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Author Topic: Favorite books  (Read 47383 times)

Joseph

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #100 on: 13 Nov 2008, 21:01 »

As for Gun, With Occasional Music, a gun toting mafia kangaroo and a kitten whose brain has been bioengineered...really?
Have you read the man in the high castle by Philip K Dick if so I would be interested in finding out what you thought about it.

I certainly wouldn't call "Gun, With Occasional Music" an excellent book.  It was a fun read, with parts that were quite engaging and imaginitive, which in my mind made it quite prefererable to "1984", which I can't help but find bland and obvious.

I haven't yet read "The Man in the High Castle", but I do have a copy of it on my bookshelf.  I've loved what Philip K. Dick I have read, and have been really excited to read this one, but I've just had lots else to read in the meantime.  I'll post impressions when I have gotten to it.

Tell me, have you read any Muriel Spark?

I adore Muriel Spark.  Without a doubt she is in the running for being my favourite author.  Need to get to bed, so I'll paste my thoughts from another forum:

Quote
Her novels are short, and verge on perfection, if they don't achieve it. She seems to do novels differently than any other author I can think to mention. She tells the reader so many things about the plot and characters, rather than letting actions do it. Her plots skip around, I can't recall a fully linear one. Early in the novel she'll basically give away the ending. But it works. The books are masterpieces, hilarious and pitiless. She's never afraid to be cruel to her characters, there doesn't seem to be an ounce of sentimentality in her books.

My favourite is 'The Public Image'.

Or maybe it's 'The Girls of Slender Means'. Or 'The Prime of Miss Jean Brody'. Or 'The Bachelors'. Or 'The Finishing School'. Impossible to decide.
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the_pied_piper

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #101 on: 17 Nov 2008, 16:08 »

Has anyone read any Cormac McCarthy? I read No Country For Old Men a couple of months ago after seeing the film (which i thought was a great piece of cinema) and am half way through the border trilogy, currently reading 'The Crossing' for any fans out there.

I really enjoy his fast-paced writing, the way you never know what will happen next and the way it is difficult to read the books quickly despite them being relatively short (350ish pages paperback). The storylines are so tense and involving that after reading a chapter you have to stop and think about how much has just happened before moving on.
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CamusCanDo

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #102 on: 17 Nov 2008, 17:45 »

I finished listening to the audio book of The Road and have been listening to The Blood Meridian all day while trying to sort out 300+ books alphabetically.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #103 on: 17 Nov 2008, 21:06 »

I gave a bunch of Cormac McCarthy books the ol' first-page test a while back and really couldn't stand the writing. Too much Style (with a capital letter, like Acting as opposed to acting, if you see what I mean).
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tomselleck69

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #104 on: 17 Nov 2008, 22:49 »

I've read Blood Meridian, The Road, All the Pretty Horses, The Crossing, Cities of the Plain and No Country for Old Men.

I'm more like "Wow this dude's got STYLE"

Also substance
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #105 on: 18 Nov 2008, 04:15 »

Soon people will be writing my  name up here!
Just need to find a publisher
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the_pied_piper

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #106 on: 18 Nov 2008, 04:51 »

I've read Blood Meridian, The Road, All the Pretty Horses, The Crossing, Cities of the Plain and No Country for Old Men.

I'm more like "Wow this dude's got STYLE"

Also substance

I completely agree with that. Style with a capital 'S', though i think it may need to be written Substance also. :-)
« Last Edit: 18 Nov 2008, 04:53 by the_pied_piper »
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Usopp

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #107 on: 23 Nov 2008, 14:58 »

I'd have to say...

