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Thread: Books with life-changing qualities

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    Default Books with life-changing qualities

    Maybe this should go in AL&F, but I am meaning books both fictional and non-fictional. Indeed, primarily the latter.

    I am almost through Erich Fromm's 'The Art of Loving', and it is extraordinary in its disentanglement of a whole raft of presuppositions and 'feelings' that many of us have about the nature and practice of love. Quite possibly life-changing.

    Although I'm sure it has its detractors, 'The Artist's Way' also fits into this category for me, if only for the innovation of the 'morning pages', quite possibly the best way to spend 20 minutes in the morning short of mind-blowing sex with the partner of one's dreams. Although hopefully that would last longer than 20 minutes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zhao View Post
    I think my friend was telling me about this. Is one of her dictums that forgiving someone (a parent, possibly) for what they've done is not the right way to heal emotional wounds, contrary to so much contemporary Western teaching?

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    Quote Originally Posted by baboon2004 View Post
    Books with life-changing qualities
    ...are whatever is most relevant to you personally


    for me that was probably this:




    for one of my mates it was this:





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    Quote Originally Posted by baboon2004 View Post
    Although I'm sure it has its detractors, 'The Artist's Way' also fits into this category for me, if only for the innovation of the 'morning pages', quite possibly the best way to spend 20 minutes in the morning short of mind-blowing sex with the partner of one's dreams. Although hopefully that would last longer than 20 minutes.
    Yep, it's great. The only book that has changed my life in a concrete way (although I've stopped doing the morning pages).

    The Alchemist had an effect on me, but I'm not sure if it really changed my life. Just a great affirming read.

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    useless 70's hype
    and i still don't even know how to fix a motorbike

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    & still don't know much about physics either

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    Not read that one Sufi but this:



    I am really enjoying. He basically synthesises recent scientific breakthroughs in complexity, chaos, microbiology etc. and shows how these challenge the conventional mechanical view of the world bequeathed to us by the likes of Newton and Descartes. It has massive implications for the way we understand the world around us and for our abilities to build ecologically sound communities for the future!

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    Last edited by Mr. Tea; 07-04-2009 at 03:58 PM.
    Doin' the Lambeth Warp New: DISSENSUS - THE NOVEL - PM me your email address and I'll add you

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    Quote Originally Posted by baboon2004 View Post
    I think my friend was telling me about this. Is one of her dictums that forgiving someone (a parent, possibly) for what they've done is not the right way to heal emotional wounds, contrary to so much contemporary Western teaching?
    i've only read 1/3 of it. so don't know the answer to that... big issue with me so i need to finish it and find out what she says about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by subvert47 View Post
    ...are whatever is most relevant to you personally


    for me that was probably this:




    for one of my mates it was this:




    Fair point.

    As for the Strauss, 'negging' has become a key slang-word in conversations with one of my friends (he's read it, I haven't).

    And (sadly?) it is actually quite a workable concept, given most people's shaky sense of self-esteem (especially if covered over with bravado).
    Last edited by baboon2004; 07-04-2009 at 12:13 PM.

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    This will likely be scoffed at, but being in my early twenties if I am completely honest the following two books are the only ones so far that I can say have really "changed" anything for me in a direction altering way. This, and the fact they might be construed as cliché options, is because I read them as a teenager. The impact of what poisons you when you are young is not to be understated in my opinion.




    ^^^ Put the sheer hellbent wonder in me



    ^^^ Put the fear in me

    Re: "The Game"
    I know people who love this book too. It should really be re-titled "How To Get Your Ass Kicked Very Quickly" though if you've ever seen anyone put its teachings into practice.

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    Oh crap, there are many that spring to mind. Will try and stick to ones that were genuinely life-changing, in terms of altering my thought and/or behaviour in noticeable ways, rather than just sucumbing to the temptation to list my favourite books. In no particular order:

    Thomas Nagel - Mortal Questions
    Lewis Grassic Gibbon - A Scots Quair
    Simon Reynolds - Energy Flash
    Ian Carr - Miles Davis: A Biography (sounds a weird choice, but you'd get it if you read it)
    Alan Warner - Morvern Callar, The Sopranos
    Michel Foucault - Discipline and Punish
    Alasdair Gray - Lanark
    JJP Smart & Bernard Williams - Utilitarianism: For and Against
    Roland Barthes - Mythologies
    James Joyce - Portrait of the Artist
    Jonathan Culler - Structuralist Poetics, On Deconstruction (might only have life-changing properties for literature students I guess)
    Terry Eagleton - Ideology: An Introduction
    Joseph Heller - Catch-22 (which may prove Sick Boy's point. But hey, don't be ashamed of your choices, they're great)
    Also, even though I only really scanned it, Maurice Merleu-Ponty - The Phenomenology of Perception def had a big impact. Should go back to it properly soon.
    That'll do for now...

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    "The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam" - though be careful what you take from this, it can lead to a lot of liver damage.

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