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 Post subject: Re: Books that made you who you are/most challenging books
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:12 am 
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Brain Made of Raw Seitan
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My professor made me read this one 3 years ago and it has had a huge influence. It has changed the way I think about death and funerals and it was decisive for the topic I chose to write my PhD on. It's wasn't very difficult to read though.

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And then there is this one. Also important for my PhD, and for my views of individuality/what being a person is like. Quite difficult to read, but it's a tiny book so it was okay.

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 Post subject: Re: Books that made you who you are/most challenging books
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:24 pm 
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Lactose Intolerant...Literally
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Another of the most challenging books I've read is Gender Trouble by Judith Butler. Holy shiitake that was hard. Definitely not written for a layperson like me. I'm sad to say that probably the only thing I retained is that sex does not equal gender, which is pretty basic feminist stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: Books that made you who you are/most challenging books
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:42 pm 
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***LIES!!!***
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I don't think I've ever read a book that made me feel like I summitted Everest, including Gender Trouble. I usually feel really strong and happy when I'm reading something that's challenging, but also illuminating. It doesn't feel like an accomplishment because it all comes together in the right way, as though I always knew all that stuff all along. Otherwise, I don't finish reading it (lots and lots of history books fall in this category).

Books that have been really influential for me/made me who I am:
A lot of feminist stuff, hard to nail down which is most important as it all starts blending after awhile
The Bible, The Talmud (not finished with that one, possibly never will)
Jewish Theology and Process Thought
The Star of Redemption - Franz Rosenzweig (Emanuel Levinas is also really influential for me, but I haven't read any of his books all the way through.)
The Stranger (and more in that vein)
Lots of sci-fi, but particularly Dune

I don't think I've ever read a book advocating for veg*nism all the way through.


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 Post subject: Re: Books that made you who you are/most challenging books
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:50 pm 
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Lactose Intolerant...Literally
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Ariann wrote:
I don't think I've ever read a book that made me feel like I summitted Everest, including Gender Trouble.


I guess part of the reason reading Capital really felt like summitting Everest to me was that it was so long. Gender Trouble was a lot shorter, so it didn't leave me with nearly the same sense of accomplishment. Still, talk about dense!


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 Post subject: Re: Books that made you who you are/most challenging books
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:54 pm 
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***LIES!!!***
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Honestly, I tend to give up on long books. I'm a little proud of myself for getting through them, but also often feel like I just wasted a huge amount of time. (for example, Gone with the Wind, god that was long)


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 Post subject: Re: Books that made you who you are/most challenging books
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:02 am 
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Lactose Intolerant...Literally
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Ariann wrote:
but also often feel like I just wasted a huge amount of time.


I feel this way for sure. I mean the kindergarten Marxism I retained from Capital could easily have been summarized in a much shorter book that was easier to digest.

ETA: Still, it's kind of cool to be able to say I've read it.


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 Post subject: Re: Books that made you who you are/most challenging books
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:10 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Books that made you who you are/most challenging books
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:17 am 
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"Amusing Ourselves to Death" by Neil Postman. I hated it while I was reading it, wrote furious notes in the margin constantly, threw it across a room at least once, etc. But I've spent a vast amount of time thinking about it since and it's rare that a day goes by where I don't think about his views on the human urge to constantly acquire inessential information.

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 Post subject: Re: Books that made you who you are/most challenging books
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:50 pm 
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Brain Made of Raw Seitan
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Paradise Lost is definitely the toughest thing I've ever read. Canterbury Tales would have been tough had I not cheated and read it alongside a modern translation.


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 Post subject: Re: Books that made you who you are/most challenging books
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:24 pm 
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Made Me Who I Am: The Jungle
A quote from that book solidified my resolve to go plant-based (in 7th grade).

Challenged Me: Destination Biafra
The imagery was so vivid that I put the book down halfway through, and couldn't bring myself to complete it for months.

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