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Which books have inspired you the most?

There are millions of books but there only a few that could really inspire you

  • Nov 17 2011: Where to begin? Everybook, biographry, philosophical treatise, scientific theory or work of literatrure that I've had the fortune of reading has touched me in a different way. Nevetheless, the following works quickly come to mind:

    Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson - Mitch Albom (Inspirational)
    South of the Border, West of the Sun - Haruki Murakami (Ethereal)
    Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology - Neil Postman (Prophetic)
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    Nov 27 2011: Dear Tarek,

    Of the innumerable books that I have read over the years I mention just a few, including the year of publication (is also when I read it) and what it meant to me at that time.

    01.Thea Beckman – Kruistocht in spijkerbroek (1976) (Eng: Crusade in Jeans)
    (Loved the time-travel in history and a close-up on religion)
    02.James Mitchener – Chesapeake Bay (1978)
    (Was mesmerized by the research done and the magic of words to vividly visualize a possible history)
    03.James Clavell – Shogun (1979)
    (Loved the insight in a totally different culture. Read it in 4 days despite being in the middle of my exams)
    04. Anaïs Nin – Erotica (1979)
    (Eye-opener on sexuality)
    05.David Yallop – In God’s Name (1984)
    (Eye-opener on religion, politics and power)
    06. The Norton Reader (1984)
    The Anthology of English Literature &The Norton Anthology of American Literature (1986)
    (A cornucopia of fabulous classics and essays)
    07.Cynthia McLeod – Hoe duur was de suiker (1987) (Eng: The cost of sugar)
    (At last, another view on Surinamese history)
    08.Tony Buzan – Make the most of your mind (1988)
    (Mind mapping brought some structure and calmness to the chaos of information in my head)
    09.James Allen – As a Man Thinketh (1989)
    (Much needed food for the soul)
    10.Gavin de Becker – The gift of fear (1997)
    (Understanding that a fear can be a gift and how to deal with it was mind-shifting)
    11.Neale Donald Walsch – Conversations with God (1997)
    (Brought peace of mind to my thoughts on religions and life)
    12.Shiv Khera – You Can Win (1999)
    (Loved the examples from everyday life in application in business and life in general)
    13.John Taylor Gatto – Dumbing us down (2005)
    (Great view on public education)
    14.Carolien Roodvoets – Niemandskinderen (2009) (Eng: Nobody’s children)
    (The insight was further helpful in dealing with the consequences of an unsafe youth –my own and other’s- and coming to terms with it)

    Regards,
    Astra
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    Nov 20 2011: Open book of mother nature.
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    Nov 14 2011: The Prophet - Kahlil Gibran.
    The Hero with 1000 Faces - Joseph Campbell.
    Numerous Poetry Anthologies.
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      Nov 15 2011: QUOTE: "The Hero with 1000 Faces - Joseph Campbell."

      Scott, I hadn't seen your post and was going to include Campbell's 1000 Faces on my list but one of our employees came in for a meeting (darn work interfering with the fun stuff!)
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        Nov 15 2011: In an age dominated by rational thought, there's something beautiful about common images and archetypes manifesting themselves seemingly because they are some kind of lance to a psychic boil.

        People will grow in spite of themselves.

        I found it a fascinating read and it gave me another way of viewing life. Not as much pin-point certainty as 'science' but just as satisfying.
  • Nov 26 2011: There are quite a few books that have inspired me but more recently its:

    1. Curfewed Night: A Frontline Memoir of Life, Love and War in Kashmir by Basharat Peer

    2. Orientalism by Edward Said

    3. Myth of Independence by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
  • Nov 25 2011: horton hears a who - Dr. Zuess
    Mein Kampff - Adolf Hitler
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    Nov 25 2011: In tune with the Infinite- Ralph Waldo Trine
    To kill a mockingbird- Harper Lee
    The pillars of the earth- Ken Follett
    As a man thinketh- James Allen

    Books I come back to over and over
  • Nov 24 2011: SHOGUN, James Clavell

    This book has definitely opened a new side in my point of view of life,
    A very enchanting and ancient one i must say.
    This book i think also made me more understanding and accepting for other cultures.
    Right, it's 1000 pages novel... But when it's about to end.. U WISH FOR A 1000 MORE!
  • Nov 22 2011: The Bible... Disregarding the veracity or lack thereof, it has taught me more than any other book. (I'm not religious, so save any harsh words.)

