What books have had the most profound effect on your life?

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks
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THE FILING FEE
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Re: What books have had the most profound effect on your life?

Postby THE FILING FEE » 04 Mar 2017, 19:45

Nick wrote:
OH wrote:Oh, Raymond Carver for me, too!

Fuck, but that man could write...


Yep. A wonderful writer.

Have you read this John? It focuses on Carver, Hemingway, Cheever, Fitzgerald, Tennessee Wiliams, and John Berryman. Some of my greatest favourites right there.

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I haven't read any Berryman but the others are my faves too - I'll seek it out. Thanks Nick.

And good to see you back here! :)
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Re: What books have had the most profound effect on your life?

Postby toomanyhatz » 04 Mar 2017, 19:55

Berryman is a big favorite of mine. One of the greatest poems ever written:

Dream Song 29

There sat down, once, a thing on Henry’s heart
só heavy, if he had a hundred years
& more, & weeping, sleepless, in all them time
Henry could not make good.
Starts again always in Henry’s ears
the little cough somewhere, an odour, a chime.

And there is another thing he has in mind
like a grave Sienese face a thousand years
would fail to blur the still profiled reproach of. Ghastly,
with open eyes, he attends, blind.
All the bells say: too late. This is not for tears;
thinking.

But never did Henry, as he thought he did,
end anyone and hacks her body up
and hide the pieces, where they may be found.
He knows: he went over everyone, & nobody’s missing.
Often he reckons, in the dawn, them up.
Nobody is ever missing.
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Re: What books have had the most profound effect on your life?

Postby Darkness_Fish » 04 Mar 2017, 20:43

I don't really think a book has ever had a massive impact in my life, I tend to read for pleasure rather than expecting the experience to somehow shape my worldview. I guess Daniel Kahneman's Thinking Fast and Slow left a pretty big impression, I think it helped me understand my job a little better, helped me understand how complex decisions get taken, and how much of life is gone through with your hidden autopilot making the decisions.
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Re: What books have had the most profound effect on your life?

Postby never/ever » 04 Mar 2017, 21:46

The books and albums that really influenced me were the ones that put me on a crossroads, of sorts- the ones I keep on re-reading because they were excellent in itself and sent me onto travels into other directions. With literature I can think of this one being very influential when I read it first at a pre-teen age:

Image

This reading of Greek mythology stayed with me a long time- I kept on lending it from the library and, about a decade ago, bought a copy when traveling in the Netherlands again. It put me on the path of other folk tales and I have read many other tales of long forgotten civilisations but the Greek ones always had a certain drama, the main characters are fascinating in their often unlikeable and human-like ways.
Other books like Lord Of The Rings have taken the whole concept of a folk tale to a new extreme too, which is why sci-fi and fantasy are favorite with me too. I love travel-stories for the same reason- the next thing I really got into were authors like Jules Verne who took the adventure-novel to a sci-fi-like level and whose descriptive narratives of some of the amazing spots on this earth have made me dream of visiting them (I just got back from Patagonia, described in The Children Of Captain Grant). So, in many ways this book was pivotal for me.
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Re: What books have had the most profound effect on your life?

Postby THE FILING FEE » 04 Mar 2017, 22:23

Darkness_Fish wrote:I don't really think a book has ever had a massive impact in my life, I tend to read for pleasure rather than expecting the experience to somehow shape my worldview.


I don't think many people expect that reading something will change the way you see things - but it happens nonetheless.
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Re: What books have had the most profound effect on your life?

Postby PresMuffley » 04 Mar 2017, 23:47

OH wrote:I don't think many people expect that reading something will change the way you see things


Indeed. Unless they're reading a self-help book.
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Re: What books have had the most profound effect on your life?

Postby The Great Defector » 06 Mar 2017, 12:21

PresMuffley wrote:
The Great Defector wrote:
PresMuffley wrote:
Have you read Edna O'Brien, Great Defector?


I have not.


As an Irishman / human I feel it is your duty to at least make an attempt.


:(
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Re: What books have had the most profound effect on your life?

Postby Copehead » 06 Mar 2017, 16:31

The Principles of Physical Geology - Arthur Holmes
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Re: What books have had the most profound effect on your life?

Postby Bride Of Sea Of Tunes » 06 Mar 2017, 18:07

Copehead wrote:The Principles of Physical Geology - Arthur Holmes


OK.

Eric R. Kandel - Principles of Neural Science

Louis A. Sass - Madness and Modernism

Julian Jaynes - The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind
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Re: What books have had the most profound effect on your life?

Postby Snarfyguy » 06 Mar 2017, 19:10

Hunter S. Thompson - Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Douglas Hofstadter - Gödel, Escher, Bach
Some Raymond Carver collection, I forget which
Kurt Vonnegut - Breakfast of Champions
Nelson Algren - The Neon Wilderness
various Philip K. Dick novels and stories
Ray Bradbury - The Illustrated Man
Thomas Pynchon - Mason & Dixon
Borges short fiction
Mad Magazine, E.C. comics, generally

Most of these didn't change my life in the way of inspiring any blinding revelations, but rather in dramatically expanding the parameters of how I think about expression (although some, like PK Dick are more in the category of epistemological wonderments).
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Re: What books have had the most profound effect on your life?

