Author Topic: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?  (Read 11106 times)

EAL

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Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« on: September 13, 2016, 12:15:47 PM »
Book suggestions? Non-fiction or fiction, anything.
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startingsmall

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2016, 12:28:49 PM »
I'm not really a "Best ____ (book/movie/restaurant) EVER" kind of person, but here are some of my favorites from the last few years...

Devil in the White City - Erik Larson
Isaac's Storm - Erik Larson
Middlemarch - George Eliot
A Man Called Ove - Fredrik Backman

Also these, but they're geared more towards a female audience and I don't know if you're male or female:

Love Warrior - Glennon Doyle Melton
The Invention of Wings - Sue Monk Kidd

coffeelover

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2016, 12:35:24 PM »
Book suggestions? Non-fiction or fiction, anything.

I was able to pick up the entire series of books by,
Tim Lahaye and Jerry B. Jenkins (1st book) ' Left Behind' ' A novel of the Earth's Last days'
during a huge book bag sale for 5 bucks an entire bag.

I've completed the first book and can't wait to get started on the 2nd.

Highly recommend. I finished it in 2 days, couldn't put it down.

Totally mustachian, I got around 47 books in an entire bag. I stuffed it full, a ton of kids books too as well as 20 or so adult books. Including the entire above series I mentioned already.

LeRainDrop

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2016, 12:39:52 PM »
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is my all-time favorite.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein is second.  It's a family story told from the viewpoint of the dog.  So many emotions!!!

NV Teacher

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2016, 01:03:58 PM »
My list.

To Kill a Mockingbird

The Shell Seekers

All Creatures Great and Small series
    (about an English vet)

Anything by Gene Stratton Porter

Northwestie

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2016, 01:09:08 PM »
The Alexandria Quartet

A Story Like the Wind

The Brothers K

.....to name a few

deadlymonkey

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2016, 01:13:18 PM »
Brave New World

Starship Troopers

Stranger in a Strange Land

Hyperian

Orvell

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2016, 01:21:20 PM »
"Anything" is so hard!
Books I've enjoyed the snot out of (because I also can't play favorites, heh):
(nonfic) In The Heart of the Sea
(fic) The Patrick O'Brian series lovingly called the Aubreyad, but the first book of which is "Master and Commander"
(fic) Temeraire
(fic) Snow Crash
(fic/illustration) Wonderstruck
(fic) The Summer Prince

Have you checked out the "What are you READING right now?" thread? :D Lots of good ideas in there!
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Burghardt

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2016, 01:52:09 PM »
I have a few on my reading list, but from my personal POV
Quiet

takes the cake

From a more general view, i do still like Moon Palace which i had to read for my english lessons some 10 years ago.

Tay_CPA

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2016, 02:30:52 PM »
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein is second.  It's a family story told from the viewpoint of the dog.  So many emotions!!!

I second that suggestion! Wonderful book. My personal favorite is Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. Also check out titles by Paulo Coelho. The Alchemist is a popular one and a quick read.

Some nonfiction suggestions:

The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival by John Vaillant
The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann
A Beginner's Guide to Paradise: 9 Steps to Giving Up Everything by Alex Sheshunoff (check out the rest of the lengthy title online; this book had me cracking up)

BeardedLady

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2016, 02:35:12 PM »
I just finished The Book Thief and it might be my new favorite book. It takes place in Nazi Germany, and Death is the narrator. The writing is excellent.

stoaX

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2016, 02:36:41 PM »
Anything by Bill Bryson.  "A Walk in the Woods" and "In a Sunburned Country" leap to mind...but all his works are among my favorites.

MuttIsMyCopilot

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2016, 02:37:15 PM »
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewki is one of my all-time favorite recommendations if you like horror (no gore), but it's a weird format that isn't for everyone. There's a separate story going on in very extensive footnotes, and it can be really hard to get into unless you can devote a good chunk of time to it. Definitely not a book you can just pick up when you have a few spare minutes.

Dancing Naked in the Mind Field by Kary Mullis is a great nonfiction book. It's a little bit memoir, some science, and some general musings.

Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst is a great story if you like dogs, but it's pretty sad.

sparky28

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2016, 02:45:31 PM »
East of Eden - John Steinbeck

Fudge102

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2016, 02:47:14 PM »
Lately I've enjoyed Dies the Fire by S.M. Stirling.  It's the first in a series of books.  Post apocalyptic type world where all electricity and explosives don't work.  Pretty much starts with how society collapses and then the modern version of feudalism that rises to replace it.

stoaX

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2016, 03:07:29 PM »
East of Eden - John Steinbeck

I enjoy Steinbeck as well, even his non-fiction works like "Travels with Charley" and "Russian Journal".

RidinTheAsama

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2016, 03:07:36 PM »
The Age of Wonder - Richard Holmes (nonfic stories of early-modern scientific discoveries)

The Best Laid Plans - Terry Fallis (fic humourous look at Canadian politics)

katesilvergirl

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2016, 03:45:27 PM »
The best books I read in 2015:
The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
Anathem by Neal Stephenson

The best books I've read in 2016 (so far):
Accidental Saints by Nadia Bolz-Weber
Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters

rweba

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2016, 04:36:29 PM »
"Best Ever" is a very loaded question, but one book I read this year that I enjoyed was:

The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris

Teddy R was a really interesting guy, plus it's very well written. If you enjoy history and learning about US presidents it's a must read.

Del Griffith

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2016, 04:47:07 PM »
And the Mountains Echoed - by Khaled Hosseini; great book that I kept thinking about for days after.

Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters - by Alan Miller and Satoshi Kanazawa; a book about evolutionary psychology. So good -- I couldn't put this one down.

Lanthiriel

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2016, 05:03:32 PM »
I just finished The Book Thief and it might be my new favorite book. It takes place in Nazi Germany, and Death is the narrator. The writing is excellent.

I absolutely love this book too.

I'm also a big fan of The Count of Monte Cristo and Pride and Prejudice.

bobechs

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2016, 05:09:54 PM »
Robinson Crusoe -- Daniel Defoe

White Jacket -- Herman Melville

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn -- you know..

Gravity's Rainbow -- Thomas Pynchon

About the only novels I've read more than twice.  They all have boats in 'em except the one with rockets.

tyort1

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2016, 06:04:40 PM »
The Illiad by Homer.  The Robert Fagles translation in particular is quite visceral.  Especially when the battles start up, the descriptions of the carnage are quite intense.  When I was young and read it, it seems quite simplistic.  As I get older I realize how much depth there is within the simplicity. 
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freeedom

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2016, 07:57:00 PM »
Dune is my favorite book of all time.

Fauxdc

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #24 on: September 14, 2016, 09:26:34 AM »
For fiction I really liked
Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon is my favorite. This is ultimately part of a 4 book series, but this one was my favorite.
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova.


For non-fiction I thought Overbooked by Elizabeth Becker was really interesting (since I love traveling) and The Shallows by Nicholas Carr.

aceyou

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #25 on: September 14, 2016, 10:18:42 AM »
Fiction: The Count of Monte Cristo...A thousand pages and I've read it 6 times:)

Self Improvement: A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy

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trailrated

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #26 on: September 14, 2016, 11:14:02 AM »
A Higher Call: Adam Makos

I am a sucker for WW2 books and this one takes the cake. Gives a little seen perspective through the eyes of a German pilot. Absolutely fascinating and all true. They actually met after the war, the story is wild.

"Five days before Christmas 1943, a badly damaged American bomber struggled to fly over wartime Germany. At its controls was a twenty-one-year-old pilot. Half his crew lay wounded or dead. It was their first mission. Suddenly, a sleek, dark shape pulled up on the bomber's tail - a German Messerschmitt fighter. Worse, the German pilot was an ace, a man able to destroy the American bomber in the squeeze of a trigger. What happened next would defy imagination and later be called 'the most incredible encounter between enemies in World War II.' This is the true story of the two pilots whose lives collided in the skies that day: the American - Second Lieutenant Charlie Brown, a former farm boy from West Virginia who came to captain a B-17 - and the German - Second Lieutenant Franz Stigler, a former airline pilot from Bavaria who sought to avoid fighting in World War II."
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GuitarStv

