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Old 06-27-2017, 01:03 PM
 
1,025 posts, read 1,055,822 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnMTL View Post
If you liked that, you'll love this. I thought it was even better (actually, MUCH better) and I also liked the one that you mentioned. But this? Exceptional.

Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante
LOL. I actually started that one this morning!
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Old 06-27-2017, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Southern California
28,189 posts, read 10,895,018 times
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Probably the 4 more impactful books FOR ME and my World are:

The Road Less Traveled, M Scott Peck

I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can, Barbara Gordon

The Medical Mafia, Guylaine Lanctot

Do What You Love And The Money Will Follow, Marsha Sinetar

My readings over the last 50 yrs have mostly been self help and Alternative
Healing.

Last edited by jaminhealth; 06-27-2017 at 02:15 PM..
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Old 07-18-2017, 02:49 PM
 
13,510 posts, read 15,376,085 times
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I thought of four only. I read the first three between the end of grade school and the high school graduation. I grew up in a small town in a rural area in the Forties and Fifties. My upbringing was very conventional. I think this is why the first three books made such a huge impression on me - they were so contrary to our everyday life. Even the movies for adults back then usually sentimentalized everything, especially the tragic, and most had those notoriously cliched happy endings of that era.

1. The Asiatics, Frederic Prokosch. I was a very precocious reader, and I took this one out of my aunt's bookcase when I was in the sixth grade. What made me pick it was that I thought it was a travel book when I had been flipping through her books looking for something to kill time with as she and my mother yacked endlessly about some family drama or other. I quickly realized after I started that it must be fiction, but it was about exotic places and the vocabulary was accessible to me so I was happy with it. I went back to the book each time we visited, but what was not accessible to me was the conduct of the people. Exotic people with exotic customs were easy enough, but the twisted, convoluted relationship among the characters was an eye-opener, or as often, a total mystery. I had never encountered a book about people (or seen a movie) in which the characters behaved so strangely. And I began to suspect that maybe my mother and others had been gulling me, and that what was going on in this book was what all their everlasting, secretive psssst-pssst was about

2. Victory, Joseph Conrad. I got to this in 8th grade or early h.s. I saw an adaptation of it on the live TV drama show Westinghouse Theater, and it was disturbing and thought-provoking because of the human relationships and the element of suicide. It was a heavy psychological thriller, and I had never encountered its like. The fact that it revolved around attempted rape, deep alienation from life and ended with the protagonist's suicide were heavy stuff...but very shortly afterward I learned that the husband of my most favorite aunt, who had lived with us as a widow, had committed suicide in a rather sensational way and it had been front page news in the nearby big city papers, and not long after that I learned that the uncle of she and my mother, who had been in prison, had been the accused in two sensational murder trials in nearby Canada, the revenging cuckold in a crime of passion. And suddenly Victory, though set in an exotic locale, was a reflection of the torment and violence within my own family.

3. The Informer, Liam O'Flaherty. Another h.s. read. My family was Irish-American Roman Catholics, and a book about the early 20th century War for Irish Independence attracted me. It is a short hard tale of the unforgivable nature of betrayal, and it really sobered me up from previous light travel reading about Ireland and showed me an entirely different country. But it also showed me my father, a man for whom any sort of personal betrayal was paid back with a lifetime of shunning that made the Amish custom look kindhearted. I saw him for almost three decades stand within inches of people whom he had branded personal betrayers and never give the slightest indication that the space they occupied was anything other than air...even when one was a very close family member. He made the book totally comprehensible.

4. What the Buddha Taught, Walpola Rahula. I read this about 1987. I had left my childhood religion in college, and over the years had come to feel that Christianity in general had no meaning for me. Then in the Eighties I began volunteer work as a Crisis Intervention Worker with people infected with HIV, which was almost always quickly fatal in those years. The epidemic very quickly embraced not just strangers I was assigned to, but friends, neighborhood acquaintances and people at work. The epidemic swelled, the infected and dying were everywhere and I hurled myself into the work to a degree that was becoming overwhelming.

