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Young Student Seeking Like-minded People.

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Thanks. I was out of books to read (it's about all I do, reading) and I came upon "The Fountainhead." At first the story interested me, but then I started thinking about some of the deeper messages. Ayn Rand has a lot to say and her philosophies interested me greatly, so I picked up "Anthem" and decided to tackle "Atlas Shrugged." Before, I really read about anything I could find - Steinbeck, Bronte, Vonnegut...mostly off my mother's shelf.

Any ideas for books beyond the Objectivism tract?

Thanks for being so responsive!

Congrat's, you've got a big jump on me! In ninth grade my GrandMa, a sweet but flaming Hollywood Liberal, gave me "The Fountainhead" because at the time I was interested in Architecture. I'm embarrassed to say that it mostly bounced off of me, except to plant the idea that you should think for yourself, and cling to what you see as the Truth. I re-read it again in my late twenties (44 and counting now), and in quick succession everything else Rand wrote (starting with "Philosophy:Who Needs It", and still re-reading them all), and it became a major tool in reshaping my life. Some of these book suggestions I read between my first and second reading of Ayn Rand, and all of them since I began reading her again - it's amazing what more you are able to get out of a book when you re-read it with other books ideas squirlled away in your head.

If you don't already, I'd suggest, assuming the books are yours, that you read with a pencil and scribble all over the margins - argue with the author, and write the "what the...?" questions that pop into your head - you'll really enjoy those notes the next time you thumb through the book.

This may be more than you're looking for, but to give you a bit of a mix, all of which are first and foremost enjoyable reads, and then also provide worthwhile food for thought, I'd recommend:

Isacc Asimov's "Foundation" series are excellent Science Fiction adventure stories which are very much

Idea driven.

"Less Than Words Can Say", by Richard Mitchel (this and his other books - all excellent - are available to download free online http://www.sourcetext.com/sharetext/ug.html as Word.doc's or pdf's - the operator has said the suggested fee's are very optional) an excellent and enjoyable book on the significance of thinking. He focuses on how sloppy thinking shows up first in peoples language [hopefully quick blog post's are kind of excused from this], and then how the implications of accepting and acting on others thoughts without properly considering their premises for yourself, can and does cause havoc in action.

With the previous point in mind, I recommend Emerson's essays(available for free download on line through Gutenberg.org) and C.S. Lewis's "Screwtape Letters", and Plato's Socratic dialogues(available for free download on line through Gutenberg.org) - all three of which you should be forewarned have high saturations of mystical influence, and sometimes downright bad ideas, but taken as eloquent food for thought, they all will provide you with fascinating ideas which will challenge and help you to clarify your own thinking. If you keep in mind Rand's advice of being sure to trace all abstractions down to their physical roots in reality, taking especial note of those ideas whose foundations don't seem to come any closer to bedrock than the 13th floor, these will help you to gain a truly satisfying grasp on what you believe, and who you are and will become.

At the risk of incuring the head banging "duh" factor, Rand's "Philosophy: Who needs it", and the "Romantic Manifesto" are very readable and well worth your time, and Harry Binswanger's "The Ayn Rand Lexicon" is a BIG help when you're trying to puzzle out questions and concepts spinning around in your head.

If you can get ahold of the audio recordings of Homer's The Odyessey & The Illiad, they are unexpectedly enthralling.

Edith Hamilton's "The Greek Way" and Irving Babbitt's "Literature and the American College" are well written in their own right, and help to gain a wider perspective on our (precarious?) place in time.

Sophocles' "Oedipus" plays are well written plays and need to be looked at not only as straight forward ideas in action, but more broadly as Poetic forms as well which use conceptual images (the Sphinx, and it's riddle...) which can be mined for reams worth of more thoughts than the few sentences they take up in the play itself [Freuds interpretations of Oedipus are mostly worthless, except as in a philosphical "C.S.I" autopsy type of approach ],

Rafael Sabatini's "Scaramouche" is an excellent adventure story set about the French Revolution,

Baroness Orczy's "The Scarlet Pimpernel",

Alexander Dumas' "The Three Musketers" (all available for free download on line through Gutenberg.org).

Enjoy the challenge of shaping your own Soul -

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Books other than Rand to read...

If you like fantasy, Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series is very excellent. Goodkind is himself an Objectivist and is very successful in integrating Objectivism into a fantasy world.

In literature, it doesn't get any better than Victor Hugo. Les Miserables was pure genius.

If you like mystery novels, I'd highly recommend Mickey Spillane (the Mike Hammer Series), Erle Stanley Gardner (Perry Mason), and Ian Flemming (James Bond).

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Ninth grade or not, any aspiring writer would do well to spell "definitely" correctly. For the record, there's "a rat" in "separate."

Some people are so kind and helpful, and others...nitpicky and immature. Why do so many people feel the need to prove themselves by snobbily correcting something like a ninth-grader's typo? I'm DEFINITELY a little annoyed.

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Some people are so kind and helpful, and others...nitpicky and immature. Why do so many people feel the need to prove themselves by snobbily correcting something like a ninth-grader's typo? I'm DEFINITELY a little annoyed.

"Nitpicky and immature" -- exactly right! I would think that any person who loves Ayn Rand’s works would welcome a young person who read her novels and took the trouble to find this forum, join it, and ask intelligent questions.

