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Re: Any books really change your outlook on life?

Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:41 pm
by Paul@
am wrote:Always looking for great books to read.
Living As a River: Finding Fearlessness in the Face of Change.
by Bodhipaksa

Will give you an incredible perspective about who you really are - and who you are not.

Several posters recommended Siddhartha (I agree this is a classic), and hark back to the "river" passage in that book, one of the most eloquent, I think...

Some strange ones

Posted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:59 pm
by metacritic
Smart Women Finish Rich >>> I was a profligate spender at the time (and still am in my ways, but this book made me understand the importance of getting debt under control and putting away as much as I can for retirement. Two odd things. I didn't have a job at the time as I was in grad school but kept the lesson with me for another many years so that i maxed out my Roth as soon as it was a possibility and maxed out my 401k as soon as that was available to me. The book may have faulty investment advice but was truly important in getting me on my feet. Also, I'm a man but learned important lessons here as I read it with my wife!

The Human Condition - This book got me to finish my Ph.D. and out of graduate school and into something a bit more worldly than the academic track I was on.

Last, Frommer's guide to Italy. Seriously. This book led me to discover a world I didn't know and brought me back to Italy again and again. I even was married there many years after reading the book. I won't be shocked if I spend part of my retirement there, either.

Posted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:26 pm
by renditt
Paulo Coelho 'The Alchemist'

Posted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:18 pm
by bearcub
..

Posted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:41 am
by RTR2006
Infinite in All Directions, by Freeman Dyson. I've probably purchased and given copies to at least a dozen friends and associates, if not more.

One of the most interesting and compelling single books I've ever read.

RTR

Posted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:47 am
by Sidney
Catch 22

Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:37 am
by LH
Anthony wrote:<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Awareness-Opportu ... areness</a> by Anthony de Mello changed my life.
Just bought it. The amazon reviews seem pretty good as well : )

cheers,

LH

Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:14 pm
by lightheir
Gotta say it despite the inevitable flamefest that's coming my way -

I seriously CRINGE when I see mass-market self-help books being mentioned as life-changing books.

Those books are well written and contain basic correct info, but in my experience (the flames are definitely coming my way on this opinion coming up), the skills they 'teach' should be acquired at the middle school level, or even earlier. They are so basic, that if you don't have them by the time you're in the workforce, there's a problem.

Dale Carnegie's book was helpful to me in elementary school as a 6th grader, but seriously, if I didn't pick up those skills intuitively by high school, and for sure by college, I'd be seriously worried about my social acumen.

Foreign-born immigrants get a break from me - the norms in our country are sufficiently different than Asia etc. that they should read these self-help books immediately just to get a sense of what a very basic social norm can be considered in the US.

Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:07 pm
by Woodshark
I read "How to win friends..." by Dale Carnigie when I was about 14 years old. It changed the way I thought I thought about myself and about other people. I was raised in a very poor neighborhood. It gave me insight and the ability to communicate with people outside of my social-economic circle.

The second, but maybe the most, influential book I read was Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I read it when I was 25 years old. At first, I hated it but after I had finished it, I found that it had really changed me. It taught me the value of being good at something you believe in, the power of the individual and the evils of an all-controlling government.

Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:11 pm
by lightheir
Woodshark wrote:I read "How to win friends..." by Dale Carnigie when I was about 14 years old. It changed the way I thought I thought about myself and about other people. I was raised in a very poor neighborhood. It gave me insight and the ability to communicate with people outside of my social-economic circle.

The second, but maybe the most, influential book I read was Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I read it when I was 25 years old. At first, I hated it but after I had finished it, I found that it had really changed me. It taught me the value of being good at something you believe in, the power of the individual and the evils of an all-controlling government.
Funny - I had a similar experience with both books. As I posted above, I re-read Atlas Shrugged & Fountainhead at age 36, and found her idealized characters laughably unrealistic, given my increased knowledge of the absolute necessary interdepenencies of people for achievement. What I had once felt was so compelling an ideal, seemed now to be a sad parody of idealism, without regard to any realistic way of how the world, and particularly, achievement, works. (I'm sure many disagree with me on this!)

I still believe in the individual, but I think the concept of an individual who can dominate society without regards to the necessary relationships needed to do this is wholly unrealistic.

Just curious - what decade bracket are you in?

Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:47 pm
by david99
The China Study by T. Colin Campbell
It changed my diet and views on food.

Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:11 pm
by lightheir
Not exaggerating here - while I don't have a particular life-changing book, one book that opened my eyes to many things was:

Bobby Fischer's "My 60 Memorable Games." (He's a chessplayer.)

I am loathe to use the analogy of chess = life, as it's both been done ad nauseum and even more importantly, does not hold remotely true in real life (many professional chessplayers have a hard time even functioning in 'normal life') but reading this was a unique opportunity to get a glimpse into the mind of true genius. Chess makes this possible - I've found no other book that has allowed me such a peek into the workings of an immense game-specific intellect.

I still can't understand 80% of his concepts, and I doubt I will ever understand more than 50% of it even in my entire life as a chessplayer. However, it was eye opening to me in how feeble my thought process was in this elegant game/process compared to a true master.

Having such an insight, in any field, gives you great respect for accomplishment of any sort, and also inevitably makes you raise your game in the areas you feel you might be strong in.

(Do NOT buy this book if you are not a competitive chessplayer - it is NOT for general consumption, and is more on the level of a graduate level textbook.)

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:52 am
by tadamsmar
Learned Optimism

The book has a pretty good wikipedia entry:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learned_optimism

Epictetus' Handbook:

Free online copy:

http://classics.mit.edu/Epictetus/epicench.html

Also, ditto for the alread mentioned:
How to Win Friends and Influence People
Man's Search for Meaning (this being the world's only comprehensible book on Existentialism)

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:54 am
by tadamsmar
lightheir wrote:Not exaggerating here - while I don't have a particular life-changing book, one book that opened my eyes to many things was:

Bobby Fischer's "My 60 Memorable Games." (He's a chessplayer.)

I am loathe to use the analogy of chess = life, as it's both been done ad nauseum and even more importantly, does not hold remotely true in real life (many professional chessplayers have a hard time even functioning in 'normal life') but reading this was a unique opportunity to get a glimpse into the mind of true genius. Chess makes this possible - I've found no other book that has allowed me such a peek into the workings of an immense game-specific intellect.

I still can't understand 80% of his concepts, and I doubt I will ever understand more than 50% of it even in my entire life as a chessplayer. However, it was eye opening to me in how feeble my thought process was in this elegant game/process compared to a true master.

Having such an insight, in any field, gives you great respect for accomplishment of any sort, and also inevitably makes you raise your game in the areas you feel you might be strong in.

(Do NOT buy this book if you are not a competitive chessplayer - it is NOT for general consumption, and is more on the level of a graduate level textbook.)
"Chess is death"

Greg Samsa, North Carolina State Chess Champion

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:49 am
by Sunny Sarkar
Science as a Candle in the Dark (The Demon-Haunted World) by Carl Sagan

Sagan's wonderful book on how rationality alone can be the basis of a purposeful, moral, and fulfilling life (no faith necessary) has had a deep impact on how I think and live. I have since followed up on this topic with several other books from different authors, but Sagan's work has had the first and the deepest impact on my worldview.

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:51 am
by a
tadamsmar wrote:Epictetus' Handbook:

Free online copy:

http://classics.mit.edu/Epictetus/epicench.html
+1

I recommend Sharon Lebell's "modern translation and summarization"* if you want a lighter introduction to it. A good overview from which you can get a feel for Epictetus's work in 15 minutes.

*called The Art of Living.

Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:55 pm
by inky
Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet has had a powerful impact on me. It's just a slim volume, but contains sage advice on almost every aspect of human existence. Reminds me of Ecclesiastes.

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:19 pm
by Qtman
"Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis
"Screwtape Letters" by C.S. Lewis
"How Should We Then Live" by Francis Schaeffer

The Believing Brain by Michael Shermer

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:07 pm
by Gordon
This book is a great read all about our brain with references to all of the author's sources.

If you think that you are well read and very smart this book will knock you right out of the room. This guy is so smart and knowledgeable you will cry about your ignorance, Be sure to read the chapters on religion, politics , conspiracies , and how we construct beliefs and then reinforce them as truths.

gordon

Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:08 pm
by bertilak
lightheir wrote:Bobby Fischer's "My 60 Memorable Games." (He's a chessplayer.)
Interesting to see this mentioned. I have not read it but maybe I should.

I say that because I have read many books on the game of Go. These books delve into deep subtleties of the game and many (most?) of them do so from a very human perspective relating game tactics and strategies to human behavior, from day-to-day activities to war and statecraft and the nature of things in general. I am exaggerating, but that's the tone I get from studying Go.

