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Author Topic: Favorite books  (Read 47366 times)

Jackie Blue

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #50 on: 07 Aug 2008, 18:59 »

Stardust is so perfect.

In every possible way.

The film is excellent also, but read the book first for sure.
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imagist42

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #51 on: 07 Aug 2008, 19:19 »

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.

What's funny is, these are the only two I actually own and have read. There are just so many more that beyond seeing where it all started I haven't had the time, patience or money to dig into Discworld properly.

That being said, I thought both of these were fantastic books (although he only got better with the second one) and if Pratchett outdoes himself as you claim, then by all means, everyone devour him as hungrily as possible.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #52 on: 07 Aug 2008, 19:23 »

Stardust is one of the few cases where I actually really like the differences in the book and the movie. (The other is Howl's Moving Castle.) They are both so different for being the same story, but they are both so well done it doesn't bother me.
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Jackie Blue

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #53 on: 07 Aug 2008, 20:21 »

Holy crap dude, if you think the first two Discworld books are good, for God's sake, start reading the rest of them STAT.  By the time he hits his stride (around the sixth or so) there is an uninterrupted string of dozens of novels of sheer awesome.  By the tenth book or so, the quality is literally about ten times that of the first two.
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imagist42

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #54 on: 07 Aug 2008, 22:00 »

Well, see, I have the third one (whatever it's called, the one about the girl magician or whatever? Oh, Equal Rites, that's it) but I just didn't get hooked on it like the first two so I never finished it. And since then I've been so busy with other books that the only other Pratchett I've picked up is Good Omens, and there I can hardly tell what's Pratchett and what's Gaiman (not that that's a bad thing, as the superhuman conglomerate of the two exceeds the brilliance of either one on his own). I always meant to go back and give it all another shot but I severely doubt I'll ever have time to sit through every one of them at this point, and I always get conflicting recommendations on where to dive back in or what random selections to pick up.
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Jackie Blue

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #55 on: 08 Aug 2008, 10:20 »

Good Omens, writing-wise, is far more Pratchett.  Gaiman mainly helped with the story, as his prose writing chops weren't really developed yet.

Basically around 25-30 of the Discworld books are as awesome as Good Omens, if that tells you anything.  Some are better.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #56 on: 08 Aug 2008, 16:05 »

Yeah, the writing seemed largely Pratchett, though I think the horsemen had more of Gaiman's style to them. I think Agnes Nutter's story is Pratchett through and through.

edit: Oh, the Bartimaeus books by Johnathan Stroud are pretty good, a sort of magepunk England, not sure what time period exactly, I read the last one a couple years ago. The narrator character is funny, and the story is told well.
« Last Edit: 08 Aug 2008, 16:07 by Nodaisho »
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #57 on: 08 Aug 2008, 22:06 »

Timoleon Vieta Come Home: A Sentimental Journey by Dan Rhodes is awesome in every sense of the word. It's sorta like Lassie, Come Home but much, MUCH darker. It's about this old gay British guy living in exile in Italy. His only companion for the longest time is this ugly mongrel of a dog with beautiful brown eyes, Timoleon Vieta. Circumstances cause the two to be separated, so the second half of the book is about the dog making his way home and of all the people he meets along the way.

If I could only read one book for the rest of my life, this would be the book.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #58 on: 09 Aug 2008, 01:49 »

I agree on Haruki Murakami and House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski.

I recently bought Johnathan Strange & Mr Norrell and Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell and am looking forward to reading them.

Another of my favourite books is What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt, wife of Paul Auster. Her novel is set in New York and is about love and friendship and life and lots of art. Really a great book. 
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Jackie Blue

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #59 on: 09 Aug 2008, 15:39 »

After re-reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle it's not as good as I had thought.  It made me think of Tom Robbins on Prozac.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #60 on: 07 Sep 2008, 21:54 »

Anything written by James Patterson is marvelous.  He writes mostly thrillers.  I am a huge fan of nearly all of them.  He also wrote a decent amount of romance novels too, and they were pretty good too, if you like that sort of thing.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #61 on: 08 Sep 2008, 09:08 »

Most of my favourite books have already been mentioned, but I'll try and get a few others in here.

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius - Dave Eggers: Possibly my favourite book. Incredibly moving and quite sad, but also very funny in places. If you haven't read it already then you definitely should.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Hunter S. Thompson: Actually, I'm not sure if I prefer this or The Great Shark Hunt.

