Jeph Jacques's comics discussion forums

Fun Stuff => ENJOY => Topic started by: Scandanavian War Machine on 10 Feb 2006, 15:28

Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Scandanavian War Machine on 10 Feb 2006, 15:28
I wanna know what books (if any) have affected you in any profound (or even unprofound, i guess) way.
Heres mine:
-The Hyperion series by Dan Simmons. Holy cow. thats all
-Novocain For The Soul by "Logan." This is not an actual book but a short story i found on the internet several years ago. Its a fan fiction follow up to the anime FLCL and its very well done.
-Catcher In The Rye by JD Salinger. Because it made me realize a book can have me completely sucked into it and still be about NOTHING.

Of course i could list another hundred or more books that I love but these are the few that really affected me (that i can remember right now anyway).

Lets see what you guys read.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Rawr and Stuff on 10 Feb 2006, 19:20
You Shall Know Our Velocity by Dave Eggers just for the quote "You shall know our velocity"
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Stifled Dreams on 10 Feb 2006, 19:40
I haven't read any good books lately, but here are two from my mysterious past:

The Giver. When I first read it, I was like... 10, I guess. Anyways, it made a really big impression on me. I don't know why.

That was the year that I also read the Phantom Tollbooth, which is when I really got into writing. I think the first comic I've ever drawn illustrated part of the Phantom Tollbooth for a 5th grade book project with my best friend. That doesn't sound important, but it is to me.

There are a few more that I'll probably mention later.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: octozombie on 11 Feb 2006, 03:42
I'd have to say The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Read it over a year ago, it's still my favorite book. Ever.

There are more, but I guess the only other one that pops to mind is House of the Scorpion.........it made me think about the complicated consequences and responsibilities that we must face when we are too curious.
Two great books.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: ayePod on 11 Feb 2006, 03:53
"On The Road" That book half embittered me to the world and half made me realise that it's all good in the end. I'v read it now about 30 times.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: S_g on 11 Feb 2006, 05:28
1984, classic but has to be here

500 days, Around the world on a 12 foot yacht - serge testa

Basically this guy builds a 12 foot boat and sails through 2 cyclones and around the world on his own, stopping at places that look interesting on the way.  Years before that jessie martan tryhard.  I'll add the hatchet series in there as well + tommrow when the war began.

It's one of the infulences in my childhood that has really brought out my "wander sprit", well that and some good hikeing boots.

i'll think of more as i get more sleep and post back
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Mikendher on 12 Feb 2006, 13:37
The Giver
Jane Eyre
The Golden Compass
Chicken Soup With Rice
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: CRASH andor BURN on 12 Feb 2006, 14:43
Fight Club. I need to read more Chuck Palahniuk(sp?).
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Bridgeburner on 12 Feb 2006, 16:31
Well Im kind sleepy right now but the story that pops in mine mind is "The Long Walk" by Stephen King...it's a part of he's Bachman Collection.

It's about a hundered childeren and teenagers who signed up for some kind of future reality show in which the contenders have to walk until there is only one survivor.

You must not  slow down below 4 miles per hour and if you do you get a warning, 3 warnings and you get shot.
This is not one of his scariest stories but it sure has been running around my head for days after i had read it.

The ending had the greatest impact on me, and here are a few quotes from the book.

"And, when the hand touched his shoulder again, he somehow found the strength to run."

"We want to die, that's why we're doing it. Why else, Garraty? Why else?"

"Im am the rabbit"
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Maximo Bean on 13 Feb 2006, 10:29
Steppenwolf by Hermen Hesse.
It's just really something.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: nescience on 13 Feb 2006, 11:00
Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey.  Part allegory for Kesey's emotional coming-of-age, part depiction of the roughs of the Pacific Northwest, part blatant fuck-you to everyone within shouting distance.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Valrus on 13 Feb 2006, 16:43
Although right now I'm kind of ashamed to admit it, I don't think I can deny the effect that Atlas Shrugged had on me when I read it. In the end, I think it was a positive one, since I like to believe I integrated the sensible parts into my Weltanschauung and sloughed off the wingnut far-right Objectivist nonsense. But I'm still uncomfortable with how thoroughly I bought it at the time.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Kai on 13 Feb 2006, 17:00
Ayn Rand is kinda creepy.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Valrus on 13 Feb 2006, 19:49
I know. That's the thing.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Bearer on 14 Feb 2006, 18:14
I definatly going to say Mossflower by Brian Jacques...
>_>
what?  Don't be critisizeing me for reading a book about woodland creatures with swords!  Seriously though, thats a great book.  It's alot better than people give it credit for.  Maybe not a moving novel of epic proportions, but still...it's good.

that, and the outsiders.  The outsiders is a classic.  I mean, with a name like soda-pop, how can it NOT be good?  but yeah, thats a good book as well...
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Kai on 14 Feb 2006, 18:57
Man, I hated the Outsiders when I had to read it in 7th grade.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: E. Spaceman on 14 Feb 2006, 20:28
Of Mice and Men and The Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck
Northern Lights (Golden Compass) by Phillip Pullman
On the Road - Kerouac
The Plague Albert Camus
No Logo - Naomi Klein
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Luke C on 16 Feb 2006, 11:15
The Kite Runner - forgot the authors name. Defo worth a read. 100/100 socre for me. So much emotion, not the type of guy that gets really emotional about books/movies etc. (not a macho thing, just who I am) but this book moved me a lot.

The book Im reading right now, High Society by Ben Elton, has changed a few people I know views about politics but not so much for me, Im well aware how corrupt our world is.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Kai on 16 Feb 2006, 14:20
How blind, deaf and metally retarded do you have to be to NOT know how corrupt this world is? Seriously.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: visceralviscous on 16 Feb 2006, 21:22
Quote from: Rawr and Stuff
You Shall Know Our Velocity by Dave Eggers just for the quote "You shall know our velocity"

yes! i love that book....and basically everything i've read by the lovely mr. eggers.. his writing style amazes me to no end.

also:
~nickle and dimed
~the color of water
~the golden compass/his dark materials trilogy
~a book entitled "an introduction to metaphysics" which i've read like 50 times so far...
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Scandanavian War Machine on 17 Feb 2006, 11:12
you guys reminded me of some of my other favorite books.

-everything Chuck Palahniuk has ever written.
-The Further Inquiry by Ken Kesey
-One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
-The Giver was a good book too
-The Ancient Ones...not sure who wrote it. i read it in like seventh grade or something
-i did like The Grapes of Wrath as well. i dont know anyone else who liked it.
-Battle Royale by Koushun Takami
-To Rueleben(sp?) and Back by Geoffrey Pyke. anyone with a good sense of humor, patience, and interest in in WWII should read this. its a true story. i found this book on amazon.com when i was looking for books about the author (hes a scientist actually, not an author) and i found one BY him instead. its great.

its good to hear that people out there still read. i know very few people who read anymore (maybe two of my friends read for fun).
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: hoax on 17 Feb 2006, 21:51
The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis: I know this makes me a pretty big nerd, but these are the books that turned me into a book worm kid who devoured any book she could get her hands on. Everything after that has been only moderately life-changing.
The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
The Handmaid's Tale, and The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Rizzo on 18 Feb 2006, 04:07
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams changed my life. I'm thinking about getting an H2G2 Tattoo...
Title: Wow...
Post by: StPip on 18 Feb 2006, 21:57
Someone said almost all the books I was going to say...

The Hyperion books...
Ayn Rand, but The Fountain Head did it for me. I've never believed in the human mind as much as I do now.
Chuck Palanhuik books (Invisible Monsters and Survivor did it for me)
DUNE! How can no one mention Dune? All 6 of those damn books. It makes me want to learn to control breeding cycles and ride giant worms. Frank Herbet is my fantasy.
Battle Royale by Koushun Takami(Japanese kids killing each other... like whoa?)
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (Hence my name and obsession with the name Estella)
The Power of One by Bryce Courtney (Got to love a novel where you never know the main characters real name, plus it just proves what people can do.)

I think that's it.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Running For Home on 19 Feb 2006, 08:39
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz by Mordecai Richler
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
The Wars by Timothy Findley
The Manticore by Robertson Davies
The Chrome Suite by Sandra Birdsell
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Panbombadil on 19 Feb 2006, 16:08
Mmh, Definatly His Dark Materials.  Also, Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse was pretty amazing.  Had to read it for a summer english assignment, and I'm glad I did.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Kai on 19 Feb 2006, 18:38
Quote from: Rizzo
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams changed my life. I'm thinking about getting an H2G2 Tattoo...



I've been thinking about this a little bit and that's pretty much the book that propelled me into really superbly enjoying reading.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: TornRGDoll on 19 Feb 2006, 19:19
I Never Promised you a Rose Garden by Joanne Greenberg

it's a story of a young mentally ill girl in an institution who makes a choice to be healthy and fight for mental health. Really moved me in my teen years.

The Stranger, The Fall, and The Plague by Albert Camus

I read them in their original french and in english. the imagery and philosophy in his work is exceptionally moving. Anything by him is worth a read..

The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King

possibly because I waited so patiently and so long for each installment to the seven book series and loved every word.. there seriously is like.. an emptiness now that the series is done and I'm not even sure if the ending was satisfying.. eugh.

Three Junes, I forget the author, read it for my AP LIT class.

a billion more because I'm a readoholic.. heh. but I wont bore you anymore.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Rizzo on 20 Feb 2006, 01:28
Quote from: Kai
I've been thinking about this a little bit and that's pretty much the book that propelled me into really superbly enjoying reading.

Yeah me too. When I get the time I read a book a day. Nothing else, internet doesn't hold my attention like a good book.

Other books that changed my life:
Night's Dawn Trilogy
Tomorrow When The War Began series
Takeshi Kovacs series
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: lifelesseyes on 21 Feb 2006, 20:45
The Perks of Being a Wallflower - everyone I know who's read this says it changes their life, and it's true.

The Chronicles of Narnia

Harry Potter (shut up, they're good)

The Art of Fiction by Ayn Rand - changed the way I write forever, and she's less creepy than her fiction

More, I'm sure
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: lifelesseyes on 21 Feb 2006, 20:49
The Perks of Being a Wallflower - everyone I know who's read this says it changes their life, and it's true.

