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Ask Slashdot: What Books Have Had a Significant Impact On Your Life?

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the compendium-of-cheese dept.

Books 700

gspec writes "A little background about me: 36-year-old computer engineer working in the Bay Area. While I bring in a comfortable salary, I consider myself an underachiever, and my career is stagnant (I have only been promoted four times in my 12-year career). I have led a couple projects, but I am not in any sort of leadership/management position. I realize I need to do something to enhance my career, and unfortunately, going back to school is not an option. One thing I can do is to read more quality books. My question: which books, of any type or genre, have had a significant impact on your life?"

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Atlas Shrugged (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635159)

Atlas Shrugged
fantastic book
Atlas Shrugged part 2 is in theaters today as luck would have it

Ayn Farted (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635335)

And Libertarians everywhere rejoiced!

Re:Atlas Shrugged (4, Funny)

Grayhand (2610049) | about 2 years ago | (#41635373)

Atlas Shrugged fantastic book Atlas Shrugged part 2 is in theaters today as luck would have it

Paul Ryan is on Slashdot?

Re:Atlas Shrugged (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635661)

There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

Re:Atlas Shrugged (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635705)

See, he was looking for a book to ENHANCE his career, not help him become an unlikable jerk who no one wants to work with who will then gnaw himself in the dark home alone and blame the world for not appreciating his genius.

First (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635161)

I got first

Re:First (2)

davidwr (791652) | about 2 years ago | (#41635569)

I got first

Who wrote this? I checked Amazon and Google Books and found nothing, so I'm guessing it's obscure. Then again, I only checked the top-10 results for each. Do you have an ISBN?

How to win friends and influence people (4, Insightful)

Niris (1443675) | about 2 years ago | (#41635165)

How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie. Great pointers for talking to people. Also I loved the art of war.

Re:How to win friends and influence people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635209)

Seconded. The message may bother some geeks, but reality is not always an easy pill to swallow. We like to think that good logic is sufficient, but it's not.

Re:How to win friends and influence people (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635223)

I always preferred Zapp Brannigan's Big Book of War

Re:How to win friends and influence people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635243)

Gods Debris by Scott Adams.. not for any technical reason, it's just a great book.

Managing people isn't all it's cracked up to be. Enjoy your friends and family, they're better than any book, and they're a worth replacement for any book or job.

Catcha: avoided

Books (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635177)

1984. First post beotches!

Not the Bible. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635193)

Please, that's the easy answer, and is playing to the crowd, not showing anything of actual import or meaning. Even if you read it every day, and swear by it, even if you read it in the original languages, you will not have much to offer if that's all you've got to say.

That said, you'll be better off than the people waxing eloquently over how Ayn Rand taught them how to live, and lightyears ahead of those who try to combine Jesus and John Galt.

Re:Not the Bible. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635329)

Okay. "Mere Christianity" and "The Problem of Pain"

Re:Not the Bible. (1)

da007 (242994) | about 2 years ago | (#41635663)

Okay. "Mere Christianity" and "The Problem of Pain"

Vote parent up. Mere Christianity is a great book.

Re:Not the Bible. (3, Insightful)

gameboyhippo (827141) | about 2 years ago | (#41635519)

You must be new here. Your answer is not only "not helpful", but it plays to the Slashdot crowd. Your intent was to look intelligent and enlightened, but in reality you look intolerant and ignorant.

That being said, I'll take the bait. As a rebuttal to "not showing anything of actual import or meaning."(sic), a Christian would argue that its importance is that they are no longer damned by their sins. The historian would argue that its importance is that it provides historical context for various periods of time. The anthropologist would argue that its importance is that it provides insight into the culture and traditions of early Jewish people. And so on...

But being that you're an average twelve year old neoatheist, your intolerance causes you to spew out this garbage when it wasn't asked for. Specifically, nobody answered "The Bible", but you provided a preemptive "rebuttal" anyway.

Re:Not the Bible. (0)

ubergeek65536 (862868) | about 2 years ago | (#41635741)

"a Christian would argue". Arguments require logic.

Not trying to be negative (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635215)

I'm not sure if a book or school is going to do anything for you. You should choose a path (or different field) that you are passionate about and you will be driven to achieve.

That being said, Code Complete by Steve McConnell. Read it now.

The Three most Influential books I ever read. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635217)

There are three books that I found back in High School that shook my world view to its foundation.