    Crack open Proverbs or Ecclesiastes for a wealth of wisdom, insight, (and depression).
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    Nov 19 2011: "Man searching for meaning" by Dr Frankl - very inspiring, help me to regain focus everytime when time goes bad, when i starting to lose hope in difficult situations. Realizing a lot of the bad emotions and bad feelings are self induced. Knowing your meaning for the situations and for your path, then the rest is just solving it.

    " A brief history of time" by Stephen Hawking - just sometime i love - sometime that i always get fascinated by.
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      Nov 22 2011: Man's Search for Meaning is truly inspirational! I feel it must be made a must read in all schools and colleges. It has a genuine message of hope even in the direst and worst of human circumstances ( Holocaust).
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    Nov 19 2011: Like the book Black Coffee by Agatha Christie which have lots of actions,speculations, is not effective on me.on the other hand Improbable by Adam Fawer inspired me so much.Before reading I believe quantum theory and I researched about it then I read and I couldn't believe how did Adam Fawer write this book perfectly? How did he fictionalize these events with Quantum Theory and Laplace's demon..I read it 3 times and I am stiil inspired.
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    Nov 19 2011: The Alchemist
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    Nov 19 2011: Hot, Flat, and Crowded. Friedman brings a laundry list of observations and solutions about today's big issues. It gets you thinking in a different way, which is what we all need to start doing.
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    Nov 19 2011: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

    It taught me that I am not alone in my fears of what mankind could become. That and I very much relate to John the savage
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    Nov 18 2011: My favourite book is One Hundred Years of Solitude, from Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
    This book tells the history of several generations of a family whose patriarch founds a city in order to live a better life.

    But the best part is its end, where the author deciphers the whole history in just two or three paragraphs!

    Another great book is Black Swan, from Nicholas Nassim Taleb.

    Both books are extraordinary!!!
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    Nov 18 2011: Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl.

    In the book, he explains that even in direst of circumstances that humans can be put in (Nazi Concentration Camp), if its possible for one man to find meaning, its possible for all. I find a genuine message of hope, action and meaning in his book. And the book completely changed the way I look at my life, and the life of others.

    Which is the book that you find most inspiring?
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    Nov 18 2011: Richard Dawkins The Selfish Gene is a wonderful book for grasping the nature of biology
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      Nov 18 2011: True, Selfish Gene is one of the best books ever regarding the understanding of the basic principles of life and man.
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    Nov 18 2011: The book marcus aurelius meditation have inspired me so deeply.his attitudes on life,death and time are brilliant.
    • Nov 25 2011: me too. after I have read Sophie's world. the second book it is this one.in philosophy and everything gives me a lot
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    Nov 17 2011: I like dystopias, like "Brave new world" by Aldous Huxley, or "1984" by George Orwell or "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury. These are novels that make you think a little... but actually the books that have most inspired me were "Walden" by Henry David Thoreau, "Walden 2" by B. F. Skinner and "Karamazov Brothers" by Fiódor Dostoyevski.

    Have a good reading!
  • Nov 16 2011: East of Eden by John Steinbeck. The very old Chinese scholars who took up the study of the Hebrew (?) language in order to understand the biblical story of Cain and Abel.
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    Nov 16 2011: Among many others: Martin Buber's "I and Thou", Joseph Campbell's "Hero with a Thousand Faces", Bill Plotkin's "Soulcraft", and David Whyte's poetry collection "The House of Belonging".
  • Nov 16 2011: Ayn Rand - The Fountainhead

    John Taylor Gatto - Weapons of Mass Instruction

    Jostein Gaarder - Sophie's World

    J.D. Salinger - The Catcher in the Rye

    The Prophet

    Greg Mortenson - Three Cups of Tea
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      Nov 21 2011: I think I'll give a try to Gatto and Mortenson. Catching titles :)
      • Nov 21 2011: You won't be disappointed Alice! Gatto changed my whole outlook on the education system, and Mortenson has shown a better way of tackling terrorism from the ground up with schools instead of bombs.
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          Nov 24 2011: I noticed in your profile that you work as a teacher as well, it's right your domain! I took note of the titles and authors and put them in my list of future readings. I like new points of views and ideas in this field, I think it is the basis to start from to change everything askew in the world :)
    • Nov 25 2011: Jostein Gaarder - Sophie's World
      this book opend the interesting of philosophy for me :)
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    Nov 15 2011: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote introduced a fear of being alone at home in the country when I hadn't been afraid before. Children the Challenge by Rudolf Dreikurs made me a good mother . . . I think.
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    Dec 13 2011: Hello Tarek, here are some of them:

    Illusions - Richard Bach
    Demian - Herman Hesse
    Canek - Ermilo Abreu Gomez
    Billions and Billions - Carl Sagan
    Understanding Power - Noam Chomsky
    A People's History of the United States - Howard Zinn
    Adam's Fallacy - Duncan K. Foley
    Mutual Aid - Peter Kropotkin
    ...

