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Has any book ever really affected you, changed the way you look at things?


Further
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When I was a kid "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" had a big influence on me. Still reread it occasionally.

More recently "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy made an impact, I can't bring myself to reread it.

So what has affected you, good or bad ?

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"Illusions, Adventures of a reluctant messiah" by Richard Bach

M.Scott Peck's "The Road Less Traveled"

Matthew Fox "Original Blessing"

 

Read all of these back in my college days....  I wanted to get a list of most influential books from some of the people at my church..especially those who seemed very dedicated to social justice or with a deep sense of spirituality...unfortunately..it didn't take off at the time  and now some of those folks have passed.  We do a parish read though, usually in January or February..

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I remember when I was a kid reading the book "Dove" by Robin Graham.  It was about a 16 year old who sailed solo around the world long before there was constant communication and the internet to make everything accessible. I was a city kid and it was amazing to read about a teenager traveling to these exotic locations and having these adventures.  It never inspired me to try to sail around the world, but it really exposed me to the idea of learning about new places and that you could choose to do something different from what most of your friends were doing.

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8 hours ago, Kirby said:

I remember when I was a kid reading the book "Dove" by Robin Graham.  It was about a 16 year old who sailed solo around the world long before there was constant communication and the internet to make everything accessible. I was a city kid and it was amazing to read about a teenager traveling to these exotic locations and having these adventures.  It never inspired me to try to sail around the world, but it really exposed me to the idea of learning about new places and that you could choose to do something different from what most of your friends were doing.

That was Kon-Tiki for me.

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9 hours ago, Further said:

When I was a kid "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" had a big influence on me. Still reread it occasionally.

More recently "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy made an impact, I can't bring myself to reread it.

So what has affected you, good or bad ?

I am also a big fan of ZatAoMM, but I think a lot of people are. I even went so far as to read Pirsig's next book, Lila, which was also very good.  Catcher in the Rye also - I often think of myself as a catcher in the rye for some reason.  Catch-22 also.  I recently started rereading it, and I love Joseph Heller's dark humour - he would have fit right in here, which says a lot for you bastards. :)  Man, I am really showing my age. :D (I like channelling my inner Yossarian. :) )

 

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So many: the first which I think really kept me safe was "I Was A Drug Addict" I read it when I was 18 or 19 and because of the book I turned down any drugs offered to me (other than pot :))

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

The Bhagavad Gita

many books by Pema Chodron, Jon Kabat Zin, Jack Kornfield, B.K.S Iyengar.......

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15 hours ago, Further said:

More recently "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy made an impact, I can't bring myself to reread it.

I was in a strange mood for at least a week after I finished that.  When I saw this thread title, that was my first thought.

I have seen snippets of the movie, but I know there are scenes from the book that I don't ever want to see onscreen.

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Certainly, many,

As a child, "My Wolf, My Friend" by   Barbara Corcoran and "White Fang" by Jack London helped shape much of how I viewed the world.

As an adult, "The Shack" by Paul Young and "The Sacred Romance" by John Eldredge have given my course in rethinking what I believed I understood about my faith and the God in whom I place that faith.

And finally, Dan Allender's "The Wounded Heart" helped me to view into those places in my soul I'd long closed off; to see my self and understand that person in the light of eternity.

Peace

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23 hours ago, UglyBob said:

"The complete works of Edgar Allen Poe," especially the story "The Gold Bug." I started reading Poe when I was in the fourth grade. His style really grabbed me. 

 

The book was in the final jeopardy question on Jeopardy last week.

 

Like Further,  "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance"  influenced me. It made me a better mechanic in that I took more pleasure in doing a job right.

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  • 5 years later...

"The Millionaire Next Door" by Stanley and Danko

When I had hit my 40's and realized I wasn't going to become extremely wealthy, my mother gave me that book.

It is about people with ordinary incomes acquiring significant wealth by being smart about money - not necessarily miserly, but buy store brands when they're as good as name brands, buying only as much car as you need - it depreciates in value a lot, putting your money where it grows with reasonable safety, etc.

I followed enough of the examples to enjoy life and retire comfortably.

 

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I thought this was a new thread and was going to post my response. Then I read back through it to see others’ responses and saw my own. Good to know my answer was still the same!  

I’d like to add, “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” by Dee Brown. Was pretty young when I read it and it impacted me on a deeply emotional level. 

And of course The Bible. An ongoing, living, breathing dialogue. 

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The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

—Mary Oliver

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On 5/29/2016 at 7:23 PM, Further said:

When I was a kid "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" had a big influence on me. Still reread it occasionally.

More recently "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy made an impact, I can't bring myself to reread it.

So what has affected you, good or bad ?

 

On 5/30/2016 at 10:32 AM, TrentonMakes said:

I was in a strange mood for at least a week after I finished that.  When I saw this thread title, that was my first thought.

I have seen snippets of the movie, but I know there are scenes from the book that I don't ever want to see onscreen.

Have you read Blood Meridian? The belief is that it is unfilmable. 

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