First, Atlas Shrugged.

Second, The Illuminatus Trilogy.

Third, I received a little pamphlet in the mail from the Sub-Genius Foundation, informing me The World Ends Tomorrow, and You May Die!

Re:The Three most Influential books I ever read. (1)

frAme57 (145879) | about 2 years ago | (#41635559)

Then you should read The Book of the Subgenius. When the sex goddess space aliens finally arrive, you'll want to have reservations on their saucers.

The Case For Mars (2)

BMOC (2478408) | about 2 years ago | (#41635227)

"The Case For Mars" Robert Zubrin

When humanity stops looking towards a viable future of expansion, it always stagnates. This book puts humanity's future in perspective

Anything from Packt (2)

turkeyfeathers (843622) | about 2 years ago | (#41635233)

Everything I've read from Packt rates 8/10+ in my book.

Arthur C Clarke (2)

KBentley57 (2017780) | about 2 years ago | (#41635237)

I've read most all of his books, starting in high school. I doubt I would have half the imagination or curiosity about space as I do now without some of his ideas.

Dostoyesvsky (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635245)

Notes from the Underground
Brothers Karamazov
Crime and Punishment

Re:Dostoyesvsky (1)

invid (163714) | about 2 years ago | (#41635635)

bump

The Fountainhead (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635247)

...and Atlas Shrugged.

7 habits of highly effective people (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635249)

internalize

I can't explain (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635257)

Puzzle Palace and Body of Secrets

Good start... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635259)

Getting things done
Ender's game
Short history of nearly everything
The above mentioned How to win friends and influence people is also very good
Red queen

Re:Good start... (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | about 2 years ago | (#41635599)

Ender's game

Seriously? Might as well throw The Hunger Games and Harry Potter on the list too, then.

It's decent juvi-fic, but life altering?

American Pratcical Navigator (3)

ISoldat53 (977164) | about 2 years ago | (#41635261)

by Bowditch

Malazan Book of the Fallen (0)

GeneralTurgidson (2464452) | about 2 years ago | (#41635265)

I was looking to get into an epic fantasy, and I got a lot more than I asked for. Malazan is huge, and it touches on so many aspects of human nature. The series can be seen as a debate about everything, from poverty, to war, to politics... So much is touched by that book. It really gives a different viewpoint on what is really good and what is really evil. It's also jammed pack with action and intrigue. I personally hated GM's Song of Fire and Ice series (especially after book 3), and I found Malazan to be exactly what I wanted out of a fantasy epic.

A bunch! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635291)

But I would say the absolute biggest one was Sophie's World by Gaarder. I had already read a few philosophy books, or I should say books ABOUT philosophy or philosophers, but this one actually made me understand the intrinsic concept of what philosophy is.
One of the best introductory books (in all subjects in general) that I have ever read.

Ouch (3, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about 2 years ago | (#41635297)

I dropped a phone book on my foot once.

Easy list (5, Informative)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about 2 years ago | (#41635323)

The Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov is and will always be my favorite series of books. Those are the first real science fiction books I read, they were welcome reprieve from those terrible books I had to read in high school.

Dune by Frank Herbert. The sheer scope of events which take place in this sage showed me how insignificant daily events really were. While it was fictional, the way the Shaddam, the Baron Harkonnen, and Muad'Dib feel about their subjects/followers/slaves gave me a hard dose of reality. There are a lot of people out there, and most of them have no idea that you just got picked on walking to class, dropped some spaghetti on your shirt, or had a really crappy day.

Re:Easy list (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about 2 years ago | (#41635615)

What about when I choked on a pretzel?

Re:Easy list (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 2 years ago | (#41635701)

Maybe it's just me, but we read some truly awesome stuff in high school. Here's a list just to name a few.

Lord Of The Flies
The Chrysalids
To Kill a Mockingbird
Wuthering Heights
Cue For Treason
The Hobbit
1984*
Brave New World*


It's been a while so I don't remember all the assigned books, but I only really remember one which was really bad, plus all the Shakespeare, which I never really cared for. Most of my classmates didn't like Wuthering Heights, but I think a lot of that was just prejudice against the book and they never really gave it a fair chance. The ones with the * were books where we got to pick anything we wanted to read, and there were a few other of those as well. I'm not sure what other schools do, but my highschool had some pretty good books.

