Books with life-changing qualities

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
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.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
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?
 

Pestario

tell your friends
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.
 

Mr BoShambles

jambiguous
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!
 

zhao

there are no accidents
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.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
...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).
 
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Sick Boy

All about pride and egos
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.
 

Tentative Andy

I'm in the Meal Deal
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...
 

martin

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

IdleRich

IdleRich
"The Alchemist had an effect on me, but I'm not sure if it really changed my life. Just a great affirming read."
By Paulo Coelho? Surely not. I thought that was the worst book I'd ever had the misfortune to be tricked into reading. I actually felt insulted that someone had the temerity to splurge that kind of bilge on to paper and then ask people for money in exhange. And I felt physically sick that it seemed to be working.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
By Paulo Coelho? Surely not. I thought that was the worst book I'd ever had the misfortune to be tricked into reading. I actually felt insulted that someone had the temerity to splurge that kind of bilge on to paper and then ask people for money in exhange. And I felt physically sick that it seemed to be working.
Not read it. Is it as bad as Martin Amis (the fictional stuff - very good journalist back in the day) or Salman Rushdie? Tricksters of the highest order.

Edit: add Houllebecq's 'Atomised' to that list - what the FUCK was that meant to be about? Pretentious bilge.

Edit two: that list could stretch out all day, actually - feted authors who are all style and zero substance.
 

crackerjack

Well-known member
Not read it. Is it as bad as Martin Amis (the fictional stuff - very good journalist back in the day) or Salman Rushdie? Tricksters of the highest order.
You can't dis Money - really, you can't. It's not his fault it was the starting point for a thousand lesser talents
 
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