MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE BOOKS (in no particular order)
1. The Persian Boy - Mary Renault
This book is written by one of my all-time favorite authors, Mary Renault. You probably haven't heard of her because she wrote books about lesbians and gay men in the 60s. The fact that she isn't considered a classic is a crime against humanity, but that doesn't have much to do with this book (except that Bagoas, the main character, is a eunuch in love with Alexander the Great).
I can't really say enough about her writing. It's beautiful, lyrical, poignant, and truthful. And if she hadn't written about gay men and women, she would be required reading for every high schooler.
2. Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
don't play with me, you know what the cover looks like
I think that everyone has a book that changes them. This is mine. I read it when I was probably 7 or 8 years old, and for the first time I realized that not everybody saw the world in the same way I did. Reading from unimaginative, realistic Huck's point of view, I understood how different someone like Tom (who I resembled far more) was. It was a pretty big realization for me, and stirred my interest in people (Mark Twain is to blame for my childhood habit of eavesdropping on anyone and everyone).
Those are the only two individual books that I think I have that much to say about (at this time). Mostly the books that have affected me other than these comes in the form of authors and their fabulous writing styles. Not that I don't love Mary Renault and Mark Twain as authors, because I've read pretty much everything by them.
Enid Blyton and Tamora Pierce had a huge influence on my childhood. I also love Steven Brust (fantastic author of the Taltos series), and K.A. Applegate (author of the Animorphs series which I still contend is brilliant and will someday get its own post when I'm important enough that people pay attention to me).