Butterfly in the sky, I can go twice as high

I picked up a copy of To Kill A Mocking Bird the other day and started reading it. And everything I remembered from it was in the first chapter. I felt like my solid understanding of this classic came tumbling down right before my eyes. Good thing no one else knows about this.

My childhood included many hours by my self. Some of my better moments included reading. Our school had a program to read for 600 minutes (which I quickly calculated to be 10 hours) and I would be rewarded with a personal pizza. Behold the birth of the power of pizza on my life. As a young lad I loved reading Encyclopedia Brown, The Chronicles of Narnia, and books on How Things Work.

Reading-Rainbow

Reading took a lull at a point in my life that everything else was going down hill too. But reading brought me out of it. For me it is the number one book on my list that did it for me. In college I took a 3 week May-mester course on WWII and I had to read so much in such a short time that it sparked my love for reading again. BTW: There may be Spoliers ahead.

Day 7 of Claudia’s book Become An Idea Machine.

The Holy Bible

I learned about a way of forgiveness and hope through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more, please ask.

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

I learned that Moscow was once made of so much wood that the whole town was set on fire. Also I learned a ton about French and Russian history and why I flunked out of French.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

I learned that although you can look like a hero solving problems you initially caused, it is best not to mess with the lives of others on such a deep level. Plus if I were an eccentric billionaire I too would become a great marksman.

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

That the book is more than about fighting windmills and just because other people want to live a myopic boring life does not mean you have to too. Life is an adventure but you have to go outside to live it.

The Brothers Karamazov, The Idiot, Crime and Punishment all by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

From The Brother Karamazov I learned how to commit patricide. Kidding. This one was so packed full of greatness it is hard to narrow down just one thing. (I forgot why it was so great. But it was. Read it.) The Idiot and Crime and Punishment both are great too, just not as great as TBK.

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

If you can get away with throwing stuff away instead of filing it, kudos. Just because people do menial work does not mean they have menial minds. Everyone has value. Please treat others accordingly.

White Noise by Don Delillo

I need a position such as Professor of Hitler Studies. If you are an expert on something no one else is, then you have value. This is even better if you can have this value without having to actually do anything. Or at least it works this way in academia.  For the rest of us, we are just doing our best to make it through.

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

A goldmine of the human condition. Hookers can have a heart of gold or did I miss something there? This book has a great story told in a captivating manner. The difference between Thou must and Thou mayest can revolutionize your perspective. Also I think the movie Shanghai Noon stole something from this book.

For Whom The Bell Tolls, The Sun Also Rises, The Old Man And The Sea, To Have And Have Not all by Ernest Hemingway

I’ll just hit The Bell here. If you want to get involved in a war, get a cool assignment like hanging out with locals until you can blow up a bridge. Also I learned about writing and time and how you can really paint a story. The others books are just as awesome if not more.

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

Just because you don’t believe in the Devil does not make him a lie. Also I learned I have a penchant for Russian authors / literature.

Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco

Illuminati? Check. Knights Templar? Check. Freemasons? Check.Vanity publishing? Check.

“The ultimate conspiracy theory thriller, which predates Dan Brown by many years. Three learned book editors decide to have some fun by inventing a history of the occult that predicts that the ancient society of Templars is plotting to take over the world. Gradually their spoof becomes chillingly real. Some readers hail Eco’s immensely erudite follow-up to The Name of the Rose as the thinking person’s Da Vinci Code”

If that doesn’t make you want to read it, then don’t. It is an awesome story that blurs the lines between research, creativity and real life. The scenes are amazing, the story is dizzying, and it will leave you wondering about the world around you.

How to Win Friends and Influence People, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living
both by Dale Carnegie

The names say it all. I can’t recommend them enough. Read them now.

The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino

“Today I begin a new life.Today I shed my old skin, which hath, too long, suffered the bruises of failure and the wounds of mediocrity.” I seriously read the scrolls 3 times a day for 30 days each before moving on to the next one. I got through 7 or 8 of the 10 in that manner before my curiosity to finish the book got the better of me. Then I read to the end of the book and never read the last scrolls for 30 days each. My loss. So lesson: read the book all the way through one time first then go back a seriously read the scrolls 3 times a day for 30 days each. You will start saying them in your head and you will start living them in your life. You will be 10 times more awesome when you are done. Guarantee.

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

Pay your self first. Save 10% of your paycheck every time you get paid. This and other invaluable financial advice. Don’t invest in things you know nothing about, etc. A financial classic that can be understood by all.

This list could go on and on… If you’ve not read any of these books, pick one and start reading it today. If you have read any of them and want to discuss them, please drop me a message and we’ll chat!

What suggested reading do you have for me? I want to earn some more pizza. Or at least find out why Scout is a girl’s name.

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