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #27 on: September 14, 2016, 11:20:14 AM »
I find that how much you enjoy a book can be very dependent on your frame of mind when you start reading it.  That said, the most recently read book that really wowed me was Tim Moore's French Revolutions.  It's a funny story of a mid-aged out of shape guy who decides to cycle all the stages of the Tour de France almost on a whim.

stoaX

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #28 on: September 14, 2016, 12:18:02 PM »


Self Improvement: A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy



+1

PencilThinStash

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #29 on: September 14, 2016, 12:58:15 PM »
Gone With The Wind and Anna Karenina both come to mind. The depth of the worlds inside 1000 pages... holy hell. Beautiful.

If you enjoy books in the Count of Monte Cristo vein, you should read anything by Raphael Sabatini. Scaramouche, Captain Blood, The Sea Hawk - Swashbuckling doesn't get much better than Sabatini.

From the last decade: Boys in the Boat and Unbroken are both excellent, though I'm sure you've already heard that from Oprah, every "best of" list on the internet, and several dozen of your friends and neighbors.

mlejw6

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #30 on: September 14, 2016, 01:21:50 PM »
The best book I've ever read is never on the best of lists.

Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake

It's a gothic fantasy trilogy, unfinished. I recommend at least reading parts 1 & 2. They make a cohesive story. The third part is a completely different setting with only one character from the first two parts.

The writing makes me wonder how any other writer has ever sold a book. It spins a vivid tale in a strange world with strange characters.
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mtn

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #31 on: September 14, 2016, 01:40:12 PM »
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein is second.  It's a family story told from the viewpoint of the dog.  So many emotions!!!

I second that suggestion! Wonderful book.


I must be the only guy in the world who didn't like this book. It fell into cliche after cliche, and in general was just a depressing read the whole way through. I felt like it compared best to an after-school special. And I love dogs, and I race cars.

My favorites are the following: 
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
Aubreyad (Master and Commander) by Patrick O'Brien
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee


I also recently enjoyed Paddle Your Own Canoe by Nick Offerman, the guy who plays Ron Swanson on Parks and Rec. Pretty preachy, not particularly well written, but it kept me amused the whole way through. A lot of Mustachian parts to it as well.

mtn

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #32 on: September 14, 2016, 01:42:13 PM »
Oh, also anything by Norman Maclean.

LeRainDrop

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #33 on: September 14, 2016, 02:13:49 PM »
A Higher Call: Adam Makos

I am a sucker for WW2 books and this one takes the cake. Gives a little seen perspective through the eyes of a German pilot. Absolutely fascinating and all true. They actually met after the war, the story is wild.

"Five days before Christmas 1943, a badly damaged American bomber struggled to fly over wartime Germany. At its controls was a twenty-one-year-old pilot. Half his crew lay wounded or dead. It was their first mission. Suddenly, a sleek, dark shape pulled up on the bomber's tail - a German Messerschmitt fighter. Worse, the German pilot was an ace, a man able to destroy the American bomber in the squeeze of a trigger. What happened next would defy imagination and later be called 'the most incredible encounter between enemies in World War II.' This is the true story of the two pilots whose lives collided in the skies that day: the American - Second Lieutenant Charlie Brown, a former farm boy from West Virginia who came to captain a B-17 - and the German - Second Lieutenant Franz Stigler, a former airline pilot from Bavaria who sought to avoid fighting in World War II."

Okay, you totally hooked me.  This has jumped to the top of my "will read" list.  Thanks!

