Author Topic: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?  (Read 11099 times)

pbkmaine

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #50 on: September 16, 2016, 10:42:35 PM »
Just finished "When Breath Becomes Air" by Paul Kalanithi. Stunning memoir by a neurosurgeon with terminal lung cancer.

MrMathMustache

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #51 on: September 17, 2016, 04:03:14 AM »
The Brothers Karamazovis still the greatest novel I have ever read.

I also love anything and everything ever written by P.G. Wodehouse

Bicycle_B

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #52 on: September 17, 2016, 06:57:12 AM »
Great thread, gang!

The Sparrow, by Maria Doria Russell.  It's about what happens if the first response to extraterrestrial communication is a space mission by Jesuits who attempt to visit the ETs' planet.  Hauntingly told.

On a deeper level, the novel explores the unintended disasters available when two cultures meet each other.  I'm not religious, but found the subtle spiritual speculations in the book to be fascinating as well.  My ex who mediates between cultures for a living said it was the best book on the topic she'd ever read.  My ex is gone, but her recommendation was superb. 
« Last Edit: September 17, 2016, 07:05:03 AM by Bicycle_B »

Chaplin

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #53 on: September 17, 2016, 04:24:35 PM »
Fiction: The Count of Monte Cristo...A thousand pages and I've read it 6 times.

Me too...in French. Not trying to be a topper, just thought it was a funny extra.

I second a lot the choices here: Dan Simmons, Bill Bryson, Neal Stephenson, etc.

I would add Soldier of the Great War by Mark Helprin (and all of his other books), and Sailing to Sarantium buy Guy Gavriel Kay (and all of his stuff).


CU Tiger

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #54 on: September 18, 2016, 07:01:17 AM »
Handling Sin by Michael Malone is the funniest, most touching book ever.

A youth series by N. D. Wilson that starts with The Dragon's Tooth is delightful.

Anything by Frederick Backman, A Man Called Ove, My Granmother Asked Me to Tell YouShe's Sorry, or Britt Marie Was Here. 

Mysteries: anything by Agatha Christie for nostalgia about the bad old days. The Peter Wimsey books. 
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wenchsenior

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #55 on: September 18, 2016, 08:55:23 AM »
Fiction: The Count of Monte Cristo...A thousand pages and I've read it 6 times.

Me too...in French. Not trying to be a topper, just thought it was a funny extra.

I second a lot the choices here: Dan Simmons, Bill Bryson, Neal Stephenson, etc.

I would add Soldier of the Great War by Mark Helprin (and all of his other books), and Sailing to Sarantium buy Guy Gavriel Kay (and all of his stuff).

Seconding Helprin and Kay.  Kay is kind of overlooked outside the genre-reading community, I think.

It's weird that I really hate Helprin's politics, and I can even SEE his political philosophy at work in some of his books, yet invariably I love them.

ETA: And Bill Bryson, esp. "A Short History of Nearly Everything"
« Last Edit: September 18, 2016, 08:58:43 AM by wenchsenior »

Mmm_Donuts

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #56 on: September 18, 2016, 03:37:31 PM »
+1 for House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski. It's the most innovative book of fiction I've ever read. Pretty creepy, too, but in an unsettling way vs. gross or scary.

Non-fiction -

The Writing Life by Annie Dillard

Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes by Jacques Ellul
« Last Edit: September 18, 2016, 03:40:56 PM by Mmm_Donuts »

SaskyStache

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #57 on: September 19, 2016, 08:40:59 AM »
Best ever is too difficult, but...

I'll give another +1 for The Count of Monte Cristo, Ender's Game and Persuasion.

Also I would suggest anything by Michael Crichton. I've thoroughly enjoyed everything I've read by him, but a couple at the top of the list are Eater's of the Dead and The Lost World (the movie is nothing like the book, aside from both of them containing dinosaurs).

For dark gritty detective drama Dennis Lehane is my favourite. The series that starts with A Drink Before the War is great and his novel Shutter Island is also fantastic.

I also really enjoyed The Perks of Being a Wallflower.



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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #58 on: September 19, 2016, 08:41:54 AM »
Fiction: The Count of Monte Cristo...A thousand pages and I've read it 6 times.

Me too...in French. Not trying to be a topper, just thought it was a funny extra.

Dear god...  I've had that book since 2006.  Been trying to finish it since 2006.  While I don't mind it, he just goes into so much detail on everything that the story just drags on and I lose interest again...  Maybe it's time to pick it back up.  I'm only about 2/3's through!

scantee

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #59 on: September 19, 2016, 09:25:13 AM »
Only two books among the many I love I keep coming back to re-read, year after year:

The Razor's Edge, by Somerset Maugham
Villette, by Charlotte Bronte

mlejw6

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #60 on: September 19, 2016, 11:30:53 AM »
Fiction: The Count of Monte Cristo...A thousand pages and I've read it 6 times.

