Over on Facebook, there was a meme asking people to post 10 books that have stuck with them. Without over-thinking it. So here's my 10, in no particular order:
Duane Decker, Rebel in Right Field. Right in the middle of this baseball book (published in 1958) aimed at early-teens, there's a rant against major league baseball's reserve clause. Made me, at age 10 or so, stop and think.
J. D. Salinger three ways:
The Catcher in the Rye (which I have found unreadable as an adult).
Franny and Zooey
Raise High the Roofbeam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction. Seymour is an amazing portrait of a man having something of a breakdown.
Michael Harrington, The Other America. 1963 (?), and my first real acknowledgement that American poverty was something to be very concerned about.
James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time. Two amazing essays that took me into a life I could never have imagined.
J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings.
Rex Stout, The Doorbell Rang. A mystery, but mostly memorable for its rather subversive view of the FBI.
Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep. The opening paragraph might be the best opening ever to a mystery novel.
Paul Goodman, Compulsory Mis-Education and the Community of Scholars. Two brilliant essays on elementary/secondary and higher education. I read this while contemplating committing grad school, and it helped shape my view of what it means to be a member of the community of scholars