ entries and I read all of them up until i discovered wheel of time and was out of its intended audience range. But i recently bought Mossflower again and read it, the first of the series I ever read and it still held up. He was excellent at setting description and perfectly fit his characters into their archetype.

Robert Jordan wrote Wheel of Time, and i've read more in that world than any other series / author. 14 books and i've read all of them multiple times, the first half of the series several times. These days, i've come to realize i love the worldbuilding aspects and he created a fully fleshed out world with history and all different social dynamics. He helped define the fantasy genre and also introduced ideas of technological advancement which is being fleshed out by current authors. Objectively he would be one of the top 2 or 3 if not the top in this ranking.

Stephen erikson wrote Malazan Book of the Fallen and it is probably my favorite series. He has a way of making characters that are both super powerful and yet vulnerable and relatble at the same time. He also is able to slowly convey really large and grand ideas that hit hard at the climax. Multiple times through the series I closed the book and just thought about the implications of what just happened. That, plus great worldbuilding and dynamic seen in some of the main characters put it over the top for me. He would be another one that is the top 2 or 3 if not the top.

isaac Asimov would be in here because of his first 3 foundation series books. He was able to create compelling and fast paced books without focusing on any one character for more than one book. The Mule in one of the books stands out as one of my favorite characters in anything ive read though.

Brandon Sanderson is one that although i like his writing a lot, none of his books rise to the top of my lists. But he teaches a course on writing at BYU and puts the videos online. So watching those he inspired me that I could actually write a novel - that a lot of it is focusing and figuring out how to complete it. He also puts out a lot of really good books and is propelling the genre and this kind of storytelling forward with his books and helping with Wheel of Time tv show.

Aldous Huxley i read when i was younger and he definitely influenced how I looked at the world. He should be in the top 10 somewhere.

Stephen King I read a ton of when i was younger in my low teens probably. He had a great way of developing the three act story and making a supernatural subject fit within a generally normal setting people could identify with. I like the Dark Tower and his other stuff when it got really supernatural so his books fit in my wheelhouse.

David Grisham Another one i read a ton of his books growing up. He was able to make a mundane subject matter active and compelling in his stories. Certainly would be low on the list, but I think worth a mention.

Others to round out the list would be Dan Simmons, JK Rowling, CS Lewis, tolkein Scott Lynch, Ayn Rand, Joe Abercrombie and some others - they are basically wrapped into the top 10 with huxley, king and grisham. Sanderson and Asimov are sort of the level above them before the main people - and Jordan Jacques and Erikson are the primary influences probably. My list is biased to where it lead me since I have been trying to write ideas and develop a story for a little while.

In terms of other kind of influence max tegmark, brian greene and roger penrose should be included as they write physics books that normal people can understand and get a foothold of understanding. I'm considering and preparing to go to graduate school due in some part to their books.


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30
bayoubengals88
Wisconsin Fan
LA
Member since Sep 2007
14337 posts
 Online 

re: 10 most influential authors in your life?
From least to greatest

John Piper
RC Sproul
Jonathan Edwards
John Calvin
Mark
Matthew
Peter
Luke
John
Paul


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33
CelticDog
LSU Fan
Member since Apr 2015
32538 posts

re: 10 most influential authors in your life?
quote:

wants this board to increase


wants action.

no sports, you know.


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10
CelticDog
LSU Fan
Member since Apr 2015
32538 posts

re: 10 most influential authors in your life?
1. robert anton wilson
Prometheus rising

Faulkner. read them all.
the bear, a long historical mississippi story.

Vonnegut read them all
cats cradle

aldous huxley
perennial philosophy


Adi Da read them all
the Mummery Book. amazing..if john barth were enlightened


pirsig
zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance

henry james

thurber

blasco ibanez
los muertos mandan

This post was edited on 4/3 at 3:12 pm


thedrumdoctor
LSU Fan
Gonzales,La
Member since Sep 2016
575 posts
 Online 

re: 10 most influential authors in your life?
It makes me super glad that so many people are including Vonnegut in their lists. He's my favorite author and is more influential to others than I thought.


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