funshine

at the fateful hour
10+ Year Member
Oct 11, 2004
1,207
0
Status
Have you read anything that blew your mind away?
SOmething that you would read and reread day after day, blowing off HW and exams?
I want to know!

For my own contribution, I highly recommend Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov

For reviews on this books click here!

I know SDN isn't amazon.com, so you can go read the reviews for yourself.
I'm not finished with the book myself (only halfway thru) but I can say that reading it has been one of the most joyous experiences in my life.

I think it's especially important that people entering the medical profession read this book--its message of service and compassion to the world is one that all you guys should hold dearly, and if you ever find yourself lacking in it (as I do, most of the time) pick up this book and you'll be renewed :)

PS: Some of you guys seem very agnostic....I highly encourage you to read Brothers K. Yes, it's veyr religious, but it also contains some of the most skeptical, truth-seeking characters ever in literature (IVAN!) and Dosty himself struggled with his doubt until the day he died. This book will not convert you into a Christian, but it does give one of the most beautiful (and true) pictures of Christianity ever conceived by humanity.

PPS: You know you want to order the book tonight! Yes! GET THE Pevear-Volokhonsky translation. My link should take you there. I cannot emphasize how important the translation is, and this is THE BEST. I have an older version byConstance Garnett and it sucked. In fact, I couldn't get past the first 50 pgs. Older translations are stilted and compress what should be a lively russian text into some contrived victorian crap.


EDIT: I knew many of you would laugh at me :mad: . But I don't care. If only ONE person who reads this thead ends up buying Brothers K, my goal will be accomplished :)
 

synapse lapse

tokyo robotic
15+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2003
1,671
3
future
Status
Attending Physician
Let me tell you about a book that my friend introduced to me that changed my life:






The Book of Mormon. It's a whole new addition to the Bible you know and love, and it can change your life too!:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::smuggrin:
 

sunny123

BOSCO!!!!
10+ Year Member
Feb 7, 2005
3,275
7
Pulling a rickshaw down Bay St.
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
Omprakash Valmiki's "Joothan"
Kushwant Singh's "Train to Pakistan"
Rohinton Mistry's "A Fine Balance"
 

synapse lapse

tokyo robotic
15+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2003
1,671
3
future
Status
Attending Physician
Seriously though, Ayn Rand's Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged were pretty good, though certainly not life changing. Being a philosophy major I have read many books that have changed my views on philosophical positions, but I doubt those would interest anyone.
 

Psycho Doctor

*** Angel
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jun 27, 2004
8,510
6
Status
Medical Student
Homer Doughnuts said:
Playboys lingerie special got me through puberty :laugh:
:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
 
OP
funshine

funshine

at the fateful hour
10+ Year Member
Oct 11, 2004
1,207
0
Status
Alexander Pink said:
Let me tell you about a book that my friend introduced to me that changed my life:






The Book of Mormon. It's a whole new addition to the Bible you know and love, and it can change your life too!:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::smuggrin:
Actually--and I should've said so in my first post--I'm not a Christian.
Raised a christian, YES, but I had serious doubts from the beginning.

Also, I think most of the ppl who adore the book are not Christian. They are struggling to find some sort of meaning to their life, like Ivan or Dosty himself.

You're a philosophy major? Then Dosty should be up your lane.
He was Nietzsche's favorite novelist.

Come on...Ayn Rand? (makes face)
 

Pembleton

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jun 30, 2002
722
4
Visit site
Status
"Moby Dick"
"Pride and Prejudice"
"Anna Karenin"

I can't say that any of these books have changed my life but they have been the most satisfying reads I've ever had.
 

ah215

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 3, 2004
13
0
Status
funshine said:
Have you read anything that blew your mind away?
SOmething that you would read and reread day after day, blowing off HW and exams?
I want to know!

For my own contribution, I highly recommend Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov

For reviews on this books click here!