A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving: I was only going to post a crying emoticon here, until I realised there wasn't one. The ending blew me away completely, and no book has been as good since.

Uncle Tungsten - Oliver Sacks: Sacks' accounts of growing up in England and the chemistry experiments he used to carry out. Informative and interesting.

I'm sure there's others but I can't think of them just now. Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy are great and so are most of Bill Bryson's books, but I'm not sure if they would be in my favourites list.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #62 on: 08 Sep 2008, 11:06 »

How about some graphic novel recommendations? (Just because most of what I'd probably mention has already been mentioned, the author if not the book, and I don't wanna be a repeater.)

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.

Scott Pilgrim series by Bryan Lee O'Malley -- Scott Pilgrim has a totally sweet life, except for one thing: in order to date the woman he loves, he has to fight his way through her seven evil exes. Canadian fake-manga style, four of six volumes released (WHY does it take him so LONG to write these!!), extremely awesome. If you like video games or indie music or things that don't suck, then read this series. I think most of the QC forum would like this series.

Doom Patrol series by Grant Morrison and various illustrators -- Like Murakami/Dick/Borges/other reality warping authors? Then you may like reading the tales of "the world's strangest superheroes." I usually don't care for superhero comics but this? This rules. So disturbing. Their main enemy is the Brotherhood of Dada. Fish.

American Elf (and others) by James Kochalka -- This is Kochalka's visual diary kept for ten years and serialized both in books and on the web. I enjoy reading people's journals, slice of life kind of stuff, and I like Kochalka's art (his style inspired my style and I doubt I'd be drawing if not for him), so yeah, this is rad. Not much of a "story," so you probably won't like it unless you like reading journals, but for a certain kind of reader this is killer. He is the guest of honor at the Small Press Expo next month and I'm totally psyched.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #63 on: 08 Sep 2008, 15:32 »

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #64 on: 08 Sep 2008, 18:25 »

After re-reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle it's not as good as I had thought.  It made me think of Tom Robbins on Prozac.


I've heard that kind of comment a lot by people who read Murakami, and I can relate. Whenever I read one of his books for the first time, I think it's genius. When I go back to it much later, I find myself thinking "Is this it? This really isn't all that great..." Don't get me wrong, even Murakami's worst books is better than 9/10 of the trite shit being published nowadays, but he's not quite the literary god people make him out to be.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #65 on: 08 Sep 2008, 18:35 »

In a fit of cynicism and angst? Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger. As perfectly described by book-a-minute:

Franny: Why is everyone so ignorant!
Zooey: Why are you so ignorant, you little punk.


A lovely tale with all the love and guts cut outta it. You get the bare bones of society, humanity, and the reality of coping with reality.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #66 on: 09 Sep 2008, 02:51 »

Scott Pilgrim Movie

I am so fucking pumped for this movie. Guys you can check out the Scott Pilgrim graphic novels at mahshelf.com for free. Along with a ton of other comics.
« Last Edit: 09 Sep 2008, 02:54 by CamusCanDo »
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #67 on: 09 Sep 2008, 02:52 »

Fetish book by walter de camp
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #68 on: 09 Sep 2008, 06:05 »

Scott Pilgrim Movie

I'm pumped for it too, but I don't know how they're going to write it when the series isn't even finished. O'Malley had better get crackin'.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #69 on: 09 Sep 2008, 07:25 »

Here's my contrabution:

1984 by George Orwell ~ I'm surprised nobody has mentioned this yet (or I totally missed it). This book is excellent, basically. It is just as relevant, if not more so, than it was first written in the 1950s and will make you think: are we so far away from making Big Brother a reality? It makes you take a step back and assess the world we live in, plus, it is an easy read.

Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet ~ This book put my on one of the longest emotional roller coaster rides I have ever experienced with a book. The way the author was able to show the lives of so many characters in so much depth and make each one unique and personable (whether they were evil of not) was so creative. But keep in mind: this book is HUGE just short of 1000 pages, depending on which book you buy. But the book is so involved and the plot moves so nicely that the length is hardly a bother.