I can't say these books are literally "life changing" but they do seem more fundamental than just learning how to play a game.

EDIT: I think part of it is seeing the depth of understanding that is possible. No matter how well you think you understand something, there is always more to it, both in depth of detail and in seeing the bigger picture. Come to think of it, maybe that's one reason I like my sig!

Posted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:31 am
by LH
lightheir wrote:Gotta say it despite the inevitable flamefest that's coming my way -

I seriously CRINGE when I see mass-market self-help books being mentioned as life-changing books.

Those books are well written and contain basic correct info, but in my experience (the flames are definitely coming my way on this opinion coming up), the skills they 'teach' should be acquired at the middle school level, or even earlier. They are so basic, that if you don't have them by the time you're in the workforce, there's a problem.

Dale Carnegie's book was helpful to me in elementary school as a 6th grader, but seriously, if I didn't pick up those skills intuitively by high school, and for sure by college, I'd be seriously worried about my social acumen.

Foreign-born immigrants get a break from me - the norms in our country are sufficiently different than Asia etc. that they should read these self-help books immediately just to get a sense of what a very basic social norm can be considered in the US.
I do not know how old you are, but consider the error of thinking you know what you do not know. Humans commonly have it : )

I am 42, and I can remember reading Carnegie book when younger, 20s, and thinking it was bad and self serving, kinda morally bad and useless. That has changed. I also remember reading "invisible man" as very young child for about 20 pages, and thinking the guy was actually invisible, and being confused about how people could see him, but he was invisible. At least I knew I was confused then, versus just being wrong and missing the point about the Carnegie book. Later on in life, I am sure I will learn things I think I know now, its part of life.

Just look and consider what you are saying........

You are saying that the book, which is one of the most acclaimed in its field, by all sorts of people is:
Dale Carnegie's book was helpful to me in elementary school as a 6th grader, but seriously, if I didn't pick up those skills intuitively by high school, and for sure by college, I'd be seriously worried about my social acumen.
just something one should pick up intuitively in 6th grade and high school. Really. All those people, very very successful ones, are wrong, and you right? Thats quite the proposition to make in general.

And then, you universalize this, across the board of all self help books, which I would guess includes the bible, the Tao te ching, and all their modern day equivalents. Most of this stuff, at its root is very old. the self help books generally at their root, recycle things that were written thousands of years ago. These things, while superficial on its surface, are actually deep.

In general in life, when someone just completely discounts something, that a lot of very smart people find of high utility, they are the one missing the point.

If out of the 6th grade box, you think you are good to go, well, you are likely living a stunted life than the one you could live. But maybe not, you sound pretty sure of yourself : )

LH

Posted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:41 am
by lightheir
LH wrote:
lightheir wrote:Gotta say it despite the inevitable flamefest that's coming my way -

I seriously CRINGE when I see mass-market self-help books being mentioned as life-changing books.

Those books are well written and contain basic correct info, but in my experience (the flames are definitely coming my way on this opinion coming up), the skills they 'teach' should be acquired at the middle school level, or even earlier. They are so basic, that if you don't have them by the time you're in the workforce, there's a problem.

Dale Carnegie's book was helpful to me in elementary school as a 6th grader, but seriously, if I didn't pick up those skills intuitively by high school, and for sure by college, I'd be seriously worried about my social acumen.

Foreign-born immigrants get a break from me - the norms in our country are sufficiently different than Asia etc. that they should read these self-help books immediately just to get a sense of what a very basic social norm can be considered in the US.
I do not know how old you are, but consider the error of thinking you know what you do not know. Humans commonly have it : )

I am 42, and I can remember reading Carnegie book when younger, 20s, and thinking it was bad and self serving, kinda morally bad and useless. That has changed. I also remember reading "invisible man" as very young child for about 20 pages, and thinking the guy was actually invisible, and being confused about how people could see him, but he was invisible. At least I knew I was confused then, versus just being wrong and missing the point about the Carnegie book. Later on in life, I am sure I will learn things I think I know now, its part of life.

Just look and consider what you are saying........

You are saying that the book, which is one of the most acclaimed in its field, by all sorts of people is:
Dale Carnegie's book was helpful to me in elementary school as a 6th grader, but seriously, if I didn't pick up those skills intuitively by high school, and for sure by college, I'd be seriously worried about my social acumen.
just something one should pick up intuitively in 6th grade and high school. Really. All those people, very very successful ones, are wrong, and you right? Thats quite the proposition to make in general.

