Books that changed your life

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AerialWombat
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by AerialWombat »

“Born Free” by Joy Adamson
“The Ultimate Sales Letter” by Dan Kennedy
“The 4-Hour Workweek” by Tim Ferriss
“Vagabonding” by Rolf Potts
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by eastwayroad »

-How To Live: A Life of Montaigne (Sarah Bakewell)
-Good Calories/Bad Calories (Gary Taub)
-12 Steps & 12 Traditions (AA)
Any investing book by Richard Bernstein
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by WannabeBogleHead01 »

“Don’t Make Me Think” by Steve Krug.

Easy, quick read. I’ve never looked at a website the same since I read it.
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by Fallible »

TallBoy29er wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 7:30 pm The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy ...
Ah, thanks for mentioning "Galaxy." I just reread parts of it and laughed all over again at the nifty absurdities, such as sentences that begin where you think they'll go and then they don't:

"They looked at each other for a moment.
"The moment became a longer moment, and suddenly it was a very long moment, so long one could hardly tell where all the time was coming from."

and...

"He furrowed his brow until you could grow some of the smaller root vegetables in it."

And those aren't even the best of it all, right? Anyway, I can't say the book changed my life unless I died laughing, but not a bad way to go.

For the OP: re books that did change my life, or thinking, there are way too many so I'll narrow it to a recent few in investing and healthcare:

Enough by Jack Bogle
Your Money & Your Brain by Jason Zweig
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
Misbehaving by Richard Thaler
(and a book from college days that probably led to the above, Irrational Man by William Barrett)
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
"Yes, investing is simple. But it is not easy, for it requires discipline, patience, steadfastness, and that most uncommon of all gifts, common sense." ~Jack Bogle
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by hidradenitis »

Halicar wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:45 pm
bluebolt wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:17 pm
PoppyA wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:24 pm Atlas Shrugged
I'm always curious why her books have an outsized representation on "books that changed my life" lists.
It's because people read them when they're teenagers. There's a snarky quote out there about how Atlas Shrugged and The Lord of the Rings are the two fantasy novels that are beloved by nerdy teenaged boys.
I believe this is it:

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."

[Kung Fu Monkey -- Ephemera, blog post, March 19, 2009]

Back to the OP's point, I would say that most of the books I read change my life, usually in minute but mostly permanent nudges. I'm a big believer in reading a lot and selectively.
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by TallBoy29er »

Fallible wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:01 pm
TallBoy29er wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 7:30 pm The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy ...
Ah, thanks for mentioning "Galaxy." I just reread parts of it and laughed all over again at the nifty absurdities, such as sentences that begin where you think they'll go and then they don't:

"They looked at each other for a moment.
"The moment became a longer moment, and suddenly it was a very long moment, so long one could hardly tell where all the time was coming from."

and...

"He furrowed his brow until you could grow some of the smaller root vegetables in it."

And those aren't even the best of it all, right? Anyway, I can't say the book changed my life unless I died laughing, but not a bad way to go.

For the OP: re books that did change my life, or thinking, there are way too many so I'll narrow it to a recent few in investing and healthcare:

Enough by Jack Bogle
Your Money & Your Brain by Jason Zweig
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
Misbehaving by Richard Thaler
(and a book from college days that probably led to the above, Irrational Man by William Barrett)
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
Maybe it is a bit more nostalgic than anything. That book will live with me for ever. To your point, there are so many sentences that took you to a place you could not predict. I call out SEP's all the time at work. I have to explain what they are (they came from one of the later books)

I do not care about views on religion, but I've always remembered this passage:

"And then, one Thursday, nearly two thousand years after one man had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change, a girl sitting on her own in a small café in Rickmansworth suddenly realized what it was that had been going wrong all this time, and she finally knew how the world could be made a good and happy place. This time it was right, it would work, and no one would have to get nailed to anything."

That quote then takes me to a passage by Ram Dass:

"When you go out into the woods, and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree.
The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying ‘You are too this, or I’m too this.’ That judgment mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are."

So yeah, The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy helps with perspective.
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by LadyGeek »

Religion is a highly contentious topic, much more so than politics. I removed a post and several replies wishing to understand why the Bible has changed someone's life for the worse.
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by Boat Gnome »

Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe

The Bogleheads Guide to Investing by Taylor Larimore, Mel Lindauer, and Michael LeBoeuf

No other books I've read have had more positive effects on my life than these two.

I cannot recommend them highly enough.

