Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Books that changed your life?
Old 06-18-2008, 10:55 AM   #1
Full time employment: Posting here.
Urchina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Central Coast, California
Posts: 891
Books that changed your life?

As a book lover I'm always looking for my next read. I'm curious -- what books have you read that changed your life? I'm looking for books that brought you a paradigm shift and allowed you to see the world in a new and improved way. Genre unimportant.

To start, here are some of mine:

A Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Message for me was that imagination allows endurance and compassion means you will never be without friends.

Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe. My first introduction into the chaos that culture clash can create in people.

The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn. This was my financial "aha" book and allowed me to go on to achieve many of my goals.

Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury. As a book lover, very appropriate.
__________________

__________________
"You'd be surprised at how much it costs to look this cheap." -- Dolly Parton
Urchina is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 06-18-2008, 11:08 AM   #2
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,905
Moby Dick, by Herman Melville.

"Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored harborless immensities."

What an amazingly dynamic and visceral usage of the English language. NOBODY can write like that man did, and Moby Dick is by far his masterpiece. When I read sentences like this, I can almost feel the swaying of the ship's deck beneath my feet. Can't you just hear the gaping abyss in it? Whew - - this book is just awesome.

It did not originally inspire me to become an oceanographer, but has pulled me through a lot since. The book has many levels. Forget your bad high school experiences with it, which many share - - most people read this book when they are far too young to understand it. Read it as an adult, with the insights and wisdom you have gained through the years.
__________________

__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2008, 11:12 AM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,323
Beginning a career in sales well over 30 years ago, this book's philosophy helped me go from zero to a hero:
Robert Ringer's "Looking Out for Number One." He basically said that if you adopt the attitude that there is no one deal, no one person that can make or break your life, and that you can gain inner power IF you can turn around and walk away from that one deal or one person. For the unconfident (as most beginning salespeople are), it made all the difference in the world to me and gave me the initial push I needed to succeed. I will forever be grateful to Mr. Ringer for his advice.
__________________
Please consider adopting a rescue animal. So very many need a furr-ever home and someone to love them! And if we all spay/neuter our pets there won't be an overpopulation to put to death.
Orchidflower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2008, 11:14 AM   #4
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,905
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchidflower View Post
Beginning a career in sales well over 30 years ago, this book's philosophy helped me go from zero to a hero:
Robert Ringer's "Looking Out for Number One." He basically said that if you adopt the attitude that there is no one deal, no one person that can make or break your life, and that you can gain inner power IF you can turn around and walk away from that one deal or one person. For the unconfident (as most beginning salespeople are), it made all the difference in the world to me and gave me the initial push I needed to succeed.
Frank loves that book!! I have read it twice and you're right - - it is a terrific book. I wish I had read it when I was younger and more ambitious.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2008, 11:23 AM   #5
Full time employment: Posting here.
Urchina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Central Coast, California
Posts: 891
Quote:
Originally Posted by Want2retire View Post
Moby Dick, by Herman Melville.

Forget your bad high school experiences with it, which many share - - most people read this book when they are far too young to understand it. Read it as an adult, with the insights and wisdom you have gained through the years.
I loved this book when I read it in college -- maybe I'll read it again, Thanks for the reminder!
__________________
"You'd be surprised at how much it costs to look this cheap." -- Dolly Parton
Urchina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2008, 11:25 AM   #6
Moderator Emeritus
CuppaJoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: At The Cafe
Posts: 6,866
Quote:
Originally Posted by Want2retire View Post
Moby Dick, by Herman Melville.

"Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored harborless immensities."

....
It's one of the first things I put on my e-book reader and have kept a paperback copy close for many years. It's a great read "...whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; ...methodically knocking people's hats off--then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can...." Great poetry.

Why is it that every quote can be related to retirement prep? Am I obsessed?
__________________
CuppaJoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2008, 12:31 PM   #7
Full time employment: Posting here.
toofrugalformycat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Anchorage
Posts: 731
I read these both for the first time as a teenager.
Lost Horizon by James Hilton. Every time I read it (three times now) I get more out of it.
1984 by George Orwell. Amazingly predictive of where we are now.
Then in the past 10 years, a standout is
Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Dimond.
My next planned serious reading is Collapse by the same author. I think it'll be what 1984 was as a teen. Too bad it's not fiction.
__________________
toofrugalformycat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2008, 02:14 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,199
I enjoyed Moby Dick also, a lot of people probably avoid it because it's so long and it's "good litterchure." If you liked that, I recommend Dana's Three Years Before the Mast (nonfiction).
__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2008, 02:19 PM   #9
Full time employment: Posting here.
CitricAcid's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 546
A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
Liar's Poker - Michael Lewis
The Fountainhead (Atlas Shrugged is also good)- Ayn Rand
__________________
CitricAcid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2008, 02:37 PM   #10
Full time employment: Posting here.
RetiredGypsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 895
Transforming Debt Into Wealth by someone whose name I can never remember. This was my first read regarding anything financial and it turned me on to Dave Ramsey (more of the same, but I found some humor in it), then the Dollar Stretch, frugality, this forum and most recently Jeff Yeager's book Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches. I just tried his grocery store tip of buying things that cost less than $1 a pound and came away an amazing assortment of foods I usually never would have thought of.

