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 Favorite books

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jose_cuervo
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:23 am Reply with quoteBack to top

What are your favorite books (title and author)?

I have several, but I'll start off with one.

Good Omens - Terry Pratchett & Niel Gaiman

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:34 am Reply with quoteBack to top

The Stainless Steel Rat, Harry Harrison

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:41 am Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^ Damn FINE novel that is, love the ratman I does.

[nerd] My choice however is "A Scanner darkly" by Philip K Dick [/nerd]

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:42 am Reply with quoteBack to top

The first few that come to mind are:

And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie
This one is probably my favorite book ever. When you finish it, you look back and say to yourself, "it's so obvious, I should have figured it all out." And yet, you never did. Am I a masochist for loving it when my intelligence gets mocked?

Pet Semetary [sic] - Stephen King
There's almost a cheesy quality to it, and yet, it makes for a great read. King manages to turn a worn out concept into an original tale which, in my experience, is not something that is easily done. Oh, and I'm a horror nut. Although, I feel I should warn you, you'll never look at cats and toddlers the same way again. Shocked

White Fang - Jack London
Maybe it's because I was fairly young when I read it, but I really felt it had a magical - if you will - atmopshere. For those who aren't aware, the story is told from the perspective of a wolf-dog with no fantastical embellishments. There's almost a surreal quality to it, and yet, ironically, it's about as close to nature as a book's going to get you.

Animal Farm - George Orwelle
Laugh at me all you want. But I thought the metaphors within metaphors within metaphors in this book were very well written. Oh yeah, and I'm very anti-communist so reading it was like having someone constantly patting me on the back and agreeing with me. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:02 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Pet cemetary by stephen king isn't bad, but I prefer his 'real' classics: 'It' and 'The Shining'. Stephen King is good for a light read, a snack in between these heavy boys:

The name of the rose - Umberto Eco - The only mistake I made with this one is that I saw the movie before I read the book and I couldn't get Sean Connery out of my mind. It's a great movie, but the book was in my opinion even better

And here comes the real nerd mode..

Tolstoj - War and Peace - Not a book for beginners. How I've struggled to get through the first 100 pages. It was my first Russian author I've read and by golly, he left an impression.

Crime and Punishment - Dostojevski - Another Russian, and I have to admit I liked this one better than War and Peace. They're both great authors, but for some reason I liked Dostojevski more. The chapter where he dreamt he saw a horse getting beaten to death made me feel sick and almost brought tears to my eyes. He just knew how to trigger emotions in me, which is rare for me reading a book.. Which is why I think it's such a good book, I guess.

Now, if you prefer some lighter reading, I guess The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown is a good book. It's a real pageturner, I've read the whole thing in one run. Way better than the movie imo.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:11 am Reply with quoteBack to top

^^ That's right, I forgot to mention It.

The Shining, on the other hand, I've never read. I haven't even watched the film (shocking, right). Is it anything the masterpiece that people make it out to be?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:23 am Reply with quoteBack to top

From my fiction collection...

The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells - it's easier now than it ever was to appreciate the genius that went into visualising the alien weapons that the Martians brought to bear on us; energy beams, poison gas, and cybernetics. As with so much of the finest SF, there's the subtext to it; in this case, of how "superior" wipes out "inferior" without a qualm. Wells wrote many other fine works, but this one stands as his greatest achievement.

The ABC Murders and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie - IMO her finest; two very different versions of the classic murder mystery, but both clearly worked out and not keeping anything from you.

The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth - his first and best thriller, as the French authorities have to foil an expert assassin from killing General de Gaulle, ending in a battle of wits between the confident and ruthless Jackal and his quiet but stubborn policeman opponent.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:45 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Caligula wrote:

Tolstoj - War and Peace - Not a book for beginners. How I've struggled to get through the first 100 pages. It was my first Russian author I've read and by golly, he left an impression.


Actually this reminds me of a fun read I had a few years back. "Who goes here?" by Bob Shaw. Funny stuff

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 9:01 am Reply with quoteBack to top

NickTheCop wrote:

The Shining, on the other hand, I've never read. I haven't even watched the film (shocking, right). Is it anything the masterpiece that people make it out to be?


Blasphemy! If you're into the genre, the book is brilliant. The movie.. well.. bear in mind that it's made in 1980 and it's far from flashy like horror movies nowadays are (which is a good thing, in my eyes). On it's own it's not a bad movie, it certainly has its great suspense moments, but I thought it wasn't as good as the book. This was also King's opinion, he wasn't quite pleased with the end result. I wouldn't call the movie a masterpiece, but it has a cult status. Then again, I've read the book before I saw the movie, and your own imagination always tops what you see in the movie, right.

Nevertheless, the movie is a classic and it's an outrage you haven't seen it yet! That movie is older than I am but I have seen it more than all American Pie movies together, Jack Nicholson plays a brilliant role.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 12:53 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Elizabeth Moon - The Speed of Dark
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Speed_of_Dark

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 1:33 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

A couple that come to mind;

Cannery Row, John Steinbeck It's a relatively short book. Story set in hard times around a fishing cannery town in California. A bunch of very interesting characters and some great storytelling. Should be easy to find in a library.

Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell - An odd book that is in something like 5 or 6 separate stories spread over a huge span of time and written in different styles but each is linked in a way to the next story.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:04 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

The Count of Monte Cristo -- Alexandre Dumas -- Very long, but the original "revenge is a dish best served cold" novel. Endlessly fascinating.
LINKY

Infinite Jest -- David Foster Wallace [RIP] -- Also very long, but if you like post-modern fiction (and end notes), then this is your baby. Many pick it up; few finish it.
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Our Man in Havana -- Graham Greene -- Okay, a short book this time. Few are better at skewering the bloated English civil service than Greene. Takes a bumbling bureaucrat and puts him in the middle of international intrigue (or maybe not...). I love nearly all of Greene's books, but this one is a good starter.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:16 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I like quite a few of those mentioned above
Quote:
The Count of Monte Cristo -- Alexandre Dumas
The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
The name of the rose - Umberto Eco
Crime and Punishment - Dostojevski
And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie
Animal Farm - George Orwell


Although I have read quite a few books by the authors above, I can't put my finger on any specific book that I prefered above any of the thousands of books that I have bought over the years.

The current one I'm reading and enjoying is Fear & Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 by Hunter S Thompson. Quite a lot of belly laughs, urghs and many reminders of why I find some aspects of politics so interesting.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:09 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I have read so many books in my life that to pick out a few favorites is very difficult.

I've read all of Dickens, but my favorite is probably Our Mutual Friend. I don't know why, but it's the one I go for first when I re-read the books.

I've read all of Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern series, and am now reading those by her son Todd. When I re-read, I start from the beginning and go through them all in the preferred order (the order in which they were written).

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte is one of my favorite classics. I'm not sure why I identified with Jane so much when I was a teenager - my childhood was nothing like hers. But I really identified with the original "plain Jane."

John Adams by David McCullough. I'm not usually into biographies, but I somehow just couldn't put this book down. I really got a feel for John Adams and the times he lived in.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:12 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Anything by RA Salvator and all his books about Drizt D'urden

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:36 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:59 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

The Belgariad by David Eddings. A five book sequence of very formulaic fantasy. You know its formulaic when it starts with a map, and by the end the characters have visited every place on it. But it's still a major page-turner, and by the end you feel a major loss at having to say goodbye to the characters and their world. Having said that, I found the sequel, The Malorian, to be a formula too far.

The Hogfather by Terry Pratchet. Forget the TV film - for all its length it missed out major plot points. The book is simply the best handling of primal myth that I have ever read - and I've read The Bone Forest. It also has the most evil plot that I have ever come across.

Moonheart by Charles deLint. Another fantasy novel, but set firmly in the modern world. deLint is a little like Quentin Tarentino - he has a formula and he sticks to it, but he still manages to tell a wide variety of stories. Moonheart, the first story of Tamson House, (there is a sequel) is my favourite.

The Wind From The Sun by Arthur C Clarke. A collection of hard SF short stories including the Longest Science Fiction Story Ever Told (which sits on a single page), and Neutron Tide - the worst pun in Science Fiction.

Edit:
I Robot, and The Rest of The Robots, by Isaac Asimov. I find his writing harder to get into than Clarke. The Foundation trilogy is OK, but no cigar, but I'm a computer scientist, so I found the robot books to be fascinating. They're collections of short stories; don't expect it to be the book of the movie; the two have nothing in common apart from a character or two and a positronic brain. If you're wanting more, or a longer story, after those two, try The Caves of Steel series.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:00 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Viktor Klemperer´s Journals 1933-45
Right now I´m in the first two volumes of them all (1881 - 1918)...still in WW1, away from the Aubers front, at the censorship bureau in Kaunas / Kowno, leaving for Leipzig
Apart from that, Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (everything!), Karl May (yeah!), and during the summer I read the whole Sherlock Holmes again (3rd time).
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:06 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

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Presently, I am reading "No Time for Goodbye" by Linwood Barclay.

Also, the latest CAP 413 updates are good for sedation.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:59 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 8:38 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^ Laughing

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 9:02 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
I Robot, and The Rest of The Robots, by Isaac Asimov. I find his writing harder to get into than Clarke. The Foundation trilogy is OK, but no cigar, but I'm a computer scientist, so I found the robot books to be fascinating. They're collections of short stories; don't expect it to be the book of the movie; the two have nothing in common apart from a character or two and a positronic brain. If you're wanting more, or a longer story, after those two, try The Caves of Steel series


Odd, I always found this the other way round. I've been reading Asimov since I was about 13. I think the only SF book I've not read through of his was 'Nemesis'. Started reading it but never finished it. I've read a lot of Clarke but never been quite as fond of his stories as Asimov's. Read a lot of Heinlein & some EE Smith.

Read most of Pratchetts 'Discworld' & most Robert Rankin books (some are really funny, some aren't - very inconsistant).

Currently working my way through 'Zen & The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' !! Shocked

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 1:52 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I had forgotten "The Count of Monte Cristo". Embarassed

"The Pearl" John Steinbeck
"The Canterbury Tales" Chaucer

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 2:02 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I'm addicted to fantasy/adventure. Only because I was born in the wrong century and feel more comfortable wielding a battle-axe and cleaving my enemy in twain. Might be a bit gruesome to a few of you namby-pamby types, but nothing solves an disagreement better than by vanquishing your enemy... ahh... the gold ole days...

Currently I am a big fan of anything written by Jennifer Fallon. http://www.jenniferfallon.com

She weaves a good yarn.

Also, I have never read anything by Stephen King. Never. Don't know why. I usually just wait to be disappointed by the movie.

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Joined: 08 Aug 2007
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Location: On a desert safari.


PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 2:18 am Reply with quoteBack to top

To re-experience childhood in an enchanted world: "The Chronicles of Narnia", C.S. Lewis

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