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What Books Changed your Life?

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posted on Sep, 11 2005 @ 02:36 PM
On the Road___Kerouac
A New Pair of Glasses___Chuck C
Ulysses_____ James Joyce
Kurt Vonnegut

posted on Sep, 14 2005 @ 05:41 PM
Whaa - I sense a bit of the beat poet in you
I remember the first time I read Howl and how moved I was. Imagine seeing him read it in all his naked glory - how amazing and funny that would be. What a character.

Anyway - Lot of good books on this thread.

[edit on 14-9-2005 by nikelbee]

posted on Sep, 14 2005 @ 06:02 PM

Originally posted by nikelbee
Whaa - I sense a bit of the beat poet in you
I remember the first time I read Howl and how moved I was. Imagine seeing him read it in all his naked glory - how amazing and funny that would be. What a character.

Anyway - Lot of good books on this thread.

[edit on 14-9-2005 by nikelbee]

Very perceptive Mr. Nikelbee! I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Ginsburg on a plane before he died.

If I may I'd like to add "Tropic of Cancer" by Henry Miller

posted on Sep, 15 2005 @ 02:46 AM
What was Ginsburg like in person Whaa? I think I would be embarrassingly flummoxed.

I find it amusing that Henry Miller gets so many people riled up for being (at face value) a misogynistic sexual deviant. I spent many wasted hours in a Women Studies course discussing how Miller along with Mapplethorpe should not die, die, die for simply daring to address sexuality as a non 'love' act.

Especially when beneath the facade of party guy Miller wrote with bucketloads

posted on Sep, 15 2005 @ 03:35 AM
all books by:

carlos castaneda
charles bukowski
john fante
isaac asimov

and last but not least

the system, by

posted on Sep, 15 2005 @ 05:14 PM

Originally posted by nikelbee
What was Ginsburg like in person Whaa? I think I would be embarrassingly flummoxed.

And btw - it's Ms not Mr. Nikelbee
The androgenous moniker is just for show.

[edit on 15-9-2005 by nikelbee]

Sorry Lady Nikelbee!
Usually syntax gives people away as to their gender. Not you!
Ginsburg was the consummate gentelman. After I told him how much his poetry ment to me; he said thanks and "what do you do" Such grace and style will be missed!

so the thread won't be trashed, one more...

Trout Bum_____John Gierach
The above book has turned out to be one if not the one, most influential books in my life as I have pretty much turned into a Trout bum.

[edit on 15-9-2005 by whaaa]

posted on Jan, 31 2006 @ 12:50 AM
1. New King James Bible

2. The Millionaire Next Door
- statistical samples and interviews of Americans with a net worth over one mil. With insight as to how they manage their households to maximize wealth. It's not what you earn, it's what you fail to spend.

3. Your Money or Your Life
How to get out of debt at becoming financially independent without changing your current job.

4. Magic and Mystery in Tibet
written by a western Buddhist who went to meet Tibetan masters in the 1930's. Although a believer, she describes supernatural phenomena from a western skeptical viewpoint.

5. Morning of the Magicians
Seminal work that Helped to launch the New Age Movement

6. The view over Atlantis
Original text on ley lines. Not nearly as nutty as the field later became.

7. The Unexplained

8. The Histories by Herodotus
Amazing to see how much of our knowledge of the ancient world comes from this single man. Sometime I'll write a thread on what Herodotus has to say that impacts belief in Atlantis and an ET origin for the pyramids . . .

9. Anabasis by Xenophon
Reminds me of the Bahagavad Gita in the sense of what guys talk about while marching to war gets philosophical rapidly. Classic prose at its best. Some of the lines stick with you for the rest of your life, like Shakespeare.

10. The Decameron -Boccaccio
Medieval literary porn. Amazing how little people have changed in 700 years.

11. Lives of Illustrious Men - Plutarch
Showing how moral failings work themselves out in history.

12. War Commentaries - Julius Caesar
(Contains the Gallic Wars, along with his writings about pirates, the campaigns against Pompey, etc.) read my mom's copy of this in English when I was about 12, then the latin copy in my late twenties. A great example of battlefield tactics. Surprising amount of good anthropological info on the Kelts and Teutons.

13. The Prince -Machiavelli
My dad made me read this when I became interested in politics. All about how to run other people's lives witout getting caught.

14. On War Klausewitz
Famous for his dictum that "war is politics by other means." The western version of :

15. Art of War
Great read alongside Ceasar's Gallic Wars

16. Book of Five Rings
A sort of personal application of a sort of "zen taoism" and the Art of War.

17. The Occult Colin Wilson
Probably the best overview of the occult as well as fringe phenomena in general. Wilson was originally a mystery writer, and so has scientific-style rigor even when he's speculating.