Systems thinking (1)

Nibbler(C) (574581) | about 2 years ago | (#41635325)

As computer engineer, you're a little on your way there, this will give you idea how to apply it on other aspects of your life. Try Peter Senge's The Fifth Discipline.

Asimov (1)

narf0708 (2751563) | about 2 years ago | (#41635327)

Any of Isaac Asimov's books and/or short stories. The one with the most impact upon my life and personality was probably Foundation, along with the rest of the Foundation series.

Pretentious book that doesn't answer question (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 2 years ago | (#41635331)

The life changer for me was George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones. Actually I like the HBO version better because of the nudity.

Heh. (4, Funny)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about 2 years ago | (#41635337)

The Penthouse Letters. It was very informative.

Easy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635339)

I read 'How to Get Rich in 10 days" when I was 17 and I have never needed to work a single day.

Heinlein, Asimov (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635351)

As a kid, I read many many Heinlein books, the Robot series and Foundations series by Asimov. Was a fan of Stephen King. Not much else.

Every book in high that you were supposed to read (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635353)

is worth re-reading.

Orwell, 1984 and Animal Farm are worth re-reading.
Austen, Jane. Chick can write.
Cervantes. Might want to read this in a reading group.
Conrad, The Secret Agent, why was it the Unabombers favorite book?
Tolstoy, War and Peace. Not long enough.
Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby.
Jack London
Twain

Skip Salinger. Re-reading Heller isn't as much fun as the first time.

Re:Every book in high that you were supposed to re (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | about 2 years ago | (#41635753)

Skip Salinger

Don't skip Salinger.

Skip Raise High the Roofbeams and Seymour, an Introduction. Never, ever, ever read it. Ugh.

Skip Catcher.

Read Nine Stories, then read Franny and Zooey if you loved that.

If you loved both, maybe circle back and try Catcher after all.

If you loved all three of those... still don't read Raise High....

Moneyball (3, Informative)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#41635363)

It's amazing what billy beanne has done on a tiny budget and going against what all the experts said

In the end it's about using data rather than hunches and old wives' tales to make business decisions

Two golfers (5, Interesting)

BaverBud (610218) | about 2 years ago | (#41635371)

(This is not my joke/story, just paraphrasing what I remember)

Two golfers had been meeting weekly for years - lets call them Joe and Bob. Joe started to notice one day that Bob was getting a lot better. So Joe asked Bob what he was doing, and Bob replied that he was taking some golf classes on the weekends.

Joe, not wanting to be outdone, bought a golf self-improvement book. And gave it to Bob, complimenting him on his desire to improve.

A few weeks later, Bob was back to his old self, and Joe was happily able to compete again.


Moral of the story: When Joe bought Bob the book, Bob stopped practicing and started reading. Don't substitute reading for doing.

Charlie M (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635375)

Tips on how to deal with bad management.

Scientific Magazines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635381)

What Books Have Had a Significant Impact On Your Life?

What about scientific and geographic magazines? They had a profound effect on my adolescent years. Particularly the picture essays on the Natives of the South Pacific.

Read Player One (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635387)

Helps me avoid playing MMO's.

Some... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635397)

The C Programming Language - Kernighan and Ritchie
The Design of the Unix Operating System - Bach
Computer Networks - Tannenbaum
The Art Of Computer Programming - Knuth
Security Engineering - Anderson
Godel Escher and Bach - Hofstader
The Demon Haunted World - Sagan
The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy - Adams
Adolph Hitler, My Part In His Downfall - Milligan

I'll give you more than one (2)

davidwr (791652) | about 2 years ago | (#41635403)

The Bible. Except for atheists and agnostics, most people should insert their favorite holy book [wikipedia.org] here.

My college calculus book. Naturally. [wikipedia.org]

Half a bookshelf full of Dr. Seuss [wikipedia.org] books from my school library that I read as a kid.

The Kama Sutra (1)

yourdog (709870) | about 2 years ago | (#41635405)

The Kama Sutra

More books... (2, Interesting)

JDAustin (468180) | about 2 years ago | (#41635413)

Most of Heinlein's work, although my personal favorite is Job:A Comedy of Justice (I'd swear the South Park guys got their idea of Heaven and Hell from their).

I'd add in Atlas Shrugged also, I didnt read until I was 35+.

How I found Freedom in an Unfree world. (1)

trout007 (975317) | about 2 years ago | (#41635427)

Great book that teaches you that you have to live your life for yourself and not let rules or other people try to keep you down.

