10 Books That Made A Difference To You.
Actually 11... These are the most thought provoking books I remember.
1. Lorenzo da Ponte: My Life
I don't know if the original memoirs of Mozart's librettist have been translated into English. There are several biographies. He was a very successful freelancer (as a poet and writer) and his life had many ups and downs.
2. Karl Popper: The Logic of Scientific Discovery
How to gain knowledge. A comprehensible description.
3. Albert Speer: Spandau, the secret diaries
A man with remarkable capabilities to think outside the box, accomplice of evil and contemporary witness. Great descriptions and metal techniques that help overcome difficult circumstances. Provokes thoughts about guilt, mortality, creativity.
4. The author of himself: The life of Marcel Reich-Ranicki
The memoirs of Germany's greatest literary critic. His survival and his great passion for art.
5. L. A. Seneca: De Vita Beata (the book of a happy life)
A relentless book about the realities of life, our limits, the bearing of suffering and how to get things done.
6. Ursula K. LeGuin: Planet of the Disposessed
SHOWS how an anarchist utopia could look like
7. Confucius: Lun Yü (Conversations) and a book by an almost forgotten Bavarian writer
Master Kung (the great confucius) teaches his disciples in conversations about a well ordered society and how to be a decent human being. The Bavarian writer Herbert Rosendorfer wrote a book about a time travelling Chinese nobleman from the 10th century who observes life in 1980s Munich. He has some love affairs and a lot of interesting conversations. Probably still my favorite book.
8. Nikos Kazantzakis: Alexis Sorbas
How to enjoy life. Great descriptions
9. Janwillem van de Wetering: The Empty Mirror
1950s: A young Dutchman travels to Japan to live in a Zen monastery. Lots of humor. Good description of his search for the meaning of life.
10. The Gospels
Jesus Christ, son of God and greatest rebel to the emperor's authority, great teacher and master of rhetoric. We learn about his life from four different authors.
11. The I-Ging
An ancient book that teaches us the interpretation of principles and situations