The three books which have influenced you the most Page 3

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  • Deleted user 29 April 2012 13:25:27
    1) Down and Out in London and Paris - George Orwell
    2) Gormenghast - Mervyn Peake
    3) The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
  • Mr-Brett 29 Apr 2012 14:31:59 12,676 posts
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    1) Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontė
    Yes it's a pretty gay choice but it's what got be actually interested in reading books and treating them as entertainment rather than them being merely school-work related tools.

    2) Foundation - Issac Asimov
    My young mind was blown and I've been pretty hooked on sci-fi ever since.

    3) Yes Man - Danny Wallace
    Again not a choice I'm especially proud of, I don't even think it's that good a book. It did however make me take a look at my own life and realise that I do say no too much and thus I made a concerted effort to change (with moderate success).

    Portable view - Never forget.

  • RedSparrows 29 Apr 2012 14:39:25 20,754 posts
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    This explains a lot.
  • localnotail 29 Apr 2012 14:41:08 23,093 posts
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    Many books >>>>>> EG

    Sadly my concentration span and available time has diminished as I've got older, so I read less now. This makes me sad.

    A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.

  • localnotail 29 Apr 2012 14:43:21 23,093 posts
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    Sunday afternoon drunk is by far the most attractive kind of drunk. Doesn't really stand out amongst normal people at all.

    A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.

  • sirtacos 8 Jun 2012 18:30:56 7,205 posts
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    3. All the King's Men: my favourite work of fiction, probably. Its insights into the human condition have stayed with me. I don't know how long that'll last, or how insightful those insights actually are, but AtKM has definitely influenced my worldview.

    2. The Brain that Changes Itself: got me interested in neuroscience.

    1. Octopus and Squid: the Soft Intelligence (by Cousteau): got me interested in reading as a kid. Gave me a fascination with the sea. Made me obsessed with diving. It kindled my interest in animals, in alien worlds and minds, and how to bridge the gap between human and nonhuman. Which sparked my interet in SF, etc.
    Basically Cousteau made me a geek.

    Edited by sirtacos at 18:46:25 08-06-2012
  • Deleted user 8 June 2012 18:45:18
    1. The Bible - not necessarily in a good way at times, but it had and to some extent still has an influence
    2. Lord of the Rings - got me into pen and paper gaming and then PC gaming
    3. The ZX81 manual - got me into programming at an early age (because you HAD to program the early stuff!) and has made me a living ever since.

    Probably could add loads more of ones that have been really useful or just incredible to read, so a Top 3 is really hard to do.
  • sirtacos 8 Jun 2012 19:02:15 7,205 posts
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    Never did read the Bible. Seems like an awkward read. The only parts I read were the beginning (Genesis) and the end (Revelations). The first was ok, the latter was batshit insane.

    I doubt I'd get much from it.

    My dad says it should only be read 'properly' - that is, with adequate preparation, and under the guidance of someone who knows how to interpret it, i.e. some sort of wise and learned guru priest.
    (My dad's very religious.)
    To me, that can be translated as: you have to be indoctrinated properly or not at all.
    I go with option 2.
  • Deleted user 8 June 2012 19:49:19
    You're not wrong Sirtacos... I was thoroughly indoctrinated as my dad was an ex-monk...

    Guilt as a teenager and fear of ever lasting damnation is not a good thing.
  • sirtacos 8 Jun 2012 19:59:56 7,205 posts
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    Sounds crappy. Your dad's approach, that is. Glad you came out the other end relatively sane though :)
  • HoraceGoesSquiffy 8 Jun 2012 20:03:56 1,565 posts
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    Not sure about 'influenced', but I'll go with 'made a significant impression' :

    Childhood : Beastly Rhymes (can't remember author). Great 50's illustrations and some of the monsters scared the shit out of me.
    Teenager : The Long Walk by Stephen King. Early work and it shows, but I liked it. The mundane and arbitrary nature of death in it made an impression on me.
    Most Recent : Lolita by Vladamir Nabokov. Famous for all the wrong reasons - amazing book, especially where Humbert slips into a state where you're not sure if he's imagining things or not. Didn't realise you could evoke such a thing so well just through writing.
  • Deleted user 8 June 2012 20:06:39
    1. Bhagavad Gita - a lot shorter than the Bible (but not the only reason I chose it).

    2. Akenfield by Ronald Blythe - inspiring and important snapshot of a period in British history when large numbers of workers made the transtion from working the land by hand, and moved to the towns and cities (prompted by increased mechanisation of agriculture).

    3. Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco - not the most profound novel I have read but a perfect cross between page turner and a novel of ideas; a grown-up version of The Da Vinci Code.
  • gang_of_bitches 8 Jun 2012 22:06:34 4,932 posts
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    ModishNouns wrote:
    1. Surely You're Joking Mr Feynman: Adventures of a Curious Character for his breezy attitude and joy of geekiness.
    2. Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. A bit of a geeky male Mary Sue but I love him.
    3. Stone Junction by Jim Dodge. One I should really read again. A wonderful "Potter for grown ups". Sharp, cool and dusty like a desert road.
    Oh my god. Your number one is my number one. Really, really wasn't expecting anyone else to say that, just goes to show unless you're a genius, bongo playing physicist original thought is trickier than it looks. Incidentally I love Douglas Adams too.

