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What is your favourite book?

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 5:22 am UTC
by pollywog
Tell us your favourite books, and why they are so cool.

Personally, I like Requiem for Homo Sapiens by David Zindell, the whole series equally.

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 5:59 am UTC
by Bakemaster
Catch-22, because it is probably the funniest thing I've ever read that was still an actual novel.

Foundation, because it's Foundation, and has practically no "real" action but is completely and utterly engrossing from cover to cover.

Ray Bradbury's early short story collections. Close enough to "books" for me to mention. R is for Rocket, S is for Space, The Martian Chronicles, Long After Midnight. It's hard to describe how much I love those stories.

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 6:02 am UTC
by jfarquhar
I couldn't name a favourite, I have too many! But I'll some books that I could never forget reading (and may have read multiple times).

- His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman, I loved these books and the subtext beneath them, I hope they don't cut out the religious parts when the first book becomes a movie.

- Destiny's Children trilogy by Stephen Baxter, awesome hard sci-fi trilogy. Takes a while to get into, moves fairly slowly, but is very believable when describing what the human race could change into. Goes from ancient Rome to 500,000 years into the future.

- Harry Potter septology, kind of a given, but JK has weaved such an intricate storyline into them, and I just can't wait to find out what happens! My guess is on Hermione and Hagrid dying, btw ;)

- All Matt Reilly books. Sure, he mightn't be able to develop a character but you can't beat the crazy-ass action scenes he can whip up.

That's all I can remember at the moment, reading has kind of been hard lately with uni, but I'd like to start something new soon :)

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 6:13 am UTC
by Darcey
My favourite book of all time is 1984, and it's also the scariest book I've ever read.

I recently read Childhood's End, by Arthur C. Clarke, and that would probably be my favourite book if not for 1984, just for how much it changed my perspective of the world. It /opened my mind/. Very, very good book.

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 6:27 am UTC
by Fail
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein.

He's one of my favorite authors, and I would also recomend "For Us, the Living" for a really good commentary of the United States.

I agree, "1984" is a masterpiece.

"East of Eden" is also one of my favorite books, I couldn't put it down whilst reading it. Steinbecks style of writing is simply superb, and I (arrogantly, of course) like to think that when writing my own literature, I draw heavily from his style, outdated as it may be to some critics.


I also consider my Leatherbound copy of "The Complete Farside" as one of my most valued possesions.

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 6:55 am UTC
by George Orr
God, so many to choose from. All those mentioned so far are excellent; I especially must agree with Bakemaster - All those you mentioned are among my favorites.

The Stars My Destination, by Alfred Bester: If you enjoy SF and have not read this book, you must do so now. Very fast paced, and full of action, philosophizing, synesthesia and who knows what else.
Dune, by Frank Herbert: It's Dune. 'Nuf said.
Collected Fictions, By Borges: Short stories of intellect, poetry, labyrinths, the infinite, knife fights, tigers, and linguistics. Borges was an unparalleled Argentine scholar who has blown my mind too many times to count.
Book of the New Sun, by Gene Wolfe: The SF/Fantasy epic that is better than LOTR, in every single way (other than not inventing a new language). Good beyond belief.
The New York Trilogy, by Paul Auster: Modern fiction that is actually good. Not only is it good, it's god damn genius. Comprised of three books, this series is a puzzle in itself, and enjoyable on just about every level.
Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card: I really don't need to say anything, do I? Every book in the series is great. My personal favorite may actually be Xenocide.
The Story of the Volsungs: Only the greatest Norse saga ever. It's also really fun to read the 19th-century translations for a full helping of old English.

Oh and yeah, 1984 is pretty good, as well as Brave New World. I also value my complete collection of Calvin and Hobbes :D

Edit: Just had to post this...
jfarquhar wrote:- All Matt Reilly books. Sure, he mightn't be able to develop a character but you can't beat the crazy ass-action scenes he can whip up.

wow, how did you let that one slip?:shock:

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 7:01 am UTC
by !
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card is the best single book.

