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

  • The Spenser series of books by the late Robert. B. Parker is excellent, fun fiction about a private detective in Boston. Don’t let that TERRIBLE “Spenser” movie deter you, the books are in a completely different universe.

  • From sex to Superconsciousness - this book has changed the lives of many. Yours truly included.
    Purchase : https://www.amazon.com.au/Sex-Matters-Superconsciousness-Osh...
    Free online read (1 chapter ?) : http://www.baytallaah.com/bookspdf/7.pdf

  • The Promised Neverland, Volume 1-9! 😂 Manga for life

  • +2

    Bullsh!t Jobs by Dave Graeber. He is an anthropologist and whilst most of the work in the book is anecdotal it helped me a lot by explaining that I am not alone in feeling that my job is totally worthless and of little actual benefit to anyone (of which 60% of all jobs may also fall into this category).

  • Almanack of Naval Ravikant - its also free!

  • +3

    Ice Station - Matthew Reilly

    • -3

      Seriously? I'd be embarrassed to even mention that.

      • I used to love Matthew Reilly then all of a sudden one day they felt a bit YA fiction :(

  • +6

    “Sapiens - A Brief History of Humankind” which will propel you into “Homo Deus - A Brief History of Tomorrow” which will draw you into “21 Lessons for the 21st Century”. All by Yuval Noah Harari.

    • I have all three but have only read the first one, amazing book. To me it illustrates how random and completely made-up our civilisation is.

      • Sapiens is in a class of its own. The other two are opinionated bs

        • Rubbish. They are all extremely well researched, written and reasoned.

          • +1

            @thwarted: Sapiens is a step above 21 lessons.
            To be fair Sapiens is commenting on the past (static) in a clear way.
            21 lessons is about worries and predictions of the future, so it is limited in that it is hard to judge things until after they happen. It's a good book to read to understand modern issues and how they could develop. I like to understand Yuvals opinion, considering his comprehension of human history.

  • +4

    “Pillars of the Earth” trilogy.

    • Ooh no. Well researched books, but Follett is incapable of writing a good clear English sentence.

  • +6

    Fiction: 1984 by George Orwell.

    Non fiction: Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari.

    • +3

      Is 1984 fiction?

      • +3

        The sequel can be found by walking outside.

      • +2

        It used to be.

        • Just ask the ministry of truth

  • Maybe it was just the right time for me, but I really enjoy Frank Tallis' non-fiction work. He's an ex-psychotherapist, and he makes for really interesting discussions around various aspects of human life.

    The Incurable Romantic (which seems to be on deep discount on Amazon at the moment for $6!) covers various case studies of people he treated which suffered from love. But the examples he gives are super unusual, but he finds a way to use them to highlight underlying emotions we can all relate to. He believes love is a form of mental illness, and I have to say - I think I agree. I mean that with no negative sentiment towards love - it's great! But the way it can completely changet he personality and decision making processes of otherwise incredibly 'normal' people, is pretty darn comparable to many mental illnesses.

    The Act of Living is a very recent book of his I just finished. Highlights a whole bunch of aspects of the human condition, and elaborates on why we do the things we do. Covers everything from the desire to constantly accumulate, to searching for meaning in life.

    I found both these books to be excellent, insightful, and impactful. I couldn't recommend them highly enough. What I would say though, is that The Act of Living can be a bit more boring - in the sense that he quotes far more psychotherapy literature and theories and talks less about specific case studies (compared to The Incurable Romantic).

  • +5

    Definitely The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu, Amazing Sci Fi on the scale of something ive never read or watched before.

    • What is love?

    • +1

      i've heard the book is very technical, and goes into physics that will be way over the average reader's head. Is this true?

      • +1

        It's more that Liu fails at character building. That kinda ruins the rest.

