Most Influential Book

  • SDSUgrad

    Posts: 4

    Sep 06, 2014 4:12 AM GMT
    What has been the most influential book that you've read and why?
  • prototype

    Posts: 194

    Sep 06, 2014 4:53 PM GMT
    “One of the most difficult things to say to another person is, I hope that you will love me for no good reason. But it is what we all want and rarely dare to say to one another – to our children, to our parents and mates, to our friends, and to strangers. Especially to strangers, who have neither good nor bad reasons to love us. And it’s why we tell each other stories that we pray will be transformed in the telling by that angel on the roof, made believable and about us all, no matter who we are to one another and who we are not.”
    ― Russell Banks, The Angel on the Roof

    I like Russell Banks novels,The Memory of Skin was really good. Basically subjects on humanity. Who do you turn to when you have to relate to each other on a human level?

    I also like The Plague, Letters From the Long Walk, and Tiger Tiger.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 06, 2014 6:29 PM GMT
    My checkbook. It influences nearly every important aspect of my life.
  • ASHDOD

    Posts: 1057

    Sep 06, 2014 10:51 PM GMT
    ''The Lost Language of Cranes'' by david leavitt
    kicked me out of the closet 22 years ago
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 07, 2014 1:26 AM GMT
    "Shapeshifting" by John Perkins. Changed my life & how I experience the world, the Earth, etc.
    "Ishmael" is more accessible & in the same vein.
    "The Fifth Sacred Thing" is even more of a novelisation with powerful themes & messages.

    I couldn't pick one.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 07, 2014 1:17 PM GMT
    "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How to Live a Better Story"- Don Miller
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 07, 2014 10:47 PM GMT
    What an awesome, but difficult question. Probably "Walden" by Henry Thoreau. But Emerson's essay "Self-Reliance" would be a close second. And Malcolm X's "Autobiography" would round out the list at third I think.
  • desertjock

    Posts: 9

    Sep 07, 2014 11:27 PM GMT
    The Fountainhead, by Any Rand.

    The best book for the true individualist.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 08, 2014 1:49 AM GMT
    Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes

    I've read it twice, and I much prefer the translation by Edith Grossman.

    I first time I read it, it was a moving, heart pulling experience; a story of defeat and the consequences of fantasy. But in my rereading of it a few years ago, I picked up more on the humor and non sequitur of it all. It's fast paced, never letting down,but scenes go on and on in their journey's. It's hard to explain. And, knowing that Don Quixote is a mad man and he is attacking innocent, well meaning people, you can't help but cheer for him and pray that his fantasy pans out to be true. It's somewhat alarming when I think about that, though. But I digress, it's a work of fiction. Seriously, I think it is one book every person should have the chance to read.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 08, 2014 3:08 AM GMT
    Jerrsei saidDon Quixote by Miguel Cervantes

    I've read it twice, and I much prefer the translation by Edith Grossman.

    I first time I read it, it was a moving, heart pulling experience; a story of defeat and the consequences of fantasy. But in my rereading of it a few years ago, I picked up more on the humor and non sequitur of it all. It's fast paced, never letting down,but scenes go on and on in their journey's. It's hard to explain. And, knowing that Don Quixote is a mad man and he is attacking innocent, well meaning people, you can't help but cheer for him and pray that his fantasy pans out to be true. It's somewhat alarming when I think about that, though. But I digress, it's a work of fiction. Seriously, I think it is one book every person should have the chance to read.
    Fascinating. I've read the original text of Don Quixote and I'm so interested in how different our interpretations of the text are. I'm just curious, did you grow up in a Latin culture of some type? Do you think the culture we grow up in impacts how we interpret any text we read? You seem like an intelligent guy (refreshing) so I'm actually interested in hearing your answer to my question. Thanks
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 08, 2014 5:00 AM GMT
    wuts a book?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 08, 2014 5:47 AM GMT
    SDSUgrad saidWhat has been the most influential book that you've read and why?


    Awesome question, and I can't come up with a good answer... As an adult, probably (dweeb alert!) "The Poincare Half-Plane: A Gateway to Modern Geometry" by one of my favorite KU professors.

    As a child, even trickier. Possibly "At the Back of the North Wind" or "I, Robot", though "The Little Prince" (English translation) and "The Phantom Tollbooth" spring immediately to mind as well. "Flatland" wants to be a runner-up as well, though I think I only had access to excerpts (as a farm boy in western Nebraska I had to take what I could get).