The Inferno by Dante Alighieri ~ Written in the 1300s and and the first book of the trilogy, The Divine Comedy, and even though some of the people found in the circles of hell are not so relevant now, the crimes and punishments still are. It is an excellent book that I recommend if you are interested in poetry (of course, I've only read the english translation, so I've not experienced it fully, but I have no intention of learning italian!!), be sure to get a book with notes... or you'll be sorely confused. But it's a lot of fun to read about the tortures (because humans are twisted like that -_^)

and finally:

Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey ~ Awesome combination of science fiction and fantasy, this book is just fun to read.  Of course, it helped that I love dragons (yes, I'm a nerd and I approve this message). And if you liked this book, might I suggest the two succeeding books, DragonQuest and The White Dragon?
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #70 on: 09 Sep 2008, 11:08 »

I used to really love Dragonflight, but the last time I read it the main character just bugged the hell out of me.

Dragons are rad, though.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #71 on: 09 Sep 2008, 13:00 »

in the 1950s

1948

Also, I second this book.
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teh pwn queen

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #72 on: 10 Sep 2008, 00:52 »

in the 1950s

1948

Also, I second this book.

Forgive me for my date miscalculation, should of done the proper research first. It has been awhile since I've read it. Now I must make penance by reading the first book in the Gossip Girl series **shiver**
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #73 on: 13 Sep 2008, 19:39 »

I've been reading City of Saints and Madmen by Jeff VanderMeer and I it is absolutely fantastic.  "The Transformation of Martin Lake" in particular is wonderful - it's a little reminiscent of The Picture of Dorian Gray (or maybe that's just me).  Anyway, I highly recommend this if you like fantasy, hilarious things, amazing prose, or fiction in general.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #74 on: 15 Sep 2008, 09:45 »

I'll come back and edit this some a bit later.  For now, just names and authors.

The Fermata by Nicholson Baker
Swann by Carol Shields
Regeneration by Pat Barker
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
Black Dogs by Ian McEwan
The Public Image by Muriel Spark (though just about every Muriel Spark book I've read has been incredible)
Time's Arrow by Martin Amis
The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead
This All Happened by Michael Winter
Rabbit, Run by John Updike (The Centaur is also incredible)
Ada, Or Ardor by Vladimir Nabokov
Dubliners by James Joyce
The Age Of Innocence by Edith Wharton
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Sportswriter by Richard Ford
A Quartet In Autumn by Barbara Pym
Who Do You Think You Are? by Alice Munro
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
« Last Edit: 15 Sep 2008, 10:06 by Dark Flame »
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tomselleck69

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #75 on: 15 Sep 2008, 17:40 »

blood meridian, lolita, areas of my expertise, the master and margarita, tropic of cancer, white noise, house of leaves and the brothers karamazov

and anything by jim goad, p.g. wodehouse, christopher hitchens, kenneth tynan, kenneth anger and jorge luis borges
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #76 on: 16 Sep 2008, 06:16 »

Moby Dick by Herman Melville is my all time favorite followed by, in no particular order,
Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
Slaughter-House Five by Kurt Vonnegut
The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano
Leaf Storm by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

I'm sure there are others I'm forgetting but these will have to do for now.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #77 on: 06 Oct 2008, 01:35 »

Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut  (complete genius, swear to god)
The Bio of A Space Tyrant Series by Piers Anthony (a little edgy, but well wrote, and also, the main character would make a better leader than McCain or Obama)
Battle Royale by Koushun Takami   (crazy totalitarian story of kids being forced to kill each other)
Invisible Monsters by Chuch Palahniuk   (arguably Palahniuk's greatest novel ever, and I only say arguably to avoid people bitching at me that blahblah was better)
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #78 on: 08 Oct 2008, 11:41 »


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.
Ditto for the most part. SWTWC should have a better reputation, I blame Disney. Kerosene by Chris Wooding is good too.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #79 on: 08 Oct 2008, 14:32 »

Artemis Fowl Series- Eoin Colfer

Timeline by Michael Chrighton

Gravity by Tess Gerrison

Enders Game - Orson Scott Card

Cats Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #80 on: 08 Oct 2008, 18:16 »

Invisible Monsters by Chuch Palahniuk   (arguably Palahniuk's greatest novel ever, and I only say arguably to avoid people bitching at me that blahblah was better)

Agreed.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #81 on: 08 Oct 2008, 22:40 »

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay - Michael Chabon
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien
Dracula - Bram Stoker
Ham on Rye - Charles Bukowski
A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again - David Foster Wallace
Maus - Art Spiegelman
Understanding Comics - Scott McCloud
The Last Battle - C.S. Lewis
A Wrinkle in Time - Madeline L'engle

Those are a few of my favorites. Right now I'm working on V. by Thomas Pynchon, and I'm enjoying it quite a bit.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #82 on: 12 Oct 2008, 16:11 »

Huh, seems I haven't posted in here yet.