    (the list is loooong....)
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    Dec 13 2011: Powers of Ten, About the Relative Size of Things in the Universe by Morrison and Morrison
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    Dec 13 2011: Z.

    but I became depressed till now .....
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    Nov 29 2011: The King James Bible.
  • Nov 28 2011: My family and other animals. by Gerald Durrell.

    absolute delight. If you want to feel happy read this
  • Nov 27 2011: My short list:

    War and Peace.
    I picked it up when I was a very, very young girl, so young I couldn't understand too much of the language. At first I was frustrated, but then I made it my goal to learn enough so when I grew older, I could understand the words and situations represented in the novel. Now that I am older, I haven't read it, but it inspired me in a sense, more than reading it could have.

    The Bible.
    Now, when reading it, I did not literally interpret the stories as things that actually happened in history. I thought I was a wonderful compilation of fiction meant to entertain my young mind while teaching me simple morals to live by. I thought it was amazing, and growing up coming to the realization that some actually believe these things happened, the amazingness never ceased, but it helped explain a lot about human nature.


    The Origin of Consciousness and the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind
    I bought this book of a whim; I saw it in between two books I knew I'd hate and instantly felt like I had to save it from its initial resting place. I don't regret buying it one bit. It introduced to me a new way of looking at a past no one is old enough to have anything but theories about. I view this book as the one thing that introduced me to the study of the mind-an interest I was almost searching for in order to validate its need to exist in my life.

    Edit:

    Ender's Game.
    I just looked down the list and remembered this book. It changed the way I viewed novels when I was a child. Something about the story hit home for me, maybe the indirect pressure and importance a child does not realize that society tries to place on them due to their potential. Its exhausting.

    There was also a book of logic puzzles I used to mull over, something I stole from my bookshelf. Again, I was too young to correctly answer at least 50-75 percent of them, but first learning the answer and then challenging myself to figure out how it was reached was pretty cool.
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    Nov 27 2011: Book on Steve Jobs-"Inside Steve's Brain" has inspired me most...his obsession of perfection and challenging the tradition and making unusual vision true...oh gosh he is the smartest person till now in business world...and now i am reading "coming jobs of war" by Jim Clifton...that is more amazing book...i strongly recommend all entrepreneurs and explorer and also to those who love to see weirdest things happening around them.
  • Nov 25 2011: enders game - orson scot card
    The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • Nov 24 2011: Steppenwolf, Herman Hesse
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    Nov 24 2011: My #1 choice would have to be "Chaos" by James Gleick. It made me look at the whole world in a new way, as well as re-awakened my interest in mathematics and computation.
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    Nov 24 2011: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life - Brian Tracy
    The Simple Secrets For Becoming Healthy Wealthy and Wise - David Niven
    My Big Idea - Rachel Bridge

    Etc
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    Nov 24 2011: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. A good self-help book which helps me dealing with people in my social-life.
  • Nov 24 2011: Totto Chan: The Little Girl at the Window. Tetsuko Kuroyanagi

    Experience and Education. John Dewey

    Mindfulness. Ellen Langer
    • Nov 24 2011: Totto Chan: The Little Girl at the Window. Tetsuko Kuroyanagi
      this book is great. I much enjoyed it when reading. the way how to educate the kids. showed their nature stuffs.
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    Nov 23 2011: Gut Check-Tarek Saab
    The tipping point- Malcolm Gladwell
    Outliers: Malcolm Gladwell
    Blink: Malcolm Gladwell
    Predictably Irrational: Dan Ariely
    The upside of irrationality- Dan Ariely
    Oedipus the King
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    Nov 23 2011: This book deeply influenced me a lot:
    "Myself and Other More Important Matters"
    by Charles Handy

    In this book Handy had a honest reflection on life, work and business.
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    Nov 23 2011: Also sprach Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche
    La Chute by Albert Camus
    El Aleph by Jorge Luis Borges
    The art of war by Sun Tzu
    The Odyssey by Homer
    Der Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
    Lord of the rings and the hobbit by JRR Tolkien
    The Golden Apples of the Sun by Ray Bradbury
    El corazon de piedra verde by Salvador de Madariaga
    El obsceno pajaro de la noche by Jose Donoso
    A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
    Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke
    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
    Historias de cronopios y de famas by Julio Cortazar
    Sobre heroes y tumbas by Ernesto Sabato

    I will stop now…
    I got exited and wrote many names. Refreshing exorcise and interesting that I read almost all these books as a teen.
    With the exception of El obsceno pajaro de la noche. More resent books (even books I liked a lot) don’t evoke such strong memories/emotions.

