First Responders & A Personal Essay: Which Books Have Influenced Me?

Firstly, I want to thank all the readers who have shared with me the books which have influenced you. I appreciate your sharing with me, here, by responding to my original blog post, on Facebook, on LinkedIn, by email, anyway, anywhere, anyplace you chose to share your influential books with me. Again, thank you kindly.

I’d like to name a few, because they are insightful, profound, and in all cases, influential. More importantly, these readers are the first responders, the ones who instantaneouly shared with all of us. They make it easier, these first responders do, for the rest of us to come forward, and add our voices to the conversation.

Which books have influenced you?

Eric H. Roth
Author, Lecturer, USC American Language Institute
Greater Los Angeles AreaHigher Education
Current: University of Southern California, Chimayo Press, Community Enhancement Services
Previous: International Professors Project, IWOSC, APU International School, HCMC, Vietnam
Education: University of California, Los Angeles

Three books have continued to influence my thinking: King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa by Adam Hochschild , What Went Wrong? – Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response (Bernard Lewis), and Globish: How English Became the World’s Language (Robert McCrum).

Eric: “I strongly recommend all three books to gain a better understanding of this peculiar moment in globalization.”

Before moving on, let me say thank you to Eric. I appreciate your taking the time to share with me, and with the readers on this question I am asking: Which books have influenced you? Eric is not only a reader, but as we see in his bio, he’s also a writer. An influential book Eric has written is, Compelling Conversations: Questions and Quotations on Timeless Topics- An Engaging ESL Textbook for Advanced Students.

Just how influential is this book?

Answer: It is now being used in over 50 countries to help English language learners share their insights and expand their speaking skills. Obviously, I highly recommend it. Since I recommend the book so highly, I need to share with you a little more info:

This innovative English as a second language textbook helps advanced English language learners develop conversation skills and improve fluency by sharing experiences, reflecting on their lives, and discussing proverbs and quotations.

The ESL book includes 45 thematic chapters, over 1400 questions, 500 vocabulary words, 250 proverbs and American idioms, and 500 quotations.

Designed for both adult education and intensive English language students, the conversations deepen critical thinking skills and speaking skills essential to success in community college and university programs. Compelling Conversations has been used in classrooms in over 50 countries, recommended by English Teaching Professional magazine, and enjoyed by thousands of English students.”

Again, thank you, Eric, for “passing” your book recommendations with us. As you can see, all three have been well received. However, I shall postpone my personal essay for another day, to keep this post short.

Also, because a promise is a promise, I shall share my influential books with you, just as Eric has so generously done with us, devoting the time and energy to actively participate in this question of books which influence and thus leave a lasting impact on its reader, you, me, us, we readers and writers…

So, I have promised to write about the books that have influenced me, personally, and I must admit that I will not be able to reduce the number to only three (3), as Eric has done. Instead, I will give you my top ten (10), with one bonus book (bonus track), which I beg your forgiveness for the additional book in advance. Of course, I feel a short personal story would serve to illustrate the book’s impact on me, but that is for a bit later. Where were we?

Anyway, we shall meet on this topic at another time when we get together to talk about the influential books we have read in our lives. By the way, is there anyone else who would like to share their books?

Please, I humbly beseech, beg, and implore you, dear friend and reader, share with me, share with all of us, the influential books you have read, yes? Give me your top three (3) books, and I’ll share it with everyone who stops by for a chat and a short read…



And now a word from my sponsor ===> Thomas Jerome Baker


Finally, a short video, to finish with music and a song, a song and a dance, a new book perchance?

In my next post, I’ll be listing my book selected for tenth place on my list of 10 most influential books. In the meantime, enjoy a music video with lots of books, roses and a delightful melody about being together, wherever, readers of books gather, just get together, home is wherever, we are together…


About profesorbaker

Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family.
This entry was posted in Connectivism, Culture, Education, EFL, Higher Education Teaching & Learning and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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