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An introduction

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My name is Eric. I am in my early 40s. Married, three kids, several time college dropout.

I read Atlas Shrugged, the Fountainhead, and We the Living in quick succession. The top of my head is still rolling around on the floor somewhere. Its pretty frustrating, humbling, depressing, and exciting to discover that one las lived a life all wrong for 40+ years.

"I swear-- by my ofe and my love of it-- that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."

I am looking for other good books to read. I tried to read some of Rand's non-fiction works; they didn't light the same kind of fire.

Looking forward to hearing from everyone!


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Hey, welcome. Which non-fiction have you tried reading (Rand's)? VOS is a great one to read first, in my opinion. Initially I did not enjoy her non-fiction (because the fiction she wrote was so intriguing) but they are definitely worth reading if you are interested in O'ism.

edit: spelling

Edited by OCSL
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I agree that Virtue of Selfishness is on of the "easier reads" of the non-fic.

I think your problem is pretty common to people who aren't necessarily inclined towards the study of philosophy and formal logic in general.

That said, if AS and TF have inspired you to look at the way you're living your life that non-fic will be helpful. Maybe figure out things that are bothering you, look up in the Ayn Rand Lexicon online and it will reference what books cover those issues and where within the books. Using the non-fic in a practical manner at first can help move things along.

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Welcome abroad... I am an avid reading myself. There are tons of books you can read and here are some of my favorites.

1. Harry Potter

2. Power of Now by Eckhart Toller

3. William by Richmal Crompton

4. Perry Mason by Earl Stanley Gardner

5. Autobiography of a Yogi by Yogananda Paramahamsa

6. Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch

I can suggest many more, but not sure if the above list will suit your taste. I read Fountainhead too. :)

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Read Anthem, it's another fiction, a dystopia novel. You will love it and you will be able to get it done in one day. You will reread it again at some point.

If that story truly sings to you then pick up Virtue of Selfishness. Hell, get them both at the same time.

Edited by CapitalistSwine
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Pick up "The Voice of Reason", thatll get you more aquainted with her ideas and their practical applications. Also, there are some essays in there by Leonard Peikoff, if your going to study Rands ideas more thoroughly youll be getting a lot of it through his works. Its a collection of essays, and not a in depth study of any one branch of Oist philosophy. Sort of a grab bag of Oist thought that might light a spark in your mind.

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Hello Eric and welcome to the forums!

Its pretty frustrating, humbling, depressing, and exciting to discover that one las lived a life all wrong for 40+ years.

Don't be so hard on yourself. Your 40 years of life allowed you to become the person you are, which led you to Ayn Rand. You've already done most of the work, she just put it into words for you ;).

If you are looking for some things to light the fire (depending upon what you read), I'd suggest a few of the following as primers:

"The God of the Machine" --by Isabel Paterson. It is a non-fiction, but really cuts to the chase in beautiful prose when it comes to individualism and our modern society. Plus, she was the mentor of Ayn Rand.

"The Histories" --by Polybius. This is an ancient history written by a Greek philosopher/historian who wanted to explain to the Greeks how Rome came to power. The best part about reading this history is the discovery of real-life people, an entire society, who exhibited many of the traits described in Rand's novels.

"Stranger in a Strange Land" --by Robert Heinlein. I hesitated at first with this one. Heinlein is undoubtedly a wonderful and enjoyable read (these are fiction novels)who has the tendency to project wonderful ideas in a refreshing way. The other one by him that you should read, if you don't like this one at first, would be "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress", which tends to be his most popular. "Stranger", though, affected me personally like no other novel except those by Rand.

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I am looking for other good books to read. I tried to read some of Rand's non-fiction works; they didn't light the same kind of fire.

A lot of people have been recommending non-fiction books. While I'm a big fan of non-fiction, it's never going to have the sheer emotional power of a great work of art. That isn't its function.

So, some fiction recommendations. First, the Sparrowhawk series by Ed Cline. It's a six-book saga about the genesis of the American Revolution, and it's absolutely superb. The author is, in my opinion, the most talented Objectivist novelist since Rand. The highest praise I can pay him is that his writing never sounds like hers. That isn't a criticism of Rand's writing style; it's a criticism of many other Objectivist writers. They often sound like they're just retreading the thematic and stylistic ground that Rand mapped out -- in extreme cases they sound like they're trying to channel her from beyond the grave. (Terry Goodkind, I'm looking at you.) Ed Cline doesn't sound like Rand, he sounds like Ed Cline.

Second, my favorite novel by a non-Objectivist writer: Watership Down by Richard Adams. It's a tale of high adventure, survival in the face of disaster, triumph over an evil totalitarian regime, and it's about rabbits. Just read it, already.

Third, and more historical, books by the French Romantics. Rand was a huge fan of Victor Hugo. I haven't read all his novels, but I liked Les Miserables. Other famous books by Hugo include The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Man Who Laughs and Ninety-Three. The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas are lesser works, but still cracking good reads, as is Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini. I haven't read any of Sabatini's other books, but they're on my to-read list, alone with Baroness Orczy's The Scarlet Pimpernel. (In case you haven't guessed I have a weakness for swashbucklers.) Most if not all of these books are out of copyright and therefore available in free on-line editions from Project Gutenberg.

Finally, on a more contemporary front, just about any novel by Lois McMaster Bujold. Barrayar, Mirror Dance, Memory, A Civil Campaign, The Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls are probably her best works, although you need to be careful with the first four because they're part of a longer series that should really be read in its entirety. Most of Bujold's science-fiction work is freely and legally available on the net courtesy of her publisher, Baen Books. You can find them here.

That should be enough to keep you busy for a while.

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