I wouldn't blame any book for what I am but there are a handful of books that I clearly remember led me down the road to where I am:
- The earliest is a comic Book; Superboy #98. It got me into comics and reading as a hobby. Before first grade.
- James Blish's VOR. I'd been reading classic adventure and SF but this one had a double impact. First it led me to modern SF *as* SF. Looking for more, I picked up Starship Troopers. Both led me to the SFBC and a full education. Second, VOR's core conceit drove home the idea that what is a boon to some is a curse to others. Nothing is absolute. And people are prone to self-delusion. (Tell that to a teenager and see what you get.)
- Heinlein's BEYOND THIS HORIZON. Introduced me to the idea that cross-disciplinary thinkers are more important than narrow-focus experts. That it is better to be well acquainted with several disciplines than to know "more and more about less and less, until you know everything about nothing" as the saying puts it. It led me to engineering instead of pure science which, in retrospect, I wouldn't have the patience for.
- Heinlein's TIME ENOUGH FOR LOVE. Not the story so much--Heinlein did better--but all the aphorisms scattered all over. All reinforcing the idea that humans are not rational, merely rationalizing. We spend most of our time looking to justify what we want to do anyway. Led my to question everything all the time. Heinlein included.
The problem with attributing myself to any book(s) is that there are other sources that have inspired me, including a handful of people. A couple of them were even teachers!