10. Robinson Crusoe- Daniel Defoe
One of my favourite books when I was a child, Robinson Crusoe captivated the greatest quality of a person: Rationality. Crusoe was stranded on a deserted island with limited supply to help him survive, but he was able to survive by adapting to his environment. Robinson Crusoe remains as one of the greatest romantic realistic fiction.
9. Misery- Stephen King
My favourite book before I found Ayn Rand, Misery is a story about a writer who has to survive from a psychotic fan in the most dire circumstance possible. While generally being a grisly book inspired by King’s own battle with alcoholism, Misery’s underlying message is that the will to survive will ultimately triumph over the most miserable situation. Misery also inspired me to read more books and develop enthusiasm for writing.
8. 1984- George Orwell
One of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read. George Orwell captured the atmosphere of totalitarianism so well in this book about a man’s struggle to uncover the conspiracy of the totalitarian regime. 1984 serves as a darkly humorous warning to the increasing control and censorship.
7. The Virtue of Selfishness- Ayn Rand
The book that rocked my world. The Virtue of Selfishness challenged everything I’ve ever come to know. Ayn Rand’s unapologetic rational egoism made me rethink about my previous assumptions and premises and helped me become a better man in the process.
6. Ethics of Liberty- Murry Rothbard
Rothbard’s idea on ethics has revolutionized my understanding of morality. The Ethics of Liberty outlined Rothbard’s ideal society perfectly with simple honesty and solutions to everyday examples. Though I do not necessarily agree with everything, it still managed to challenge my previous views and strengthen my arsenal against tyranny.
5. Basic Economics- Thomas Sowell
If you ever need to find the most simple yet most comprehensive guide to economics, Basic Economics is definitely the one book I would recommend. Already equipped with knowledges on economics, Basic Economics still managed to wow me with so many examples of how a regulations and discriminations in a market would not only hinder the productivity but it would also induce poverty. Sowell refuted every single argument used by socialists with a simple explanation and a concrete example. Basic Economics is a must read.
4. Forrest Gump- Winston Groom
You may have seen the film but the book is quite different from the film (Gump even went to Space! And the ending was different). Regardless, Forrest Gump used a comical view point to look at how an individual who has been labelled as useless by the society can in fact do so much good on his own with optimism.
3. Atlas Shrugged- Ayn Rand
What happens when the world’s most able, most productive individuals decide to go on a strike against the undeserving? Atlas Shrugged is the 7th longest English novel, 14th longest novel and the most comprehensive book to explain what Objectivism is about. It’s a story of love, of life, and of happiness. Atlas Shrugged changed my entire view of literature with its detailed writing and realistic setting.
2. Geek Love- Katherine Dunn
The saga of a family of carnival freaks resulted by the experimentation with radiation and drugs of the parents to create the world’s best sideshow. Its narrative is from the perspective of the often overlooked albino dwarf girl, with jump cuts to the present time where she must protect her daughter from being lured into “disfiguring” herself for money. Geek Love became one of my favourite novels because of its nature on explaining the danger of envy and the importance of integrity- Don’t change yourself just because other people tell you to.
1. The Fountainhead- Ayn Rand
My life was never the same after this book, for the better. The Fountainhead is a book which I could always go back to whenever I feel sad or down. It is a classic story of good versus evil and the good triumphs. But more than that, the Fountainhead provides us with hope, that one day, we will all succeed.