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Old 04-16-2017, 08:15 AM
Location: St Simons Island, GA
23,120 posts, read 37,204,514 times
Reputation: 15576


Interestingly, I read them all when I was under 40. Maybe I just became more intractable after that birthday, or maybe just settled into a comfortable relationship with light fiction! Anyway...

1. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand - Read it at age 16; introduced me to the concept of the Virtue of Selfishness and a new idea of the role and responsibilities of the individual in society.

2. Sexual Personae by Camille Paglia - Read it at age 38; changed my way of looking at art, gender, nature and the human psyche. Life changer for me.

3. God: A Biography by Jack Miles - Read it at age 39; presented to me the idea of God as an entity with an ever-evolving personality and character (as documented in the Bible) and how it is projected onto our own consciousness. Changed my own relationship with God.

4. Lives of the Artists by Giorgio Vasari - Read it at age 17; inspired me to make a career choice that has followed me throughout my life.

5.The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster - Read it at age 8; awakened my love of language and its' playful nature, and helped hone my imagination. The most important book of my childhood.
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Old 04-16-2017, 01:21 PM
Status: "Tell your loved ones you love them." (set 9 days ago)
Location: Wonderland
54,474 posts, read 42,660,088 times
Reputation: 75951
Good topic!

Off the top of my head and not trying to impress anyone:

1. The New Testament - Wow, Jesus was more acerbic than we usually give Him credit for being. I've read it several times over my lifetime and every time, I get different things from it.
2. CS Lewis' Narnia series - Like the New Testament, I've read this series over and over again, starting at about age 5 and then probably once every five years for the rest of my life. In fact, I'm due to read it again! The imagery, the allegory, the beauty of the writing itself, the introspection into one's own character - these books are chock full of ideals and philosophical concepts for every age group
3. Ray Bradberry's Martian Chronicles - This book (and his other books) made me think outside the box, so to speak. I read this book first at about age 12 and then read his other books over the years. I think these books shaped my morality quite a bit and really encouraged me to broaden my own ideas of the dignity of ALL of creation, the glory and the pitfalls of intellectual abilities, seeing things from different perspectives, etc.
4. The Good Earth - by Pearl S Buck. What insight into human nature! What a window into the soul!
5. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. This book encouraged my political and sociological musings and opened my eyes to bureaucracy and man's attempts at every level to control the thoughts and actions of others.

Wow, there are many more but those are the first ones to jump out at me in answer to the question. Another one which nearly made the cut is To Kill A Mockingbird. While I wasn't raised in an environment of prejudice, this book did showcase heroic actions and attitudes to me.
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Old 04-16-2017, 04:58 PM
Location: In a George Strait Song
5,671 posts, read 4,184,293 times
Reputation: 8056
If you had asked my 5 favorite novels, this list would be different.

1. The Bible: Although I grew up listening to/following along with the "readings" in church, actually reading The Bible (preferably on a daily basis) is the one thing that measurably improves my life, my future, and my family, as it helps me to be a better person, a better parent, and a better disciple for Christ.

2. Entertaining by Martha Stewart: I grew up in a lovely home with a mother who was (and still is!) a good cook. But coming across this book as a young 20 something inspired me to become a good cook and opened me up to an interest in decorating, design, and home management. This book spurred me along from a party type sorority girl to a more mature young woman. Martha Stewart is no longer trendy today, yet I know very few cookbook authors who are as consistently excellent as she is.

3. My 11th grade American history textbook (title and author unknown): of course I knew about the American Revolution by this point, but this particular book brought this spirit of the American Revolution alive and developed in me a passion for this time in American history. The author managed to make clear how miraculous it was the the colonies won against England, and emphasized the unique and singular origin of the United States. Since then, I have come across many other histories of the revolution and its major participants, but without that first spark generated by this unknown history text, I would not have had the interest to pursue the other books.

4. Poems by Robert Frost: Specifically "The Road Not Taken".... is Frost being ironic? Is there really a difference in the paths, or would it not have made a difference which path he had taken? I am very fascinated by the idea of "what if I had done this instead"? which is the "Sliding Doors" concept....but no one does it like Frost.

