Dear 100 Hour Board,
Aside from the Standard Works, what book has most changed the way you
1) viewed the world?
2) viewed yourself?
For the former, I'd say The Art of Looking Sideways or In Search of SchrÃ¶dinger's Cat. For the latter, maybe Six Degrees of Separation or The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.
Pretty much anything by Kurt Vonnegut, Moby Dick, The Sun also Rises, Violence and Difference (especially Andrew J. McKenna's article entitled "Postmodernism: The Victim Age"), and Way to Rainy Mountain by N. Scott Momaday. Just to name a few. And I think that your two specifications are undeniably connected, so they both go for all of the books mentioned.
-Kicks and Giggles
I'd say Trust or Consequences, by Al Golin, and Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis.
Both of these books take a world-and-logic-based look at the principles I've been raised with. Through my college career and especially now that I'm out in the world a little bit more, I've found those principles to be challenged in ways I never expected. Not just to a greater degree than I expected, but in sneaky ways that I don't recognize until after I've been caught up in them for awhile.
For instance, it's easy to say money doesn't buy happiness. It's equally as easy to then shrug your shoulders and say, "But, that's the way the world works, so I have to conform - I'll just keep to myself this secret I know, and use it as a motivational thought whenever I get discouraged," and then go on operating as if money does, indeed, buy happiness. Of course this doesn't make sense - if you have truth, you should operate from truth.
Trust or Consequences made me realize that there are indeed people who operate from these principles, and don't just use them as uplifting thoughts from time to time. There are good people in the business world - there is a firm, well-founded, money-based basis for being a happy, well-rounded businessperson who operates on kindness and truth. It's so easy to forget that when you go into a job environment with your armor on, ready to work from your cool sense of hardened professionalism. This book reminds you that a lot of a job is caring about the people around you. Incidentally, many doors open when this principle is adhered to. Isn't that how Christ works? Well, yes. Isn't that what they taught you in Sunday School? Wellllll, yeah. What makes you think that's only functional in your personal life? While not religious in nature, this book reinforces all those Golden Rule principles that we should translate over to business dealings but sometimes don't have the faith that they will translate. I love having that practical reminder that the things I was taught as a little kid are still in force, and that I shouldn't lose faith in them just because I'm in a new environment. (It makes me want to read Jesus is My CEO - I think it would be similar.)
Mere Christianity does sort of the same thing, but in a more direct way. C.S. Lewis reinforces, with everyday practical logic, faith-based principles I've been taught from an early age. I love that.
I worry that this answer will make me sound like a faithless person:) Rather, I love reading things that reinforce, from a new angle, the beliefs I hold dear. It makes me happy to see the principles of God at work in worldly settings, giving yet another manifestation that these principles are real, working truths that aren't just fluff and aren't something you grow out of. They work in every life, whether you're wearing the hat of a head of state, a mother or father, a CEO, a warehouse worker, a sister or brother, or a mid-ladder consultant. They work whether you're trying to pitch stories to a publisher, get a promotion at work or get along with a family member or a roommate. Isn't it great to watch those things at work? It makes me shake my head and think, "Yeah, He sure knows what he's talking about, and He sure does understand everyone, in all their roles, from the publican to the bishop to the dentist to the Roman centurion to the ambassador to me."
Sorry for the novel explanations - I guess you didn't ask "how" or "why," but I gave it to you free of charge:). Check out those books.