Here are a few books David considers influential to him, extraordinarily entertaining or compelling. Or just damned fine writing.

Most are novels. Some are non-fiction. What they share is deft storytelling.

Now, David admits he probably has left out at least one book from this list (and probably many of them). And he acknowledges that he comes across a book and says, “Wait, I loved that book.”

An aside: He hasn’t started the Harry Potter series yet (and hasn’t seen any of the movies, and won’t, until he reads the books).

A long way of saying this list might just be a work in progress. For now, in no particular order here, the top of the list:

The Prince of Tides, by Pat Conroy

A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving

Tender, by Mark Childress

The Poet, by Michael Connelly

Rules of Prey, by John Sandford

Killing Floor, by Lee Child

Legal Tender, by Lisa Scottoline

A Firing Offense, by George Pelecanos

Vanishing Act, by Thomas Perry

A Is for Alibi, by Sue Grafton

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson

Replay, by Ken Grimwood

A Separate Peace, by John Knowles

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

Den of Thieves, by James B. Stewart

Seabiscuit, by Laura Hillenbrand

All the President’s Men, by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein

Woodward and Bernstein, by Alicia C. Shepard

Feast, by Nigella Lawson

Italian My Way, by Jonathan Waxman

Saint Bobby and the Barbarians, by Ben Brown