The Chronicles of Narnia

Harry Potter (shut up, they're good)

The Art of Fiction by Ayn Rand - changed the way I write forever, and she's less creepy than her fiction

More, I'm sure
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: calenlass on 22 Feb 2006, 00:32
Hitchhiker's Guide ftw! I used to love to read, and then people started forcing me to read books for school. This reintroduced me to the reasons books are such wonderful means of entertainment.

The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart. If you've read it, you know what I mean.

Black Sun Rising by CS Friedman. I just finished this, and I can already tell it will have a tremendous impact on my writing style.

Twelfth Night by Billy Shakespeare. The first of his works that ever made me laugh out loud.

Midsummer Night's Dream. It was kind of the thing that introduced [what I later found out was] Freudian mentality to me: everything can have a sexual connotation. And when you vocalise it, it's usually funny. My sense of humour was never the same.

Of Mice and Men by Steinbeck. The first book I ever read that someone had to force me to read, seriously (shortly followed by A Separate Peace).

The Lord of the Rings (all 6 [3] books) by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. My aspirations as a writer are to be as successful at creating a world, and all its details and cultures and depth, using just plain and simple words, the way he did.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Nemba on 22 Feb 2006, 00:48
I bothers me a little, just really very slightly, that so many people say Of Mice and Men. Don't get me wrong, I loved it, and it was definitely epic, but it seems to me so many people only ever read Of Mice and Men, but don't read The Grapes of Wrath, and especially East of Eden which, I personally at least, found far more moving, more life-changing.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Oli on 22 Feb 2006, 07:46
I hated of mice and men. I think mostly because we did it in my english class and I abhor the ripping apart of novels we have to do to create a critical evaluation. I mean it's good to find meaning in a book, but not when you get told "This is the meaning, find quotes that show it"

Books which changed my life/reading habits are:

Animal Farm + 1984 - George Orwell

Notes from a big country - Bill Bryson (Hilarious travel writing FTW!)

The Hobbit - J.R.R Tolkien (I read it before all this film nonsense. The Hobbit owns. I used to be able to recite the first paragraph and the last sentence. "In a hole, in the ground, there lived a hobbit. Not a (and I forget the rest of the paragraph nowadays)" "'No, thats not for me' he said, laughing, and handed him the tobbacco jar.")

Varioud Garfield Comic books - Jim Davis.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: deborah on 22 Feb 2006, 09:56
kate chopin's the awakening (much better than flaubert's madame bovary)

margaret atwood's "rape fantasies" (short story told in the first person with quirks)

salinger's franny and zooey (f holden caulfield; the glass family is way cooler)

the one adult book that i've read that really makes me think there's hope in the world and washes away whatever cynical dirt i've gathered is e.e. cummings' i: six nonlectures.  he is the most uplifting and positive person i've ever read without feeling like there's a lot of smarm and cheese involved.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: BPMninja on 22 Feb 2006, 10:23
(http://www.wnyc.org/studio360/images/critics/Everybody_poops.jpg)

Suuuuuch a life changer.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Jarne on 22 Feb 2006, 10:45
Animal Farm - George Orwell.
The Communist Manifesto - Marx and Engels.
Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal - Ayn Rand.

These are the books that made me believe that yes, in fact, humans can screw up everything and that they can also succeed.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Useful Idiot on 22 Feb 2006, 18:22
without question, the list would be as thus:

'Run With The Hunted' by Charles Bukowski
this book hit me at a time in my life in which I was very wrought up in abstract thought and dedicated a large portion of my time to drugs. It showed me exactly what I needed to see; something absolutely real, and undistortedly pure.

'Requiem for a Dream' by Hubert Selby Jr.

'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' by Ken Kesey
this book simply makes you question your own mind and the minds of those around you; when you read this, every notion of insanity you could have had goes straight out the window.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Kai on 22 Feb 2006, 18:58
Quote from: Nolaw_Nocrime
I hated of mice and men. I think mostly because we did it in my english class and I abhor the ripping apart of novels we have to do to create a critical evaluation. I mean it's good to find meaning in a book, but not when you get told "This is the meaning, find quotes that show it"


That whole process has made me hate every book I've really been forced to read in school. Of Mice and Men, Count of Monty Cristo, Catcher in the Rye, Tom Sawyer, ton of others. Even if I've already read them and enjoyed them, I learned to abhor them.  I mean, why not let US decide what we think the author's message was? Let us think about it and do our own work and back it up, rather than it being almost-but-not-really subtly fed to us. Seriously. There's this whole process called "THINKING FOR YOURSELVES".

Actually, I could go on a big whole thread about the evils of the American English education program.


Quote
I bothers me a little, just really very slightly, that so many people say Of Mice and Men. Don't get me wrong, I loved it, and it was definitely epic, but it seems to me so many people only ever read Of Mice and Men, but don't read The Grapes of Wrath, and especially East of Eden which, I personally at least, found far more moving, more life-changing.


In terms of actual book wise, I liked Cannery Row the best out of all of Steinbeck's novels (and hated Of Mice and Men, but I've already covered that). Grapes of Wrath was really more... just woah, in terms of message behind it.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Bastardous Bassist on 22 Feb 2006, 20:37
My list may seem utterly pretentious (well, parts of it may), but I assure you that it's really the books that have had a profound impact on how I live my life:
Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett (technically a play, but whatever)
Night by Elie Wiesel
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
The Trial by Franz Kafka
Beneath the Underdog by Charles Mingus (autobiography)
Jarhead by Anthony Swofford (compared to the book, the movie is complete crap, and the movie is pretty good, I think!)
Blackhawk Down by Mark Bowden (I hated the movie, but the book is fantastic)
The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli (seriously, it's how I live my life)
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: JLM on 22 Feb 2006, 21:09
Changed my Life?  Like that song did for Natalie Portman in that Movie?  That kinda life changing experience?

(Thinks hard to try and come up with the most *outside the mainstream* book he can come up with...you know...to make me seem cool)

The Telltale Heart is the first thing I remember really being into when I was younger.  Go figure...

Otherwise, I'd have to go with Frank Miller's Batman:The Dark Knight Returns.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: CHEESEGOD on 22 Feb 2006, 21:38
Well, His Dark Materials. I've read all three books countless times, the ending bums me out each time.

I enjoyed the Redwall series, but I wouldn't call them life changing.

A Dream Of Eagles was a good series, if you can look past the gay bashing.

Angela's Ashes was awesome, Tis' was good but not great.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: That guy on 05 Mar 2006, 08:20
The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete protection from the Living Dead by Max Brooks.  Now I know to be prepared to move to a secure location at any time.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: elcapitan on 07 Mar 2006, 04:26
On The Road, by Jack Kerouac; and Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, by Hunter S. Thompson. I read these when I was 17 as part of an extension English class at high school, and was totally blown away by them.

Gravity's Rainbow, by Thomas Pynchon. The first book I've read that made me feel like a child again, being held above a parents head to see the crowd in its entirety. Amazing.

Stranger In A Strange Land, and Starship Troopers, by Robert A. Heinlein. Both of these gave me a different perspective on the role of people within society. SIASL made me think a lot about the byplay of sex and religion, and ST inspired a lot of moral questioning about my rights as a citizen played against the problems of unflinching fascism.

All Quiet On The Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque. Before I read this, I had the boyish perception of fighting and war being something exciting and adventurous. This book, along with the poetry of Sassoon and Owen (among others) made me realise the truth.

Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey. I first read it when I was six, and it was the first adult fiction (adult in the sense of not-a-Dick-and-Jane-reader) I was exposed to. Opened my eyes.

In terms of poetry, Dylan Thomas' And Death Shall Have No Dominion, e. e. cummings pity this busy monster, manunkind and she Being Brand... (XIX) gave me an appreciation for how powerful words can be, even (particularly) in small doses. Also, Ginsberg's Howl.
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: Chesire Cat on 07 Mar 2006, 20:42
Quote from: Scandanavian War Machine
-Catcher In The Rye by JD Salinger. Because it made me realize a book can have me completely sucked into it and still be about NOTHING.


I came to post about The Cathcher in the Rye, but seems you beat me to it.  Anyway, changed my life because I read it when I was at my most depressed my parents hate me my life sucks blah blah teenager crap.  And I read this ancient book with a char going through all the same crap as me.  Made me realize that all the shit I was going through was the same type of crap people have being going through for years.  And everyone else turned out alright.

I ultimately realize I wasn't the unique tortured soul I thought I was.  And from then on I stopped complaining about my little problems because I saw them as them same old thing everyone else dealt with.

My mom didn't suck, everyones mom, or teacher, or bully sucked.  Most people had some shit to goto, and mine was really tame, so I sucked it up.  It kinda ushered me into adulthood in gr 11.  I grew out of that whole highschool kid stigmata.  Realized I didn't have all the answers etc.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: reviloto on 09 Mar 2006, 02:45
To mention two that have already been mentioned:

H2G2, because I began actively looking for a good read after those.
His dark materials, as they were the first books I became absorbed in.

And for one that hasn't been mentioned,

Norwegian Wood, by Haruki Murakami
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: SailorPunk on 09 Mar 2006, 10:27
Little House Series - Laura Ingalls Wilder (got me interested in history)
Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank (made the holocaust real to a 9 year old me)
Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
The Nymph and the Lamp - Thomas Radall
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Kirbo on 09 Mar 2006, 10:42
Archies Pals N' Gals Issue #37

Any Orwell, Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, and first and foremost
If Chins Could Kill, Confessions of a B Movie Actor by Bruce Campbell. It's because of this book that I write movies.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Aphi on 09 Mar 2006, 11:06
Offtopic'd:

My school in Ontario BANNED Grapes of Wrath!



WTF
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Kirbo on 09 Mar 2006, 11:08
Quote from: Aphi
Offtopic'd:

My school in Ontario BANNED Grapes of Wrath!

WTF


I wish I went to your school. I cannot stand Stienbeck. But I do agree, WTF?
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Skibas_clavicle on 09 Mar 2006, 23:22
Quote from: Bastardous Bassist
Blackhawk Down by Mark Bowden (I hated the movie, but the book is fantastic)


I totally agree. It's the only book I've read that's made me cry. The part in the end when the enter the tents for the first time and people are finding out about Pilla and their other friends, that was heart wrenching.