The secret to life. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635443)

http://mitpress.mit.edu/sicp/
Learn a Lisp.......
http://www.manning.com/suereth/
Learn something hard.......

You'll either prove that you are in fact an unaccomplished, unmotivated, underachiever....
or
You'll learn how much you don't know and do something about it......
In the end, a book isn't your problem.....

Your problem is that you lack passion. Great engineers are passionate about what they do. If your not, find something that gives you a reason to be what you are.
Loving what you do, IS the secret to life....

watch the movie: City Slickers:....here is a bit of the dialog
Curly: Do you know what the secret of life is?
[holds up one finger]
Curly: This.
Mitch: Your finger?
Curly: One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don't mean shxx.
Mitch: But, what is the "one thing?"
Curly: [smiles] That's what *you* have to find out.

I grew up on classics (3, Informative)

Grayhand (2610049) | about 2 years ago | (#41635447)

HG Wells, Jules Verne, Mary Shelley, Edgar Rice Burroughs, HP Lovecraft, and Robert E Howard. Lovecraft and Howard had the biggest influence. I read a lot of scifi like A Mote In God's Eye and Robert Heinlein but Howard and Lovecraft had the biggest influence.

Re:I grew up on classics (1)

invid (163714) | about 2 years ago | (#41635703)

I've read all those except Shelley (it's in my book case though).

the Black Swan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635457)

The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. I find this to be the greater work in the Philosophy of Science since Karl Popper's "the Logic of Scientific Discovery", and made a true Skeptic out of me. My scientific training taught me to be skeptic of theory but not to question the method as a whole. Besides being full of Wisdom, its also witty, practical, entertaining and passionate.

Hermann Hesse's 'Narcissus and Goldmund' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635465)

It's a lovely story about two friend who follow different paths in life. One scholastic, one bohemian. It contrasts the two fantastically. It helped me consider where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do, and ultimately was a factor in my deciding to not go work with computers and apply to medical school instead. I'm currently in my 5th year.

Have a read:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/reader/0720612918/ref=sib_dp_kd#reader-link

My favorites (3, Interesting)

MetricT (128876) | about 2 years ago | (#41635473)

Why Societies Need Dissent - Cass Sunstein
The Road to Reality - Roger Penrose
Liars and Outliers - Bruce Schneier
Diplomacy - Henry Kissenger
Last Chance to See - Douglas Adams
Free to Choose - Milton Friedman
Cosmos - Carl Sagan
Guns, Germs, and Steel - Jared Diamond
Black Swan - Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Meditations - Marcus Aurelius
Bible

The Cookoo's Egg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635481)

By Cliff Stoll. Read it early in high school. It got me really excited about computer security, and it pointed me towards the field I'm in now.

early usborne books (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635487)

How to write your own fantasy games
how to write your own adventure program
computer battle games
computer space games
robotics (new technologies)
the usborne book of the furture.
the microadventures series.
etc.

all those books and more from the golden age of tech, the early 80's

alot of usborne books in there. on a bit of an old book jag.

commit to it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635497)

and read Herman Hesse: Siddhartha

The Exorcist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635499)

I did not know a crucifix could double as a dildo. Makes those impromtu nights over at my christian friends' all the more sexually gratifying,

The 48 Laws of Power (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635503)

The 48 Laws of Power
by Robert Greene

Well... (1)

JobyOne (1578377) | about 2 years ago | (#41635505)

Lots of them. Here are a few pulled from my Goodreads list, in no particular order

His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman - these are kids books, but when I reread them recently I realized that they had a profound effect on my adolescent mind.

Neal Stephenson - his science fiction gave me a taste of what the world could be.

Born to Run by Christopher McDougall - It's kind of silly, but a few years ago this book planted the seeds that got me running -- and not just running but running almost daily and LOVING it. Now I'm coming up on thirty with my fitness level tracking upwards. It's amazing.

Deep Economy by Bill McKibben

Red Mars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635513)

Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy had a major impact on my view of the world. His democratic corporation and gauging everything's environmental impact first before all other considerations really shook up how I thought about the world as it is now.

Re:Red Mars (2)

tylikcat (1578365) | about 2 years ago | (#41635623)

+1

Though I like KSR's "The Years of Rice and Salt" the best.

