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Author Topic: Favorite books  (Read 47365 times)

Beast

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Favorite books
« on: 26 Jul 2008, 02:21 »

list your favorite books, please
i am on a reading spree
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Tom

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #1 on: 26 Jul 2008, 02:44 »

American Gods
A Clock work Orange
Jane Eyre
Dune
Fight Club
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #2 on: 26 Jul 2008, 02:52 »

Big Sur - Jack Kerouac
Chronicle of a Death Foretold - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
any of Matsuo Basho's travel journals, too.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #3 on: 26 Jul 2008, 03:43 »

I second American Gods
also,
Good Omens (fuck, everything by Neil Gaiman)
Odd Thomas
To Kill a Mockingbird
Of Mice and Men
:cry: :cry: Flowers for Algernon :cry: :cry:
Lord of the Rings
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Ishotdanieljohnston

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #4 on: 28 Jul 2008, 19:05 »

I love Gaiman but I couldn't get through American Gods... just didn't do it for me.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #5 on: 28 Jul 2008, 19:07 »

!!!!!!!

You, sir, should be ashamed of yourself.

Also Beast- try the Roma Sub Rosa series (first book is Roman Blood) and Pompeii.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #6 on: 28 Jul 2008, 20:18 »

Man, lists are boring. Tell us why the books are your favourite!

Off the top of my head and in no particular order:

The Enormous Room, by e. e. cummings

A semi-fictionalised account of cummings' experiences in an internment camp in France in World War I: he was driving an ambulance on the Western Front, and basically being a bit odd and subversive as was his wont, and the French decided he was a bit too much of a suspicious character for their liking during war time, so they arrested him. In the book cummings constantly takes delight in his surroundings, even in the most abject misery, and in his fellow internees, who other people might regard as the scum of the earth. He present such an unusual and fond view of the world, even at its worst, that it's impossible not be swept up in his pure joy in life.

Just Above My Head, by James Baldwin

Baldwin is possibly my favourite novelist, and this is a big, ambitious book in which he brought together every single one of the themes he explored throughout his career: homosexuality and sexual relations, family and community, brotherhhood, the Civil Rights movement, and the performing arts. The book is almost 19th-century in its breadth and in the way Baldwin, as ever, takes a big group of characters and shows how they're bonded together, but thematically it couldn't have been written in any century other than the 20th.

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne

You could describe this as the ultimate post-modern novel - if it weren't for the fact that it was written in the 1700s. Sterne sets the novel up as ostensibly an autobiography of Tristram Shandy - and then in 600 or so pages barely gets beyond the title character's birth as he keeps taking asides, telling tall tales, and generally pulling the reader down figurative rabbit-warrens. Sterne's imagination and approach to the art of the novel is, at times, audacious: at one point, after the death of a character, he completely blacks out two pages "for mourning". At another he has a character swish a cane in the air - and demonstrates this by breaking up the text with a line-drawing of the shape the cane made. He cuts off characters in mid-sentence to go on thirty-page-long tangents before returning to the exact point he'd left from. It took me about fifty pages to get into the rhythm of the novel and start enjoying it; by the end I'd understood less than 50% of what I'd read, but enjoyed every moment of it. There's just not another book like it.

Ancestors, by William Maxwell

Maxwell tells the story of his family, and writes about what various of his ancestors did with their lives. Nothing remarkable about that, but over the course of the book Maxwell builds up such a strong sense of continuing and shared humanity, and the way in which we're all bound together across time and generations, that the reader can't help but be moved. Maxwell always wrote with great humanity, compassion, and wisdom, never more so than in this book.

The Encyclopedia of Superstitions, by E. and M.A. Radford, edited and revised by Christina Hole

A book that demonstrates just how many of the little, apparently meaningless gestures we make every day actually go back centuries, and were once invested with the most significant of meanings by people. Take just one example: remember the last time you went to a restaurant, and the meal came out with a little parsley for garnish? Just decoration, right? Actually, people used to think that parsley was a general cure-all for poisons, so as an act of good faith when somebody came over to your house for dinner you'd put a little sprig of parsley on top - sort of "Why would I poison you, then give you the antidote? Obviously, then, the food is safe to eat". This book is full of tiny things like that that make the human world make just a little bit more sense - while also making them seem even more bizarre than they already appear.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #7 on: 28 Jul 2008, 20:32 »

Still Life With Woodpecker by Tom Robbins.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #8 on: 28 Jul 2008, 21:29 »

I love Gaiman but I couldn't get through American Gods... just didn't do it for me.

I think I can see that.

I love Gaiman and think American Gods is nothing short of archetypal for him.