5. The Creature from Jeckyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve by G. Edward Griffin: Why the world is in the mess it's in; why Washington D.C. is "dysfunctional" (actually they're doing what they are paid to do); the perversion of the U.S. founding principles; how the 1% really do "rule" the world.
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Old 04-17-2017, 08:57 PM
Location: TOVCCA
8,452 posts, read 12,537,709 times
Reputation: 12414
Aesop's Fables by Aesop
Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
The Population Bomb by Paul R. Ehrlich
Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships by Eric Berne
The Religions of Man by Huston Smith
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Old 04-20-2017, 11:29 AM
Location: Parkville, MO
85 posts, read 121,834 times
Reputation: 127
I've only got 4:

Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World - Rita Golden Gelman

The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver

Why Do I Love These People? Honest and Amazing Storiesof Real Families – Bo Pronson

The Devil's Highway: A True Story - Luis Alberto Urrea

Last edited by catzkc; 04-20-2017 at 11:41 AM.. Reason: formatting
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Old 04-20-2017, 12:38 PM
Location: Wisconsin
2,890 posts, read 2,000,833 times
Reputation: 9505
Lessons in Truth by H. Emilie Cady
This was the first book I ever read that taught, in a succinct way, how to use the law of attraction to manifest greater abundance in my life. It literally changed my life, not just philosophically, but in every way. I truly believe that without this book, I would not be where I am now.

Chop Wood, Carry Water by Rick Field et al.
A compilation of spiritual teachings from diverse paths. This book marked the beginning of my journey on my personal spiritual path. I was fairly young when I read this, and came from a pretty homogeneous background, and it was just so eye-opening and liberating to know that (unlike how it had seemed in my tiny hometown) not everyone thought exactly the same way about everything.

The Secret Language of Waking Dreams by Mike Avery
I picked this off a library shelf at random--or was it truly random? This book taught me so much about how to view in a totally different way those seemingly random and oddball occurrences that happen every now and then. It taught me to interpret these events as significant messages similar to those in our nighttime dreams. It changed forever how I look at everyday life and my life has become much richer for it.

Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives by Michael Newton, Ph.D.
This was the first book I had ever read about what happens after physical death that instantly made perfect sense to me. It was confirmation of everything I had felt but didn't know how to put into words.

Shamanism as a Spiritual Practice for Daily Life by Tom Cowan
At a time when I was seeking to find a spiritual path that worked for me, this book came along and I found my true path.
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Old 04-20-2017, 07:10 PM
Location: East Coast
3,863 posts, read 2,409,865 times
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Hmm -- well, these are some books that really stuck with me and made me understand things in a new way. I couldn't limit it to 5, so I chose these 6.

The Shia Revival ( https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...7-shia-revival ) about conflicts within Islam and the differences between the Sunni and Shia.

The Nine Parts of Desire ( https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...om_search=true ) Also about Islam, but about women's role within it. Yet another example of how religions are interpreted to oppress women.

The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. Totally changed the way I think about our food system and somewhat changed the way I eat and shop for food.

The Looming Tower - about the origins of 9/11.

Enrique's Journey - about a Honduran boy who travels to the U.S. to find his mother. It describes the extremely dangerous and harrowing journey that even children take through Mexico to get to the United States. As relevant as ever.

Bitter Fruit (Kinzer and Schlesinger) - About the U.S. backed coup in Guatemala in 1954. The U.S. has caused such great harm in the world.
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Old 04-21-2017, 11:46 AM
21,544 posts, read 5,558,077 times
Reputation: 7646
1.The Bible
2. Dave Ramsey Books...I have read several....i dont know how many.
3. Claytie:The Roller-Coaster Life of a Texas Wildcatter-This book helped me decide on a career.
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Old 04-22-2017, 06:27 AM
Location: Southern California
212 posts, read 155,017 times
Reputation: 735
1. The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
2. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
3. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
4. The Naked Ape by Desmond Morris
5. Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity and the Women Who Made American Modern by Joshua Zeitz

Bonus: Sex with Kings by Eleanor Herman
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Old 04-22-2017, 06:58 AM
Location: St Simons Island, GA
23,120 posts, read 37,204,514 times
Reputation: 15576
Starting this thread has yielded better results than I could have anticipated. Many I've read; many I haven't, so I'm making a list!
Thank you all so much.
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