Some of my favorites:

The Partly Cloudy Patriot, Assassination Vacation, and Take the Cannoli by Sarah Vowell:  The Partly Cloudy Patriot is my favorite book.  It's hilarious and makes my heart swell with joy.  I've read it three times and every single time I get absorbed in it to the point where I'm staying up till almost sunrise reading it and then it's like oh hey I should probably go to sleep or something huh.  Upon finishing it I went out the very next day to buy Assassination Vacation.  I think Vowell is my current favorite author, as well.  I'm planning on buying her new book, The Wordy Shipmates.

Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger:  Was my favorite book before I read The Partly Cloudy Patriot.  And yes, before anyone asks, I do also like Catcher in the Rye.

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett:  I think I've read this maybe four or five times.  In my head, Crowley looks like John Leguizamo only with a British accent.  I also have American Gods but I've only read it once.  I do like it though.

Wicked:  The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire:  I got this for Christmas 2004, could not put it down, and had it finished by the evening of December 26th.  It's 406 pages long, not including reader's guide.  I've read it four times.

I also own about 80% of everything L.M. Montgomery ever wrote; I've been a fan of hers since I was nine years old.  Emily trilogy is my favorite.  Ilse Burnley is my most favorite literary character ever (I even named my character in my Animal Crossing: Wild World game after her).

That's all I can think of right off hand.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #83 on: 16 Oct 2008, 20:36 »

I'm really happy that someone mentioned Tom Robbins, but it sucks that ONLY one person mentioned Tom Robbins.  He is easily one of the best writers currently working in the English language today, or in fact for the past half-century.

I would rank his books in about the following order:
Skinny Legs and All
Jitterbug Perfume
Another Roadside Attraction
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
Still Life With Woodpecker
Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates
Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas
Villa Incognito

He's the kind of author that can change your life, if you let him.  I highly recommend it.
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rainbowsandumbrellas

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #84 on: 16 Oct 2008, 23:07 »

Their Eyes Were Watching God By Zora Neale Hurston. It is one of my favorite books EVER.



Dr Zhivago by Boris Pasternak, it is just an epic book for me. i cried when i was eight because my mother would not let me read it. But then i read it in secret. And loved it.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #85 on: 27 Oct 2008, 12:51 »

I'm shocked that nobody has mentioned The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test

It's Tom Wolfe's account of Ken Kesey and his band of merry pranksters.

Also, I, Robot is a brilliant book, even if it has been tarnished by that horrific war crime of a Will Smith movie
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #86 on: 27 Oct 2008, 13:09 »

The C++ Programming Language

nothing personal, but if you like that, i hate you.  i'm doing a music tech course atm, and i'm resitting the C++ module i failed last year, despite the fact that both the programming lecturer and my head of course agree it's irrelevant to our course, but we have to do it due to shortness of staff.  it's the single most boring, ridiculous, and soul-destroying academic activity i've ever been involved in, and i want to find the guy who invented it and meticulously tear apart his fucking life.

/rant




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.

now THIS^ i can get behind.  i've barely read any fiction novels since reading HoL, because every just seems to just pale in comparison.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #87 on: 27 Oct 2008, 14:01 »

Where to begin...

As mentioned by oh how many people in this thread Neil Gaiman is an amazing writer. I'm reading American Gods now and it's pretty sweet from what I've got. Anansi Boys is another amazing book

Good Omens, by him and Terry Pratchett is one of my favourite books, which leads me to the amazing, the unbeatable Terry Pratchett - anything I've ever read by him has gone into my favourite books list. What's there not to like?

The Portrait of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde is well worth a read, if only for the endless quotable lessons in life as well as his smaller books of short stories

Alice's Adventures In Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking Glass And What Alice Found There


And I will leave you on one of my favourite all-time books, read over and over again - Koushun Takami's Battle Royale.



