The three books which have influenced you the most Page 2

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  • Deleted user 22 December 2011 18:03:45
    Sam bought me his complete collection last Christmas, we're donating it to her nephew this year as he's at just the right age to get the most from it. She admitted looking up for first editions, but they go well into four figures.
  • pinebear 22 Dec 2011 18:28:06 8,565 posts
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    mowgli wrote:
    A bit embarrassing but years ago I found a collection of Tony Buzzan books on eBay about memory and mind mapping etc. bought them and they completely changed my life. The realisation that the brain, especially your memory, is like a muscle that can be improved with practise using certain techniques got me from being able to memorise - instantly - the order of an entire pack of shuffled cards to putting me through law school.
    How good are you at remembering how to spell the author's name? ;)

  • Deleted user 22 December 2011 18:29:36
    Haha, oops! Can't even blame my phone for that.
  • Deleted user 22 December 2011 20:06:44
    Probably His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman.
  • Vaarna 22 Dec 2011 21:15:26 39 posts
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    1. The Castle - Franz Kafka
    2. Suttree - Cormac McCarthy
    3. Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
  • Deleted user 23 December 2011 13:05:35
    Really excellent collection of books here. We could probably be the best reading group in the world, except for the fact it would devolve within minutes into drunken FHUTA shouting.

    I've read 85% of that which has been mentioned so far. Either this is because they are genre-defining icons that any literate person has had a chance to find out about, OR we are being groomed by aliens to become super-intelligent war tacticians.

    Yeah, we're getting spaceships for Christmas.
  • Deleted user 23 December 2011 13:07:35
    Shout out for King's Bachman books. At least amongst the best things he ever wrote, possibly the best.

    Rage is something I read more than once a year as a teen. How I didn't end up performing my own high-school shooting I don't know.
    And The Long Walk is such a terrifying look at the misuse of authority that it probably turned me into an anarchist. Just like the ones in xXx.
  • Whizzo 23 Dec 2011 13:20:16 43,370 posts
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    This book has influenced my life more than any other.

    Steven Vickers I salute you!

    Edited by Whizzo at 13:21:32 23-12-2011

    This space left intentionally blank.

  • Deleted user 23 December 2011 13:53:30
    1. Lord of the Flies
    2. The Brothers Karamazov
    3. The Qur'an
  • StringBeanJean 23 Dec 2011 18:29:05 1,787 posts
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    1. No Logo - read it when I was 16 on, I think, Thom Yorke's recommendation. Totally opened my eyes to the world outside my home town, to economics, politics, injustice, capitalism etc. Followed of course by
    2. The Communist Manifesto - Nice easy read this, got me thinking about social and economic history, about social structures, how we live together and so on and turned me into an obnoxious student leftie
    3. The Road to Wigan Pier (Orwell) - showed the effects of capitalism on the people at the bottom.

    Now I'm older I don't necessarily subscribe to the whole anti-capitalist thing, but I went on to study politics at university, and then work in politics. Without these texts I'm not sure I would have done. Of course I read these when I was 16-18, which as far as I'm concerned were my formative years. Before this I was an ignorant little shit (though I did like poetry and literature).
  • Oh-Bollox 24 Dec 2011 02:31:43 5,431 posts
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    1) 1984
    2) Catch-22
    3) Lord of the Flies

    Convinced me wholeheartedly that it is, at best, me versus an indifferent world.
  • jonsaan 24 Dec 2011 08:51:56 25,440 posts
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    The Faraway Tree.
    The Wishing Chair.
    The Eyes of the Dragon.


  • tendollarlameo 24 Dec 2011 09:17:46 43 posts
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    1) Prep
    2) The Perks of Being a Wallflower
    3) Death Note

    Having been (this spoils the end of the book and explains why Charlie is the person he is, so if you plan on reading it or seeing the movie next year, SERIOUSLY AVOID IT)molested by a family member(my mother) and being the same age as Charlie when I read it, Wallflower really spoke to me. It made me a more outgoing least to the people I want to be outgoing to.

    Prep continues to be "the" book of my life, the one I always turn to when I'm confused or depressed. In many ways it's my Bible. I'm one of the people who believe that the book has to have been based on personal experiences, because Sittenfeld wrote such believable characters that it's hard to imagine they aren't real in some way. I share an outlook on life similar to the protagonist, and after reading, it made me realize that I'm a very judgmental, emotional, and passive aggressive person. It made me feel comfortable with who I was, while also encouraging me to be less of...well, a dick. It made me realize that there are chances you're going to have to take growing up, especially when it comes to friendship and your first love, and even if they turn out badly, they're still worth the risk. There's a huge difference in living and just existing, and for the longest time, all I was doing was the latter.

    I know, I know, it's a manga, but Death Note I still hold Death Note very close to my heart. It challenged my morals as I rooted for Kira to kill criminals, while being fully aware doing so made him a criminal. I have a lot of issues when it comes to God and faith, and honestly I think Death Note just gave me more issues. It's a very philosophical series. What happens when man is given too much power, do two wrongs make a right, etc. What I find to be the most interesting aspect of Death Note, though, is the fact the entire plot was started because someone was bored. I imagine that's why most killers begin their "career"; out of boredom.
  • Silvermoth 6 Mar 2012 11:22:06 46 posts
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    1. The Mr Men series (hey, it started me reading so it's gotta count!)

    2. 1984 by George Orwell, an absolute classic. I love it and it just gets truer and truer as time goes on.

