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What book has had the most impact throughout your life?
In Book Club
Sean Mc Caffrey
Apr 08, 2021
The first book that really changed my life was Ender’s Game. Written for young adults/teenagers, it helped me understand the dynamics I was seeing as I was growing up. I struggled to integrate into the social norms of my early teenage years, and felt extremely alone in my lack of understanding in how normal social interactions took place, how normal social groups formed, and how to maintain a somewhat normal social presence. Ender’s Game helped me understand the dynamics that are inherent in most social situations, and how the power structures that are explicit or implicit are something that are universal and have to be understood if you don’t naturally and instinctually feel comfortable in large social groups/events. The second book that changed my life was the aforementioned Atlas Shrugged, but only paired with my previous reading, during college, of Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan. Leviathan, while voluminous and intimidating, has extremely redeeming sections. It cannot be understated how important Hobbes’ description of ”The State of Nature” is. Pairing Hobbes with Atlas Shrugged completely changed my perspective on self-worth and value. Maybe I went too far to the objectivist extreme for awhile, but I found it much easier to understand my place, find purpose, and excel in whatever I was facing at the moment. Unfortunately, Atlas Shrugged lacked a lot of guidance in the areas of personal relationships, family, and romantic relationships. Ayn Rand had a lot of inspiring thoughts on how society and industry co-exist, but not a tremendous amount to contribute on the ideas of family. In more than a few of Rand’s novels, her depiction of family is negative and challenging to natural feelings of love, adoration, and admiration we generally have for our family members. At times, her work created a challenging conflict of emotions and logic, especially in areas where benevolence, gentleness, and selflessness is important. The last book that changed my life was the more-and-more important Tribe by Junger. I’m not sure I need to say much about this book. It’s been in the Book Club. It’s been talked about here already. I read it twice in a row, back-to-back. Each time, I found it more and more impactful. I’m sure I will read it again soon. It’s inspired me to stop screaming into the void, and get involved, and if not find my tribe, than help others find theirs.
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Sean Mc Caffrey

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