    • +1

      I'm an avid SciFi reader of decades. I started reading The Three Body Problem, found it disappointing, and put it down. Liu is unable to build momentum, and was so obtuse in the build-up that I was not able to connect with the characters… at all! Story telling 101 - capture the audience. I know it's been widely lauded, however the list of names don't strike me as avid readers of GOOD SciFi. Anyhow… didn't make the grade for me.

    • I preferred the second book in the series. The third was a real let down.

  • +2

    The Game by Neil Strauss

    • Wow that brings me back to mid 2000s!

      Models by Mark Manson is about the same subject - attracting women, but takes a completely opposite approach by leaning into honesty. Compared to The Game, which leans into spectacle. I'd highly encourage anyone interested in The Game to read Models as plenty of men have found The Game to have developed odd ideas about attracting women that don't fit with having long term relationships.

      • May read it just for fun but no longer into that scene 🦚

  • +2

    The Culture series (10 books in the series) by Ian Banks & Ringworld by Larry Niven.

    Both are great sci-fi reads.

  • +5

    The only book that made an IMPACT on me was the bible everytime the nun at school hit me in the back of the head with it

  • +1

    The complete works of Hugh Hefner, otherwise known as Playboy. Good illustrations too, but I read it for the articles…

  • For newer fiction reads:

    The Bluffs - Kyle Perry
    Bruny - Heather Rose

    Non fiction crime:
    The ice man - Phillip Carlo

  • Who Moved My Cheese? Spencer Johnson

  • +3

    I think your first mistake is to ask other people. You need to sit-down yourself, and jot down your interests. Why do you want to read? To lose yourself in fantasy, or educate yourself? Cook books, sailing books, rock climbing books, yoga books… it is all up to you and what you are seeking to obtain.

    • +1

      Not sure I agree with your approach (I think other suggestions are great), but I do think they could have given a little more for us to go on. Age, genre, previous reads, etc.

  • +1

    Factfulness - Ten reasons we're wrong about the world

  • +3

    Animal Farm by George Orwell

  • https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wave_(novel)

    "The Wave" by Todd Strasser

    PRODUCT DESCRIPTION
    This novel dramatizes an incident that took place in a California school in 1969. A teacher creates an experimental movement in his class to help students understand how people could have followed Hitler. The results are astounding. The highly disciplined group, modeled on the principles of the Hilter Youth, has its own salute, chants, and special ways of acting as a unit and sweeps beyond the class and throughout the school, evolving into a society willing to give up freedom for regimentation and blind obedience to their leader. All will learn a lesson that will never be forgotten.

  • +4

    A Fortunate Life - A B Facey

    It's a beautiful autobiography of a man who lived a life of hardship. I read it on the recommendation of someone whom I'd trust in this area. I read the synopsis and thought "Is this book for me? Ok. If I don't enjoy it, oh well.". This is now my favourite book.

  • +1
    • The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
    • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
    • +1

      Yep, the great Victorian classics are classics for a reason. They are REALLY good. But try some George Eliot - "Middlemarch" is my all time favourite from that century.

      • I actually bought a while ago but didn't get the time to read it yet. I have a leave coming up soon so will get back to reading a lot of classics I wanted to read for a long time.

    • Freud called it the greatest novel ever written for a reason. By far the best thing Dostoevsky wrote. Smerdyacov did nothing wrong.

  • +3

    Nudge, a book on behavioural economics that helped me understand a lot of design choices and see how you are being manipulated (for good or bad). Nicely written by the bloke who won a Nobel prize for the theory.

    If you're into science fiction, I recommend the Foundation books by Asimov, and Dune by Frank Herbert, both of these are classics, and Foundation is a pretty easy read. I recently read the Three Body problem trilogy and found that very interesting, although I did find the writing to be quiet sexist in many parts, if you can't overlook this you'll have problems. This also applies to Foundation, but it's more forgivable as it's a product of it's time, unlike Three Body which was released in 2008…

    • Robot and Foundation series were surprisingly easy reads, a good entry into the sci-fi genre.

