Any books really change your outlook on life?

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waitforit
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Post by waitforit » Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:27 am

I've read a number of titles mentioned here already so I won't bring those up but I have a few to add.

The "Richest Man in Babylon" - think of investing and saving taught in bible-style parables. Very approachable for a beginner and you almost forget you are learning lessons reading it. I wish I would have read this as a kid.

I so hate to admit it but "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" greatly influenced my outlook. Now that I have adopted the Boglehead way of investing I cannot even stand Kiyosaki anymore, but the lessons in this book about how the poor behave vs the rich were valuable. Things like the definition of an asset vs. a liability and how the middle class buys liabilities thinking they are assets.

At the time I was able to relate the content of the book to people in my life and understand why things didn't go the way they planned. I also started noticing how people talk negatively about those who are better off than they and learned that the so-called 'rich' are not bad people.

Now that I am older and wiser I've found other books that teach these lessons in a less antagonistic way and without the disdain for people that he seems to preach. He seems to defend the rich which at the same time cutting down everyone else while complaining that the rich are persecuted.

billb
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Post by billb » Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:45 am

waitforit wrote:
I so hate to admit it but "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" greatly influenced my outlook. Now that I have adopted the Boglehead way of investing I cannot even stand Kiyosaki anymore, but the lessons in this book about how the poor behave vs the rich were valuable. Things like the definition of an asset vs. a liability and how the middle class buys liabilities thinking they are assets.


Wow, stole my thunder 100%! I was going to use the same words (hate to admit it!) This book shifted my thinking as well. Now I don't think much of him either.

Cognitive Miser
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Re: Oh, I love this topic.

Post by Cognitive Miser » Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:55 am

anncatchingup wrote:The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, Mad Cowboy by Howard Lyman and Dr. Neal Barnard's books (Made me go from a semi-vegetarian to a vegan -- I've never felt better!


The entire premise of Campbell's book has been thoroughly refuted:

http://rawfoodsos.com/2010/07/07/the-ch ... or-fallac/

What I found interesting about the debunking was where it came from. It wasn't from anyone in the nutrition sciences (apparently they couldn't be bothered to actually look at the data), it was from a 23-year-old English major.

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VictoriaF
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Post by VictoriaF » Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:20 pm

The Black Swan, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

Victoria
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btenny
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Post by btenny » Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:51 pm

When coming back from a long business trip where I was worn out from travel and too many meetings and similar modern drivel I bought

Retire at 35 by Paul Terhost

http://www.dealoz.com/prod.pl?cat=book& ... 9&rcount=2

http://www.greenenergyinvestors.com/ind ... &pid=17609

in an airport book store. This was about 20 years ago. I was about 43 and working my butt off. The book changed how I looked at life and thought about work. It made me stop and think about what I really wanted from life...

The key is life is a journey to be enjoyed and working 60 hour weeks is not the only way to live.....

Good Luck
Bill

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Post by proverbs23and7 » Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:03 pm

The Bible of course. Other books I have read this past year is : "the millionaire next door" and " the question behind the question"

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Post by david99 » Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:19 am

The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing, John Bogle's books, Four Pillars of Investing--- along with books by Ferri and Swedroe have all changed my financial life.

In terms of a book that changed my life, I can't name one. I think that it's dangerous to rely on one book to have an influence on you. One should always rely on many different opinions, viewpoints and ideas.

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Post by bearcub » Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:36 am

..
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turntablist100
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Post by turntablist100 » Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:08 am

The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham

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JupiterJones
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Post by JupiterJones » Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:14 am

SpringMan wrote:I read Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People" from an old copy I picked up at a garage sale. Unlike others I did not care for this book. It seemed to advocate being phony regardless of the truth. Tell people what they want to hear. Give false compliments. Do this to get ahead. I know this book is highly regarded but I found many things about it distasteful.


GRT2BOUTDOORS wrote:I second the above. Having integrity,character, ethics and compassion gets thrown out the window with the useless advice this book offers. I suspect many of the problems we have today have been compounded by the suggestions this book offers.


It's been awhile since I've read it (and I can't for the life of me find my copy), but if I recall correctly, doesn't it actually address that very criticism?

