What book has changed your perspective on life?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 15, 2013 8:48 AM GMT
    Welcome to the Book Club Forum:
    Book_Club_Color-600x519.jpg

    Books can offer intimate views into worlds you would not have otherwise known. Let the RJ community know a little more about yourself by sharing; how has an author's thoughts changed your perspective on life?
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    Nov 15, 2013 8:50 AM GMT
    I'll start mine with Animal Farm and write why I learned to appreciate it tomorrow. Night book buddies.
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    Nov 15, 2013 1:38 PM GMT
    The Jungle: I had never read a critique of capitalism before. It really made me think about some of it's problems.

    Johnathon Livingston Seagull: A short read about soaring to new personal heights.

    Astonishing the gods: Another book that made me think about human potential.

    Body for Life: This book made me realize how important measurable fitness goals and planning your day are to success.
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    Nov 15, 2013 1:39 PM GMT
    Tuesdays with morry
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    Nov 15, 2013 1:53 PM GMT
    Vissarion - 'The Last Testament'
  • madsexy

    Posts: 4843

    Nov 15, 2013 1:59 PM GMT
    When I was in middle school I read a philosophically based novel by an existential writer, Borges, the name of the book translating in English to "Garden of the Paths that Split". It sounds silly, but it changed my entire basic way of thinking about life and being - it literally caused me to split from the path of logic I'd known in the beginning of my life and to take a different path as I thought forward and shaped my ideas from then on.

    I recommend it as a mind opener.
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    Nov 15, 2013 2:53 PM GMT
    O, I have many to mention here...but if I have to choose only one...I will always pick
    The story of My experiments with Truth-By Gandhi
  • The_Guruburu

    Posts: 895

    Nov 15, 2013 3:02 PM GMT
    Cradle to Cradle was the first book I read that articulated so much of what I kind of already knew intuitively. It really got me excited about sustainable economies and living (e.g., there is no such thing as "waste" in nature: everything has a use to someone else, be it fallen leaves as food for earthworms or feces as feetilizer for plants).
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    Nov 15, 2013 3:15 PM GMT
    madsexy saidWhen I was in middle school I read a philosophically based novel by an existential writer, Borges, the name of the book translating in English to "Garden of the Paths that Split". It sounds silly, but it changed my entire basic way of thinking about life and being - it literally caused me to split from the path of logic I'd known in the beginning of my life and to take a different path as I thought forward and shaped my ideas from then on.

    I recommend it as a mind opener.


    "Time forks perpetually towards innumerable futures. In one of them I am your enemy."~~Jorge Luis Borges

    It's not a novel. It is a short story called The Garden of Forking Paths.
  • FireDoor211

    Posts: 1030

    Nov 15, 2013 4:54 PM GMT
    Plato's symposium
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Nov 15, 2013 6:04 PM GMT
    12 years a slave.... I actually thought of Animal Farm while I was reading it---except it isn't an allegory. It's very disturbing, and it definitely changed the way I feel and see the world.
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    Nov 15, 2013 6:07 PM GMT
    Most books by Joseph Campbell.

    Brave New World
  • mybud

    Posts: 11819

    Nov 15, 2013 6:12 PM GMT
    I read, Catcher in the rye...and it all made sense.
  • wellwell

    Posts: 2265

    Nov 15, 2013 6:12 PM GMT
    Esoteric Psychology by C.C. Zain



    (order from Light.org)
  • secondstartot...

    Posts: 1314

    Nov 15, 2013 6:30 PM GMT
    I actually don't think that any book has changed my perspective on life - the books I have truly enjoyed have reaffirmed my views or enhanced them
    I think the first book to really floor me and leave me overwhelmed was Oscar Wilde's Portrait of Dorian Gray - but also The Little Prince and must include Richard Bach's Illusions
    and Im not nearly pretentious enough to feel guilty over the fact that a vast amount of my attitudes and philosophies have been spelled out by Terry Pratchett ..his treatise on Headology changed everything for me !
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Nov 15, 2013 6:53 PM GMT
    Wow, a lot of interesting books in this thread I'll have to check out!

    The one book I highly recommend to anyone interested in more 'esoteric' ways of thinking and looking at the world is The Body of Time. It's a relatively 'thin' book and you can get used copies for about $1. It is very easy to read and is basically exploring the relationship between our state of consciousness and the quality of energy we bring to our lives.
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    Nov 15, 2013 7:01 PM GMT
    my Cereal Box.
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    Nov 15, 2013 7:01 PM GMT
    Funny, I was literally just thinking about this minutes before seeing this on RJ. I find it is a difficult question for me to answer. I have liked many books, and keep going back to them.

    But if I must select one, I would say "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood. It sticks with me. It makes me question religious motivations, and fear how religion is such an easy tool to subjugate others. And it terrifies me how some of the characters in that book actually exist in our world, or could easily come into existence.
  • tuffguyndc

    Posts: 4437

    Nov 15, 2013 7:05 PM GMT
    The alchemist. i love the message behind it
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    Nov 15, 2013 7:07 PM GMT
    medfordguy saidFunny, I was literally just thinking about this minutes before seeing this on RJ. I find it is a difficult question for me to answer. I have liked many books, and keep going back to them.

    But if I must select one, I would say "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood. It sticks with me. It makes me question religious motivations, and fear how religion is such an easy tool to subjugate others. And it terrifies me how some of the characters in that book actually exist in our world, or could easily come into existence.


    I have to read "The Handmaid's Tale" for my english class..

    I haven't read many books but I have read a few for my english class
    I enjoyed reading "The joys of motherhood"
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    Nov 15, 2013 7:23 PM GMT
    tuffguyndc saidThe alchemist. i love the message behind it


    Another great book.
  • ueatzit

    Posts: 174

    Nov 15, 2013 7:24 PM GMT
    I can think of several good reads (can I get some nods about "Devil in the White City"?)

    But 'life changing'.... probably this one from my formative years: The Self Made Tapestry by Philip Ball.

  • bro4bro

    Posts: 1031

    Nov 15, 2013 7:45 PM GMT
    Oddly, the book that has most changed my perspective on life is the oldest known work of literature on earth - "The Epic of Gilgamesh".

    It addresses some very fundamental questions about the nature of man and the benefits of civilization. At its heart is a question I've asked myself, time and time again - "Why don't things work out the way I want?" - and it gives the best answer I've ever heard.

    I won't spoil it for you. ;)
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4862

    Nov 15, 2013 7:50 PM GMT
    I cannot limit it to only one book, but several books have modified my outlook considerably.

    I've both volumes of history of Christianity by Latourette, all volumes of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Gibbon, all three books by Norwich on the history of the Byzantium empire, and the Bible. That made it exceedingly clear that failure to keep government separate from religion creates serious problems resulting from their corrupting influence on each other. It also made it clear that it is easy to pick and choose from the Bible to support just about any possible position if one fails to use considerable judgment.

    Reading the biographies of the tycoons who lived during the "robber baron" era made it clear that laissez faire is evil, that monopolies are detrimental, that corporations tend to have no ethics unless they are pressured to act ethically, and that we are currently seeing history repeating itself.
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    Nov 15, 2013 8:12 PM GMT
    cvr9780743225304_9780743225304_lg.jpg

    A must read for all gay men.