      • yeah, Asimov was my gateway to sci-fi, I think I was put off by the terrible cover art for a very long time

    • A much better book than "Nudge" is the one that inspired it - Kahnemann and Tversky's "Thinking Fast and Slow". More psychology, less economics. And more scientifically based (and I say that as a trained economist).

      • As a train Economist, what's your view on Freakonomics? Both the books and the podcast if you've listened?

        • Dunno about the podcasts. But Nudge was a well written popularisation that got some things seriously wrong (mainly through too much use of studies that had not been properly replicated) but others pretty right. Mainly it exaggerated how original and novel Levitt's ideas were. In economics as in other fields, truly new approaches are pretty rare - most good ideas have been thought of before by someone.

      • I went on to read "Thinking Fast and Slow" as Thaler referenced it so much, but I didn't find it as engaging, I preferred Thaler's writing style

  • Some of my fave books

    Slaughterhouse-Five by Vonnegut Jr., Kurt anti war book and great reading

    The Color Purple by Walker, Alice inspiring, feminist

    Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman urban fantasy, page turner

    Animal Farm by George Orwell makes one think about human nature

    The Patterning Instinct: A Cultural History of Humanity's Search for Meaning by Jeremy Lent non fiction, another take on human history but also looking at influence of philosophical traditions.

  • Life 3.0 - Max Tegmark
    Great insight into the future with AI

    • is it 4.0 new edition already?

  • The Once and Future King by T.H White

  • +1

    Playboy! The one with a bunny on it. No description necessary.

  • +1

    Barefoot Investor

  • +1

    The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand

  • Not the most profound book, but one that did impact me was Speed Reading by Justin Hammond.

    I punched this book out in two sittings and it was quite useful in helping me decrease the time it took to read large cases and other literature where not all copy will be valuable.

    Yeah, the naysayers will say that it can be covered in a 15-minute youtube tutorial, but it's worthwhile actually reading a book when learning how to read faster.

    • Woody Allen had a joke about that. It goes "I did a speed reading course. It worked - I read War and Peace in one day. <pause> I think it's about Russia."

  • +3

    The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins.

    It started me on a journey towards discerning truth from myth, and put me on the path to develop critical thinking skills and letting go of my faith. I replaced it with a love and fascination for science, particularly biology and astrophysics.

    If faith is something you want to protect, you might want to stay away from this book.

    • +2

      I am a scientist, and also a believer. I had real issues with evolution until I actually carefully read Genesis. Now despise religion like Jesus did, but understand Bible and evolution are not mutually exclusive at all. Dawkins was a bit of a miserable sod, but I can understand his irritation.. 😁

      • +1

        but understand Bible and evolution are not mutually exclusive at all.

        I don't know how you can say that after also carefully reading Genesis again. The only way you could reconcile it is to say that Genesis is allegory and not literal, which would be a judgment call on your part (not every Christian will agree with that interpretation though plenty of liberal Christians do). If you're going to discard the parts that don't fit, you're really discrediting the source, and obviously rejecting its supposed infallibility. You are picking and choosing the parts that fit and ignoring the parts that don't.

        You can either discard the science, or the religion. You can't keep both with some concessions because they are at odds with one another.

        I will tell you this though. If intelligent aliens discovered Earth (and they would have to be far more advanced than us in order to get here), and we showed them the Bible as a symbol of our wisdom, they would not be very impressed at all. They would not have had god come down in the flesh and sacrifice himself to save them, so there would be no historic sentimentality from them.