However, most (all, that I've encountered) of his other stuff is much, much shorter.  AG is very much a novel.  Everything else is Graphic Novel length.

I recommend you give AG another try and try to sit through it; it's worth it.  Particularly since it gives a touch of depth to Anansi Boys.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #9 on: 28 Jul 2008, 21:37 »

Anansi Boys is roughly the same length though, isn't it? And Good Omens might be even longer.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #10 on: 28 Jul 2008, 22:16 »

I don't know.  My copies are all different sizes and different font types, so I can't judge.  However, American Gods strikes me as a much longer book.

And Good Omens was co-written with Pratchett, so who knows how that worked?
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imagist42

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #11 on: 28 Jul 2008, 23:03 »

I have mass market paperback versions of Good Omens, American Gods, Anansi Boys and Neverwhere all sitting in a row on my bookshelf, and American Gods is the longest one by roughly 150 pages (Good Omens comes next, and the other two are about 50 pages shorter than that).

Oh, right! Favorite novels.

The aforementioned American Gods (I haven't been all the way through Anansi Boys or Neverwhere yet, so they have no place in this discussion for me) is absolutely great. I think Neil Gaiman has single-handedly done more for fantasy (or, at least, the fantastic) than any other living author. I can see how people would feel American Gods in particular drags toward the end, but his writing is just so full of... well, I can't quite describe it concisely, but it's full of something that you should not be missing out on.

By the same token, China Miéville's Perdido Street Station is a masterpiece. Miéville just kind of creates this world and sucks you into it. A common criticism of the book is that his prose is slightly on the experimental (and, consequently, obtuse) side, but such sections aren't quite as prevalent as these critics would have you believe. For the most part it reads wonderfully, and is simulatenously immediately slap-you-in-the-face engrossing and deep, significant thought-provoking in a way that few other books have achieved. I am now working my way through his next book, The Scar, and while it is starting off a bit slower I can see the same aspects of his style shining through.

Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is one of those novels that, while already extremely long, could continue on for twice as many pages and I would never tire of it. Every time I read it I begin to think "Well of course, of course, of course gentleman-magicians shaped the course of English history, who could possibly think otherwise?" She has a way of making this historical fiction so real, so plausible that no one could doubt it. Some complain that the middle third (the war segment) drags, but I think if you'll just read it with a wholly susceptible mind then you won't care at all.

More quickies: everything Douglas Adams ever wrote is just bloody hilarious. So are Don Quixote (seriously), Joseph Heller's Catch-22 and Kurt Vonnegut's... well, several books, but mostly Slaughterhouse-Five and Cat's Cradle I guess. I like Terry Pratchett (who doesn't?) and I'm pretty sure he keeps getting better and better. Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness is one of the only books I've studied that didn't make me want to tear my eyes out (I read Catch-22 before I was required to, Great Expectations would have been a whole lot better if I weren't trying to analyze it, and I wouldn't call Fahrenheit 451 terrible), and in retrospect it was pretty great overall. Also, Ender's Game. I am pretty sure I do not need to explain that one.

Re: poetry: the only books I actually own are T. S. Eliot's Waste Land and Other Poems, the complete works of William Carlos Williams, and a smattering of Bukowski. The Last Night of the Earth Poems is my favorite and I highly recommend "we ain't got no money, honey, but we got rain" to anyone who wants to see what the man's all about.

That is all I guess?
« Last Edit: 28 Jul 2008, 23:25 by imagist42 »
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #12 on: 29 Jul 2008, 12:02 »

Spring Snow
On The Road
Treasure Island
Siddhartha
The Dark Tower series
The Sickness Unto Death
Code Complete
The Pragmatic Programmer
The Mythical Man Month
The Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs
The C++ Programming Language


Ok, so not everyone will be interested in the last 5....
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #13 on: 29 Jul 2008, 12:33 »

A Stitch in Time by Andrew J. Robinson
I honestly don't know why this is my favourite book.  I think the story is so engaging, everytime I pick it up, I have trouble putting it down.  It has everything you want in a book: love, betrayal, spy stuff, murder.  It is not your typical book, it is both very linear, and not linear at the same time.  The book's story is set in three different periods in the life of a man which you visit in every chapter, but there is a common theme to each chapter.

Princess Bride by S. Morgenstern, Good Parts Edition by William Goldman
"Does it have any sports?"  "Are you kidding? Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles..."  Need I say more?
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #14 on: 29 Jul 2008, 14:18 »

Heck yes, Princess Bride! (Although, I secretly hate it just as much as I love it...)

All of my favorite books are childish...