An assortment... (1)

tylikcat (1578365) | about 2 years ago | (#41635521)

Na Han - "A Call to Arms" by Lu Xun. A Chinese revolutionary writer. Worth reading even in translation. Why do I get crushes on dead authors?
Cyteen by CJ Cherryh - seriously one of the best pieces of science fiction of the last century (and had some influence on my heading into biomed from the computer industry. Might have done it anyway...)
Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos by Strogatz - which was probably a better reason to go into the mathy side of biomed, but I didn't run into it until I was already in research. (I was explicitly looking for dynamical systems theory, I just didn't know that's what it was called.)
Oh, and I must put in a word for Apostol's Calculus. The hundreds of hours of my life sucked up by these books... (Really, they're the most rigorous, in ever sense of the word, books on calculus.)
And let's throw in Before European Hegemony by Abu-Lughod just to balance things out a bit. (This cound easily become the poli-econ section...) ...that all having been said, I have probably beed deeply influenced by Heinlein, but perhaps in questionable ways. (And I'm female. Kind of sick and wrong.) And others I don't even want to admit to...

Conrad's Lord Jim and Heart of Darkness (1)

stainlesssteelpat (905359) | about 2 years ago | (#41635535)

Reading these two novels by Conrad really shook me up and made me realise I was wasting my life as a chef. Now i'm doing a PhD after finishing my under with 1st class honours.

Lord Jim must really be awesome (1)

moronikos (595352) | about 2 years ago | (#41635637)

...because I read Heart of Darkness and have seen Apocalypse Now a few times and it never inspired me to get a PhD.

PHIKAL and THIKAL (3, Interesting)

mindcandy (1252124) | about 2 years ago | (#41635557)

Not the books themselves, per se.

The C++ Programming Language (4, Funny)

roninmagus (721889) | about 2 years ago | (#41635563)

I remember reading it when I was a kid

Robert J Sawyer novels (1)

Beerdood (1451859) | about 2 years ago | (#41635571)

All science fiction, but I've read quite a few of his books. Most of his novels are based around now or in the near future, and I often have some eye-opening experiences about how life & the world could be so much different if a few circumstances were changed.

A pattern language (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635577)

A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction [wikipedia.org] by Christopher Alexander. This changed the way I experienced being in buildings, neighborhoods, and cities, where I spend most of my time. One idea I liked is that you can structure the environment to bring pleasure to people (see also "Thermal delight in architecture" [mit.edu] ). Another is that you can understand the problem by looked at the ways people have used to solve it. It was fun to see this idea played out a few years later in the software realm. [wikipedia.org]

I'm not an architect, if that matters.

Gormanghast and The Toyota Way (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635581)

Gormanghast, now there is a study of stagnation! Even to the point of decay.
It's also a study in architypal characters and motivations in an organization.
Doesn't every workplace have their Swelter vs Mr Flea (I mean Flay) conflicts?

Now, if you are looking to lead the revolution in your organization and demonstrate your management potential, try "The Toyota Way".

And now for something completely different (1)

AwesomeMcgee (2437070) | about 2 years ago | (#41635583)

A marriage of heaven and hell - William Blake.

All of Blake's works are amazing and frankly transformative in my life; I don't know why but for some reason hearing points made that I had to unravel to understand just made them stick more and all of it is written with a beauty in language that really drives his values in passion and joy across as being significant for more reasons than just the words but because there is meaning in those words that can cause affect.

Just my strange and abnormal two cents, his stuff is *really* short to read (like 20 pages or so) so worth looking at just to see if it resonates anything in you.

Ismael (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635585)

Ismael was one of the books that made me question and change my world-view towards humanity.

Godel, Escher, Bach (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635593)

Because it taught me it some books aren't worth reading all the way through.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (5, Interesting)

sirwired (27582) | about 2 years ago | (#41635597)

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig. It can help you to look at life in a different way...

Two novels... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635603)

“There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”

  John Rogers

Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635609)

Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales

The book deals with the psychological aspects of people who survive life and death situations. One of the conclusions I took from it was that people who survive accept their reality. This allows them to more easily deal with the challenges they face. I've found this applies to much more than survival situations. The book changed my perspective on a neck injury I suffered a year ago.

Tough and awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635611)

Gödel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter is quite amazing. If you have some background in computer science and mathematics, it shouldn't be really hard for you.

Hardball (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635613)

By Chris Matthews. If you're at all interested in politics, and haven't been involved in it directly, it will completely alter your perception of how things are done.