        • Understand your thoughts on this. Bible is a translated document and the Genesis creation story we have is from Hebrew.
          Day word (yom , from memory) means period of time. Can be a day, a week, thousands of years.
          Key statement: ‘the earth brought forth’ Earth processes make things happen.
          And yes, still ultimate Qs about who made God,what came before etc. if you choose not to believe there is plenty of room in the Bible to find your ammunition, but not in the science of evolution.
          Bible itself says that the concept of God sacrificing his son (himself) is absurd. Not sure what aliens would make of us earthlings. Maybe they would identify similar stories for all I know. If we have the chance to ask it’ll be interesting. 😁
          I don’t pretend to have neatly packaged answers, and I sure don’t understand the breadth of either the Bible or evolution (both of which I have spent years learning about), all I’m saying is that I’ve found for me it doesn’t have to be either/or at a fundamental level.

          • @saltypete:

            Day word (yom , from memory) means period of time. Can be a day, a week, thousands of years.

            OK, but the christian bible also claims that its god created the Earth before the Sun. That is not correct, no matter how you translate it.

            • @Scrooge McDuck: If the POV of the story is from Earth, and it generally is, the sequence is pretty consistent with our current understanding of the evolution of the Solar system and Earth. There was an extended period after the planet coalesced that it was surrounded by thick clouds.

        • Even though it is inspired by God, it's written by men. All men are sinful and therefore the Bible is clearly fallible. The Bible is so packed with wisdom though you'd be a fool to dismiss the important lessons contained within. I think it's a great read. Full of 'oh wow!' moments relating to human nature.

          • +3

            @locknuts: Yep, lots of wise advice about killing people for various indiscretions, inspired by a lovely chap who will banish you to suffer for eternity if you don't believe in him and tells us that we're all terrible and unworthy by nature. Doesn't sound like psychological abuse at all!!

            • @Scrooge McDuck: Something tells me you're not actually trying very hard to understand the Bible.

              • +2

                @locknuts: If it made sense it wouldn't be very hard to understand.

                • +1

                  @Scrooge McDuck: Not following your logic. So a complex physics paper makes no sense because it's hard to understand? The Bible is a guide to human nature, as deep and complex as anything else I've read.

                  • @locknuts: A complex physics paper is based on logic. There is also evidence to back up it's assertions.

                    • @brendanm: The Bible is based on observation of humanity over thousands of years. It is however written in parables, analogies and complex metaphors. The old testament in particular is a brilliant piece of literature. It does require a lot of abstract thought to comprehend though, so it is easily written of as gibberish by someone not reading it in good faith.

                      • @locknuts: It is a work of fiction.

                        • @brendanm: Much of it, I'm sure. But it resonates so deeply with so many because of the universal truths contained within. Like I said, it is an observation of human nature, the best we have in fact.

                      • @locknuts: Hmmm. I was raised in a very strict Catholic family and later when I rejected the religion itself, I found myself reading the bible a lot, and probably even more theological history.

                        The bible is more a selection of texts chosen by a group of people who were the powerbrokers of the time. It has then evolved over time, via the hands of those holding the power. Non-apocryphal texts were burned (or hidden, i.e. the gnostic texts) even if they were relevant and Christianity was ultimately used as a pretext to overthrow the Roman empire. I would call it a collection of fragmented and translated texts, I don't think it was ever intended as a total piece of literature, and at any rate, unless you include apocrypha, unless you include the gnostic texts and whatever else they got rid of because it didn't suit their narrative, as far as I am concerned, it is an utterly incomplete observation of humans.

                        The only thing that I find any value in at all in the bible, is in Jesus' direct sermons, (i.e. the Sermon on the Mount) which Christians these days seem to be completely opposed to anyway, and the direct sermons are basically a handbook to a functioning society anyway, you can find analogues in most major religions and ethics books.

    • As a Christian who has looked into Dawkins arguments/books I honestly don't find them particularly convincing. Dawkins lacks a solid understanding of Christian theology and lacks academic rigor in some of his writing. Furthermore he tends to resort to straw men fallacies in his arguments against religion.

      • How did you come to be a christian?

  • +7

    Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, all the series. Douglas Adams was a sage and taken far too early. So many of his concepts and characters tell us about life. (And trump was Zaphod Beeblebrox……….)

