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Best intellectual books...

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by nwdiver, Dec 31, 2014.

  1. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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  2. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX

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    I'm not going to call it my 'favorite' book, and it's not terribly intellectual, but reading Donald Norman's "The Design of Everyday Things" near the beginning of my engineering career had a profound (and salubrious) effect on me as a designer.
     
  3. bestellen

    bestellen Member

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    The first book that came to mind was "The Catcher In The Rye" by J.D. Salinger. You may or may not have heard of it, and you may or may not have read it, and if yes to the latter, you may or may not have thought it had a deeper meaning to it. However, it surely had a deeper meaning for me. It really opens up your eyes to the fact that everyone has to grow up sometime, and you can't live your whole life afraid of it.
    I also thought of "Night" by Elie Wiesel. Surely, it was about the Holocaust, but everything in it was just so sad and it made me appreciate life a little bit more.
     
  4. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    Some old time favorites and onr recent read:

    Crime and punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (love all the great Russians such as Gogol, Tolstoy etc)

    The Process (the Trial in English?) by Franz Kafka

    “Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime” by Danish professor Peter Götsche (must read for anyone in the field of medicine).
     
  5. Chipper

    Chipper Active Member

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    I am going to be reading Bill O'Reilly's Killing Jesus. From what I have been told his theology is a bit off at times but his history is spot on. It's the history that is of interest to me.
     
  6. Half Dollar Bill

    Half Dollar Bill Traveller, teacher, poet, accountant

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    I keep going back to "Catch 22" by Joseph Heller. Not many books can make me go from laughing to crying in the same sitting.

    The examples in the "The Innovator's Dilemma" (from Clayton Christensen) are a bit dated now but it had a big impact on the way I think for the work I do.
    Along similar lines, "Tuxedo Park" by Jennet Conant is a great story about science, politics and mavericks during World War II. The author actually has similar books that I've enjoyed.
    And finally the most inviting book of science I've come across is Brian Greene's "The Elegant Universe". I'm not in the field of science but the explanations were accessible without seeming simplistic.
     
  7. SwedishAdvocate

    SwedishAdvocate Active Member

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  8. bestellen

    bestellen Member

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    House of Leaves will blow your mind. No joke
    Also, Bright Shiny Morning
     
  9. David99

    David99 Active Member

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  10. caddieo

    caddieo Member

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    On my current read list-- Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior by Leonard Mlodinow
     
  11. astrotoy

    astrotoy Member

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    I would agree that Kuhn's "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" is one of the great books I have read.

    Darwin's "Origin of Species", the first edition gives the best insight into Darwin's thinking. Absolutely a tour de force of logical thinking and experimental and observational evidence. Mendel's "Experiments in Plant Hybridization" is another take on evolution, much shorter and easier to read, but very insightful, way before we understood the cell and chromosomes- from the father of genetics - and a Catholic friar.

    Another great pair of books is Plato's Republic (I like the Alan Bloom translation) with Galileo's Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, which uses the format of Plato's dialogues to argue for the heliocentric universe (the topic of Kuhn's earlier book "The Copernican Revolution" easier to read with a similar thesis as "Structure".)

    Two absolutely stimulating, but difficult reads for me - Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov, and Douglas Hofstadter's Goedel, Escher, Bach.

    Larry

    - - - Updated - - -

    Another two great works from the middle ages. Chaucer's Canterbury Tale's - the whole thing is daunting - however, picking a few tales gives you a sense of the virtuosity of the writing - from high poetry (the Knight's Tale) to bawdy tales (the Miller's Tale). A great place to start are the Pardoner's Tale, often called the first short story, and the Wife of Bath's Tale, a 14th Century call to women's liberation. If your wife reads this, you'll never get your Model S back! Dante's Divine Comedy - the Inferno is probably enough for most (and has the most interesting stories and people).

    Larry
     

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