Books That Change The Way You Think (in Off-topic)


GO PATS April 13 2007 4:14 PM EDT

I've read a lot of books, but I usually see through their blatantly one sided views on whatever the subject... everything has two sides, and a lot of those sides you can't see, because the author doesn't want you to think about the other side and feasibly side with the "wrong" side...

I'm not saying all books do this but I'm just using this as a point...

Are there any books you've read that have made their point so strongly that it actually changed the way you look at life? (Fiction or Non-Fiction both...)

I've quite a few but I'll just write my top choice down... I know I've mentioned it before but... this post isn't just meant to list books, it's to discuss the books mentioned... if you think someones choice is silly, feel free to say why, but be prepared for a comeback!

"1984" written by George Orwell is very powerful and I actually read it three more times through after I read it the first time. (I mean, as soon as I finished, I started again...) It really really changed the way I looked at everything around me... I can't watch the news anymore (they only tell you what they want you to hear... not everything, which is supposed to be thier goal)... I don't trust most of what the Govt. says (they tell you blatant lies, but just tell you so often that you start believing the hype)... and I see every single documentary as blatant one-sided propaganda (because they are)... I guess there are a few cases that can be brought up for each of my three points that will trump my thinking, but in many if not most cases the hypocrisy of the people who are supposed to be teaching and informing is staggering...

1984 gets my vote...

Adminedyit April 13 2007 4:37 PM EDT

you needed a book to tell you those things moosh?

I'm a fairly avid reader, though most of what i read is for entertainment.
i think the biggest thing that 'opened my eyes' was when i was 6 i read a book about dinosaurs, the next day i asked the teacher (a nun i went to catholic school) if dinosaurs were a mistake that god had made and that was why they all died.

AdminNightStrike April 13 2007 6:02 PM EDT

The Magic of Thinking Big
followed by..
How to Win Friends and Influence People

QBSefton [Black Cheetah Bazaar] April 13 2007 6:16 PM EDT

Snowcrash - Neal Stephenson

Flamey April 13 2007 8:26 PM EDT

I have to agree with you. 1984 was a really good book, for the points mentioned above.

Slashundhack [We Forge Our Own Stuff] April 13 2007 10:36 PM EDT

That Carlos Castenenda guy . I read like 4,5 of his books gave me a different take on things .Still think the mystical stuff is all hooey but ya !I think all the Sci-fi and fantasy helped wedge the old soggy block at least partly open.Heck I bet even kiddie books do something for you ,anything helps right ??

Maelstrom April 13 2007 10:46 PM EDT

Considering his death a couple days ago, what better time to point to Kurt Vonnegut? His imagination, bizarre sense of humour, social commentary, and understanding of human behaviour, and of course his way of looking at things from completely different perspectives, are sure to influence the way you think. Every single one of his books is worth reading, and in fact they should be read by everyone.

I'm working on a list of other authors and books that changed the way I think. I'll eventually post it, maybe later tonight. Depends on whether it gets busy here at work...

Maelstrom April 13 2007 11:33 PM EDT

OK, so it didn't take too long to update my list. While far from complete, here are some great mind-expanding books that everyone should read, in no particular order: Here are some authors who are unable to write a book that isn't amazing. Honestly, with a few incredible exceptions in the list above, I cannot pick favourites. Read everything these people write! Here are some authors who write original and interesting hard science fiction. These guys have PhDs in sciences, and justify their ideas with real science. It's still sci-fi, but it's actually believable.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] April 14 2007 12:26 AM EDT

atlas shrugged & fountainhead by ayn rand. both are very thought-provoking and might change the way you think.

Adminedyit April 14 2007 9:55 AM EDT

Anything by the late, great, Hunter S. Thompson.

Godpanda April 14 2007 12:51 PM EDT

For me... and this is rather silly I know... Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. I've read a good few books in my pitiful time alive, but... of all of them... Ender's Game. Ender's Shadow also. These books remind me that anyone is capable of anything. If you haven't read them, do so. Good, entertaining books, and you can take what you want from them. If nothing else, they're good reads.

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] April 14 2007 6:45 PM EDT

I just wanted to respond and say that The Illuminatus! Trilogy (wiki) gets my vote.

Also, MMVG, there are often times more then two sides to a subject. Often times the parties involved only want you to think that their side is the only logically correct side. Even more often, there are more then just 2 ways of looking at a subject; Seeing the "other sides" of a subject is difficult however, as it often involves critical thinking.

muon [The Winds Of Fate] April 15 2007 7:06 AM EDT

The following made me think more about everything than any other single book I have ever read;

John Brunner - Stand On Zanzibar.

So many ideas are packed into it, it's quite a hard read since the book doesn't flow too well (not nearly as well as the Shockwave Rider, for example) but the ideas... my gosh. Every five minutes you just sit back in your chair and say "Damn, this guy is smart".

But, other books that made me think...
Godel, Escher, Bach - The Eternal Golden Braid, by Hofstadter
Blade Runner .. (II or III?), Edge Of Human - Jeter
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

and, surprisingly enough, Magician - Raymond E. Feist..

"You see, there are few objective limits. What they teach you is useful, but never accept the proposition that just because a solution satisfies a problem, that it must be the only solution." ... "Consider this then: if [the spider] could somehow apprehend our existence, our threat to its life, would the spider worship us? ... Do you think the creature knows that this is a different flower?"

'I don't know.'

"That is perhaps the wisest of all answers."

--------

That's just literary brilliance, right there ;-)

Cheers,
muon.
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