Many Lives, Many Masters- Brian L. Weiss MD
This is actually a true story. I couldn't sum it up without doing it injustice, so I took the explanation off Dr Weiss's website:
I loved this book. Whether or not it's totally true I don't know, but I tend to believe it is. The guy's a doctor! He has qualifications! And if it's true, the consequences are absolutely mind blowing. It provides evidence that there is not only an afterlife, but that reincarnation exists. Being a pagan, I'm a firm believer in reincarnation, and living life after life until we become enlightened and have no more lessons to learn. I believe the Christian way of thinking is an easy way out- you only live once, and if you're good you go to heaven, and if you're bad you go to hell. Where are the lessons? What's the point of having one chance? Anyway, I'm getting off the topic here. The point is that this book somehow confirmed my belief that there is something, whatever that something is, after life.
Stranger in a Strange Land- Robert A. Heinlen
This was apparently a best seller when it was published in 1961. It's about a human that was raised by martians on Mars, who was eventually found by another Mars expedition, and brought back to Earth. Of course, you're wondering how a human was raised by martians on Mars right? Well, on an earlier expedition a husband and wife couple conceived while on their mission. Somehow everyone in that expedition but the baby dies, and the baby is found by martians and raised as their own. The result is a human in physical appearance only, but a martian in mind, emotions, and spirit.
This book made me question many of my own values and morals. Like monogamy, and why it is so important in our society. Like the true ability of humans, and the fact that if we supposedly only use 10% of our brains, imagine how amazing we would be if we used all of it. And it also brought up the question of environmental influence. If we were brought up in a society that only used thought and feeling and actions to communicate, would we be able to read people's thoughts? Would our brains and our powers of thought be so advanced that we could move objects with our minds? Would we all be Uri Gellers?
If I were to recommend any book, this would be the one. You'll either love it or hate it, and I'm willing to wear the blame if you hate it, but it certainly made me question many of the "rules" and regulations that our society has in place: what's tolerable with regards to sex, behavior, religion, and what's not.
So these are my two life-changing books. What are yours?