Doesn't he emphasize, for example, not just pretending to be interested in a person, but actually being genuinely interested in them? Not giving false compliments (or false anything), but rather finding something to give a truthful compliment about?

In other words, it's less about manipulating other people to like you and more about changing yourself to be more likable, isn't it?

(Now I want to re-read it. Where that's dang book...)

JJ
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arthurb999
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Post by arthurb999 » Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:21 am

Health:

Neanderthin
Primal Blueprint
Never Gymless
Food inc. (Movie)

Personal Finance:

Total Money Makeover
Richest Man in Babalon
Automatic Millionaire
Your Money of Your Life
Bogleheads' Guide to Investing

Personal Development:

How to Win friends and influence people and his Public Speaking book
Joining company's Toastmasters club (not really a book)
Any good career development book (and work the plan).

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ObliviousInvestor
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Post by ObliviousInvestor » Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:39 am

The Road Less Traveled by M Scott Peck. I disagree with much (likely most) of this book. But the concept with which the book opens has stuck with me:
Life is difficult. This is a great truth...because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.


Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Misquoting Jesus by Bart D. Ehrman
Mike Piper, author/blogger

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Mister Whale
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Re: Scott Peck

Post by Mister Whale » Tue Dec 28, 2010 10:00 am

bcboy57 wrote:The Road Less Travelled- by Scott Peck


Great one. Read it as a young man and it really clarified many things that I was thinking but hadn't yet molded into concrete ideas or words.

ObliviousInvestor wrote:The Road Less Traveled by M Scott Peck. I disagree with much (likely most) of this book. But the concept with which the book opens has stuck with me:
Life is difficult. This is a great truth...because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.

This is the first of the Four Noble Truths. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism

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Post by Martello Shores » Tue Dec 28, 2010 10:23 am

These books stayed with me for quite a while after reading:

The Moral Animal: Why We Are, the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology by Robert Wright. I read his next book, Nonzero, also. Then, by another author, Darwin's Cathedral. Moral Animal informed for many years my observations of office politics and the interplay between men and women, especially young ones! As with author Wright, it led me to think a little more about the role of religion in regulating and harnessing social behavior

Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond. Also, his next book: Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed , Paul Kennedy's The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers , and Samuel Huntington'sThe Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order.

The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley and William Danko

Jesus & the Riddle of the Dead Sea Scrolls: Unlocking the Secrets of His Life Story by B. E. Thiering. This one prompted controversy in 1993. I include it because it stayed in mind for at least a year's worth of Sunday services!

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Taylor Larimore
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Correction about Dale Carnegie's book

Post by Taylor Larimore » Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:04 am

I read Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People" from an old copy I picked up at a garage sale. Unlike others I did not care for this book. It seemed to advocate being phony regardless of the truth.


For five years I taught Public Speaking for the American Institute of Banking using the Dale Carnegie method. I assure you that there is nothing in his book that advocates being "phony." Quite the contrary. If we Google "Dale Carnegie and 'be sincere' we receive 7,430 hits.

For me, his book was a life changer.
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

Macomber
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Books

Post by Macomber » Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:44 am

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

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Padlin
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Post by Padlin » Tue Dec 28, 2010 12:52 pm

Common Sense on Mutual Funds, got me going on investing and personal finance in general 20 years ago.

The Maine Woods, followed by Walden, by Henry Thoreau.
Regards | Bob

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Qtman
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Post by Qtman » Tue Dec 28, 2010 4:34 pm

Bible

Enough by Bogle

Nickerson's Real estate books
Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich; be wise enough to control yourself. | Wealth can vanish in the wink of an eye. It can seem to grow wings and fly away | like an eagle. - King Solomon

p14175
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Post by p14175 » Tue Dec 28, 2010 7:18 pm

I am reading a book right now called Critical Chain by Eliyahu M. Goldratt. I am interested in project management from a process perspective (not as a manager). One of my professors thought I might like it.

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Rusa
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Post by Rusa » Tue Dec 28, 2010 7:38 pm

waitforit wrote:I've read a number of titles mentioned here already so I won't bring those up but I have a few to add.

