To help me dig deeper into Objectivism, a good friend recommend Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand by Leonard Peikoff, so that was next up on my reading list. I enjoyed how it systematically built up a hierarchy of concepts and applied them to many areas of life. I found a lot of the material reinforced stuff I saw before in The Virtue of Selfishness and Philosophy: Who Needs It.
This book, by contrast, was not written by Ayn Rand herself but by her "best student and chosen heir." It's based off his lectures on the subject.
I'm finding that a lot of this philosophy resonates with my own recent experiences and outlook on life -- focus on productiveness, self-esteem, and reality and existence as primary over consciousness. I feel like I suffered from many of the "faults" and irrationalities as described in these texts, and I think I'm slowly starting to recover. It's fascinating to me when a book causes me to question so many "everyday" verbal expressions and mindsets that seem so "popular" or "natural" but which in fact are not reality-based and don't stand their ground upon careful analysis. I've also been struggling to understand why I never encountered philosophy or ethics in the way it's structured in Objectivist texts in any of my education.