Curious_Student, please do not assume that all Objectivists are sitting on high Olympus in stern judgment of you. Spelling errors aside, you are obviously on a plane far above the average ninth grader. I hope you come back and visit here often. The old-timers need to hear from new blood. Otherwise, we are all doomed.

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I too am a young person who has come to accept Objectivism, having learned of it at 16. Any of the nonfiction books by Rand or other Objectivist scholars are excellent works with which to supplement or reinforce your knowledge of Objectivsm. As to the author Terry Goodkind, I must agree with the previous post, Goodkind is an extremely skilled author at presenting philosophical situations and raises some very interesting questions regarding the issue of morality and I would recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy or even fiction in general.

Edited by Demosthenes
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If you can get a copy, try Calumet "K" by Merwin and Webster. It's out of print though. I had a hard time getting one. I asked for it for Christmas and my mom searched forever until she found a used copy at some random shop in the Midwest somewhere, like Illinois or Ohio.

I also recommend Tom Clancy. His heroes are awesome. I like Rainbow 6, Without Remorse, and The Hunt for Red October. Most of his books in general are good.

If you haven't already, read 1984 by George Orwell.

I second the recommendations of Harry Potter, The Three Musketeers (though I gave up half way through The Count of Monte Cristo when I was in 8th grade), and James Bond.

We the Living is also one of my favorite novels that doesn't get talked about a whole lot. It's cast into the shadow thrown by The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, but definitely worth reading.

I started The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis and did not enjoy them at all. But perhaps you will.

Also, though the philosophy is pretty deterministic and bad, Ender’s Game is a good read. Especially if you love characters that are really good at what they do.

Anyway, I think I gave you all I can remember as far as good book go. Miss Rand blew my mind away (or rather allowed it to function as it should) with Atlas Shrugged. That was last fall and I haven’t stopped reading her since. I can hardly remember what I read before then. :)

Zak

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Any of the nonfiction books by Rand or other Objectivist scholars are excellent works with which to supplement or reinforce your knowledge of Objectivsm.

Be wary of so-called 'Objectivists' such as Kelley from the TOC. STAY AWAY FROM "THE OBJECTIVIST CENTER!!!". They are not true Objectivists as they do not agree with some major issues that Miss Rand brought up in Objectivism (Kelley claims Objectivism is an open-system and it is not). Kelley is a psuedo-pragmatist/Objectivist if there can even be such a thing!

Stick to Ayn Rand, Leonard Peikoff (Even he cannot be read without question, as he is not Ayn Rand herself) and other ARI scholars. Other Objectivists (Such as those at TOC and SOLO) are just wanna-bes and phonies.

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Stick to Ayn Rand, Leonard Peikoff (Even he cannot be read without question, as he is not Ayn Rand herself) and other ARI scholars.

I'm sorry, but you seem to imply that Miss Rand can be read without question. That is not the case at all. You shoud question and valitdate everything both Miss Rand and Peikoff try to say. Miss Rand designated Peikoff as her heir and so I believe he is honest, unlike some others. If you meant question his honesty, I don't think that is necessary. If you meant question his conclusions, you absolutely should. And you should do the same with every other person you read or hear. That obviously includes Miss Rand.

Zak

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I'm sorry, but you seem to imply that Miss Rand can be read without question. That is not the case at all. You shoud question and valitdate everything both Miss Rand and Peikoff try to say. Miss Rand designated Peikoff as her heir and so I believe he is honest, unlike some others. If you meant question his honesty, I don't think that is necessary. If you meant question his conclusions, you absolutely should. And you should do the same with every other person you read or hear. That obviously includes Miss Rand.

Zak

This first part is true. Miss Rand can be questioned. However, one should not call oneself an Objectivist if they do not fully agree with every statement Ayn Rand made. You may call yourself a "sympathizer of Objectivism" or whatnot, but you may not call yourself an Objectivist.

Peikoff may be honest in what he writes and believes, but because it is not Ayn Rand herself writing, he needs to be looked at extra carefully. I agree with everything he has written so far, but I do look at it with a critical eye.

:blush:

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This first part is true. Miss Rand can be questioned. However, one should not call oneself an Objectivist if they do not fully agree with every statement Ayn Rand made.

Correction: If you do not fully agree with her statements regarding her philosophy. Personal statements (such as her preference for blue-green colors and dislike of Beethoven) are not requirements. Neither are her specific applications of philosophy; you may arrive, using Objectivist principles, at the independent conclusion that a woman can rationally desire to be president, for instance.

You do not need to be an Ayn-Rand-imitating robot to be an Objectivist. In fact, you cannot be both a robot and an Objectivist. :lol:

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Correction: If you do not fully agree with her statements regarding her philosophy.  Personal statements (such as her preference for blue-green colors and dislike of Beethoven) are not requirements.  Neither are her specific applications of philosophy; you may arrive, using Objectivist principles, at the independent conclusion that a woman can rationally desire to be president, for instance.

You do not need to be an Ayn-Rand-imitating robot to be an Objectivist.  In fact, you cannot be both a robot and an Objectivist.  :lol:

Thank you for correcting what I meant to say. Another example would be her view on homosexuality (Which I don't think is right to begin with. If the person thinks that the other person is attractive and has a good spirit and sense of life, why can't he marry the guy?)

So you're right. Persons agreeing with her every word is what created dogmatists and books such as "The Ayn Rand Cult".

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