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Read These Two Life-Changing Books Now!

Roots book

The tattered, beloved copy from my parents’ book stash!

I can’t drive a car and I don’t really want to learn.

Lame?

Meh… naw.

It just means I’ll always be forced to live somewhere with adequate public transportation…

…meaning I’ll always have the joy of the train/bus reading commute!

My current hour round-trip MBTA ride means an hour of delightful book time each day.

And thus with joy, I bring you:

Two books you must begin reading NOW…

…because they will change the way you look at your world.

1. Roots: The Saga of an American Family, by Alex Haley.

This book is AMAZING. Haley traced his ancestry back all the way to Africa and tells the dramatized saga of the family’s generations from The Gambia, through American Slavery, to freedom and prosperity in Tennessee. Roots is one of the most powerful books I’ve read in my entire life because it gives human faces to the history that defined the past two centuries in America. Most notably, Roots takes us inside Slavery.

Suddenly, whole facets of the facts you learned as a child take on new life. Current events and societal elements that you see every day take on new meaning. What makes Roots even more spectacular is the fact that it’s based on meticulously researched TRUE family history.

I don’t care how many times you’ve seen the movies or recited “My name is Kunta Kinte!” If you haven’t read the book yet, you truly must! In every sense of the word, Roots is AWESOME.

2. Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand.

This is a very, VERY different book, though equally super-fat and super-influential. Atlas Shrugged is a work of pure, hypothetical fiction, exploring the importance of “people of ability” in the world… and how the “looters and moochers” try to steal what the talented, hard-working folks create.

Some people HATE this book, because they claim it turns people into selfish monsters, and indeed, Rand IS the mother of Libertarianism. Other people are OBSESSED with the novel, and say it has utterly altered the way they think and act for (they insist) the better.

Me? I just think Atlas Shrugged is a marvelously entertaining book with a really hot love story (love triangle, actually) and heaps of fascinating ideas and striking images. Want to know what all the fuss is about, and why Atlas Shrugged is consistently at the very top of “Best Novels of the Past 100 Years” lists? There’s no other way to find out than to dive right in!

Don’t be intimidated by the size of these famous texts, because they move quickly. Pick up one of these fabulous books today!

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Stana

Monday 13th of August 2012

I've read Atlas Shrugged 3 times, and I plan to re-read it many more. I love every word of it; including John Galt's 60+page speech! I don't see Dagny Taggart as wooden. I see her as principled, independent, determined and strong willed. (By the way, her sniveling brothers name is James.)

Why do you see Rand's philosophy as possible destructive? Personally, I think it would be wonderful to live in a world where each person was a contributing member of society. Galt's Gulch sounds like heaven to me.

I'm also a huge fan of The Fountainhead. Have you read it?

I haven't read Roots but, based on your recommendation, I'm adding it to my "To Read" list.

Lillie

Tuesday 14th of August 2012

Yes, I LOVE Dagny Taggart's character! I haven't gotten to The Fountainhead yet, but plan to. Thanks for your comment!

Dan Martin

Friday 8th of June 2012

I might have to read them! I'm just doing a post on three books that have changed my life! They are:

The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle

Born to Run by Christopher MacDougal

and Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson

Have you read any of these?

Dan Martin

Monday 11th of June 2012

Read it, it's a great book. It talks about how sporting and cultural greats aren't bred but are made by the circumstance that they grew up in. Genes can affect what we look like but not how good we are. Jordan wasn't great because he was 6'6". Tiger's not great because he can bench 220pounds etc. Why do so many great footballers come from Brazil? Great book.

Shane

Sunday 10th of June 2012

Nobody is born with *any* innate talents? That kind of smacks in the face of decades of research on genetic variability and gene-environment interaction, no? I'll have to check out the book to see how it's framed.

Dan Martin

Friday 8th of June 2012

The Talent Code is all about you're not born with any inate skills or talents and that everything is achievable through the right sort of training-read it's ace. Page 5 of Born to Run? How is that possible, it's a phenomenal book, I read it every few months!

Lillie

Friday 8th of June 2012

Yes, read them! Thanks for sharing your list. I LOVE must-read lists. :) I've read Three Cups of Tea and adored it, despite the controversy. My fiance gave me Born to Run because he loves it, but I couldn't get past page 5. Never heard of The Talent Code!

chris

Sunday 28th of November 2010

Why would you pick books over a car? I would choose a car any day. Mitsubishi Lancer.

James Clark

Wednesday 25th of August 2010

Save money and massage your brain - a win/win for public transport. I have to admit that I have been playing alot of games on my iPod lately and not reading as much. Hopefully the game thing is a phase as my book queue has piled up.

Sage

Thursday 12th of August 2010

I tried Atlas Shrugged years ago and didn't finish it. I liked The Fountainhead, but was getting turned off by her philosophy by the time I was in Shrugged. I do like to read on public transportation, but live in a small town and can wallk to work in 30 minutes or bike in 5... I do something walk listening to books on an ipod--I also do this at the gym, a great way to "read" books that I would never get around to reading.

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