Author Topic: What books have changed your life?  (Read 46209 times)

arebelspy

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #50 on: February 28, 2016, 01:09:56 AM »

10 years ago, I would have included Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance which I read around the same time as I read Chaos. But, I'm struggling to remember any of it now. I suspect I've replaced whatever concepts I gleaned from it with new and more evolved thinking.

Or you've internalized them so much you now think they're part of you and no longer associate them with the book?

It's mostly ideas about the word quality.

Either way, if you would have rated it that highly, it's probably worth rereading a decade later, to see what (if anything) you get out of it now.  :)
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andystkilda

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #51 on: February 28, 2016, 05:05:37 PM »
Not to do with finance at all but is somewhat in the vein of worrying less and living a happier life while parenting:
Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: Why Being a Great Parent is Less Work and More Fun Than You Think by Bryan Caplan

I highly recommend it to all expecting or current parents, and as a gift to friends/family with young kids who seem a bit too stressed for their own good.

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #52 on: February 28, 2016, 06:32:56 PM »
Not to do with finance at all but is somewhat in the vein of worrying less and living a happier life while parenting:
Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: Why Being a Great Parent is Less Work and More Fun Than You Think by Bryan Caplan

I highly recommend it to all expecting or current parents, and as a gift to friends/family with young kids who seem a bit too stressed for their own good.

What an interesting sounding book! My wife and I are thinking of adopting multiples. I think I'll check this out.

arebelspy

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #53 on: February 29, 2016, 12:37:35 AM »
Not to do with finance at all but is somewhat in the vein of worrying less and living a happier life while parenting:
Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: Why Being a Great Parent is Less Work and More Fun Than You Think by Bryan Caplan

I highly recommend it to all expecting or current parents, and as a gift to friends/family with young kids who seem a bit too stressed for their own good.

Downloaded, thanks!
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goatmom

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #54 on: February 29, 2016, 06:57:06 PM »
In addition to many of the already-mentioned titles, I took a lot away from:

Nonfiction:
The Power of Positive Thinking
How to Talk to Anyone, by Leil Lowndes - super practical
Alan Watts, The Book - On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are - (easily the most influential book I read on Eastern philosophy)
The Brain that Changes Itself, by Norman Doidge - incredible understanding of how we can change our own neural pathways
Everything written by ethicist Peter Singer, including The Ethics of What We Eat (I'm not a vegan, but his arguments are excellent)
Everything written by Michel Foucault, if you are interested in ideas of power and knowledge/ poststructuralist/postmodernist theory and metaphors for societal institutions
There's also an excellent book capturing debate between Foucault and Noam Chomsky about human nature
The Brighter Side of Human Nature: Altruism & Empathy in Everyday Life - by Alfie Kohn (ps, if you have kids, Alfie Kohn's other works have guided my parenting style significantly: Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason and Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars...)
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

I also really like David Brooks works, including Bobos in Paradise, On Paradise Drive, and the Social Animal. All are excellent reflections on American culture, written with intelligence and humor.  I re-read Bobos every time I need to reign in irrational spending on "practical" things and want a laugh.

Also, my husband and I have both really enjoyed reading John Gottman's works. Otherwise known as the only scientific study of marriage books out there. The Science of Trust was more meaty (in terms of outlining the research process) than some of his previous work, but we have read all of his books.

Finally, I just read The Other End of the Leash by animal behaviorlist Dr. Patricia McConnell, and it seriously changed the way I interact with dogs! Ha! So "changed my dog life".

Fiction:
We, by Yergeny Zamyatin (the lesser known predecessor to a Brave New World/1984/distopian novels)
The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster - just excellent wordplay at its best and opens up creativity
The End of the Affair, by Graham Greene was just an excellent book covering raw human emotion


The End of the Affair - If you have the opportunity to listen to this read by Colin Firth on Audible - Absolutely breathtaking.

the cheapining

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #55 on: February 29, 2016, 08:54:28 PM »
book of five rings    /living with passion and learning with exelence 
riches man in Babylon  /paying yourself 1st
the wrath of grapes / motivation to work hard
millionaire next door /f@#ck the Jones's and retirement is possible
every book wrote by Aldos Huxley


Susan

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #56 on: March 01, 2016, 02:30:17 AM »
Great thread! I'll also be adding books to my library list. I liked the Dutch version of YMYL, but not sure if it really changed my life as I read it after I found MMM (which was a life changer!).

