Kierkegaard’s “Fear and Trembling”. I read it for the first time in high-school and fell in love. Kierkegaard’s writing gave me the leverage I needed to really throw myself into faith, and a language with which to understand that faith.
Rainer Maria Rilke’s “Diary of a Young Poet”. In my existential phase, my sister recommended Rilke for his beauty. Most of the good in my artistic development is his influence. Now his poems live in my head and form a large part of the background to my life.
Kathleen Norris’ “The Cloister Walk”. It wasn’t until a few year’s ago that I discover Kathleen Norris, but her effect has been strong. She teaches me how to use the richness of monastic tradition in my own life, in my writing, and in my pursuit of beauty.