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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #88 on: 30 Oct 2008, 07:13 »

Anthem by Ayn Rand
Rainbow Six by Tom Clancy
Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose
Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind
Bathroom readers by Bathroom Readers Institute
Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
The Temperance Brennan novels by Kathy Reichs
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #89 on: 07 Nov 2008, 14:22 »

Just a couple of my favorites-


"All Creatures Great & Small" by James Herriott

"The Five People You Meet In Heaven" by Mitch Albom

"Johnny Got His Gun" by Dalton Trumbo

"The Maltese Falcon" by Dashiell Hammett

and this last one is pushing the definition of "book," but...The Killing Joke by Alan Moore.
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n0tj3sus

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #90 on: 11 Nov 2008, 15:24 »

Okay Iím going to try and keep this post to a minimum because if I donít it will start to read kind of like an encyclopaedia of "classic" literature and random bits of philosophy. Also Iím pretty sure no one actually cares but here I go anyways.
Do keep in mind that these appear in no order than how they came to mind.

Crime and punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky.
 Now this is possibly my favourite book I have read to date, reason being is because of how well it is written and it really is the building blocks of existentialism.
1984 -George Orwell
Big brother is watching, I mean come on who doesnít love this book.
The fountain head-Ayn rand
objectivism is a horrid attempt at creating a niche in the philosophy world but this book is pretty decent.
The picture of Dorian grey- Oscar Wilde
This is his only novel to the best of my memory and it is truly one of the most beautiful things ever written.
Necronomicon-H R giger
Now Iím not sure if this counts at all because it is more of a collection of art rather than a book. That aside having a past history with recreational dmt use this guys art really speaks to me.
The divine comedy- Dante Alighieri
originally written as one very long epic, it has since been broken down into three parts. A tale of one man traversing hell and finding a group of popes there. Whatís not to love?
Paradise lost- john milton
paradise found is terrible do not read it.
The gay science- Friedrich  Nietzsche
Personally I believe this to be the best of his work but any of his books are worth reading
as i lay dying-William Faulkner
My mother is a fish.
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Inlander

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #91 on: 11 Nov 2008, 16:43 »

I've recently started reading the novels of the English novelist Elizabeth Taylor (1912-1975). She was a superb writer: although quite narrow in focus (she wrote pretty much exclusively about the post-war English middle class), her books are beautifully and acutely observed, and very wry, and just generally wonderful. I think a few of her books are currently in print (two of them, Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont and Angel, have recently been made into films), and she's definitely a writer who deserves to be rediscovered.

The tone of her writing is epitomised by the opening paragraph of the Soul of Kindness (1964):

Quote
Towards the end of the bridegroom's speech, the bride turned aside and began to throw crumbs of wedding cake through an opening in the marquee to the doves outside. She did so with gentle absorption, and more doves came down from their wooden house above the stables. Although she had caused a little rustle of amusement among the guests, she did not know it: her husband was embarrassed by her behaviour and thought it early in their married life to be so; but she did not know that either.
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Nodaisho

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #92 on: 11 Nov 2008, 17:37 »

Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut  (complete genius, swear to god)
I like that one, not as much as "God bless you, Doctor Kevorkian", though. It is a different kind of comedy than I am used to, I'm used to getting laugh-out-loud reactions from even what I thought of as black comedy, probably I have the wrong idea of it. I can see the irony and humor in it, but it isn't as... loud.

I checked out Johnny got his gun from the library, but never got around to reading it, should I check it out again?
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Siibillam-Law

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #93 on: 11 Nov 2008, 18:50 »

BATTLE ROYALE!
Yes, i'm reposting it

ElectricPez has the right idea
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Joseph

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #94 on: 12 Nov 2008, 08:35 »

1984 -George Orwell
Big brother is watching, I mean come on who doesnít love this book.

Me.  The book is far too obvious, far too politically involved, with characterization and imagination cast aside in order to pound home Orwell's message about government.  Certainly a step up over "Animal Farm", but not very good.  I've found it odd that Orwell's last two books are undoubtedly his worst.  I mean, his first, "Down and Out in Paris and London" is easily one of my favourite books.  But then he felt the need to paint his message in bold face instead of engaging writing.  Even in the realm of dystopian novels, "1984" doesn't stand up well, in my mind.  "Farenheit 451", "Bend Sinister", "A Handmaiden's Tale", even the more recent "Gun, With Occasional Music".  All much more interesting, much more engaging.

I've recently started reading the novels of the English novelist Elizabeth Taylor (1912-1975). She was a superb writer: although quite narrow in focus (she wrote pretty much exclusively about the post-war English middle class), her books are beautifully and acutely observed, and very wry, and just generally wonderful. I think a few of her books are currently in print (two of them, Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont and Angel, have recently been made into films), and she's definitely a writer who deserves to be rediscovered.