I know SDN isn't amazon.com, so you can go read the reviews for yourself.
I'm not finished with the book myself (only halfway thru) but I can say that reading it has been one of the most joyous experiences in my life.

I think it's especially important that people entering the medical profession read this book--its message of service and compassion to the world is one that all you guys should hold dearly, and if you ever find yourself lacking in it (as I do, most of the time) pick up this book and you'll be renewed :)

PS: Some of you guys seem very agnostic....I highly encourage you to read Brothers K. Yes, it's veyr religious, but it also contains some of the most skeptical, truth-seeking characters ever in literature (IVAN!) and Dosty himself struggled with his doubt until the day he died. This book will not convert you into a Christian, but it does give one of the most beautiful (and true) pictures of Christianity ever conceived by humanity.

PPS: You know you want to order the book tonight! Yes! GET THE Pevear-Volokhonsky translation. My link should take you there. I cannot emphasize how important the translation is, and this is THE BEST. I have an older version byConstance Garnett and it sucked. In fact, I couldn't get past the first 50 pgs. Older translations are stilted and compress what should be a lively russian text into some contrived victorian crap.


EDIT: I knew many of you would laugh at me :mad: . But I don't care. If only ONE person who reads this thead ends up buying Brothers K, my goal will be accomplished :)

I admit, this book changed my life! I read it for a Russian Lit class, and it was amazing! It was kind of dark, but it's amazing and so well written! Anna Karenina was great, too!
 

samedicine

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 8, 2005
19
0
Miami
Status
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. Made me appreciate how comfortable my life is.
 

shantster

Eye protection!
10+ Year Member
Feb 10, 2005
2,472
0
34
Wherever life takes me...
Status
Resident [Any Field]
funshine said:
Have you read anything that blew your mind away?
SOmething that you would read and reread day after day, blowing off HW and exams?
I want to know!

For my own contribution, I highly recommend Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov
I have not had the chance to read that one yet, but I have read Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky and thoroughly enjoyed it (one of my all-time favs :) ). Have you read that yet? And how does it compare?
 

synapse lapse

tokyo robotic
15+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2003
1,671
3
future
Status
Attending Physician
funshine said:
Actually--and I should've said so in my first post--I'm not a Christian.
Raised a christian, YES, but I had serious doubts from the beginning.

Also, I think most of the ppl who adore the book are not Christian. They are struggling to find some sort of meaning to their life, like Ivan or Dosty himself.

You're a philosophy major? Then Dosty should be up your lane.
He was Nietzsche's favorite novelist.

Come on...Ayn Rand? (makes face)
I hate Nietzsche, I have no respect for him at all, I honestly don't even consider him a real philosopher. Anyhow, I was only doing a pun of that damn mormon commercial.
 
OP
funshine

funshine

at the fateful hour
10+ Year Member
Oct 11, 2004
1,207
0
Status
shantster said:
I have not had the chance to read that one yet, but I have read Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky and thoroughly enjoyed it (one of my all-time favs :) ). Have you read that yet? And how does it compare?
Hi shantser,

Yes, I've read C&P as well. It IS a great book, and if you can believe it, Brothers K completely surpasses it. However, I need to tell you that the best parts don't come until after 100 pages. Not that the first parts aren't good, but they're not as gripping. This is a reason why I couldn't get thru the first time (I was also in high school, just not ready to handle the material).

If your school has a Russian Lit class w/ Brothers K on its reading list, then I recommend you take it!
 
OP
funshine

funshine

at the fateful hour
10+ Year Member
Oct 11, 2004
1,207
0
Status
ah215 said:
I admit, this book changed my life! I read it for a Russian Lit class, and it was amazing! It was kind of dark, but it's amazing and so well written! Anna Karenina was great, too!
Huge smile :D
thanks, I was starting to feel alone in my enthusiasm
 

Pembleton

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jun 30, 2002
722
4
Visit site
Status
The only Dostoevsky I've read was a novella called "Notes from the Underground." It was intense and I liked it but the main character was very unsympathetic.