The "Richest Man in Babylon" - think of investing and saving taught in bible-style parables. Very approachable for a beginner and you almost forget you are learning lessons reading it. I wish I would have read this as a kid.


If you liked that one, you would also like "The Wealthy Barber", which has much the same information, but a *bit* more modern.
Rusa

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tinscale
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Post by tinscale » Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:24 pm

A couple of books that changed my outlook on life:

1. Chariots of the Gods by Erich von Daniken, 1968. Pretty sure most will know the premise of this book.

2. Best Evidence by David Lifton, 1980. The book is about JFK's assassination, and analyzes the differences in what was observed and reported by the doctors at Parkland Hospital in Dallas vs. what was observed and reported several hours later by doctors at Bethesda Naval Hospital.
Last edited by tinscale on Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Harold
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Post by Harold » Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:30 pm

proverbs23and7 wrote:The Bible of course. Other books I have read this past year is : "the millionaire next door" and " the question behind the question"

Nobody would dare give the response of three posts above to this one. :wink:

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Cloud
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Post by Cloud » Wed Dec 29, 2010 8:59 am

Omnivore's Dilemma
A Random Walk Down Wall Street

dixdak
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Post by dixdak » Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:34 am

Siddhartha
The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need- Tobias
Bogle on Mutual Funds
Fooled by Randomness
The Secret Knowledge of Water

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praxis
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Post by praxis » Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:00 pm

BigFoot48 wrote:"Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence" by Joe Dominguez. Not for the investing advice, but the kick in the pants to leave working life as soon as financially able.

12 years in - so far, so good!


This did wonders for my views on money and spending and planning. I read it when it first came out and recommend it often. Son # 2 used one of the book's tips with me this morning in an example where his older brother called him last week after receiving a large paycheck, saying "help me, bro, I've just gotta buy something ! #2 told me that he thinks some people just don't get enough recognition by investing their money, they need "things". He said those people will never be able to retire. I proudly smiled.

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Post by vpbirdinator » Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:08 pm

Besides the Boglehead canon, Nelson Mandela's autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom.

Coverline review says, "Should be read by everyone alive."
Of the 9,000 or 10,000 mutual funds in the US, a mere several dozen merit the consideration of thoughtful investors -- David Swensen.

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Post by Fallible » Fri Dec 31, 2010 4:10 pm

nisiprius wrote:Stars: A Little Golden Nature Guide, by Herbert S. Zim. Well, I was six years old at the time, and I came running to Mom with the interesting news that one of the planets had the same name as the Earth. She explained to me that the Earth was a planet. It blew my mind...


I had a similar childhood experience when I read a book about the planets (can't recall its name) and learned that the Earth orbits around the sun, not the other way around. Even more startling to me, the Earth was not even the biggest planet. It was a lesson in perspective and maybe humbleness. And it continued many years later when I read Carl Sagan's '90s book, "Pale Blue Dot" about the beauty and fragility of Earth.

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Post by chaz » Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:08 pm

VictoriaF wrote:The Black Swan, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

Victoria


That was made into a great movie.
Chaz | | “Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons." Woody Allen | | http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

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Ricola
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Post by Ricola » Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:51 pm

How to Beat the Salary Trap by Richard K. Rifenbark

Real life story of progressively building wealth through saving and investing with an average job.

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Post by pteam » Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:14 pm

Ok because of this thread I just ordered : The bogleheads' guide to investing, The four pillars of investing, and The Millionaire next door.

My personal favorites are:

Rich Dad Poor Dad, I havent read it in years but it got me started and motivated enough to start several successful businesses

The Richest Man in Babylon
The Greatest Salesman in the World by OG Mandino
Last edited by pteam on Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by gkaplan » Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:25 pm

I agree, Chaz.
Gordon

Anthony
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Post by Anthony » Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:13 pm

<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Awareness-Opportunities-Reality-Anthony-Mello/dp/0385249373/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1293840619&sr=8-1">Awareness</a> by Anthony de Mello changed my life.