18. Major Trends In Jewish Mysticism by Gershom Scholem.
If you want to know what Qabalah really is, without all the pretension, this scholarly work is the place to start.

19. Book of the Subgenius - J.R. "Bob" Dobbs.
Mystical Text a la Principia Discordia, only more so, and if it were set to a soundtrack by DEVO.

20. Winning Chess Openings

posted on Jan, 31 2006 @ 01:26 AM
"Knowing Where The Fountains Are: Stories and Stark Realities of Homeless Youth" by Dr. Kevin Cwayna
This is a book about the real experiences of homeless youth that the author had worked with in the Minneapolis area.

"A Death in White Bear Lake" by Barry Siegel
This is a true story of a little boy who was murdered by his adopted mother. Funny I read this book when I was 20 and ironically now I live in the city of White Bear Lake.

"The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde
This book renewed my passion for reading about a year ago.

"Aztec" By Gary Jennings
In my opinion, the best book I have ever read. A fiction story following an aztec man from his birth to his death. This book is also very educational because it tells a lot about the aztec culture just before they were overtaken by the Spanish General Cortez and his army. The amount of research that Gary Jennings must have done to write this book must have taken him forever.

[edit on 31-1-2006 by snowflake_obsidian]

posted on Jan, 31 2006 @ 03:31 AM
''the dice man''... made me wana pick up the dice, and maybe try it out for a while. i found i couldn't commit and people thought i was going crazy, so i stopped.

posted on Jan, 31 2006 @ 07:18 PM
I Ching
The Urantia Book

[edit on 2006/1/31 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on Jan, 31 2006 @ 07:54 PM
Golden Book Encyclopedia (for kids)
Encyclopedia Britanica, A thru Z
Funk and Wagnells unabridged dictionary..
All those little Science books by Herbert S. Zimm..anyone remember those?

Thats what I read as a kid..I didn't enjoy was so.....fake..

posted on Feb, 4 2006 @ 08:24 PM
Many years ago I read Henry David Thoreau's, "On Walden Pond".

I was impressed about his thoughts of man's relationship to nature and the environment. His "back to basics" attitude, doing the necessary things for life, and doing without "stuff" allowed me to understand the feeling of self-sufficiency and the time to ponder all this within the quiet peace of the forest. He didn't go without human company, but carefully chose who he wanted as company and the times for socializing.

The next book which I feel furthered my attempts to follow Thoreau's way of life was the bible. This was the way of Jesus to a certain extent. All my thoughts about this would be too long to go into at this point.

The last book was "The Little Flowers of St. Francis" by Mary Roberts Rinehart. This book about St. Francis was a great inspiration of the way I wanted to live my life. It is no coincidence that St. Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of the animals and the environment. I have also read other biographical books about St. Francis of Assisi, but I believe I liked this one the best. St. Francis is also a great model for the practice of humility. I haven't quite trained myself in this yet. :shk:

I have managed to reduce my life to very little material "stuff". With no assets to worry about my life is just about stress free. I don't have to work long hours to pay for stuff that I then have to take care of and worry about. I work just enough for basic necessities and then spend my extra time watching the natural world and admiring the creative genius that resides in writers and all artists. The library provides, free of charge, much of my joy in the written word. There are also many free places that provide viewing of visual art and the preforming arts.

My church is also a good place for quiet meditation and the uplifting joy of life.

posted on Feb, 4 2006 @ 08:43 PM
The books that had a profound effect on my life and outlook are in no order just as I remember them...

To Kill a Mockingbird
The Catcher and The Rye
The Old Man and The Sea
Inherit The Wind (Play)
The Crucible (Play)
Of Mice and Men
Mystic River

posted on Feb, 4 2006 @ 09:05 PM
I'd have to say 'The Diceman' by L.Reinhart....those little dice helped get me out of an obssesive-compulsive rut with random behavior

posted on Feb, 4 2006 @ 09:30 PM
Many Masters Many Lives Dr. Brian Weiss
Messages from the Masters Dr. Brian fact all of his books

Enchanted Love and A Woman's Worth by Marianne Williamson....all of her books too haha

[edit on 4-2-2006 by ChristyZ]

posted on Feb, 4 2006 @ 09:34 PM
Engines of Creation by Eric Drexler
X-Men Comics

posted on Feb, 4 2006 @ 10:26 PM
Some of these books had an impact on me because of what they said and what they meant to me, and those are probably more in keeping with the idea of this thread, but, since I've written since I was 9 or so, and that's always been a part of my life, some of the books that I view as the most important are so not so much because of the effect they had on my life as because of the effect they had on my writing. Of both types, in as near to chronological order as I can recall:

When I was about 7, I read a juvenile biography of John Paul Jones that really struck a chord with me. It's the thing I most remember reading from that period of my life.

