I read Prozac Nation (Elizabeth Wurtzel) when I was 14 and it really made an impression on me. It was my first time reading about mental health issues and psychiatry. It was dark and messy and a little scandalous, which is why my best friend wanted to read it after me. I loved those books that you passed around when you were young, being exposed to such things for the first time.
Anyhow. I just like hearing about books people like, which is why I made this post.
The Percy Jackson books was influential on me wanting to write, and developing a interest in reading. Past that, other than religious and political books, I can’t really think of much. But Tom Clancy, John Grisham, and Clive Cussler never cease to entertain me. John Grisham is my favorite modern fiction author.
I was never good in language courses but excellent in science. I lagged a lot in reading books before sz but then sz happened and it got worse, Now I cant read long texts at all, I even skip super long posts here.
I think the book that had the greatest influence on me is “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”. It influenced a lot of young men of my generation, but not in a positive way. It’s about a crazy drug binge the journalist named Hunter S. Thomas went on in Las Vegas. He later disavowed the story, saying it was mostly fiction. The book convinced a lot of young men in my generation that is was great fun to get so gone on drugs that you don’t know what you are doing. You can never get stoned enough. Hunter S. Thompson was a very good writer who exposed a lot of the pathology of society, but he died by suicide.
Two. The first one was Kon-Tiki. I bought it from a library book sale when I was about 9. It was about a world famous anthropologist who wanted to prove something like that people in about 800 AD from South America had sailed the oceans and settled Hawaii thus setting the stage for Polynesia to settle their island.
I can’t remember exactly the locations he sailed to and from but he formed a small crew and using pure Peruvians he built a balsa wood raft exactly like the ones described in Peruvian history and set sail. His goal was to make the exact same trip with the exact same raft. It was tied together with rope and vines and had two sails and no modern conveniences except a short wave radio.
It was a true story and quite fascinating. They called the ship and the book “Kon Tiki” after a god they encountered on Easter Island. Easter Island as some people might know is a tiny speck on the map, a tiny island with massive chiseled stone heads 30 or 40 feet high scattered all over the island weighing 2 or 3 tons but no one could figure out how ancient people from 500 AD could transport those huge stone heads from a rock quarry on one edge of the island all the across to the other sides, obviously with no machines and just rudimentary hand tools. It was a big mystery that brought many scientists to this remote tiny island.
The book really made an impression on me for some reason, I found it fascinating.
Yeah, my first choice above was kind of random. The facts and story are not well known outside of anthropological circles and it wasn’t a best seller or taught in schools but it was interesting as hell and a good read.
One book that I read when I was about 11 was the autobiography of a man named Eddie Rickenbacker. It was a big thick book that my parents owned that I saw sitting in the bookcase ever since I could remember, like from the age of 5 years old. I finally decided to tackle it and I’m glad I did. It was another fascinating book about one of the most interesting lives I’ve ever read about.
This guy Rickenbacker barely escaped death many times throughout his life. Aside from adventurous stunts in his childhood that left scars and could have killed him he became one of the first race car drivers. I forgot to mention this guy was born in like 1885 in America. When he was 18 and cars first started racing each other he became quite a good race driver.
He had some scary wrecks because these were primarily cars that had little or no safety features. Top speed was like 70 miles mph. But he got in some hairy situations.
Car technology advanced quickly and cars got faster and sleeker. Anyways, I’ll wrap this up. The guy enlisted in WWI and not only became one of the first pilots but was also became one of America’s first aces by shooting down 5 enemy aircrafts. He almost got killed several more times during war.
After the war ended he raced a little more. Airplanes were advancing as fast as cars and Rickenbacker got in on the ground floor of the commercial aviation business. Him and a partner got a hold of one of the earliest airplanes that could hold three or four passengers and just invented the airline business. He flew people who were risking their lives and flew them a hundred or two hundred miles. And it just expanded exponentially and other airlines sprung up and soon they were all competing.
And then he was on a passenger plane around 1935 or so and it went down in the Atlantic Ocean. Most of the passengers aboard died in the crash but he and about ten other people survived though. No one had radar or anything so they were on their own. The made a raft and sailed towards where their idea of land was. The survivors started dying off from lack of water and madness. Eventually he was rescued but he could have easily died. Anyways, that’s just a tiny bit of Rickenbacker life. He did all kinds of amazing things with amazing adventures. He’s not well known but he should be, he was quite a pioneer in car racing and the aviation industry.