Harry Potter Series (J.K. Rowling, obviously): Mainly because it was the first series that I actually read to completion and always wanted more of it. It really inspired me to create my own stories and make friends who shared similar interests to my own. Plus it opened my eyes to a whole heck of a lot of different things, that I won't go into... I also find something new hidden in them, every time I read them --whether it's a one-liner I never noticed before that makes me laugh, or some kind of a clue as to what was coming.

Rats Saw God (Dave Thomas, not the singer)
: I have read this book about six times, but I do not own it. It's kind of hard to explain why I love this book, when I didn't much care for any of his other works (except for Slave Day which was pretty good). I guess I liked the way the story was told --going back to the past in Texas but also getting to see how the story from the past was affecting the way he was dealing in the present. It was just a really good story.

The Broken H (part of J.L. Langley's Cowboy series, but this is gay so you probably don't want to read it): I love this book because, 1. I think Native American Guys are Hot. 2. I think sheriffs can be pretty hot. 3. Cowboys are hot. 4. She writes in a witty, catchy tone that mimics what I try to achieve. I get totally wrapped up in her books every time I read them (about four times, and I haven't even had them for a year). I always find something different in them (plus, it's fun to fix all of the typos... Loose ID is an ebook publisher that only prints a select few paperbacks, a couple of times a year...and I guess they don't have a very good editorial department. It's great fun)

The Stephanie Plum Series (Janet Evanovich): What is there not to love about Stephanie Plum? There are 14 books out now (I haven't started the newest yet, it just came out, it's sitting on my floor waiting to be read). She started to go a little down hill around #10, but my Mom assured me that 14 has made up for sucky 11, 12, and 13. It's funny, has cute guys (for the ladies), lots of explosions (for the guys), and is filled with mystery and intrigue (for everyone!). And if you don't love Grandma Mauzer, you are dead inside. Seriously.

Wow, I have just realized that all of the other books that I actually like on my shelf right now are Yaoi mangas... I need a better hobby. (And besides those listed above, I have...13 novels in my room... I think I need to get more of my books from home).
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ashashash

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #15 on: 29 Jul 2008, 18:30 »

Actually, American Gods is my least favorite Gaiman novel, too.  Granted, I haven't read it in a few years (and I've actually been meaning to reread it) but ... yeah.  Something about it just didn't click that well with me, I guess.  (For what it's worth, it definitely wasn't the length.)

Anyway, my favorites are:

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski - it's really hard to describe this novel.  it's terrifying, but brilliant at the same time; I definitely understand why some people don't like it (it's formally all over the place) but I think it's pretty awesome.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde - this is some of the most beautiful prose I've ever read.

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain - I like this book a lot more than The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.  Actually, the only part I'm not a huge fan of is the part where Tom Sawyer comes in - he's kind of an asshole.  Huck Finn is awesome, though.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller - this is probably the funniest novel I've ever read.  Yossarian is a fantastic protagonist.

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman - well, I like the basic idea behind this (Average Guy goes on Fantastic Adventures) and the ending is pretty much perfect.

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka - I guess this isn't technically a book; it's only about sixty pages long.  But it's really amazing if you like surrealism at all.  And the opening line is priceless: "One morning, upon awakening from agitated dreams, Gregor Samsa found himself, in his bed, transformed into a monstrous vermin."

And if you like zombies, go for The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z by Max Brooks.
« Last Edit: 29 Jul 2008, 18:32 by ashashash »
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #16 on: 29 Jul 2008, 23:58 »

Don DeLillo - Underworld. It may be true (as some critics have said) that the best piece of writing is at the very start of this huge book (the Prologue - The Triumph of Death) but that's because it's so perfect nothing that follows could match up. The triumph of the Giants in the 1951 world series final stands as a perfect day, a beautiful moment that stands as the calm before the storm, as DeLillo offers his concerns over technology, waste, an "us and them" mentality, breakdown of the family dynamic etc. But even without this kind of stuff, the fact that it kept me lost in its world for the long time it took me to finish it means it's probably my favourite novel.

Ken Kesey - One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest - The novel is somehow, impossibly better than the film.

Short stories: Donald Barthelme - Me and Miss Mandible.
Vladamir Nabokov - Sounds
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ashashash

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #17 on: 30 Jul 2008, 00:16 »

From what I've heard, the movie for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest sounds truly horrific.  But the novel is amazing.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #18 on: 30 Jul 2008, 00:17 »

the movie was VERY good! It was not shot from the perspective of the Chief, but still very, very good.
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jessco

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #19 on: 30 Jul 2008, 05:09 »

Newer Awesomes:

Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim ~ David Sedaris
- I have yet to read Naked, but I have started on Me Talk Pretty One Day.  However, this book really does a great job of rocking out Sedaris's family and the final essay is amazing.

