Most affecting books.

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    Jul 24, 2007 4:47 AM GMT
    Okay since the topic of which book haven't you finished is still floating around, I thought I ask which are the most affecting books you guys have read. Not necessarily best books, but those that have most affected/influenced you.
    Here are some of mine.
    The Tin Drum, by Gunter Grass.
    The Sound and the Fury and Absalom, Absalom, by Faulkner.
    I and Thou, by Martin Buber.
    In the Country of Men, by Hisham Matar -- so emotionally arresting.
    Borges, his short stories, his essays, or almost anything by him.

    Anway I could go on and on, but that is some of the things. But I'm curious to what have really influenced others.
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    Jul 24, 2007 5:12 AM GMT
    The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri

    Cold Mountain, Gordon Frazier,

    and I keepreturning to the Iliad and The Odyssey, Homer
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    Jul 24, 2007 5:23 AM GMT
    I'm excited someone has read Buber! Very Nice.

    For me, Everything is Illuminated by J S Foer, Life of Pi by Yann Martel and THe Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Chabon. All for different reasons. They are very dear to my heart.
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    Jul 24, 2007 11:28 AM GMT
    I completely agree about THE TIN DRUM. I was never quite the same person after reading that one.

    A book of film criticism by Robin Wood entitled HOLLYWOOD FROM VIETNAM TO REAGAN has been a huge influence on me, showing me fascinating new ways to look at films.
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    Jul 24, 2007 2:12 PM GMT
    It is so nice to see English speakers reading Grass. That made my day. Along with Brecht and Hess he is far too under-read outside of Germany.

    Two poets I find that can make my gut hurt from laughing or bring to the verge of tears are Robert Creeley and Susan Musgrave.

    Night Country by Loren Eisely is non-fiction, but the writing and introspection in the moments in the life of a paleontologist are some of the most moving words I have read.
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    Jul 24, 2007 3:26 PM GMT
    Dolly Parton, "My Life and Other Unfinished Business"

    next - the bible

    Hm, I should probably have those in reverse order, but gotta tell the truth
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    Jul 24, 2007 3:28 PM GMT
    I'm a HUGH Michael Chabon fan, too--Kavalier and Clay was the first book I actually read (as opposed to skimmed for ROI) after I finished my MBA (nothing like a business degree to stunt your reading capacity).

    Also love "The Book of Salt," "The Palace Thief," and Hemingway's "The Garden of Eden."
  • zakariahzol

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    Jul 24, 2007 4:41 PM GMT
    The Millionaire Next Door. This book change me from debt ridden individual to debt free person. However, lately I been over spending my credit card. Time to reread it again.
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    Jul 24, 2007 5:47 PM GMT
    "Oh the Places You Will Go." Dr. Suess - Inspirational in a very simple and sensible way.

    "Writing in Restaurants" David Mamet -
    This helped me a lot with writing and creativity.

    "Catcher in the Rye" - J.D. Salinger -
    No matter how stressful and crappy things are, this book reminds me that things could be worse, and makes me feel better.

    "Ender's Game" Orson Scott Card -
    First hard-core sci-fi book I read, and I loved every page. Made me want to read more sci-fi and expand my range of reading material.
  • ang2serra

    Posts: 15

    Jul 24, 2007 5:54 PM GMT
    A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn.

    Nothing better places current events in context like seeing history from a perspective not beholden to the American myths foisted on us by our schools. It really opened my eyes and mind and made me pay more attention to what is happening to us as a country.
  • trebor965

    Posts: 200

    Jul 24, 2007 6:06 PM GMT
    invisible monsters
  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2589

    Jul 24, 2007 6:27 PM GMT
    As a boy of about ten,"Voyage to Infinity" by Lester del Rey really opened me up to science fiction.Other ones include the "Earthsea" series and "The Left Hand of Darkness" by Ursula le Guin.
    More recently,I was deeply moved by "Captain Corelli`s Mandolin" by Louis de Bernieres(?)The sub-story of his gay army comrade told me something new and profound about myself...
    That`s a few of them...Many of the others have sunk down in to my unconsciousness having greatly changed me,their specific stories lost,but their influence remains...
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    Jul 24, 2007 7:29 PM GMT
    "The Charioteer" Mary Renault's WWII British Gay novel. In the late 50's, it was perhaps the first novel that showed gays as honorable men in the military.

    "Atlas Shrugged" Ayn Rand's long science fictiony novel of super competent individuals. Her economic theory gets repetitive, but she says "You have to earn your self esteem!"

