Has a book ever helped you do something better or maybe changed your life in positive and real way?

Discussion in 'Arts, Literature & Photography' started by Shaun, Sep 11, 2016.

  1. Shaun

    Shaun Guest

    There are tons of self-help books available, titles that claim to help you be a better worker / manager / salesperson / boss, find inner peace, develop "winning ways", lose weight and improve your diet, etc.

    I'm just curious. I've tried a few myself and some have helped a little, some had me saying to myself "oh yeah, now you put it like that it's pretty obvious", or "wow, that was an innovative approach", and some I just found interesting but I couldn't directly translate to my own life.

    Have any of you been inspired by such a book to make positive change in your life, career or business - and what did it do for you?
  2. Uncle Bertie

    Uncle Bertie Forum GOD!

    I remain impressed by Dale Carnegie's "How to win friends and influence people", a lot of common sense in there that the teenage version of me needed.

    The bible is also full of wonderful nuggets amongst the tribalism, paternalism and prejudice. Jesus is an amazing character that presents a very different and personally challenging way for people to get on with each other.
  3. Gairdner

    Gairdner Forum DOG!

    Geoff Hamilton's Cottage Gardens and Garden Plants for Scotland by Kenneth N.E. Cox and Raoul Curtis-Machin. The latter gets called 'The Bible'. You should check the second hand values of the out-of-print hardback edition. :eek:

    I once saw a doctor who encouraged me to get a particular self-help book on depression. I was really struggling at the time and even now, I find reading about my condition very, very tough indeed. When I returned for my next appointment without this book, he got very uppity indeed and questioned my commitment to get better. I had to calm him down by questioning his commitment to eat lunch without a wired jaw. Four letter expletive beginning with 'C' was my last word to him and he left the practice some six months later, probably to resume selling books on ice fishing to Inuit.
    Blademonkey, JamieM, Fox and 2 others like this.
  4. Redd

    Redd A Right Member

    'The five people you meet in heaven' - Mitch Albom. It makes you think about yourself.
    'Sophie's World' - Jostein Gaarder. It makes you think about everything!!
    Shaun and Lord Fatboy like this.
  5. Lord Fatboy

    Lord Fatboy Forum GOD!

    "The art of seduction" - Robert Greene

    "How to stop worrying and start living" - Dale Carnegie

    Ralph Waldo Emerson's "The conduct of life" and "Freedom is more than just a seven letter word" by Veronica: of the Chapman family were just as helpful by being thought provoking (and you could throw really any Nietzsche in there, particularly "Beyond good & evil" and "Ecce Homo")
    Shavebadger, Uncle Bertie and Shaun like this.
  6. Lord Fatboy

    Lord Fatboy Forum GOD!

    Yes, I wish I'd thought about the bible. I'd probably add The 1662 Book Of Common Prayer, revolutionary in it's time (literally)
  7. Godfather

    Godfather Forum GOD!

    For me it was the Tibetan book of living and dying. Helped me through a series of family losses in quick succession. I also learned a great deal from Breaking clays by Chris Batha as it changed my approach to the sport..
    johnus, Shaun and Lord Fatboy like this.
  8. Dogsmro

    Dogsmro Guru

    North Yorkshire
    Many years ago, when I was less rigid and more open minded, one that made me think ( and many more besides ) Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance
    Sgt Barnes and AlexNoodles like this.
  9. Grarea

    Grarea Forum Plod

    Slightly different, but when I read Dickens, I like the way it makes my brain work.
    (It has been a while now)
  10. Dogsmro

    Dogsmro Guru

    North Yorkshire
    Yes I can relate to that.
    Grarea likes this.
  11. Missoni

    Missoni Fellow Traveller

    Lots of Places
    The Man Who Fell In Love With The Moon - Tom Spanbauer. Found the book liberating and greatly admired the 'dangerous writing' style where the author confronted taboo subjects pertinent to himself.
    Journey To The End Of The Night - Louis CĂ©line. Gave me a more balanced view of humanity.
  12. Gordy

    Gordy Legendary Member

    Norn Iron
    I've always found reading to open ones mind and feed the brain, no matter the material. I don't read fiction, preferring historical and reference. When I'm in a good book, my mind is like a sponge and I try to soak up as much as I can.
  13. Lord Fatboy

    Lord Fatboy Forum GOD!

    There is a great book called "Zen Edge" - not really self help in the strict sense.
  14. tomj777

    tomj777 Well-Known Member

    I'll throw in three books...
    Firstly, The Freedom Tree by James Watson which shaped played a large part of shaping this then nine (eight? ten?) year old's view of the exterior world and the importance of standing tall. I recommend it to teenagers and adults alike (but, with hindsight, teenagers is more appropriate than when I read it).
    Secondly, Johnathan Livingstone Seagull by Richard Bach. This, at the end of the day, is about freedom and the love of living.
    Thirdly, I'll offer Brave New World Revisited, by Aldous Huxley, which taught me to awareness of manipulation and introduced me to the alarming world of logical fallacies.
    There's a few others I'd surreptitiously insert into the questioners bookshelf.

    Oh, I've an occasional tendency to leave copies of Mathew Johnson's book, "I had a black dog" in waiting rooms and the right kind of coffee shops.
    Missoni likes this.
  15. baldas

    baldas Regular Member

    The late great planet Earth - Hal Lindsey [1976 - ?]
    The Bible - KJV Ever since :)
    Batch300 likes this.
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