Recommend Me a Book Which You Loved, or Made an Impact on You

Hi,

I'm looking to get back into reading.

Weather it's Self Help or Fiction, i'm looking for you to recommend a book which you really enjoyed, or something which has made an impact on your life.

I'm hoping I'll get a few recommendations which multiple people recommend.

Thank you

Comments

  • American Psycho - Bret Easton Ellis

    • It's certainly not for everyone though. If anything is deserving of a trigger warning it's this book. The movie is basically G rated in comparison.

      Now, I need to return some videotapes.

      • I never watched the movie … didn’t want to take from the impact of the book which I read long ago… older now I doubt I’d be able to get through it again, but it is one of not a lot of books that I haven’t forgotten..

      • Let's see OzBargain's card.

        Very impressive. Nice.

  • The Bible - Matthew et al

    • Got in before me!

    • Don't forget the sequel, Christ ain't cruci-f**kin' around this time.

    • Have you actually read the christian bible? The whole thing? From start to finish, not just the parts someone picked for you?

      • I don't even understand the quotes I've seen so there's no chance I'll understand this work of fiction. What is it with that talking snake? Weird stuff. No thanks.

        • You'd think after 2,000 odd years "God" could've updated it a bit. Redictated it in a modern language, fixed the inconsistencies and explained the inaccuracies like the whole geocentric creation story. Some explanation of planets, stars and galaxies would be nice.

          We've had other prophets since like Muhammad, Baháʼu'lláh and of course Joseph Smith, but they haven't made anything clearer nor caught on universally. It's almost as though the whole thing was just made up and the most colossally disastrous misdirection in human history.

          • @Scrooge McDuck: I'm in agreement, however some good did come from parts of it - it brings like minded people together and has helped many who in their worst times have found meaning and purpose and assistance to ground themselves to be better people.

            Granted - they could have done this with something that makes a lot more sense (like going to gym or group hikes or team sports etc) - whatever makes them truck on to strive to be better / improve other aspects of their lives hats off to them.

            That's the only one positive I have found comes from it - I suppose at the expense of a truckload of negatives.

            I always thought about going to church to benefit from only the above as a non believer and ignore the rest. I think it would be an interesting experience.

            • @Michegianni: It's unfortunate that people can't find fellowship with non-religious community groups. Some exist but I don't know how popular they are. Sporting groups are an easy excuse to meet. Perhaps check out meetup.com.

              Church is an interesting experience and I guess worth attending at least once. Attendees vary by church and session but many are mostly elderly with some teens and early twenties. There's a noticeable absence of 25–55 year olds. The vibe can be quite creepy. The young people can be very thirsty in a Streisand effect kinda way. It also seems to be a sanctuary for socially outcasted oddballs — lots of infirm, shaky and anxious people. They're very welcoming and loving, but it can be uncomfortably pressurising. You'll have strangers praying for you and telling you that "Jesus has a plan for you."

              If you survive the above, all the scattergun gobbledegook bible passages and earbleedingly out of tune hymns, there's one saving grace: They tend to provide some decent free sweets afterwards — cakes, funsize chocolates and tea/coffee.

      • I remember trying to read the bible as a kid, I got up to around Lot and the seducing the dad bit when I gave up on it. Not an easy read, for sure. I did enjoy the kid versions of the bible we had lying around though.

    • Spoiler alert: the hero gets killed.

  • "Games you can play with your (profanity)"

    https://www.amazon.com.au/Games-You-Play-Your-(profanity)/dp/0983303770

  • The Happiest Man on Eath - Eddie Jaku

  • +28 votes

    12 Rules for Life

    Ducks for cover

  • Solitaire Mystery by Jostein Gaarder

  • Black Like Me - John Howard Griffin

  • Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

  • Fizz the Fire Engine.

  • 33 Myths of the System
    https://expressiveegg.org/portfolio/33-myths-of-the-system/

    A BRIEF, FREE, GUIDE TO THE ENTIRE UNWORLD
    As civilisation reaches endgame and begins to disintegrate, as the illusions of left and right coalesce into a single, spectacular omnimyth, as every rootless mind begins to directly experience the stupefying dystopias of Orwell, Huxley, Kafka and Dick, the time has come to understand the whole system, from root to fruit.