The Witching Hour ~ Anne Rice
-I liked this more than her vampire books.  Shhh don't tell anyone.

The Historian ~ Elizabeth Kostova
-Smart man's Da Vinci Code.  Seriously, the Da Vinci Code is the worst book of all time. 

Game of Thrones ~ George R.R. Martin
-Good fantasy nerd read.

Life of Pi ~ Yann Martel
-Jesus, Mary, Mohammed and Vishnu! 

Running with Scissors ~ Augusten Burroughs
- I didn't want to buy in on the hype, but I picked it up and finished it in one freaking day. 

Old Awesomes:
Princess Bride  (Saw someone mentioned this earlier- GOOD CALL!)
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Thornbirds
Les Miserables
Scarlet Pimpernel
Harry Potter- Prisoner of Azkaban
Jonathan Livingston Seagull

It's seriously too early for me to come up with more/better reads.  This is just some of the more recent things I have recently read... recently.

Oh yeah, and the Da Vinci Code is still the worst book of all time.

« Last Edit: 30 Jul 2008, 05:12 by jessco »
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #20 on: 30 Jul 2008, 05:14 »

The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien  (my favourite book)
All Quiet on the Western Front - Erich Maria Remarque
The Steel Bonnets - George MacDonald Fraser
Flashman (the series) - George MacDonald Fraser
Gaunt's Ghosts (the series) - Dan Abnett

I like the harry Potter series as well, but they aren't favs.
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thehollow

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #21 on: 30 Jul 2008, 12:43 »


Best $20.00 I've ever spent on a book, seriously.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #22 on: 30 Jul 2008, 12:59 »

I've been wanting that book! What was it like?
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #23 on: 30 Jul 2008, 18:35 »

Quote
Life of Pi ~ Yann Martel
-Jesus, Mary, Mohammed and Vishnu! 

Second to the nth.  That book is simply wonderful.  You want to believe the story he tells.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #24 on: 30 Jul 2008, 21:38 »

All Quiet on the Western Front - Erich Maria Remar

Man, I had to read this for a WWII unit in history class back in high school...
I loved it.I even named one of my cat's at the time Tjaden. I wanted to name one Katzwitzke (or however the heck you spell it), but my sister wouldn't let me (instead she was named Willow, after the Buffy character --go figure).
It was even better because my teacher had to keep telling us that we coudn't try and BS him by watching the movie instead, because some guys had tried to do it a few years before, so in their essay test one of the questions asks about a dramatic moment for the main character (or something like that) and they're all talking about some scene with a bird (never seen the movie, just going on what Stutz said), and the scene isn't anywhere in the book. They just buuuusted. It was one of his good stories --not best, but good (and the man has a ton of 'em).
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #25 on: 30 Jul 2008, 22:02 »

*The Stranger - Albert Camus
I found myself relating way more than i would have expected to this book. But i do not desire to spoil it. So no teaser!

*A brief history of time: From big bang to black holes - Stephen Hawking
Really awesome book, wrote by a pure genius. But yeah, this is not your usual kind of novel. Quoting from wikipedia:
Quote
A Brief History of Time attempts to explain a range of subjects in cosmology, including the Big Bang, black holes, light cones and superstring theory, to the nonspecialist reader. Its main goal is to give an overview of the subject but, unusual for a popular science book, it also attempts to explain some complex mathematics.

*The Silver Key- Howard Phillips Lovecraft
Yeah, i'm a Lovecraft fan. But this one in particular is just awesome. Words, however, cannot describe it.
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elcapitan

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #26 on: 31 Jul 2008, 02:55 »

I love Gaiman but I couldn't get through American Gods... just didn't do it for me.

I think I can see that.

I love Gaiman and think American Gods is nothing short of archetypal for him.

From context, I think you're using "archetypal" incorrectly. I love American Gods, but I far prefer The Sandman, which is up there with my favourite works of literature (yes, literature) of all time.


*A brief history of time: From big bang to black holes - Stephen Hawking
Really awesome book, wrote by a pure genius. But yeah, this is not your usual kind of novel.

It's not a novel, you twit. Also, it should be "written by a pure genius". Maybe stick to Dan Brown and other lowest-common-denominator stuff.

Also, they say that A Brief History Of Time is one of the most bought-but-unread books in publishing history. Are you sure you read it? Or are you just dropping names to sound smart?

Quote from: blankfile
*The Silver Key- Howard Phillips Lovecraft
Yeah, i'm a Lovecraft fan. But this one in particular is just awesome. Words, however, cannot describe it.

