1. stoned4assassin20
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    stoned4assassin20 Member

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    Books that have blown your mind

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by stoned4assassin20, Sep 4, 2008.

    Are there any books that any of you have read that have entirely blown your mind or changed your perspective of the world?
     
  2. Mateius
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    Mateius Member

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    I think the only book that ever truely blew me away was "The Amber Spyglass" by Phillip Pullman, this was the first (and only) book that moved me almost to tears. I'm a christian, but I enjoyed the views expressed in this book, gave me something to think about. It will definately go down as one of my favourites for all my life.

    Other books that have had an impact on me would be:-

    "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde
    "Paradise Lost" by John Milton
    "Regeneration" by Pat Barker
    "Inferno" by Dante
    "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee
    "Discworld novels" by Terry Pratchett

    And although they're not books, the Final Fantasy games have also changed my view on things and heavily influenced my writing.

    I'm sure there are more, but I can't think at the moment.
     
  3. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    Flowers For Algernon. Enough said.
     
  4. Acglaphotis
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    The Analyst by John Katzenbach, totally changed my perspective on humans and their behaviour. Got me interested in a little bit of psychology where I found Nietzsche. You can guess how that turned out.
     
  5. Thagryn-Sylrand
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    Thagryn-Sylrand Senior Member

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    Mists Of Avalon - Marian Zimmer Bradley
     
  6. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Xenogenesis by Octavia Butler. Also published under the name Lilith's Brood. It consists of the three books, Dawn, Imago, and Adulthood Rights.

    It appears that I am the only person on this forum who has read her work, and I am concerned because her work is absolutely benchmark. Her concepts of the human condition were as close to life altering for me as a sci-fi work could be. I place her work on the same shelf as Herbert, Clark, and Azimov.
     
  7. Crazy Ivan
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    Anything by Terry Pratchett or Neil Gaiman has contributed to my worldview. Also the more philosophical installments in Orson Scott Card's Ender series (namely Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind).

    As for non-fiction, A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson was pretty darn enlightening.
     
  8. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    Enders Game by Orson Scott Card. Its an amazing application of the complexities of warfare and genius on the human psyche. That and the book itself is just so incredibly well written I would call it one of the top ten scifi novels ever created.
     
  9. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    1984 by George Orwell. It didn't really blow my mind, but it did make me think about society which I consider to be just as good as blowing my mind away.
     
  10. ciavyn
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    ciavyn Senior Member

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    Animal Farm and 1984 both made me reevaluate my world view.

    For simple enjoyment and pure escapism - Jim Butcher's Dresden Files top my list.

    And Wreybies, you are not alone. I read that book many years ago - I think I got it out of a free bin at the library. It was very good writing. I read it titled "Lilith's brood." Thought it was very good - it might still be on my shelf, in fact.
     
  11. SnipSnap
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    SnipSnap Active Member

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    Definately Heart of Darkness changed my life. I sometimes think I'm the only person in the world that thoroughly enjoys that novel.

    Also, The Man Who Was Thursday transformed me into the objectivist, egotistical freak that I am. :)

    And V, by Thomas Pynchon. Just wow.
     
  12. kehl
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    kehl Member

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    I'm a bit of a Kafka "fanboy". So I would have to list "The Metamorphisis". I would also have to agree with the mention of George Orwell's work, it really made me think about government, and control.
     
  13. Palimpsest
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    Palimpsest Senior Member

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    Seconded. I've had a hard time introducing Pratchett to my friends-- his style, one observed, is dense with the arrogance of someone who has the whole world figured out already (if every other sentence wasn't a punchline it would be very difficult to get through.) But... the observations are correct :p I love that his work got me thinking about how I think, and more critical of the memes we believe and purport.

    Neil Gaiman... a lot of his stuff is explicitly racy and violent, a few even to the point of gratuitousness (from my admittedly prudish point of view) but most of that, I began to understand, was necessary to illustrate hidden levels of the human condition that he seems to understand profoundly (no wonder goths and emos love him. But I truly hope this won't put everyone else off-- I believe that Neil Gaiman is a future classical author, one of those artists who we won't really appreciate having in our generation until he's gone.)

    Unlike Pratchett, I've noticed that Gaiman more frequently comes to penultimate conclusions-- not that that leaves his beautifully-crafted stories hanging. His short stories, especially-- "City of Angels" (what, you mean murderers should be forgiven--? or religion is a crime of passion? huh??:confused:) and "The Wedding Gift" (what do you mean, she burned it! she wants a miserable marriage, as long as it's a marriage? :eek:) I remember made for a lot of interesting philosophical discussions that... broke my brain, so I do count that as 'mind-blowing'.
     