Jane Eyre
The Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde(yes, two "effs")
The Song of Ice and Fire series
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
Anything and everything by Terry Pratchett
The Count of Monte-Cristo
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Cyanin

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #108 on: 26 Nov 2008, 12:32 »

big reader, difficult to narrow stuff down...
      would probably go with:
                    1984 (cliche much?  :laugh:) really weird ideas in there if you try to imagine living in that kind of society
                    The Catcher in the Rye (surprise surprise)
                    Red Dragon
                    Northern Lights (The Golden Compass if you're in America)
                    The Zombie Survival Guide (a damn entertaining book, 'get you reading it as a joke, but by page 50 you're out buying a machete just to be safe')  :laugh:
                                   
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instrumentals

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #109 on: 06 Jan 2009, 18:56 »

Pretty sure I have the most rag-tag list of anyone here:

The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Milan Kundera
- Can't sell this one enough! Beautiful and enlightening and stimulating in every way possible.

This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen - Tadeusz Borowski
- Devastating account of one man's life in a concentration camp. Firsthand. A collection of short stories.

A Short History of Nearly Everything - Bill Bryson
- Way too cool and will make you infinitely smarter (also humbled). Extremely readable.

Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood
- Just the perfect story, a dystopic vision of the future you can basically taste today. Very prescient. Very engaging.

Hocus Pocus - Kurt Vonnegut
- Best Vonnegut!!

Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas - Tom Robbins
- Best Tom Robbins!

A Short History of Progress - Ronald Wright
- Gain a lot of evidence of humanity's epic fail: use said evidence in almost every conversation. Totally worthwhile, even with the depressing.

Small Gods - Terry Pratchett
- Best Pratchett! Probably the closest I've felt to fondness for religion.
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Joseph

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #110 on: 09 Jan 2009, 15:16 »

Pretty sure I have the most rag-tag list of anyone here:

Pretty uncertain as to what you mean by this.  I don't notice anything rag-tag about it.
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Wyr

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #111 on: 22 Jan 2009, 01:44 »

I dont care if its been mentioned, it needs to be -forced- upon everyone. If you haven't read the entire five books of the ultimate trilogy, The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, then you do not deserve eyes.

And anyone who said Princess Bride needs to die. Slightly less painfully then the lying slumbich who wrote it. Editor indeed. Daring to trod across my fragile hopes with false rumours of a sequel. You lie! Lie!

Um, I've also recently enjoyed the harry dresden series.

Many of the classics are always good to make sure you've read.

Also, my second favorite book of all time, To Reign in Hell by steven brust.

The Stainless Steel Rat series, though the later books kinda trailed off as far as literary genius goes.

And surprisingly enough Piers Anthony made some books that i'd feel remiss for not shoving in people's faces. His political adult books, Bio of a Space Tyrant, and his religious books Incarnations of Immortality, especially the last two of that series.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #112 on: 24 Jan 2009, 12:38 »

 :-D :-D :-D WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE  :-D :-D :-D
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Lepre

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #113 on: 24 Jan 2009, 14:47 »

Well, I skimmed so if I repeat something I'm terribly sorry.

Descent Into Hell -- Charles Williams

A story of three characters and the interactions of their own personal narratives with each other, the community, and the spiritual world. One is a young acctress who's grandmother is dying, another is renowned military historian who's slowly rejecting the world and falling in love with his own fantasies, and the last is a dead man who died 400 years ago trying to decide between heaven and hell. Throughout it all there's the poet, Peter Stanhope, and his play that pulls the characters together.

It's odd, dense, and wonderful. Williams is able to do something extremely rare: portray good as good and evil as evil. He also shows the spiritual world as not above the world, but rather intermingled with it.

L'Morte D'arthur -- Thomas Malory

I don't think I really need to explain this one. King Arthur and the knights of the round table! Chivalry and honor, love and betrayal, drama and everything you could possibly want. Bigger than life, but still nice and real.

The Prelude -- William Wordsworth

Oh come on, he's Wordsworth! He's fun and full of life and energy--reading the Prelude makes you want to live the Prelude. His adventures are so real and so relateable and, on top of that, he presents good ideas too. Lewis said that once you read the philosophers you didn't bother with philosophical poets, except for Wordsworth. He's right.
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Uber Ritter

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #114 on: 25 Jan 2009, 18:27 »

God I love Descent into Hell.