Three other books I can list off the top of my head are:
The Painted Bird  - Jerzy Kosinski (screwed my up for life...seriously)
Kiss Me, Judas (brought out much of my homosexuality, I had a major thing for the main female character. Alos it is my all time favourite book and really attracted me to that genre of literature. Comedy noir, sort of.)
Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puff - Chuck Klosterman (some of his points just always stuck with me, I swear I'm not a total pretentious snob).
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Catfish_Man on 09 Mar 2006, 23:45
hm... so many to list. I think I'll pick five:

In no particular order:
The Diamond Age
Stranger in a Strange Land
The Lord of the Rings (and associated books)
1984
the Black Jewels Trilogy

...and yes I know some of those are more than one. shush :P
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Hustler on 10 Mar 2006, 00:47
Although it might be a little too recent to say for sure, I think my winning a softcover version of The Watchmen in a writing contest a few months ago might have some far-reaching implications.  Certainly it affected me more than anything I've read since high school, and college has thrown some pretty good books at me.  I do re-read things often, but usually a great span of time goes between these readings.  In the case of The Watchmen, it was almost immediate.  I figure that has to mean something.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: MilkmanDan on 10 Mar 2006, 10:04
Labyrinths - Jorge Luis Borges
It sort of rearranged my mind. Or at least made me realise just how rearranged my mind could get.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Bunnyman on 10 Mar 2006, 23:40
Much love for The Diamond Age.

Gibson - Burning Chrome.  Most amazing collection of short stories I've ever written.  One of the most eloquent explorations of a dark future.  Reads like a lucid dream.
Catch-22.  I have an affinity for smart-asses, and Joseph Heller most definitely is one.
1984.  The book that made "Orwellian," "Groupthink," and "Newspeak" even more overplayed than Nazi allegory on the editorial page.  It's over-the-top, but manages to be dismal and coherent rather than silly.  And without 1984, there would be no Brazil.
Vonnegut - Cat's Cradle.  See "Catch-22."  Does for Cold War art-fucks and Carribean Banana Republics what Heller did for bomber squadrons.  Phallic imagery, absurdist philosophy, and outright foma abound.
Brin - The Postman.  Fuck the movie.  A grimy, rain-soaked quest through a nuclear-scarred Pacific Northwest.  Packed with creative twists and fascinating characters.  Thoroughly uplifting in the least saccharine way possible.
Streiber/Kunetka - Warday.  Absolutely terrifying book attempting to depict as realisitically as possible the outcome of a 'limited' nuclear conflict on the United States.  Written as a series of interviews.  Grimy, dreary, depressing, and wholly engaging.
Shepherd - In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash.  The essence of Americana.  Shepherd simply describes happenings in an Indiana town, but does so with incisive wit.  Guaranteed to make anyone nostalgic.  What "A Christmas Story" was based off of, but don't hold that against it.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: citylights on 11 Mar 2006, 08:51
the one book i can say drastically changed my life is 'sirens of titan' but kurt vonnegut.

i won't go into the main plot device that changed my outlook on the meaning of life, for that would be a horrible spoiler, but all i can say is that it did, indeed, change my outlook on the meaning of life.

hairstyles of the damned by joe meno is amazing too...more of a punk music exploratory, but one of the main characters has my name, so it pleases me. i enjoyed the book too.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Rizzo on 11 Mar 2006, 16:39
Quote from: Bunnyman
BOOKS!

Them's be some good books. I also dig Diamond age. It's no Snow Crash but it's preeeeety cool.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Rubby on 11 Mar 2006, 17:31
Quote from: Hustler
Although it might be a little too recent to say for sure, I think my winning a softcover version of The Watchmen in a writing contest a few months ago might have some far-reaching implications.  Certainly it affected me more than anything I've read since high school, and college has thrown some pretty good books at me.  I do re-read things often, but usually a great span of time goes between these readings.  In the case of The Watchmen, it was almost immediate.  I figure that has to mean something.

A whole "section" of my "Critical Analysis of modern literature and film" class was on Watchmen. It was bloody awesome I must say.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Bastardous Bassist on 11 Mar 2006, 18:45
Quote from: Skibas_clavicle
I totally agree. It's the only book I've read that's made me cry. The part in the end when the enter the tents for the first time and people are finding out about Pilla and their other friends, that was heart wrenching.


I'm glad people other than huge military hitory buffs (I'm going to assume you're not a military history buff...) like this book.  That just prooves how awesome Mark Bowden is.  He's not a military writer, but after writing that book, a whole lot of people assumed he was.  That's how good it is!  Read it now, if you haven't already!
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Kai on 11 Mar 2006, 18:55
I've notcied alot of people have mentioned 1984. Just curious, how many of you have read it more than once? Because I thought it was simply amazing the first time I read it, and then I read it again a while later and I didn't see it. Did this sort of thing happen to anyone else? I mean, I love the book, but it just lost something the second time around.


Also, I think Brave New World is better, but I'm in the minority here.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Bastardous Bassist on 11 Mar 2006, 18:57
I rarely re-read books.  The only two that I've re-read a bunch are The Hobbit (because it's fun, and it just feels like I'm curling up next to a fire, and an old, bearded relative is telling a story, it's awesome) and Catch 22, which gets better every time.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Kai on 11 Mar 2006, 19:00
Catch 22 is amazingly amazingtastical.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: citylights on 11 Mar 2006, 20:12
i'm currently reading catch 22, welcome to the monkey house, and travels with charley.

1984 is a pretty good book...it is 1984 after all. it's amazing. but whenever i reread books, they usually get better...i notice things i didn't see before.

then some just never come to me...like nabakov's invitation to a beheading...that one's good...but it's just so dense and...cryptically translated? maybe if i knew russian, i'd read the original and see if it made mroe sense...merrr.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Chesire Cat on 11 Mar 2006, 20:26
Quote from: Kai
I've notcied alot of people have mentioned 1984. Just curious, how many of you have read it more than once?


I've noticed most people are just listing their favourite books are at least the most historically significant a la 1984, and not books that have actually impacted their lives outside of the context of the book.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: citylights on 11 Mar 2006, 20:36
we could always list the books that have blocked bullets from penetrating our hearts...but wait...i ain't got none of those.

stargirl by jerry spinelli affected my life...i wrote this thing on it for a competition...got a $50 borders card and a $100 target card.

pretty sweet deal, eh?
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Chesire Cat on 11 Mar 2006, 21:12
eh. ;)
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Bastardous Bassist on 11 Mar 2006, 21:35
Quote from: Chesire Cat
I've noticed most people are just listing their favourite books are at least the most historically significant a la 1984, and not books that have actually impacted their lives outside of the context of the book.


I have books that I like more than some of the ones I've listed, but those have seriously affected the way I look at the world and how I live.  I mean, I could mention The Battle for the Falklands, or the Lord of the Rings Trilogy (just randomly looking at my bookshelf) or a whole mess of other books that I love, but haven't really changed me.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Ravenbomb on 12 Mar 2006, 19:59
-Illusions by Richard Bach (I actually keep this book with me almost at all times)
-Requiem for a Dream by Hubert Selby Jr. (Coupled with the movie. The movie just NAILED the feel of the book, they both affected me the same way to the point where to me they're practically inseperable from each other)
-A Clean Well Lit Place by Earnest Hemmingway (ok, technically a short story, but had a big effect on me for reasons I can't really explain)
-Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (When I decided to read it, I didn't know it was the huge deal that it was, so I was thoroughly blown away)
-Have a Nice Day by Mick Foley (the only books I've read more than this are Illusions and Requiem)
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Catfish_Man on 12 Mar 2006, 20:55
Quote from: Kai
I've notcied alot of people have mentioned 1984. Just curious, how many of you have read it more than once? Because I thought it was simply amazing the first time I read it, and then I read it again a while later and I didn't see it. Did this sort of thing happen to anyone else? I mean, I love the book, but it just lost something the second time around.


Also, I think Brave New World is better, but I'm in the minority here.


I've read both BNW and 1984 >4 times. I tend to reread a lot... it's an odd trait of mine.

In response to the "listing favorite books v. listing life changing books" question earlier: Most books that I like that much do change my life at least a bit. Some of them more than a bit :)
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: vinyltrash on 12 Mar 2006, 22:49
"Black Foxes" by S.L.Harnett
"The Solitaire Mystery" by Jostein Gaarder
"West of the Moon" by David J Lake
"I Was A Teenage Fairy" by Francesca Lia Bloch
"His Dark Materials Trilogy" by Philip Pullman

and of course
the fandoms:
Harry Potter & Star Wars
(probably not life-changing, but addictive all the same)
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: ozphactor on 12 Mar 2006, 23:06
Quote from: octozombie
I'd have to say The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Read it over a year ago, it's still my favorite book. Ever.

Seconded. That book is absolutely ridiculous, in the best possible way.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: kitasousha on 13 Mar 2006, 00:32
-> Riftwar Saga (5 books)

I love the riftwar saga, I dunno why, but I screamed when I read the last one...aaaaarg, read them all, noooo

I went to a shrink 2 times a week and was placed under observation...

ok, I wasnt, but I still mourned for the end =P
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Chesire Cat on 13 Mar 2006, 06:58
Quote from: ozphactor
Quote from: octozombie
I'd have to say The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Read it over a year ago, it's still my favorite book. Ever.

Seconded. That book is absolutely ridiculous, in the best possible way.


Yeah, its a very interesting book, if slightly disturbing at the end.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: SteinFromTheJewishMafia on 13 Mar 2006, 18:16
Quote from: Chesire Cat
Quote from: ozphactor
Quote from: octozombie
I'd have to say The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Read it over a year ago, it's still my favorite book. Ever.

Seconded. That book is absolutely ridiculous, in the best possible way.


Yeah, its a very interesting book, if slightly disturbing at the end.

great book.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: TIPViking on 13 Mar 2006, 19:43
First- Bunnyman, thank you for mentioning Gibson... I was scared he wouldn't be touched before me...

Pattern Recognition and Neuromancer both touched me- William Gibson does a great job of capturing a snapshot of universes that seem as if they could be as well-developed as the LotR universe.

His Dark Materials series... that was one of the first times I was so completely and totally enthralled in a book... and then the ending... argh! Definitely brought out the emotional cynic part of me.

