Some books I read to be entertained, others to be informed or to stretch my thinking--and it seems the best are able to do all three simultaneously.
Scholastic's great You Are What You Read forum offers enlightening and entertaining insight into the five most influential books cited by a whole host of influential people--from President George H.W. Bush, to Kathy Bates, to Venus Williams, Malcolm Gladwell, and more. Furthermore, you can create your own profile, enter your five influential books, and see who shares your choices and which titles seem to appear again and again (The Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird, anyone?)
It's difficult to choose just five books that have influenced me or shaped my world view, but if pressed, I think I'd go with: Matilda by Roald Dahl, The Giver by Lois Lowry, The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood, White Teeth by Zadie Smith, and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.
What five books have most influenced you? Share them in the comments below!