Books that changed your life

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Against Will, Apr 28, 2004.

  1. Against Will

    Against Will Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2003
    Big Sound Central
    Like the "Albums that changed your life" thread, but you know, with books.


    "Naked Lunch"

    "People's History of the United States"

    "The Compleat Moonshadow" ('graphic novels' can count)
  2. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    Catcher in the Rye
    On the Road
  3. MattyN


    May 26, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    slaughterhouse 5
    nine stories (i'll keep the salinger theme rolling)
  4. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Not really changed my life, but had serious impacts on my thinking - and I also recommend it to others:
    George Orwell's 'Nineteen-eighty-four'
  5. Das Kapital
    Communist Manifesto
    The Fight For Socialism
    ...........Charley and the Chocolate Factory
  6. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    The Holographic Theory by Michael Talbot. Changed how I view the world around me completely.

    Holy Blood, Holy Grail by some scholars that I can't recall. Destroyed what little faith I had left in Christianity and world politics in one fell swoop.

    A Separate Peace by John Knowles. Reveals the darkness within us all.

    Jewish Literacy by some rabbi that I don't recall. Required reading for all gentiles.

    The Dune series by Frank Herbert. Required reading for intelligent people who like to get tripped out.

    2001, 2010, 2061, and 3001 by Arthur C Clarke. More tripping out stuff.

    The Autobiography of Malcom X, by, well, Malcom X. Required reading for all white people.

    The Bible. All of it. Required reading for all Christians (suprisingly most haven't read the whole thing).

    The Koran. Required reading for all westerners.

    Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood pal. Made me laugh out loud. Often.

    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I am now one hoopy frood who knows where his towel is.
  7. Yep. Also, "Infidels", Clavell's Asian Saga and "Cults, Prophets and Madness".
  8. kserg


    Feb 20, 2004
    London, UK
  9. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    The Internet for Dummies :D
  10. I don't think there is anything else that I've read that has changed me like Marx has.
  11. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    Fixed the author there for you.

    Additionally Terry Pratchett's Discworld books are the best therapy in the world for a chronically angry/depressed guy with hostility issues. Because of these books I no longer have those hostility issues.
  12. Eyescream


    Feb 4, 2004
    Knoxville, TN
    If you like that, check out Good Omens, by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. It's easily as funny as the one book I read in the Discworld series so far (Small Gods).

    Also: Siddhartha, as I think somebody already mentioned. Amazing piece of work, and I felt very different after reading it; but it was due to a series of realizations that one has during the course of the novel. Doesn't hurt that I've been exploring and doing my own research on Buddhism and Taoism, and so the book was touching upon concepts that I'd already read or heard about in other places, it just kinda brought them together for me.

    Ironweed. ****ing great story. I think any story that lets me look outside my own life is worth reading, and this one certainly does. Amazing writing job William Kennedy did writing this.
  13. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Never been more important than today...
  14. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    b-tri, good list. I'd agree with Dune (the whole series), Herbert wrote an incredible allegory about oil in those stories (spice = oil). He warned us back in the 60's, no one noticed, they just thought it was a cool sci-fi story. It was, but it was more at the same time.

    I too am a hoopy frood who knows where his towel is. I'm still working on throwing myself at the ground and missing. Listening to Bach helps.

    You're dead on with the Bible and Koran as well. It amazes me just how few people that profess to live by these books have never actually read the entire work.

    Bard, you beat me to the fix on the 2001, et al author. Clarke has had a HUGE impact on me. He's been writing incredible stories since the 1940's! "Childhood's End" was an interesting story as well.

    I'd add "Cosmos" by Carl Sagan, I saw the PBS series and got the book as a present from my parents at the same time. Totally opened my mind to the beauty of the REAL universe, and the fact that science can be a spiritual thing, if you see it correctly. Also, I'd add Sagan's "The Demon Haunted World - Science As A Candle In the Darkness", wonderful book, among his dozens of wonderful books.

    Finally, "Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do" by Peter McWilliams. The heck with the "Communist Manifesto", this is the Libertarian Manifesto! :)
  15. baba

    baba Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    3rd stone from the sun
    I think every book I've read has changed me to some degree, so I'll just throw out the first two that come to mind:

    About Time - Paul Davies?, time/space theory stuff. changed the way I look at EVERYTHING.

    Infinite Jest - David Foster Wallace, this book changed my expectations about what literature and novels are and can be.
  16. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Among a long list;

    The Doors of Perception - Aldous Huxley
    Propaganda in a Democratic Society - Huxley
    Brave New World - Huxley

    The Medium is the Message - Marshall McLuhan

    Anything by Edgar Allan Poe

    The Creative Brain - Ned Herrman

    The Dilbert Principle - Scott Adams

    To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

    Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
  17. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    I actually am already a huge fan of Neil Gaman. I was just trying to limit the entries to books that had a big effevt on me. Not just entertaining me. Pratchett helped me learn to take myself a bit less seriously at a time that I REALLY needed to learn that.

    If you want just authors/books that I love...

    Heinlein: Nearly anything but especially the Lazarus Long stuff
    Gaman: ANything I can get but my favorite was American Gods
    Sagan: Do I even need to write titles? He was awesome
    Poe: Come on! He was the father of the suspense novel.
    Heller: Catch 22 is every cynics bible
    Spider Robinson: The Callahans books should be required reading
    Too many more...
  18. Here are a few that really touched me at the time.

    Noam Chomsky's The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism

    Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States

    Jack Kerouac's On the Road

    Jon Lee Anderson's Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life

    Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer

    John Kennedy O'Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces

    David C. Korten's When Corporations Rule the World
  19. Against Will

    Against Will Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2003
    Big Sound Central
    I forgot this one! Great, great read, and not always uplifting but very inspiring. (ghost written by Alex Haley)

    Also, "Monster: an autobiography of an LA gang member" by Sanyika Shakur is another interesting book on gangs, racism and poverty in America. He's not as eloquent as Malcolm X, but the book is fast and very intense. He really keeps things going and before you know it, you're immersed in his world. Very intense and worth reading.
  20. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Oops! I knew that. Duh. Must have had Dune on the brain.

    Gard, I thought Dune was more about manipulation of the masses by religion, politics, and catastrophic events rather than oil (although it is a large part of it). Interesting that after I read this I realized that this goes on in real life; some say that the Kennedy assasination was designed to alter the world's conciousness, rather than just kill a president. It was representative of a druidic ritual of the killing of the old king, and the birth of a new king. Studies have shown that ever since Kennedy was shot, violence, drugs, & crime have continually escalated. I find that to be very similar to some of the events that transpire in the Dune series; the God Emperor and the.. crap... -whatever the name of the group of super nuns was called...- they were vying for control of the galaxy by controlling the collective conciousness. Very interesting.