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Prashanth Gopalan

Founder & Curator, TEDxUW

TEDCRED 500+

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What's that one book, movie or work of the human imagination that will make a thinking person think more deeply?

I still remember reading Philip Pullman's Dark Materials trilogy at the age of 10, Jack Whyte's "A Dream of Eagles" septology at age 16, "God's Debris" by Scott Adams at age 19 and Dostoevsky's "Notes from Underground" at age 20.

These works changed the way I looked at things, and there was simply no going back. They gave me the the opportunity to experience a vision of something awe-inspiring in scope for the first time, knowing that it was vastly larger than myself. I remember that magical feeling I experienced reading these works, and knowing that great things were in store for me just waiting to be discovered.

Very few things I've read or watched have been able to evoke that sense of wonder and amazement in me since. I'd like your help changing that.

I'm looking for suggestions of works - books, essays, movies, poems, art, speeches etc - that have helped you experience a similar sense of wonder and delight - the highest expressions of a thinking mind.

I'm open to anything: Works of human thought and reflection that are grand in scope and sweeping in their narrative. Nuggets of philosophical reflection, contemplation and spiritual rumination that have helped us understand ourselves and the (in)humanity of others with more clarity. Works that are cathartic, illuminating or inspiring. Really any product of the human mind that would make a thinking person think more deeply, cohesively and understand.

I'm hoping that together, we'll be able to create a new selection of curated works of the human imagination that others can bookmark, use and follow in turn.

I look forward to your suggestions. Thanks in advance for all your support.

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    Nov 12 2012: Prashanth, there are numerous books with nuggets of wisdom. I have found the following books to be philosophical, spiritual and thought provoking.
    As a Man Thinketh by James Allen
    The story of my experiments with truth by M.K. Gandhi
    A New Earth: Awakening to your life's purpose by Eckhart Tolle
    Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

    I agree with Fritzie that 'who we are' ,'where we are in life' determines what we derive from a book.
    Poetry can be inspiring and intriguing as well.

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