She sounds quite excellent, and I'm certainly going to check her out when I get the chance.  I've heard the name tossed around once or twice by my mother, I believe, but this description and the paragraph you pasted seems to have sealed it for me.  Sounds a lot like Barbara Pym (1913-1980), another excellent, excellent writer who deserves a wide audience.  She also wrote about the same subject, essentially.  She published a number of books early in her career, but then, between the early 60s and the late 70s, was unable to find a publisher willing to do anything with her novels.  She continued to write, but without anything being released, until the Times in London asked a number of critics who they thought the most underrated writer of the century was.  Pym's was the only name which came up twice.  Her novels are also very wry, and incredibly honest, observant, an powerful.  At times she's reminded me of Jane Austen, writing in 20th Century London, but she definitely has a voice which is all her own.  I'd highly recommend "Excellent Women" or "Quartet in Autumn".

EDIT:  Well, here we are: "Anne Tyler once compared Taylor to Jane Austen, Barbara Pym and Elizabeth Bowen -- "soul sisters all," in Tyler's words."
« Last Edit: 12 Nov 2008, 08:47 by Dark Flame »
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Naksu

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #95 on: 12 Nov 2008, 08:55 »

the Secret History by Donna Tartt
Moomin books by Tove Jansson
Ronia the Robber's Daughter by Astrid Lindgren
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
The Farseer by Robin Hobb
Belgarion & Mallorea by David Eddings.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #96 on: 12 Nov 2008, 19:44 »

I was just about to say The Secret History!I wish I could describe what I like about this book so much, but I can't. All I can say is that I could happily read it over and over.

Lamb, the Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal takes you through a full spectrum of emotions while remaining pretty consistantly funny throughout. I haven't read a book by this man that I haven't enjoyed, but for humor and readability, this is probably his best. That or It's a Dirty Job.

Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris. Again, this is a writer who has always impressed me, but this one strikes me as being a little more honest and introspective (but will still make you laugh and laugh).

The Book of Lost Things by an author whose name escapes me. I thought fairy tales were scary before Disney got hold of them. But have a kid take a wizard of Oz style journey as written by a guy who has mainly written horror/suspense and throw in a genuinely gut-wrenchingly beautiful ending and I'll happily read it again.

The Kite Runner Um, you'll probably cry. The last spoken line and paragraph in this book were staggering.

Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About It's completely ridiculous, but the fact that no matter how outrageous circumstances get it never changes the dynamic of the title relationship is great. Nice P.O.V from total passive agressive man, too.

I run on too much. But these are really good books. If you read them and didn't like them, I'd be surprised.
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Nodaisho

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #97 on: 12 Nov 2008, 22:54 »

"Farenheit 451"
Got to snag that out of there, I just reread it last night, and it struck me again just how powerful a book it is. The way Clarisse is written is just indescribably beautiful, I can't place my finger on why, but it is. And the way that their society was described as becoming how it was is scarily plausible.

And, of course, it gets a bonus for actually having a hopeful ending, where as in 1984, well... it isn't.
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n0tj3sus

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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #98 on: 13 Nov 2008, 00:31 »

1984 -George Orwell
Big brother is watching, I mean come on who doesnít love this book.

Me.  The book is far too obvious, far too politically involved, with characterization and imagination cast aside in order to pound home Orwell's message about government.  Certainly a step up over "Animal Farm", but not very good.  I've found it odd that Orwell's last two books are undoubtedly his worst.  I mean, his first, "Down and Out in Paris and London" is easily one of my favourite books.  But then he felt the need to paint his message in bold face instead of engaging writing.  Even in the realm of dystopian novels, "1984" doesn't stand up well, in my mind.  "Farenheit 451", "Bend Sinister", "A Handmaiden's Tale", even the more recent "Gun, With Occasional Music".  All much more interesting, much more engaging.

Honestly just about anything is a step up from animal farm.
Just as a side not itís interesting that everyone mentions Fahrenheit 451, which is just one of those books that I was never really able to get into, along with a brave new world.
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.
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Re: Favorite books
« Reply #99 on: 13 Nov 2008, 03:32 »

Sounds a lot like Barbara Pym (1913-1980), another excellent, excellent writer who deserves a wide audience.

Thanks for the tip! I found a copy of Excellent Women in one of my local bookshops, and I really liked the first page. I'll buy it when my next pay-cheque rolls in!

Tell me, have you read any Muriel Spark?
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