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Books that changed the way you look at the world
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Died By Bear



Joined: 13 Jul 2010
Location: On the big lake they call Gitche Gumee

PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Books that changed the way you look at the world Reply with quote

Thiuda wrote:
I just finished reading Michael Crichton's State of Fear. While I don't agree with its central thesis that the science behind global warming is too incomplete to draw any meaningful conclusions from it, the book was a great exercise in critical thinking. State of Fear changed the way I look at the world because it convincingly set forth an alternate viewpoint to global warming. It also made me consider the politics of scientific research and raised my consciousness towards some of the more base forces behind environmental activism.

A non-fiction book that changed/enhanced my viewpoint was Jarred Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel. Prior to reading GGS I don't think I would have been able to provide a satisfactory answer to the question posed by Diamond in his book: Why are Eurasian nations dominant?

What books have changed the way you look at the world? How?



I just read "The Tao of Pooh". It was good.
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Netty_oz



Joined: 17 Feb 2011
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

World War Z - Max Brooks.

Truly!
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Draz



Joined: 27 Jun 2007
Location: Land of Morning Clam

PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

He's Scared, She's Scared: understanding the hidden fears sabotaging your relationships

The most amazing self-help book I've ever read, and I've read quite a few. It's like a biography of my ex. Finally knowing wtf was up with all that was an earth-shattering revelation.

Spoiler: You can't save people from themselves. Especially if they are like the people described in this book.
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teacherinseoul



Joined: 18 May 2008

PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Siddhartha for this one part:

Quote:
He no longer saw the face of his friend Siddhartha, instead he saw
other faces, many, a long sequence, a flowing river of faces, of
hundreds, of thousands, which all came and disappeared, and yet all
seemed to be there simultaneously, which all constantly changed and
renewed themselves, and which were still all Siddhartha. He saw the
face of a fish, a carp, with an infinitely painfully opened mouth, the
face of a dying fish, with fading eyes--he saw the face of a new-born
child, red and full of wrinkles, distorted from crying--he saw the face
of a murderer, he saw him plunging a knife into the body of another
person--he saw all of these figures and faces in a thousand relationships
with one another, each one helping the other, loving it, hating it,
destroying it, giving re-birth to it, each one was a will to die, a
passionately painful confession of transitoriness, and yet none of then
died, each one only transformed, was always re-born, received
evermore a new face, without any time having passed between the one
and the other face--and all of these figures and faces rested, flowed,
generated themselves, floated along and merged with each other, and
they were all constantly covered by something thin, without individuality
of its own, but yet existing, like a thin glass or ice, like a transparent
skin, a shell or mold or mask of water, and this mask was smiling, and
this mask was Siddhartha's smiling face, which he, Govinda, in this very
same moment touched with his lips.
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TECO



Joined: 20 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a cool thread.

I'm reading Permitted and Prohibited Desires: Mothers, Comics, and Censorship in Japan right now. It's an interesting analysis of gender and culture in Japan using psychoanalysis, psychology, marxist theory and Japanese manga / anime and censorship.
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Patrick Bateman



Joined: 21 Apr 2009
Location: Lost in Translation

PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The ones that most readily come to mind:

Civilization and its Discontents by Freud: It was the first book I read that really painted humans and humanity in a negative light. But at the same time, Freud had this kind of hope. Also, his literary style and elegance were at their best here.

Writings on an Ethical Life by Singer: I read this after university where I was deeply interested in philosophy and ethics and was not expecting to be challenged and shaken as badly as this book made me. I had read of Kant that upon reading Hume he felt as though he were awoken from a dogmatic slumber. While I'm no Kant, this book made me feel the same way. I don't agree with everything Singer said, but wow, it's quite the trip to tackle what he says. Best of all, it's straightforward to read, but so thought-provoking. The way ethics should be written.

Johnny Got His Gun by Trumbo: Just an amazing work that really makes you appreciate little things in life. Really difficult at times to read because of its emotion, but worth it. I still think about this book every time I feel a cool breeze on a warm day. I could have done without the last 15 pages or so when Trumbo more-or-less just goes on an all out tirade, but alas.

