#5) Martin Eden by Jack London. Published in 1909--how amazing is that! A semi-autobiographical account, in fiction form, of a young man struggling to raise his station in life and succeed as a famous writer against insurmountable odds. I first read this in college, and reread it at least once a decade. One hundred years old, and still the most inspirational book about writing I have ever read.
Editor's note: come back next week to see Mitch's #4 fav!