Try these: not nearly as good as The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, At The Mountains Of Madness, or a solid third of Lovecraft's later work. It is short, though! Maybe that's why you found it appealing.

I'm currently re-reading Gravity's Rainbow, by Thomas Pynchon, which is basically my all-time favourite book. (Some bunch of talentless musicians released a song recently by the same name, that has no connection to the book whatsoever.) Reading it is like removing your brain, turning it inside-out, rubbing it vigorously with a soft leather whip, and reinserting it through your nose (but in a good way). It's difficult in the extreme to get started, but once you get through the first fifty-odd pages, it suddenly becomes simple and natural - I think maybe it takes that long to forget the concepts of a cohesive narrative and plot and simply enjoy the ride.
« Last Edit: 31 Jul 2008, 02:57 by elcapitan »
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #27 on: 31 Jul 2008, 04:06 »

The silmarillion- It's just so fun, like reading an elvish bible near the start. The stories in it are pretty damn epic.

A fire upon the deep by Vernor Vinge- I haven't read much Sci-fi, but the whole concept of the 'zones of thought' was really interesting. Also the dog creatures were awesome.

I can't think of many, but I've enjoyed all of the Discworld series. More specifically, I enjoyed everything from equal rites to the fifth elephant more than the ones outside of this time period (but I still enjoyed  the rest a great deal). When I was younger, I loved the edge chronicles and the harry potter books.
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jessco

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #28 on: 31 Jul 2008, 04:15 »

Quote
Life of Pi ~ Yann Martel
-Jesus, Mary, Mohammed and Vishnu! 

Second to the nth.  That book is simply wonderful.  You want to believe the story he tells.

When I was going to Chapel Hill, the summer book reading program was getting hell for making everyone read the Koran two years prior.  Because of that, the communications program came up with an idea of how they might figure out a book that wouldn't piss too many people off for the next year. 

Their idea- take the Freshman minions in Comm 9 and make them pick a book to give a presentation on for their Final Exam.

Our group chose this book, and it actually was 2nd on the list for consideration the next year.

We lost to a book about Iraqi soldiers.

Guess that was the safest thing they could come up with at the time.  But damned if we didn't try.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #29 on: 31 Jul 2008, 07:28 »

Quote from: elcapitan
It's not a novel, you twit. Also, it should be "written by a pure genius". Maybe stick to Dan Brown and other lowest-common-denominator stuff.

Also, they say that A Brief History Of Time is one of the most bought-but-unread books in publishing history. Are you sure you read it? Or are you just dropping names to sound smart?

Quote from: blankfile
*The Silver Key- Howard Phillips Lovecraft
Yeah, i'm a Lovecraft fan. But this one in particular is just awesome. Words, however, cannot describe it.

Try these: not nearly as good as The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, At The Mountains Of Madness, or a solid third of Lovecraft's later work. It is short, though! Maybe that's why you found it appealing.

I...I'm having a bit of a moment, here. This must be the most unqualified, unwarranted, most flagrant piece of assholery I have yet seen on this forum. It has the name-calling, the grammar nazism (especially baffling in an environment in which many speakers may be using a second language), the asshole statistic-throwing (the "asshole" statistic so called because it is used almost exclusively as a means by which assholes aspire to become more accomplished-looking assholes), the demeaning and unfounded implication of false intent - all this with a tone just reeking of elitism. It hits just about all the required bases; really, it's so perfect that I would suspect some sort of tomfoolery if it did not ring quite so pathetically sincere. Egad, it's good to have an example every now and then of what exactly I'm missing by only hanging about such normally well-mannered boards.

OK, now I can go to bed, with that out of my system.
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blankfile

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #30 on: 31 Jul 2008, 08:01 »

I love Gaiman but I couldn't get through American Gods... just didn't do it for me.

I think I can see that.

I love Gaiman and think American Gods is nothing short of archetypal for him.

From context, I think you're using "archetypal" incorrectly. I love American Gods, but I far prefer The Sandman, which is up there with my favourite works of literature (yes, literature) of all time.


*A brief history of time: From big bang to black holes - Stephen Hawking
Really awesome book, wrote by a pure genius. But yeah, this is not your usual kind of novel.

It's not a novel, you twit. Also, it should be "written by a pure genius". Maybe stick to Dan Brown and other lowest-common-denominator stuff.

Also, they say that A Brief History Of Time is one of the most bought-but-unread books in publishing history. Are you sure you read it? Or are you just dropping names to sound smart?

Quote from: blankfile
*The Silver Key- Howard Phillips Lovecraft
Yeah, i'm a Lovecraft fan. But this one in particular is just awesome. Words, however, cannot describe it.

