Reading opens your mind up to new experiences and points of view. Many people say that their favorite books have been “life-changing,” or have inspired them to try new things. As is the case with Southern University student, Louis Toussaint III. Louis is a Mass Communications, Public Relations major. He has a true passion for culture and music. His favorite author is Robert Greene, and he’s read all of his books at least once. He says his favorite part about his literature and writing style is the way he compares historic human behavioral patterns to how we move and act today.
“The same amount of discipline it takes to wake up every morning, is the amount of discipline it will take to become a millionaire.”
Two of his top reads are “The Art of Seduction” by Robert Greene, a self-help book that explores and examines social power through the lens of seduction, and “The Autobiography of Malcolm X,” a collaboration between the late human rights activist and journalist Alex Haley, based on in-depth interviews that were conducted prior to Malcolm X’s 1965 assassination.
Why did you choose these 2 books?
I chose “The Art of Seduction,” because I really liked the 48 Laws of Power. It’s about the art of persuasion; moving in certain crowd and around certain types of people to accomplish whatever goals you need to accomplish. It helps when it comes to marketing and public relations. I chose “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” because it’s the truth and it just changed a lot in me. After I read the book, I stopped eating pork and started to be more self aware. It’s a real good book. I respect him as a leader.
Is there any more significance to those two books to your life?
There’s a lot of significance. I know for lack of a better term, it helped me with finding myself. A lot of people look at “The Art of Seduction” just as a manual for manipulation, but it’s really about finding yourself. Like a compass, the book helps with the type of person you are and how you move. It also helps you see what you’d like to accomplish when you’re dealing with people and multiple personalities. It’s just like the field that I chose. In Public Relations and Marketing, you deal with people all day and achieving success depends on the cooperation of other people.
“The Autobiography of Malcolm X” is sentimental and has a lot of value to me because at the time I found it, I was going through a lot. I was just getting out of high school and trying to transition and get on the right track. The book puts your head in the right space. I really admired Malcolm X as a leader for the things he stood for, the way he moved people, and just him staying true to himself. He was standing on top of what he believed in, and I respected him so much that I wanted to take on one of his qualities. I wasn’t about to convert to the Nation of Islam, so I chose to stop eating pork. I haven’t eaten pork since 2012 when I first read the book. It helped me to practice discipline.
Being from the south, that has to be hard, giving up pork.
It is very hard. But, that’s what comes with self-discipline. You tell yourself everyday, “I need to do this,” but it’s often easier said than done. My pops told me one day, that the same amount of discipline it takes to wake up every morning, is the amount of discipline it will take to become a millionaire. He used to tell me that as a kid, when I would wake up every morning and make up my bed. When I think about it now, looking back, it was kind of right. Because with that same motivation, I’m going to wake up everyday and do this one thing, you know, until it’s right. I’ll keep doing it, whether it’s small or big, until I carry it out and start seeing stuff take shape.
If you were to suggest these two books to a friend, how would you sell it?
I would try to highlight what I got from the book, and what I think they could get from it, especially with “The Art of Seduction.” I think everyone can get something from the book because it’s all about your perspective. If you’re trying to keep excelling in your career and moving on in life, then you will have to deal with people and multiple personalities and know how to work around that.
With “The Autobiography of Malcolm X,” it should be easier to get somebody to read it based on the power that comes behind the name, Malcolm X. I think everybody should read it, and I think they should let kids read it in school, especially if they are in a public predominantly black school. This book is important because it gives a history lesson on one of our most prominent Black leaders. We learn so much about the history of leaders of other races, but it’s very rare that we hear about Black people that paved the way for us. The book just speaks on staying true to yourself and not being afraid to break off and be whoever you want to be.
“What I’m Reading” is a bi-monthly Q&A series for Baton Rougeans to share their 2 favorite books and how it’s influenced and shaped their lives. It’s a great way to get to know your fellow community members and find new books for your reading list. For more information on how to participate, email info@beBATONROUGE.com