The Pendragon Cycle by Stephen R. Lawhead is my favourite series.
and
The Wheel Of Time by Robert Jordan comes a very close second.

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 7:19 am UTC
by Dark Ragnarok
Image

Best book ever. XD. I hate reading, so I'm very biased, but hot damn, i guarantee entertainment with this one.

This book gives you something totally random and new to do for each day of the year for a whole year, to literaly change your life.

all from being gay for a day, to tattooing a banana, to testing how cheese effects your dreams.

10/10

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 7:33 am UTC
by Jack Saladin
- His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman, I loved these books and the subtext beneath them, I hope they don't cut out the religious parts when the first book becomes a movie.


So do I, and yes, they are. :(

My favourite book of all time is 1984, and it's also the scariest book I've ever read.


Agree'D.

In addition, I'm a fan in a big way of the Discworld series.

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 7:57 am UTC
by Dark Ragnarok
Hm, at the least I should say "The Way of Zen" by Allan Watts is extremely close to the book i mentioned earlier. It actually qualifies for reading material.

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 7:57 am UTC
by Oort
Lord of the Rings.
Ender's Game.
1984.
Dune.
Flowers for Algernon.
Um...this is a short list off the top of my head. Far from my 'perfect' list.

A bunch more if we expand to include nonfiction.

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:33 am UTC
by Jesse
Underworld by Don DeLillo.

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:39 am UTC
by Fail
Oort wrote:Lord of the Rings.
Ender's Game.
1984.
Dune.
Flowers for Algernon.
Um...this is a short list off the top of my head. Far from my 'perfect' list.

A bunch more if we expand to include nonfiction.


Wasn't "Flowers" a short story?

*Nit Picking may ensue*

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:40 am UTC
by George Orr
Jesster wrote:Underworld by Don DeLillo.

I keep seeing that book on the shelves of bookstores, and I'm always slightly tempted to buy it, only to have my interest snatched away by something else. What's it about, anyways? The back-cover descriptions are never very helpful.

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:43 am UTC
by Jesse
It's like a slice of time in America. I suggest sitting in the bookshop and reading the entire first chapter, it'll either hook you completely or turn you off. His prose is fantastic though, even if the story doesn't particularly follow a single cohesion.

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:45 am UTC
by Memo
Fail wrote:
Oort wrote:Lord of the Rings.
Ender's Game.
1984.
Dune.
Flowers for Algernon.
Um...this is a short list off the top of my head. Far from my 'perfect' list.

A bunch more if we expand to include nonfiction.


Wasn't "Flowers" a short story?

*Nit Picking may ensue*

I was going to post the same thing.

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:48 am UTC
by Fail
I still think it's a wonderful piece of work, of course.

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:50 am UTC
by George Orr
Memo wrote:
Fail wrote:
Oort wrote:Lord of the Rings.
Ender's Game.
1984.
Dune.
Flowers for Algernon.
Um...this is a short list off the top of my head. Far from my 'perfect' list.

A bunch more if we expand to include nonfiction.


Wasn't "Flowers" a short story?

*Nit Picking may ensue*

I was going to post the same thing.


Gah, I feel a sudden urge to nitpick the nitpickers. Flowers for Algernon was originally written as a short story. It got such incredible feedback that later the author expanded it into a whole book. I personally think that this was a bad choice, as the short story by itself is much more powerful, but the fact remains that it is a book.

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:57 am UTC
by Fail
We got owned. Credit where it's due, sir.

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 9:04 am UTC
by Memo
Oops. :oops:
I read the short story then or the book was really short.