I would also like to thank Taylor, Mel, and Michael for writing the book so an idiot like me could understand it. Thanks.
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by TheTimeLord »

This thread has confirmed my uniqueness.
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by leeks »

Halicar wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:45 pm
bluebolt wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:17 pm
PoppyA wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:24 pm Atlas Shrugged
I'm always curious why her books have an outsized representation on "books that changed my life" lists.
It's because people read them when they're teenagers. There's a snarky quote out there about how Atlas Shrugged and The Lord of the Rings are the two fantasy novels that are beloved by nerdy teenaged boys.
I was a teenage girl who did not identify as nerdy at the time.
Although I enjoyed reading Tolkien, I didn't find it formative.
Reading Ayn Rand made me consider things I hadn't considered before after which I sought out criticism and alternative viewpoints. It was a starting place for an intellectual pursuit. I doesn't mean I adopted her thinking as my own.
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by sambb »

websters dictionary
rogets thesaurus
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by leeks »

TheTimeLord wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:56 pm This thread has confirmed my uniqueness.
Was it in doubt?
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by quantAndHold »

It would be interesting to find out why some books changed peoples’ lives. There are a lot of very good books on this list, but a lot of them I would never consider to be “life changing.”

Maybe I just have a higher bar for what I think changed my life. But...if you’re answering...how did the book you're naming change your life?
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by aceoperations »

A day in the life of Ivan Denisovich - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

It gives perspective on how many aspects of life we take for granted. And the power of the human spirit, to find joy in one's life, no matter the circumstances.
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by prairieman »

It was my Earth Sciences text book when I was a college sophomore. It was an elective class but it caused me to change my major and go on to an academic career.
“As long as the roots are not severed, all is well.” Chauncey Gardner
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by jabberwockOG »

quantAndHold wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 10:46 pm It would be interesting to find out why some books changed peoples’ lives. There are a lot of very good books on this list, but a lot of them I would never consider to be “life changing.”

Maybe I just have a higher bar for what I think changed my life. But...if you’re answering...how did the book you're naming change your life?
The death of Ivan Ilyich - Tolstoy
The book addresses the consequences of living an unexamined life, and the ultimate emptiness produced by the pursuit of societal and material success, and the critical role of empathy, sympathy, and compassion in creating a fulfilling life.
I read it as a 20 year old in school with an amazing teacher who had the courage and energy to shake our emotional/cultural foundations in order to get some of us to pay attention to what it means to be human.
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by maitrina »

From a personal perspective, "Man's Search for Meaning" by Vicktor Frankl and the audio of "Noble Heart: A Self-Guided Retreat on Befriending Your Obstacles" by Pema Chodron.

From an investing perspective, "Unconventional Success: A Fundamental Approach to Personal Investing" by David Swensen.

Thanks everyone for sharing.
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by TomatoTomahto »

Normchad wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 7:26 pm
Conch55 wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:54 pm The C Programming Language. I started out my IT career as a C programmer and this book helped me get going. I also give credit to W. Richard Stevens for readable books on network programming.
I am gobsmacked to see you mention Stevens. I was actually thinking the same. That book, particularly chapter six, is almost single handedly responsible for most of my professional success. I owned that book at a time when those kinds of books weren’t easy to find or even known about. It gave me a huge leg up professionally, and allowed me to establish an enduring work place advantage.
Okay then, I have to add VMS Internals by DEC. My employer wouldn’t pay for the course, which was the only official way to get the book, but I begged a friend and got a copy. It was like a Bible to me, and helped me understand what I still consider the best and most elegant OS of all time (I know, it turned out to lose in a Betamax vs VHS kind of struggle).
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by JoeRetire »

HotRod140 wrote: Sun Feb 02, 2020 6:38 pmAnyone recommend a book that changed their life. It doesn't have to be a finance book
I Robot by Isaac Asimov

When I was old enough to leave the Children's section of the library and look at books in the Young Adult section, this was the first book I brought home.

It led to reading many, many fiction and non-fiction books by Isaac Asimov and a lifelong interest in reading in general. Which led to an interest in science and scientific methods. Which led to high school class choices. Which led to college choices, Which led to a lucrative career. Which led to a comfortable financial life and the ability to be a skeptical thinker.
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by RadAudit »

Bogle on Mutual Funds. Well, the financial side of life anyway.
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Re: Books that changed your life

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nisiprius wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:02 amThere was a very important book whose name I just can't remember, let alone who wrote it. It was some kind of introduction to the ideas of calculus, aimed perhaps at a high school audience.
Might it be Calculus Made Easy by Silvanus P. Thompson? There are two editions I am aware of: I prefer the original as it is terse and to the point.