All Quiet on the Western Front by ReMarque: One of the best antiwar books of all time. I am a huge fan of Greek tragedy, both for scholarly pursuits and mere aesthetics, and AQWF is a perfect tragedy. If you read Aristotle's Poetics, the book is even more enjoyable.

Catch-22 by Heller: The first book to make me laugh out loud. And it really made me laugh, so I thought it worth mentioning.

Life of the Mind by Arendt: Really makes you look at what thinking is, and what it means to think. Definitely not as easy as the other books, but it really changed the way I look at the world.
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Patrick Bateman



Joined: 21 Apr 2009
Location: Lost in Translation

PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TECO wrote:

I'm reading Permitted and Prohibited Desires: Mothers, Comics, and Censorship in Japan right now. It's an interesting analysis of gender and culture in Japan using psychoanalysis, psychology, marxist theory and Japanese manga / anime and censorship.


This book sounds pretty cool, so I checked out Amazon and they are asking $25 for the paperback! Do you mind if I ask where you got it?
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TECO



Joined: 20 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Patrick Bateman wrote:
TECO wrote:

I'm reading Permitted and Prohibited Desires: Mothers, Comics, and Censorship in Japan right now. It's an interesting analysis of gender and culture in Japan using psychoanalysis, psychology, marxist theory and Japanese manga / anime and censorship.


This book sounds pretty cool, so I checked out Amazon and they are asking $25 for the paperback! Do you mind if I ask where you got it?


I got mine at the library.

I found the beginning of this book a little slow. But once the author sets the stage and gets past all of the Marxist / psychoanalytic theory and starts analyzing Japanese gender issues, culture, and anime, it gets kind of interesting.
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ThingsComeAround



Joined: 07 Nov 2008

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it cool to still add to this list?

Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong
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jonbowman88



Joined: 20 Jan 2009
Location: gwangju, s korea

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rees Howells: Intercessor
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schwa



Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Location: sokcho

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a teen growing up WASP in southern Ontario in the '60s I really wanted to broaden my grasp of this thing called life. Be Here Now by Ram Dass helped open that window for me. At the end of his book he included a list of formative writings that I undertook to read. I didnt get to all of them, of course, but a fair few, & I'd like to think I've picked up a bit of wisdom by doing so.

Heres the list: http://www.american-buddha.com/ramdass.snakepithumansuffer10.htm
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Died By Bear



Joined: 13 Jul 2010
Location: On the big lake they call Gitche Gumee

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Recent books that altered how I view the world:

1. 33 Strategies of WAR by Robert Greene

2. A Short History of Everything by Bill Bryson

3. PHI by Giulio Tononi (Great book)

4. Life And Death Are Wearing Me Out - Mo Yan (Great book)


Each book affected me differently, but any GOOD book leaves me changed.

Also a shout-out to Best American Short Stories and Oxford collections of short stories. As a dying breed, the short story is underrated.


Books on my reading list:

Made in America - Bill Bryson

and so many more...I haven't gotten to yet.
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young_clinton



Joined: 09 Sep 2009

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Walter Kaufman - Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist.

Dawkins ' The Selfish Gene' was really good. His book 'The God Delusion' not so good. Too full of anecdotal crap and his own personal feelings. Some of the thinkers that he belittles were greater thinkers than himself. For instance Thomas Acquinas.
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Taylormade



Joined: 31 Oct 2012
Location: Incheon

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can't say I've ever read a single book that changed my life. Like many people on here, my worldview has changed due to accumulated knowledge over many years, not by a single text. But I would recommend a fabulous book that I read a couple of years ago. It's called Breaking the Spell by George Dennett. It's probably the best book on religion (as a natural phenomenon) that I've ever read. Also Jesus Interupted by Bart Rhrmann. Also extremely impressed by Crime and Punishment by Dosteovsky. Pure brilliance.
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KimchiNinja



Joined: 01 May 2012
Location: Gangnam

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Books that changed the way you look at the world Reply with quote

Thiuda wrote:

What books have changed the way you look at the world? How?


I don't read, so that's that.
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