If you like books, Pat Conroy's My Reading Life is essential reading. He mentions all of the classics that influenced his life and writing. The chapters titled "The Teacher" and "The Librarian" alone are well worth adding the book to your collection.
Also, having flown in F-4s as a Radar Intercept Operator in the Marine Corps, I was immediately hooked by his early best seller, The Great Santini. The double-Oscar nominee movie staring Robert Duvall, Blythe Danner, and Michael O'Keefe is Conroy at his best.