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Re: Good Books

Postby pdlata » Sun Jul 22, 2007 12:51 pm

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey and The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde are my two favorite books. Both are fiction classics and very entertaining.
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Re: Good Books

Postby Absolutely Adequate » Sun Jul 22, 2007 1:14 pm

What have you enjoyed in the past? Otherwise, you'll end up getting all sorts of books that might appeal to others, but would bore you to tears.

I know some people love the books mentioned in this thread, but when I've read Shogun and The Bourne Identity, I've had to try not to fall asleep the entire time. On the other hand, Ethan Canin really floats my boat. So, if you want good answers, let us know what books/genres you've enjoyed in the past.
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Re: Good Books

Postby pokerplaya » Sun Jul 22, 2007 1:58 pm

Absolutely Adequate wrote:What have you enjoyed in the past? Otherwise, you'll end up getting all sorts of books that might appeal to others, but would bore you to tears.

I know some people love the books mentioned in this thread, but when I've read Shogun and The Bourne Identity, I've had to try not to fall asleep the entire time. On the other hand, Ethan Canin really floats my boat. So, if you want good answers, let us know what books/genres you've enjoyed in the past.


Good point.

In the past, I've generally read very mainstream type books...a lot of Stephen King, James Patterson, etc. when it comes to fiction. I read Dan Brown's stuff, too, but I'm not entirely sure what I'm looking for at this point. I guess I'm looking for something that isn't that kind of fiction - something with a little more depth and emotion...

I seem to enjoy stuff that is pseudo science fiction, but being presented as a theory that the believe to be true. I don't know if anyone has heard anything about "The Bible Codes" or the 2012 Doomsday prophecy, but I definitely enjoyed watching specials on that stuff on TV.

I also really enjoy Twilight Zone type of fiction. I've read quite a few short stories by Rod Serling, and I definitely enjoy that type of fiction..subtle thoughout, but then the moral/ending hits you at the end and you just have to nod your head and say, wow.

I've read the classics too, and enjoyed most, and have read names like Zinn but I suppose I'm looking for something lighter or in the case of the Doomsday type stuff, a straight departure from reality... :-D
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Re: Good Books

Postby TheA'sFatLeadoffMan » Sun Jul 22, 2007 2:02 pm

Post Office and Ham on Rye, both novels by Charles Bukowski, both are excellent, Bukowski is an extremely respected writer, these are two of his books that I have read and truly enjoyed. Post Office is a tale of a man who works delivering mail, it focuses on his day to day activity, relationship with his boss, thought process, all in a sort of cynical way. Ham on Rye is the story of a kid as he grows up through a rough childhood, though the plot may seem very familiar it's tone is not like any I've read before. I'm sure someone else on here could tell you of some of his other works that they'd reccommend, I know we have some fans of his work on here.

The Stranger by Albert Camus is also very fascinating, about a man who lives alone and through a new friendship, finds himself waiting in jail for his execution after killing a man.

Perks of being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky is somewhat of a 1990's version of Catcher in the Rye, done with a much different delivery, and dealing with more degenerate behavior. If you enjoy that sort of book POBAW is a fantastic book, and not very long at all only a hundred pages or so, but still easily one of the best books I've read.
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Re: Good Books

Postby The Artful Dodger » Sun Jul 22, 2007 2:35 pm

Like Mad, I read Gates of Fire when the 300 thread was afloat and found it to be an entertaining read as well. ;-D

Personally, I don't read much contemporary fiction, but you'll normally find me reading business books, mainly just to digest some management theories/principles and stories about businesses (successes and failures). As an aspiring entrepreneur, someone recommended to me "Built to Last" and "Good to Great" by Jim Collins. They're both great reads and are useful for learning what makes a strong company, but going by a book or by Peter Drucker's words to build a business isn't much fun. But those two books stand out to me as inspiration for what I aspire to do.

I'm also into technology/programming books as well. I don't read them cover to cover or religiously, but I like to keep current on new development trends and learning about some cool complex algorithms.

If I'm not reading either business/tech books, I'm a sucker for epics, whether it be Gilgamesh, Iliad/Odyssey/Aeneid, Journey to the West, the Arthurian legends, Icelandic Sagas, and Lord of the Rings. I suppose epics have this romance, grandeur, and sense of imagination that I wish today's fiction could have and they always served as inspiration for me to write.
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Re: Good Books

Postby Absolutely Adequate » Sun Jul 22, 2007 3:38 pm

Hmm. Well, given your guidelines and what you're looking for, maybe you could try to pick up Pessl's book. It's called "Special Topics in Calamity Physics" and is a murder mystery in which the murder doesn't happen until 350 pages in or so. It's certainly a higher level than a Patterson type book. And if you like a surprise ending, then this might be the one for you.

A bit lighter would be the Palahniuk stuff. He's the guy who did Fight Club and, while he never really did much for me, he sounds sort of what you're looking for. A lot of my students have loved it.

I agree with the person who suggested Cuckoo's nest above, and if you like a good social satire, I'd highly suggest "The White Boy Shuffle." It's the funniest book I've ever read, by a long shot.

Another way to find good books, as I'm sure you know, is to swing by amazon and type in the name of a book you've enjoyed in the past and see what lists people have made include that book. For instance, the Pessl book above is on this list: http://www.amazon.com/gp/richpub/syltgu ... 0143112120

There's a lot of junk on that list, but a few jewels as well. Search for a book you love and see what people with similar taste have enjoyed.

Good luck.
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Re: Good Books

Postby AdvRider » Wed Jul 25, 2007 11:15 am

Most of my reading for the past few years has been non-fiction -- nature, science, history, adventure, psychology. MVBs (Most Valuable Books):

The Ends of the Earth by Robert D. Kaplan

The Discoverers by Daniel Boorstin

The Portable Jung (Carl G. Jung)

Running with the Moon by Jonny Bealby

Chaos: Making a New Science by James Gleick

Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez

The Language Instinct by Stephen Pinker

The Fifties by David Halberstam

The Last Place on Earth by Roland Huntford

Gulag: A History by Anne Applebaum

The End of Science by John Horgan

Bully for Brontosaurus by Stephen Jay Gould

The Tree Where Man Was Born by Peter Mathiessen

Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich

Awesome baseball book:

October 1964 by David Halberstam

Funniest book I ever read (fiction):

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
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Re: Good Books

Postby Coppermine » Wed Jul 25, 2007 11:32 am

"The Secret History" by Donna Tartt. Highly recommended.
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Re: Good Books

Postby J35J » Wed Jul 25, 2007 11:58 am

I'd still like to get into this a little more....

With that said, if you've seen 300 already I wouldn't bother with Gates of Fire, its pretty much the same as the movie, so no real suprises.

I'm currently reading The Sword of Shannara series....those are good if you are into fantasy stuff.

I wish I could read more...I have a hard time sitting still long enough to read more than 15-20 pages at a time....then I'll get half way through a book and stop for a few weeks before I get back into it. Maybe I'm just not a reader, I wish I was! Maybe I haven't found the right book yet? :-?
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Re: Good Books

Postby J35J » Wed Jul 25, 2007 12:10 pm

Coppermine wrote:"The Secret History" by Donna Tartt. Highly recommended.


I looked this book up on Amazon and have been reading the reviews, of which there are over 500! 8-o Needless to say I think I might go pick this up at Borders during lunch today! Sounds very interesting!

Thanks!
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