Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid
Douglas R. Hofstadter
Douglas Hofstadter's book is concerned directly with the nature of maps" or links between formal systems. However, according to Hofstadter, the formal system that underlies all mental activity transcends the system that supports it. If life can grow out of the formal chemical substrate of the cell, if consciousness can emerge out of a formal system of firing neurons, then so too will computers attain human intelligence. Gödel, Escher, Bach is a wonderful exploration of fascinating ideas at the heart of cognitive science: meaning, reduction, recursion, and much more.
"What is the book that changed your life? (not novels or religious texts)"
I think it's a wonderful way to connect in a less superficial way and learn a little more about each other. It's also a wonderful way to discover new books worth reading.
This is one of them. The full list is here.