My life is better because John Steinbeck chose to become a writer and filled my mind with images both sad and beautiful. He took me along on his journey with Charley, and I'm the richer for it. It is better because Holden Caufield told me his story and I sat and nodded, "Yes! I understand!" and laughed 'til I cried. My life is better because Ray Bradbury writes in such vivid prose it makes my brain whirl almost uncontrollably and I ache with awe because my writing will never come close to reaching the heights of his.
Anna Karenina shared her heartache with me and I am grateful. Dalton Trumbow taught me that peace is better than war any day and made up my mind for me that I would always stand on the side of peace. I owe a debt of gratitude to Mark Twain for allowing me to read his Letters From the Earth. They made me begin to question the absurdities and to begin the quest for my own answers. To Hermann Hesse I am indebted for introducing me to Siddhartha, who led me down the path of peace. Gavin Harrison has a piece of my heart for sharing his journey with me and for helping me learn to sit In the Lap of the Buddha.
To Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris...thank you all. I'm dumbfounded by your intellect and your ability to convey your beliefs in a way that leaves little, if no room for fairytales.
To Vonnegut, Orwell, Lewis, Golding, Lee, Hemingway, Huxley, Faulkner, Sinclair and the rest...I owe you all. Your words were my refuge when my childhood was just too much to bear. You unwittingly created my escape and set my imagination free.
"The book to read is not the one which thinks for you,but the one which makes you think."