Williams was close friends with Tolkien and CS Lewis, and is often grouped with them due to shared religious convictions and an interest in the mythic, but he's a lot weirder than either of the others.  In a continuum of fantastic literature, with Tolkien and High Fantasy on one end of the spectrum and Borges and other magical realists on the other, he's definitely closer to Borges.
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Zingoleb

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #115 on: 26 Jan 2009, 02:53 »

Don't EVER read the Zombie Survival Guide. I mean it.

Me and all my friends did and now we gauge each other's houses on how well they would stack up against zombie attacks. I still do (and have a plan for what would happen if zombies attacked RIGHT NOW)...

*cough* The book was damn amazing. Anyways.

The Legacy of John   Lennon by David A. Noebel

This guy isn't so much a Lennon fan as a crazy right-winger that starts bashing all of rock and roll and says how it will make you homosexual. It is so blatantly wrong it's hilarious, especially since the guy's 100% serious.

Inside Out by Nick Mason

This is a coffee table book, but a damned good one. Full colour pictures and an inside view to Pink Floyd, based on the drummer's experiences.

If you EVER get your hands on any Tom House, get it! He's an amazing writer that for about a year I carried his book (The World According to Whiskey) with me and read it repeatedly.

Also, the Left Behind series by LaHaye and Jenkins. I read them as fiction, seeing as they're based on Revelation in the Bible, but they're incredibly engrossing novels.
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Dimmukane

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #116 on: 26 Jan 2009, 08:57 »

Quote from: Zingoleb
Zombie Survival Guide
This book was not that good.  I'm not calling you out on it, I just think it's become kind of an overused trope that will shortly be available in T-shirt form at Hot Topic.  Like how Boondocks Saints stuff started appearing 6 years after it came out. 

Please, internets, give zombies a rest and move on to something else. 

     Raptors perhaps.
    /
 :-D
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #117 on: 26 Jan 2009, 11:05 »

The Sue Grafton alphabet series (I'm currently reading T is for Trespass)
American Gods
Good Omens
Y: The Last Man series
The Friday Night Knitting Club
A Christmas Carol
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Zingoleb

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #118 on: 26 Jan 2009, 15:05 »

Please, internets, give zombies a rest and move on to something else. 


But need irrational phobias from unlikely sources! Zombies fit that!
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dujek

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #119 on: 27 Jan 2009, 04:20 »

Fiction:

Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut
Starship Troopers - Robert Heinlein
The Gap Series - Stephen Donaldson
The Rebus Series - Ian Rankin
Malazan Book of The Fallen series - Steven Erikson
The Psalm Killer - Chris Petit
Anything at all by Colin Bateman, but especially Driving Big Davie and Divorcing Jack.

Non-fiction

Vive La Revolution - Mark Steel
Never Die Easy - Walter Payton
Ajax, Barcelona, Cruyff - Fritz Bahrend and Henk Van Dorp
Live Through This, American Rock Music in the 90s - Everett True
The Dirt - Motley Crue
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kaitco

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #120 on: 27 Jan 2009, 09:57 »

In no particular order:

Choke - Chuck Palahniuk; Because not enough people have mentioned him and he fantastically noteworthy.

Jurassic Park - Michael Crichton; While many people consider his writing as low-brow (I can only fathom some kind of literary elitism, the likes of which I witnessed time and time again when completing my degree), I loved every moment of this book. I love all of Crichton's work. I think people are simply hard-pressed to tear down his work because it is mass marketed and so many crappy movies have been made using his novels as a foundation.

The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald; When I first read this in high school, I was still in my rebellious, "Teacher, there's no way I'm going to let you tell me which writers I should and should not value" mode and never took the time to really appreciate Gatsby. It was not until college when I took a chance to revisit all the novels I had discounted in my high school ways that I understood and then loved Gatsby. It is a treasure.

