by John Hawkins | July 24, 2003 1:30 pm
10 Books That Had An Impact On Me While I Was In High School & College: I was (and still am) a voracious reader and I thought it might be interesting to share some of the books that really stuck with me as I was growing up. Keep in mind that I wouldn’t necessarily recommend all these same books today…
The Autobiography of Malcolm X: Despite the fact that I disagreed with Malcolm X’s rhetoric, as a kid I was very impressed with his dedication and determination to make a difference. So much so that I would have listed Malcolm X as one of the people I most admired when I was a teenager. At the time and even today, I found Malcolm’s story to be inspirational even if I disagreed with many things he said…
An End To Innocence: This book focuses on seeing the world as it is instead of how you think it should be. As an adult that seems self-evident to me, but this book was eye-opener for me as a teenager.
Atlas Shrugged: Ayn Rand’s masterpiece had a significant impact on my personality and my philosophy of life — which is a bit unusual given that it’s a work of fiction. I still consider this book to be one of the few “must read” books that everyone should read at least once in their life (I’ve read it twice).
Awaken the Giant Within: I was a psych major in college and toyed with the idea of getting a PHD and becoming a professional psychologist. This book got me interested in neuro-linguistic programming and helped shape the way I view my day to day life. I’d still highly recommend it.
How To Win Friends And Influence People: To put it simply, this book teaches you how to make people like you. Given that I had all the personality of a wet sponge when I was 15 or so, this book turned out to be a godsend. If you don’t think you’re a likable person, read and absorb the lessons in this book and you will become one.
In the Belly of the Beast: Letters From Prison: This is a book about prison life written by Jack Henry Abbott, the Mumia Abu-Jamal of his day. I knew nothing about the controversy surrounding Abbott when I read the book. But, I was gripped by his riveting style of writing and his vivid description of the horrors of spending life in jail.
Winning Through Intimidation: This is a difficult book to explain without writing extensively about it because it really isn’t about as the title suggests — intimidating people. It’s about how people’s actions are determined by things that truly aren’t relevant to the situation at hand. The best way I can sum it up is being saying that you shouldn’t let yourself be intimidated into doing things that you know you shouldn’t because it’s PC, you want to be polite, society says that you should, etc.
Naked Lunch: This is a bizarre book about the fantasies of a heroin addict that I suspect I would detest if I reread it. But when I was a teenager, it seemed to be tremendously creative and outrageous and I thought it was a phenomenal book.
The Way Things Ought To Be: This brilliant work by Rush Limbaugh ideologically cemented me in on the right. America would be a better place if every kid in read this book before they went to college and their professors started filling their minds with left-wing drivel.
Will: The Autobiography of G. Gordon Liddy: G. Gordon Liddy is one of the most fascinating people I’ve ever read about — he’s like a modern day Spartan in some respects. He talks about conquering his fear of a rat when he was a child by killing and cooking it, his experiences in a DC prison, burning his own flesh away to convince a man he was loyal to Nixon, etc, etc. Whether you like Liddy or not, he has led a fascinating life and he has a from typical way of viewing the world.
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