    Thank you for making me remember all this.

    Regards!

    JB
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    Nov 22 2011: The Foundation by Isaac Asimov. This series is the basis for my big plan.
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    Nov 22 2011: a walk to remember- nicholas sparks
    gone with the wind-margaret mitchell
    little women- louisa may alcott
    the adventures of huckleberry finn-mark twain
    i'll be there-forgot the author
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    Nov 22 2011: Number One The Biblie in his differents version (OT & NT).

    United States of Banana - Giannina Braschi (spanish)
    La Nueva Novela Latinoamericana - Carlos Fuentes (spanish)
    The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism - Naomi Klein
    The End of History and the Last Man - Francis Fukuyama
    The Knight in Rusty Armor - Robert Fisher (spanish)
    Conspirators Hierarchy: The Story of the Committee of 300 - John Coleman (spanish)
    Emotional Intelligence - Daniel Goleman (spanish)
    Quantum computation and quantum information - Michael A. Nielsen, Isaac L. Chuang
    Thinking in complexity: the computational dynamics of matter, mind and mankind - Klaus Mainzer
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    Nov 22 2011: Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene and The God Delusion. The former inspired my studies to take a whole new orientation towards biology.
    • Comment deleted

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        Nov 28 2011: No problem. The God Delusion is the one book about religion he wrote so probably yes. I still need to watch that debate at some point.
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    Nov 22 2011: Sex At Dawn: The prehistoric origins of modern sexuality
  • Nov 22 2011: The Chalice and the Blade
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    Nov 22 2011: The sound and the fury, The comedians, East of Eden, The dance of Genghis Cohen
  • Nov 22 2011: rich dad poor dad
    capitalism - ayn rand
    ham on rye - Charlie b
    cat's cradle- Vonnegut
    hot commodities - Jim Rogers
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    Nov 22 2011: the humanure handbook, the omnivores dilemma, anything by joel salatin, one man's wilderness, and alaska's wolf man.
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    Nov 22 2011: .
    The Prince - Niccolo Machivalle. Awesome insights, useful for anyone in any era.
    The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Stephen Covey. "Seek first to understand, then to be understood" (wow!)

    Also, even though I am not really a religious person, I find it odd that in 100 comments, no one has mentioned the Bible (or any holy book that I could see). So, given that I have read it, and that it was inspiring in many ways, here you go:

    The Bible
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    Nov 22 2011: -Freakonomics, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
    -Triste Trophique, Claude Levi-Strauss
    -On Writing, Stephen King
    -Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger
    -Cosmicomics, Roald Dahl
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    Nov 22 2011: Some life-changers from my formative years,
    "Religion without Revelation" by Julian Huxley, 1957. Timeless wisdom.
    Rachel Carson's books of the sea: "The Sea Around Us" and "The Edge of the Sea" from the 1950s. Inspiring.
    Theodor Rosebury's "Life on Man," the 1960s, classic about the microscopic and bacterial world.
    and "The Uses of the Past" by Herbert Muller, 1950s, which triggered my interest in history. Still a great book.
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    Nov 22 2011: Pooh's Little Instruction Book, by A. A. MilneFavorite quote from the book, "A little consideration, a little Thought for Others makes all the difference.
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    Nov 22 2011: James Redfield: The Celestine Prophecy is a wonderful book, so inspiring! It bring me to understand a lot of aspects of life not visible and visible to our eyes. I am sure that everyone who will read this book will not stay indifferent. After reading this book i became aware of many different life situations and now i know that a real life starts when you become conscious about it.
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    Nov 22 2011: 《Chinese Poetic>
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    Nov 22 2011: Sons and Lovers, D H Lawrence
    London Fields, Martin Amis
    Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
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    Nov 22 2011: I read "El Tunel" by Ernesto Sabato when I was thirteen years old, the reason I loved it and why it influenced me so much is that at that young age it was the first time I felt treated like an adult, the author confided in me all of the secrets that were in the mind of Juan Pablo Castel, the protagonist; I got a glimpse of what life and love could be in my future and it felt...exciting. I am now 25 years old and though my adulthood didn't exactly turned out like Juan Pablo's (thank God on restrospect) I still treasure the importance of being shown respect as a reader.
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    Nov 22 2011: King Solomon's mine by H.Rider Haggard
  • Nov 21 2011: Cybernetics and Society:The Human Use of Human Beings by Norbert Weiner
    Zen and the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel
    Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
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    Nov 21 2011: just finished Island by Aldous Huxley, it was such a breath of fresh air.
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    Nov 21 2011: Brave new world - Aldous Huxley
    Huis Clos - Jean Paul Sartre
    L'étranger - Albert Camus
    1984 - George Orwell
    One, No one and One Hundred Thousand - Luigi Pirandello
    The Gospel According to Jesus Christ - José Saramago
  • Nov 21 2011: ...These made me the person I am today.

