Books That Influenced My Young Life


32 single-spaced pages


When my brother, who is 16 years older than I am, enlisted in the U.S. Navy, I got his room! (Isn’t that what some kids LIVE for?  To get their older brother’s or sister’s room, at some point?  In this light and spacious room at the far end of a lonesome service corridor, (complete with its own haunted closet),  was a cherished collection of books that my brother had built-up over his college days…   My bro was no ordinary college student, he did things like obtain old paintings and then trade them for old books, and then take the best of the old books and trade them for valuable old prints and paintings…  He did this in Berkeley and San Francisco in the ’50’s and ’60’s when one could still find 16th Century treasures in people’s attics.  Anyway, between 7 and 10 years of

age, after my brother started spending his time in San Diego and then Honolulu and Yokahama,  I became s a very lonely ‘only child’ with few things to entertain me… I only got my first AM portable radio when I was about 12…  Still remember KYA…  So,  these books opened up the world for me and gave me wonderful insights and, I firmly believe, accelerated knowledge.  Other kids were playing with other kids or watching TV… I was the kids whose head was likely to be buried in,.  let’s see… “The Divine Comedy” … pondering Dore’s mid-19th Century visions of Hell and Heaven.

I wish EVERY KID could have gotten the chance I did!  Here are the titles which I recall, and discuss in “Books That Influenced My Young Life”: Ai, Ai Zu Zu Laca Berni, Dangerous Island, David and the Phoenix, Droll Stories by Honore Balzac,  The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri, Encyclopaedia Britannica World Atlas, and Books of the Year, Faust or Dr. Faustus, From Then To Now, Gargantua and Pantagruel, Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural, Jean Christophe, Kakisu Dzirnavas, Life

Magazine – Dinosaur Edition. Mermaids and Mastodons, Plants for Man, Robinson Crusoe, Sea-Shells : A Child’s Book of Shell Collecting, The Boy Scout Handbook, The Customs of Mankind, The Illustrated (Children’s) Holy Bible, The Physical Sciences, These Names Accuse, Velni (The Devils), “X” or, The Filing Cabinet Marked “X”.

My brother could have had worse hobbies.


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