All posts tagged: Haile Selassie

A Book That Changed How I Think

A Book That Changed How I Think

The right book read at the right time can alter not just what you think, but how. The effect can feel like putting on a new set of glasses: Everything remains the same, but you view reality with sudden clarity. It can also be more unsettling—great writing may make the ordinary utterly unfamiliar, so that the reader experiences it unmoored from prior assumptions. Many books can pull off this life-altering trick, depending on how we encounter them; the timing is as important as the subject. The transformation can happen in childhood, when transcendent writing has the power to let loose imagination. Sometimes the book in question might look deceptively simple—an author reconsidering something as automatic as sleeping or breathing. The information may not be news to everyone: A revolution in one’s thinking can be both obvious and meaningful. You may find a writer who deploys language in unfamiliar, thrilling ways, or who changes your philosophy on raising children. The books below, selected by The Atlantic’s staff, demonstrate how writing can take a person apart and …