9: Lord of the Rings – J R R Tolkien
The best I can say about this book is that it was a very useful tool at school for helping to choose your friends. Carrying a copy of Tolkien’s monstrous tome was the equivalent of a leper’s bell: ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ I knew I would have nothing in common with anyone who had read it. Their taste in music, clothes, television, everything was predetermined by their devotion to Gandalf. Without a shadow of a doubt, in a few years, these people would be going to Peter Gabriel gigs and reading Dune.
Heh. Of course, I'm fond of LoTR, but I didn't read it in my formative years.
I tell you what made me feel a thousand times better in my fiction-writing class, though: one of my classmates cited The Five People You Meet in Heaven as one of her favorite books.
LATER: And how could I forget, one kid touted Ayn Rand as his favorite author.