I realized after two or three years that without some psychological ballast that I would fold. I began with my former family religion and moved from one book to another seeking some magic key, a resounding click, and though I examined many famous people and their thoughts and works I did not encounter what I expected....or at least wanted. One book proved unexpectedly vain, with some casual references to Buddhists almost getting it right (though what the hell that right was the man was having his own difficulties being clear about as far as I was concerned.) In exasperation, I thought if they almost got it right, maybe they were only almost as much a pain in the rump about it. In a now defunct esoteric/religious bookstore I flipped through their Buddhist books, and finally picked this one. There was no resounding click of a key in the lock, but rather the quiet, non-pompous voice of a monk from Ceylon saying something close to "this is how things look." And the very lack of crash, boom, alakazam was surprisingly uplifting and reassuring, and the.failure to claim that this or that was necessarily better than it looked in some magic way couldn't have sounded more honest. I learned later that this book has never been out of print, and has been a perennially recommended introduction to the Buddhist teachings.
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Old 07-26-2017, 04:37 PM
 
1,025 posts, read 1,055,822 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnMTL View Post
If you liked that, you'll love this. I thought it was even better (actually, MUCH better) and I also liked the one that you mentioned. But this? Exceptional.

Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante
Excellent book! Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 07-28-2017, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Metro NYC
694 posts, read 769,782 times
Reputation: 744
Steal This Book - The prototypical "hacker" manual.
The petty criminal aspects aside, it introduced
me to alternative methods of problem solving that
involved bending and breaking the rules. These
have served me well.

Seven Storey Mountain and Siddhartha - Two very
different spritual quests. Taken together, I
came to realize we all have our unique paths to
walk and we should respect that others do as well.

Brideshead Revisited - I'm sure Waugh intended
this as a the cross one must bear to profess one's
faith writ large, but I found it the opposite:
regret, foregone happiness and isolation in
pursuit of religious intransigence.

A People's History of the United States - because
so many who responded picked Atlas Shrugged and
The Fountainhead.


The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and The Dispossed -
2 very different portraits of society, one libertatian
and one anarcho-communist. Dreams writ large but dreams
nonetheless.
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Old 07-30-2017, 02:08 PM
 
11,124 posts, read 8,839,779 times
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Quote:

The Spirit Catches You and Then You Fall Down
by Anne Fadiman - Providing healthcare for people from other parts of the globe is more than calling for an interpreter.
[b]
+1 I wish every adult in the US would read this book.

Beyond the Beautiful Forevers: Life, death, and hope in a Mumbai undercity
by Katharine Boo - an account of life in a Mumbai slum. Despite the subtitle, I honestly thought it was a novel until the very end. Stunning. Some have criticized the author for her novelistic writing style but it really drove home the horrors of corruption and the divide between poverty and privilege.

All of Herman Hesse's novels but especially Steppenwolf. I came of age in the 60s but never tried LSD; Hesse's writings opened my doors of perception.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry I doubt a more soul-stirring parable/allegory/fable has ever been written in any language. I read it at least once a year.

These books shaped and solidified my spiritual belief; they've been around a long time, I own and have read them multiple times:
Our Many Selves by Elizabeth O'Connor
A Life of Jesus by Shusako Endo.

Last edited by biscuitmom; 07-30-2017 at 02:19 PM..
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Old 07-30-2017, 02:31 PM
 
11,124 posts, read 8,839,779 times
Reputation: 18219
Quote:
Originally Posted by westender View Post
The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes. Whether Jayne's hypotheses are right or wrong, this book was eye-opening when I read it during college. The conceptual nature of his argument and its introduction to me of evolutionary history as related to human experiential history were illuminating.
^^^ This was on my list but I had to cut it to keep the number at 5.

I read it when it was first published and am now listening to the audiobook. The narrator is outstanding and I am getting even more out of it than I did all those years ago.
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Old 08-06-2017, 05:01 AM
 
13,510 posts, read 15,376,085 times
Reputation: 37885
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonetlumiere View Post
....

Seven Storey Mountain and Siddhartha - Two very
different spritual quests. Taken together, I
came to realize we all have our unique paths to
walk and we should respect that others do as well...
Interesting choices. Merton became increasingly interested in Buddhism and Daoism in the years before his death, and wrote several books on Asia and Eastern Religion. One of the most interesting is a book of excerpts from the writings of the Daoist Chuang-Tzu, The Way of Chuang-Tzu with a preface by the Dalai Lama.
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