I think I'll use this blog also to write about books I'm reading. I'm now three quarters into Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead, published in 1943. The book is about individualism, self-esteem and social conditioning. It describes the life of two aspiring architects who have completely different outlook on society. The second character, Peter Keating, is always worrying about what others think about his work or opinions. He tries to design buildings that please everyone and he designs conservately. He's not happy and he's very reactive, but he's handsome and a social climber who uses people to his own ends and gains high status.
The main character, Howard Roark, however, designs buildings only for his own pleasure and doesn't give one iota what others think about his work. He's not after fame or money. His buildings are simple, modern and not liked by the majority, so he doesn't do so well financially, but he's emotionally stable. People don't like him because he does his own thing and doesn't want to give in to other's wishes, but he doesn't deceive people and keeps his promises.
I thought to myself, what would the society look like, if there were more people like Roark? There would be more creativity because people would not copy each other's ideas. People would also not be emotionally dependent on others (hah, like it would work out in reality).
This is the first book from Ayn Rand I've been reading and I like it so much I'm going to read Atlas Shrugged after I finish this. I don't know almost anything about Rand except that she was the founder of the Objectivist movement, supported free market and individualism. I found the book because I'm interested in self-help, and it was mentioned in one self-help forum.