    Not respectable answers, I'll grant -- and I won't try to argue that these are objectively the *best* books I've ever read -- but these have changed my perceptions and thought processes more deeply than any others.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 08, 2014 5:51 AM GMT
    declansloan said
    Jerrsei saidDon Quixote by Miguel Cervantes

    I've read it twice, and I much prefer the translation by Edith Grossman.

    I first time I read it, it was a moving, heart pulling experience; a story of defeat and the consequences of fantasy. But in my rereading of it a few years ago, I picked up more on the humor and non sequitur of it all. It's fast paced, never letting down,but scenes go on and on in their journey's. It's hard to explain. And, knowing that Don Quixote is a mad man and he is attacking innocent, well meaning people, you can't help but cheer for him and pray that his fantasy pans out to be true. It's somewhat alarming when I think about that, though. But I digress, it's a work of fiction. Seriously, I think it is one book every person should have the chance to read.
    Fascinating. I've read the original text of Don Quixote and I'm so interested in how different our interpretations of the text are. I'm just curious, did you grow up in a Latin culture of some type? Do you think the culture we grow up in impacts how we interpret any text we read? You seem like an intelligent guy (refreshing) so I'm actually interested in hearing your answer to my question. Thanks


    No, no Latin setting, I'm afraid. And to be honest, I know no Latin or romantic language (other than English) Just Norwegian and Japanese (Also, a little Chinese). Though I do think that our culture influences how we interpret different works, I can't argue that. Idioms, word play, etc. play a role in understanding different literary devices. For instance, if it were not for footnotes, much of Sancho's comments would be lost on me; the confusion he has of words doesn't really translate well in to English. There's also, in regards to Don Quixote and other works, the nature of religion and its significance that, if you know nothing of the religion, would lose a level of significance. Take, for instance, Paradise Lost. I'm not a deeply religious fellow and, for the most part, view Satan as a sort of [anti]hero in that story. Thought I know the story of Adam and Eve relatively well, since I have neither faith nor fear to guide me otherwise, I appreciate where Satan is coming from in his call to arms. Les Miserables works the same way in regards to social structure and Candide to both social structure and faith. (Actually, Both Candide and Paradise Lost would make up my top three influential books, but I'm a huge reader, more than anything else. I also tend to like crap that no one gives a shit about anymore.)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 08, 2014 4:28 PM GMT
    The monk who sold his ferrari by Robin S Sharma. This one changed my life.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 10, 2014 3:40 AM GMT
    Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, because it explained that money makes the man in society though money is man made, so a man's status is really created by himself. However money is material so it can be inherited, stolen or lost, therefore a man's worth is what he achieves.
  • Svnw688

    Posts: 3350

    Sep 10, 2014 5:48 PM GMT
    "The Shining" by Stephen King, because it turned me onto reading...and from there I've taken countless "journeys."
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 12, 2014 4:11 AM GMT
    Ayn Rand's "The Anthem", ironically. I'm still a romantic form of escapist, but since my teens, I've come to understand that this insular ideology (objectivism) is corrosive on several levels: the personal, the inter-personal, and the cultural. That said, Ayn Rand's fiction is worth a second glance, considering its influence on the (U.S.) Federal Reserve.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 12, 2014 7:08 AM GMT
    From years ago, the two short story collections of Bruno Schulz that I read in 1982 when I was a college senior:

    The Street of Crocodiles

    Sanitorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass.

    And from more recent reading, I find myself thinking a lot about the themes in "Super Sad True Love Story" by Gary Shteyngart, which I read a few months ago.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 13, 2014 6:05 AM GMT
    The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 20, 2014 2:04 AM GMT
    Ashdod said''The Lost Language of Cranes'' by david leavitt
    kicked me out of the closet 22 years ago


    the book was good as well as the movie.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Oct 20, 2014 2:08 AM GMT
    In the Meantime by Iyanla Vanzant CHANGED my life. I have given over 50 copies away!

    In the Meantime is a motivational book by Iyanla Vanzant. This book divides your love, relationships, and thinking into one all encompassing analogy to a house with different floors. The floors represent a graduation system where one can climb from one way of existing into higher and higher levels of thinking, loving, and being.