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Old 10-26-2008, 08:14 PM   #31
tompe
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Penforhire, As for the detractors, I always figured those that feel a need to trash her books whenever they are brought up must have recognized themselves somewhere in AS.
Or maybe it is just badly written fiction. I could not finish Atlas Shrugged read as a work of fiction. And as a work of philosophy it is just not good either. I think you cannot read this book and like it for the first time if you are to old.
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Old 10-26-2008, 08:23 PM   #32
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Atlas Shrugged? The Original Poster said no religious texts.

--
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I had a GF who read that and loved it. The way she went on about irritated me. I never could read it and decided never to read anything Ayn Rand ever wrote.
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Old 10-26-2008, 09:17 PM   #33
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I had a GF who read that and loved it. The way she went on about irritated me. I never could read it and decided never to read anything Ayn Rand ever wrote.
Jon! Thats like cutting off your nose to spite your face! Everyone should read "Atlas Shrugged" at least once in their lifetime.....you might even like it!
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Old 10-26-2008, 09:25 PM   #34
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Or maybe it is just badly written fiction. I could not finish Atlas Shrugged read as a work of fiction. And as a work of philosophy it is just not good either. I think you cannot read this book and like it for the first time if you are to old.
And maybe you and Bill could now (let's get back to the actual topic) add to the discussion and answer Richard's original question. "What book(s) have changed something in your life? "

I'd like to add something more meaningful, but right now beyond Anthem all I can think of is the HHGTTG. And perhaps the Machinist's Handbook

-MJ
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Old 10-26-2008, 09:46 PM   #35
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Bertrand Russell's Why I am Not a Christian and In Praise of Idleness got me interested in philosophy and lead to my taking courses in it and reading a lot of it...

HHGTTG and Dune restarted my interest in science fiction and I am still reading science fiction.
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Old 10-26-2008, 10:55 PM   #36
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Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning. Lesson learned: Perception is reality.
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Old 10-26-2008, 11:16 PM   #37
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Books that changed my life? None I can think of.

Books that influenced how I look at life? Hmmmm...

Edward T. Hall: _The Silent Language_, _The Hidden Dimension_, _Beyond Culture_

Eric Berne, MD: _Games People Play_, _What Do You Say After You've Said Hello?_, _Beyond Games and Scripts_

Peter F. Drucker: _Management: Tasks, Practices, and Responsibilities_

Robert A. Heinlein: _Stranger In A Strange Land_, Starship Troopers_, _The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress_

Fritz Stern: _The Varieties Of History, From Voltaire To The Present_ (Ed.)

S. I. Hayakawa: _The Use and Misuse of Language_

Gregory Bateson: _Steps Toward an Ecology of Mind_

Will Durant: _The Story of Philosophy_

There are others, but these come to mind offhand.
______
Dennis
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Old 10-27-2008, 12:43 AM   #38
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okay, a book that changed how I look at life..........

The Stand, by Stephen King.

Because it brought home just how easily a life threatening worldwide pandemic could get started.....

And when the crap does hit the fan, society as we know it crumbles, and you have to choose sides, which way will you go? Who will you follow? Some saw his two sides in a religious scenario.

I chose to look at Mother Abigail as "good", or "right" or "white" side.

Randall Flagg was the "bad" or "dark" or "wrong" side.

I hope, should the time ever come, I choose the right side.

Either way, its not going to be pretty. And I loved the book, but hated the movie.
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Old 10-27-2008, 01:56 AM   #39
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...
Either way, its not going to be pretty. And I loved the book, but hated the movie.
Have you read The White Plague by Frank Herbert? If you liked The Stand, I think you might like The White Plague, not because of similarities, but because of differences. I know I enjoyed both, and apparently my mind has filed them next to each other on my inner bookshelf.

Cheers,
Marc
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Old 10-27-2008, 02:41 AM   #40
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I thought of another one Grapes Of Wrath by Steinbeck of course.
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Old 10-27-2008, 10:40 AM   #41
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Well, I was going to say that no book really changed my life... every one has influenced it, and in some respects has changed it (from the simple fact of reading as opposed to doing some other activity), but none have really fundamentally changed the way I live life (even my love of Science Fiction started with Star Trek and Star Wars and later migrated to books).

That being said, there was one book that has recently had a big change on my life. I read 1632 by Eric Flint. This book proved to me that with a decent device (in this case, the iPod Touch) it is perfectly reasonable to read e-books. The result is, I purchased the JetBook and have started downloading and reading books with a regular basis.

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Old 10-27-2008, 10:59 AM   #42
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Have you read The White Plague by Frank Herbert? If you liked The Stand, I think you might like The White Plague, not because of similarities, but because of differences. I know I enjoyed both, and apparently my mind has filed them next to each other on my inner bookshelf.

Cheers,
Marc
Yes, I read it years ago. Great book also.
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Old 10-27-2008, 07:30 PM   #43
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Bill, I agree with you, that I've met some seriously bent Objectivists. But then again, if you're a Trek fan you can't say you haven't met some insanely dedicated, even religious, Trekkers. Some of my best friends...
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Old 10-27-2008, 10:18 PM   #44
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Books that have affected me that come to mind this moment in time...

1. How to win friends and Influence People - read as a 10 year old....took me 20 years to start talking about myself...

2. A Separate Peace - I just connected to this book as a kid, relating to the characters within.

3. Hardy Boys books - taught me the love of reading for escapism

4. The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged - got me thinking about life differently

5. Ed Emberley's Make A World (any of his books really) taught me to love creating, well, worlds.

6. Sophie's World - sparked an interest in understanding and learning about different faiths and ways of thinking

7. Robertson Davies' Deptford Trilogy and Cornish Trilogies

8. Upton Sinclair's Lanny Budd series - an interest and new understanding of how the world works - this is the guy who wrote The Jungle - the book that got the FDA started in the US.

9. Ian Flemming's James Bond series - quality writing that stands head an shoulders above so much of the American thriller/adventure/spy genre, even today, that taught me to look at originals when I can, and not look to Americanized remakes (books, movies, tv, etc...) before I've seen the originals - this goes for source material in research as well...but these books were where I started thinking about it as a kid

God, there are so many....
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Old 10-27-2008, 10:21 PM   #45
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10. Harry Kemelman's Rabbi Small mystery series - helped break through my generic-media-based-lowest-common-denominator-perspective of religions - plus great fun mystery stories that don't revolve around blood and gore.
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