Books are the focus for day 7 of Claudia Altucher’s new book, Become an Idea Machine—which I adopted as a blogging project for The Ben Franklin Follies.
Here are some of favorite books of all time and why, which explain a little bit about what I learned from them. I’m basically typing directly from my journal entry the morning of January 31 with little-to-no additional thought or editing. In a more formal assessment I might switch the order around a bit. This list developed quickly.
My Side of the Mountain
My Side of the Mountain also introduced me to Thoreau and led me off on a search to learn how to live off the land.
To Kill a Mockingbird
This book confirmed my love for justice, compassion, integrity and human dignity. Everything about human nature is revealed in one or more of the characters.
A Wrinkle in Time
Love is what matters. Love overcomes darkness. Science is fun. Some people have a deeper understanding.
Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibility
Each of these novels by Jane Austen reveals a great deal about the human character and social norms. They are also great stories with lessons about relationships and connections as the key takeaway.
The complex narrative reveals the ultimate outcome of greed, class and what happens when people wear masks. It also shows that law can be a tool for greed, or law can be used for good. Chasing and striving for wealth is not the primary aim of life. Some of the characters also provide great examples of the power of compassion.
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
Pretty much all you need to succeed in life, business, relationships. I also learned that my curiosity about everything should be reveled in, not abandoned in favor of a single specialty.
Ben Franklin shows what happens when someone seeks knowledge in a wide range of topics and then develops the intellectual capacity to connect-the-dots. Ben Franklin is an example of someone who is “more” (see A Wrinkle in Time).
The Holy Bible
This book is different in kind and nature than the other books on my list. For that reason it should be in the #1 spot for me.
The Collected Works of Shakespeare
William Shakespeare covers ever facet of human nature in these plays. The characters and lessons are timeless.
A guide to sociology.
Alice in Wonderland
A guide to psychology, logic and imagination.
A few others that might be on a slightly longer list: Winnie the Pooh, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Gift of the Deer by Helen Hoover.