MarkBarb
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Post by MarkBarb » Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:05 pm

There are a lot of books that I really like, but I can only think of one that really changed my life. It was Free to Choose. It caused me to completely reassess my views on many subjects.

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Post by Index Fan » Fri Dec 31, 2010 11:38 pm

A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century by the late Barbara Tuchman. 1300s Europe, seen through the eyes of a popular historian writing in the late 1970s. This book ignited a passion for history in me, and led me to understand what historian John Toland meant when he said "it is human nature, not history, that repeats itself."

If you think times are bad today, and that our leaders are terrible, read this book and marvel at how bad it can get!

A Medieval Studies professor told me that academic historians didn't care much for Tuchman's efforts at 'popularizing' history. I'm guessing that millions of readers who aren't in academia would disagree.
"Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis." | -Seneca

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Post by cjking » Sat Jan 01, 2011 9:32 am

"Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" when I was about 13. To the best of my recollection it wasn't the book as a whole, but a particular small section that caused me to undergo a Copernican inversion in the way I saw the world. I can't really remember the details now, but I think it was the idea of reality being an evolving cultural construct, replacing the idea that there was a knowable truth I could hope to discover in the short-term.

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Post by neverknow » Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:31 am

..
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CDrone
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Post by CDrone » Sat Jan 01, 2011 12:07 pm

Several years ago I bought Personal Finance for Dummies and that led me down the path of taking control of my finances. I had minimal knowledge about finances and that book was the gateway into seeking out more. I read numerous other books, websites, and magazines, but that was the one that started it all. Of course, my desire to learn more about personal finance was the main driver.

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JupiterJones
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Post by JupiterJones » Sat Jan 01, 2011 12:37 pm

CDrone wrote:Several years ago I bought Personal Finance for Dummies and that led me down the path of taking control of my finances.


A critical mass of several books all touting variations on the same basic concepts was what finally kicked my financial butt into gear. But "Personal Finance for Dummies" was one of them (along with "Millionaire Next Door", portions of "Financial Peace", and others).

Big fan of any of the Eric Tyson "Dummies" books, actually.

JJ
Stay on target...

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robot
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Post by robot » Sat Jan 01, 2011 1:02 pm

Your Money or Your Life - life changing, but only if you can get by the new age rhetoric

Personal Finance for Dummies - Tyson saved me from betting on options

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

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theac
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Re: Any books really change your outlook on life?

Post by theac » Sat Jan 01, 2011 2:42 pm

bob90245 wrote:Re: Any books really change your outlook on life?

Many years ago, I read Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People. Maybe didn't change my "outlook". But I made changes in myself in other ways.

I also read it when 19 yrs old and it helped me see things differently in many ways, for the better.

I actually bought it "by accident." Couldn't decide between it (personal improvement) and another book titled "How To Become a Millionaire" (I'm not joking! Actual title)

After much deliberation at that fork in the road, decided on the money-book. A lot of my decision was based on the title, "How to Win Friends and Influence People." It just had a wimpy sound to it, and I was sort of embarrassed to be buying it, so I didn't. Took the one with a more "manly title."

When I get home I pull my book out of the brown paper bag, and was stunned to see it's NOT the one I bought. To this day, 37 yrs later, I still can't understand what happened. Had you put a gun to my head, I would have said 100% positively, "The book in that bag is about becoming a millionaire."

To this day I have never read a financial book. And I've read A LOT of books.
"We keep you alive to serve this ship. Row well...and live." Ben Hur, and of course, The Taxman!

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Post by blacktupelo » Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:07 pm

Another vote for "Your Money or Your Life".
Larry

Dexter75
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Post by Dexter75 » Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:14 pm

I am always looking for new business books to read and I have to say the most influential was Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People". I can't understand how you guys are misconstruing the points in this book. It instantly make me a better salesman and business owner. No longer did I want to win arguments with customers just to win but ultimately lose (money and goodwill). I would look at the ultimate goal and keep that in mind when dealing with customer service. I would say this book was life changing.

It is one of the books I read front to back. It saddens me to say but I have a short attention span and my mind starts to wonder while reading books so I rarely finish them if they aren't really good.