Try these: not nearly as good as The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, At The Mountains Of Madness, or a solid third of Lovecraft's later work. It is short, though! Maybe that's why you found it appealing.

I'm currently re-reading Gravity's Rainbow, by Thomas Pynchon, which is basically my all-time favourite book. (Some bunch of talentless musicians released a song recently by the same name, that has no connection to the book whatsoever.) Reading it is like removing your brain, turning it inside-out, rubbing it vigorously with a soft leather whip, and reinserting it through your nose (but in a good way). It's difficult in the extreme to get started, but once you get through the first fifty-odd pages, it suddenly becomes simple and natural - I think maybe it takes that long to forget the concepts of a cohesive narrative and plot and simply enjoy the ride.

Wow, just wow. Did you get your daily dose of flames? I hope it did make you happy, for I will not even bother answering or justifying myself to this kind of behavior.

Have a good day.
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imagist42

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #31 on: 31 Jul 2008, 08:47 »

I think there must be some sort of irony in him questioning whether you read A Brief History of Time and then claiming his favorite book is Gravity's Rainbow. It's not possible to actually read that book, is it?

(Please note the lightly flavored sarcasm, as it is definitely possible to read and enjoy both of these.)
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tomselleck69

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #32 on: 31 Jul 2008, 09:03 »

Clearly, in the spirit of making the thread more interesting, elcapitan applied a substitution cipher to a humble list of favorite books (mostly Michael Crichton novels) and posted the results. That it took the form of the worst thing ever written was just pure chance.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #33 on: 31 Jul 2008, 23:19 »

Anything by Haruki Murakami

Anything by Charles Dickens

A Clockwork Orange

On the Road

Raise High the Roofbeam, Carpenters

Sons and Lovers

The Lord of the Rings

The Count of Monte Cristo

Winnie the Pooh
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #34 on: 01 Aug 2008, 04:21 »

Ha, for a second as I was browsing I thought you were going to say "The Tao of Pooh". 

And then you would have been one of THOSE people.

You know, the kind that read Siddhartha 5 times to find the true meaning.

Those people make me itchy.
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elcapitan

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #35 on: 01 Aug 2008, 05:21 »

I think there must be some sort of irony in him questioning whether you read A Brief History of Time and then claiming his favorite book is Gravity's Rainbow. It's not possible to actually read that book, is it?

(Please note the lightly flavored sarcasm, as it is definitely possible to read and enjoy both of these.)

You'd almost think I randomly jumped on the board after about a year and a half off, and started trolling for noobs! Surely not.

All asshattery aside, I have indeed read both Gravity's Rainbow and ABHOT, two and three times respectively. They're both fantastic books. I wasn't lying when I said that GR was my favourite book ever, it really is incredible. It's difficult, but absolutely worth the effort.

And as for Michael Crichton books, I quite enjoyed Jurassic Park. So?

This must be the most unqualified, unwarranted, most flagrant piece of assholery I have yet seen on this forum... It hits just about all the required bases; really, it's so perfect that I would suspect some sort of tomfoolery if it did not ring quite so pathetically sincere. Egad, it's good to have an example every now and then of what exactly I'm missing by only hanging about such normally well-mannered boards.

Man, you should have been here back in the glory days. Only you weren't.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #36 on: 01 Aug 2008, 05:29 »

Most Michael Crichton books are really overwritten pieces of fluff, but I'll admit to having enjoyed Jurassic Park and Eaters of the Dead.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #37 on: 01 Aug 2008, 06:03 »

Wow, just wow. Did you get your daily dose of flames? I hope it did make you happy, for I will not even bother answering or justifying myself to this kind of behavior.

Have a good day.

You... you do know that this was, in fact, answering him, yes?

As for favorite books: I love To Kill a Mockingbird. I just recently read Fahrenheit 451 for the first time and I loved that too. I've been slowly working my way through a mess of Faulkner, and absolutely love The Sound and the Fury.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #38 on: 01 Aug 2008, 06:11 »

Hey, did I mention You Can't Go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe? I think I forgot!

I love You Can't Go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe. Who is not, at any moment, to be confused with Tom Wolfe. 700 pages or so without a plot to speak of, and absolutely gripping.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #39 on: 01 Aug 2008, 06:34 »

People who've read the Life of Pi should also maybe have a read of some Salman Rushdie; the styles are similar in some respects and they both employ elements of magical-realism. Likewise, the already-mentioned Haruki Murakami has some magic-real elements, although a lot of his books are more... textural? Is that the right word?... than Rushdie or Martell.