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 9:07 am UTC
by jfarquhar
Edit: Just had to post this...
jfarquhar wrote:
- All Matt Reilly books. Sure, he mightn't be able to develop a character but you can't beat the crazy ass-action scenes he can whip up.

wow, how did you let that one slip? :shock:


Oh, I meant Matt Reilly the gay erotica author, my hyphen was misplaced ;)

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 9:10 am UTC
by pollywog
After reading through this so far, I am suddenly reminded of all the others that I love. Dune saga, Night's Dawn trilogy, Siddhartha, Asian saga (?) by Clavell, Discworld, which are the only books I've ever read that has made me laugh, 1984, The Hobbit, Brave New World, which we read for senior English and I was the only person in the class who liked it.

Short stories go in the short story thread. And I am thinking about making a "What should I read next?" thread, but don't want to create too many.
Someone else?

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 12:46 pm UTC
by ShadeWolf
War of the spider queen series, 6 different authors to tell the tale, under the guidance of R A Salvatore.

Any of R A Salvatore books (expect for the Hunter blades trilogy)

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 1:25 pm UTC
by Fail
DarkWerewolf wrote:War of the spider queen series, 6 different authors to tell the tale, under the guidance of R A Salvatore.

Any of R A Salvatore books (expect for the Hunter blades trilogy)
'

I've only read the HB Trillogy, and liked it. Different strokes, different folks.

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 2:35 pm UTC
by Bakemaster
I read Salvatore's Dark Elf Trilogy back in high school and really enjoyed it. A couple years later after I'd read some of his books that followed as well, I went back to find the original Icewind Dale trilogy—the writing was horrible. I couldn't read it, had to stop a few chapters in. Yeah it was his first book (?), but gah! It made me wonder if I could even get through the Dark Elf Trilogy any more, which I loved when I first read it.

I'm going to add Fear by L. Ron Hubbard, because I stayed up half the night reading it and was very shaken afterward. One of the most frightening books I've ever read, along with Lord of the Flies.

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 4:10 pm UTC
by Rodan
Hitch-Hiker's guide series rocks, Bartimaeus (however you spell it) trilogy is really good, but I think my favourite is still Watchmen...

EDIT for time-passing: Yeah, Watchmen is myfavourite book. Particularly the Absolute edition. So pretty.

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:16 pm UTC
by Castaway
I like a lot of classics. Catch-22, A Clockwork Orange, and Dracula are probably my favorite books. I also really loved The Great Gatsby.

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:44 pm UTC
by George Orr
pollywog wrote:After reading through this so far, I am suddenly reminded of all the others that I love. Dune saga, Night's Dawn trilogy, Siddhartha, Asian saga (?) by Clavell, Discworld, which are the only books I've ever read that has made me laugh, 1984, The Hobbit, Brave New World, which we read for senior English and I was the only person in the class who liked it.

Short stories go in the short story thread. And I am thinking about making a "What should I read next?" thread, but don't want to create too many.
Someone else?


You mentioned Siddhartha; have you read any of Hesse's other works? I had to read Siddhartha in High School English (probably the same as most people), and I actually enjoyed it and went out and bought some of his other books, which are also really good. I especially enjoyed Demian and The Glass Bead Game, but he's written probably like 20 books.

Also, this thread itself could be a kind of "What should I read next?" thread in itself, although I guess that might get a little complicated.

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 10:14 pm UTC
by pollywog
Naw, I haven't read any of his other works, but I'll head off to Project Gutenberg after this. No I won't, the only English language book of his that they have is Siddhartha. But wikiquote has some good quotes.

Herman Hesse wrote:Words do not express thoughts very well. They always become a little different immediately they are expressed, a little distorted, a little foolish. And yet it also pleases me and seems right that what is of value and wisdom to one man seems nonsense to another.


I like his style.

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 10:15 pm UTC
by Vaniver
Lord Chesterfield's Letters changed my life. I don't know if that makes it a favorite or not.

For pleasure reading, the standard list.

Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 12:07 am UTC
by Mighty Jalapeno
Bakemaster wrote:Catch-22, because it is probably the funniest thing I've ever read that was still an actual novel.

Yossarian FTW.

