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Thread: what book should I read next?

  1. #1
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    what book should I read next?

    Based on my tastes, what book should I read next?
    I like biographies especially books on great men or leaders (like Napoleon, Gandhi, Alexander the great) so that I learn from them how to become a better leader, history books, the picture of dorian gray, leo tolstoy, the duty of civil disobedience, george bernard shaw, books on heroism or about courageous people, books that influence me positively or teach me something valuable about life, self-help books about confidence or getting read of fears, books on how to be more succesful, books about dating, books about money, books about the meaning of life or philosophy......

    Just recommend me any book that u think i might like! for exampe, a friend recommended me "the fountainhead" im thinking about it.. what do U recommend?

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    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    Avoid Ayn Rand like the plague. Try Montaigne's essays, Plato's Republic, Rousseau's Confessions, Saint Augustine's Confessions, Machiavelli's The Prince, Baldassare Castiglione's The Book of the Courtier, Boswell's Life of Johnson, R.W. Emeroson's Essays (you might particularly like his essays Representative Men), Voltaire's Candide and other writings, Laozi's (Lao Tze) Tao Te Ching or Dao De Jing, etc...
    Beware of the man with just one book. -Ovid
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    Quote Originally Posted by stlukesguild View Post
    Avoid Ayn Rand like the plague. Try Montaigne's essays, Plato's Republic, Rousseau's Confessions, Saint Augustine's Confessions, Machiavelli's The Prince, Baldassare Castiglione's The Book of the Courtier, Boswell's Life of Johnson, R.W. Emeroson's Essays (you might particularly like his essays Representative Men), Voltaire's Candide and other writings, Laozi's (Lao Tze) Tao Te Ching or Dao De Jing, etc...
    Why do u say that about ayn rand?

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    There's actually a decent website called "whatshouldIreadnext.com". Type in a list of what you like/dislike and find similar lists and recommendations.

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    Skol'er of Thinkery The Comedian's Avatar
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    You might enjoy Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey. It has a lot of descriptions of real places, plants, and animals. It's philosophical and the prose style is second to none.
    Last edited by The Comedian; 11-30-2009 at 12:01 PM. Reason: removed all of my silly text message lingo.
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    Registered User mona amon's Avatar
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    Victor Hugo for the 'heroism', The Man who Laughs, 93, Notre Dame etc.

    Go ahead with the Fountainhead. It's an interesting book, whether you agree with its philosophy or not, or about its literary merits.
    Exit, pursued by a bear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stlukesguild View Post
    Avoid Ayn Rand like the plague. Try Montaigne's essays, Plato's Republic...
    I totally agree! No serious critic rates Rand, and there are too many authors that serious critics admire to bother with inferior stuff. And please don't say 'don't knock it if you haven't tried it'. There is too much out there to try everything. You need to trust good critics. So maybe you need to read good critics. Try:

    Harold Bloom - The Western Canon
    The Joy of Reading by Charles van Doren
    The New Lifetime Reading Plan by Clifton Fadiman

    Above all read Shakespeare. Start with King Lear, Hamlet, Henry IV parts I and II--or (better) his complete works...

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    I recommend Irving Stone. He wrote a number of biographical novels of famous historical personalities, among them Lust for Life--based on the life of Vincent Van Gogh, The Agony and the Ecstasy--based on the life of Michelangelo, The Passions of the Mind--based on the life of Freud, The Greek Treasure--based on the discovery of Troy by Schliemann, and The Origin--based on the life of Darwin.

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    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    Why do u say that about ayn rand?

    The writing is largely just an excuse for espousing her personal "Objectivist" philosophy... and the philosophy itself is even weaker... a rather sophomoric embrace of the utopia of laissez-faire capitalism among other things that I'll avoid before getting drawn into a political debate.

    I recommend Irving Stone. He wrote a number of biographical novels of famous historical personalities, among them Lust for Life--based on the life of Vincent Van Gogh, The Agony and the Ecstasy--based on the life of Michelangelo, The Passions of the Mind--based on the life of Freud...

    Actually... for biographies upon major artists I would far more recommend Cellini's Autobiography, Vasari's Lives of the Artists (a great gossip and opinion-filled "history" of the lives of the great Renaissance masters written by a near contemporary (and talented painter in his own right). I would also recommend Van Gogh's letters, Wassily Kandinsky's Concerning the Spiritual In Art, and Robert Hughe's seminal Shock of the New (on Modernism in art).
    Beware of the man with just one book. -Ovid
    The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.- Mark Twain
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    Registered User mona amon's Avatar
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    No serious critic rates Rand, and there are too many authors that serious critics admire to bother with inferior stuff. - Mal4mac
    Stick to serious critics and you'll miss out on a lot of stuff that might appeal to you personally. After all, one doesn't have to read every book one begins. They can be abandoned after a few pages if they do not appeal. I don't care for the Fountainhead myself, but I'm still glad I read it. If I'd read only what serious critics recommend, I'd never have read the wonderful Harry Potter series!
    Exit, pursued by a bear.

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    Registered User prendrelemick's Avatar
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    Andy MacNab's, Bravo Two Zero, is a lighter read than those suggested above. It is about men doing things, and enduring things that are beyond most of us.

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    Haribol Acharya blazeofglory's Avatar
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    To judge a book by what critics subscribe to or frown on is something unpalatable to me in point of fact; for we cannot always infer that what critics recommend or oppose is a yardstick to a piece of art. While Ayn Rand has some week points in her novels, in fact which novel is impeccably flawless?, she has so many intellectually appealing things, and she understands the public taste and stuffed her books with the fervors she knows her reader likes very much and to go up against her book is prejudice only

    “Those who seek to satisfy the mind of man by hampering it with ceremonies and music and affecting charity and devotion have lost their original nature””

    “If water derives lucidity from stillness, how much more the faculties of the mind! The mind of the sage, being in repose, becomes the mirror of the universe, the speculum of all creation.

  13. #13
    Registered User kelby_lake's Avatar
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    Books about leaders and great men...

    Shakespeare-wise, I'd read Julius Caesar and the Histories (they aren't historically accurate but they're very inspiring).

    You might also enjoy A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

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    I also recommend Irving Stone's Dear Theo: the autobiography and letters of Van Gogh

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    You can opt for "Moby-Dick" by the American author Herman Melville...Best of Luck:-)
    I am the author of Parmethia

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