Swan Lake- My Dad read this to me as a kid (as in 4 year old and younger), it was what pulled me into books. It's actually kinda creepy that I loved the story so much, as it's another sad one...

Stephen R. Lawhead's series "The Pendragon Cycle" may not be the most amazing series of books, but it pulled me into "Legend" Literature- and I still love retellings of various myths and legends. It was the first truly mature series I read, and it shaped my literary experience, so gotta include it.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: brandie on 09 Jun 2006, 21:20
Ishmael - Daniel Quinn  *I can't recommend this enough*  It literally has affected my entire world view.

I'd agree with whoever said Kate Chopin's The Awakening

And Charles Bukowski - You Get So Alone At Times...

I forgot:  The Great Gatsby too.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: toolazytothinkupaname on 10 Jun 2006, 11:56
Quote from: lifelesseyes
The Perks of Being a Wallflower - everyone I know who's read this says it changes their life, and it's true.


It didn't change mine :P Honestly I thought it was pretty bad. The characters were inconsistent and the plot as a whole seemed rather contrived, ESPECIALLY the ending, my specific criticisms of which I will not go into lest I "spoil" it for other people.

Have to agree with the earlier poster that Brave New World is way better than 1984. As far as life-changing books go, I'm not really sure. Obviously I have favourite books, almost all of which have been listed already, but I'm not sure I could really name a book that's changed my life.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: KharBevNor on 10 Jun 2006, 13:34
Life changing eh?

JRR Tolkien - The Lord of the Rings: Forever set the tone for everything I enjoy in life.
Philip Jose Farmer - The Riverworld Series (To Your Scattered Bodies Go/The Fabulous Riverboat/The Dark Design/The Magic Labyrinth/Gods of Riverworld): Opened my spiritual horizons. Turned me away from the 'Big Man' view of history at an early stage. Made me paranoid. Turned me into a pervert. Great series.
Mervyn Peake - The Gormenghast Trilogy (Titus Groan/Gormenghast/Titus Alone): Blew open my horizons of what literature could be and how it could work.
Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson - Illuminatus!: Taught me that really non-traditional novels can still have a great plot, ripping pace and be loads of fun, after having to study Virginia Woolf at AS.

Lots of books have affected me in little ways though. Almost all of them science fiction and fantasy. For example, my parents complete collection of Ursula K. LeGuin books, which I finished reading when I was about 14, are probably the reason I hold the political views I do now, and for that I am bloody glad. Particularly, and actually I suppose it deserves a mention for this, The Left Hand of Darkness, which basically helped me come to terms with my sexuality by impressing on me that gender and gender roles don't mean shit beyond what the man says they mean. Basically.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Cartilage Head on 10 Jun 2006, 16:06
Well..I'm not sure if I could tell how every one of these books affected me..but they definitely did.

Wicked by Gragory Maguire:Simply because it was the greatest book I've ever read in my life.

 Rose Madder by Stephen King.

 Of Mice and Men.

 Sandman-The Dream Hunters:The book that left me depressed for a week.

 Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.

 Watership Down by Richard Adams.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: elcapitan on 11 Jun 2006, 05:25
Quote from: KharBevNor
Philip Jose Farmer - The Riverworld Series (To Your Scattered Bodies Go/The Fabulous Riverboat/The Dark Design/The Magic Labyrinth/Gods of Riverworld): Opened my spiritual horizons. Turned me away from the 'Big Man' view of history at an early stage. Made me paranoid. Turned me into a pervert. Great series.
Mervyn Peake - The Gormenghast Trilogy (Titus Groan/Gormenghast/Titus Alone): Blew open my horizons of what literature could be and how it could work.


Yes, yes, yes. The Riverworld series was great, a friend and I read them when we were eleven or so.

And man, the Gormenghast trilogy is brilliant. I remember reading the field in the clouds part towards the beginning of Titus Groan and thinking, wow, this is an impressive book. Only got better from there on out.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Moo Cakes on 11 Jun 2006, 13:48
Quote from: S_g
1984


Best book I've ever read.

Also, Politically Correct Bedtime Stories... and though not life-changing, I enjoy works by Marcus Sedgwick.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Omnicide on 11 Jun 2006, 13:55
Yeah, 1984 got me into reading when I was about 11. I used to read Stephen King before then, and it was still the first and only book to scare me shitless.

Also: The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa. I was in high school and it all seemed uncomfortably reminiscent of how I was living at the time. It's the perfect handbook on how not to live your life, but it's never preachy. rare thing in literature.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Peet on 11 Jun 2006, 14:25
Lord of the Rings. I fell in love with it from the first chapter and Tolkien's influence is massively apparent in anything I write. I've since joined an LOTR mod team for Rome: Total War and thus spend a fair portion of my time poring over the trilogy and all the other related books.

The Picture of Dorian Gray. Just because Oscar Wilde is a massive hero of mine. Again, this influences my writing a lot.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Houdinimachine on 11 Jun 2006, 17:03
Catch-22 made me realize the absurdity of worrying about life when death is so much more scary.

Breakfast of Champions made me realize that Kurt Vonnegut is just as crazy as I am and people think he's a genius.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Kai on 11 Jun 2006, 17:04
Catch 22 is a marvelous book.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Lines on 11 Jun 2006, 20:34
brave new world made me rethink things.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Faw on 11 Jun 2006, 22:14
'Notes of a nervous man' by James lileks made me appreciate cheap liquor and the common sucka and fear panic attacks and buying a house.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Johnny C on 11 Jun 2006, 22:58
When I was little, my dad read a book called Night Cars to me every night before I went to bed. I'm pretty sure that book has had a significant impact on everything from the age I learned to read at (two) to the type of person I am today.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Freelance_Physicist on 12 Jun 2006, 01:41
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danialewski

total mindfuck
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Misereatur on 12 Jun 2006, 15:47
Frank Herbert - Dune
B. Traven - Das Totenschiff
J.R.R Tolkien - The Hobbit
Milan Kundera - The Unbearable Lightness Of Being
Douglas Adams - The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy series
Naomi Klein - No Logo
Haruki Murakami - Noruwei No Mori

To name a few.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Chesire Cat on 13 Jun 2006, 08:07
Quote from: Freelance_Physicist
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danialewski

total mindfuck


That's been recommended to me but I can never find it anywhere.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Freelance_Physicist on 13 Jun 2006, 11:04
Quote from: Chesire Cat
Quote from: Freelance_Physicist
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danialewski

total mindfuck


That's been recommended to me but I can never find it anywhere.


It's available at Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0375703764/sr=8-1/qid=1150220303/ref=pd_bbs_1/102-7217033-3721755?%5Fencoding=UTF8).  Any large bookstore should have it as well (Borders, Barnes and Noble, etc.).
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: ASturge on 13 Jun 2006, 13:49
Quote from: Misereatur

Haruki Murakami - Noruwei No Mori


ooooooooh yeeeeaahh.

*thumbs up*
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: mberan42 on 13 Jun 2006, 14:56
Late to the thread, as usual.

Quote from: elcapitan
Gravity's Rainbow, by Thomas Pynchon. The first book I've read that made me feel like a child again, being held above a parents head to see the crowd in its entirety. Amazing.

I got to part 3, then had to put it down. I'm just not smart enough to understand wtf is going on in that book. It became a chore to read. I never put books down without finishing them. (Except when I was in school.) I just didn't understand it.

Quote from: Bunnyman
Brin - The Postman. Fuck the movie. A grimy, rain-soaked quest through a nuclear-scarred Pacific Northwest. Packed with creative twists and fascinating characters. Thoroughly uplifting in the least saccharine way possible.

Hmm, I'm going to have to try this one again. I'm in the hyper-minority in that I actually liked the movie. Oh, I know, it's an awful fucking pile of shit for a movie, but I still liked it. I read the first two pages of the book and was like "Ugh, no thanks." I'll have to try it again.

Quote from: Catfish Man
I tend to reread a lot... it's an odd trait of mine.

I re-read damn near everything. H2G2 series I've read at least 5 times. Some of David Eddings' work I've read 2 to 4 times. Jordan's Wheel of Time I've read 3 times. (Although only read #10 once, and am half-way through my first read of #11. He's got a LOT of shit to tie together in the next half of this book and #12. Provided he doesn't die first.)

Quote from: Freelance Physicist
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danialewski -- total mindfuck

I love this book. It's on my Desert Island Top Five list. Fucking love this book.

Otherwise, a book series that changed my life was the Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander.

I gotta run, I'll update this more tomorrow.

Cheers.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Sanitycult on 13 Jun 2006, 16:09
The book that altered my life the most, made me embrase creativity was a book my second grade teacher read the class.  I don't remember the title and everytime i'm in a bookstore or library I look for it.  It's illustrated, thick and about a kid who gets trapped in a surreal mansion where he interacts with ghosts and there is some kinda time distortion in the begining.  Other than that, Lots of Vonnegut books, Slaughterhouse Five and Cats Cradle are probably my favorites although I like Bluebeard and Breakfast of Champions.  Some Toni Morison books, Love, the bluest eye.  But when the topic is what altered my life the most... Probably books about and by Carl G. Jung.
By the way--I decided to read the fountainhead by Ann Raynd so I could write about it and get a scholarship.  I read the first four chapters and seriously considered never going to colledge, or ever reading again.  It's like eating spoiled eggs and ruining your pallete for months.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Freelance_Physicist on 13 Jun 2006, 16:41
Quote from: Sanitycult
I decided to read the fountainhead by Ayn Rand so I could write about it and get a scholarship.  I read the first four chapters and seriously considered never going to colledge, or ever reading again.  It's like eating spoiled eggs and ruining your pallete for months.


Yeah, I spent several months reading Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged consecutively.  I recommend not doing this.

As for getting through the book, just remember that, regardless of the worth of her ideas, Ayn Rand is an awful fiction writer.  Keep this in mind, and feel free to laugh at the horrendous characterization and stilted dialogue (and pray that the love scenes don't turn you celibate).  Example: you can always spot a person that Rand approves of because at some point, they will be described as having angular facial features.  Always angular.  And sometimes chiseled, too.

Of course, when you're writing your essay, pretend to take it all completely seriously.  You are doing this for money after all.  Ms. Rand would expect nothing less.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Stifled Dreams on 13 Jun 2006, 16:51
Marzipan Pig!

