Books that influenced my life.
The Holy Bible. This has been a companion and guide my whole life. I prefer the New American Standard for study, but I learned in Seminary when required to memorize a great many verses that the King James is much easier for this than the more literal ones.
Worthy is the Lamb by Ray Summers. I already decided that rapture theology was wrong and needed a better understanding of end times. This book provided the theology I live by to this day concerning the second coming of Christ.
How to be a Christian Without Being Religious by Fritz Riddenour. This is a commentary on the book of Romans. I read it in Junior High and this approach to Christian living is still with me.
New Testament History by F.F. Bruce. While reading this book something he said caught my attention. The sister of the emperor Domitian was charged with "atheism tainted with Judaism." Her husband was beheaded. Domitian did not have children, but his sister had two sons and they would have been his heirs. It is possible those two young men would have succeeded him on the Eagle throne as next emperor if he hadn't been assassinated. This became the driving force for me to write Optimus: Praetorian Guard, and soon to be released, Stephanus. How the first Christian emperor could have happened 400 years earlier than Constantine.
The First Man in Rome by Colleen McCullagh. I have this entire set as pictured and have read every one twice. McCullagh's in-depth understanding of Rome's social, political and military history influenced just about everything in Optimus and Stephanus. Big hint: read the glossary at the back of the book first so you understand what's going on in the book.
Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum.
It wasn't the title entry that affected me in the book. There's one about a Russian soldier captured in South Africa because he refused to leave the dead body of his wife. I tear up just thinking about it.
I read this to my classes in world history and U.S. History when covering the cold war.
Men are From Mars, and Women are From Venus by John Gray. This book was recommended by a family court judge who spoke at a faculty meeting. This was the only worthwhile faculty meeting in 27 years of teaching. My wife and I took turns reading the chapters to each other and it defused nearly all the recurring arguments in our marriage. Not to say we haven't had any since then, but this book greatly changed the character and complexity of our lives making for a much calmer marriage. When I taught Sociology and Psychology classes in high school the chapter on early adulthood and marriage this book was a supplemental source and most of the students signed up for the class for this reason. For the record when Gray gives advice on how men should understand women, the girls in the class agreed 100%, when he gives advice on how women should understand men, they roll their eyes and laugh.