    "Starship Troopers" Robert Heinlein's battle with aliens in outer space. The talky parts have as much to say about the relationship between the citizen and the state as Plato's "Republic." The movie was a disaster made by a director who boasted that he never read the book.

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    Jul 24, 2007 11:24 PM GMT
    Running with Scissors

    by Agusten Burrows

    it jus made me apreciate how easy i have it sometimes
    and jus to look at the little good things
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    Jul 24, 2007 11:32 PM GMT
    manhood by steve biddulph

    satanic bible by anton zsander lavey

    any james dean biographies (boulevard of broken dreams is a good one though going a bit over the top with the gay issue)
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    Jul 25, 2007 1:37 AM GMT
    "Understanding the Enneagram" by Don Richard Riso --- not usually my style of stuff, but VERY helpful.

    "The Front Runner" - the Brokeback Mountain of the 1970's - portraying love between men in a natural and complicated way.

    "The Berlin Diaries" - Christopher Isherwood - all of them, not just the volume covering pre-war Berlin.
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    Jul 25, 2007 2:14 AM GMT
    A People's History of the U.S. by Howard Zinn was one of the most influential books I've ever received in my life. It totally changed my thinking about this country and started me down the path of historical and political enlightenment. It should be required reading for every US citizen.
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    Jul 25, 2007 2:14 AM GMT
    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.

    I loved the references to Shakespeare made by the savage throughout the book and the references to the ultimate evolution of sec. Too many good things to note, really. I highly recommend it!
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    Jul 25, 2007 2:15 AM GMT
    *sex*, not sec.
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    Jul 25, 2007 2:21 AM GMT
    Le Rouge et le Noir by Stendhal
    The Stranger by Camus
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    Jul 25, 2007 2:23 AM GMT

    Bridehead Revisited Evelyn Waugh

    Memoirs of Hadrian Marguerite Yourcenar

    Lucia books E.F. Benson
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    Jul 25, 2007 2:28 AM GMT
    "Running with Scissors by Agusten Burrows
    it jus made me apreciate how easy i have it sometimes and jus to look at the little good things
    "

    Perhaps you will feel even better (or worse) to know that Burroughs made up a very large percentage of his "memoir," as Vanity Fair documented last year.

    I believe that he has since added a statement saying that its facts have been greatly embellished.

    The Turcotte family (the Finches in the book) sued Sony pictures and won a settlement before the film was released. Just about anything that was particularly extreme was invented by Burroughs, who had claimed that everything was the truth.


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    Jul 25, 2007 2:32 AM GMT
    "Too Loud a Solitude," by Bohumil Hrabal, is gorgeously written (even through the translation), and the way the narrator overcomes his circumstances is incredibly depressing. It's sort of triumphant but sooooo depressing.

    "Our Lady of the Flowers," by Jean Genet, is delectibly sexy, but it's so nihilistic it also made me really depressed. The ending constrasts to TLaS, but it's depressing in another way.

    It's funny, those are my favorite two books. I guess I'm a sucker for misery?

    Speaking of misery, the most disappointing book I ever read was Andre Gide's the Immoralist. Its ending was such a let down! It affected me in the sense I wanted to puke.
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    Jul 25, 2007 2:50 AM GMT
    There are way too many to mention, but after I read Dr. Seus' "The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins," I begged my mother for weeks to change my name to Bartholomew. Thank god she did not agree.

    The Oz books. Every one of them. Long before I ever heard Judy Garland sing or saw the movie. Very gay.

    "Catcher in the Rye," as someone else mentioned. When my parents decided I needed to know about sex, they gave me the book when I was 11. When I was a sophomore in high school it was on the reading list and several kids in my class were forbidden to read it by their parents. To this day I don't know why the book was ever scandalous. It certainly answered none of my questions about sex.

    On the other hand, my very Southern mother forbade me to read "To Kill a Mockingbird." You know, it was about -- gasp! -- miscegenation. I read it under the covers with a flashlight. I guess I was about 12. She caught me and never tried to control what I read again.

    My mother was a compulsive reader, as I am, and didn't much care about taste. When I was in 7th grade, I got hold of her copy of "Valley of the Dolls." I was sent home from school for reading aloud from it in the school cafeteria. (Very gay.) I was president of my class and the principal threatened to impeach me.



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    Jul 25, 2007 3:12 AM GMT
    I dunno... it doesn't seem very healthy to be unduly affected by a single book. But...

    Probably the one book that had the biggest impact on me was "The Adventures of Curious George" by Margaret and H.A. Rey.