-Josh

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Post by celia » Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:23 pm

The Gift of Fear, Survival Signs that Protect Us from Violence by Gavin de Becker (personal safety and trusting your intuition)

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow
(If you haven't seen Randy Pausch's lecture with the same name on YouTube, it would be worth an hour of your time to watch it.)

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Post by stratton » Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:42 pm

VictoriaF wrote:The Black Swan, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

Victoria

This is your swan song post since it's your last one. :-)

Paul
...and then Buffy staked Edward. The end.

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black jack
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Post by black jack » Sun Jan 02, 2011 12:52 am

Please Understand Me: Character and Temperament Types - David Keirsey (helped me to better understand myself, and to better understand that those around me acting contrary to how I would act do not do so simply to piss me off)

The Faith of a Heretic - Walter Kaufmann
(I was raised as a Christian, and am no longer one. This book started the intellectual journey that led from there to here. Kaufmann was a professor of philosophy, raised in a German Jewish family that had converted to Christianity, and was the foremost scholar of Nietzsche)

Why Nothing Works: The Anthropology of Daily Life - Marvin Harris
)sort of a "Freakonomics" for the field of anthropology, published around 30 years ago)

My intro econ and urban econ textbooks
(an understanding of economics is not sufficient to understand the world, but it is an essential element in beginning to understand the world)
We cannot absolutely prove [that they are wrong who say] that we have seen our best days. But so said all who came before us, and with just as much apparent reason. | -T. B. Macaulay (1800-1859)

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Post by Dexter75 » Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:18 pm

celia wrote:The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow
(If you haven't seen Randy Pausch's lecture with the same name on YouTube, it would be worth an hour of your time to watch it.)


Forgot about this. Great book and lecture.

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Ody
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Post by Ody » Mon Jan 03, 2011 2:03 pm

Conversations with God, book 1.

Very, very interesting read.
Brevity is the soul of wit

c.Alvin
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Taylor, Mel, and Larry

Post by c.Alvin » Mon Jan 03, 2011 2:41 pm

The following books had a profound impact on me at the age of 27. I gave several copies as gifts to friends.


"Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude"
By W. Clement Stone and Napoleon Hill

"Think and Grow Rich"
By Napoleon Hill

"How to Win Friends and Influence People"
By Dale Carnegie


The only reason the Bogleheads' Guide to Investing did not make the list is due to the author's unselfish sharing of their wisdom in the online forum long before I purchased the book . . . I do own the book and several other investment books.

The Boglehead Forum is hands down the best thing I have ever read.

I owe all my investment gains over the past several years to John C. Bogle, Taylor Larimore, Mel Lindauer, and Larry Swedroe.

Thank you gentlemen for saving my ASSETS.



c.Alvin

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Mel Lindauer
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Re: Taylor, Mel, and Larry

Post by Mel Lindauer » Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:58 pm

c.Alvin wrote:The following books had a profound impact on me at the age of 27. I gave several copies as gifts to friends.


"Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude"
By W. Clement Stone and Napoleon Hill

"Think and Grow Rich"
By Napoleon Hill

"How to Win Friends and Influence People"
By Dale Carnegie


The only reason the Bogleheads' Guide to Investing did not make the list is due to the author's unselfish sharing of their wisdom in the online forum long before I purchased the book . . . I do own the book and several other investment books.

The Boglehead Forum is hands down the best thing I have ever read.

I owe all my investment gains over the past several years to John C. Bogle, Taylor Larimore, Mel Lindauer, and Larry Swedroe.

Thank you gentlemen for saving my ASSETS.



c.Alvin


Thanks for the kind words, cAlvin. Hearing from folks like you that our work was helpful certainly makes it seem so worthwhile.

Here's wishing you a happy and prosperous New Year.
Best Regards - Mel | | Semper Fi

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TrustNoOne
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Post by TrustNoOne » Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:15 pm

The Accidental Universe (Davis)

The Only Investment Guide You Will Ever Need (Tobias)

and perhaps most of all The World Book Encyclopedia, ifrom which I read every article related to Astronomy I could find when I was in 4th grade or so.

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