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #57 on: March 01, 2016, 05:54:05 AM »
The Magic of Thinking Big and Your Money or Your Life have had a direct measurable influence on my life. I'm very risk averse and The Magic of Thinking Big has really helped take more risk. Not the kind of jumping a motorcycle through flaming hoops, but you know what I mean, stand up for yourself.

Currently I'm reading the 4 hour work-week by Tim Ferris. I feel the book is promoting to think BIG. However in some parts he does this in a way that I don't feel comfortable with. Lying that you are on the phone and that you don't have time to talk to colleagues is something I don't agree with. Lying in general I don't agree with anyway. Still it is a very interesting read and it makes you think outside of the box and that is good. I also like the message about empowerment of employees and people it is conveying.

washlawyer

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #58 on: March 04, 2016, 06:19:13 AM »
I love literature, and could go on forever about my favorite novels, but these are the more philosophically-minded books that have had the biggest effect on the way I think and live:

No Mud, No Lotus - Thich Nhat Hahn
Tiny Beautiful Things - Cheryl Strayed
Waking Up - Sam Harris
Thinking Fast and Slow - Daniel Kahnemann
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gardenarian

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #59 on: March 04, 2016, 01:09:52 PM »
A few:

Possum Living: How to Live Well Without a Job and with (Almost) No Money by Dolly Freed

A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction by Christopher Alexander

Deep Green Resistance: Strategy to Save the Planet by Derrick Jensen

Permaculture: A Designers' Manual by Bill Mollison

The Ten Things to Do When Your Life Falls Apart by Daphne Rose Kingma

Everything by Jane Austen, Henry James, J.R.R. Tolkien, George Eliot, the Brontes, Hawthorne, etc.
"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” -- Gandalf

Laserjet3051

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #60 on: March 06, 2016, 09:15:30 AM »
Hands down the book that most profoundly shaped my life (and which is an ULTRA-moustachian text to be certain) is:

Walden by the great naturalist/existentialist philosopher Henry David Thoreau.

2nd in line (also profoundly Moustachian) is:

Freedom from the Known by Jiddu Krishnamurti

Both of these texts induced a revolutionary transformation in who I am.

gizmonte

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #61 on: March 06, 2016, 08:57:14 PM »
I'll filter for books that are not only excellent in their own right, but dovetail with some of the best Mustachian insights.

The Economy of Cities by Jane Jacobs. This is a brilliant treatise on human innovation, prosperity, and cooperation. I have never met anyone who wasn't moved by this book. I am convinced Jacobs is one of the most underrated American thinkers of the 20th century. Will change how you view everything from zoning and urban planning, to education and specialization, to the nature of innovation and prosperity, to DIYship versus paying someone else for their expertise.

Zero to One by Peter Thiel. Ostensibly about being a startup founder, really a handbook on how to change the world. Doing things that have never been done, versus replicating established ways of doing. I think the book could be more explicit that some of the most important "startup founders" are doing remarkable, innovative, one-of-a-kind, tremendously valuable work...in their families and communities. It's not captured in GDP and it's not hailed in the newspaper, but the ethos of Zero to One is there for everyone. Start up a book club in your neighborhood. Volunteer for an after-school program or summer sports league. Find your co-conspirators, make deliberate plans, change the world.

