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Thread: Most influential books in your life

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    Most influential books in your life

    Here's my personal list of books that have most impacted my life or been the most influential upon it, in some cases they have given complete paradigm shifts regarding my outlook on subjects or relations with the world and with others, and in others formed the way I think, or even express myself. A few I can't say I continue to subscribe to (Urantia and Jayne's in particular), but that does nothing to lessen the impact they had on me at that particular time in my life when I first read them. Granted in my case there are no fiction works included, but that is just me, but should I provide two fiction authors they would be Herman Hesse and Aldous Huxley. I'd love to see others' lists, non-fiction or fiction, and feel free to include any commentary on your selections as you see fit even though I haven't taken the time to do so...yet. I truly look forward to seeing yours as, well,...I love books!

    Tao Te Ching - Lao Tsu
    Magic: Black and White - Franz Hartman
    Cosmic Consciousness: A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind - Richard Maurice Bucke
    Leaves of Grass - Walt Whitman
    Essays, 1st and 2nd Series - Ralph Waldo Emerson
    The Dhammapada – sayings of the Buddha
    The Urantia Book
    Mysticism: The Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness - Evelyn Underhill
    Commentaries on Living - Jiddu Krishnamurti
    The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind - Julian Jaynes
    You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation - Deborah Tannen
    Reason and Emotion In Psychotherapy - Albert Ellis
    The Lost Light: An Interpretation of Ancient Scripture – Alvin Boyd Kuhn
    The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Edward Gibbon
    The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion - James Frazer

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    There was once a boys' ( sex not gender or is that gender not sex DIGAF? No) comic called Ranger. It carried a comic strip called The Rise And Fall of The Trigan Empire. I feel I never have to read Gibbon as a result.

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    I would certainly not deny the value a work might have had on your development or the impression it may have left, as that would be distasteful and arrogant, but a comic equivalent to Gibbon? Surely you jest. Surely. Surely.

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    the wor.
    Last edited by WICKES; 04-02-2019 at 01:05 PM.

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    Chaucer: 'The Prologue to The Canterbury Tales'. I re-read this every Spring, and it never fails to lift me. Chaucer writes with a glorious, joyful, life-affirming warmth. I have even taken him with me into the English countryside on an April morning and read him out loud.

    Aldous Huxley: 'The Doors of Perception.' This turned me into the filthy hippy I am today! I don't think any book has ever had quite such an effect. At times, the prose itself seems like a psychedelic trip. I first read this sitting in my parents conservatory, and I swear the flowers and grass seemed more vivid and alive. After this, I read more of Huxley. He was like a hit of intellectual cocaine. Until I read him, my mind was barely awake. He really showed me what it means to be urbane, witty and educated. He also showed me what it means to be a brilliant conversationalist. And he opened up a whole new world of ideas. I got from Huxley what others seem to get from Wilde.

    Blake's poetry, plus 'The Marriage of Heaven and Hell'. I got into Blake after reading Huxley. A writer who changes the way you see the world.

    Philip Larkin: Collected Poetry. Achingly beautiful and sad. Like Eliot's Wasteland, it seemed rooted in a world I knew. And it showed me that even the gloomiest surroundings, and the saddest soul, can be transformed by great art.

    Thomas Hardy: Jude the Obscure. I so identified with Hardy's view of life and the universe. It was a comfort to find someone who pulled no punches and reflected life as it really is.

    Dickens: David Copperfield. For me, this is THE novel. Most novelists are proud to create just one truly memorable, vivid, 3-dimensional character who lives on in the readers mind. Dickens creates half a dozen in this single novel. A work that vibrates and quivers with life. Yes, Dickens pads out his novels, and yes he's mawkish, and yes some of the female characters ARE unbearable, but I just love him. His courage, decency and humanity shine through every page. My all time hero.
    Last edited by WICKES; 04-02-2019 at 01:13 PM.

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    Catcher in the Rye (and almost anything by J.D Salinger) Especially in high school but also throughout my life I felt I could relate to him/ his characters better than I could relate to the people around me. In a way Catcher in the Rye was a sort of validation.

    Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse: Though I am not a Buddhist while reading this book I was going through a spiritual awakening of my own. There was much I related to in the book and I also learned from it. It did help as a guide while I was beginning my own spiritual journey.

    The Bell Jar and Poetry by Sylvia Plath: The first time I read her I fell in love a little bit. I have encountered a lot of criticism of her in which people proclaim that she did not have the “right” or a reason to be depressed because of her upbringing and opportunities and her life wasn’t that bad but I always felt a kindred spirit with her. I feel I can understand the place she was coming from.

    William Wordsworth Poetry: The World is too Much For Me in particular is a poem that sings to my heart.

    And of course Edgar Allan Poe who has been one of my earliest writing influences and has helped teach me the beauty of embracing the darkness inside.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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    A comic on Edward Gibbon's Decline & Fall. Sounds interesting. What was the prose like?

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    My own list:

    Grahame Greene "The Power and the Glory." Made me rethink my approach to religion.

    Catch 22. Funniest book I have ever read. A complete zany one off.

    "The Honourable Schoolboy" John Le Carre. Beautifully crafted with tremendous insight.


    "The Sonnets." WS . Memories of learning line by line, whilst drinking beer in the garden of an old English country pub.

    "Brideshead Revisited."

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    It was steam punk before steampunk. Ranger was taken over by the Look and Learn after a couple of years. That might indicate the fairly narrow niche it was working in. The prose was aimed at literate teenage boys. So I guess it was not the sinuous ironies of Gibbon that was to the fore. I remember excellent cartoon versions of classic novels being produced from DC Thompson, versions which expanded the imagination of the Pre- teen reader.

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    Oh Dear. I'm completely out of my depth now as to what steam punk comprises.

    Just after the war, our early years were regaled by the cartoon likes of Dan Dare, Billy Bunter and supplemented by "Just William" books

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    The outsider , by Colin Wilson
    In search of the miraculous, Ouspensky
    Catch-22 , Joseph Heller
    Reflections sur la question juive, Jean Paul Sartre
    Jesus and Israel, by Jules Isaac
    Last edited by Lependule; 04-30-2019 at 03:37 PM.

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    Books are knowledge!
    Last edited by katiewebber; 05-06-2019 at 05:30 AM.

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    Thumbs up Most influential book in my life

    I think US graduates have great prospects. In the US, excellent schools, universities and colleges, I am worth studying to students there. I graduated from Stanford and am currently working in a writing company and rewriting an essay. I like my job. I think the level of education in the United States is very high. I am grateful to my university for the knowledge gained. At the moment I am working in writing service PapersOwl and helping students. I can recommend you an "apa-citation-generator", I think it will be very useful for you. If you have questions, write to me, I will be glad to talk.
    Last edited by katiewebber; 05-07-2019 at 05:00 AM.

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    I can't choose one book

    I can't choose one book, but the most influential author in my life is Stephen King.
    All these books https://www.bestadvisers.co.uk/stephen-king-books had a huge effect on my life in different periods. The first was Dark Tower and I just fell in love with King's rhythm and dialogues. The Shining is the book with the best scene description.

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    Ok, so "Catch 22" keeps coming up, but I could barely get through the first chapter. What am I missing?...and don't say chapter 2. Now Keller's "Something Happened"; there's a book!

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