These are books that exert a significant influence on my life. They vary widely, from poetyr to fiction to biology and children's books. Reading these books produced great amounts of thoughts, and I think all should read.
Woman: An Intimate Geography by Natalie Angier. This takes a good long look at the female body. It is written in a conversational style by a woman who knows what she is talking about. The first chapter can be a bit tough, the rest is pure smooth sailing...and very thought provoking.
The Twelve Gifts of Birth by Charlene Costanzo. A beautifully written and illustrated children's book, every child should have a copy of this book, and every adult should read it as well. The words can be found on Featherfew's site, but only part of the impact is in the words. The illustrations and pictures complete it.
The Descent of Woman by Elaine Morgan. I always had a problem with the way human evolution was seen, though why I wasn't sure. This book states the problems with traditional male-driven evolution, and turns scientific ideas on their heads with another interpertation of the same facts. THis book is a bit old, and parts of it show this, but not most of it. This is a book to provoke considerable thoguht, and to bring up some ideas as to why we are as we are...for example, if we lost hair because the mighty hunter got hot...why did we add a layer of blubber? This book proposes a marine stage of human evolution, and the evidence to support it.
These books are ones that did not have the impact of those above, but that aer well loved and have a treasured place on my bookshelf.
The first one is detailed above..The Twelve Gifts of Birth. It impacted me, but it also is /very/ good for the soul, so I'm putting it here too.
Best Loved Poems to Read Again & Again Compiled by Mary Sanford Laurence, Second Series. This was a confirmation gift, and has been well used. It has a huge variety, from serious to doggerl. Always brightens my mood, and always has something appropriate.
Falling Up by Shel Silverstein. By all rights, all his books should be on this list. Shel Silverstein was a gifted man, and I sorrow that we have seen all of his writing we shall. Falling Up,The Light in the Attic,The Giving Tree, and Lafcadio have been with me my whole life, and I intend to keep them there! If you can find a recording of him reading a poem, do so, it is delightful!
Grandad's Prayers of the Earth by Douglas Wood and illustrated by P.J. Lynch. This book is I think technically a children's book, but everyone should read it. It's about grieving and remembering, and peace. I nearly cried the first time I read it, and I still sniffle, but it is just what I need a lot of times.