    Drawing on the entire history of radical thought, while seeking to plumb their common depths, 33 Myths of the System, presents a synthesis of independent criticism, a straightforward exposure of the justifications of the world-system, along with a new way to perceive and understand the unhappy supermind that directs, penetrates and even lives our lives.

    33 Myths of the System confronts the fabrications of both capitalism and socialism, both left and right, both theism and atheism. As such it may be, for some, a challenging read. But if you are willing to face not just the world out there, but the anxieties and desires in here which sustain it, 33 Myths of the System — together with its companion Self & Unself — will be a liberating read.

    Way more interesting than it sounds. :) And FREE!

  • Shantaram is a 2003 novel by Gregory David Roberts, in which a convicted Australian bank robber and heroin addict escapes from Pentridge Prison and flees to India. The novel is commended by many for its vivid portrayal of tumultuous life in Bombay

    • Second that. I read that last year and I believe now Apple TV is making it into a series.

    • Great book and I was also going to nominate it… That said you can skip the sequel which was not a patch on Shantaram.

    • One of my all time favourites that was also highly recommended to me. It's very lengthy but worth it!

    • If you want an epic set in India try A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth. Don't bother with the Netflix version of it though - the TV series is not well made and pulls it punches, I think because Netflix is scared to piss off Hindutva nationalists (of whom Seth is scathing).

      The book is as long as Shantaram but with a far better (and massive) range of characters and a consistently better turn of phrase.

    • This is a personal favourite. The author was locked up in Melbourne (true story). He writes about his life in India (part fiction) which is detailed, moving and captivating. It’s long but we’ll worth it. Haven’t read the sequel, can anyone recommend reading it?

  • The Spy and the Traitor / Ben Macintyre

    East of Eden / John Steinbeck
    2001: a Space Odyssey / Arthur Clarke
    At Home: A Short History of Private Life / Bill Bryson

  • A Song of Ice and Fire

  • +4 votes

    Fooled by Randomness, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

  • The Nag Hammadi Library, the only extent corpus of Gnostic spiritual writings from the most persecuted and thoroughly suppressed spiritual movement in history.

    If you love The Matrix, the concept of the Simulation Hypothesis and/or Elon Musk's ramblings on such matters and want to understand their primary source of inspiration on a far deeper level, than this is what you should read.

    Not in His Image by John Lash Lamb is a worthy primer on the subject, but the actual Nag Hammadi manuscripts are only partially covered in this book and not explored in-depth.

  • Although I'm pretty much still a no or maybe man, Yes Man by Danny Wallace.

  • https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/597345

    Got most of these for free from bookswaps at hostels when I was a backpacker, loved them and the next series about Genghis Kahn.

  • +5 votes

    The Richest Man in Babylon

    • I just find it fascinating that these stories are translated from Babylon tablets written 5000 years ago.
      The key to money remains the same. Spend less than you earn and put your savings to work.

  • For me,

    The Art of Japanese Living made me more accepting of life, that nothing is perfect and that life is is constantly changing. What we have right this second will not repeat itself so accept the good and the bad and try to find meaning in everything that happens.

    then

    Maybe You Should Talk to Someone made me accept more about who we are, why we say things, do things, and how to just be better people to the people we are in contact with. Relationships are about learning - good and bad - and how we can incorporate those experiences into our lives moving forward. You can't grow if you are stuck and continually think of the past.

    • Great suggestion, thanks. I've started listening to the audiobook (Maybe you should talk to someone) after reading your reply. It's a very good book, enjoyable, sometimes sad, sometimes funny, but very real. I'm on chapter 16. The narrator is really good, she manages to transmit the emotions to the listener. 😀

      • Glad you are liking the audiobook.

        I went through a difficult period in late 2020 and hurt someone I really cared for (and who I truly did not mean to) and there was a part of the book which sooooo resonated with what happened. In my situation, all I really hoped for was forgiviness from this person. I did not expect anything else but the book questioned why people say sorry ….. usually it is for one of three things and it made so much sense:

        Did I say sorry because I would feel better about myself?
        Did I say sorry because I hope they would forgive me?
        Or did I say sorry because I was truly sorry?

