View Full Version : Influential Books

02-07-2013, 03:10 AM
I got to thinking about the books I've read that have either represented a significant milestone or had a profound and long lasting impact on me. What books would be in your list?

The Hardy Boys #1 - This was the first book I ever read independently. I think I was 6 at the time, and soon I was reading every Hardy Boys book I could get my hands on. I remember being excited going to the library to see if there were any numbers I hadn't read yet.

Flatland - I first read this in grade school, and I think this may be the most influential book I've ever read in terms of the way it shaped my general mindset. It exposed me to the idea of 4 or more spatial dimensions and perspective. The former fueled my growing fascination with the theoretical and abstract, while the latter helped me to be more patient and understanding.

Neuromancer - I love the cyberpunk aesthetic in general, but this novel really inspired me. Specifically, the idea of plugging a computer directly into the brain has shaped my academic career, from neural engineering to neural simulation to brain-computer interface research.

02-07-2013, 06:33 AM
The Magus - John Fowles. I think I was around 13 at the time.

02-07-2013, 06:39 AM
A Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez was the novel that really put me on my path to become a writer. To this day it's my favorite book, and it's been almost two decades since I first encounted it.

The other book I have to mention is Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Nietzsche. It really knocked me off my feet when I read it; it's hard to put it in words without looking silly, but this book represents the final milestone in my spiritual journey.

10-25-2013, 05:55 PM
My first book was a Hardy Boys book too haha. I guess, recently "1Q84" by Murakami has had a big impact on me. Lots of people didn't like it, said it was overly long but I found it engrossing. Really challenged what I thought could be captured in a novel. My all time favorite is "Don Quixote". It's a hilarious book, hard to believe it was written over 400 years ago and still holds up so well. A close second would be "The Great Gatsby". It's still a relevant story IMO, with the commentary on class difference etc...