When I was 9, I moved to a new school, and discovered my first school library, and discovered the Hardy Boys. That's what really got me reading for pleasure. From there I expanded in a fairly unremarkable range-- Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan, Agatha Christie mysteries, lots of science fiction (initially the so-called "juvenile" Heinleins, then the more adult ones, and Bradbury and Asimov and so on...), Alistair MacLean adventures...

When I was probably 11 or so, I stumbled on Giovanni Guareschi's Father Camillo books. I remember them vividly, and they certainly had an impact on my way of looking at, and living in, the world.

At about that same time, I read a copy of Animal Farm. My mom actually suggested it. I thought it was going to be some kind of children's story, and wasn't terribly interested at first. I still remember the impact it had on me. That's what first led me to see that those who seek to wield power over others are, or at the very least will become, evil.

When I was about 13, I was put in a "challenge" English class. One of the books that was assigned to us was Animal Farm, but since I had already read it, the teacher had me read 1984 instead. That possibly had a greater impact on me than anything else I read in my childhood. It's not just the tragedy of the story, but the inexorable quality of it. A rational, thinking, questioning person is doomed in a society such as that of 1984.

That same teacher suggested that I read Frank Herbert's Dune, which was, to that point, the most complex and satisfying book I'd ever read, and gave me the confidence and interest to try other huge novels.

When I was probably 15, I took a science fiction as literature class, and it was there that I discovered both Harlan Ellison and Kurt Vonnegut. Ellison impressed me then, and still does, with the ease with which he creates wonderfully complex phrases, but his viewpoint and preoccupations didn't really outlive my adolescence. Vonnegut still pleases me with his sort of world-weary diffidence.

Somewhere along the way there I read Joseph Heller's Catch-22, and I make it a point to reread it every couple of years. It's still one of the finest examples of literary craftsmanship ever. It's a great book, but even more it's a perfectly constructed book. Nobody before or since has told a story in quite that way and had it work that perfectly.

Another novel that had a strong impact on me from my late adolescence was Stephen King's The Stand. I still marvel at the fact that he could tell so many different stories happening in so many different parts of the country without either losing the reader or over-explaining things. Reading King is effortless, and that's a testament to his skill.

Throughout adulthood I read voraciously, and still do. Some of the later high points:

Demian by Herman Hesse. My introduction to Hesse's recognition of the intellectual as outcast.

Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse. The closest character to myself I've ever encountered.

The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. The depths to which man will stoop to oppress man.

The Illuminatus Trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson. I shouldn't have to tell anyone here about that one.

The Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake. It's astoundingly well-written-- conveying not only the look, but the feel, of an entirely fictional place, time and people. It's so vivid and so well-realized.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy by Douglas Adams. Funny as they are (and they are hysterically so), they're mostly philosophical, and sharply so.

The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe. It's told by an untrustworthy narrator, creating a story that can only be truly understood by looking beyond what he says. An intriguing experiment in the composition of a novel.

The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass. The world at war, seen through the wide open eyes of a child.

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The strength, and weakness, of family, and of love.

Little, Big by John Crowley. The further in you go, the larger it gets.

A Study of History by Arnold Toynbee. Finally I understood what was happening around me-- why "the most powerful nation on earth" was and is steadily growing weaker and more corrupt with each passing day.

The Boomer Bible by R. F. Laird. The first part of this satirical bible-- the "Past Testament" is an unapologetic and no-holds-barred history of mankind. Biting, eye opening and all too honest.

We by Yevgeny Zamyatin. I only recently discovered this one. It's far better (if "better" is the right word) than 1984.

[edit on 4-2-2006 by Bob LaoTse]

posted on Feb, 4 2006 @ 10:49 PM

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy by Douglas Adams. Funny as they are (and they are hysterically so), they're mostly philosophical, and sharply so.

Trilogy? You know there were a 4th and 5th book in that series right?

posted on Feb, 4 2006 @ 11:16 PM

Originally posted by sardion2000

Trilogy? You know there were a 4th and 5th book in that series right?

Of course I do. Adams continued to call it the "trilogy" (or more accurately, "the increasingly inaccurately named Hitchhiker's Trilogy," so that's what I call it too.

posted on Feb, 5 2006 @ 09:44 AM
When I posted my book choices earlier, I wasn't thinking back to childhood until reading some of the other posts.

When I was a child, the book Trumpeter Swan by EB White was profound for me. It was a book about a swan who was diffent and felt alone making it through his challenges and using his differences to his advantage.

Also the book Sounder (don't know the author) was key to me growing up not to feel predjudice against other races in a world where I was surrounded by it.

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