There are way to many titles to list here, so I made a list of some of the books that have made an impact on me or on the way I think. There Isn’t any particular order, I just wrote as I remembered them. To Me, reading is one of the most important things a person can do, to better themselves. Not just for knowledge but pleasure as well. In the best books you can accomplish both at the same time.
The first serious book that I can remember reading was an autobiography of “Franklin D. Roosevelt”. I can’t remember the exact Title or Author, but I do remember how his life fascinated me and the many great things He accomplished. I was in the 5th grade when I found it in the school library. Reading about Franklin Roosevelt’s life was my first glimpse at aristocracy, and what can be accomplished with unlimited resources, confidence, intelligence, common sense, determination, and luck…..Many great things that help many people! I am amazed at the good that this Titan of history accomplished. Learning from that good and the mistakes that were made, is what will make this World a better place.
“Mous” by Art Spiegelman, is a graphic novel set in the holocaust. It portrays animated mice as the Polish of Jewish decent , pigs as the non-Jewish Poles, and cats as the Nazi’s. It is an actual account of a Polish family during these horrible times. I read this in the 9th grade, by choice, not because it was assigned. I remember being impacted in a very profound way. This book showed me what it was like for people to be oppressed in the worst way possible because of their religion. Just because some people thought they were better than others. It showed me that no matter what struggles life deals you, you can get through it, and be stronger for it. But no matter what you’ve been through, you must learn from it and move on. To dwell on the past will just make you a very bitter person. I think this book should be read in every school.
“Lord of the Rings”, by J. R. R. Tolkien. The classic battle of Good vs. Evil. People need an escape from reality every now and then. I think that it is important to exercise your imagination on a regular basis, just as you would your body. It keeps you from getting to serious. Everyone loves a happily ever after ending, it makes you feel good inside. You feel a certain satisfaction, when Good triumph’s over Evil. I’ve read this book 3 times over the years and listened to it once on audio.
“Outliers: The Story of Success”, by Malcolm Gladwell. Takes a look at everyone who was great in history and how it took at least 10,000 hrs. of practice, plus the ability to be great in the first place, before they ascended to greatness. if talent is nurtured and given every opportunity to succeed it can change the world. In every case, every great person in history had to have at least 10,000 hours, to became the person that history remembers. Once I read this book it opened my mind to the possibility that I can be one of these people. All that is needed for success is, find what you love to do in life, educate yourself in that field, and then, if you put in the man hours, Intelligence, Hard work, common sense, and Determination, Anything can be achieved!
“Titan the Life of John D. Rockefeller”, by Ron Chernow. He is still the richest man in The history of the United States. Many people today are touched by the philanthropy of this Man. By controlling the price of transportation for his product he was able to build a corporation larger than any in American history. He was horrible to the working man, because to him workers were chess pieces on a world sized chess board. That’s why we have Unions to protect us from corporate greed. He was the only one of the rich Industrialists back then, to see that he had won the game. The only one that knew that it was time to get out, and enjoy the spoils. He retired in his mid 30’s and He would have been left alone, if it wasn’t for the fact that his empire was built the wrong way, at the cost of its workers and the stranglehold of shipping. So they made him brake up his empire and made laws to protect companies from monopolies. This book showed me some valuable lessons. To name a few, what can happen when a man with talent dedicates himself to his career, to do it the right way, without detriment to others, and when you’ve won, get the hell out!
“The Snowball Warren Buffet and the Business of Life” by Alice Schroeder. This man did what other Titans of Industry didn’t. He showed, nice guys can finish last. He may be a Dutch Grocers Grandson and and the Son of a Republican senator but that had very little to do with his success. It was hard work and dedication. Through diligence he found companies that were worth more than their stock price and used this information to his advantage. I think that He may have over worked himself at the cost of raising his kids, but He proves what I said before. Hard work and dedication, focused on the right ideas can make miracles happen, or what seem like miracles anyway. In actuality, all work and no play may have made Mr. Buffet a dull boy, So don’t spend your life over working, you can never get that time back. I think that a man can have a happy medium, and still accomplish his goals. No matter what, if you have talent, it is your duty to use it. It may seem like you don’t have a life for a while. But after your hard work is done you can do anything you want and let your money do the working for you. His life just reassures us, that you don’t have to screw people over to be successful in this world!
“The Rise and Fall of Alexandria the Birthplace of the Modern World” by Justin Pollard and Howard Reid. Being a history lover this book was amazing. It shows how much knowledge was lost in the biggest city in the world at it’s peak in history . Alexander the Great, founded this city but never got to see it come to fruition. It was the largest city in the world at its peak. The library that was burned there contained more knowledge than anywhere in the world. Some very famous Scholars and Philosopher’s established, invented, and taught many different fields of study that we still use to this day. It shows what people that shouldn’t ever have power can do to future generations, they wiped out knowledge and we had to start over. Just think of where mankind would be if we had been able to nurture that knowledge and add to it? The only one who knows is busy making trees and rainbows.
“Tycoon the epic life of Cornelius Vanderbilt” by T. J. Stiles. This book shows how greed and determination can lead to very great and very horrible things. We have Mr. Vanderbilt to thank for some great institutions here in America. Shipping on the American railway system is what is today because of this man. By buying up his competition and consolidating them, he made rail shipping a cheap way to ship goods. Because of this “buying out any completion tactic” the New York Times coined the term “Robber Baron” to describe Rich Men that practice ruthless business practices. We also have him to thank for some of our laws on worker conditions. His and others, horrible treatment of the worker is what made Americans stand together to fight for Worker Rights. Mr. Vanderbilt is the second richest man in American history.
“New York” by Edward Rutherfurd. This is a fact based fictional tale about the history of New York City. It tells the little known version of US history. How the Dutch settled New Amsterdam, which was eventually renamed New York. This version shows us how a series of events from different Families through history made New York what it is today. The Author changes the family Surnames but the events are fact based. I loved how it shows American ingenuity and how Trade made major US cities grow from villages to major metropolises. Trade was the beginning of the US economy. Trade is one of the very basic needs of all people. It survives and flourishes in all economic downturns, no matter what. Everyone has needs and there is always someone willing to sell you something to fulfill those needs. The problem, as history proves, when most merchants get rich they get greedy and from greed comes corruption. And that’s why it took years for any major buildings to get built. Everyone wanted to get a piece of the pie, or Big Apple in this case. This book shows us human nature at its best and worst.
I am by no means a professional critic, but I know what I like. I also know that I’m not the only one who thinks this way. I will write about more books that I loved reading, soon. Some for fun, some for knowledge, some for both. For now, these are a few that you might like. I am constantly searching for good reads so if you know of one that I might like, let me know.