And then, you universalize this, across the board of all self help books, which I would guess includes the bible, the Tao te ching, and all their modern day equivalents. Most of this stuff, at its root is very old. the self help books generally at their root, recycle things that were written thousands of years ago. These things, while superficial on its surface, are actually deep.

In general in life, when someone just completely discounts something, that a lot of very smart people find of high utility, they are the one missing the point.

If out of the 6th grade box, you think you are good to go, well, you are likely living a stunted life than the one you could live. But maybe not, you sound pretty sure of yourself : )

LH
Uhh, no. THere's a HUGE difference between Tao Te Ching, Bible, etc. I'm not remotely comparing those books. You're projecting onto my thoughts when you say that's where I'm coming from. I have the utmost respect for most historical and timeless pieces of literature, precisely because their rich content was resistant to the ravages of time, change culture, etc.

I'm talking about self-helf books, aimed at the mass market, of which Dale Carnegie's happens to be one (of the better ones).

I also am not denying it has useful information.

But seriously, if you are a US born person in your early 20s going into the workplace and you do not know how to :

- Smile
- Be friendly
- Talk to others about their interests
(the contents of the Carnegie book)

You have a problem.

These self-helf books are written to be targeted at the 6th grade or lower reading level. And a lot of the content is also feel-good about yourself encouraging as well, which actually doesn't help you much.

I'm sure they'll help some out there, but after having read many, many of these (I checked out every last one at my local libraries in my early 20s and still pull them from the shelves occasionally) I've been duly unimpressed if I consider them from a standpoint from a working head of household in the US.

I would, however, recommend some of them as good reading for high school students and even college students who haven't made their way into the adult world yet as some cover important things like taxes, savings, insurance, personal finance, legal issues, that might be obvious for a 30 year old adult but brand-new for a green 21 year old. I do find the ones which are less objectively based and more socially-oriented (such as how to make friends) the least useful.

Posted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:39 am
by HongKonger
No question about it:

'How to be a great lover: Girlfriend to girlfriend totally explicit techniques that will blow his mind', by Lou Paget.

A truly seminal text :lol:

Posted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 10:48 am
by happymob
Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food (though his other books are pretty great as well). I suspect that one of the top 3 or so issues for America going forward will be public health (specifically, the consequences of rampant obesity), and we could do so much good just by listening to Michael Pollan (as individuals - I am not suggesting that the government gets directly involved in choosing what foods we eat).

Don't eat anything your grandmother wouldn't recognize as food.

Now that wasn't so hard.

Posted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:35 am
by stoptothink
happymob wrote:Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food (though his other books are pretty great as well). I suspect that one of the top 3 or so issues for America going forward will be public health (specifically, the consequences of rampant obesity), and we could do so much good just by listening to Michael Pollan (as individuals - I am not suggesting that the government gets directly involved in choosing what foods we eat).

Don't eat anything your grandmother wouldn't recognize as food.

Now that wasn't so hard.
As a nutritionist, getting my PhD in obesity studies, appreciate this. Pollan's stuff is good and very easy for people with no prior knowledge of nutrition to understand. If you are looking for something a little more in-depth, "Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill" by Udo Erasmus is something anybody interested in food should read. It is a little "text-booky" for some.

Posted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 2:45 am
by Curlyq
.....

Posted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:34 am
by VictoriaF
lightheir wrote:Gotta say it despite the inevitable flamefest that's coming my way -

I seriously CRINGE when I see mass-market self-help books being mentioned as life-changing books.
To counter the "inevitable flamefest," I'd admit that I despise mass-market self-help books too. When I first encountered them(*), I was pleased that they put into perspective what I already knew, but then I realized that learning from my life experiences and getting perspective from serious books was much more rewarding. Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, etc., provide a treasury of insights into how human mind and human social interactions work. Self-help books are just highly compressed Cliff Notes.

Victoria

(*) It could be relevant that English is not my first language.

Posted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 1:25 pm
by tadamsmar
a wrote:
tadamsmar wrote:Epictetus' Handbook:

Free online copy:

http://classics.mit.edu/Epictetus/epicench.html
+1

I recommend Sharon Lebell's "modern translation and summarization"* if you want a lighter introduction to it. A good overview from which you can get a feel for Epictetus's work in 15 minutes.

*called The Art of Living.
I agree! the Lebell translation is great.

