I am going to do a few Top 5 lists over the next few weeks. I want to start by offering one of my favorite topics of conversation, Favorite and Most Influential Authors. This will be followed by Favorite and Most influential books.
1. W. Somerset Maugham - With classics like Razors Edge, Of Human Bondage and my favorite The Moon and Six Pence. this prolific story teller, play write, essayist and all around ballsy creator has shown me that I can tell stories and that there is no path to perfection. Just start writing. Somerset was a Doctor and gave it all up to write. He was poor, troubled and questioned his choice of being a writer all the time, but in the end he became one of England's greatest story teller.I savor everything he has written.
2. Starhawk What can I say. This lady has risked everything to say it like it is. The Fifth Sacred Thing is as good as it gets. Her many novels on peaceful social change and revolution have influenced how I go about change in this world. She has spent many nights in jail with many others to bring to light the pains and travesties that are afflicting our world. I declare her the bravest person in the world.
3. Anne Cameron If you have not discovered the world of Anne Cameron then you have missed out. She recounts stories of the Northwest Coast First Nations mythology and culture. Her novel Dreamspeaker is by far the greatest book I have ever read. Her poetry is inspiring, her short stories informative and her style is easy to read and so powerful. I love this lady and I have never met her.
4. Herman Hesse Siddhartha, Steppenwolf, Damian, WOW, I mean WOW. Diverse, in depth, challenging, explorative, fantastic. I will read everything this man has written some day.
5. Tom Robins - Brilliantly inventive and informative. Tom is a researcher and avid crazy maker. He spins a web so diverse that no one on this planet can guess where you will end up when yous tart his novels. He is not afraid to piss people off, risk being black listed or in trouble. For the creative heart with a desire for the unexpected this is the master of enlightened shenanigans.
Others who almost made the list: Tom Brown Jr., Paolo Coelho, Ray Bradburry, Shakespeare, SO many others......