        And the author says "It is how I come to terms about myself, and let the other person come to terms with me however they want to". So spot on for me.

        I learnt so many other little things to, so glad I read it.

        Anyway, enjoy the rest of the book!

  • Male or female info would help?
    What particular genre of fiction?
    I read at least 1 book a week.

    • nice. speed read or just make lots of time for it?

      • Mostly in bed when I wake up. Not working, so if I wake up at 6ish, sometimes it is close to 8 before I actually get up. You know the old story…just one more chapter, just until the paragraph break, just a little bit more…..

  • Non-Fiction
    Anything Bill Bryson writes is usually fascinating and engaging [I prefer his non-travel writing, not that there's anything wrong with his travel diaries]
    Freakenomics is probably the non-fiction book/series that's stuck with me the longest [through its myriad examples of unexpected results and ways of looking at things]

    Fiction
    It's been awhile since I've read one, but Raymond Chandler's mystery novels (and Dashiell Hammett's, while we're at it) were the best of its time and genre

  • Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

  • House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

    I re read this book once a year, it is my absolute favourite. From the way the story itself is printed on the paper, to the imagination it inspires, what an exciting book. I've recommended it to a few people and most have loved it, some have had to stop reading because it spooked them a fair bit. It's such a ride, beginning to end.

  • Barefoot investor was a good one (although I was already doing what was mentioned in the book).

  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

  • The Alchemist

  • The two latest books by William Gibson - "The Peripheral" and "Agency".

    Whilst you're reading them, you have to remember they were both written before 2020.

  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Had the most impact on me of all the books I've read.

    • I have had this for close to a decade, and have yet to brave the sense of dread to read beyond the first few pages..

    • This is an amazing book. I thought the movie was really good too. I must read more of Cormac McCarthy’s books.

    • Strangely never liked The Road - I thought it too implausible in parts in the way people interacted post-apocalypse. Strange, because I loved No Country For Old Men - the book's even better than the movie.

      • I tended to think the opposite. Most post apocalyptic novels try and inject elements of high fantasy - as though the first thing that people would do after the apocalypse is dream up some crazy new religion and appoint a high priest who gets about in a suitably camp costume fashioned from car parts.

        The Road didnt bother trying to construct some elaborate back story of how the apocalypse happened - no one cares. It also didn't bother with aliens, zombies etc. The horror comes from the sheer desolation itself.

        I actually had my qualms with the book technically, but the book stands apart on the basis of those two innovations alone.

  • Kama Sutra

  • The Vampire Lestat - Anne Rice - it's the sequel to interview with the vampire but in effect is a prequel. Loved it

    OTHERLAND by Tad Williams - 4 book science fiction series delving into a future where Virtual Reality becomes the best form of entertainment.

    Fictional History series I really got into.
    Wolf of the Plains - by Conn Iggulden - the story of Genghis Khan (plus three sequels)

    Also by Conn Iggulden his Emporer series which is the fictionalised story of Julius Cesar. 4 books that weave in the known history with his interpretation of the characters etc and filling in the blanks. Ripper series.

    David Gemmels Troy series was also a cracker.

    Assassins apprentice - Robyn Hobb - first book of a fantasy series I was always put off by the title but once I read it I loved it.

  • The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results is a non-fiction, self-help book written by authors and real estate entrepreneurs, Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan. The book discusses the value of simplifying one's workload by focusing on the one most important task in any given project.

  • John Swartzwelder’s books are good for a laugh. Basically every single line in his stories is a joke. Like literally every single line is in service of a joke.

  • Musonius Rufus' Lectures - they are mostly about Stoic philosophy ethics but also a guide to a good life.

    https://sites.google.com/site/thestoiclife/the_teachers/muso...

  • If you like action/adventure/sci-fi eder rice burroughs and his bassoon series is an action pack series. Also vardis fisher testament of man series is amazing history of time - from start of life, early western civilisations, Jesus and religion etc - fictional stories based on historical facts - some of the information is out of date but truly amazing stories that really worth tracking down