  14. ciavyn
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    ciavyn Senior Member

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    You guys convinced me - I just ordered one of Pratchett's books and one of Gaiman's. Thanks!
     
  15. Still Life
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    Still Life Active Member

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    - Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche, Haruki Murakami

    - Farenheit 451, Ray Bradbury

    - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Jean-Dominique Bauby

    - The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

    - Lord of the Flies, William Golding

    Anything by James Joyce. There are several other authors, I just can't remember them so early in the morning.
     
  16. Lucy E.
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    The Heartland Series by Lauren Brooke. Her writing isn't particularly good, her pacing isn't particularly good, her plots aren't all that engaging - but it was her characters and their outlook on life that really got me. I've read every one of her books since.
     
  17. aphonos
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    I'm not one whose mind is easily blown. It's a failing of mine, I think. (That, and my utter inability to understand "creepiness." But that's irrelevant.) There are books that I have read that I enjoy, and books that make me think. Perhaps I could share some of those. In no particular order, and as they come to mind...



    Perdido Street Station by China Miéville

    This is a very dense book, and probably not one I'd recommend unconditionally. I enjoyed the language and the descriptions, and I must admit I really really liked it. This is rare. There were also a lot of portions of the book which were gratuitous and unnecessary. I liked this as well, because I'm just like that, but the treatment of the characters and the way in which Miéville addressed the social construction of the fictional world impressed me and kept me thinking for a while after.

    I suppose it helps that some of the things he's said about fantasy and science fiction mirror some of my frustrations with the genres. But that's something for a different post entirely.

    The Omnivore's Dilemma and The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan

    Both books are nonfiction. Both deal with food and plants. Both books are really quite interesting. The Omnivore's Dilemma and its followup book, In Defense of Food, have been named as part of a growing trend back toward gardens and canning (at least in articles I've read) and I wouldn't disagree with that one bit. Pollan's prose is readable but doesn't pander to the LCD and he makes subjects that seem boring (Corn? Potato farms? Apples?) really interesting.

    Scattercat can testify that these books were at least partly responsible for a sudden glut of back-to-roots activities on my part such as gardening (pots only, due to lack of space), bread baking, and canning. These are all things I had been meaning to do for some time, but they provided the motivation I needed.

    A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

    I loved this book not for its plot but for what it did with language. I was fascinated by nadsat for a long time after I read the book, and have toyed with creating slang languages myself as a result. Nothing that could be counted as a success, though.

    The final chapter (on or off?) also interested me in discussions on authorial intent before I was really actually in a position to access any academic information on it and helped push me toward English as a major. Perhaps I should blame this book on my lack of marketable skills. Damn you, Burgess!
     
  18. Kylie
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    Kylie Contributing Member

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    I have a habit of reading a lot of books, as a result, I'm picky about which books I read now. I don't read the books that are just "normal", I have to choose the "best" ones if I'm going to use my time to read them.
    My all-time favorite books that have blown my mind are:

    She said yes by Misty Bernall
    The Giver by Lois Lowry
    One Tuesday Morning by Karen Kingsbury (About 9/11)
    The Cat of Bubastes by G.A. Henty
    The Bible

    :D
     
  19. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    The Giver is a great book.

    And of course the Bible is a mind blower. After 2500 pages and about 2-3 million words (Depending on the version) your brain probably would explode from reading overload XD.
     
  20. Still Life
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    Still Life Active Member

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    I third sentiments on The Giver, and second the one for the bible. Yep, I said it. I'm no theologian, and not a religious zealot, but truly one of the most thought-provoking collection of books out there are right there in the bible.

    I'll also add North & South, by Elizabeth Gaskell to my list. I feel despite it being set in the Victorian era, some of the sentiments (master vs. workers, unions) are prevalent today.
     
  21. Desaeu
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    Ender's Game, Watchmen(It's a comic, but a mind blowing one), Speaker for the Dead, Magic Street, and Robota. Just to name a few.

    Just about anything by Orson Scott Card or Alan Moore blows my mind.
     
  22. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    Ender's Game was the only thing I liked from Card (Though i admit I ahve not read Ender's Shadow or its sequels). But Alan Moore is a true artist! V for Vendetta, Wanted, Watchmen all excellent. I just hope the newest movie turns out better than the last ones :( (Neither of which are "bad" but didn't really live up to what Moore had created).
     
  23. Scarecrow28
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    Clive Cusslers ATLANTIS FOUND. This novel not only got me into reading adventure fiction, but writing it as well.
     
  24. Wastelander
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    Flowers for Algernon and Dante's Inferno blew my mind. Didn't really change my perspective of life though.
     
  25. Kratos
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    The Lord of the Rings- introduced me to fantasy
    A Song of Ice and Fire
    Death Note
    Watchmen
     

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