    The Awakening- Kate Chopin
    1984- George Orwell
    Cat's Cradle- Kurt Vonnegut
    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas- Hunter S. Thompson
    Journals of the 50's and 60's- Allen Ginsberg
    Breakfast at Tiffany's- Truman Capote
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    Nov 21 2011: hard one...
    Non fiction:
    I always tend to say "Probability Theory, the logic of science" by E.T. Jayness... but I would recommend other books to others.
    Wittgenstein's "Tractatus logico philosophicus"
    my first animal encyclopedia and children's bible probably influenced me a lot.
    A lot of manuals and books from college as well

    As for fiction:
    L'étranger (Camus) is amazing (and one of the best existentialist books)
    Lord of the Rings drew me into fantasy role playing, games,...
    The brothers karamazov
  • Nov 21 2011: champak and niranjan the first two books i started inspiring from my child hood
  • Nov 21 2011: champak
  • Nov 21 2011: Beyond good and evil :)
  • Nov 21 2011: Jane Eyre
    is the book that inspired me most.Although she is an ordinary girl, but she is courage enough to express her own feelings and dreams, which made a great impression on me,and tlod me that never stop pursuing your dream.
  • Nov 21 2011: A Course In Miracles
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    Nov 21 2011: Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell of Seal Team 10
  • Nov 21 2011: I may have inadvertently sent in a partial list earlier so I will make a second stab at responding to the query now.

    These are books that I've read over past fifty or so years, not necessarily in the order listed, that gave me pause to consider the world I'm inhabiting and those who share it with me. I came by some by chance, the others as assigned reading and still others on a whim just because I was aware of the authors. There are many others, of course, but these are the ones that stirred my curiosity or caused me to rethink some previous notions I might not otherwise have questioned or given much thought to.

    "All Quiet On the Western Front" Remarque
    "Johnny Got His Gun" Trumbo
    "Man's Search for Meaning" Frankl
    "Atlas Shrugged" Rand
    "Clarence Darrow for the Defense" I.F. Stone
    "The Onion Field" Wambaugh
    "Helter Skelter" Bugliosi
    "North from Mexico" McWilliams
    "The Grapes of Wrath" Steinbeck
    "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" Brown
    "We Were Soldiers..." Galloway & Moore
    "Burro Genius" Villasenor"
    "Outliers" Gladwell
    "Incognito" Eagleman
    • Nov 21 2011: amazing u read all this books thats incredible
    • Nov 21 2011: Have always appreciated Trumbos' Johnny got his gun and Dee Brown's Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee is one of the few History's of America young people get to readat the grade school level. and it should awaken curious minds to question what is the "Losers" side of history since it is seldom what is told.

      Other great stoies are Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing and Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer.
      • Nov 22 2011: In the same vein as "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" is Howard Zinn's "People's History of the United States." It begins with Columbus' initial contact with the indigenous people. I'm in the process of reading it now. It seems to be well sourced. I'm going to check out "Endurance". Thanks for the suggestion.
  • Nov 21 2011: Memories, Dreams, Reflections. Carl Jung. Read the Amazon reviews.

