Gawker blog Lifehacker.com conducted a poll of its readers most influential books. Which changed your life? While there are some familar faces on the list, the first two tickled the shit out of me. Of 250 responses, the Bible won with 25. It’s the best seller of all time, so that shouldn’t surprise anyone. The next one, though, blew me away. Taken collectively, the works of Ayn Rand nabbed the #2 spot– with 23 votes. Think about it. Can you imagine two books (or, more accurately, bodies of work) that could be further apart than the Bible and Ayn Rand? Priceless! The fact that the votes were so close is somewhat surprising, but remember that zealots tend to vote (even in presidential elections), so neither choice probably represents the masses.
Other names on the list were not surprising: George Orwell, Sun Tzu, Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (great read) and Oscar Wilde’s Picture of Dorian Gray. To check out the full list, click here >>
Oh, I actually did find out who John Galt is. I found out by accident. I was in a used book store on State St (I think it was State) in Newburyport, MA and found an old book consisting of the sermons of … you guessed it, John Galt. He was some kind of (probably) psycho-strict protestant preacher in 17th century Massachusetts. I imagine him cut from the cloth of Jonathan Edwards (“Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God). After all, what other kind of minister practiced in Massachusetts at that time?
So, I was tickled to hell about the whole John-Galt-being-a-minister situation that I’ve never forgotten it. But, the one mistake I made was not buying that book. I really wish now that I had picked it up. It would have been a cool addition to the collection. That being said, I think I’m going to finish reading Atlas Shrugged (for the fourth time?). I started to reread it back in January but got distracted. So, I might just pick it back up today.