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Most influential Books you've read


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"Healing With Whole Foods" Paul Pitchford (the book that made me turn vegan instantly) Stresses a vegan diet and for non-vegans if meat is a necessity than it should be used as a "condiment" in the entree, not the entire main course. It just made sense


"The Way of the Peaceful Warrior" Dan Millam a great book for some real motivation


"The Prophet" Khalil Gibran An extremely quick read which leaves you thinking every step of the way and wanting to read it over and over to interpret the work. Very philosophical.

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suprisingly enough it was a book about wizards that really hit home emotionally as to why i was a vegan and words i aspire to live by


diane duanes support your local wizard series


the oath:


"In Life's name and for Life's sake, I say that I will use the Art for nothing but the service of that Life. I will guard growth and ease pain. I will fight to preserve what grows and lives well in its own way; and I will change no object or creature unless its growth and life, or that of the system of which it is part, are threatened. To these ends, in the practice of my Art, I will put aside fear for courage, and death for life, when it is right to do so -- till Universe's end."



Something about it resonated deeply within me and i follow that path now.

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  • 2 months later...

Most influential books so far:


The China Study - T Colin Campbell

Eat to Live - Joel Fuhrman

Fasting and Eating for Health - Joel Fuhrman

Maximum Weight Loss - John D McDougall

The Easy Way to Stop Smoking - Allen Carr

The Easy Way to Control Alcohol - Allen Carr

Skinny Bitch - Kim Kardouin and Rory Freedman


You Can Heal Your Life - Louise Hay

The Complete ACOA Sourcebook - Adult Children of Alcoholics at Home, at Work and in Love - Janet Geringer Woititz

How To Win Friends and Influence People - Dale Carnegie


The Lives of Animals - JM Coetzee

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I've recently read this book, and think it's very good.


I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in the way in which people use the modern concepts of sanity & inanity , for example to evoke a certain social reaction, or portray certain priorities as the correct ones to have.


The author agrees with many of my concepts and philosophies about sanity and human psychology, so I also found reading this book to be surprisingly empowering , in addition to being uplifting.


As an honest look at the paradox between superficial sanity and profound sanity, and the tenuous grasp people tend to have on only one or the other, if either at all, I think that many people would find it to be very insightful.







There's a nice synopsis in one of the Amazon reviews by someone called ' Fitzcarraldo "eco worrier" ' -



In Going Sane, Adam Phillips skilfully marshals a wide cast from literature and the literature of psychology in order to examine the many headed and currently vague notion of sanity.


How is the term used? Why is the term used? Does sanity encompass madness or exclude it?


Opening with a sceptical voice, he considers ideas such as the misuse of the word by The Party in Orwell's 1984 and Laing's consideration of madness as a rational response to circumstances.


Further on, we're challenged to regard the difficulties of an idea of sane sex and the programmed madness of adolescence.


As the book progresses, Phillips asserts his own voice more strongly, finishing with his idea of a sane life; perhaps how a life might be sane, but at least in how the thing might be recognised.


Even while arguing forcefully and eloquently, Phillips still manages to avoid being over prescriptive; his voice is too secular for that. In any case, he insists (in the introduction) that his ideas are there as a challenge.

If you're up for such a challenge and especially if you're interested in where psychology meets philosophy, then this book is for you.




I think anyone who has ever been labelled insane, or treated as such by others, or who doubts their sanity because of feeling traumatised, isolated, unsupported, terrorised etc.... and thus being unable to maintain a false and acceptable social facade of the sort many others constantly expect socially, would find this to be a very meaningful book which could give them valuable support through showing them a more expansive and meaningful approach to sanity (or the lack of it) than they are likely to be accustomed to encountering in daily life.

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I read a lot of books and am constantly being influenced by them. Rather than give a list, I'll just mention the most recent one:




The above link takes you to an interactive site for "The World Without Us" by Alan Weisman. What I found fascinating about the book was the use of past and present to project the possible outcome of a world without humans.


I wish this could be required reading for everyone.


That book made me do home-repairs like regrout my bath tub etc.

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More Than a Label: Why what you wear or who you're With doesn't define who You are


While aimed at teens, it is not uncommon for adult social groups to be based on clique mentalities, prejudices, exclusions, etc..... so perhaps the book could be of interest to many more people than just it's primary target audience of adolescents.