Seriously, guys.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Misereatur on 13 Jun 2006, 17:00
Quote from: ASturge
Quote from: Misereatur

Haruki Murakami - Noruwei No Mori

ooooooooh yeeeeaahh.

*thumbs up*


It did'nt really change my life, I just totally loved it.
I read it about 3 times, and I hate re-reading books.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Kai on 13 Jun 2006, 18:32
Quote from: Freelance_Physicist
Quote from: Sanitycult
I decided to read the fountainhead by Ayn Rand so I could write about it and get a scholarship.  I read the first four chapters and seriously considered never going to colledge, or ever reading again.  It's like eating spoiled eggs and ruining your pallete for months.


Yeah, I spent several months reading Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged consecutively.  I recommend not doing this.

As for getting through the book, just remember that, regardless of the worth of her ideas, Ayn Rand is an awful fiction writer.  Keep this in mind, and feel free to laugh at the horrendous characterization and stilted dialogue (and pray that the love scenes don't turn you celibate).  Example: you can always spot a person that Rand approves of because at some point, they will be described as having angular facial features.  Always angular.  And sometimes chiseled, too.

Of course, when you're writing your essay, pretend to take it all completely seriously.  You are doing this for money after all.  Ms. Rand would expect nothing less.


Ayn Rand is fucking terrible. Her ideas AND her stories. Seriously.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: brandie on 13 Jun 2006, 19:15
Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Moo Cakes on 16 Jun 2006, 09:43
Ooh, Catch-22 was a good one too!
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Ghostwriter on 16 Jun 2006, 09:54
Allow me to be, like, the 8th person in this thread to mention the His Dark Materials trilogy.

I'm reading Catch-22 right now, and I'm really enjoying it.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Tearon on 16 Jun 2006, 22:28
Well, Choke by Chuck Palahniuk kinda made me re-evaluate my life (it made me decide to be a writer) and I recently picked up a collection of stories by Amy Hempel which are just too good not to be life changing.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: One_Foxy_Mother on 17 Jun 2006, 17:07
Green eggs and ham
that book is deep.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: E. Spaceman on 18 Jun 2006, 23:32
The most life-changing book of my life is one I have not finished reading.
I am now reading "The Magus" by John Fowles, and enjoying it inmensely. This is actually the second time I attempt to read it. The first was over a year and a half ago and I didn't get too far. I stopped at the first page of chapter 3 (only about 4/5 pages in)  when Urfe describes his life so far, it seemed such a soul-crushingly accurate description of my life (minus my father being alive) that I knew I had to change, especially as the description of boredom and selfishness takes place after he graduated from university, and I was only 15 at the time.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: quietnow on 20 Jun 2006, 17:46
everything by bret easton-ellis.
everything by francesca lia block.
and the stranger, by camus.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Ghostwriter on 20 Jun 2006, 18:21
I finished Catch-22, and yeah...

Super awesome-awesome.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Spike on 20 Jun 2006, 19:15
Brave New World-Aldous Huxley. It's hard to pinpoint exactly how this book has affected me but I know it has.

Existentialism and human emotions-Sartre.  This is the book/ piece of writing that first introduced me to the concept of existentialism.  Since then I've wanted to find his other works.  I've adopted quite a few of his ideas and tried to incorporate them into my own life.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: IntermittentEvil on 22 Jun 2006, 21:53
Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco.  It took me a very long time to finish, but when I finally got through it, it turned a lot of ideas I'd had on their heads, and basically just refocused my thoughts on what I'd suspected was the root of it in the first place.  But it's the first book to really do that, to actually show the consequences of these things which seem to have become a part of our modern-day society, and literature, for that matter.

A lot of Kafka's short stories also affected me, but it's hard for me to say how now.  Honestly, every book I read does this, but these are ones that were particularly strong.

Forgot: Ishmael.  I read this in high school and it blew my mind.  It is perhaps my "pre" and "post" marker in reading.  And I could mention Haruki Murakami's Wind-Up Bird Chronicles, but its main effect was confusing me as to how it affected me...
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: ramenXnoodles on 22 Jun 2006, 22:03
Fight Club was kind of lifechanging in a way.
I don't know in what kind of way though. It just kind of made me feel like not everything was material possessions.
Oh, and it made me want to start a fight club.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: brandie on 23 Jun 2006, 07:35
Quote from: IntermittentEvil

Forgot: Ishmael.  I read this in high school and it blew my mind.  It is perhaps my "pre" and "post" marker in reading.

Glad to see someone else mention this.  I had posted it several posts ago.  Great book, isnt it?
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: onewheelwizzard on 23 Jun 2006, 14:02
I just reread Catch-22 yesterday.  It was more brilliant than I remembered.  It's probably the book I'd put at the top of any "best book" list I created.

As for my life, though, Tom Robbins changed it the most.  "Skinny Legs and All" was an affirmation of so many amazing things I wasn't sure I believed in.  "Jitterbug Perfume" reinforced and connected these beliefs.  I could go on.

Read Tom Robbins books.  Seriously.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: theBrightside on 25 Jun 2006, 22:33
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy. This spare, tense, mythical voice. Isn't for the faint of heart. By the same author (but slightly less fantastic), Child of God and Suttree.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Lise on 14 Jul 2006, 13:32
I can't think of any particular book that changed my life, but several did shape the way I think and of course, my biases.

Several were about people's potential to be cruel to their own kind, etc.

White Oleander by Janet Fitch
The Cider House Rules by John Irving
The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan
What do YOU Care what Other People Think? by Richard Feynman
Girl with a Pearl Earring/The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time
1984 by George Orwell

Just to name a few... they're mostly fiction novels of little consequence, and easy to read. And probably would interest females rather than males.

PS: I have a copy of On the Road that I haven't read yet... but due to the recommendation, I will start soon.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: mrhemisphere on 14 Jul 2006, 17:50
Tuesdays with Morrie.

It almost made me cry. Which is hard to do, but the effects lasted for a couple of weeks, which is more to say than anything else.

I sadly, reverted back to my usual state.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Misereatur on 14 Jul 2006, 18:06
Quote from: Lise
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time

I heard so much about it, and after I read it it was just 'meh'. I was really disappointed.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: GuitarJunkie on 15 Jul 2006, 10:11
The one I have to say would be "Crime and Punishment" by Dostoevsky more than anything else. Much more than anything else I've read.

On the Road along with "Dharma Bums both influenced me pretty deeply and also influenced my choice of avatar.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Default.mp3 on 16 Jul 2006, 10:00
All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque. It has basically been the most illuminating account about the capacities and limits of the human psyche. Heart-wrenching ending.

The Things They Carried, by Tim O'Brien. Just wow. This book showed me how the difference between reality and what happens in your mind is minimal, and far too easily blurred.

Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the 10th Dimension, by Michio Kaku. A science popularizer about modern physics, such as string theory, chaos theory, M theory, etc. (shut up already, if you like books, your a nerd; what books it is matters not). It basically gave me a whole new outlook on life, and the implications of our actions.

Jurassic Park, by Michael Crichton. Malcolm's speech about how Earth and life would never actually be destroyed, just Humanity, through our actions, profoundly changed my perceptions about just why humans were on Earth (hey, I was in fifth grade, this was radical stuff).
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Garcin on 16 Jul 2006, 12:00
If I really wanted to wrestle with the limits of the human psyche, I'd read Ann Coulter.  All Quiet on the Western Front was a life-changing book for me too though.  I think it was one of the first times I had no idea who to root for in the book, so I ended up just reading it and marvelling at the characters and their impossible situtations.
Title: My life changes every time I read a book.
Post by: Alchemist on 16 Jul 2006, 12:24
These are some of the most profound literary catalysts of change in recent memory:

The Chosen by Chaim Potok

The Red Pony by John Steinbeck

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

I could go on, but my point is probably made.  Every book I read changes something about me, be it a monumental change that causes me to radically rethink my view of the world or a minute change that subtly alters the tint of my lens.  Good or bad, profound or inane, long or short, they all affect me somehow.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Johnny C on 16 Jul 2006, 14:58
Haunted didn't really radically affect me. But it is an interesting book, I'll grant you that.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Dr. Feelbad on 18 Jul 2006, 11:25
The Shining, by Stephen King. I didn't think a book could be scary until I read this.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Scandanavian War Machine on 31 Jul 2006, 14:33
In The Face of My Enemy by Joseph H. Delaney


its not a popular book and hes not a famous author. It is a sci-fi novel. but its also more than that. i read it when i was very young and it affected me very much and i never forgot about it. and then, about a month ago, i found a first edition (circa 1984) with absolutely no damage done to it for four dollars on amazon.com. this book is out of print and i doubt a large number were ever printed to begin with so finding one like that on accident made my day. i just started reading it again and already i feel better about my job, my friends, and my life in general.

i would recomend this book to just about anyone. however, let it be known that its not a truly "great" book; its short sci-fi, its cheesey, but i love it.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: bujiatang on 02 Aug 2006, 07:43
it is difficult to say that a book changed me, most of them add something but dont really revise the way I go about my business or do math.  

Books that enlightened the way I was going about things would be like Saussure's Course in General Linguistics.  It was actually a very silly book that changed how I thought of good and evil: Good Omens.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: cakeandsoda!! on 02 Aug 2006, 12:50
Jonathan Safran Foer's two books, Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.

Some people say his writing style is unique in a pretentious sort of way, but if it is, I really don't mind, because his pretentiousness makes for some really beautiful phrases and imagery!

And it takes a seriously strong person to not cry at least once in 'Extremely Loud...'! It starts off sort of awkward and jerky, but there's a sense of everything building up, and it really all comes together at the climax and afterwards there's just an emotional downpour and complete sadness, ohh I cried and cried.

  The book that really, really! changed me, is Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince. It actually got me into James Dean movies, because I read that he loved the book and treated it like his Bible, hee!
Title: Yeah, yeah. I liked Catch 22 as well.
Post by: sunniegreen on 03 Aug 2006, 16:38
Last Chance To See - Douglas Adams

I hardly ever hear anyone mention it, but it is a depressing and hilarious book about his tour with a naturalist to see as many different endangered animals that they could manage.  It raised my hippie-ness a few notches and made me love Douglas all the more.

