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Old 01-16-2013, 07:15 PM   #46
Stitchawl
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Your post reminded me of just how important 'Walden' was to my way of thinking. Looking at my old copy of the book, it seems to have underlined sentences on almost every page now. There are very few books that get quoted as often as 'Walden.'


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Old 01-16-2013, 08:29 PM   #47
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This thread makes me think that I need to read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
+1 what they said...
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:31 AM   #48
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I used to love the Chalet School series and Anne of Green Gables....in fact I am still trying to get my hands on more of the Chalet School books.
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:57 AM   #49
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Unless of course the book in question is Ayn Rand - Atlas Shrugged.
I actually consider Atlas Shrugged to be one of my "life-shaping" books. What I got out of it was the message you should strive to be the best you can at whatever you do, and by doing so you will make life better for those around you too. It also encouraged a healthy scepticism of committees, and people who hide behind "consensus" decision-making processes. Stand up and be counted!

Earlier than that, though, in terms of my reading history, were the books of Heinlein - particularly Time Enough for Love and I Will Fear No Evil - and for a long time I kept a notebook of "Heinleinisms", quotations that I found particulary apt or significant.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:07 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by orlok View Post

Earlier than that, though, in terms of my reading history, were the books of Heinlein - particularly Time Enough for Love and I Will Fear No Evil - and for a long time I kept a notebook of "Heinleinisms", quotations that I found particulary apt or significant.
Yep, still do sort of - "Moderation is for Monks" eh?

I didn't mention Stranger in a Strange Land but it help shape my thoughts as well. My favorite Heinlein is actually Time Enough for Love and I love the Interludes with the Lazarus Long Sayings
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:01 AM   #51
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I actually consider Atlas Shrugged to be one of my "life-shaping" books. What I got out of it was the message you should strive to be the best you can at whatever you do, and by doing so you will make life better for those around you too. It also encouraged a healthy scepticism of committees, and people who hide behind "consensus" decision-making processes. Stand up and be counted!
Hmmmm..... maybe I need to read that. It could help me be more assertive and speak my mind without fear of repercussion.



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Old 01-17-2013, 07:43 AM   #52
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Hmmmm..... maybe I need to read that. It could help me be more assertive and speak my mind without fear of repercussion.

Stitchawl
Yes, a shrinking violet like yourself could learn a lot....
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:08 PM   #53
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Citizen of the Galaxy, by Robert Heinlein.
When I was fourteen, I found this book in the library and it completely changed the way I viewed the universe. I already had strong suspicions that the universe was more than 6,000 years old. I was reading everything I could get my hands on about astronomy. Suddenly, here was a book that suggested there might be populated words far beyond my solar system. I decided to thoroughly explore this genre called science fiction.
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:39 PM   #54
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Citizen of the Galaxy, by Robert Heinlein.
When I was fourteen, I found this book in the library and it completely changed the way I viewed the universe. I already had strong suspicions that the universe was more than 6,000 years old. I was reading everything I could get my hands on about astronomy. Suddenly, here was a book that suggested there might be populated words far beyond my solar system. I decided to thoroughly explore this genre called science fiction.
Excellent!
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:37 AM   #55
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I'd say: Heart by Edmondo De Amicis. Every single story of in this novel has touched my soul. It teaches me to love my parents and treasure every moment I have with them. It shows me how to treat people and live with courage and tolerance. I leads me to the path of righteousness. I makes me less doubtful about humanity in the present world...
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:49 PM   #56
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I tend to remember certain books as stage-of-life things.

I remember my father reading The Chronicles of Narnia to us kids after dinner, I have a particularly vivid memory of his reading from "The Last Battle". I see this as the start of my love of books, and without that I'd be a very different person today.

I read the Bible ("Good News" version) as an early teenager, and that definitely shaped my thinking on religion - though not in a way the church would have liked.

There are several books and short stories by Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke that I see as shaping my thinking of the future and the nature of science.

"The Lord of the Rings" by J.R.R. Tolkien. That a world of such immense history and scope could exist as a reality in my mind was beyond anything I had imagined before, and such a realisation changes the way you look at the world around you - anything seems possible.

"Lord of the Flies" by William Golding and "All Quiet on the Western Front" by Erich Maria Remarque. Each very different, both of these shocked me into thinking more deeply about the nature of society and people.

"To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee probably marks a wider awareness of the nature of justice and injustice, though whether it was an influence or simply gave expression to concepts that were already growing ... I guess there's no way to tell now.

Many of the books I've read have helped to shape who I am, but the above are a few that stand out. There is a more recent one ... but I'm not going to share that until I see how it comes out.
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:46 AM   #57
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French literature was almost all I read when I was small. The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Les Misérables, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, La Dame aux camélias and such.

I guess that's why I often look at life through a romantic view.
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:31 AM   #58
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I think I would have to say that I am somewhat like Shakespeare's "Seven Ages of Man" when it comes to what books have affected me.
"At first the infant" - Lassie Come Home by Eric Knight. My mother read it to me when I was in kindergarten.
"And then the whining schoolboy" - Inferno by Dante Alighieri. I read it in 7th or 8th grade and it pops into my head all the time.
"And then the lover" - On the Road by Jack Kerouac. Read it in my 20's while living in NYC.
"Then a soldier" - The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien. One of the most beautiful books written in the last 50 years.
"And then the justice" - Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy. Powerful.
I haven't gotten to the pantaloon or second childhood yet. Give me a few years,
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:11 AM   #59
Joshua.P
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Sometimes after I've read detective novels, I try deductive reasoning in every day life.

Nothing "soul changing" here. But at least I'm honest.
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:36 AM   #60
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Too many books to mention have had a profound effect on me, but some that spring to mind that have changed the way I think about things at various ages:

Cosmos (Carl Sagan)
Surely You're Joking, Mr Feynman (Richard Feynman)
The Emperor's New Mind (Roger Penrose)
The Name of the Rose (Umberto Eco)

/JB
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