    http://www.amazon.com/Memories-Dreams-Reflections-C-G-Jung/dp/0679723951
  • Nov 20 2011: the book i really loved when i was young was "The God Father" by Mario Puzo. may it was taste of young when i was just 18. but later i started to discover more books and read a lot. some of the books are mentioned above and some of them i have to try. the book really i liked and recommend are 'My Experience of truth' an autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi, "An autobiography of Yogi', " Arresting God in Kathamandu" by Samrat Upadhaya (Short collection of Stories), "The White Tiger" by Diamond Shamsher Rana, "Room to Read', it is written by John Wood (VP marketing Department of Microsoft), he quit his job and initiated to open school in rural area of Nepal, Cambodia, India, and some African nations.
    One should read a book as it gives good feelings. Thank you.
  • Nov 20 2011: As a writer and poet there are so many books that have influenced me, as a person there is another seperate list of books. Here are a few:
    Let the great world spin by Colum McCann
    Walden by Thoreau
    Leaves of grass by Whitman
    The last day of a condemned man by Hugo
    Seeing, Death at intervals, Blindness, The double by Saramago
    Tao Te Ching by Lao Tsu
    The long walk, The running man by Stephen King
    Pride and prejudice by Jane Austen
    Great expectations by Charles Dickens
    A midsummer nights dream by Shakespear
    Into the wild by Jon Krakaeur
    Then theres Voltaire, Cicero, Statre, Plato
  • Nov 20 2011: The Naked Ape by Desmond Morris, The Selfish Gene and The Extended Phenotype by Richard Dawkins, and Wonderful Life by Stephen Jay Gould are books I would recommend if you like biology.
  • Nov 20 2011: How Starbucks Saved my Life
    Outliers
    A New Earth
    The 4 Agreements
    Unbroken
    Eat, Pray, Love
    Onward
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    Nov 19 2011: "Start with Why" by Simon Sinek. This book completely changed the way I thought of the world and the way i operated in it.

    "Stumbling Happiness" by Daniel Gilbert. An excellent book about happiness

    "Tuesday with Morie" and "For one more day" by Mitch Albom. These books will change your lives as it changed mine. Often times as we grow up, we run away from our childhood community, our childhood friends, and yes, our parents for the outside world of opportunities because we think we can find happiness there. But the truth is we are running away from the most important sources of happiness.
  • Nov 19 2011: if this is a man/ the truce - primo levi
    a new earth - eckhart tolle
    • Comment deleted

      • Nov 25 2011: "The Power of Now'"
        inspired me. and did some change with myself for my own life.
      • Comment deleted

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    Nov 19 2011: Without a doubt I think books like Aldus Huxley's _Island_, Daniel Suarez's _Freedom(tm)_, and Eileen's Workman's _Sacred Economics_ ( http://www.sacredeconomics.com ) have the ability to not just inspire, but improve our future world. Two of the most inspirational books I've read were _Frogs Into Princes_ and _Tranceformations_ by Richard Bandler and John Grinder. A review of the latest book matches my feelings exactly about recent developments along these lines http://realpeoplepress.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/steve-andreas-nlp-book-review-of-get-the-life-you-want.pdf .
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    Nov 19 2011: "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger and "Mémoirs d'une jeune fille rangée" by Simone de Beauvoir deeply affected my girlhood and the way I conceive life and reality. Some images, words, concepts and feelings are simply part of myself.

    "The Razor's Edge" is a new addition of the past few years. I really agree with Maugham's depiction of anyone's search for happyness: people don't want what they say they want, but what they purposefully try to gain.
  • Nov 19 2011: Stranger in a Strange Land....and only by reading it will you understand why. It also, strangely, relates to what TED is. The circle starts perhaps...
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    Nov 18 2011: I've read a lot of terrific books. Fantasy, historical fiction, simply whimsical fantasy, classics, biographies. I'm reading Watership Down at the moment (for the first time-I can't believe I haven't discovered this book before), and I've read amazing books that bedazzled me.

    But for some reason, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (yes, it's a little below my level. Wait a moment, you don't know how old I am. So don't judge me ._.). It taught me the meaning of happiness...and where to find good fortune.
  • Nov 18 2011: I must admit I have not read many books; perhaps not enough to rightfully judge and pick one that truly has an impact on the reader. However, to tell the truth, there has been one that particularly excited interest in me, and that was The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. On this book, I have heard 2 different opinions:
    One: Absolute disgust by the weirdly simple plot, misty dialogues and a "wanna-be-alternative" point.
    Two: Amazement and fascination by the gradual development of the story and its characters, by the beauty of the simplicity and by the ingenious outcome.
    I leave it upon you, which of these opinions you want to take up, but The Alchemist definitely is a book worth reading. It is different than most of the contemporary modern literature, different than the old classics form the past, but I believe it has the spirit a good book shouldnt lack.
    • Nov 18 2011: The Alchemist was one of the greatest books I've had the pleasure of reading, it told a story of the human condition and the outside forces that push and pull us through life. I recommend this book to anyone ready to understand an insightful view on the human psyche.
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    Nov 18 2011: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 'Half of the Yellow Sun'. Great book about ethnic allegiances, about class and race, about end of colonialism and more....
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    Nov 18 2011: In previous questions just like this I shared my early inspirations and so as not to be redundant I will share a few more recent ones.