Fried Green Tomatoes at Whistle Stop Cafe - Fannie Flagg; I know there is a film adaptation of this, but I refuse to see it lest I taint my love of this novel. It has a very "chick book" feel to it, but I had never cried happy tears while reading a book before this one.

The Silence of the Lambs - Thomas Harris; Again, we have a mass marketed novel that is not too difficult to read and is often snubbed by those who consider themselves among the literary elite. That still should not distract a reader from enjoying a very well-written story whose secondary characters evolve into the story's protagonists by the end of the novel.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - JK Rowling; I have read the entire series, went to midnight parties for the last three novels, went to midnight showings for Movies 2-4 and have grown past my infatuation with the entire Harry Potter "thing." That said, I still adore this book. Of the entire series, it is the only one I can simply pick up and just start reading. While Prisoner of Azkaban involves some very "cool" storytelling, only in Goblet of Fire does Rowling keep her protagonist at the forefront and keep control of the story. Order of the Phoenix seems to runaway with itself, Half-Blood Prince brought about too many drastic character changes to be able to focus on the story and Books 1, 2 and 7 were simply "okay" stories. Goblet of Fire carries a magic all on its own.

Persuasion - Jane Austen; Everyone loves Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility and Emma and whatever, but Persuasion, Austen's last novel, is beautifully brilliant. It is not as well known as her others, but really...if you have never read it, definitely take the time to do so.

The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy; It is filled with such subtle power that when you realize the novel has finished, you just want to read it all over again. Normally, I cannot stand a story without a linear chronology, but this never loses me and, by the end, it is obvious there is no other way the story could have been told.

Moth Smoke - Mohsin Hamid; I am not really sure how to describe it. Some days I think that "Descent" would have made a better title, but Hamid has this way of giving the reader just enough insight about his subsidiary characters to enable readers to simultaneously love and loathe his protagonist.

The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett; I never read this as a child, which is why I think I can appreciate it as an adult. I simply love watching little Mary grow from an emotionally abused child into a "pretty little thing" and I adore noting the differences between novel and its many adaptations; no director has ever really got it right.

Anna and the King of Siam - Margaret Landon; Yes, it displays the author's and also the main character's unwavering prejudices. Yes, its historical accuracy is up for some debate. And yes, the Thai people disregard Anna Leonowens and any impact she had on their monarchy, but this novel is still fantastic.

Death Be Not Proud - John Gunther; There is still a part of me that keeps thinking that Little Johnny is going to make it and spends a lot of time wondering how he would have shaped the world if he had held on even a little longer.

The Bible; Even if you read it as a work of literature, it is still captivating in a way that most works can never match. From manager to crucifixion, St. Luke presents a strong narration full of details that would be heavily discussed even if this did not regard the fixture of Christian faith. The Book of Job illustrates a man with steadfast devotion to his Lord; hardly any author could pull off something like this today. I could spend all day talking about specific stories or figures, but I simply lack the time. Suffice it say, The Bible is a work in its own regard.
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Lepre

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #121 on: 29 Jan 2009, 21:50 »

God I love Descent into Hell.

Williams was close friends with Tolkien and CS Lewis, and is often grouped with them due to shared religious convictions and an interest in the mythic, but he's a lot weirder than either of the others.  In a continuum of fantastic literature, with Tolkien and High Fantasy on one end of the spectrum and Borges and other magical realists on the other, he's definitely closer to Borges.

My word! I rarely encounter another fan.

Any opinion on his Arthurian Poetry?

