Personally, my quest to atheism/secular humanism from christian mythology began with some research to find more about the book ‘Emotional Intelligence’ before I read it.
I never got around to read EI but I came across a recommendation to read Nathaniel Branden’s work instead, especially the book, ‘Honor the Self’ and loved it. It had a huge affect on me personally.
Learning more about Mr. Branden of course meant coming face to face with Ms. Rand but when I tried to read both Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, I couldn’t get past Chapter Two. It just didn’t have the same ring with me.
I think that she had a great impact in helping people to take their eyes and hopes off of a god and onto themselves instead.