When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert. From a Christian perspective, this book details how wrong we get it when it comes to charity and poverty alleviation. Remarkable combination of quantitative / social science analysis, paired with remarkable anecdotes from their vast experience in the realms of foreign aid, domestic and international nonprofits and charity organizations, and local efforts of churches in the United States to serve in their local community. One of the authors works in the Christian nonprofit realm, the other is a Yale Economics PhD / professor. Impossible not to make the connection between how Mustachian ways of living / doing not only build resilience that allows us to better help those in need, but also models ways of living that allow others to experience the best of life. I care a lot about poverty alleviation (across the social - material - spiritual dimensions of the word) and this book changed the way I view much of it.

The Road to Character by David Brooks. Brooks can be hit or miss (read his NYT columns regardless) but this book is a 99% hit. Learned things about some truly remarkable people. Fundamental takeaway: if developing / strengthening your moral character, virtue, wisdom, and knowledge is not a deliberate effort and priority, you will probably fail in achieving most if not all of the technical, material, or professional goals that you hold dear. Embed yourself in institutions, communities, and processes that will attack your weaknesses and strengthen your character muscles. Commit. We're really good at the competitive / technological / productive development side of our culture, but weak in the dimensions of virtue / commitment / knowledge.


« Last Edit: March 06, 2016, 08:58:50 PM by Abel »

Abel

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #62 on: March 06, 2016, 09:02:26 PM »
A few:

A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction by Christopher Alexander

Everything by Jane Austen, Henry James, J.R.R. Tolkien, George Eliot, the Brontes, Hawthorne, etc.

Gardenarian - love your list. One question: I came across an essay by Christopher Alexander in First Things and was profoundly moved. Discovered his work on the web and it's sparked a radical interest in design / architecture / focus on the built environment and how it connects to human flourishing.

Found a PDF version of A Pattern Language online but it's illegible. Amazon only had hard copy for $$$ if I recall...any ideas on how to get a cheap copy of A Pattern Language? Local library? Would love to buy for Kindle if it were available...

retiringearly

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #63 on: March 07, 2016, 12:19:17 PM »
Non-Fiction:

"How to Win Friends and Influence People" - Dale Carnegie
"The Wealthy Barber" - David Chilton
"Simplify Your Life" - Elaine St. james

Fiction:

"American Psycho" - Bret Easton Ellis
"Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" - Hunter S. Thompson

Bardo

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #64 on: March 07, 2016, 02:55:12 PM »
Fiction:
"Brave New World" - I still have my tattered copy from 9th grade, and still pull it out and read bits on occasion.

Non-Fiction
"Amusing Ourselves to Death" by Neil Postman
"Chaos" by Gleick, mentioned above
"Forecast" by Mark Buchanan

JPatch

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #65 on: March 10, 2016, 10:50:48 AM »
When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert. From a Christian perspective, this book details how wrong we get it when it comes to charity and poverty alleviation. Remarkable combination of quantitative / social science analysis, paired with remarkable anecdotes from their vast experience in the realms of foreign aid, domestic and international nonprofits and charity organizations, and local efforts of churches in the United States to serve in their local community. One of the authors works in the Christian nonprofit realm, the other is a Yale Economics PhD / professor. Impossible not to make the connection between how Mustachian ways of living / doing not only build resilience that allows us to better help those in need, but also models ways of living that allow others to experience the best of life. I care a lot about poverty alleviation (across the social - material - spiritual dimensions of the word) and this book changed the way I view much of it.

Great book.  I know Prof. Fikkert and Corbett, and they've led great efforts in my hometown to combine smart finances, poverty alleviation, and simple living.

The Irresistiable Revolution by Shane Claiborne, now 10 years old, blew my mind.

MommyStache

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #66 on: March 10, 2016, 11:13:37 AM »
Simplicity Parenting: I consider this a must-read for parents of young children.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: very popular right now but for good reason.

Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey: great intro to taking control of finances and getting out of debt

The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach: not very mustachian but makes a good case for automating your investments so they take priority.

The Baby Book by Dr. Sears: so grateful this convinced me to breastfeed and attachment parent.