EAL

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #34 on: September 14, 2016, 03:27:31 PM »
Thanks for all your suggestions.  I know it was a broad and general request.
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mancityfan

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #35 on: September 14, 2016, 04:19:22 PM »
Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury
Monkey Wrench Gang - Edward Abbey

Kell7279

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #36 on: September 14, 2016, 07:34:10 PM »
As others have said, identifying the best book ever is difficult. Here are a few random recommendations that I haven't seen mentioned here yet, though:

The Girl on the Train
Ender's Game - I recommend this to everyone. One of my all-time favorites
The Martian
All the Light We Cannot See
Love in the Time of Cholera

doggyfizzle

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #37 on: September 14, 2016, 07:47:34 PM »
The Son by Philip Meyer; I've read it (I think) 6 times now and it gets better each time; it's both a story of Texas and a story of the rise of the United States.  The sections of the book told during Eli's captivity with the Commanche are the best writing I have ever come across, right down to his nickname assigned to him - Tieteti taibo - "pathetic little white man."

aschmidt2930

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #38 on: September 14, 2016, 09:30:42 PM »
The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance (book one and two of an on-going series) are incredible.  It's a very imperfect comparison, but if you enjoy Game of Thrones, you'll probably love these.

juan pavo

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #39 on: September 14, 2016, 10:16:27 PM »


Self Improvement: A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy



+1

another +1

Big in Japan

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #40 on: September 14, 2016, 11:04:53 PM »
Best books read in 2016 (so far):
A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William B. Irvine
The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester

Best books read in 2015:
Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
Hyperion by Dan Simmons

Fudge102

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #41 on: September 15, 2016, 08:31:38 AM »
Give and Take by Adam Grant

cj25

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #42 on: September 15, 2016, 09:09:27 AM »
The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon.  It's amazing!  Her quality of writing is like nothing else.  The TV adaptation is crap, but the books are incredible!


Inevitable

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #43 on: September 15, 2016, 01:54:00 PM »
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is my all-time favorite.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein is second.  It's a family story told from the viewpoint of the dog.  So many emotions!!!

You are a glutton for punishment.

I'm not sure if I have a favorite, but I really liked The Fault In Our Stars.  My least favorite book of all time is definitely How I Found Freedom In An Unfree World.  I know it's pretty popular on the forums, but I thought it was terrible.

mountains_o_mustaches

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #44 on: September 15, 2016, 03:59:28 PM »
+1 for Middlemarch
+1 for Dune
+1 for Anna Karenina

Would also add the following:
Frankenstein (or the Modern Prometheus) by Mary Shelley
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
HERmione by HD
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
And although it's very vogue right now would also add the Song of Ice and Fire series by GRRM


Seppia

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #45 on: September 15, 2016, 04:04:21 PM »
Too many great ones.

Probably my favorite would be I Am Legend

Other great ones

Starship Troopers

Farenheit 451

Animal farm

The book of basketball

The millionaire next door

The big short

What If? Serious Scientific answers to...

Open (Agassi's bio)

The Dark Knight Returns

Watchmen

Fast Food Nation

The Omnivore's Dilemma

Lanthiriel

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #46 on: September 15, 2016, 09:20:56 PM »
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein is second.  It's a family story told from the viewpoint of the dog.  So many emotions!!!

I second that suggestion! Wonderful book.


I must be the only guy in the world who didn't like this book. It fell into cliche after cliche, and in general was just a depressing read the whole way through. I felt like it compared best to an after-school special. And I love dogs, and I race cars.

You're not alone. It was one of those weird books that was a quick and reasonably enjoyable read, but then when I finished it my first thought was "that was not good."

Fishfindr

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #47 on: September 16, 2016, 12:05:37 PM »
It's not the best written book in the world, but I liked "How to Survive Without a Salary". It's one that I just pick up a few times a year and read
a chapter or two. I like books/stories that show how you don't always need to follow the pack to survive.

londonbanker

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #48 on: September 16, 2016, 03:36:20 PM »
Paul Auster - Mr Vertigo
Hemingway - the old man and the sea
Alain Fournier - The lost Estate

Just as a starting list

RentSeeking

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #49 on: September 16, 2016, 10:37:10 PM »
Flowers for Algernon - My all-time favorite book
The Discworld Series - Terry Pratchett is probably my favorite author, a brilliant satirist who was also a fantastically talented world-builder. If you only want to read one, go with Night Watch (just note that you will probably not want to stop after one, and there are some spoilers if you start here, as it is the 29th book in the series)