Example: The original book, on page 1, tells you what the "d" in "dx" means and what the "long S" (integral sign) means in "Sdx." (Sorry, I can't draw the long s integral sign here). Gardner's version doesn't get to this until page 39! Even so, anything Martin Gardner has had a hand in is worth a look.

Why I like this book: It focuses on concepts before technique. I need to understand concepts before rote technique or I can never remember anything.
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by vested1 »

In a way, every book is a life changer. If it's exceptionally bad however, I tear it up and throw it in the trash so I'm not responsible for passing it on.

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
The Stand by Steven King
1984 by George Orwell
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Bogleheads Guide to Investing by Taylor Larimore and others

Lately I've been simply escaping into the world of Lee Childs and his hero Jack Reacher, with regret that Tom Cruise was chosen for the movie versions.
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by briansmt4 »

Frank Dikotter's 3 volume history of Mao's Communist China, documenting the disasters of collectivization, the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. Shows the failure of communism and the risks of absolute dictatorship, resulting in the death of 30-40 million at the whims of Mao.

The Last Lion, a biography of Winston Churchill by William Manchester.

Robert Caro's multivolume biography of LBJ. Shows how a corrupt man obtains power and exercises it for good and ill. Superbly written and researched and extremely interesting.
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by Quercus Palustris »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 6:46 am Okay then, I have to add VMS Internals by DEC. My employer wouldn’t pay for the course, which was the only official way to get the book, but I begged a friend and got a copy. It was like a Bible to me, and helped me understand what I still consider the best and most elegant OS of all time (I know, it turned out to lose in a Betamax vs VHS kind of struggle).
I'm too young to have used VMS (my high school trashed its VAX the year I started, and moved to Linux) but I dinstincly remember one of the fortunes that displayed on login quoted VMS Internals' quote of T. S. Eliot, and it always stuck with me:
Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
-- T.S. Eliot, "The Hollow Man"

[Quoted in "VMS Internals and Data Structures", V4.4, when referring to system service dispatching.]
It comes to mind whenever code doesn't work the way I think it should (or, the customer thinks it should).
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by TomatoTomahto »

I’m not sure if it was the first use of the term, but VMS provided microfortnight, or a bit more than 1.2 seconds, for setting how much to speed up or slow down the clock during seasonal time changes when it was important to have monotonically increasing (but not accurate) timestamps.

Sometimes whimsy is appreciated :D
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by 1789 »

Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel García Márquez
The Trial by Franz Kafka (everything by Kafka)
Fathers and sons by Ivan Turgenev
The grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Crime and Punishment by ‎Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Iliad by Homer
Germinal by Emile Zola
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Animal Farm by George Orwell
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

There are just so many of them. This is a short list.
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by oldcomputerguy »

A couple of off-topic comments were removed. As a reminder, posts with religious content are off-topic and not allowed under forum policy. See Politics and Religion:
In order to avoid the inevitable frictions that arise from these topics, political or religious posts and comments are prohibited.
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by Enganerd »

Lookingforanswers wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:17 am 1984 - by George Orwell.

Read this in high school and again in college. This book shaped my life, particularly in thinking about how institutional control of information can shape attitudes, politics and societies.

"Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past."

Turned me into a lifelong fact-checker.
I was also greatly influenced by Orwell. I recently reread 1984 for the first time since college and enjoyed it.

An interesting wrinkle on fact-checking and the suspicion of institutional control of information is that a lot of us use a centralized means for acquiring information. Google is not only an incredibly wealthy company but they also have a lot of power by influencing what returns in searches.
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by VictoriaF »

FI4LIFE wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:37 am
VictoriaF wrote: Sun Feb 02, 2020 9:20 pm
jjunk wrote: Sun Feb 02, 2020 7:31 pm 10% Happier: Dan Harris
Check out his book "Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics."
jjunk wrote: Sun Feb 02, 2020 7:31 pm The Power of Habit: Charles Duhigg
I thought it was the best book on habits until I read "Atomic habits" by James Clear.

Victoria
"Atomic Habits" is excellent. I am listening to the audiobook now. One of the most actionable "self-help" books I've read.
I also subscribe to James Clear's "3-2-1 Thursday newsletter" https://jamesclear.com/3-2-1 , described as:
"Every Thursday, I send out my “3-2-1” newsletter with 3 ideas from me, 2 quotes from others, and 1 question for you. Sign up with the form below to get a new edition in your inbox every week."

Victoria
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by Finridge »

See the list of books I made here: viewtopic.php?t=256357

To this I'd add the following:

- "The Pleasure Trap: Mastering the Hidden Force that Undermines Health and Happiness" by Douglas J. Lisle and Alan Godhamer. The focus is on achieving good health, fitness, happiness, etc. but the same principles apply to the rest of life, including investing, in my opinion.