Those Russians are great. I love Chekov too.
 

derzornhistolog

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 4, 2005
72
0
Status
Thucydides 'History of the Peloponnesian War'

Herodotus 'Histories'

Xenophon 'Anabasis'

Sextus Empiricus' Complete Works

Popper 'Logic of Scientific Discovery'

Kuhn 'Structure of Scientific Revolutions'


- all are not only weltanshauung shattering, they are also all hallmarks of our civilization
____________________________________________________________

"Fiction is for the weak."
- me
 

Homer Doughnuts

Homer Doughnuts
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 2, 2004
247
0
The Lou
Status
I can't believe this thread is being taken seriously, what’s wrong SDN'ers, somebody crack an F-ing joke!!!!!!
 
OP
funshine

funshine

at the fateful hour
10+ Year Member
Oct 11, 2004
1,207
0
Status
Alexander Pink said:
I hate Nietzsche, I have no respect for him at all, I honestly don't even consider him a real philosopher. Anyhow, I was only doing a pun of that damn mormon commercial.
What? :eek:
OK, I admit I don't know much at all about Nietzsche, but he suffered so much in his life....all for his moral ideal. I think one of his famous quotes is something like "Of all that is written, I love only what a person has written with his own blood." He should have been referring to his own works...you certainly don't have to love or agree with him, but I think you do need to respect what he has to say.

So,
How can you not have any respect for him?

ALthough, if you like AYn Rand, then yeah, I guess we are at opposite sides of the spectrum.
 

synapse lapse

tokyo robotic
15+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2003
1,671
3
future
Status
Attending Physician
funshine said:
What? :eek:
OK, I admit I don't know much at all about Nietzsche, but he suffered so much in his life....all for his moral ideal. I think one of his famous quotes is something like "Of all that is written, I love only what a person has written with his own blood." He should have been referring to his own works...you certainly don't have to love or agree with him, but I think you do need to respect what he has to say.

So,
How can you not have any respect for him?

ALthough, if you like AYn Rand, then yeah, I guess we are at opposite sides of the spectrum.
First off, just so you know, Ayn Rand and Nietzsche are not that different from eachother. Second, Nietzsche alleged suffering has nothing to do with his beliefs or his writing, which are crap. His philosophy is horrible and unsupported, he doesn't even try to offer real arguments for his positions, he is just so pretentious that I guess he doesn't feel he actually has to support his claims. Oh, and Nietzsche came from a wealthy family, had a wonderful job as a professor, and would often trip to the Riviera to relax, so he didn't have a hard life.And what moral ideal are you referring to? Perhaps you have him confused with another philosopher.
 

k-monger

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 3, 2004
79
0
Midwest
Status
The Things They Carried -Tim O'Brien
Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoevsky
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austin

Excellent reads. Excellent conversations pieces.
 

Iwy Em Hotep

The Welcomer
10+ Year Member
Aug 26, 2004
607
6
Seattle
Status
Attending Physician
Victor Hugo, Les Miserables
- for having a little bit of everything one could want

Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince
- for constantly reminding me about life through a child's eyes

Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince
Sun Tzu, The Art of War
- for helping me develop my own philosophies towards life :cool:
 

erin682

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Oct 21, 2004
622
6
Hogwarts
Status
Attending Physician
"The Road Less Traveled" - M. Scott Peck

Its not a novel. Peck is a psychiatrist with amazing insights into life and suffering (unusual among psychiatrists I know :) ). Everyone I know that has read it is amazed by its truth.
 
