Ok, folks - what are the five most influential, or transformative books you've read? (I'm always looking to expand my reading list!)
Here's my 5:
The Brain Diet by Dr. Alan C. Logan
How To Analyze People On Sight by Elsie Lincoln Benedict
Physiognomy by Dr. Joseph Simms
Common Sense by Thomas Paine
Opticks by Isaac Newton
USA Culture Smart! by some fat hoe
A Discourse on Method by Renee Descartes
Watchmen by Alan Moore
Philosophae Naturalis Principia Mathematica by Isaac Newton
Some paper on Grothendieck Rings
Most of what I would offer are books that, if anyone has the slightest interest, would have read them already: The Hitchhikers Guide series, 1984, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Bible in general for empowering me to call bullshit as a bible scholar
The one recommendation I have that you might not have already read is the Soul of the Night by Chet Raymo. Beautiful poetic language about astrophysics, the stars, the myths man has made around everything. He’s a physics professor at stone hill and writes beautifully. It was fairly heavy reading material for a 14 year old but I think it was one of the first things to really shake me out of my mystic religious haze and wake me up to the beauty of the natural universe.
@Keith_J, I really enjoyed Barbara Kingsolver's The Bean Trees and Pigs in Heaven.
Copied and pasted from a previous post of mine:
I just finished Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. Loved it. Lots of little interesting facts. Also listened to Letter To A Christian Nation by Sam Harris. Short, but also good. Also recently finish God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens. Very good but brutally honest when speaking about the atrocities committed by the church. Currently listening to The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. Very blunt and unapologetic about his disdain for all religions.
Edit: Okay. I know it's a kids book but I don't care! The Giver by Lois Lowry. I can't get the images and scenes out of my head that I created by reading it. Watched the movie and was devastated. My brain was much more interesting!
****technically about Web Design best practices, but I've found that about 90% translates to all types of communication.
Putting on the Mind of Christ by Jim Marion - because it was my springboard out of typical Christian thought.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo - because it gets at the idea that there is something out there, without having to define it.
Adventures Beyond the Body by William Buhlman - because during the time I was reading it I had my first out of body experience, and it provided great food for thought
The Baghavad Gita - The character of Krishna, I thought, provided a nice framework within which to ponder our human situation
Siddhartha by Herman Hesse - A nice example of following one's own thoughts rather than adhering to an "off the shelf" belief system.
.... and various books on Jungian psychology - again, his ideas provide a good framework within which to understand our lives and our selves.
I know this isn't exactly what you are looking for, but I read a book when I was young that totally changed the way I think/approach others. I can't remember the title, but it was by Robert Heinlein. In the story a dragon from Venus (yes, I know this sounds silly, but it works in the story) tells a human that his people are totally astounded that humans can stand on a sidewalk and just by looking gauge the speeds of the oncoming cars to decide if it is save to cross the street. I had never thought about it but it really is a remarkable skill. The book made me realize that how I think of things is not necessarily the way another does. I've been reading science fiction since then. My advice is to check out the various types of science fiction and try something that sounds good to you.
A History of Western Philosophy Bertrand Russell.
Why I am not a Christian Bertrand Russell.
The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything Christopher Hitchens
The Divine King in England by Margaret Alice Murray
Small Gods Sir Terry Pratchett
The Great Pursuit Tom Sharpe
The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams
Ardath Marie Corelli
Sorrows of Satan Marie Corelli
Other than Webster's Dictionary / Daniel Webster------Always have one near for obvious reasons
1)The Gift of Fear/ Gavin de Becker-------Sharpened my self defence skills
2) Black Like Me / John Howard Griffin------- Taught me empathy
3) Lord of the Flies/ William Golding----Confirmed my fears of what males become sans woman
4) Silent Spring/ Rachel Carlson------Became an ardent envioronmentalist at 11 years old.
5) 1984/ George Orwell--------Taught me that a toxic government is a vote away