The God Delusion (3, Insightful)

na1led (1030470) | about 2 years ago | (#41635625)

by Richard Dawkins, a sure Eye Opener!

YMoYL! (1)

frAme57 (145879) | about 2 years ago | (#41635643)

Your Money or Your Life by Robin & Dominguez. This is one to read sooner rather than later. If I had read it years ago I would probably not now be living paycheck to paycheck & working in a job I hate.

The Empty Mirror (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635659)

The Empty Mirror: Experiences in a Japanese Zen Monastery

Silly question (2, Insightful)

FridayBob (619244) | about 2 years ago | (#41635667)

My impression is that only people who have read very few books are likely to say that any one book has had a "significant impact on their lives." No one book has all the answers, but people who read enough of them do tend to become wiser. Anyway, if you're looking for a good book, first find a good author.

In the nuclear-war-can-be-kind-o-fun department... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635675)

Alas Babylon by Pat Frank. This combination of Tom Sawyer and Dr. Strangelove is a classic that taught me to be prepared to see the danger and opportunity in any situation.

What Color is Your Parachute? (1)

renard (94190) | about 2 years ago | (#41635679)

Humbly suggest that you explore career options - WCYP? provides a good way in, there are plenty of other options too. When you find a career that inspires you, growing in your capabilities, responsibilities, rank, and salary will seem like the most natural thing in the world, and not the epic struggle it is when you're stuck in a place/career/situation you don't like.

Other suggestions: (1) Make sure you are dating, meeting people (or talking to your gf/bf/spouse if you are attached). The right partner can be a great inspiration. (2) Consider counseling. Just having someone who is paid to listen to your gripes and deep thoughts, a half hour at a time, once a week or so, can be worth a lot, and can often help us get unstuck.

Good luck, let us know how you work it out.

Cheers,
renard

Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid (5, Informative)

justfred (63412) | about 2 years ago | (#41635709)

Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid

http://www.amazon.com/G%C3%B6del-Escher-Bach-Eternal-Golden/dp/0465026567 [amazon.com]

This book taught me more about coding (and recursion, and all sorts of other concepts) than any language-specific book I've read. I carried it around for a couple of years, making my way through as I could. Highly recommended.

My advice... (1)

sithlord2 (261932) | about 2 years ago | (#41635717)

"The Art of Happiness" by the Dalai Lama.

I think the most important part is to figure what you want to achieve. Do you want to go to a management-postion because you really want to manage projects (or other people), or do you want it so you can call yourself an "achiever"? If it's the first, do what you need to do. If it's the second, you really need to evaluate your priorities in life. I work in IT for 10 years now, and I don't want to go to a management-postion ever, because I like the part of messing and playing with servers. If your passion lies in the technical domain, I doubt a promotion to management would make you happy.

Just think about it for a few days: what do you really want to do 8 hours a day? Figure that out, and adjust your career-plans to this goal.

Facebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41635719)

Is Facebook the only book anybody reads anymore?

Selfish Gene. Taras Bulba. Howl (and other Poems) (1)

gatesstillborg (2633899) | about 2 years ago | (#41635721)

Bukowski short stories. Shakespeare Coriolanus and Timon of Athens. Aeschylus Oresteia. Hippolytus (Murray transl.) Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged (excerpts). The Stranger. Canterbury Tales (Wife of Bath). The Idiot. Chekov. The Jungle. Short Happy Life of Francis Maccomber.

Dostojevski (1)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about 2 years ago | (#41635731)

Particularly the Idiot and Crime and Punishment.

I don't think any of them will help you with your career, though - unless you plan to kill someone with an axe and are looking for advise for or against it.

Books (1)

Animats (122034) | about 2 years ago | (#41635735)

  • Two-volume biography of Edison.
  • Berkeley, "Giant Brains, or Machines That Think" "The Scientific American Book of Projects for the Amateur Scientist"
  • Organik, "Fortran IV"
  • Heilbroner, "The Worldly Philosophers"
  • Plunkett, "Plunkitt of Tammany Hall"
  • Knuth, "Fundamental Algorithms"
  • Horowitz and Hill, "The Art of Electronics"
  • Ernest, "Chapters on Machinery and Labor"
  • Russell, "Why I am not a Christian"
  • Malkiel, "A Random Walk Down Wall Street"
  • Graham, "The Intelligent Investor"
  • Mackay, "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds"
  • Ellis, "A Social History of the Machine Gun"
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