How to Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee. There is no part of this book that isn't amazing, and the message of standing up for what's right even if you stand alone has never been put in a better character than Atticus Finch.

James Harriot's series of semi-autobiographies as a veterinarian in England. What amazing books.

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. The only book that's ever caused me to cry.

Heroes Die by Matthew Woodring Stover. The main character may be the best antihero ever imagined.
__________________
RetiredGypsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2008, 03:21 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
HFWR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Lawn chair in Texas
Posts: 12,964
Mad Scientists Club
__________________
Have Funds, Will Retire

...not doing anything of true substance...
HFWR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2008, 05:57 PM   #12
Administrator
Janet H's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 4,957
My name is Asher Lev - Potok. My first encounter with angst about honesty in art.

Travels With Charley, Adventures in America - Steinbeck. Elevating wanderlust to noble pursuit.
__________________
E-R.org Custom Google Search | You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. (Robin Williams)
Janet H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2008, 06:28 PM   #13
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 80
Fletch was probably the first adult book I read for pleasure and it opened my eyes to what existed outside the world of crap my English teachers were pushing. Ayn Rand's books were also good, they helped me see the destruction that fascist/socialist states lead to.
__________________
AzDreamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2008, 06:34 PM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,977
I almost never read fiction, but for me (no particular order):

Atlas Shrugged (many years ago) - Ayn Rand
Free to Choose - Milton Friedman
Walden - Henry David Thoreau
The Good Life and Its Discontents - Robert J Samuelson
Your Money or Your Life - Dominguez & Robin
The Four Pillars of Investing - Dr William Bernstein
The Millionaire Next Door - Stanley & Danko
Marley & Me (can't help it, I adore dogs...)
Body for Life - Bill Phillips
and too many to list by name, about 40 books on sailing (my absolute passion)

Not quite the same impact, but lately:

The World is Flat - Thomas Friedman
Work Less, Live More - Bob Clyatt
Spend til The End - Kotlikoff & Burns

Like so many here, I love to read.
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2008, 06:49 PM   #15
Moderator Emeritus
Khan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Pine Island, Florida
Posts: 6,868
Send a message via AIM to Khan
Your Money Or Your Life

Humanure

Rubaiyat

Tao te Ching

Childhood's End

The Demon-Haunted World
__________________
"Knowin' no one nowhere's gonna miss us when we're gone..."
Khan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2008, 07:04 PM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,035
I read constantly so it's hard to narrow it down but I'd have to say " The Glass Castle " really affected me . How could those parents be so clue less ?
__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2008, 07:45 PM   #17
Administrator
Gumby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,147
A few months ago, I posted this list of books that have affected my political beliefs. There are books that have affected me in other ways, so I may supplement later

The Bible, particularly the Gospels
1984 by George Orwell
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Nickel & Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King Jr.
The Crucible by Arthur Miller
A Theory of Justice by John Rawls
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
Jesus Rode a Donkey by Linda Seger
Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Plato's Republic
A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt
__________________
Living an analog life in the Digital Age.
Gumby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2008, 07:46 PM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,898
"Return to Love" Marianne Williamson. Changed how I viewed my relationships with other people.
"The Power of Now" Eckhart Tolle. Changed how I viewed my relationship with myself.
__________________
Zoocat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2008, 08:33 PM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,119
1984, Old man and the sea , Night, Green Eggs and Ham.
__________________
newguy88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2008, 07:47 AM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Free To Canoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Cooksburg,PA
Posts: 1,738
The books I actually buy for myself is small. Perhaps these are the best.
The Birth of Plenty by William Bernstein
Why Geography Matters by Harm de Blij
__________________

__________________
Free To Canoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
living the life you envisioned? or totally changed? retiringat50 Life after FIRE 55 08-21-2008 10:07 PM
Life Changing Books Sarah in SC Other topics 15 02-25-2008 06:44 PM
(How) Have you changed your portfolio peggy FIRE and Money 43 12-05-2007 03:33 AM
Has anyone changed to Hartford? dessert FIRE and Money 17 02-18-2007 09:41 PM
Free e-books and audio books online Jay_Gatsby Other topics 2 03-15-2006 01:09 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:31 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.