Democratic incumbent Senator Mark Udall of Colorado, “was unable to name three books that influenced his life…and blamed his lack of an answer on being ‘brain-dead,’ reports the Washington Free Beacon. The same thing happened to Sarah Palin when asked what newspapers or magazines she reads, “Umm – all of them.”
If put on the spot, very few of us could name three books that have truly influenced our lives. In fact, I doubt most of us could honestly claim that the Bible has been a real influence, since many of us have yet to study it’s content fully save for a few verses here and there.
It took me about ten minutes to think my list of three books. And I believe I read them all before I was nine years old.
The first one was given to me by my first grade teacher, Mrs. Helen Puls. Called “The Puppycat,” it was first published in 1953 by Nora Sanderson and Eileen Mayo and centers on a pet that was half-dog and half-cat.
I say it influenced me because it’s the first book I read on my own.
Next is “Goops and How to be them,” by Gelett Burgess. Described as “rude creatures devoid of beauty and grace,” and each Goop adventure in the book is a lesson on ‘good manners.’
First gone to press in 1900, I found the rhymes fun to read even though I was tongue-tied as a kid. For instance:
“The Goops they lick their fingers,
And the Goops they lick their knives,
They spill their broth on the table-cloth–
Oh, they lead disgusting lives.”
(Now maybe Kyle will understand when as a little boy he made a mess, I’d call him a ‘Goop.’)
Finally, I enjoyed “Catcher with the Glass Arm,” written by Matt Christopher in 1964. I begged Mom to let me order it from some fundraiser we were having at school.
‘Glass arm,’ is more than jus’ a baseball story to me – it’s a template for building good character. The story builds upon good sportsmanship, adapting to situations, hard work and never giving up.