I was 18 when I discovered philosophy. I asked my high school librarian for books to stretch my mind. She picked a couple, but only one stayed with me. It was The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand. This book did more than any other to open me to the world of ideas.
It is the story of Howard Roark, an architect who insists on following the integrity of his own vision. Against all outside obstacles, both material and ideological, he creates according to the standards he chooses. The story enthralled me. Not the kind of hero I expected, Howard Roark was purely self-interested. And, to my amazement, he was good. The Fountainhead did indeed stretch my mind.