- "The Hacking of the American Mind: The Science Behind the Corporate Takeover of Our Bodies and Brains" by Robert H. Lustig, MD. - I hate the clickbait title. This is much better than it sounds. This complements that "The Pleasure Trap" well.

- "The Diet Fix: Why Diets Fail and How to Make Yours Work" by Yoni Freedhoff, MD.
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by Hayduke »

Once a Runner by John Parker
Desert Solitaire by Ed Abbey
The Abstract Wild by Jack Turner
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
Turbulent Flows by Steve Pope
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by SevenBridgesRoad »

HotRod140 wrote: Sun Feb 02, 2020 6:38 pm ...recommend a book that changed their life...
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey - the single most influencial book on my life and career, and I read a lot of books. Extremely practical and actionable, over decades, in my life and buisness career.

'Life changing' can come from the other direction too, where the premise of the book turns out to be wrong. Here's a book that influenced me (years later) to be very skeptical of dire predictions: The Population Bomb
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by Foredeck »

Here are a handful of books that I've really enjoyed over the years.

"Down and Out in Paris and London" by George Orwell

"The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho

"The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness and Effectiveness" by Epictetus, Sharon Lebell (Retold by)

"Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius

"Sadhana" by Rabindranath Tagore

"The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying" by Sogyal Rinpoche (As my parents are aging, this book has informed me how to care for them compassionately. This probably one of the most important books I've ever read.)

Here's a free audio version of this book on YouTube. https://youtu.be/8yJxVDs8U98
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by Nicolas »

Foredeck wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:29 pm "Down and Out in Paris and London" by George Orwell
This is a good book, I enjoyed it also. You should read The Road to Wigan Pier (1937) by the same author.
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by KarenC »

The Design of the UNIX Operating System by Maurice J. Bach
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool." — Richard P. Feynman
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by steve roy »

"The Wind In The Willows"

Read it in the fifth grade. Never wanted it to end.
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by geerhardusvos »

As others have stated... the Bible!!! It is the book from heaven itself :beer
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by Foredeck »

Nicolas wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:06 pm
Foredeck wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:29 pm "Down and Out in Paris and London" by George Orwell
This is a good book, I enjoyed it also. You should read The Road to Wigan Pier (1937) by the same author.
Excellent thanks for the recommendation. I'll add that to my reading list.
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by psychodoc »

life-changing may be overstating the case, but intriguing/influential/engrossing/memorable:

the ender quartet by card
the mind-body problem explained: the biocognitive model for psychiatry by mclaren
mere christianity by lewis
the end of faith and the moral landscape by harris
the only guide to a winning investment strategy you'll........ by swedroe
theory and practice of psychiatry by cohen
a fire upon the deep and a deepness in the sky by vinge
harry potter 1-7 by rowling
bible by many

cheating as it's not a book, but a lecture series by the great courses - philosophy of mind: brains, consciousness, and thinking machines

all pertaining to 'mental life' and/or career. probably most impacted by unrecalled, out of date algebra textbook that a couple of others and i were handed in school and told to teach ourselves
Last edited by psychodoc on Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by palaheel »

Romans in the Bible

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. I read as an adult. Her understanding of the universe was a lot bigger than mine. Read the book; the movie and TV versions stink.

The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. I didn't understand what "bad" was until I read Solzhenitsyn's account.
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by dorothyday »

Yoga Self Taught by Andre Van Lysebeth. I bought this book around 1975, I'm still doing the series of poses 45 years later.
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by mak1277 »

Hayduke wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:26 pm Once a Runner by John Parker
Desert Solitaire by Ed Abbey
The Abstract Wild by Jack Turner
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
Turbulent Flows by Steve Pope
I'd have guessed Monkey Wrench Gang by your handle! I love Abbey, too.

I also really like Cormac McCarthy, but for the life of me I can't get through Blood Meridian. I have no idea why (it's not the violence).
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by TallBoy29er »

VictoriaF wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:45 pm
I also subscribe to James Clear's "3-2-1 Thursday newsletter" https://jamesclear.com/3-2-1 , described as:
"Every Thursday, I send out my “3-2-1” newsletter with 3 ideas from me, 2 quotes from others, and 1 question for you. Sign up with the form below to get a new edition in your inbox every week."