Xanth Series - Piers Anthony

My dad gave me Ogre, Ogre when I was in the third grade and it showed me that "Grown up" books were far superior to what my teachers had in their classrooms.  It was because of this that I went on to read Tolkien and Frank Herbert with such enthusiasm.  I love fansasy that takes the time to be clever and to create its own world.

The Nancy Drew Series - Carolyn Keene

In fifth grade my friend and I had exhausted pretty much everything that our small school library had to offer, and so we decided to see who could read all the Nancy Drew books first.  The Library had a huuuuge collection, leaving an entire wall in various shades of old yellow books.  We read most, and I quit first.  It taught me that yes, books really can be that infuriatingly the same and totally ignore anything that might have happened in a previous book.  Nancy's ever-changing hair colour, the brand new car at each introduction, the boyfriend who was always in school while she rarely even mentioned her own?

The Pit and the Pendulum - Edgar Allen Poe

This is the book that I fell off the Nancy Drew wagon for.  It introduced me to an abiding love of Poe.  Our library had this and The Fall of the House of Usher in a dark corner.  Odd illustrated versions.  We loved them.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: chupones on 03 Aug 2006, 17:21
Coming Through Slaugher - Michael Ondaatje
This Sweet Sickness - Patricia Highsmith
Dubliners - James Joyce
Red Harvest - Dashiell Hammett
Man's Search for Meaning - Viktor Frankl
The Tao of Pooh - Benjamin Hoff
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: messynessie on 04 Aug 2006, 04:14
hitchhkers guide to the galaxy- doug adams (of course!)
east of eden-steinbeck (love that book!)
the 5 people you meet in heaven-mitch ablom (really moved me, i've read it a million times)
the curious incident of the dog in the night time
the lovely bones- ann sebold i think! (i cried reading this one)
i have always liked shakespeare too macbeth is my favourite
how to walk in high heels (my bible!)
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Lise on 10 Aug 2006, 13:48
I'm not joking- this book changed my life (at least, improved my relationship):

"Why Men Lie, And Women Cry". It does a lot of explaining with scientific backup of why men and women seem to have the same recurring problems and how to fix them :x. It's a great self-help book, and a better alternative (IMO) to "Men are from Venus, Women are from Mars." It's quite humorous, and a lot of it I've found out, DOES apply to my life. The only chapters I haven't read are over mother-in-laws and retirement, as I'm not at the proper age yet.

And if you guys don't know about the "secret point system" women use, pick up the book and read on it :P. This book pretty much explains why in the movie "Click" Adam Sandler was such a workaholic and his wife was left dissatisfied.

ANYWAY. I also bought a book on philosophy, Sophie's World, and it presents philosophy in such an entertaining light that it doesn't feel like you're taking a correspondence course/being quizzed on. I've learned a lot, and it really makes you question your roots and how the universe came to be, etc etc.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: onewheelwizzard on 10 Aug 2006, 14:15
On the subject of books that help people with their relationships, "The Mastery of Love" by Don Miguel Ruiz is a huge one.  I haven't personally read it (I've read a different book by him and it was brilliant, "The Voice of Knowledge"), but there are a few people in this world who I trust more than anyone on the subject of love between people and how to express/feel/be OK with it, and they all swear by this book.  So I heavily recommend it by proxy, because I know it's what they'd be talking about on this thread.

And I have no doubt that when I read it I'll only be louder about it.  Go get a Miguel Ruiz book soon, I'd say ... it'll help.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: messynessie on 10 Aug 2006, 14:21
Quote from: Lise


ANYWAY. I also bought a book on philosophy, Sophie's World, and it presents philosophy in such an entertaining light that it doesn't feel like you're taking a correspondence course/being quizzed on. I've learned a lot, and it really makes you question your roots and how the universe came to be, etc etc.


omg i love jostein gaarders books! sophies world is my favourite! the chrismas mystery is really good too.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Lise on 10 Aug 2006, 14:27
YAYYYYY glad to see that I'm not a sob story (buying self-help books) and that other people enjoy reading up on philosophy as well :). I loved that reference in the beginning of "burying in the rabbit's fur"- that describes people who are too engrossed in their lives that they don't ask questions about life after death, etc. They're too deep and comfortable in the rabbit's (the universe) fur.

Thanks for the recommendation, I'll check the christmas mystery out as well :). The same goes to that Ruiz book. My problem isn't really dealing with love, it's how to work out relationship kinks after the initial dating stage is over with. You know, the first two months are always "perfect" because both people are very aware of how they act around/treat each other, and thus potential for disagreements are eliminated. That gets different after one year...

Ok, no more babbling from me :).
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: onewheelwizzard on 10 Aug 2006, 14:39
One aspect of Ruiz's various points is that there's really no distinction between the early and the late stages of a relationship when it comes to "love."  He doesn't really define "love" as being something that you build up and eventually feel towards someone in particular through a burgeoning relationship with them ... it's not a step you reach after a process.  He defines it as a way of life.  This is why it has seemed like such a revolutionary book to people I know (and why the book of his that I did read was revolutionary to me) ... the way he universalizes "love" and makes it a part of everyday life without detracting from its power as an emotion or a feeling really makes you think differently about how you behave both within and without the confines of a relationship.  One of the nice things about Ruiz's writing, and one of the main reasons why I'm talking about his books in the "books that changed your life" thread, is that his points really can apply to everything in life.

OK, no more raving from me.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: StupidityKills on 10 Aug 2006, 15:12
Quote from: toolazytothinkupaname
Quote from: lifelesseyes
The Perks of Being a Wallflower - everyone I know who's read this says it changes their life, and it's true.


It didn't change mine :P Honestly I thought it was pretty bad. The characters were inconsistent and the plot as a whole seemed rather contrived, ESPECIALLY the ending, my specific criticisms of which I will not go into lest I "spoil" it for other people.


Thank you!
I wouldn't say it was bad but it was so hyped up to me by the time I read it that I was a bit like, oh thats it?  I think its basically just a good book for hipsters to quote and say they love for the sake of it.

For me:
Arabian Nights - Firstly because it takes a lifetime to read, and also because its just such a wealth of interesting and inventive stories.

Unlikely by Jeffrey Brown, which is a graphic novel, but shush. It so alarmingly honest and unashamed, even through some pretty graphic and embarassing details of a relationship breakup.

I Lucifer by Glen Duncan, dunno about life changing, but an all time favourite. So much so I'm on my third copy because I keep lending it and giving it to people.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Lise on 10 Aug 2006, 16:38
Stupiditykills, I completely agree with you on "The Perks of Being a Wallflower." It took me two attempts and a year of random reading to finish that book. I just wasn't that engaged in it. Sure, it had a touch of melancholy, but it didn't affect me as much as say, "Flowers for Algernon."

And here's a few books from a list of that "all hipsters should read, or at least pretend that they've read": (from Hipster Handbook)

1) Anything by Dennis Cooper
2) J. D. Salinger (personally I disliked the Catcher in the Rye)
3) Jacqueline Susann- Valley of the Dolls
4) Ernest Hemingway- A Moveable Feast
5) Albert Camus- The Stranger (This I liked).
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Dr Love Fuzz on 11 Aug 2006, 18:56
A Millon Little Pieces by James Frey

I don't care what anyone says; 100% true, 50% true, whatever, this is one of the greatest stories ever told.


I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell by Tucker Max

Once again, say what you will, this book is fucking hilarious.


and finally....

English As Second Fucking Language changed my life because now I can be expert swearter...er.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: zombietrudy on 14 Aug 2006, 20:15
lost boy lost girl is definately my favourite book. It was the first and only book so far that when I finished it, I was just left speechless and in shock.
Also really good books:
False Memory. Green Angel. Go Ask Alice. Choke. Hideaway. The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Fight Club. 'Salem's Lot. Floating Dragon. Servants of Twilight. Dragon Tears.

Kids who read succeed! -thumbs up-
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: KharBevNor on 14 Aug 2006, 20:31
Thinking on things more, Illuminatus! has changed a lot more than how I see literature. It's more changed how I actually percieve reality, as well as probably being the final kick that pushed me towards serious anarchism as a political philosophy. It's also basically helped me make more sense of some of the stranger Philip K Dick books, which also, I suppose, have shaped me a great deal. And, I'll probably nominate 'Bill The Galactic Hero' by Harry Harrison as well.

And though they're not books, I think I'll say Pinters No Mans Land and A Midsummer Nights Dream and Macbeth. Also, if I'm going to talk about plays, I might as well talk about poetry. There's only two poems I can really think of: Kubla Khan by Coleridge and Alone by Poe.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: no one special on 19 Aug 2006, 01:27
100 Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

This book just... broke my mind.  I read it in 12th grade - I'd been reading ravenously since I was 3, but this was the one book that changed the way I looked at literature forever.  I honestly didn't know how to explain it - I didn't know you could do what he did with words.  The novel has a fecundity, a fertility about it that no author has ever matched, a quality that I can neither describe nor explain.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Scytale on 20 Aug 2006, 05:56
The three books I can think of are

- A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, I read this in my year 12 English class and I don't know how to describe it, after reading the final chapter I remember putting the book down in stunned disbelief and walking around my street trying to clear my head as the last words of the book just kept echoing through my head "Alex has like Groweth up".  It made me question everything I thought I believed in, fate, free-will, christianity, justice, morales everything. It really shook me up like nothing else I've ever experienced.
 
- The Sickness Unto Death by Soren Kierkegaard, I guess after reading Clockwork Orange, I was pretty confused with the world for a while and I threw myself pretty heavily into philosophy, I became pretty obsessed with existentialism and was chewing my way through everything I came accross, Camus, Satre all that stuff. Somewhere down that path I stumbled upon this work. Very powerful and well written, this I guess was the final straw that convinced me to stop going to church.

-Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche, this is easily the most well written and thought provoking book I have ever read. In parts of it seems as if Zarathustra is addressing me directly, I remember reaching part 2 and the chapter "Of Self Overcomming" I read the line: "And this secret spake Life herself unto me. "Behold," said she, "I am that which must ever surpass itself". And it just like that a light clicked on in my brain, everything fell into place, The will to power, Eternal re-occurance, love of fate, it all just made sense. After a few years of questioning everything around me Nietszche made it all make sense, put everything into it place with just one sentence. Amazing.