If this is too off-topic, I highly recommend the work to anyone interested in Arthur or poetry. Both Taliessin Through Logres and the Region of the Summer Stars are masterful re-workings of the Arthurian myth. I mean, for crying out loud, the guy sets Logres in the Byzantine Empire threatened by a dark cephalopod god. It doesn't get much cooler than that. To be fair, it can be a little difficult to read at times (Lewis, his best friend and a literary genius says he didn't understand parts) but it's absolutely worth it.
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TheFuriousWombat

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #122 on: 29 Jan 2009, 22:09 »

I think I have to add Roberto Bolano's 2666 to my list. It's absolutely brilliant, a massive, sprawling, chaotic, anarchic riot of language. It's at turns beautiful, terrifying, and hilarious, raunchy, violent and bizarre. It's masterfully controlled despite the fact that it's almost palpably overflowing from the pages. Bolano slowly builds up an incredible world full of strange, deranged, miserable, lost, exiled characters, the writing often infused with a subtle dread. Ultimately though it's an amazingly profound study on the possibilities, and the necessity, of art, of writing itself. I've never finished a 900 page book and immediately felt the urge to plunge right back in again at the first page until I finished this. I can recommend it enough to be honest.
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Shadows Collide

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #123 on: 30 Jan 2009, 15:58 »

I am DYING to read that one, but I am currently going through his first one, The Savage Detectives. It's simply a joy, a flowing text full of weird, funny, imaginative anecdotes about the kind of kids I wish I knew - the passionate ones, who read, talk and fuck to their heart's content. Yet there is always a layer of melancholy over the adventure (like Kerouac's On the Road). It is told in that freewheeling style I love.

But it only sounds like a buildup to 2666, the magnum opus Belano completely just before his death. Wow. I can't wait now.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #124 on: 30 Jan 2009, 19:09 »

Perfume - Patrick Suskind

A fantastic book. There was a movie recently made based on this book, but it in no way does any kind of justice to how good this book is. It is delightfully twisted and just generally awesome.
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Tom

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #125 on: 30 Jan 2009, 23:55 »

Well, Kubrick did say it was unfilmable.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #126 on: 31 Jan 2009, 04:29 »

Night watch, Feet of Clay and Nation- Terry Prachett

They have all  basically given me my philosophy on life, God, kings and all other things. Also for proving that books can be both funny and deeply philosophical, as opposed to just dull and self important.
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Gilead

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #127 on: 31 Jan 2009, 06:20 »

Epileptic by David B. -- Totally heartbreaking autobiography of growing up with a severely epileptic older brother, in a family that flitted from cult to cult in order to find a cure for his illness and also for their own spiritual maladies. The art is amazing. The story is fragmented a bit much, but that sort of calls back to the epilepsy in a way. Highly recommended.

Seconding, thirding and fourthing this, it's one of my favourite books and graphic novels of all time. David B's art is amazing.

Other good graphic novels:
Gyo, Uzumaki No.3 and The enigma of amigawa fault by Junji Ito- All three of these books are astoundingly creepy examples of japanese horror, filled with beautiful and disturbing art and fantastic concepts that will probably leave you with nightmares, if you're in to horror at all I highly recommend you check his stuff out.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #128 on: 01 Feb 2009, 10:55 »

Night watch, Feet of Clay and Nation- Terry Prachett

They have all  basically given me my philosophy on life, God, kings and all other things. Also for proving that books can be both funny and deeply philosophical, as opposed to just dull and self important.
I haven't read nation yet, but I really like the rest of his books (not so much the rincewind stuff, though). I also appreciate his philosophy, Night Watch has some of my favorite quotes.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #129 on: 12 Feb 2009, 01:00 »

No Logo - Naomi Klein

Branding, corporate influence, 3rd world tax evasion, brilliant if you like to read Addbusters, and are interested in Corporate Poltics and their effect on the world

On the road - Jack Kerrouac

Nuff said, Quintessential beat generation classic. Inspired me to hitchhike all over canada and the USA.

Soon I'll be invinceible - Austin Grossman

Written from the prospective of the super villian. Is very well written, good sense of prose, very interesting writting style, superb narative. I look forward to reading this first time authors other books.

Climate Wars - Gwynne Dyer

How climate affects us, the failure of Kyoto, what the world will look like in 15 years, 20 years, 50 years time, if we continue doing what we're doing. AKA, if the artic continues to melt, less solar light will be reflected back into space, the more the oceans will heat up, the different weather that will be occur because of this +2 change, casscading effects, and reactions based on scientific data, and real world poltics. Very good read.