Victoria
Thanks Victoria. I've read a few due to the link you posted, and am a now fan. There are some good thought provokers in there.
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by Hayduke »

mak1277 wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:48 am
Hayduke wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:26 pm Once a Runner by John Parker
Desert Solitaire by Ed Abbey
The Abstract Wild by Jack Turner
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
Turbulent Flows by Steve Pope
I'd have guessed Monkey Wrench Gang by your handle! I love Abbey, too.

I also really like Cormac McCarthy, but for the life of me I can't get through Blood Meridian. I have no idea why (it's not the violence).
Nice catch! I really enjoyed reading Monkey Wrench Gang but Desert Solitaire had a little deeper impact on my worldview.

I recall it taking me a few attempts to get past the first third of Blood Meridian, but then the grandeur and spectacle really kicks into high gear. Also, if you haven't already read it, All the Pretty Horses is a little more approachable but still has a similar southwestern setting and McCarthy's great prose.
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peetsperk
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by peetsperk »

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nisiprius
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by nisiprius »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 6:46 am...Okay then, I have to add VMS Internals by DEC...
Oh, right. I forgot a book which, for some bizarre reason the local public library had, with a title like "Preparation of Programs for Solution by the Illiac Computer at the University of Illinois." (Search, search) Aha. Illiac Programming: A Guide to the Preparation of Problems for Solution by the University of Illinois Digital Computer. Yep. That's it.

It took some work to find it because Google thought I wanted something having to do with the ilium bone in the pelvis, and something about preparation of solutions, you know, by weight or by volume...

Why was it so important? Because it was the first book I ran across that actually presented the instruction set for a digital computer--"how it worked," as it were--rather than just talking vaguely about electronic brains and high-level block diagrams of the storage unit, the arithmetic units, and so forth. The description of how multiplication worked--with the multiplicand gradually getting shifted out to the left as the product progressive replaced it at the right... and how unbelievably simple multiplication is in binary... just blew my mind.

Oh, my, this is so wonderful... "Variants: 8, K, N, F: Illiac will hang up. Avoid these." Truly amazing: chapter 8, "The Discovery of Errors," "Common Blunders," and so forth. What's significant about this is that the dignified manuals produced later, e.g. by IBM, never talked about errors or debugging at all.

I was inspired to build a contraption out of surplus SPDT relays I bought at one of the stores on Cortlandt Street in New York, a ten-bit accumulator capable of multiplying two five-bit numbers.
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palaheel
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by palaheel »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 6:46 am
Normchad wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 7:26 pm
Conch55 wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:54 pm The C Programming Language. I started out my IT career as a C programmer and this book helped me get going. I also give credit to W. Richard Stevens for readable books on network programming.
I am gobsmacked to see you mention Stevens. I was actually thinking the same. That book, particularly chapter six, is almost single handedly responsible for most of my professional success. I owned that book at a time when those kinds of books weren’t easy to find or even known about. It gave me a huge leg up professionally, and allowed me to establish an enduring work place advantage.
Okay then, I have to add VMS Internals by DEC. My employer wouldn’t pay for the course, which was the only official way to get the book, but I begged a friend and got a copy. It was like a Bible to me, and helped me understand what I still consider the best and most elegant OS of all time (I know, it turned out to lose in a Betamax vs VHS kind of struggle).
Well if we're getting into the weeds...

In the summer of 1972, right before I entered college, my computer programmer aunt lent me an IBM FORTRAN reference manual with the comment "you might want to look at this." I walked into Intro to CS pretty much knowing the lay of the land. It was a tremendous advantage.
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xerxes101
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by xerxes101 »

I really like this thread and wanted to keep it for future reference, definitely planning to read some of the books recommended...thx OP
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by Sandtrap »

Horacio Alger books and stories.
Read from 1960 to 1965 repeatedly.

Richest Man In Babylon by Clason
And
The Greatest Salesman In The World by Og Mandino
And
Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Read and listened to on cassette tapes daily from 1972 to 1978.

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VictoriaF
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Re: Books that changed your life

Post by VictoriaF »

VictoriaF wrote: Sun Feb 02, 2020 9:20 pm
jjunk wrote: Sun Feb 02, 2020 7:31 pm
The Power of Habit: Charles Duhigg
I thought it was the best book on habits until I read "Atomic habits" by James Clear.

Victoria
"The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg is an excellent book.

Then I read "Atomic Habits" by James Clear and found it superb.

A few weeks ago, I listened to a podcast of Shane Parrish (Farnam Street) with BJ Fogg and I bought Fogg's book "Tiny Habits."

Each book on habits was helpful and helped me to make a change. But Tiny Habits is the most transformative. I feel that following Fogg's guidance I can accomplish anything I wish.

Victoria
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