And none of it would have happened if my English teacher hadn't assigned Anthony Burgess....
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Will on 26 Aug 2006, 01:53
I signed up for these forums (after lurking for a few days) just because of this thread!

I know that it's kind of a cliched book to mention, but Slaughterhouse-5 really did change my life, in a couple of ways... The whole theory of the Tralfamadour-ians (?) chosing to only focus on the good parts of their lives inspired me to at least TRY not to always be focusing on how shitty everything can seem all the time.  I also found myself saying "so it goes" a lot more ever since I read that book.

I also just read Vonnegut's latest "Man Without A Country" and now I think I've become a lot more cynical...
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Meimei on 20 Sep 2006, 21:54
I've got to say the Narnia series.  Finding out down the track that they where christian propaganda was the focal catalyst for my hatred and distrust of organized religion, that led onto discovering humanism, from which I spun off several core philosophies.

Also Richard Dawkins "The selfish gene", followed by Susan Blackmore's "The Meme Machine" changed the way I see the world and myself quite a lot.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: gargoylekitty on 21 Sep 2006, 07:33
Quote from: That guy
The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete protection from the Living Dead by Max Brooks.  Now I know to be prepared to move to a secure location at any time.


YES! I love that book. Keep a copy in my car, along with The Communist Manifesto and The Science of Vampires, to skim when I arrive early to classes and feel like being anti-social. Heh.

Also...
Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon- my goddess... Never did it take me so long to read a book as this one did, three tries before settling into it. It's just so... You get into it then the story changes and the people and ... it made me feel as though I never truly knew how to read until I'd read this.

The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon- Wow. WTF was that. Heh.

Belladonna by Karen Moline-  reading that book in middle school probably gave me some of the issues I have today.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: elcapitan on 23 Sep 2006, 01:10
Quote from: gargoylekitty
The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon- Wow. WTF was that. Heh.


A hell of a lot shorter than Gravity's Rainbow, is what it was. Still good though.
Title: Books that changed your life
Post by: Valrus on 23 Sep 2006, 06:18
Two more I wanted to mention. (Edit: This post turned out to be a lot longer than I expected, sorry.)

The first is sort of a counterpart to my mention of Atlas Shrugged earlier in this thread. Faith of the Fallen, by Terry Goodkind, is the 6th book in a fantasy series whose first book, Wizard's First Rule, I greatly enjoyed in middle school. I had continued reading the series, getting diminishing returns on each one, and when I read Faith of the Fallen, I realized that the series either had become or just always was pure shit; it just hadn't been apparent to me until then.

FotF had exceedingly poor characterization of characters I had come to know and love; it turned the main character into a pseudo-Objectivist, John Galt-speech-blathering asshole who was obviously intended to be flawless and used all manner of shoddy plot contrivances to make him seem to. So its first major influence on me was making me realize that people with their heads up Ayn Rand's ass tend to be fucking obnoxious.

Also, after years and years of reading and enjoying sci-fi/fantasy novels that I enjoyed at the time and which were probably vital to my development as a reader but which would probably make me cringe now, I think FotF marks the point where I realized that I had somehow developed some sort of taste in fiction, and that Mercedes Lackey and Xanth books were, quite irrevocably, just not going to do it for me anymore.

That said, the second book I wanted to mention is Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace. A more intimidating book I had never seen: between the blurbs on the cover talking about how postmodern or whatever it was and its length (>1000 pages, of which over 200 are footnotes), I thought I was just buying it because it looked intriguing and I'd never actually be able to finish it.

Fortunately I was very, very wrong, and IJ is now one of my favorite books: I sort of started to understand its groove around 200 pages in and for the rest of it I was hooked. DFW is an incredible writer: he's flashily erudite and loves the big words, but he's also flippant and vernacular. Stylistically, there is no one else like him, and IJ was probably the first book to make me really understand what it means for a writer to have a style.

It also changed my life simply by changing my idea of what a novel could be; I doubt there will ever be another like it, but it's pushed me to try other modern and kind of wacky writers to try to find something that can approach its magnificence.
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: thewayofzen on 21 Dec 2006, 06:53
I honestly have to say that The Way of the Peaceful Warrior was a pretty special read for me.
At a time when i pretty much figured it was time to call it quits on life in general that book showed up at just the right time.
That was six months ago and in all honesty I've been a different person ever since.  Sure the book isnt entirely to blame..
there was some hard work on my part and all but in its own little way.. it was a kick in the ass to get better.
Thanks dan millman for such a great experience.
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: Lewis Rice on 21 Dec 2006, 06:59
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Kingdom of Fear have had the biggest impact on me, they have changed me alot.
Also The Dark Tower has had a HUGE impact on me as well. But please, for your own good, if you get to the last book, take Stephen King's warning and stop when he tells you to. I now hate him and don't classify the final book in the series. Fucking swine.
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: Raquelita on 21 Dec 2006, 12:48
The Things They Carried, by Tim O'Brien. Just wow. This book showed me how the difference between reality and what happens in your mind is minimal, and far too easily blurred.

Most definitely.  Skill aside, it's truly a moving book.

I've read my fair share of books and there are a lot of great ones out there, but I have to say that the one book that completly changed the way I see the world, that has had a tremendous permanent impact is Octavia E. Butler's Parable of the Sower.  It's a sort of distopia story that dissects human nature to its core, sews it back up, and then roasts it until you're ready to chow and digest.  Quite frankly, it scares the shit out of me.  I can say with true honesty that no other book has had such an effect on me.
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: feel good lost on 21 Dec 2006, 14:36
Three words.

Crime and Punishment.
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: SaskiWhiteflower on 22 Dec 2006, 02:21
The Witcher Saga by Andrzej Sapkowski

Great
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: Runs_With_Scissors on 22 Dec 2006, 08:26
About a Boy by Nick Hornby. Way better than the movie. I've read it 11 or so times, starting when I was in elementary school. That book just talks to me (not in a wierd split personality way, but the other way).
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: Kralia on 24 Dec 2006, 03:47
A short story on adultfanfiction about a sodium atom and a fluorine atom. It caused me to like chemistry, which lead me to take sciences and maths for A level. Without it, I probably would have gone down the very different path of art and theatre studies.
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: SaskiWhiteflower on 24 Dec 2006, 15:59
In Polish book is called "Doktorzy" by Elrich Segal. In English it would be ... ekhm ... "Doctors"?
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: Shming on 29 Dec 2006, 10:12
Brave New World-Aldous Huxley. It's hard to pinpoint exactly how this book has affected me but I know it has.

Existentialism and human emotions-Sartre.  This is the book/ piece of writing that first introduced me to the concept of existentialism.  Since then I've wanted to find his other works.  I've adopted quite a few of his ideas and tried to incorporate them into my own life.

this for me as well

and also: The Age of Spiritual Machines
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: NiMRoD420 on 05 Jan 2007, 01:48
"Brain Droppings" by George Carlin
"The Stand" by Stephen King
"Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance" by Robert M. Pirsig
"Demian" by Herman Hesse
"Siddhartha" by Herman Hesse
"The Tao Of Physics" by Fritjof Capra
"Perpetual War For Perpetual Peace" by Gore Vidal
"Chronicles Of Dissent" by Noam Chomsky
"The Dark Tower Series" by Stephen King
"Memories, Dreams, Reflections" by Carl Jung
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: mqarcus on 05 Jan 2007, 18:40
Thus Spake Zarathustra, The Genealogy Of Morals and Antichrist by Friedrich Nietzsche.
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: Jed on 05 Jan 2007, 20:42
The Stainless Steel Rat Series by Harry Harrison which is by the way the coolest SciFi series I ever read!
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (and the rest four of the series) by Douglas Adams
Sotavangit (Prisoner's of War) by Pentti H. Tikkanen
The Meaning of Hitler (Anmerkungen zu Hitler) by Sebastian Haffner
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: SaskiWhiteflower on 06 Jan 2007, 22:55
Oh and Pratchett is pretty good. I loved every single book.
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: mqarcus on 07 Jan 2007, 04:57
So did I, but changed my life? No.
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: 8ilbo on 07 Jan 2007, 07:22
PTerry has certainly been responsible for me losing several constructive hours/days of my life.... :roll:

Popcorn by Ben Elton disturbed me...
I'm reading Wild Swans at the moment, and its looking to be reasonably profound....
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: Ernest on 07 Jan 2007, 12:03
Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut and 1984 by Orwell.  Orwell's essay "A Hanging" also made quite an impression on me.  Check it out, it's online.
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: SaskiWhiteflower on 07 Jan 2007, 19:08
Hmm... Margit Sandemos Sagas are pretty nice as well. Fantasy from Norway  :-P
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: supersheep on 07 Jan 2007, 21:26
Homage to Catalonia, by George Orwell. Since I read it and understood it, everything political I have done has been opposed to totalitarianism and for democratic socialism as I see it (to bastardise his phrase). On reading this, you can see where Animal Farm and 1984 come from. (Just finished rereading 1984 there - much better than I thought it was first time round).
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: fetusxcore on 08 Jan 2007, 05:56
Let's see...
-Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky.
-Candide, by Voltaire.
-To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee.
-The Bolivian Diaries, by Che Guevara.
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: grover on 08 Jan 2007, 19:08
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
With The Old Breed at Peleliu and Okinawa by EB Sledge
Flags of Our Fathers bt James Bradley
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: kompan on 09 Jan 2007, 02:33
The books below didn't really "changed my mind", but I find them important:

Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: SaskiWhiteflower on 10 Jan 2007, 02:00
Yeah Kompan. Witcher rocked. I read the whole saga and other Witcher books.
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: mqarcus on 10 Jan 2007, 19:18
Polish people! I'm polish!

Withcher is far from good I think, maybe slightly better if you don't take it seriously.
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: patong on 10 Jan 2007, 23:11
Here's mine:

1. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton - couldn't put it down; read it in an hour and wanted to reread the whole bloody thing all over again.

2. A Separate Peace by John Knowles - read it in high school. Loved the whole 'triumph of the human spirit' shtick going on.

3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky - introduced me to the greatness of postmodern coming-of-age fiction.

4. A Million Little Pieces by James Frey - i know he's a liar and that Oprah hates him, but the guy sure can depict those gorey images.

