fountainhead by ayn rand.
though this novel deals with heavy political philosophies (most of which i don’t fully embrace) – individualism and objectivism – there is a very great, compelling story worth reading. i was first introduced to this book when i moved to san francisco in my early twenties. at this very impressionable age, the book left a lasting impression on me (i’ve actually read it a few times). rand’s female characters hold strong convictions, are successful, and have bold personalities. single and living on my own in a new city, rand's female characters resonated with me. keeping in mind that rand authored her novels in the 1940’s makes her decision to create strong female characters even more remarkable.
of all the characters, the heroine, dominque francon, had the most profound impact. “by the end of the novel, dominique no longer cares what anyone thinks or does. she lives her life for herself and no one else. finally, it is the act of creating, loving, and living in which she finds happiness, rather than the results of these successes, no matter how good or bad the recognition my be." when i was younger i remember thinking this was the best way to live your life. imagine how liberated you would feel.
now that i'm older and wiser [laugh out loud!], i've come to realize that a balance between marching to the beat of your own drum, while at the same time remaining open to what other’s opinions might have to offer, makes your life more enriching. the question begs to be asked, what about you…could you pursue a creative endeavor and receive no praise, validation, or feedback for your efforts, and be truly at peace with this outcome? could you live like dominque?
which books have made a lasting impression on you?
in case you were curious, 10 books that made a lasting impression (in no particular order):
- fountainhead, ayn rand (+ atlas shrugged)
- joy luck club, amy tan
- the stranger, albert camus
- the kite runner, khaled hosseini
- people's history of the united states, howard zinn
- to kill a mockingbird, harper lee
- catcher in the rye, j.d. salinger (+ franny & zooey)
- fast food nation, eric schlosser
- outliers, malcolm gladwell (or any of gladwell's books)
- freedom, jonathan franzen (+ the corrections)
source: quote from here