And the logical next step from Haruki Murakami is, obviously, David Mitchell, whose first couple of books were pretty much cover versions of Murakami. All human beings should read Cloud Atlas, which is a stunning, genre-defying, post-structural journey through time and place and people, telling six entirely distinct stories bound together in unlikely ways.

Also, Umberto Eco can pretty much do no wrong if you're willing to take the time to work through his often dense prose (the "Adso admires a door" chapter from Name of the Rose turns a lot of people off). His books are never quite what they appear to be on the surface and are always wonderfully researched, gloriously written and full of fascinating detail and wonderful imagination.

Similarly, everyone should read "Fictions" by Jorge Luis Borges - okay, it's not a novel, it's a collection of short stories and "fictional" works, but the man can cram more original ideas into a 2 page short story than most novelists can into 600 and teach you about philosophy, society, language and humanity all at the same time.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #40 on: 01 Aug 2008, 13:01 »

I'm surprised nobody's mentioned Lord of the Flies yet, I love that book.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #41 on: 02 Aug 2008, 00:28 »

I recently read "V" by Thomas Pynchon, which was brilliantly funny and I thought very accessible. Sure, there were many weird sentences and references, by it was all done in an effortless style, and the strange yet relatable characters kept me completely lost in it. Nothing cooler than the girl DL, who performs the Vibrating Palm kung-fu move in a Japanese whorehouse on a man who will become her partner. Also, her invisibility move involves waving her hands in front of a security guard so he becomes distracted.  :-)

It does condemn a tyrannical government (in a way) but it also simultaneously criticizes the "hippie"-protest movement for being too stoned out of its mind to achieve any real change. Maybe it was all idealism, with no substance. But, Pynchon also depicts government facilities where protesters are deconstructed, so he may be a bit paranoid.

All i know is it was WAY less dense than I thought it would be.
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elcapitan

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #42 on: 02 Aug 2008, 21:33 »

Interesting! I enjoyed V, but I found it harder to read than Gravity's Rainbow. There's the same fragmentation of ideas and plotlines but without the overarching (pun intended) thematic quality of GR. I read it after GR, and I was surprised when stacks of the same characters turned up.

What did you think of The Crying Of Lot 49?

Also, I have a copy of Against The Day up on my shelf, but haven't read it yet. Has anyone here?
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #43 on: 02 Aug 2008, 22:26 »

Most of the stuff I read at College could make this list.  But it's kind of heavy on the philosophy and light on literature, so I'll just mention:

The Iliad-I've read a lot of of philosophy, but I still prefer the last book of the Iliad to damn near all of it.

Fear and Trembling by Soren Kierkegaard-Sure, it's religious, but Soren Kierkegaard/Johannes de Silientio is a beautiful writer and storyteller.  When you've read Kant, you come to appreciate that all the more.

The Surgeon's Mate by Patrick O'Brian-The best of the Aubrey-Maturin series that I've read, and I'm on like book 19.  Sure, Paul Bellamy was cute and all in the movie, but O'Brian's Maturin blows him out of the water as a rather dark and complex hero.  Rather than a brilliant surgeon and enthusiastic man of science Maturin is also a spy, disillusioned revolutionary, man of reason/devout catholic and long-frustrated lover of a rather infamous woman.  And he's at his best in this book.  Much of this novel is like a regency James Bond.  Only without the camp.

Philosophical Investigations by Ludwig Wittgenstein--I studied this intensely for around two months for a class, and it hit me like a ton of bricks.

Middlemarch by George Eliot---I didn't know that there were English novels to match the Russians, having fallen in with Dostoevsky young and being disappointed by some American 'classics', until I read this.

Fifth Business by Robertson Davies---Canadian Magical Realism at it's finest?  I'm reading the seconds installment of the trilogy, and it is SO good.

Go Down Moses by William Faulkner---Maybe it's because I'm a southerner, but I love this book.

Ordinary Men by Robert Browning---Why did Germans do what they did from '39-'45?  The answer is terrifyingly familiar.





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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #44 on: 07 Aug 2008, 00:44 »

Interesting! I enjoyed V, but I found it harder to read than Gravity's Rainbow. There's the same fragmentation of ideas and plotlines but without the overarching (pun intended) thematic quality of GR. I read it after GR, and I was surprised when stacks of the same characters turned up.

What did you think of The Crying Of Lot 49?

Also, I have a copy of Against The Day up on my shelf, but haven't read it yet. Has anyone here?

I'm going to jump in here--I think Lot 49 is the weakest of Pynchon's work. Having said that, it's still a fantastic book. Certainly nowhere near the quality of Gravity's Rainbow, V, Against the Day, or Vineland, but good nonetheless.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #45 on: 07 Aug 2008, 16:06 »

Hrmm...