    3. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. Fantastic writing and a unique story. I wish it would be adapted into a good telly series or movie.
  • billythekid 6 Mar 2012 11:24:31 11,403 posts
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    Oxford English Dictionary
    Encyclopedia Britannica
    Ross Kemp on gangs
  • RedSparrows 6 Mar 2012 11:25:28 24,273 posts
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    The Hobbit
    Pigeon Post
    Lord of the Flies

    and for non-fiction: The Way Things Work


    Catch 22
    Doctor Zhivago
    Life & Fate

    N/F: The Poverty of Historicism

    Yes, I cheated.

    Edited by RedSparrows at 11:27:45 06-03-2012
  • MetalDog 6 Mar 2012 11:32:01 23,920 posts
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    1) The Bible - currently unfashionable among non-politicians, but hey.
    2) The Hobbit - my dad read this to me in instalments as a bed time story. There was a lot of love for books in my house - the hallway was full bookcases of paperbacks that had overspilled the other rooms, but listening to 'Riddles in the Dark as a wide-eyed kid in bed really sealed the deal on my love of fiction.
    3) The Sword of Shannara - the book that convinced me I could write one better than that.

    -- boobs do nothing for me, I want moustaches and chest hair.

  • RedSparrows 6 Mar 2012 11:34:49 24,273 posts
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    Haha, I like the 3rd.

    Mine in that case would be The Secret Speech, by Tom Rob Smith. Absolutely awful book.

    Edited by RedSparrows at 11:35:12 06-03-2012
  • MetalDog 6 Mar 2012 12:01:59 23,920 posts
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    Three isn't enough, really :)
    James Herbert's The Rats was a real eye-opener after years of Beaver Books of Horror and victorian ghost stories. I read that when I was twelve, which was probably too young for all that sex and violence, but it was a hell of a breath of fresh air.
    Stephen King is a massive, massive inspiration on the less pulpy writing side of things - I read Pet Semetary in my mid-teens and remember lying in bed at 4AM having read it through the night, busting for a piss but too scared to traverse the darkened hallway, sure that that fucking cat would be waiting for me if I tried.

    -- boobs do nothing for me, I want moustaches and chest hair.

  • RedSparrows 6 Mar 2012 12:43:44 24,273 posts
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    The Rats terrified me. I read it too young too, and it fascinated me. Probably the first time I had to force myself to read, and each page was actually a wall between me and the next horror. I used to pick it up, read a random page, then throw it away in horrified delight.
  • RedSparrows 6 Mar 2012 12:44:20 24,273 posts
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    oh, and the sex was right sexy. That was, of course, appealing too...
  • Tonka 6 Mar 2012 13:15:04 21,360 posts
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    The Earthsea trilogy Ė The idea of the importance of names still affects my day to day life.

    Some bloody Zen book my dad bought (can't remember the name) Ė I read it as a teenager and it has ruined my life

    The Hobby Magicians Handbook Ė studiyng stage and close-up magic for a while should be mandatory. There's so much psychology etc

    If you can read this you really need to fiddle with your forum settings.

  • skuzzbag 6 Mar 2012 13:21:31 5,751 posts
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    The Old Joke Book.
    I Robot
    When the Wind Blows
  • glaeken 6 Mar 2012 13:34:01 11,266 posts
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    The Lanague Chronicles by F. Paul Wilson. This introduced me to the concepts of libertarianism and for a while I considered myself an ardent libertarian. Though I have moved on from that stage itís still a book that made me look government in an entirely different way so itís big influence for me. It's the story of an evil galactic empire bought down by economic means so a little different to the norm. The cover of the book also features a man with a double barrel machine gun shotgun who has been shot by a number of arrows which you just donít see enough of these days.

    Empty World by John Christopher. This gave me my love of post-apocalyptic fiction. Itís a book aimed at teens about a global plague that wipes out 99.9% of the population. Itís certainly not best post-apocalyptic book and but it started by love of the genre so it gets the nod as an influence.

    Ice Henge by Kim Stanley Robinson. I really appreciate the structure of this book and it is one of the best examples of the unreliable narrator I have come across. Itís a book you really can say little about to someone who has not read it.

    These books I would not say are up there with my favourite books but they are books that left a lasting impression which is something I find that you sometimes get even from a book you did not enjoy that much.

    Edited by glaeken at 13:36:36 06-03-2012
  • El_MUERkO 29 Apr 2012 12:05:43 17,149 posts
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    It's a tough question,

    Fear and loathing in Las Vegas. The first Hunter S. Thompson I read, it was like an idea bomb went off somewhere in my brain and my teenage years would change drastically because of it.

    Nam. Mark Baker interviews Vietnam veterans and through their words I discovered what people were capable of when pushed to the limits of their humanity.

    Fear and loathing on the campaign trail. Everything you ever need to know about politicians but you wish wasn't true. Helped define my politics before I knew I was supposed to care.

    Honorable mentions:

    The Hobbit
    The Great Shark Hunt
    Moby Dick
    King Lear
  • Stickman 29 Apr 2012 13:02:12 29,664 posts
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    El_MUERkO wrote:
    Nam. Mark Baker interviews Vietnam veterans and through their words I discovered what people were capable of when pushed to the limits of their humanity.
    Yeah, that's a great book. I like the Forgotten Voices series as well. It's a bit of a clichť to say 'lest we forget', but stuff like this really breathes humanity into history and really makes you realise that these aren't mythical war heroes, they're just Bill from over the road who was put in a position.


  • Blaizefm 29 Apr 2012 13:03:40 232 posts
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    Let me have a go:

    1) IT by Stephen King
    2) Only Forward by Michael Marshall Smith
    3) They Came And Ate Us by Robert Rankin

    These three books made me want to be a writer. And it worked!
  • Syrette 29 Apr 2012 13:08:49 44,264 posts
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    Has anyone said Harry Potter yet?

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