Skinny Bitch: I wouldn't call this book great but it was the book that first introduced me to the idea of vegetarianism/veganism and I took the dare to go without meat. I've been a vegetarian ever since (6 years)

frugaldoc

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #67 on: March 11, 2016, 08:41:39 AM »
Currently working through "Total Freedom" by Krishnamurti which is a little mind blowing.

Fiction: "Snow Crash" and "Graveyard Book" are really cool ones I've read recently.

"How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World" probably changed my thought processes more than anything I've read.

Other non-fiction:
http://thehappyphilosopher.com/recommendations/books/

which contains some books already mentioned by others.
http://thehappyphilosopher.com/
Enlightened Awesomeness - A Guide to Freedom and Happiness

madgeylou

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #68 on: March 11, 2016, 08:50:58 AM »
Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler. The lead character, Lauren Oya Olamina, is my "What would _____ do?" person now. I wrote a lot about these books on my blog.

Island by Aldous Huxley. This is Huxley's utopian vision for how human society could be. Not much in the way of plot, much more world-building and explanation, but I have never minded that. I still want to live in Pala.

2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson. The most important thing I got from this book is that, as much as I crave for our culture to resolve some of its issues and become more clear and less complex, that is simply never going to happen. Things are going to go on getting more and more complex and weird, and there is a lot to love about that. Again, not much plot, mostly world-building ... but I seem to enjoy that.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2016, 10:43:36 AM by miss madge »

Secretly Saving

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #69 on: March 11, 2016, 09:19:43 AM »
Great list from all the PPs.  +1 to so many of the books mentioned and now have a few more new ones for my reading list! Thank you.

mrpercentage

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #70 on: March 12, 2016, 10:28:27 AM »
Old Man and the Sea--- Hemingway (perseverance, humility, and grit)
If this isn't nice, what is-- Kurt Vonnegut (being nice, people are important)
Ecclesiastes & Matthew (the nature of life and an impossible but great example of good)
The book of five rings (I actually like the graphic novel version by smart comics best) (assigning value, taking command, and evaluating perception)
Dialogs of Plato (this will blow your mind you but its hard reading)
The Fountainhead--- Ann Rand (being true to your own nature)
The day no pigs would die-- Peck (it comes to mind, found it really disturbing in school-- I guess the value of all life is the lesson)
Self Reliance-- Ralph Emerson (old pompous language but great message that we all must make our own way)
Anything Joel Osteen (PMA with humility)


Many mindfulness and zen books had an important impact like Alan Watts
Fan of Richard Bach, Dan Millman and the likes.

Hollywood has had the greatest impact. Without a doubt I have learned many lessons in movies-- I could go on and on. Many come from books. I love Hollywood.
absolute truth... prison guard that has seen shanks does not makes 45k a year managing bullshit tech that was outsourced for what?.... cheaper tech and less taxes... probably

purephase

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #71 on: March 12, 2016, 10:30:26 AM »
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle maintenance - Robert Persig. A book that deserves a few reads, really influenced my thoughts on living for quality not quantity.
The Richest man in Babylon - George Clason. Read this for the first time about 18 months ago and it transformed my life and eventually led me to MMM.
Eat and Run - Scott Jurek. Only finished this a week ago but it inspired me so much and has already greatly influenced how I think about my running.

Captain Corelli's mandolin - Louis de Bernieres. A great novel in many ways, I read it for the first time not long after my first visit to Greece and it helped to cement my love for that country and its history.
The Dharma Bums - Jack Kerouac. My favorite Kerouac book and it speaks to my heart about how I think we should live and love.

mrpercentage

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #72 on: March 12, 2016, 12:12:47 PM »
Here is a page of the Book of Five Ring graphic novel. Excellent
absolute truth... prison guard that has seen shanks does not makes 45k a year managing bullshit tech that was outsourced for what?.... cheaper tech and less taxes... probably

lemanfan

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #73 on: March 12, 2016, 12:13:14 PM »
Great thread.  My contributions have already been mentioned:

"How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World" and "Four Hour Work Week" are both game changers for me - its all about your own perspective and you can control your own destiny and the way you see things.