Postby sloopjohnc » 06 Mar 2017, 19:17

Davey the Fat Boy wrote:Most of the folks who've influenced my thinking seem to be just as fallible


Like Steve Garvey.
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Re: What books have had the most profound effect on your life?

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 06 Mar 2017, 19:19

sloopjohnc wrote:
Davey the Fat Boy wrote:Most of the folks who've influenced my thinking seem to be just as fallible


Like Steve Garvey.


Don't get me started!

But at least I never had to root for Barry Bonds.
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Re: What books have had the most profound effect on your life?

Postby Copehead » 06 Mar 2017, 19:52

Bride Of Sea Of Tunes wrote:
Copehead wrote:The Principles of Physical Geology - Arthur Holmes


OK.

Eric R. Kandel - Principles of Neural Science

Louis A. Sass - Madness and Modernism

Julian Jaynes - The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind


I read it as a teenager and it decided my university course and therefore the rest of my life.

An incredibly well written book, academic but not too dry
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Re: What books have had the most profound effect on your life?

Postby Bride Of Sea Of Tunes » 07 Mar 2017, 12:01

Copehead wrote:
Bride Of Sea Of Tunes wrote:
Copehead wrote:The Principles of Physical Geology - Arthur Holmes


OK.

Eric R. Kandel - Principles of Neural Science

Louis A. Sass - Madness and Modernism

Julian Jaynes - The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind


I read it as a teenager and it decided my university course and therefore the rest of my life.

An incredibly well written book, academic but not too dry


Cheers. I myself had a similar experience, although my course in time was very different. Kandel's approach to neuroscience and mental problems struck a note with me. From then on I tried to find a decent path between neurobiology on one side (which is by its very nature reductionist) and psychiatry on the other (which has as its first obligation to consider the whole person and her/his life story).

That is when Louis Sass came into the picture, and colleagues of his.
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Re: What books have had the most profound effect on your life?

Postby Bride Of Sea Of Tunes » 20 Mar 2017, 16:08

I read this booklet on the train, yesterday.

Not a real life changer, but an entertaining intermezzo between your usual blockbusters:

Image
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Re: What books have had the most profound effect on your life?

Postby K » 20 Mar 2017, 18:20

Bride Of Sea Of Tunes wrote:I read this booklet on the train, yesterday.

Not a real life changer, but an entertaining intermezzo between your usual blockbusters:

Image

Booklet! It's about 1000 pages long.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
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Re: What books have had the most profound effect on your life?

Postby Bride Of Sea Of Tunes » 21 Mar 2017, 11:52

:D

It is!

Seriously: I was joking, of course. But I did read 'The Emperor's New Mind', and found it very good and provocative.

I only found out about this one yesterday. It can be found for free on the web, in PDF format.

And I am planning to read it; the reviews are pretty good, and that is rather special, given the scope and ambition of Penrose.
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Re: What books have had the most profound effect on your life?

Postby Darkness_Fish » 21 Mar 2017, 12:58

Bride Of Sea Of Tunes wrote: the reviews are pretty good, and that is rather special, given the scope and ambition of Penrose.

I'm really only aware of Penrose through his book Shadows of the Mind: A Search for the Missing Science of Consciousness, which I thought remarkably speculative, and through Steven Pinker's take-down of The Emperor's New Mind. I get the sense that Penrose stretches himself too far, considers himself too much of a polymath, and wants his fingers in as much pop-science pie as possible, and will throw a headline-grabbing idea out there without much to back it up.
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Re: What books have had the most profound effect on your life?

Postby Bride Of Sea Of Tunes » 21 Mar 2017, 13:22

Darkness_Fish wrote:
Bride Of Sea Of Tunes wrote: the reviews are pretty good, and that is rather special, given the scope and ambition of Penrose.

I'm really only aware of Penrose through his book Shadows of the Mind: A Search for the Missing Science of Consciousness, which I thought remarkably speculative, and through Steven Pinker's take-down of The Emperor's New Mind. I get the sense that Penrose stretches himself too far, considers himself too much of a polymath, and wants his fingers in as much pop-science pie as possible, and will throw a headline-grabbing idea out there without much to back it up.


Cheers - can you recommend some good Pinker stuff? IIRC Chris (Snarfyguy) of this parish did so very long ago, but I never got around to investigate.
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Re: What books have had the most profound effect on your life?

Postby Darkness_Fish » 21 Mar 2017, 15:55

Bride Of Sea Of Tunes wrote:Cheers - can you recommend some good Pinker stuff? IIRC Chris (Snarfyguy) of this parish did so very long ago, but I never got around to investigate.

I've read a few of his books, but the two that have really stuck with me are The Stuff of Thought, which is really as much about linguistics as cognitive psychology, and How the Mind Works, which is a proponent of the computational theory of cognition (neuroscience spoiler alert). I mean, I'm no scientist or academic, and I like clear, well written arguments for the layman in my pop-science. I think Steven Pinker is one of the few who can really pitch complicated ideas at the inept and befuddled such as myself, and keep it informative and apparently rigorous. I do wonder if the sheer readability of his work makes me favour his ideas, but he's definitely less of a struggle to plough through than Penrose.
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