One book that inspired me to read is the Autobiography of Malcom X. His is a story of profound awakening and transformation.
Malcolm grew up in foster homes. As a young man he hit the streets, committed crimes, and landed in jail, sentenced to 10 years. He was 20...
Malcolm meets a fellow convict he calls "Bimbi". Bimbi convinces Malcolm to study and learn to develop his mind, "the only way we knew how to rebel was to cram some knowledge into our brains."
This begins one of the most radical transformations documented in literature. He discovers philosophy, history, science, and of course, black history. His transformation and self-discovery during his journey of reading should be standard education,
....But I'm digressing....my alma mater was books, a good library. Every time I catch a plane, I have with me a book I want to read- and that's a lot of books these days. If I weren't out here every day battling the white man, I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity-because you can't hardy mention anything I'm not curious about. I don't think anybody ever got so much out of going to prison than I did. In fact, prison enabled me to study far more intensively than I would have if my life had gone differently and I had attended some college. I imagine that one of the biggest troubles with colleges is there are too many distractions, too much panty-raiding, fraternities, and boola-boola and all of that. Where else but in prison could I have attacked my ignorance by being able to study intensely sometimes as much as fifteen hours a day?"
You can read the entire excerpt here. Every so often I return to it as motivation to continue reading and cultivating curiosity as a means to improve.