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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #74 on: March 12, 2016, 12:15:11 PM »
Your Money or Your Life
7 Highly Effective Habits of Successful People
The Way of The Peaceful Warrior
The Mindful Explorer : Explore-Adventure-Photograph https://www.ChrisIstace.com


MMM Forums Journal - Beyond The Usual

MonkeyJenga

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #75 on: March 12, 2016, 12:48:57 PM »
Your Money or Your Life - for obvious reasons. Read it before MMM or ERE.

The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb - changed how I thought about risk. I still randomly think of his example comparing the "safe" office job with an "unsafe" cab driver. Part of my reason for pursuing multiple jobs. I also frequently tell people to stop being so loyal to the companies they work for, and I think this book has a part in that.

The Art of Choosing by Sheena Iyengar - changed how I thought about, uh, choices.

The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins - set me off on an evolution and general science binge. Years later made me read the original Darwin. I have a much deeper appreciation for nature and the amazing results of evolution because of this.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin - some changes were good, some were bad. Bad was mainly being inspired to run a charity half-marathon. Remind me never to do that again.

Minimalism blogs changed my life (and pissed off The Man), but none of the books I read on the topic seemed worth it.

Mother Night by Vonnegut - specifically the quote "We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be."

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards - proved to me that I CAN draw more than stick figures. I've loved doodling all my life, but was frustrated with my attempts to draw anything real. Anyone who thinks you need natural talent to draw well is wrong. I was truly, truly awful. Look at my progress by the time I had gotten a third of the way through the book:

Above-Average Before - looks like a 2D alien with caterpillars stuck on her face!


Progress - looks like a human!


More Progress - looks like a hand! A 3D hand!
« Last Edit: March 12, 2016, 10:50:26 PM by MonkeyJenga »

Taran Wanderer

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #76 on: March 12, 2016, 01:52:38 PM »
The Wealthy Barber and The Millionaire Next Door changed my financial future.

Guns, Germs, and Steel changed my perspective about differences in societies around the world.


Astatine

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #77 on: March 14, 2016, 01:57:52 AM »
I forgot to include in my earlier list:

Clutter Busting: Letting Go Of What's Holding You Back
Clutter Busting Your Life: Clearing Physical and Emotional Clutter to Reconnect with Yourself and Others

Both by Brooks Palmer. I started with his blog then read his books. Despite clutter busting nearly all of my books (I got rid of about 90% of my books after reading the blog and his books), I have kept these two and reread from time to time.

His blog and books literally changed my life. His message is simple: ask yourself with every object "do I love and want to keep this?" and only keep things that are a definite unambiguous yes. Plus, if you really love a sentimental item, why isn't it on display instead of being stashed away in a storage container?

He is a very gentle and caring writer. I found I healed a lot of shame reading his books and was able to get rid of "emotional nuclear waste" from childhood. Sentimental stuff that just made me feel BAD having in the house stashed away in storage containers but that I felt I had to keep because well, I'd had it this long, and well, aren't you supposed to keep all your childhood journals? I got rid of over 3/4 of my stuff after reading his books and I still keep culling. I felt so free and emotionally lighter after getting rid of so much of my stuff! I know everyone goes on about Marie Kondo*, but Brooks helps with healing other parts of your life, not just your physical possessions.

*caveat: I have not read Marie Kondo's book but have read many people's reactions to her books

retiringearly

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #78 on: March 14, 2016, 08:15:51 AM »
I forgot to include in my earlier list:

Clutter Busting: Letting Go Of What's Holding You Back
Clutter Busting Your Life: Clearing Physical and Emotional Clutter to Reconnect with Yourself and Others

Both by Brooks Palmer. I started with his blog then read his books. Despite clutter busting nearly all of my books (I got rid of about 90% of my books after reading the blog and his books), I have kept these two and reread from time to time.

