Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Life changing books

I started reading Fromm's Man for Himself and I feel bizarre! The book is changing me...you know the feeling when you live chaos and suddenly everything starts to fall in its place? The puzzles start to show a shape and you sit back and relax? That's what Fromm did and still does to me....but there were others too. Last weekend was quite relaxed and even though I still had no time to write down my trip to Spain (due to the fact I have 500 pix to go through and no time at all!), I decided to write down a list of books that changed my life.

1. Bible - born in a Catholic family I was raised with it, had it always around, studied it...It gave me basics for my own values, later on sadly made me realize I cannot represent Catholic Church. Nonetheless I still live most of what I've learned from it, but very much incorporated it in modern reality:)
2. Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice - I remember the scene and the day when I realized the paradox of human life and longing for eternity. I was upset for a few weeks, that life was given to be taken away and art, music, architecture will survive when I will be gone. (or those who do not know me I AM and egocentric person). I kept the copy I received form a friend from Egypt as one of my little treasures:)
3. The Name of The Rose by Umberto Eco - thought me to smile and appreciate what I have and the education I was given; thought me to love books and libraries.
4. Brain Sex: The Real Difference Between Men and Women by Anne Moir and David Jessel - great study of female and male biology, brain structure, growing up and socialization as well as everyday behavior. I was a feminist when I read it - and stopped being one, hehe, it kinda put all sex differences in order and I learned to appreciate that men think and behave differently and it all works quite well;)
5. The Sane Society by Erich Fromm - well writer critique or a study of Western society, extremely improved my relationship with my family, opened my eyes to all the mechanisms below the surface, helps me to manage my relationship with my parents and later on with my son.
6. Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai by Yamamoto Tsunetomo helped me to find a balance between my Catholic background, post-modern nature and Zen philosophy - if that makes sense...
7. The Letters of Vincent van Gogh by Vincent Van Gogh, Ronald de Leeuw, and Arnold J. Pomerans - increased my sensitivity in photography and pushed me to achieve more - I always go back to this book, whenever I feel I am stuck.
8. Pan Tadeusz by Adam Mickiewicz - once finished studies I went back to this - cherished in my house, since my dad comes from Lithuania - book on Lithuanian Poles during Napoleon times. I realized I miss old times, and even though I am a fan of post-modern myself I do think back on my ancestors' traditions and long for those delicious meals, huntings and picking mushrooms and blueberries in the forests that are endless and beautiful or in Hungary for example: sipping a coffeee and enjoying a gorgeous cake in one of Budapest 'cukraszdas' - any of those traditions that are gone forever .... ech...
9. Polka and Tarot Paryski by Manuela Gretkowska - first one guided my through pregnancy, second one developed my laid back attitude! I love her writing!
10. 11 Minutes by Coelho - one of those simple stories that quite you trough hard times - really helped me out of my horrible marriage:)
11. Girl with One Track Mind by Abby Lee - this will sound bizarre, I know, but the way she wrote her diary down brought back the magic to my life lately - maybe simply because she was so honest and so feminine...
11. Mental Fight by Ben Okri - sooo right about the times we live in!!!!

Well, and there is Fromm and his view on ethics now...let's see how it shapes me.

In the meantime I do follow others. Rice, Coelho and Abby Lee blog, Ben Okri was in Oxford lately and the rest...well, I guess I need to go to the local library. There were others too, but I guess I have no more lunch brake left to list them:)

How about you? Did you read a book that affected you so much that it changed our actions?

Update: good to see that Big Bloggers, like Loic Le Meur write about this traditional medium as well:)

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trailman said...

"The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle is a must-read for present times. I had resisted it for several years and was kind of put of by the title, but I was mistaken, and it has been an incredible life-changing experience that brought me many overdue realizations and helped me personally with recovering from PTSD than any amount of counseling or anything else.

Perhaps even more incredible but perhaps not a first read: "Falun Gong"; "Zhuan Falun"; and all the writings of Li Hongzi, which are just earth-shattering with essential knowledge for the new millenium. I don't know how one can survive nowadays without reading all these books mentioned here...

Also, "The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success" and anything by Deepak Chopra, which presents the discoveries of quantum physics as evidence to the truths in ancient wisdom and ties in closely with the other books mentioned above. This one was the first of all these that I had read, and as the person who recommended it to me said, "It's a life-changing book." I will as well say it to you, and tell you he was right and I'm glad I listened. I hope you do indeed listen to all of these suggestions because it's the truth that the information in these writings is more important than virtually anything you can be doing or reading right now, in this period in history and present time. It's due time to realize we can do many things to improve our lives and the world around us; it is indeed within our ability, collectively and individually...

GabK said...

Thank you trailman for all the tips - I belong to the listening-to-the-advice type, and I am sure I will find time to read mentioned titles. I learned about Li Hongzi - never read it! Deepak Chopra did affect me and I love his approach to philosophy - makes complicated matters very digestible (good for a blondie, I like to call myself;))

I will share my thoughs on those on the blog soon!:)

trailman said...

Thanks, gabk, very cool, very encouraging! Looking forward to seeing more discussion on these subjects!

GabK said...

I'll do my best!:) I hope to see it developing too:)