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  1. #21
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rajah View Post
    I've mentioned them to friends before, and nobody knows what I'm talking about!

    I picked up the first Bunnicula book at one of those RIF (Reading Is Fun!) things that came through school... It was way better than the next year's Beverly Cleary (though I'll own up to having liked Ralph S. Mouse).
    Funny, I'm in the same boat... even down to the school event (though we probably had a different version of it...) That's interesting - I wonder why it never became larger. I just saw one of them at the local bookstore over the weekend, in the discount bin. Seeing that... well... a small part of me died. I nearly bought it to save it from being outcasted.

    Then my GF smacked me. Obviously she'd never read it either.

  2. #22
    Lallygag Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rajah View Post
    This sounds like a throwaway response, but I mean it. Every book I've read has changed my life. Even if the book doesn't stick with me for the long haul, it's impacting my life at that moment.

    Atlas Shrugged caused me to end a relationship when my ex said he wouldn't read a book that long. Superfudge made me want to be a writer. The Cat Ate My Gymsuit was given to me by the author, Paula Danziger, at a Young Authors' Conference, and it was like I'd met the Beatles. Beowulf was the first book I hated, and I loathed that feeling. The next time I read it, I fortunately thought it was brilliant. Billy Budd taught me that great literary works just sometimes aren't so great (and that you can write an A essay stealing bits about "light and dark imagery" from the Cliff's Notes). Even Scarlett, by Alexandra Ripley, was a truly horrid book, but it still had such lush descriptions of Ireland, it inspired me to pay a visit.

    If you're really asking me to pick the greatest literary work, then I don't know. I guess I'm not willing to choose.
    Really? I dont hold books in such... life changing ways. I wish I did.. but it's just a communication medium. I can remember them teaching me things as a child, and enjoying them since, but it's no different to me than a TV documentary, a discussion with a professor, attending a lecture, a good website.

    -Geoff

  3. #23
    Reigning Bologna Princess Rajah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Funny, I'm in the same boat... even down to the school event (though we probably had a different version of it...) That's interesting - I wonder why it never became larger. I just saw one of them at the local bookstore over the weekend, in the discount bin. Seeing that... well... a small part of me died. I nearly bought it to save it from being outcasted.

    Then my GF smacked me. Obviously she'd never read it either.
    Those were definitely unique. They were kids' books, but never talked down to kids. And they had a more sophisticated sense of humor.

    I often wondered the same. Shit, I've got to go buy the series this week. My originals are probably pretty nasty now.


    I... suppose. Yeah!

  4. #24
    Reigning Bologna Princess Rajah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    Really? I dont hold books in such... life changing ways. I wish I did.. but it's just a communication medium. I can remember them teaching me things as a child, and enjoying them since, but it's no different to me than a TV documentary, a discussion with a professor, attending a lecture, a good website.

    -Geoff
    It's difficult to explain, and I'm sure it comes across as a little lot odd.

    I don't remember a time when I couldn't read. Books were companions before I was old enough to make friends.

    For me, a book is different from other media. It's being able to walk around in someone's mind, but put my own visual spin on it. If I want to escape, I can. If I want to be instructed, I can be. It's constant and comforting.


    I... suppose. Yeah!

  5. #25
    Senior Member nottaprettygal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rajah View Post
    For me, a book is different from other media. It's being able to walk around in someone's mind, but put my own visual spin on it. If I want to escape, I can. If I want to be instructed, I can be. It's constant and comforting.
    Yes, this makes perfect sense. I often use the same words to describe porn.

  6. #26
    Lallygag Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rajah View Post
    It's difficult to explain, and I'm sure it comes across as a little lot odd.

    I don't remember a time when I couldn't read. Books were companions before I was old enough to make friends.

    For me, a book is different from other media. It's being able to walk around in someone's mind, but put my own visual spin on it. If I want to escape, I can. If I want to be instructed, I can be. It's constant and comforting.
    Nah, not odd. I've heard this a lot from introverted intuitives... they hold a book in special regard over other mediums.

    It's a barrier to being disturbed by others or uncomfortable when read in public, too...?