OP
funshine

funshine

at the fateful hour
10+ Year Member
Oct 11, 2004
1,207
0
Status
Alexander Pink said:
First off, just so you know, Ayn Rand and Nietzsche are not that different from eachother. Second, Nietzsche alleged suffering has nothing to do with his beliefs or his writing, which are crap. His philosophy is horrible and unsupported, he doesn't even try to offer real arguments for his positions, he is just so pretentious that I guess he doesn't feel he actually has to support his claims. Oh, and Nietzsche came from a wealthy family, had a wonderful job as a professor, and would often trip to the Riviera to relax, so he didn't have a hard life.And what moral ideal are you referring to? Perhaps you have him confused with another philosopher.
Really. I thought Nietzsche started out with a wonderful life, but then grew ill, had seizures, (did his family fall apart? I'm not sure), but I always thought he became mentally ill during the latter part of his life...and kept himself alive just to write.

Edit: oh and I don't know what moral ideal I'm talking about either. I was initially interested in Niet because of his life, and tried looking up his ph9ilosophy but it made no sense to me so I stopped.

But back to the original topic, just because you don't like Niet doesn't mean you wouldn't like Dostoevsky....even though--as you can tell--I don't know anything about Nietzsche's philosophy, they must be opposites, because Nietzsche saw the Russian novelist's books as having a redeeming power that he was trying desperately to attain.
 

fun8stuff

*hiding from patients*
15+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2003
3,068
42
Visit site
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Alexander Pink said:
Seriously though, Ayn Rand's Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged were pretty good, though certainly not life changing. Being a philosophy major I have read many books that have changed my views on philosophical positions, but I doubt those would interest anyone.
Everyone tells me that this is a great book... i am going to have to read it this summer before school starts. The book is really long right?
 

eralza

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jun 2, 2004
355
3
51
Virginia
Status
Medical Student
The Stand - Stephen King
The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
Veronika Decides to Die - Paulo Coelho
Unintended Consequences - John Ross
A Short History of Nearly Everything - Bill Bryson
 

yogiberra

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 15, 2005
38
0
Status
American Psycho- Bret Easton Ellis
The Godfather- Mario Puzo
Clockwork Orange- Anthony Burgess
Ben-Hur-Lew Wallace
Catch-22-Joseph Heller
The Catcher in the Rye-J. D. Salinger


Man, I'm having a hard time of thinking of others.
 

heeter

SDN Donor
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Sep 30, 2002
212
0
Visit site
Status
Ayn Rand will twist you into a selfish wretch... don't read it unless you can utilize a critical mind. She's a hack and there's a reason philosophers ignore her work. Not that I fancy myself as any kind of philospher but 'The Fountainhead' tittilates and disgusts all in one wholesome bite.

Speaking of overwrought tracts -- 'Siddartha' by Hermann Hesse changed my life. For the better even! And it's short! It's good...

On a more scientific note -- 'Consilience' by E.O. Wilson. Rocked my world.
 

Code Brown

Low man on the totem pole
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 21, 2004
1,111
0
Florida
Status
Attending Physician
ESPN Sportscenter! nanana nanana :thumbup: That was a lifesaver. No more waiting around for the crappy sports section on the nightly news.
 

RaaMD

Caffeine Addict
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jul 23, 2004
465
0
Status
The MSAR changed my life. It showed me that I needed to get my butt in gear if I wanted to get into medical school.
 

freaker

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Apr 17, 2004
853
22
Status
God in Search of Man - Abraham Joshua Heschel - Amazing work of theology/poetry/philosophy by Jewish theologian

Intro to Macroeconomics - Step Numero Uno to becoming a conservative.

The Gothic Image: French Religious Art in the 13th-Century by Emile Male - A portal to the world of medieval art, civilization, culture, learning, and a reflection of what is today.

The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje and Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels- influenced my personal writing style more than any other works I can think of; a similar style in each.

The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James - no one writes character with the scrutiny of James; definitely influenced my attention to detail and craft

Virginia Woolf - Mrs. Dalloway
 

abraxas20

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 2, 2004
261
3
Milwaukee, WI
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I was an English major. I don't want to read again. I have to read C and P for a class and I burned it at the end. We spent half a semester on it. Pulled my hair out.

