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These are books you read a long time ago. But your thinking has changed significantly since you first read them. Perhaps you've grown from teenager to middle age, or have gone through a divorce, or have fallen in love, or perhaps had been in love, but have fallen out of love. You may have lost someone significant to you. You may appreciate the horrors of war now, having participated in one. You may have tried your hand at writing, and seen how difficult it is. You may have been a student, and now you're employed and in the middle of your career. You may have been idealistic, and now your outlook on life has been tempered by the exigencies of reality. You may have thought that anything was possible, and now you're designing machines and have discovered that it's hard to design them the way you had wished.

You may wonder how the text that used to seem so fresh to you, so new, so astonishing, how it will hold up to your new perspectives. I'd love to read your list.

Here is mine:

  1. Herman Melville, Bartleby the Scrivener
  2. George Orwell, 1984
  3. Joseph Heller, Catch-22
  4. Paul Tipler, Modern Physics (1st Ed.)
  5. John B. Fraleigh, Abstract Algebra, 1st Ed. (Subsequent editions have gotten successively less funny and more boringly serious. Too bad. The first edition rocks.)
  6. William Hayt, Engineering Electromagnetics
  7. William Hayt, Engineering Circuit Analysis
  8. Mary Shelley Wollstonecraft, Frankenstein
  9. Brian Aldiss, Frankenstein Unbound
  10. James K. Blish, Cities in Flight

Immediately after posting, a few writers here presented book titles of their own. I include them here as seeds for thought.

raincomplex :

  1. Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull
  2. Antoine de St. Exupéry, The Little Prince
  3. Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha
  4. Steven Grand, Creation
  5. Henry Petroski, The Simple Design of Everyday Things

etouffee :

  1. Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, (for the fourth time!)
  2. Robert Penn Warren, All the King's Men
  3. Raymond Carver, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love
  4. Raymond Carver, Short stories

legbagede :

  1. Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
  2. José Luis Borges, Labyrinths
  3. Thomas Pynchon, V

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