His blog and books literally changed my life. His message is simple: ask yourself with every object "do I love and want to keep this?" and only keep things that are a definite unambiguous yes. Plus, if you really love a sentimental item, why isn't it on display instead of being stashed away in a storage container?

He is a very gentle and caring writer. I found I healed a lot of shame reading his books and was able to get rid of "emotional nuclear waste" from childhood. Sentimental stuff that just made me feel BAD having in the house stashed away in storage containers but that I felt I had to keep because well, I'd had it this long, and well, aren't you supposed to keep all your childhood journals? I got rid of over 3/4 of my stuff after reading his books and I still keep culling. I felt so free and emotionally lighter after getting rid of so much of my stuff! I know everyone goes on about Marie Kondo*, but Brooks helps with healing other parts of your life, not just your physical possessions.

*caveat: I have not read Marie Kondo's book but have read many people's reactions to her books

My library has both of his books, which would you recommend that I read first? I have way too much clutter and have been living with it for over a decade.  I need to make a change.

Thanks!

soccerluvof4

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #79 on: March 14, 2016, 11:37:01 AM »
Your money or your life and the Millionaire next door
" In life you don't get what you deserve you get what you negotiate"

Cookie78

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #80 on: March 16, 2016, 11:37:28 AM »
It hasn't had time to change my life just yet, as I only finished it yesterday, but "The Upside of Stress" by Kelly McGonigal spoke to me in a pretty powerful way that already has me feeling much more peaceful and hopeful.

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #81 on: March 17, 2016, 08:11:11 AM »
Born to Run - Not only did this book get me to start running again after a many year hiatus, it helped me embrace minimalism in all aspects of my life. It was also the first time I'd heard of ultrarunning, and opened my eyes to what the human body is capable of.

BCBiker

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #82 on: March 20, 2016, 11:34:55 PM »
I saw Teleb's "Black Swan" above.

I advocate for his capstone book "Antifragile." I just finished it a couple weeks ago but I believe that it could be the most important book I have ever read.  Many of the concepts he discusses put meat on ideas that I have thought intuitively but have not been able to fully integrate into an overarching theory.  Fragile vs. antifragile, things that gain from chaos as opposed to things that are simply robust, barbell strategy, skin in the game, etc. He also discusses domain dependence and the contribution of stoic philosophy to his ideas.

Best quote (paraphrased): "Many people ask what is the difference between Buddhists and Stoics. A Stoic is a Buddhist with attitude, one who says “F*** Off” to fate.”"

I like many of the books above too but Antifragile is the best not listed.

Another must read - perhaps not life-changing - is "Sapiens: A brief history of Human Kind" by Harari.  It has the best ever concluding sentence of a book. You have to read all the way through for it to have such a punchline but I promise it is worth it.

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cnash1303

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #83 on: March 21, 2016, 10:19:06 AM »
"Four Hour Work Week" by Tim Ferriss... even though I ended up being an employee anyway, and the side hustle game is not for me, it really helped develop my inclination to challenge assumptions

+1 for this, it really helped me appreciate the importance of my time, which is probably ultimately what made me decide to pursue FI

Also, I didn't see "Power Of Habit" by Charles Duhigg yet. Not really a finance book, but it def helps you realize your spending habits.
"Don't Throw That Away" by Jeff Yeager is a great one, and has some really awesome tips in it to save money
« Last Edit: March 22, 2016, 12:04:14 PM by cnash1303 »

Bootlip

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #84 on: March 21, 2016, 07:37:45 PM »
The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey.

After closing on our house our realtor sent us a copy as a gift. This was a year and three months ago. Changed our lives forever. We paid off $38,000 in debt the first year. Only debt left is house and student loans. We will be debt free (other then our house) in one year. We now have a plan in place to pay off our house and and be FI in 10.5 years(ish). I'm 30, wife is 28. Completely changed how we spend our money, helped our marriage, and make us realize there's much more to life then consumer garbage.

