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Books that changed the way you look at the world
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Bryan



Joined: 29 Oct 2007

PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 8:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Books that changed the way you look at the world Reply with quote

Thiuda wrote:
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?


I suggest you read Carnage and Culture by Victor Davis Hansen for the answer to "Why have Western nations dominated the world?" I think the answer is stronger than in GGS and explains why the West had dominance despite Eurasians having close to the same natural resources.

The book that changed everything for me was The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
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Tiger Beer



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Walk Across America - Peter Jenkins

Tropic of Cancer - Henry Miller

On the Road - Jack Kerouac
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movybuf



Joined: 01 Jan 2007
Location: Mokdong

PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tiger Beer wrote:
On the Road - Jack Kerouac


I was also going to say that. Got me hooked on Beat writing and the counter culture.

Also "A New Christianity for a New World: Why Traditional Faith is Dying & How a New Faith is Being Born" by John Shelby Spong opened my eyes to alternative forms of Christianity. Got me hooked on reading theological history books.
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Arthur Dent



Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Location: Kochu whirld

PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Great Railway Bazaar

The Agony and the Ecstasy
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FMPJ



Joined: 03 Jun 2008

PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 2:23 am    Post subject: Re: Books that changed the way you look at the world Reply with quote

Bryan wrote:
The book that changed everything for me was The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand


Very sorry to hear that.
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Thiuda



Joined: 14 Mar 2006
Location: Religion ist für Sklaven geschaffen, für Wesen ohne Geist.

PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tiger Beer wrote:
A Walk Across America - Peter Jenkins

Tropic of Cancer - Henry Miller

On the Road - Jack Kerouac


I enjoyed Kerouac very much in my early 20s. My favourite book of his is Big Sur; I also enjoyed his autobiographical works.

While I was at university, I read a lot of Herman Hesse: Steppenwolf, Narziss und Goldmund, Demian, Knulp, The Glassbead Game, Peter Camenzind, Unterm Rad...etc. Basically anything of his that I could get my hands on. One of my very favourite books is Narziss und Goldmund, its a story I could read again and again. It was also through Hesse that I found my way to poetry, he paints images with words in a way that I have not been able to find in other authors.
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DrunkenMaster



Joined: 04 Feb 2008

PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Under the Volcano. Malcolm Lowry. Now I can't stop dreenking.
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Rteacher



Joined: 23 May 2005
Location: Western MA, USA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Srimad Bhagavatam inspired me to become a spiritual revolutionary ...
http://www.prabhupadaconnect.com/Bhagavatam_Preface.html

- which certainly is not as bad as Catcher in the Rye inspiring John Hinckley to kill John Lennon ...
http://www.bfi.org.uk/sightandsound/review/4153/
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Omkara



Joined: 18 Feb 2006
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Walden, Emerson's Essays.


The God Delusion, The End of Faith, god Is Not Great (Inspired me to become a spiritual revolutionary).

Guns, Germs and Steel

The Omnivore's Dilemma

Haven't read Schopenhauer's World as Will yet. What did you get from it? Does his prose translate well?
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Zutronius



Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Location: Suncheon

PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fifth Business
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semi-fly



Joined: 07 Apr 2008

PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Toss up between: On The Road ( Jack Kerouac) & Animal Farm (George Orwell)
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blurgalurgalurga



Joined: 18 Oct 2007

PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse 5, Heller's Catch 22, Clavell's King Rat, Waugh's Sword of Honour trilogy, Murdoch's A Severed Head, McCarthy's Blood Meridian, Mishima's the Sea of Fertility tetralogy, Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front, Graves' Goodbye to All That, Doyle's a Star Called Henry, Voltaire's Bastards by that Canadian guy, Spence's the death of Woman Wang, Austen's Emma, Melville's Moby Dick, someone or other's the Tale of Genji, Stephenson's System of the World trilogy, and Stolen Continents by Wright, to name a few.

Stolen Continents and Blood Meridian changed my perspectives on the colonization of the New World.

Slaughterhouse 5, King Rat, Catch 22, and the Sword of Honour showed aspects of the 2nd World War than I'd been unfamiliar with.

A Severed Head and the third and fourth book of the Mishima trilogy were (to me) a totally different way to look at the antibellum period of WW2.

A Star Called Henry (revolutionary Ireland), All Quiet on the Western Front, and Goodbye to All That were excellent records of the early 20th Century in Europe.

The other ones changed the way I saw their historical settings and periods.

I guess I mostly try to read stuff that at least challenges, if not changes, my views. It's getting more and more difficult though, as I get older, because I am already correct about everything and have very little left to learn. Either that or I'm getting stagnant and self-satisfied...but no, that can't be it.
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Thiuda



Joined: 14 Mar 2006
Location: Religion ist für Sklaven geschaffen, für Wesen ohne Geist.

PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Omkara wrote:
Walden, Emerson's Essays.


The God Delusion, The End of Faith, god Is Not Great (Inspired me to become a spiritual revolutionary).

Guns, Germs and Steel

The Omnivore's Dilemma



I enjoyed The God Delusion very much, however I can't say that it changed the way I view the world as I was already very much against theism prior to reading it. While The God Delusion affirmed previously held opinions, it did make me a more outspoken atheist, so I guess one could say it changed the way I interact with the world.

The Omnivore's Dilemma sounds intriguing, I'll have to give that one a read!
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Omkara



Joined: 18 Feb 2006
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thiuda wrote:
Omkara wrote:
Walden, Emerson's Essays.


The God Delusion, The End of Faith, god Is Not Great (Inspired me to become a spiritual revolutionary).

Guns, Germs and Steel

The Omnivore's Dilemma



I enjoyed The God Delusion very much, however I can't say that it changed the way I view the world as I was already very much against theism prior to reading it. While The God Delusion affirmed previously held opinions, it did make me a more outspoken atheist, so I guess one could say it changed the way I interact with the world.

The Omnivore's Dilemma sounds intriguing, I'll have to give that one a read!



Dawkin's book didn't change my mind, it only helped me to better frame the problem. Although I did not accept a mono-theistic metaphysics, I called myself an agnostic. Dawkins showed me the importance of taking a firm stand on that question in particular. Technically, I am an agnostic, for to claim knowledge of that category of non-being is a logical absurdity. Yet, given the claims made and their political implications, Dawkins nudged me to, as it were, take my leap of faith. . .that is, my leap of rational faith, given the evidence.

The Omnivore's Dilemma is well written, well organized, and, for me, a joy to read. . .except, it gives the ethical man or woman another existential problem with which to wrestle, which is, ontologically, more important than any of mono-theology.
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howie2424



Joined: 09 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason
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