    In the last few years 'Freakenomics' and 'Deadly Spin' made a huge impact on me.One of the best ever for helping equip my kids was 'The dictionary of Cultural Literacy" by E.D. Hirsch.
  • Nov 18 2011: " Way of Peaceful Warrior" is the book that could change the way you live your lives. The book gives many life lessons, one of them I found the most intriguing is: "There is no ordinary moment". Every moment in life is precious and we should treasure every single moment of it.
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    Nov 18 2011: Christopher Hitchens book "God is not great" is really fascinating since he debunks many conflicts through history up to date, where religion has played a vital role in distorting the truth behind so many layers of communication leading to battle.
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    Nov 18 2011: Aristoteles work with language of Syllogisms; after I learned this I empowered a great tool for assessing logical truth behind every argument and it comes in really handy since Im about to become a scientist and writing.
  • Nov 16 2011: In 1974 I read "EarthWalk" by Philip Slater. The patterns of social develop ment presented in that book allowed me to foresee the development of epigenetics in 1980, log before it was popularized.
  • Nov 16 2011: check out
    'stay hungry stay foolish' by rashmi bansal
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    Nov 16 2011: pretty tough question
    0.MYSELF
    1.life.after.theory(Moi,Derrida et al)
    2.the waves(V.Woolf)
    3.as I lay dying(Faulkner)
    4.Poe's works
    5.mythologies(Barthes)
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    Nov 16 2011: 'The Four Hour Work Week' by Tim Ferris. In keeping with the title of the book Tim gives a blue print for escaping from the shackles of Work. However, it is easy to miss the whole point and purpose of the book which is the importance of building a life that excites us. Tim calls this Lifestyle planning. In our society and culture many of us have no life beyond our work, this book urges us to live life and relegate work to the minimum time and effort required to liberate ourselves.
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    Nov 16 2011: Ferreira de Castro - THE FOREST

    Sapolsky - A PRIMATE'S MEMOIR

    Diderot - JACQUES THE FATALIST AND HIS MASTER
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    Nov 16 2011: One that comes to mind from nearly four decades ago is Bateson's Steps to an Ecology of Mind. I no longer remember what it was about, but I remember switching my career direction after a friend gave it to me to read.

    Another from a little earlier was called Jane Adams of Hull House. I don't remember the author. It created for me an appealing picture of what a determined person can do to serve.

    I loved Hesse's Magister Ludi for its picture of a society based on the thematic integration of knowledge but also what was missing..

    I also like Rachel Naomi Remens for the heart in her work and writing..
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    Nov 15 2011: Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov - Except for the first three sentences, I read it in silence, coping with its profanity, in private. I noticed that the writer accessed my humanity much more intimately this way.
  • Nov 15 2011: The Shawshank Redemption
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    Nov 15 2011: 1) Gilles Lipovetsky - Hypermodern Times and The Era of Emptiness (both exploit how our lives have changed in the context of the hypermodern era; best book of its kind since Foucault's Discipline and Punish: Birth of a Prison)
    2) Erich Fromm - To Have or To Be (philosophical discourse on choices that an individual makes)
    3) Mikhail Bulgakov - Heart of a Dog (political satire of the Soviet Union)
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    Nov 15 2011: There are many books that inspired me. Lately two books made good impact on me- 1) Slumdog millionaire (by Vikas Swarup) and 2) The White Tiger (by Arvind Adiga). I would recommend those two books if anyone like to know actual situation, mainly, of post-"liberalized" India (since 1991).
    The movie "slumdog millionaire" is very mediocre (even in Bollywood standard) movie to me, but the book is excellent.
    The other book that impacted me in recent time is "Heraclitean Fire: Sketches from a Life Before Nature" by famous biologist, Erwin Chargaff. I would recommend that book to anyone who is or want to pursue higher studies in biology in USA.
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    Nov 15 2011: Inspired me to do what?

    The Dog Who Wouldn't Be (by Farley Mowat); The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings inspired me to read in general (I'm dyslexic and reading is hard but those books made me realize it is worth the effort.)

    Other books have inspired me in different ways:

    The Prophet by Khalil Gibran (for sheer beauty!)

    I Am Right You Are Wrong by Edward de Bono (learning about thinking.)
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      Nov 15 2011: "The Prophet" would top my list but not for its beauty only.

      Then at the time "Seth Speaks" from Jane Robberts gave a lot of recognition.