P.s. I'd recommend skipping his investing chapter though😉

jaytomlinson

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #85 on: March 22, 2016, 08:40:14 AM »
Stoicism taught me to live purposefully. The books that introduced me to it were:
"A Guide to the Good Life" http://amzn.to/1XJXaem
"Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius http://amzn.to/1RwUPyU

FI taught me I needed to build a pile of FU money so I could live a lot more purposefully. Aside from this website, these books changed my life:
"Early Retirement Extreme" http://amzn.to/1XJXCtc
"Your Money or Your Life" http://amzn.to/1U4X7Mg
« Last Edit: March 22, 2016, 08:44:00 AM by jaytomlinson »

KathyK

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #86 on: March 22, 2016, 01:40:10 PM »
1. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures by Anne Fadiman
2. A Country Year: Living the Questions by Sue Hubbell
3. The Beekeeper's Lament: How One Man and Half a Billion Honey Bees Help Feed America by Hannah Nordhaus
4. Home Town by Tracy Kidder
5. The Road from Coorain by Jill Ker Conway
6. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
7. The Gift of Pain by Paul Brand
8. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
9. The Life & Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson
10. The Shadow of the Sun by Rysard Kapuscinski

Lexaholik

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #87 on: March 22, 2016, 01:46:31 PM »

The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb - changed how I thought about risk. I still randomly think of his example comparing the "safe" office job with an "unsafe" cab driver. Part of my reason for pursuing multiple jobs. I also frequently tell people to stop being so loyal to the companies they work for, and I think this book has a part in that.


I saw Teleb's "Black Swan" above.

I advocate for his capstone book "Antifragile." I just finished it a couple weeks ago but I believe that it could be the most important book I have ever read.  Many of the concepts he discusses put meat on ideas that I have thought intuitively but have not been able to fully integrate into an overarching theory.  Fragile vs. antifragile, things that gain from chaos as opposed to things that are simply robust, barbell strategy, skin in the game, etc. He also discusses domain dependence and the contribution of stoic philosophy to his ideas.

Best quote (paraphrased): "Many people ask what is the difference between Buddhists and Stoics. A Stoic is a Buddhist with attitude, one who says “F*** Off” to fate.”"

I like many of the books above too but Antifragile is the best not listed.


I second the recommendations for Antifragile and The Black Swan (my review is here). I would also add the first book of the Incerto series--Fooled By Randomness (which I also reviewed here). These are all books that really make you change the way you think about risk and uncertainty.

madmax

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #88 on: March 22, 2016, 11:08:43 PM »
1. The Magic of Thinking Big
2. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
3. How to Stop Worrying and Start Living
4. The Art of Happiness
5. Man's Search for Meaning

Thank you for the recommendations, my Goodreads "To Read" shelf just doubled.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2016, 12:05:30 AM by madmax »

N

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #89 on: March 23, 2016, 12:04:28 AM »
the Continuum Concept, Jean Liedloff

The Baby Book, Dr Sears

The Gentle Art of Mothering, La Leche League

How To Talk to Kids so Kids will Listen, Faber and Mazlish

Its fair to say those books changed my life, and helped me learn how to parent peacefully

Mother Nature, Sarah Blaffer Hrdy
Our Babies, Ourselves, Meredith Small

The Five Love Languages, Chapman

Parenting A Free Child, Rue Kream (unschooling)

You can tell what Ive been having and raising kids for the last 13 years.

Knapptyme

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #90 on: March 23, 2016, 05:09:52 AM »
In short:

Fight Club by Palahniuk
Man's Search for Meaning by Frankl
Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway
Velvet Elvis by Bell
The Bridge to Terabithia by Paterson (Favorite as a child)

Whether is was the story that stuck, some underlying meaning, or just enjoyment from reading. I could read all of those again. Books that have changed my life because DW read them are a different story.

MissNancyPryor

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #91 on: March 27, 2016, 10:22:02 PM »
Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O'Brien and The Stand by Stephen King affected me greatly as a youth, I used to read The Stand every summer for a few years.  I loved to imagine myself in those scenarios--both books are post-apocalyptic stories of individual survival. 