World War Z - Max Brooks

The book is written from the narative of an interviewer travelling the world, getting first hand accounts of people who were involved in the zombie wars, from the first line grunt, on tv, heavily publicised battle that ends in utter failure, to a blind person in japan, taking 1 week to scale down his appartment building, finding a samurhai sword, and living in the forrest attuned to nature, fighting zombies. I really like this book.

All Tomorows Parties - William Gibson

William Gibson, who coined "Cyberspace" I found his first 3 books too obtuse and weak in the character development, at the expense of pushing his new world. The bridge trilogy climax's with this book. There is a street hood named BoomZilla that is awesome! This book is too wicked to explain, so i'll let wiki do it for me

The first story features former rent-a-cop Berry Rydell, the protagonist of Virtual Light. Rydell quits a temporary job as a security guard at the Lucky Dragon convenience store to run errands for atrophied computer hacker Colin Laney (the protagonist of Idoru), who lives in a cardboard box in a subway in Shinjuku, Tokyo. As a child, Laney was administered an experimental, mind-altering drug called 5-SB. As a result, he has developed an ability to identify patterns within vast tracts of media information. From studying these patterns or "nodal points", Laney is able to form predictions.

A side effect of 5-SB causes the user to become attached to strong personalities. As a result, Laney has become obsessed with media baron Cody Harwood of Harwood/Levine, a powerful PR firm. He spends his life surfing the net from his enclave in the subway, searching for traces of Levine in the media. From this, Laney foresees a crucial historical shift which may precede the end of the world. He predicts Harwood, who had also taken 5-SB before (albeit voluntarily, with the knowledge of the consequences), knows this and will try to shape this historical shift to his liking. To stop Harwood, Laney hires Rydell under the guise of a courier to travel to San Francisco where the next nodal point will unfold.

The second story concerns ex-bicycle messenger Chevette Washington, also from Virtual Light, who is on the run from her ex-boyfriend. She escapes to her former home, San Francisco's bridge community, to find refuge and revisit her past. She is accompanied by Tessa, an Australian media sciences student. Tessa visits the bridge to film a documentary on "interstitial communities".

The third story follows a mysterious, left-handed swordsman named Konrad. Although Konrad is employed by Harwood, he appears to be directed by his own motives. In particular, Konrad aligns his movements with the Tao, the spontaneous, universal energy path of Taoist philosophy.

Secondary characters include Silencio, a mute boy who is fascinated with watches, holographic girl Rei Toei (the beautiful "emergent system" from Idoru) and self-described "student of existential sociology" Shinya Yamazaki (from Virtual Light and Idoru) as well as Fontaine, the pawn-shop owner and friend of Rydell and Chevette, having appeared first in Virtual Light.
« Last Edit: 12 Feb 2009, 01:10 by kozmonaut »
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #130 on: 14 Feb 2009, 13:23 »

Most of my favorites have already been mentioned in this thread.  You guys have good taste  :lol:

I do have to give another shout out to Johnny Got His Gun, though.

Also, What is the What by Dave Eggers is phenomenal.  I got much more out of it than I did from A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.
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Vendetagainst

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #131 on: 16 Feb 2009, 13:45 »

Surprised no one's mentioned The Outsiders. It's a essentially a children's book, but it is the sort of book that hits home for any reader. It's a really beautiful book in a lot of ways.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #132 on: 17 Feb 2009, 17:00 »

 A few of my favourites would be:

1) Amercian Gods : Neil Gaiman
2) Guards Guards : Terry Pratchet
3) The Hitch-Hicker's Guide to the Galaxy : Douglas Adams
4) The Dark Tower, The Gunslinger : Stephen King
5) Frankenstein : Mary Shelley
6) To Kill a Mockinbird : Harper Lee
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