      Further some books written by C.G. Jung but that's a long time ago: almost 40 years now.
      The titles I can't remember anymore and it was in Dutch anyway.
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        Nov 15 2011: Maybe you read "Psychology of the Unconscious" or "Psychological Types" they are well know books by Jung. "Man and His Symbols" might have also been one of the books you read although it was not written by him alone but with four or five associates ... it is popular. (I think he started it and died before it was finished so some of his colleagues finished it; each one writing a section. But I'm not sure about that.)
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          Nov 17 2011: I think it was: “Archetypes”, “Synchronicity “, “Psychology and Religion”, “Memories, Dreams, Reflections”.

          Before this reading I denied everything that wasn't rational. I wasn't interested in literature only in popular science. His work let me discover an unknown realm of human experience, the value of feeling and stories. It revealed an inner world that I had never contacted before but at the same time ruled my life in every aspect.
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      Nov 15 2011: Hi Thomas. Edward DeBono's book had a profound influence on my teaching, counseling, and thinking. It seems like it has been 15 or 20 year or so since I read it but I still use adaptations of some of his metaphors. My son and I had great fun with his lateral thinking puzzles. I rarely hear his name mentioned or see references to his work in recent works on the nature of thought. Is there a reason his work has not had a greater influence on mainstream thinking?
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        Nov 15 2011: QUOTE: "I rarely hear his name mentioned or see references to his work in recent works on the nature of thought. Is there a reason his work has not had a greater influence on mainstream thinking?"

        Hi Bob,

        I can only speculate but, I do know some academics, in fields related to de Bono's, think he "cashed in" and pursued the commercial side of cognitive science and research ... essentially some assert he is just trying to "sell" his material to as many people as possible.

        I think he is "one of those guys" whose work is so seminal it becomes the foundation of much of what comes after; and people do not mention him because they want to draw attention to the work they are doing themselves. I do not think ignoring him is conscious anymore than it is when people talk about "paradigm shifts" and they rarely mention Thomas Kuhn and "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions."

        At one point de Bono was the most cited man on the internet. I don't know if that is still true (probably not.)

        His work is being used all over the world. It is taught here in China.

        I first read him back in the late 80s or early 90s.

        Recently, I read and re-read some of his work and it's still very good.

        I think one reason he might not be referenced by other mainstream authors is his style is so, seemingly, unsophisticated (octopuses that like music! Six Thinking Hats! and so on) that it would be embarrassing for serious academics to quote it.

        But his writing changes the way we think. That's powerful.

        I think he knows what he is doing.
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          Nov 17 2011: I've never heard of De Bono but on my PC I've some listening books from his work.
          As I started to listen a few weeks ago he started to tell how what I thought and how and which had no correlation with my way of thinking. So I thought it wasn't meant for me and switched to something else.

          Maybe it is as with humor, you need to belong to a certain timeframe, language and cultural background to understand the fun it contains.
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        Nov 17 2011: Hi Frans,

        I understand your feeling. If I may be a little bit blunt: I find reading de Bono usually pis... ah... upsets me considerably.

        His writing style is almost flippant, offhand, and seemingly simplistic, and maybe even random (which it sometimes is - by his own admission.)

        He doesn't "play by the rules" and, like a movie director who makes you believe you are watching one kind of movie only to twist the ending so that it is unexpected, it can be really annoying to read de Bono's work.

        What I found is, when I finish reading virtually anything he has written, he has successfully changed the way I think (which is also irritating because it feels like I've been "tricked" in some way.)

        The fact that the changes are positive and beneficial leads me to (eventually) forgive him ... and to make time to read him again when circumstance calls for it.

        You might like his book, "I Am Right You Are Wrong." If you feel adventurous, give that one a try.
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    Nov 15 2011: The Quiet Room by Lori Schiller...written with true emotion...such a brilliant book ,i couldnt stop crying after reading it .A great example of patience and hope...
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    Nov 15 2011: Six Memos for the Next Millennium by Italo Calvino
    Look, Listen, Read by Claude Levi-Strauss
    All the work of Jorge Semprun
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    Nov 15 2011: The Fifth Mountain by Paulo Coelho, This Earth of Mankind by Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Cartoon History of Civilization by Larry Goenick
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    Nov 15 2011: All of the novels of Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, H.P. Lovecraft, Charles Bukowski, Fredric Brown, and Edgar Allen Poe.
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    Nov 15 2011: the last lecture by randy pausch. and blasphemy by temhina durrani
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    Nov 15 2011: War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy, first published in 1869
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    Nov 14 2011: Ishmael by Daniel Quinn