The Millionaire Next Door was great, too.  it is a post-apolcalyptic story of individual survival: the whole world has gone blind to their wild consumerism but a few brave souls are hidden in the midst, chunking away their cash to buy their freedom.  You can tell them by their Mustaches.     

Icecreamarsenal

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #92 on: March 28, 2016, 06:52:52 AM »
I read the Book of Five Rings graphic novel as recommended.
I'm unsure of whether it's beyond my grasp, but my opinion is that it is purposefully opaque Eastern mysticism.
There is a certain simplistic beauty.
In any case, I cannot recommend it as others have.
Will start Thinking, Fast, and Slow, by kahneman today.
Looks more promising.

asch

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #93 on: March 28, 2016, 11:07:05 PM »
I second so many of the recommendations already given, especially:
 * Punished By Rewards by Alfie Kohn
 * Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
 * Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards

One book I haven't seen in the thread yet that was very impactful for me is Why We Do What We Do by Edward L. Deci. His name kept coming up in other books as a reference, I couldn't get his original publications (paywalls), but I could get this - and wow! It baffled me to read some of the reviews people left for this book, especially the claims that it was boring. Maybe everyone else already learned how to understand themselves and others and I'm getting to the game late, but I was engrossed from cover to cover.

This is a fantastic thread idea, I'm looking forward to reading more of the recommendations.

falsekrakk808

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #94 on: April 01, 2016, 11:14:40 AM »
Following...Thanks for all the great recommendations

albireo13

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #95 on: April 03, 2016, 04:58:18 PM »
Awesome thread.  My book list is getting too long now.   :P )



FrugalShrew

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #96 on: April 03, 2016, 05:12:04 PM »
There are too many to count, but here are 2 that stand out:

The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan -- one of the factors in my finally making the leap to becoming vegetarian over 10 years ago.

Mindset by Carol Dweck  -- the author theorizes that some people believe their capabilities are innate and therefore fixed (the "fixed mindset") and other people believe capabilities can be learned (the "growth mindset"). Thus, people with the fixed mindset will have a greater fear of challenges and revealing their weaknesses, whereas people with the growth mindset will view challenges and even failure as part of the learning process. And if my my recommendation isn't enough for you, here is a review of the book by Bill Gates https://www.gatesnotes.com/Books/Mindset-The-New-Psychology-of-Success. :)

Squirrel away

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #97 on: April 04, 2016, 12:59:55 AM »
There are too many to count, but here are 2 that stand out:

The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan -- one of the factors in my finally making the leap to becoming vegetarian over 10 years ago.

Mindset by Carol Dweck  -- the author theorizes that some people believe their capabilities are innate and therefore fixed (the "fixed mindset") and other people believe capabilities can be learned (the "growth mindset"). Thus, people with the fixed mindset will have a greater fear of challenges and revealing their weaknesses, whereas people with the growth mindset will view challenges and even failure as part of the learning process. And if my my recommendation isn't enough for you, here is a review of the book by Bill Gates https://www.gatesnotes.com/Books/Mindset-The-New-Psychology-of-Success. :)

I read the Mindset one recently and it was very interesting.:) It made me think about how I have absorbed the messages I was given from my parents and teachers and taken them into my adult life.

mrpercentage

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #98 on: April 04, 2016, 08:45:16 PM »
Im on Catch-22 now. I have had the audible for a while and just never got around to it. I like what I have heard but it strikes me a book that is difficult to follow on the road. It could be the reader. I might need to go print version.
absolute truth... prison guard that has seen shanks does not makes 45k a year managing bullshit tech that was outsourced for what?.... cheaper tech and less taxes... probably

jr1029

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Re: What books have changed your life?
« Reply #99 on: April 07, 2016, 02:34:21 PM »
Women Don't Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide. by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever

Useful for women AND men. Life changing for me - actually lead to a change in careers.