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Books: a literary discussion

posted by Rather Dashing on - last edited - Viewed by 10K users

So I've been eying and lusting after a nook and its fancy new 1.3 firmware even though I know I can't afford one. And all that looking at something meant to read books made me think about...BOOKS.

Let's talk about books. Anybody read anything recent that was really good? Have an obscure old favorite?

Where do you read books? When do you read them? What books do you read? How do you read books?

Etc and so forth.

If it involves books, say it. I'd like some good recommendations on recently published books and currently running ongoing series, too.

My favorite book of all time is Dumas's "Count of Monte Cristo"(or at least the unabridged English translation), though I of course love the geek standbys as well(Hitchhiker's Guide, Neuromancer, Slaughterhouse-Five, Snow Crash, et all). I also have Star Wars books as somewhat of a guilty pleasure.

Also, this isn't the thread about pictures of boobs. There shouldn't be pictures of boobs in this thread.

...unless it's a picture of a book that just HAPPENS to contain boobs. Because then it's absolutely on-topic and worthy of discussion.



268 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • I think you'd really enjoy P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves (& Wooster) stories. They're a joy to read and a good example of how one can have great fun with the English language
  • My favourite contemporary French author is Bernard Werber. I think I've mentioned him before. My favourite books by him, The Thanatonauts (Les Thanatonautes), isn't available in English, but his first books, Empire of the Ants (Les Fourmis) is.

    As far as classics go, I love Les Misérables. It's full of ridiculous coincidences, of completely off-topic rants and of un-needed descriptions, but I love it the way it is. I re-read it recently, and I was shocked to realise I remembered some parts word for word. (I had only read it once before, actually).

    I also really like The Little Prince, By St-Ex (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry). We actually translated it into English in university, it was pretty neat (that wasn't published or anything, mind you, it was just an assignment). This one I've read countless times, I seem to find new things about it every time even though it's so short.

    I guess that's my contribution for today. A fair amount of books that were originally written in English I've read in French as a kid, so I'm working my way up reading them in English now.
  • I completely misread the title of this topic at first.

    Well, a full discussion can take a lot of typing so I'll wait and join in when a heated one pops up, but for now some of my favorites are:

    The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky,
    To Kill A Mockingbird by Lee,
    The Hobbit by Tolkien,
    The Last Battle by Lewis,
    The Restaurant At The End of the Universe by Adams,
    Shogun by Clavell,
    Indiana Jones and the Philosopher's Stone by McCoy,
    The Shadow: The Voodoo Master by Grant,
    2001: A Space Odyssey and Rendezvous With Rama by Clarke,
    Redwall by Jacques,
    Schindler's List by Keneally,
    The Strange Case of Charles Dexter Ward by Lovecraft,
    The Truth and Making Money by Pratchett,
    Murder On The Orient Express by Christie,
    The Hound of the Baskervilles by Doyle,
    Around the World in 80 Days by Verne,
    Still Life With Crows by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child,
    Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson,
    Artemis Fowl by Colfer,
    The Spell of the Sorcerer's Skull by Bellairs,
    and The Maltese Falcon by Hammett.

    Dang. That's a long list of just favorites. I must've spent ten minutes trying to think of them all.
  • My list of favorite books takes up about four bookshelves...currently. I'll try to trim it down.

    Favorite of all time (so far): Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.

    Other favorites:
    Pretty much everything Terry Pratchett has written
    Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas
    Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
    Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
    Gregor the Overlander Series by Suzanne Collins
    Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathon Stroud
    The Pseudolus by Plautus
    Alex Rider Series by Anthony Horowitz
    Songs of Innocence and Experience by William Blake
    Stardust by Neil Gaiman
    Redwall by Brian Jacques
    Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (unoriginal of me, I know, but they're good)
    The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein
    Bloody Jack series by L.A. Meyer
    A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
    Metamorphoses by Ovid
    Hard Times and Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
    Villains by Necessity by Eve Forward (best unknown book I've read--a mint paperback copy of this went for six hundred dollars on amazon...luckily I had a very good library)

    ...That was a lot.

    Since no one has mentioned it yet, least favorite books in descending order:

    Twilight and all its irk by She Who Must Not Be Named
  • I can't name my least favourite books, since when I immensely dislike a book I stop reading it and pretty much forget its existence, name and author.
    And the very famous ones, I can easily tell if I won't enjoy them so I don't even try. Therefore I can't say I don't like Twilight, since I haven't even tried reading it.

    Hey, wanna start a book club or something? We could decide on a book to read, that's readily available to everyone involved (for that reason I would suggest making it one available on Gutenberg or similar place), read it either in English or the original language if different than English (for those who can speak that language), and then talk about what we liked and disliked about it?
  • Oooh! Book Club! I love book suggestions!

    Anything to take my mind off the fact that I've been grinding my way through Moby Dick for the past three years. >.>

    ...I get distracted easily. But yes. Book Club.
  • I always have the problem of wanting to read more, but never knowing what to read. If I don't go into a bookstore with a specific item in mind, I'll never know what to pick up.

    So it's hardly surprising that I just finished reading the Harry Potter series for the third time. I have attempted to read The Lord of the Rings, but I only managed to get through The Hobbit and Fellowship before getting lost somewhere in The Two Towers, but I would like to give it another try sometime. Also, I somehow managed to make my way through The Chronicles of Narnia once, but I hardly remember much of it past the first two books and I'm not sure I want to revisit it.

    Other than that, though, I'm pretty much underexposed to literature. There's a decent number of books to be found around my house, I just don't really tend to put forth the effort to find them and see what we have. At the very least, I know there's a copy of Moby Dick around here that my dad once managed to force his way through (and yet he can't get through the Harry Potter series). I did find a really old copy of Don Quixote around here once (c. 1930), but when I went to read it, I found the printing hard to read. I'd definitely love to get my hands on a newer copy, though.

    So yeah, I think a Telltale Book Club would be awesome. It'd give me the direction I lack to discover new books.
  • Also, this isn't the thread about pictures of boobs. There shouldn't be pictures of boobs in this thread.

    ...unless it's a picture of a book that just HAPPENS to contain boobs. Because then it's absolutely on-topic and worthy of discussion.

    There is this book. My wife gave it to me for my birthday a couple of years ago. Some of the pictures are very nice, but there's also the less classy ones.

    Can't think of any favorites books right now, but I do get to read quite a bit, since I have a 45 minute commute by subway to and from work every day, and I don't have a tv at home. My favourite authors are probably Gogol, Dostoyevsky, García and Murakami. I'm also pretty fond of fantasy, popular science and anything math related.
  • Too many good books but i name one i couldn't deal with at all. Ken Kesey's One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest rellay depressed me and i even gave the book away because i felt bad everytime i saw it in my lib.

    Wasn't there a book thread already?

    Now i have to name at least one good book as well. I would recommend reading Patrick Süskind's The Perfume. Different kind of story, at least for the time it was beeing released, and a wonderful well written prosa, dunno how good the translations are. Moreover i read it when i was in Saint-Germain in Paris which made it a very special experience.
  • taumel wrote: »
    Wasn't there a book thread already?

    Maybe, but if there was, it wasn't similar enough to a certain absolutely-not-related-thread-also-in-the-general-forum for people to accidentally click on it.
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