    -Geoff

  7. #27
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    As others have said, you can't really narrow things down to a handful easily. I have hundreds of books and/or have read thousands in my life, and they've all become part of who I am.

    Ironically, I skimmed all the posts and there's very little "literal/data" oriented stuff. Information is information, and useful, but it seems like the stuff that impacted people all had very human elements to it, the integration of information with living (i.e., applied knowledge).

    Anyway, some gems on my list [i.e., books that I actually reread every so often, if not regularly]:
    • The Bible -- I can't help it, it's one of the books I was first acquainted with, and my beliefs have been fundamentally shaped by it (whether I was agreeing with it or positioning myself against something). This one's part of me for the rest of life, no matter where I end up.
    • The Hobbit (and LotR) -- My first real excursion into fantasy and imagining new worlds. The name sounded dumb on my 4th-grade reading list (so I ignored the title), but then I saw the cartoon and got the book out of the library, and that was the beginning...
    • People of the Lie (M. Scott Peck) -- Fundamentals of the interface between psychology and morality for me.
    • The Earthsea series (Ursula LeGuin) -- Another fantasy series that has driven me from a young age. The fact that LeGuin covers all ages (a boy coming of age, a girl being freed from darkness, a grown man losing his power and accepting his mortality, and her recent additions to the series show integration of people into community) only makes the work more important and applicable to all time periods of my life.
    • Narnia -- Offered me some general theological metaphors/images (including Aslan and his role in these stories) that still work for me, even if I find most of it too simplistic and/or too direct.
    • Almost anything by Dr. Seuss -- Interface between quirky/individualistic art, vocabulary gymnastics, "breaking the rules" in acceptable ways, silliness, and sharing important life experience in the process.
    • Bloom County -- Same qualities as Dr. Seuss, but also skeptical social commentary. Gave me the idea that sardonic commentary and lovability/warmth can still go hand in hand.
    • The Way Things Work (David MacCauley?) -- Not only communicates basic science and machines in very transparent ways, but showed me that it was possible to mix text and words together, along with a bit of quirk, in order to make a serious point.
    • Watchmen (Moore & Gibbons): Perfect integration of visual art and narrative, with mature topics and complex human beings. [Toss Gaiman's "Sandman" into this as well, as more books I regularly re-read.]


    Oh yeah. I forgot "A Wrinkle in Time" -- although the one that impacts me most as an adult is "A Wind in the Door."
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  8. #28
    Reigning Bologna Princess Rajah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nottaprettygal View Post
    Yes, this makes perfect sense. I often use the same words to describe porn.
    With that, I'm all about visual. I'm too busy for analysis.




    Jerk.



    I... suppose. Yeah!

  9. #29
    Senior Member Shimpei's Avatar
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    The very first most influential books I read were Lottie & Lisa; The Flying Classroom by Erich Kastner

    Yes the No1 is the Bible

    Then all the typology-psychology-sociology related books that helped me understand other people better.

    The most cathartic fictions have been:
    Death is My Profession (Robert Merle)
    Madame Bovary (Gustave Flaubert)

    I love to read biographies too:

    Schindler's Ark (Thomas Keneally)
    Selected Letters of Oscar Wilde (R. Hart-Davis)
    Marie Antoinette (Antonia Fraser)
    Women of the Third Reich (Anna-Maria Sigmund)

  10. #30
    Senior Member Langrenus's Avatar
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    Ahhh, books

    All Quiet on the Western Front (Remarque). The only book I've read that made me feel genuinely emotional come the end. Beautifully written, tragically concluded.

    Man's Search for Meaning (Victor Frankl) - anyone ever had a weird intellectual buzz after reading a book? I find it difficult to express (and nobody I've met gets it) - but it's like your brain is suddenly working 10x faster than it was when you started reading the book, making connections and generating new ideas. I genuinely sat in my chair for about 2 hours after finishing this book, just thinking. I also almost cried when I woke up the next morning and the buzz had gone...

    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (Mark Haddon) - something beautifully simple about this book. I believe it was originally a children's story, but there's an incredible level of depth to the story.
    January has April's showers
    And 2 and 2 always makes a 5

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