5. Infinite Crisis by Geoff Johns / Amazing Spider-Man by J. Michael Straczinski - character exposition at its finest. These guys remind us that web-slingers and kryptonians have shitloads of problems like the rest of us do.

That's as much as i can think of at 2 in the morning. Later, all.





Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: SonofZ3 on 12 Jan 2007, 21:51
"The Art of War"- Sun Tzu
Great guide to dating (seriously).
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: SaskiWhiteflower on 15 Jan 2007, 19:15
Polish people! I'm polish!

Withcher is far from good I think, maybe slightly better if you don't take it seriously.

I taked it really seriously and I loved every single line of text in it. But "Whatever makes You happy"  :-P
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: kompan on 16 Jan 2007, 23:28
Ah, I forgot about Victor Suvorov (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Suvorov).

I read Aquarium, Spetsnaz, Day M, Icebreaker, Suicide, Control, which are quasi-documentary/historical books.
Most of them is quite interesting, although controversial, as it shows different view of history of WW2 and Soviet Union as we know.
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: Leia on 06 Feb 2007, 14:36
Mein Kampf..it began my deisre to convert to Judaism, for the sheer irony of being a blue eyed blonde haired Jew.
My personal fuck you to Hitler and other anti-semites..
because I love a hairy Jew
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: Misereatur on 06 Feb 2007, 14:46
I have two good friends who are Jewish, blond, pale white and have blue eyes.
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: jimbunny on 12 Feb 2007, 20:42
Hmmm, in terms of books that have actually affected the way I think and live...

"Siddhartha" by Hesse. It was the first time I could seriously conceive of a very different worldview/value system than the one I was brought up in.

"Franny and Zooey" by Salinger. Moreso than "Catcher," I think this book addresses issues an area of living which particularly interests me - that is, how we negotiate our intellectual life with our spiritual and existential lives. And it explores it down to the very depths, through numerous layers of self-doubt and rationality.

"The Left Hand of Darkness" and "The Lathe of Heaven" by Ursula K. LeGuin. Both the sheer audacity and courage in her thinking (moreso in the latter) and the inimitable way she has of exploring very basic human structures (moreso in the former) impress me to no end. Absolutely exemplary science fiction.
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: MasterInquisitor on 15 Feb 2007, 14:28
George Orwell (Eric Blair):
1984
Animal Farm
Down and Out in Paris and London
The Road to Wigan Pier

Big Fish (twas better than the film)
 
Hogfather

Jasper Fforde:
The Eyre Affair
Lost in a Good Book
The Well of Lost Plots
Something Rotten

The Diary of Anne Frank

JRR Tolkein:
The Hobbit
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

JK Rowling:
The Harry Potter Saga

CS Lewis:
The Chronicles of Narnia
The Screwtape Letters

Antoine de Saint-Exup?ry:
The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince) - you should really read this. It is a great book and gives an insight into the psychologies of an adult mind, though it is written like a child's tale.

Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: Lines on 15 Feb 2007, 16:01
If I Should Die Before I Wake by Han Nolan (i loved this book when i was younger.)
The Moon Is Down by John Seinbeck
Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
The Other by Tom Tryon (really creepy. meaning it's awesome.)
Ray Brabury (possibly my favorite author): Something Wicked This Way Comes, Farenheight 451, The Veldt (it's a short story, but whatever)
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: MasterInquisitor on 16 Feb 2007, 05:37
The Alice in Wonderland Books are fantastic. We got to study the Jabberwocky for GCSE.
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: Lines on 16 Feb 2007, 09:27
sweetness. i am pretty much obsessed with Alice. i think i read the book a few times a year, one of the few i can read more than once, let alone quite often.
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: Tyler on 16 Feb 2007, 14:29
Its because you actually cannot read, and your copy is a picture book.
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: MasterInquisitor on 17 Feb 2007, 01:58
Oooh, meanie.

Anyway, in Alice, and Looking Glass, Carroll does have some really good pictures. I suppose my fave character has to be the Chesire cat. And I also found out why a raven is like a writing desk.
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: Lines on 17 Feb 2007, 14:24
Its because you actually cannot read, and your copy is a picture book.

...i hate you.

the cheshire is my favorite, too, next to the white knight. (and if you others don't know, it's because Poe wrote on them.)

Poe is another of my favorite writers, so i guess his collected writings is a "book" that changed my life.
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: rdalke on 18 Feb 2007, 01:43
East of Eden, Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
God's Debris - Scott Adams
Choke, Fight Club - Chuck Palanuick
Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - James Joyce (has one of the best descriptions of hell EVER)
Walden - Henry David Thoreau

If I had to pick a favorite author, it would be a dead tie between Steinbeck and Palanuick. I would read anything written by either of them in a heartbeat.
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: McTaggart on 18 Feb 2007, 03:35
And I also found out why a raven is like a writing desk.

That's bugged me, like, for ever. Was this a part of the text or some illustration that may or may not be present in whatever edition I might be able to get my hands on?

For me: "The Ebony Tower" by John Fowles made me realise and believe that in time everything becomes less significant. Something that means the world to you right now will, if you bring yourself to just walk away from it, not matter at all to you in a few years. That's the one ending of a Fowles story that didn't leave me completely indifferent; it crushed me instead.
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: Dharma Bum on 18 Feb 2007, 03:55
Jack Kerouac's On the Road and Allen Ginsberg's Howl corrupted me at the tender age of 13.  I was ripe for it as I was just coming off of John Lennon's post-Beatles socialist surrealist period and moving towards looking for deeper interpretations of Dr. Seuss and Weird al Yankovic.  Glancing into the first person world of wild eyed, rambling men who knew only angst, chaos and alcoholism changed how I looked at things, and started making me look for deeper detail in everything I saw - trees, people, movies, relationships.  Conscious observation of the world around me has helped me see a lot of beauty in both the bizarre and mundane.  And when I started noticing little things about myself, like that I instantaneously fall in love with girls who snort when they laugh, or that the inside of my belly button reaks no matter what I do so its okay, I realized that I was lot more happier with who I was.  And I didn't have to go on a cross country expedition in poverty while waving genitals and manuscripts at Mohemmadan angels imagined on the rooftops of the nation's greatest cities to have that revelation, though I did that, anyway.
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: Lines on 18 Feb 2007, 04:29
And I also found out why a raven is like a writing desk.

That's bugged me, like, for ever. Was this a part of the text or some illustration that may or may not be present in whatever edition I might be able to get my hands on?

no, it's not a part of any illustrations, sadly. it bugged me for a long time and when i finally found out, i was more bothered that i hadn't known it sooner. (i said the answer above.)
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: McTaggart on 18 Feb 2007, 04:50
Oh. That's a little disappointing actually.
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: MasterInquisitor on 20 Feb 2007, 06:58
Douglas Adams

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
Life, The Universe and Everything
So Long and Thanks for all the Fish
Mostly Harmless (which his son finished after his death)
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: Vanilla Gorilla on 20 Feb 2007, 09:36
the art of war - sun tszu
behold a pale horse - william cooper
a people's history of the united states - howard zinn
the holographic universe - michael talbot
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: onewheelwizzard on 22 Feb 2007, 03:19
A revised list of books that have changed my life!

Books by Tom Robbins!
Books by Alan Watts!
Books by Robert Anton Wilson!
Books by Richard Bach!
Books by Miguel Ruiz!

Oh, and one book that I'm almost amazed that nobody here has mentioned yet: BE HERE NOW by Richard Alpert/Ram Dass.  It's not the kind of book that you actually read and then ignore.  If you get past the first quarter of the book, you're not going to walk away the same person you were when you started it.

If you see any books by the above authors in a used bookstore, buy them!  They are worth the time and effort that it will take you to read them!
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: Alphapenguin on 22 Feb 2007, 13:33
This may seem like a weird choice, but A Confederacy of Dunces. It taught me an important lesson about humility that I should've learned a long time ago - to wit, don't be an egotistical prick or people will hate you (and for good reason).

Besides, it was funny as hell. I literally could NOT STOP LAUGHING for weeks after I'd finish it. Every so often, I'd be sitting in class or at work or wherever and just remember a scene from the book and start giggling.

A good rule of thumb for life: any book that makes you laugh hard enough for random passers-by to think you're crazy EVEN AFTER YOU'VE FINISHED THE DAMN THING is bound to be educational.
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: im_a _hellion on 22 Feb 2007, 16:50
"The Five People You Meet In Heaven" This is a truely inspirational book it changed my very personality towards people.
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: Stayc on 26 Feb 2007, 08:38
The Handmaid's Tale: Margaret Atwood
I second this one.

The Outsiders/SE Hinton - Though I read this in Junior High, it changed my life in so many ways.  It helped me see things outside of the tunnel vision of my 12 year-old mind.

The Wave/Todd Strasser - Again, another juvenile book.  Based on a true story about how a teacher used Hitler's techniques and involved them into the classroom to watch it go completely out of control throughout the entire school.

Angels and Demons/Dan Brown - The depth of it made me realize how different things can be and how much science is really out there.

Timeline/Michael Crichton - I don't know why, but here it is.

Go Ask Alice/Anon - I swore that it was my life and I connected with this book on a more personal level.  I laughed.  I cried.  I pondered.

If I Should Die Before I Wake/Han Nolan - An easy read book on racism.

A Child called It/Dave Pelzer - Just an overall good read, touches the heart and makes you realize how horrible people can be and how anything is possible when you see the triumph.
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: Liz on 26 Feb 2007, 09:04
A Separate Peace- John Knowles
Children of Men- PD James
Phantom- Susan Kay
Because of Romek- David Faber

I will probably think of more. Stay tuned.
Title: Re: Books that changed your life
Post by: The Overachiever Bandit on 27 Feb 2007, 21:46
Ray Brabury (possibly my favorite author): Something Wicked This Way Comes, Farenheight 451, The Veldt (it's a short story, but whatever)

Yes, oh my god. Something Wicked this Way Comes was amazing, as was Farenheit 451, as well as all of his other works that I have read. Both of those made me really appreciate what I have.
Others that have changed my life are The Giver, The Hitchhiker's Guide, One Door Away from Heaven by Dean Koontz, The Catcher in the Rye, and Rose Madder by Stephen King. Also, though it is not a book, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" really had a huge impact on me.