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Author Topic: Books that changed your life  (Read 42880 times)

Skibas_clavicle

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Books that changed your life
« Reply #50 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).
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Catfish_Man

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« Reply #51 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
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« Reply #52 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.
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MilkmanDan

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Books that changed your life
« Reply #53 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.
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Bunnyman

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Books that changed your life
« Reply #54 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.
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citylights

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Books that changed your life
« Reply #55 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.
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« Reply #56 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.
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« Reply #57 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.
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Bastardous Bassist

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« Reply #58 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!
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Kai

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« Reply #59 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.
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« Reply #60 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.
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« Reply #61 on: 11 Mar 2006, 19:00 »

Catch 22 is amazingly amazingtastical.
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citylights

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« Reply #62 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.
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Books that changed your life
« Reply #63 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.
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citylights

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« Reply #64 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?
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« Reply #65 on: 11 Mar 2006, 21:12 »

eh. ;)
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« Reply #66 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.
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Ravenbomb

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Books that changed your life
« Reply #67 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)
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Catfish_Man

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« Reply #68 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 :)
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vinyltrash

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Books that changed your life
« Reply #69 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)
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ozphactor

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« Reply #70 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.
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kitasousha

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Books that changed your life
« Reply #71 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
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« Reply #72 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.
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SteinFromTheJewishMafia

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Books that changed your life
« Reply #73 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.
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TIPViking

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Books that changed your life
« Reply #74 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.
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brandie

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« Reply #75 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.
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toolazytothinkupaname

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« Reply #76 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.
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KharBevNor

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« Reply #77 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.
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« Reply #78 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.
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elcapitan

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« Reply #79 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.
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« Reply #80 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.
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« Reply #81 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.
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« Reply #82 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.
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« Reply #83 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.
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Kai

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« Reply #84 on: 11 Jun 2006, 17:04 »

Catch 22 is a marvelous book.
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« Reply #85 on: 11 Jun 2006, 20:34 »

brave new world made me rethink things.
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« Reply #86 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.
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« Reply #87 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.
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« Reply #88 on: 12 Jun 2006, 01:41 »

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danialewski

total mindfuck
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« Reply #89 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.
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« Reply #90 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.
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« Reply #91 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.  Any large bookstore should have it as well (Borders, Barnes and Noble, etc.).
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« Reply #92 on: 13 Jun 2006, 13:49 »

Quote from: Misereatur

Haruki Murakami - Noruwei No Mori


ooooooooh yeeeeaahh.

*thumbs up*
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« Reply #93 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.
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My parents were always on me to groom myself and wear underpants. What am I, the pope?!

Sanitycult

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Books that changed your life
« Reply #94 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.
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Freelance_Physicist

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Books that changed your life
« Reply #95 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.
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Stifled Dreams

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Books that changed your life
« Reply #96 on: 13 Jun 2006, 16:51 »

Marzipan Pig!

Seriously, guys.
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Misereatur

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Books that changed your life
« Reply #97 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.
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FREE JAZZ ISN'T FREE!

I am a music republican.

Kai

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Books that changed your life
« Reply #98 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.
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but the music sucks because the keyboards don't have the cold/mechanical sound they had but a wannabe techno sound that it's pathetic for Rammstein standars.

brandie

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Books that changed your life
« Reply #99 on: 13 Jun 2006, 19:15 »

Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
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