I'm sure this has been asked tons of times in this forum (yes, I just said tons of times), but I still want to ask. What are some books, or The Book that have/has had a huge impact on your life? I'm not entirely convinced that a book is really capable of changing your life, because to do that you usually need more, like for instance taking action on what you read (and more than just the act of reading), but I have learned from experience that ideas found in books can truly impinge on my mind.
And yeah, if you had such a book, I also wanna know what the impact was, 'cause I'm demanding like that. I'll start.
A few months ago I read a book called THE KYBALION. Whereas beforehand I had had a lot of fear and anxiety in my everyday life and if I was living it well, reading the Kybalion changed all that. Now, I see the world in totally different light, because it put things into perspective for me in the way of helping reduce my anxiety, impatience, and doubt.
Of course, since this is an esoteric type of book, it took a lot to make the choice that I was gonna believe all that I read, but since it all made sense and fit well into my experiences, I did. I waited these months to say all this as I wanted to know if the impact was a lasting or fleeting one.
Anyway, if this info is useful to you in any way, great, but I would like to hear about your book now.
Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. I don't subscribe to all her philosophies, but it opened my eyes to the fact that yes, it's ok to want to help people but ONLY if they are deserving. And yes, it's ok to be proud of what you do and make money off it.
^^^^ Same here. For the same reasons.
I heard lots about her, but never really got around to checking her out. She died the year I was born and we shared exactly a month in life. So I'll definitely look into Atlas Shrugged. Thanks.
The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeier. I was fascinated by the tittle and decided to borrow it from the library. that was the first book I've ever read from this author and seriously, every word in that book took my breath away and it had widened my imagination since then.
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Although I'm not an atheist and I don't think that selfishness is a virtue, she opened my eyes as a young man to the virtues of free enterprise vs the pitfalls of collectivism
I would have to say the Bible, Chicken Soup for the Military Wives Soul, and believe it or not...the Help.
"The 12th Planet" by Zecharia Sitchen. It is full of wild, ludicrous speculation, but the linguistic analysis and its tracking of the spread of religion across the ancient world provides enough food for thought to make it a worth-while read.
jponiato, I often wondered if his works are fantasy or deal with actual evidence. Maybe you can answer this.
The Bible of course and the Kite Runner completely changed my opinion about Afghanistan.
Gosh, this one strikes a familiar chord as I'm well-acquainted with the wrath of various grapes in general.
Perhaps you are sitting too hard for too long mate...
But don't worry too much...
You can get an operation nowadays for angry grapes!
Oh well, thanks for the advice. I didn't exactly mean the thing that you refer to, but I know things are different in PD's world. This seems to be one of those rare occassions when I do not wish I was living in it, even though I know it's there to remind the rest of us (poor suckers) how bleak and dreary our world is.
I would say illusion vs reality by Ranjit Maharaj. He basically revealed a simple truth, that our thoughts create illusions that we call the world. We deal with life through our own illusions. It is only our own illusion. We have the power to change it, but in the end, its still just another illusion. The second book would be The Miracle of Imagination by Neville Goddard. He explained how to use relaxation and imagination to change any condition, problem or materialize wealth, fame, a spouse or whatever one may desire. The main teaching is simply to believe it is already yours. His books and lectures on youtube and online give countless demonstrations. I have had success with the technique as well. Even though it's all still an illusion, why not have a little fun!
Is there no objective reality then? What does Ranjit Maharaj teach about living in a world made up completely of illusions?
That might as well work for the people that know the principles behind it. I'm in the process of learning transcendental meditation. It's a bit less of an ambitious technique. It only promises to lower stress levels and attain clarity of thought.
His approach is if you know it is an illusion, you can easily drop it. When you clear your mind, only total freedom remains. The outer things are there, obey the laws but with the understanding that it's all concept vs concept. In other words, conceptual ignorance. The whole world hangs on words. It is a battle of words. No words, no world. You are the Reality.
for me it was both the fountain head by Ayn Rand and The jungle by Upton Sinclair, both of those books have taught me to strive in hardwork and continue to believe in my own self worth and ideals at the same time. While not allowing others to change how I see things, but allowing me to see their points as well
The book that put my life in perspective was He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not by Trish Ryan. It's a memoir about finding our way by following Christ instead of by our own understanding. I have bought copies and lent them to friends who all found the book to be inspiring.
I think the two books that come to mind first have a similar "message" conveyed through very different writing styles and topics. The first of the two that I read in undergrad was The Human Stain by Philip Roth. It is the third in a trilogy but I did not read the first two (and still have not). This novel discusses American morality and its effects through the lens of Academia. The second I read in a graduate course on oil in literature (fascinating topic, best class I ever took) called The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi. This book is set in the 23rd century in Thailand after "global warming" has taken effect, carbon fuel sources have depleted, genetically modified crops have been created and biotechnology has been developed. I am not a science fiction reader but this book was fantastic. Such an interesting look into what could be the future world.
Both of them made me analyze my actions and think about how they will affect the future. They made me think about my impact on the world (or my generation's impact, more realistically) and how we cause change through our actions and inactions. Two highly recommended reads.
Huge impact books would have to be:
Les Miserables: This book ended all forms of black and white thinking for me with Inspector Javert being the incorruptible police officer as the primary antagonist.
Anna Karenina - Changed my view on marriage and how the person being proposed to really isn't being given freedom of choice.
War and Peace - Changed my view on how history is recorded and underscored the idea that their is no such thing as a military genius.
The Brothers Karamazov - Offers a great look into the flaws of the rational and the benefits of the irrational, and the things that are beyond your control.
Crime and Punishment - Makes you look at extraordinary people in a different way, and it persuades you to not look to be truly extraordinary.
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