My favs:

The Bachman Books
American Gods
Good Omens
The Truth (Pratchett)
The Rincewind Omnibus
The Dirk Gently Omnibus
early Clive Cussler (like, way early)
early Dean Koontz (like, way early)
Everything that Aasimov ever touched.

Hmm.... it's wierd, I can't think of any SPECIFIC books that I loved so much. I've read thousands of books, but very few leap out at me. I'm gonna have to go through my boxes in the basement again... but right now, thanks to a different thread, I am re-reading

The War Book (circa 1969)

Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 2:29 am UTC
by rivenwanderer
Has anyone else heard of/read Very Far Away From Anywhere Else? I think XKCD fans would like it, at least the ones who are in or still remember the last bit of high school. The main characters are two different kinds of introverted thinkers, and Le Guin does an amazing job of getting inside their heads. Here's a review that I think best says why it's an amazing book (and it has some quotes to give you a feel for what the writing's like)... I have read and loved many books, but if pressed, this is the one I have to say is my favorite :)

Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 6:21 am UTC
by liza
Well, I have a special place in my heart for a lot of books, but if I have only one favourite it's 1984. All Quiet on the Western Front is a close second, with Grapes of Wrath rounding out the top three.

Other great books:
H2G2
Brave New World (I'd number it at 4 on my list)
Anna Karenina

I've been reading Crime and Punishment (for a very, very long time - I'm nearing the two-month mark) and though it's slow-going, I'm enjoying it thoroughly. Damn good read. I recommend it if you're into that whole mid-19th-century Russian thing.
Siddhartha was good, but I didn't find it as life-changing/enlightening as some. Decent read though.

Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:31 am UTC
by Kawa
For those who love Discworld, do read Good Omens, a wonderful collaboration between Pratchett and Neil Gaiman on the ending of the world.

I'm a Gaiman fangirl so I have to put in American Gods as one of my favorite books ever.

Oh, and for some horror-y goodness, Battle Royale anyone?

To be honest I need to read more. Unfortunately high school turned me off to higher literature with a few exceptions (I went to a rather prissy liberal arts-focused all girls' private high school, and promptly decided that literature really was not my cup of tea.) It saddens me that the library at my college isn't really good for much besides research.

The biggest exception I could think of from high school is Waiting for Godot, which is a wonderfully absurd, surreal, tragicomic play (and yes, that's the author's word).

Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 8:24 am UTC
by ShadeWolf
For some interesting reading, Take a look at Night Watch, Day Watch and Twilight watch by Sergey Lukyanenko

Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 11:24 am UTC
by Zohar
Can't name a favorite. I'll just write some of the authors on my shelf at the moment:
Arthur C. Clarke
Isacc Asimov
Frank Herbert
Terry Partchett
Philip Pullman
Neil Gaiman
Jonathan Carrol
James Clavell (Shogun is incredible)

Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 3:10 pm UTC
by Mairead
Favourite book EVER EVER EVER has to be Alice in Wonderland.

Second to that comes Catcher in the Rye.

Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:22 pm UTC
by OmenPigeon
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I think that after I finished it the first time I read it twice more that year. ZMM has everything - road trips, philosophy, erudition, multiple narratives, compelling characters. It won't really change your life, it's not some sort of grand lightning bolt thats going to strike you dumb and leave you suddenly clear-headed and in awe of everything. What it will do is slowly turn everything a different color. It might not be a clearer color, but it'll be different, a little more mauve, perhaps, and you'll realize that even if mauve isn't the right color for you, you can turn everything pea-green, and then go kick ass. Robert Pirsig might not teach you anything new, but he might just give you the framework you needed to talk about the things you've known all along.

Lila kind of sucked, though. Le sigh.

Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 8:23 pm UTC
by pollywog
Has anyone read "Lolita"? Is it good? I would like to read it, but where I am, if anyone found out, I'd pretty quickly be labelled a pedophile, and as I'm not a priest, I'd get into trouble for that. Is it worth it? I understand that the writing is very good.

Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 8:24 pm UTC
by Memo
You could download it from somewhere.