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In the Name of God بسم الله
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Mohammad313Ali

Impactful books

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Besides Qur'an, Nahjul Balagha, and the many other canonical books of our school of thought, what was a book (or more) that impacted you greatly. Be it socially, politically, spiritually, etc, listing more then one book would be highly appreciated, and also in which area they were deemed highly impactful/beneficial

@Mahdavist @Hameedeh @Gaius I. Caesar @AbdulKarim313_Austin/Nola @Haji 2003 @hasanhh @Ibn al-Hussain @Ibn Al-Shahid @Ibn Al-Ja'abi @Moalfas @Abu Nur @Muhammed Ali @notme@ali_fatheroforphans @King @The Green Knight @Ibn Al-Ja'abi

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The Prophet by Khalil Gibran, Night by Elie Wiesel, The Pearl by John Steinbeck and The Things They Carried by Tim O' Brien. These are a sample of the books outside religion that affected me deeply and in some ways influenced me to consider Islam.

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War is a Racket, by Smedley Butler turned me from a politically moderate to a politically very progressive person, whatever it takes to be antiwar.

1984, by George Orwell made me paranoid about any attempts at dumbing down language and led to an eventual understanding of the power of language to control thought. 

The Bible made me unable to be a Christian. 

The Constant Fire: Beyond the Science Versus Religion Debate, by Adam Frank introduced me to secular awe and made me accept that all humans are pretty much the same, regardless of their beliefs. 

A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L'engel made me an insatiable reader of science fiction because it is a way to imagine a better world.

I'm sure I've been influenced by dozens if not hundreds of books, but these are the first that come to mind. 

Edited by notme

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l Iooked along my one library shelving to write a better answer, so here goes:

Molecular Theory of Liquids and Gases, 1954, and 900-1000 pages -lt took me an entire Summer to read/study through it. lt is dydactic.

Applied lnfrared and Raman Spectroscopy

Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis --because l remeber back to this book ever-so-ever often

Bronowski's Ascent of Man --gosh, that was ~50 years ago already.  A fun read or watch the series.

Obviously (to me), Charles Hampton-Turner's Radical Man which l read thre or four times . . . another 50+

Empire of the Steppes -a history of Central Asia (writ in the 19th Century)

Russian Philosophy 3 Volumes another 50+

Making of the Modern Mind -by Randall  another 50+

And my collection of various kinds of dictionaries.

This oughta do it.

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1 hour ago, hasanhh said:

a "banned book" 

Banned? It was required reading for junior English and before you go an tirade about how the Liberals banned it, I went to probably the most liberal high school in my state. Apparently they didn't believe in censorship of ideas.

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2 hours ago, Gaius I. Caesar said:

Banned? It was required reading for junior English and before you go an tirade about how the Liberals banned it, I went to probably the most liberal high school in my state. Apparently they didn't believe in censorship of ideas.

Ah, but you presumed too much. l never heard of The Things They Carried so l Iooked it up and the first search (l think it was) had the book being banned in the result title.

When l read the result, the banning it mentioned was in the US  . . . along with 11,000 other books according to the American Library Association which is said to track this kind of activity.

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13 hours ago, Gaius I. Caesar said:

The Prophet by Khalil Gibran, Night by Elie Wiesel, The Pearl by John Steinbeck and The Things They Carried by Tim O' Brien. 

Years ago I listened to an audiobook of The Prophet during my long commute to and from work, but the rest of these I've not read. One is already on my list. I'm adding the other two. Thanks. 

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3 hours ago, hasanhh said:

l forgot an important book, Eric Fromm's Escape from Freedom.

Oh, that one is on my "to-read" list too. Fromm is interesting. I'm surprised to see you recommending a book by an avowed socialist, @hasanhh

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10 hours ago, notme said:

Oh, that one is on my "to-read" list too. Fromm is interesting. I'm surprised to see you recommending a book by an avowed socialist, @hasanhh

:ranting: "Yet he is NOT writing themes that "gov't is gooder than baby gZeus", but the op-po-sit --that people give up their persons to feel 'more secure'.

He was a Shoah refugee, inshallah.

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I've read two books by Mohammed Ali Amir-Moezzi, and I've liked them both. They're both quite academic and dry, but the content in both books is fascinating. 

I would not recommend it to whoever that's new to Shi'ism, but if you've been studying Shi'ism for a while and have noticed gaps and challenges in the mainstream narrative, you may really enjoy Amir-Moezzi's books. 

Start with his first book, first, then any of his other books. 

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Manufacturing Consent - Noam Chomsky (though usually should be taken with a pinch of salt this book is fantastic)

Goodbye to All That - Robert Graves

Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

Abolition of Britain - Peter Hitchens (for fellow Brits)

How to read a Book - Mortimer Adler (I would recommend this first because it will improve your reading experience for every other book)

The Rape of Nanking - Iris Chang

 

All of these books changed my life in significant ways, the last book a book on war and Japanese invasion of China accounts of a Nazi named John Rabe who saved hundreds thousands of lives in CHINA during WW2

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2 hours ago, Fleabreezy said:

The Rape of Nanking - Iris Chang

 

All of these books changed my life in significant ways, the last book a book on war and Japanese invasion of China accounts of a Nazi named John Rabe who saved hundreds thousands of lives in CHINA during WW2

What l was first disbelieving about the late Chang book was that it was the first one on Nanking, when those of us who grew up post-WW2 all knew about it and saw it on TV in re-runed newsreels.

John Rabe was the ambassador, correct?

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2 minutes ago, hasanhh said:

John Rabe was the ambassador, correct?

Not an ambassador as such, he was a leader of the Nazi party in Nanjing. After the invasion on Nanjing he was elected leader of the International Safety Zone. A senior Nazi party member but not the ambassador I believe. If you haven’t you should also purchase his diaries “The Good German of Nanking” which has most of writings from his time within it. I remember reading the Chang book when I was 14 and it blew my mind (especially as pictures of the evil were in the book) and also because it showed me good people are everywhere. It’s really something and shows how low humans can sink, May Allah guide us.

I only very recently realised Iris Chang committed suicide as well. Wouldn’t surprise me if it was brought on by her research into that period and of other Japanese massacres, with it being her own family’s history too.

انا لله و انا اليه راجعون

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