    Number 2. Either 1984 or Animal Farm. Both were great were great starting points for my young mind to begin developing some critical thought.

    3. Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff. In many respects dreadful hippy dippy drivel not much more worthy than shit like Paul Coello, but I read it at a time when I was feeling rather down and stuck in life and it proved a catalyst to stop worrying and just do something.
  • MightyMouse 9 Jun 2012 04:08:26 1,091 posts
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    From very different time periods for me:

    1) Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke - read when I was 9 or 10, made me much more interested in SF (and with maths and science).

    2) Pursuit of Truth by W.V.O. Quine - love the depth and subtlety of his thinking.

    3) Rapture by Carol Ann Duffy
  • INSOMANiAC 26 Jul 2012 22:41:50 3,788 posts
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    Metamorphosis - Franz Kafka - I don't think its any exaggeration to say it changed my life, I can't quite put into words why but the man astonishes me.

    Crime and punishment - Dostoyevsky - Amazing writing, truly a master of the art.

    1984 - George Orwell - Another genius, a real page turner.

    Steam - iN5OMANiAC
    PSN - iN5OMANiCAL

  • Ironlungs76 27 Jul 2012 08:10:49 4,930 posts
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    Mr Tickle, Asterix in Spain and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

    Life. Lessons. Learned.
  • Fab4 27 Jul 2012 08:45:06 5,691 posts
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    The Colour of Magic (Terry Pratchett)
    To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
    Digital Communications (John G. Proakis)

    Edit: Honourable mention for Heart of Darkness (Joseph Conrad)

    Edited by Fab4 at 08:46:08 27-07-2012
  • Alastair 27 Jul 2012 09:18:52 14,953 posts
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    1. Swallows and Amazons (and the rest of the series). Reading these taught me a lot of the theory of sailing. When I came to learn to sail in Scouts I already knew and understood a lot of the theory!
    (Hat tip to Red Sparrows fro noting Pigeon Post. My actual favourite of the series is Winter Holiday)



    2. How to Get a First Without Really Trying. This was a cheap self-help book I saw advertised on a pin-board at uni. It probably changed me more than anything. It was part positive thinking manual and part 'how to study effectively' guide. I didn't get a first, but I did get a 2:1 based on 6 weeks revision. And I tend to focus on the positives in life. :)

    3. Prompted by mentiond on the Spectrum manual I would probably go for the Dragon 32 manual. I typed in most of the programs and learnt the basis of programming. When I joined the world of work this set me up for SAS programming and made me a lot of money for little effort! :)


    Edited by Alastair at 09:20:35 27-07-2012

    Not as nice as I used to be

  • Rodney 27 Jul 2012 10:32:35 1,682 posts
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    1) Count Monte Cristo - I still love this book for its own sake but it also opened my eyes to classic literature and many other great books.

    2) 1984 - sparked my interest in politics which I then went onto to study at university.

    3) A Short History of everything, Bill Bryson - I know it is fairly light popular science book but it got me in science, history and philosophy as an adult. The subsequent books I have read on these subjects have made me a much more rounded person and taught me to be skeptical of my own beliefs . It also made me regret studying politics and not science.

    honourable mention to HHGTTG and Bravo Two Zero which gets better with every read.

    Edited by Rodney at 10:42:48 27-07-2012
  • Rodney 27 Jul 2012 10:33:18 1,682 posts
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    This thread has also added quite a few books to my 'to read list' so thanks for that, everyone!
  • warlockuk 27 Jul 2012 10:52:21 19,101 posts
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    Good call on Bill Bryson; I've really enjoyed his books over the years :)

    I'm not sure what three books have influenced me most tbh. I think there are books I read as a child that would've set off my love of reading, but have themselves been ultimately forgotten. There are certainly some memorable books - like The Neverending Story by... Michael Ende I think it was.

    If I had to pick three that were an influence on me personally, though, I'd have to pick:
    1. The Bible. For me it has been a never-ending source of bile and evil, and continues to reaffirm being an Atheist every time I read it. Every time I meet a person who actually claims to be a Christian I'm convinced they haven't completely read the bible... there is some utter utter filth in there that can't just be waved away as "oh, you!". If you read it and still want to believe you may as well become an Odinist. :)

    2. The Neverending Story. It might've been the first "fantasy" book I ever read, back in about 1984 or so, when I'd have been 9. I may have read stuff prior to that but I honestly can't recall what else I was reading before then.

    3. Tom Sawyer. My nan gave me an old copy of it as a kid and I read it a load of times as a nipper. Even casual racism and stuff aside it was one of the first books I read and got totally engrossed in. It felt a lot more grown-up than previous tat that I'd read.

    I'm a grumpy bastard.

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