Posted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 1:49 pm
by epilnk
"You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation" by Deborah Tannen.

Gender is actually a very small (albeit highly marketable) aspect of Tannen's work; it was actually her sections (and other books) on cultural and workplace communication that influenced me. But the book on gender was the one I saw first, and it was the book that opened my eyes to a great deal of what is going on behind miscommunication. It changed the way I talk to people, and taught me to adapt the pace of my conversation to the other person's style to become heard better.

Re: Any books really change your outlook on life?

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:15 am
by Don Christy
Flatland - Abbott

The God Delusion - Dawkins
God is not Great - Hitchens
The End of Faith - Sam Harris

I am a Strange Loop - Hofstadter
The Ego Tunnel - Metzinger

The Bogleheads' Guide to Retirement

Don

Re: Any books really change your outlook on life?

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:48 am
by MCM 2008
The Virtue of Selfishness by Ayn Rand
Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Analects of Confucius
Human Action by Ludwig von Mises
Art of War by Sun Tzu
The True Believer by Eric Hoffer
How to Argue and Win Every Time by Gerry Spence

Re: Any books really change your outlook on life?

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 2:03 pm
by Mr Grumpy
Three books come to mind-
The Great Gatsby - Taught me the beauty and value of words and ideas. IMO, the great American novel.
Travels with Charley - Gave me a love of travel. Imagine, in the early 1960s, getting into a truck to see America.
Catch 22 - Gave me a sense of humor and the absurd. In Vietnam, having a sharpened sense of paranoia was a benefit. As the character Yossarian said, "the enemy is anyone trying to kill you."
Kudos to teachers - the first two books were required in reading in high school.

Re: Any books really change your outlook on life?

Posted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:50 am
by retiredjg
Another vote for Deborah Tannen whose That's Not What I Meant! How Conversational Style Makes or Breaks Relationships (Ballantine, 1986) really changed the way I heard people.

Re: Any books really change your outlook on life?

Posted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 6:51 pm
by Die Hard
Life can be a book, right? I would say the death of my brother last year changed my outlook on life. We were 18 months apart and were like twins growing up. Very unexpected death. Made me realize that death is real for everyone, including myself. After the grief, which still comes and goes, I try to be more patient with people. I listen to my children more and make sure memories will be good.

Re: Any books really change your outlook on life?

Posted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:37 am
by CYNTHIAFUSS
Just finished reading "Miracle In The Andes" by Nando Parrado.....it has to be one of the most powerful books I have ever read. It is the story of the famous plane crash of the Uraguayan rugby team into the Andes as told previouly in the book/movie "Alive"....but this is told 34 yrs later through the eyes and heart of one of the survivors. It is a much more powerful book than "Alive" as it brings into the world of someone who faced one of the most unimaginable situations ever...describing his feelings during that time and how he managed to survive...not just physically. It just blew me away...an incredible reminder of what is truly important in life!

Re: Any books really change your outlook on life?

Posted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:28 am
by davebo
Really only 2 books changed my life in the business/investing sense.

1) Rich Dad/Poor Dad--I don't really care about the details of the story (what's true/what's not), but the whole idea of the book and starting a business changed the way I think. Also the way I work on my business.

2) 4 Hour Work Week--Again, work productivity tips.

Re: Any books really change your outlook on life?

Posted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:52 am
by Boglenaut
Any books really change your outlook on life?
No.

Re: Any books really change your outlook on life?

Posted: Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:34 pm
by CaliJim
I've added a few books to my reading list based on this discussion. So thanks for that.

Of course...it is impossible to know what your outlook would have been had you not read a particular book... so can we speak of "change", or merely "unfolding"?

Did someone mention poetry?
The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; ....
The Four Quartets - Burnt Norton by T.S. Eliot

...
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
...

Re: Any books really change your outlook on life?

Posted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:37 pm
by epilnk
The book that most changes my outlook on life may turn out to be my Kindle.

The other day immediately after browsing this thread I got up to toast myself an english muffin. As I was standing beside the toaster the kindle caught my eye; a book someone mentioned here was on my mind so I typed the name in and hit "try a sample". I brought the kindle and the buttered english muffin out onto the porch and started reading. I probably won't buy this one, but it's a good book. Earlier in this thread I also downloaded the Encheiridion (free) though I haven't started it yet.

