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Old 01-16-2013, 02:20 AM   #31
SeaKing
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I have wandered far, seen and done much, but I found no situation that could not be eased with the help of a simple but profound little book an uncle gave me when I was young. A great and good man. I never realized how great until he was gone.

As a Man Thinketh
(a literary essay)
James Allen
1902

Influenced by a verse in the Bible from the
Book of Proverbs, chapter 23, verse7,
short version:
"As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he."
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:04 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by twowheels View Post
I also found it interesting that you mention the King James version in particular. To this day, even though I no longer believe that the book holds any divine authority over my life, I still find that any other translation just doesn't do it for me. Having grown up only reading that one translation the others just feel like cheap imitations, like reading a reader's digest version or a children's version.
I've looked at other versions and there just seems to be something missing from them. It's like reading Shakespeare or Bunyan's book of Pilgrim's Progress in the original text and then reading them in modern English. You just seem to lose some of the flavor of the originals when you do that.
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:08 AM   #33
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This thread makes me think that I need to read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
If only one person reads "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" because if this thread, then it will not have been in vain!
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:32 AM   #34
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When I was young, I was a very outdoorsy kind of person, and dreamed of one day being either a forest ranger or in the military. But I had an aptitude for math and the physical sciences, and ended up deciding in my very last year of high school to go to university and study science instead. In retrospect, I have to think that "Tom Swift Jr. and the Race to the Moon" was secretly moving me in that direction for many years. It wasn't just one of my favourite books as a youngster, it made me passionate for physics, and changed my life when I got to that crossroads.

P.S. I'm not so sure it shaped me as much as illuminated what was important. But maybe there isn't much difference when you're young and impressionable.

Last edited by rkomar; 01-16-2013 at 03:40 AM.
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:17 AM   #35
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This thread makes me think that I need to read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
Don't forget your towel and beware of the Vogons.
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:45 AM   #36
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Jules Verne got me into reading back when I was 6 or 7 so I guess his books made me the bookworm that I am today. In terms of thinking and viewing life, I'd say The Selfish Gene and The Origin of Species.
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:49 AM   #37
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... In terms of thinking and viewing life, I'd say The Selfish Gene ....
ooooh! Yes! I'd forgotten that one. It completely changed my view of the world.

Particularly the meme concept.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:06 AM   #38
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P.S. I'm not so sure it shaped me as much as illuminated what was important. But maybe there isn't much difference when you're young and impressionable.
The best influences, literary or personal, are those that help you figure yourself out. It's not about changing your mind but helping you identify/express what you are comfortable with.

Some people do adopt entire belief systems out of a book or a group but that is rarer since it means they are uncomfortable with the whole way they were living. Very unhappy place to be.

Most people tend to evolve worldviews over time, a bit here and a bit there, and don't switch them in oe fell swoop. Those self-help book reviews--"It changed my entire life!"? They better be hype!
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:44 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
The best influences, literary or personal, are those that help you figure yourself out. It's not about changing your mind but helping you identify/express what you are comfortable with.

Some people do adopt entire belief systems out of a book or a group but that is rarer since it means they are uncomfortable with the whole way they were living. Very unhappy place to be.

Most people tend to evolve worldviews over time, a bit here and a bit there, and don't switch them in oe fell swoop. Those self-help book reviews--"It changed my entire life!"? They better be hype!
Unless of course the book in question is Ayn Rand - Atlas Shrugged.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:19 AM   #40
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Every book I have read or intend to read leaves it mark on me. Whether the book is good or bad it still imparts something into my life. Good books have helped to make my sense of right and wrong stronger. The evil portrayed in books has helped to keep me out of trouble. Somethings learned in books can save your life. My books are old friends who have guided me through this life of mine.
Apache
That's certainly true, but are there any books that made a particularly big impact on you? I read Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code, and the only impact on my life was that I now avoid Dan Brown.

I'm also going to add On Intelligence to my list. It's a fairly short and mostly readable book on how consciousness arises in the brain; it certainly changed how I think about the brain and what consciousness really is.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:36 AM   #41
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Two books that influenced me were Anna Sewell's Black Beauty and Truman Capote's In Cold Blood.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:47 AM   #42
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...

I'm also going to add On Intelligence to my list. It's a fairly short and mostly readable book on how consciousness arises in the brain; it certainly changed how I think about the brain and what consciousness really is.
Fascinating. I have somehow missed this book over the years but reading about it, and sampling it from Amazon just now it definitely looks interesting. Will add it to my list. I do wonder about the applicability given that it's almost 10 years old. Your take on that?
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:59 AM   #43
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Unless of course the book in question is Ayn Rand - Atlas Shrugged.
You'd need two hardcover copies of it for it to really change your life.
http://awfullibrarybooks.files.wordp.../scan10048.jpg

There's some good ideas in there but I doubt it is good enough to turn even the mildest statist socialist into a proper libertarian.
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:22 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
The best influences, literary or personal, are those that help you figure yourself out. It's not about changing your mind but helping you identify/express what you are comfortable with.

Some people do adopt entire belief systems out of a book or a group but that is rarer since it means they are uncomfortable with the whole way they were living. Very unhappy place to be.

Most people tend to evolve worldviews over time, a bit here and a bit there, and don't switch them in oe fell swoop. Those self-help book reviews--"It changed my entire life!"? They better be hype!
A book that triggers an epiphany is pretty rare, but some books push you subtly in a direction that has a huge impact. Sometimes it only takes a pebble to start an avalanche.
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:48 PM   #45
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A book that triggers an epiphany is pretty rare, but some books push you subtly in a direction that has a huge impact. Sometimes it only takes a pebble to start an avalanche.
9 treasured pebbles that immediately come to mind (although not necessarily in order of impact):
  1. Man’s Search For Meaning – Victor Frankl
  2. Walden – Henry David Thoreau
  3. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek – Annie Dillard
  4. Fun To Cook Book – Carnation Company
  5. The Lifetime Reading Plan – Clifton Fadiman
  6. How To Read a Book – Mortimer J. Adler
  7. Sex and the Single Girl – Helen Gurley Brown
  8. Desert Solitaire – Edward Abbey
  9. Hiking Death Valley: A Guide to Its Natural Wonders and Mining Past - Michel Digonnet
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