However, in keeping with the thread....

"Wuthering Heights" - you either love it or hate it, no one walks between
All the Harry Potter books - I love fantasy, and these reintroduced me to childlike imagination, I love them
"The Revelation" - yes, i mean in the bible, have you ever read it? it is hella-creepy, if you don't like religion, just read it for content, blows the mind
"White Coat" - this has been the most formative book for me in terms of pursuing medical school
My favorite book ever is "Jane Eyre"

S
 

GuyLaroche

Membership Revoked
Removed
10+ Year Member
Jan 4, 2005
798
1
Status
Pembleton said:
"Moby Dick"
"Pride and Prejudice"
"Anna Karenin"

I can't say that any of these books have changed my life but they have been the most satisfying reads I've ever had.
Pride and Prejudice - Thank goodness we no longer live in that era where all your life amounts to is being well married-off. Far too many female characters. I don't understand why Austen is considered a literary great. All of her works are about lost women in pointless worlds searching for pointless things. It is a Pointless novel with pointless characters, but very, very good prose style. She wrote good passages but told bad stories.

Anna Karenin - Tolstoy is a genius of tragedy. Wholly sad and so full of heart-rendering sadness. It is one of the best books ever written. To have it all, and yet never truly find happiness. It's a classic theme distilled under the most skilled of hands. God bless the Russians.

Moby Dick -Most frustrating book ever. Please stop switching back and forth to biblical allusions and endless essaying about mythological sailor stories. Please... and catch the darn thing already! Absolutely stunning opening that quickly descends into drunk nautical rambling. Call me GuyLaroche.
 

virilep

What can Brown do for u?
15+ Year Member
Feb 12, 2004
1,563
5
37
Visit site
Status
samedicine said:
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. Made me appreciate how comfortable my life is.
true. i def agree. I think the mosquito coast changed me as a kid.
 

GuyLaroche

Membership Revoked
Removed
10+ Year Member
Jan 4, 2005
798
1
Status
Luminous1 said:
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman :D
This sounds like a book of Pentecostal propaganda, but this is a really good book. It is very lyrical and sad and hopeful.

On a more cautionary note, it is not very original selection for a premed or an SDN-er. Please read for pleasure and not to learn more about the medical profession.
 

GuyLaroche

Membership Revoked
Removed
10+ Year Member
Jan 4, 2005
798
1
Status
Code Brown said:
ESPN Sportscenter! nanana nanana :thumbup: That was a lifesaver. No more waiting around for the crappy sports section on the nightly news.
Ha.
 

GuyLaroche

Membership Revoked
Removed
10+ Year Member
Jan 4, 2005
798
1
Status
yogiberra said:
American Psycho- Bret Easton Ellis
The Godfather- Mario Puzo
Clockwork Orange- Anthony Burgess
Ben-Hur-Lew Wallace
Catch-22-Joseph Heller
The Catcher in the Rye-J. D. Salinger


Man, I'm having a hard time of thinking of others.
You're a very manly man - or otherwise one who is trying desperately to be one. I can tell this from the books you've chosen. I liked Catcher. It was mildly amusing.
 

GuyLaroche

Membership Revoked
Removed
10+ Year Member
Jan 4, 2005
798
1
Status
eralza said:
The Stand - Stephen King
The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
Veronika Decides to Die - Paulo Coelho
Unintended Consequences - John Ross
A Short History of Nearly Everything - Bill Bryson
I have read #2 and #5. "Veronika Decides to Die" sounds appealing. I know you've written that it's changed your life. But honestly, tell me, is it any good?
 