I'll second the Odd Thomas mention (if it wasn't already, then third me, fourth, whatever).  Although I think the third and fourth installments in the series are, as a whole, weaker than the first two, I still thoroughly enjoyed them all.
Also, Dean Koontz has another series, the Christopher Snow trilogy (as it stands, only 2 of the 3 have been written).

I feel I have to mention my personal favorite novel by Dean Koontz:  Dragon Tears.  I really cannot explain why it is my favorite, but it is.

I enjoy most of DKs books, especially the times (such as in Dragon Tears), he has chapters from the first person perspective of a dog.  He writes them especially well.  Also, despite his reputation, many of his books are NOT heavily supernatural, and at least attempt logical/rational explanations for certain things / events.

-----------------

If you would prefer a more humorous author, I cannot begin to recommend Christopher Moore enough.  Although I personally think the quality of his humor has waned since writing "Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's childhood Pal", they are still some of the funniest, most offbeat humor I have found currently.
It isn't necessary to read them in any given order, however many books contain very slight in jokes or references to previous events, and certain characters do make appearances in later novels.  The exception being "You Suck: A Love Story" is a direct sequel to "Bloodsucking Fiends"

His books "Lamb: The Gospel...." and "Island of the Sequined Love Nun" are probably my favorites of his.


---------------

I would recommend LOTR or Hitchhikers, but is that really necessary at this point?  Although I will say the Dirk Gentley books by Douglas Adams are hilarious and should be read by all.

--------------

Lastly, if graphic novels are your thing, I just finished reading "The Nikopol Trilogy" by Enki Bilal, and found it to be quite amazing.  (Also the source of Chess-Boxing). 
And I just started reading The Watchmen, and I am finding it intriguing.

Sandman, Sin City, etc etc etc.  All the good ones that everyone will recommend, etc.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #46 on: 07 Aug 2008, 16:24 »

"attempts to recomend something not yet done here while only scannign the thread above"

the abarat quintet by clive barker - only the first two novels are currently printed if you can get the orignal hard cover releases with pictures all the better for you

jonathan strange and mr norell by Susanna Clarke - even neil gaiman recomends this and it's a similar style or writing jsut expect to be in for a long haul

dune (and sequels) by frank herbert - i'm currently halfway through heretics of dune (the 5th book) and i must say it's an excellent series although at times it can get a bit heady

notes from a big country by bill bryson - this is a collection of columns he wrote while he was in america v. good

...then i re-recomend sandman because it is the greatest thing i have ever read
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #47 on: 07 Aug 2008, 17:56 »

A simple ctrl+f would have revealed half of your list has been mentioned. Not Robert Boyle had Dune in his list, and I already gushed about Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. Plus, this is a favorite books thread, not a recommendations thread (that's something else entirely). But I've completely forgotten how silly your post was slack simply because, well, you recommended Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #48 on: 07 Aug 2008, 18:46 »

I'm going to second the discworld recommendation, though I will admit I didn't care so much for The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic, I finished them, but I haven't re-read them like I have some of the others. I personally prefer the Night Watch books, especially the character of Vimes. I think because of the similar attitude, I really liked Monstrous regiment. I don't much care for the Rincewind books, I just don't find them as funny as the others, they are still good, but they pale in comparison to the better ones.

I like Neil Gaiman's writing as well, I own American Gods, Good Omens, Neverwhere, and maybe Anansi Boys (can't remember). I want to get the sandman TPBs, but that probably won't happen for a while.

Tamora Pierce's books are pretty much all good, they are aimed at young teens, but they are solidly written. Don't remember one that I haven't liked, out of all the Tortall books and the Circle of Magic series (plural).
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #49 on: 07 Aug 2008, 18:48 »

The once and Future King by T.H. White - I personally love Arthurian legend and I enjoy how the individual books (there are 4 in the same book, because they were written at different times) are written. It starts out light and humorous with Sword in the Stone (I loved how Merlin was living backwards) and then the books start to get darker. It's a really good book.

Forever by Pete Hamill - It's kind of fantasy meets the history of New York. It's a really interesting story and well written, if a little hard to describe the plot.

All the books I've read by Jane Austen are favorites, too: Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Mansfield Park are all amazing.

Something Wicked This Way Comes is my favorite Bradbury book of all time. I love him as a writer in general. Fahrenheight 451, "The Veldt," and "The Scythe" are amazing as well.

Also, Edgar Allen Poe's short stories and some of his poems will always be my favorites as well.

As to Neil Gaiman, I've only read Stardust, Anansi Boys, and some of the graphic novels he's written, but I agree with everyone else - he's pretty awesome.
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