The social circus has been buzzing with a question that I found interesting.  What are 10 books that have stuck with you?  The idea is to create a list of books that had an impact on you the lasted for months, or even years.  It’s a great question, and one I only needed to give a little thought to before creating my list.  The major shortcoming of the meme that’s making its way around the social networks is that it doesn’t ask people to explain what it was about a given book that affected them.

Here’s my list of 10 books, and the reasons they have stuck with me.  There is no significance to the order in which they appear.

1. One Second After by William R. Forstchen
This book takes a very plausible look at what life in North America might be like following an EMP detonation that leaves everyone and everything without electrical power. Once you look at the facts of the matter, it’s hard to get this book out of your head.

2. Daemon by Daniel Suarez
One of the best techno-thrillers of our day. Suarez is an author who gets cutting edge technology right, and uses it great effect.

3. Yeager: An Autobiography by Chuck Yeager
Seriously, this is a story you need to experience. Yeager was the first to break the sound barrier and is a hero among heroes. But did you know that he almost washed out of the Air Force before it was even known as the Air Force? There are lots of fascinating stories in this book.

4. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
Living just outside of Chicago, the true story of a serial killer stalking the Worlds Fair around the turn of the 20th Century borders on the mind-blowing.

5. Extraordinary Powers by Joseph Finder
Joe Finder has never written another book that blended espionage with a twist of the paranormal, but I first read this book many years ago and it made an impression. So much so that I’ve read it at least once more since, and later went on to write my first book which was a blend of the same genres.

6. Digital Fortress by Dan Brown
I was a Dan Brown fan before most people knew his name. This book was an interesting techno-thriller that stuck with me. Brown never really made another concerted attempt at such a book, and that has always disappointed me. Brown’s next book, Deception Point was a runner up for this list.

7. Magic Mirror by Sean Ellis
This was great mystery/thriller that had just enough of the paranormal blended in to hook me from page one. Everything from the books early reference to the real life shuttle disaster to the fictional lead and supporting characters captured my attention in a way that has me wanting to read it again.

8. Inca Gold by Clive Cussler
This was the first book I read by Cussler, and the one that hooked me on his work.  I tore through the Pitt series after finishing this book.

9. The Catalyst by Boyd Morrison
This is another one of those books that was sort of a perfect storm for me. It was just the right mix of a cool overall concept, engaging characters, and a wild mystery/adventure. I’ve loved all of Boyd’s books, but The Catalyst continues to stand out in my mind as something special.

10. Blind Man’s Bluff by Sherry Sontag Christopher Drew
I don’t read a lot of non-fiction, but this book was an eyeopener. Submarine warfare during the Cold War? If you liked The Hunt for Red October, this one’s worth reading. It’s a wonder the Cold War managed to stay cold.

What books made your list?  Don’t feel obligated to make a list of 10.  If you have title or two that you would like to share—along with the reason you find it significant—please leave a note in the comments.

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