posted on Jul, 6 2008 @ 01:30 AM
I've read an awful lot of books, and I think a lot of them have changed my life one way or another. In the last year, though, to make my post
shorter, I'd name Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged", for giving names and substance to a lot of ideas and beliefs I already had, but didn't know what
they were called, and Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States" for showing me some of the really shocking things that have happened
in American history, particularly ones that most history books don't get into.
I'm not sure if those changed my life in a massive, groundbreaking, profound way, but they definitely altered the way I look at a lot of other books
and things in everyday life. Certainly that pair has had the most influnence on me recently.
Okay, I'll go back a bit further, lol, and add two more.
"The Sword of Shannara", by Terry Brooks, both for being a great fantasy novel, and for suckering me into the genre so badly when I was in grade 7
that I must own hundreds of fantasy books by now, plus read however many more I've borrowed. The guy who recommended that book to me had no idea
what he was doing! (and I owe him a massive debt, if I ever knew what happened to him after junior high)
"The Planets", author who the heck knows, because I read it when I was five. It was a rather simple nonfiction astronomy book about the solar
system, but it forever hooked me on astronomy and later into science fiction. To give you an idea how hooked I was on this book (please remember I
was five!) I read it probably a dozen times in the week I had it on loan (it was like 30-40 pages, with pictures) and actually went to the effort of
getting paper and copying word for word the text so that I'd still have it when I returned it to the library! My dad saw me doing this, and probably
thought I was a little nuts, but he went out and bought me "The Planets and the Stars", which was the same book, only a later edition with some
extra stuff in it, so that I'd quit copying it out by hand. I still have that book in a box somewhere, too, so I guess I could figure out the
author, but whatever. Don't bother actually getting this book unless it's for your young kid or something; it's too simple by far for an adult,
but it sure influenced me at the time. This is probably the one that fits LateApexer's moment where I figured out I was a book person.