    • +3

      Upvoted for Hitchhiker's Guide, not the trump comparison.
      Zaphod never set out to do anything other than have a good time. Well, that and meet the man who runs the universe, but he didn't realise he was doing that.

      • +2

        Zaphod was a more pleasant version and didn’t mean any harm. 👍

    • If you like Hitchhiker's Guide, I might suggest Neil Gaimon. 'Good Omens' come to mind - Irreverent and Humorous. Haven't read 'American Gods' yet, however suspect it might be than the TV show :-).

      PS: Craving Pan Galactic Gargle blasters… and the phrase 'So Long and thanks for all the fish' is my all time f'u and thanks for nothing… I'm outta here… ROTFL.

  • +2

    Where's Wally
    Its about the search for a mysterious wanderer on a journey around this world and beyond
    Not for the casual reader

  • Ten Feet Tall and Not Quite Bulletproof
    by Cameron Hardiman

    True account of a Victoria Police officer who joined the Air Wing (air support). Quite confronting descriptions of crimes at times and very interesting to read about his experiences in Melbourne / Victoria and what happened over the years.

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51199147-ten-feet-tall-a...

  • +1

    Weather

    Yes, highly recommend reading weather books

  • +2

    Into Thin Air
    & if you enjoy it
    The Climb

  • +3

    The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho

  • Why We Sleep - Matthew Walker

    Life-changing book showing scientific evidence and explaining why everyone should sleep well, and how bad sleep affects all the aspects of our life (e.g., learning and cognition, mood, immunity, muscle gain).

    "Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams is a popular science book about sleep by the neuroscientist and sleep researcher, Matthew Walker. Walker is a professor of neuroscience and psychology and the director of the Center for Human Sleep Science at the University of California, Berkeley."

    • One of the better books I've read in the past couple of years for sure. If you liked this and want others that explore the effects of certain variables on our bodies check out:

      Gut by Giulia Ender's
      &
      Lifespan by David Sinclair

  • +3

    The BIG Book of Masturbation: From Angst to Zeal
    By: Martha Cornog

    I found this quite handy.

  • +1

    I like the concept of fantasy novels but often times they are a bit too heavy for me i.e. Lord of the Rings.

    Read "Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss last year. Ended up smashing through it and the sequel. Have redone to them on audiobook again this year. Now really upset that its been years since the last book and the third book is not out yet.

    Highly recommened.

    Other than that, my favourite book ever prior is The Stand by Steven King. Great book. Crap ending (Like most Steven King books). But worth the ride!

    • +1

      If you like name of the wind, give Sanderson a go. Way of kings if you have a few weeks to spare and ready to jump in. Mistborn if you want to give him a trial run. Actually Emporers Soul is a one sitting trial run and indicative of style. Top tier. Unlike Rothfuss he releases 2 books a year…somehow.

      • Thanks for the recommendations.

        I actually have the Mistborn series a go. Didn't mind them and got to the end of them which is saying something. I bore easily. :)

  • For something that's less famous and more recently written, I'd pick "Manna: two views of humanity's future" by Marshall Brain. It's a short novel where he explores possible outcomes of advancing automation, artificial intelligence and transhumanism. As a bonus, Australia represents a better imaginary society. :) You can read it for free on his website https://marshallbrain.com/manna1 or buy for a few cents on Kindle.

  • +1

    Red Rising by Pierce Brown

  • +2

    How to win friends and influence people. Should be taught in schools.

  • +1

    Isaac Asimov or couple of the other authors back in that period. Foundation series. Currently The Expanse Series.
    Then of course if you want fantasy, Hobbit or Lord of the Rings.

  • +2

    This is a serious comment. Mein Kampf made a big impact on me. Getting into the mind of a facist and racist really opens your eyes into the ways they trick their followers into believing everything they say. All the tricks that are being used today are detailed clearly in his book. People should know how to spot it so they don't succumb to populism, propoganda and conspiracies.

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