Bigsheed920

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 4, 2005
184
1
NY
Status
Catcher in the Rye
The Odyssey - Homer
In Cold Blood - Capote
 

HumptyDumpty

Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 26, 2005
41
0
Status
Iwy Em Hotep said:
Victor Hugo, Les Miserables
- for having a little bit of everything one could want

Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince
- for constantly reminding me about life through a child's eyes

Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince
Sun Tzu, The Art of War
- for helping me develop my own philosophies towards life :cool:
I love The Little Prince as well!

Ghost World by Daniel Clowes.
 

Green912

10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jun 11, 2001
724
0
Status
Attending Physician
"Tuesdays with Morrie"...wow
I second (or 3rd) Les Miserables
 

durak

Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Dec 9, 2004
54
1
Status
Tolstoy - War and Peace
Steinbeck - The Grapes of Wrath

War and Piece is an absolutely phenomenal literary work. The Russians were masters of language!
 

GuyLaroche

Membership Revoked
Removed
10+ Year Member
Jan 4, 2005
798
1
Status
durak said:
The Russians were masters of language!
I think the Russians, the Chinese and the Japaneese are the best story-tellers.
 

Pembleton

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jun 30, 2002
722
4
Visit site
Status
So what books make Guy Laroche's list? Flaubert?
 

GuyLaroche

Membership Revoked
Removed
10+ Year Member
Jan 4, 2005
798
1
Status
Pembleton said:
So what books make Guy Laroche's list? Flaubert?
No one book in particular changed my life. Literary works like the bible, all of Shakespear and aspects of Greek mythology are things that have largely informed my life. I don't know that any work of art is capable of instantly changing my life. And with regards to Flaubert, well, I would say this much: I was never terribly fond of the French.
 

sunny123

BOSCO!!!!
10+ Year Member
Feb 7, 2005
3,275
7
Pulling a rickshaw down Bay St.
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
vikaskoth said:
the entire Goosebumps serious, R.L Stine the love of my life, i'm gettin goosebumps just thinking about it
Don't forget about Christopher Pike yo!!

Also, William Shatner's 4 book series, starting from "The Return".... It basically picks up after Star trek generations (Kirk's death and all). Awesome series for sure.
 

ishaninatte

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Oct 25, 2004
172
0
Status
Ok, let's get into the Ayn Rand thing a little bit.

First of all, Ayn Rands philosophy is one of the most cohesive philosophies ever established, evidenced by the sheer amount of writings she and her circle of friends produced and their premises. So, calling her a "hack" is just name-calling. No one can argue that her goal was anything but to create an immediate philosophy that people could use to help them live their lives with some sort of consistency. Not saying it's correct, just complete.

Basically, Rand's philosophy works on a basic premise: there are those who can shape their own destiny, and there are those who cannot. People who truly love themselves also love their work and what they have to contribute to the world above all else. They are "selfish" in that sense, but they also hold complete personal responsibility for their actions, which is selfless in sense. Only 100% gain or 100% loss (like spreading out responsibilty so nothing is your fault could be considered selfish, i.e. looking out for number one).

Not that I agree with Objectivism, but contrary to what someone said earlier, Objectivism and altruism in the medical profession are not mutually exclusive. In fact, I think they fit rather nicely, the idea being that a doctor who loves his work so much that he could not stand anything less than perfection would, in theory, make a great doctor. Granted, this person will not be much for committees and helping his fellow, less motivated/talented doctors out, because a Rand character would never allow themselves to be in a position in which they have to depend on others (compromises selfishness). The point is that if everyone were a perfect Randian protagonist, this ceases to be a problem.

I agree that Objectivism was out of hand for a while, and people I've met who claim to be Objectivists are some of the most objectionable people on God's green Earth. They all are itchin' to proselytize the masses into agreeing with Ayn Rand, but I feel that very few actually live up to the ideals that Rand created. I'm not sure anyone can. Maybe her ideology is more something to strive for than an attainable goal.

Ayn Rand does not have all the answers. But who could look at a character like Howard Roark and not see a little something they'd like to find in themselves? Anyways, pick up the Fountainhead and read it, decide for yourself.