The two important factors here are, 1) access to the books is immediate, and 2) there is no cost, obligation, effort, or time lag to begin reading. If a book strikes my fancy for any reason, I start reading it. Only later do I think about whether to buy it. I don't actually buy that many books, and I still use my library card, but I do buy some and I am reading things I'd probably forget long before hitting a bookstore or library.

I'm not one of those who fell in love with the kindle - I like a nice paperback - but the advantages are hard to deny. I didn't get butter on it because it can be operated one handed. But if I had, it's easy to wipe off.

Re: Any books really change your outlook on life?

Posted: Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:02 pm
by Fallible
In college in the '60s, I majored in Sociology and two books that I recall influenced me greatly were "The Nature of Prejudice" by Harvard psychologist Gordon Allport and "The Organization Man," by William Whyte. But there really are so many, many books that influenced me in those youthful, impressionable years (e.g., anything Shakespeare or Mark Twain) that I would say that these two books were just a beginning to better understanding my world.

Re: Any books really change your outlook on life?

Posted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:16 pm
by travellight
No way did it change my life, and it seems so plebeian, but I will mention the 7 habits of highly effective people. 1 habit stood out to me as one I already knew intuitively but was well verbalized: Begin with the end in mind.

Re: Any books really change your outlook on life?

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:04 am
by Balance
"Your money or your life"
"Tao teh ching"
"Omnivore's Dilemma"

Re: Any books really change your outlook on life?

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:14 am
by letsgobobby
The Autobiography of Malcolm X - story of transformation by a man who remained imperfect

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee - power and powerlessness

any number of books about the Holocaust - inhumanity, pure evil, and a moral failing on the part of those who knew and did nothing

The Rape of Nanking - inhumanity and powerlessness, and the spectacle of absolute devotion to an ideal even when the ideal is grotesque

1984 - knowledge is power and ignorance is death; those who control information control everything

Animal Farm - power corrupts

Lord of the Flies - society breaks down; without rules the brutal core of human nature rears its head

100 years of Solitude - soaring, magical literature that elevates above the known horrors of the real world

Re: Any books really change your outlook on life?

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:59 am
by thewatcher
Karl Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovery.

In particular the single idea of testability at the heart of the usefullness of scientific theory.

Not as life changing but 2 small books whose quality took me by surprise were;

The Little prince (French chap)
Cosmicomics (Calvino)

TW

Re: Any books really change your outlook on life?

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:03 am
by VictoriaF
Morgan wrote:See, one of reasons I want to be rich, is so I can build an enormous library with all these books!

Libraries are the cathedrals of science and reason.
To have a library it is more important having a lot of space than being rich. These are not the same thing.

Victoria

Re: Any books really change your outlook on life?

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:30 pm
by lightheir
I'm quietly amassing a lot of timeless classic literature - on my iphone kindle, for free. It's incredibly liberating to have an entire collection of literary classics at your side, whenever, wherever. We take it for granted, but this is the kind of stuff that literary buffs in our grandparents' generation would have drooled over.

Re: Any books really change your outlook on life?

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:33 pm
by touchdowntodd
millionare next door
coffeehouse investor
random walk

Re: Any books really change your outlook on life?

Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:53 pm
by Paul@
Another poster mentioned Siddharta by Herman Hesse. I'll second that.

And I'd add Henry David Thoreau's Walden and Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Re: Any books really change your outlook on life?

Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 7:23 pm
by tludwig23
In chronological order of when I read them:

-Catch 22
-The Catcher in the Rye
-Animal Farm
-Slaughterhouse Five
-The Unbearable Lightness of Being
-The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
-Lolita
-The Selfish Gene
-The God Delusion

Re: Any books really change your outlook on life?

Posted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:23 am
by stemikger
Definitely. When I was in my early 20s, I could give a Rat's A___ about saving money or investing. Every week my paycheck went to partying and living a party lifestyle. My dad died at 52 and I was 22 when he passed. I watched how my Mother's poor money management skills made her life look like a country western song. It scared me to death and from that moment on I bought every book on personal finance and investing I could find. Admittedly it did become an obsession that I have since overcome, but fear is a powerful motivator.

I would say the book “The Automatic Millionaire” has changed my life the most because it gave me the confidence to live life without money worries. I have such peace of mind from that book because I am not afraid to spend money in my daily life because I know in the background I have my entire financial plan on auto-pilot. It is a forced way to budget and paying yourself first without having to budget.

For over a decade this plan has worked very well for me and most importantly I have controlled the fear and obsession about money worries.