“For she was of that generation who, having found nothing in religion, had formed themselves through literature.”
-- Doris Lessing, A Proper Marriage
If I had to pick one writer who inspired the idea of "God's Reading List" it would be Doris Lessing. I read her five book "Children of Violence" series when I was in my twenties and it altered the way I thought forever. Lessing's protagonists are highly psychological, self-aware and critical.
Lessings characters are constantly moving in the direction of greater and greater consciousness, are constantly questioning their own thoughts and their own motives. When I first encountered her work, I was twenty-one years old and had no metacognitive abilities whatsoever. Reading her work cracked open a door in my mind and let the light in.But now, sitting with Molly talking, as they had so many hundreds of times before, Anna was saying to herself: Why do I always have this awful need to make other people see things as I do? It’s childish, why should they? What it amounts to is that I’m scared of being alone in what I feel. (The Golden Notebook)