I think this could be especially supportive for people who have been bullied or suffered exclusion and isolation during their time at school, or who feel dismayed/confused by this sort of behaviour for other reasons.... I found the writing style to be refreshing and never stagnant.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Flowers for Algernon (Wikipedia)




This comes as a short story, or in extended format as a book.


HEre's aynopsis of the short story, taken from Wikipedia -


In the short story, Charlie Gordon is a 37-year-old man with an IQ of 68 who works as a janitor at Donnegan's Plastic Box Factory. He has surgery to increase his intelligence, following a similar successful experiment on Algernon, a laboratory mouse. The surgery is successful and Charlie's IQ triples.


Charlie falls in love with his former teacher, Miss Kinnian, but as his intelligence increases he passes her level and they are unable to relate to one another. As Charlie's intelligence peaks, Algernon unexpectedly loses his increased intelligence and dies. Charlie discovers that his intelligence increase is also only temporary. Unable to do anything to prevent the change, Charlie reverts to his original mental state in a swift reversal of his original growth. He tries to return to his original life and job at the plastic box factory but cannot stand everyone feeling sorry for him so he decides to move away.


I found this to be a very insightful, philosophical, and psychologically profound story, which I would recommend to anyone who feels interested in thought.


I've recently got myself the book, so I look forward to reading it soon.

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Brave New World (Wikipedia)


I found this book to be incredible, especially for the time it was written... it remains highly socially relevant across the decades, and stands out as a truly classic example of early SciFi writing which has much to tell even now.


I feel that it speaks volumes about social control, deference, conformity, social expectation, exploitation, happiness, friendship , purpose in life , idealism , sustainability and reality in general.



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Dolt! It's been almost 20 years since I read Flowers for Algernon and Brave New World, both great books. Brave New World definitely influenced my entire world view. Have you read Brave New World Revisited? It's a sequel of sorts, not as good as the original if I remember correctly, it has been a long time ago that I read it.


This reminds me that I have been meaning to read The Doors of Perception, one of Huxley's later works inspired by Huxley's LSD experiments.



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By far, the most influential books I have ever read were by Helen and Scott Nearing. Helen was a talented musician and Scott a university professor and famed socialist writer. Together they set out to build a rural homestead nearly a century ago. They built multiple houses of stone, grew most of their own food in organic and later veganic gardens, built solar greenhouses and composting toilets. They lived a high-raw vegan and organic lifestyle in rural Vermont, decades before it was popularized by the hippie movement. Their life and work continue to summarize my life's goals and aspirations.


You can get the summary version of their lives here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_and_Scott_Nearing


Or begin some serious reading with this book:



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Influential vegan books

The China Study by T. Colin Campbell

Healthy at 100 by John Robbins

The Ethics of What We Eat by Peter Singer


Other influential books

Collapse by Jared Diamond

Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond

Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee by Jared Diamond

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Animal Farm by George Orwell


Fun stuff

Anything by Douglas Adams, Raymond Feist, Guy Gavriel Kay, Neil Gaiman, Neal Stephenson or Stephen Donaldson

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Hate to say it but Natural Cures They Don't Want You To Know About. It made me realize I need to take my healthcare into my own hands. Also, working in the pharmaceutical industry, I could understand completely how screwed up healthcare is. I don't agree with everything Kevin Trudeau says since he doesn't promote vegetarianism nor veganism, but without it I wouldn't be vegan lol


The book, World Peace Diet, actually made me go vegan....




OH! and the book Supernatual by Graham Hancock is AMAZING. It talks about altered states of consciousness and how it relates to the origin of religion and....ooh, too much to say!

you can read about it here http://www.grahamhancock.com/supernatural/

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Hate to say it but Natural Cures They Don't Want You To Know About. It made me realize I need to take my healthcare into my own hands. Also, working in the pharmaceutical industry, I could understand completely how screwed up healthcare is. I don't agree with everything Kevin Trudeau says since he doesn't promote vegetarianism nor veganism, but without it I wouldn't be vegan lol/


I agree about him missing the boat if he doesn't mention veganism. I went vegetarian at 14 and vegan in my late 20s. I'm the only one in my family without a cardiovascular disease & without glasses. I have some minor health issues -- they only come up during checkups -- but I don't use a single prescription. I rarely meet anybody who can say that.


I've seen that book in my co-op and I thought it was another food cultist - conspiracy theory - snake oil book. Being an employee of the pharmaceutical industry makes me motivated to check the book out.


I discovered the wonders of powdered ginger years ago as an antiinflammatory so I wouldn't be suprised if other cheap, effective things existed.

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