We have all at least seen the request on social media to post your favorite, influential books. These are books that have somehow changed your life. Here are mine, in no particular order:
The Book of Five Rings (Go Rin No Sho) – This was written by the great swordsman, Miyamoto Mushashi. The Book of Five Rings has been used in a wide variety of settings. It is not just a book about warfare, it is book about life philosophy.
Be Water, My Friend – This book was written by Shannon Lee, the daughter of Bruce Lee. Be Water is Bruce Lee’s philosophy on how to live life. Shannon not only explains her father’s work, but she applies this philosophy to daily living.
Even though I am the author, the writing of this changed me. This is a year-long daily devotional that focuses on law enforcement. I wrote this book during the last three years I was working on the police department, which was also my first three years in seminary. It is a realistic look at the struggle to live a faithful life in this profession.
Lord of the Flies – This novel was written by William Golding. The book is about a group of British boys that find themselves stranded on an uninhabited island. plot covers how they try to govern themselves in the midst of isolation. I read this my senior year of high school in my Advanced Lit class. This was the first book that I started writing notes in the book (a practice I continue today).
Meditations on Violence. This book was written by Rory Miller, a marital artist and corrections officer. This is a good book that takes a look at the reality of violence. We have a tendency to have an unrealistic view of violence in our world. This books helps us take an honest look.
Mimi’s First Mardi Gras – This written by Alice Couvillon & Elizabeth Moore and illustrated by Marilyn Carter Rougelot. This book helps to explain to kids (and adults) what Mardi Gras, as celebrated in New Orleans, is all about. Mardi Gras has a long and rich history and tradition, that involves more than just floats and beads. I fell in love with New Orleans while I was working there. I was crushed when Katrina and Rita hit. I went back down several times for hurricane relief work. I have also been down for Mardi Gras (which I would recommend to everyone).
The Annotated Shakespeare – edited by A. L. Rowse. This is a complete set of Shakespeare’s works. As a student of theatre, this is a must-have volume. I have been surprised how many times I have referred to it in everyday life. Our culture has many references to Shakespeare.
The Essence of Okinawan Karate-Do – This book was written by Shoshin Nagamine. Sensei Nagamine was the founder of the Matsubayashi Shorin-Ryu Karate. This book holds all the basic material of Matsubayashi-Ryu. This is the style that started me on my martial arts journey.
The Great Emergence – This book is the second in a series of books written Phyllis Tickle. She talks about how the world goes through a total cosmic, upside-down shift every 500 years.