Me too...in French. Not trying to be a topper, just thought it was a funny extra.

Dear god...  I've had that book since 2006.  Been trying to finish it since 2006.  While I don't mind it, he just goes into so much detail on everything that the story just drags on and I lose interest again...  Maybe it's time to pick it back up.  I'm only about 2/3's through!

I subscribe to a podcast called CraftLit. They combine crafting discussion (knitting and such) with audio book classics and discussion. I just skip the crafty parts, which is easy because they say when the book talk begins at the beginning of each episode. They're currently doing The Count of Monte Cristo. You may try that! I'm really enjoying it, having never read it before.

But, it's slow going, as it's an episode a week, covering 1-2 chapters each week.
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LeRainDrop

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #61 on: September 19, 2016, 07:14:41 PM »
Fiction: The Count of Monte Cristo...A thousand pages and I've read it 6 times.

Me too...in French. Not trying to be a topper, just thought it was a funny extra.

Dear god...  I've had that book since 2006.  Been trying to finish it since 2006.  While I don't mind it, he just goes into so much detail on everything that the story just drags on and I lose interest again...  Maybe it's time to pick it back up.  I'm only about 2/3's through!

I subscribe to a podcast called CraftLit. They combine crafting discussion (knitting and such) with audio book classics and discussion. I just skip the crafty parts, which is easy because they say when the book talk begins at the beginning of each episode. They're currently doing The Count of Monte Cristo. You may try that! I'm really enjoying it, having never read it before.

But, it's slow going, as it's an episode a week, covering 1-2 chapters each week.

Crap, that's a lot of pages!  I nearly cried getting through Anna Karenina, even though I enjoyed the story, I think because of length, but this is even longer.  Yikes!

zhelud

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #62 on: September 20, 2016, 01:34:59 PM »
Just a few of my favorites-

Older stuff-
The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov
Anything by Shirley Jackson, particularly her short stories and the novel The Haunting of Hill House

Newer stuff-
The Known World, by Edward P. Jones
Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell
Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, by Hilary Mantel
Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson

Grogounet

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #63 on: September 20, 2016, 11:18:24 PM »
Self Improvement:
- 7th Habits of highly effective people. Still reading it now and took me several years to digest by changed my life. Classic. Should be mandatory at school.
- Think and grow rich. A bit too much money oriented but so good when you have a goal (FIRE!). A good complement of the first one. I would just listen to the audio book
- the power of full engagement - Same, changed my life and actually cried reading some aspects of it. Really caught me hard on how life is precious and how to make the best out of it
- the 4h workweek. Changed the way I perceived work and how to balance it in your life.
- Rich dad poor dad. Same, should be mandatory at school IMO. teaching basics of finance to every one.

Sailor Sam

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #64 on: September 20, 2016, 11:45:56 PM »
I'm digging the Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss. The storytelling is just amazing, and manages to be a little bit philosophical. Be warned though, it's an unfinished trilogy. And book 3 is taking a while. I have faith that the wait will be worth it, but there's always risk with an unfinished series.

My personal top 3 books are:

1. Jumper, by Stephen Gould. A coming of age story, plus teleportation. What could go wrong? Found it when I was 13, and an outcast, and it really resonated

2. The Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis. The black plague is fascinating to me, and Willis does a fantastic job of bringing it to life.

3. The Swiss Family Robinson, by Johann David Wyss. It's a great adventure tale. It always takes me 2-3 chapters to get the flow of the language, but the effort is worthwhile every time.

4. Elemental Logic series, by Laure J. Marks. Another unfinished series that I truly hope obtains completion. I really like how Marks built the world. The sociology of it is much more believable than fantasy worlds tend to be. And the prose is lyrical. Really beautiful books.


Villanelle

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #65 on: September 21, 2016, 06:55:06 AM »
One of my favorites over the last few year was The Most Human Human:  What Artificial Intelligence Teaches us about Being Alive.  Really fascinating non-fiction.  It's meaty and not a quick read, but super thought-provoking in many ways.

The author participated in the Turning test, which is an AI test where judges IM with both people and AI software, and they have to guess after each conversation whether it was human or computer.  The prize goes to the most human software, but there is sort of a sub-prize for the most human human.  The author was selected to be one of the human IMers, and in preparation, he examined what it means to be human, what differentiates humans from computers, and what AI just can't seem to get right, and why.  The book touches an brain anatomy, computer programing, psychology, and much more. 

He's got a new book out and I'm waiting for my library to get it, because I loved this one so much.

GuitarStv

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #66 on: September 21, 2016, 09:13:29 AM »


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



+1

another +1

I read this a few years ago and didn't really feel that I got much out of it (except the description of Seneca's gruesome death . . . that was kinda fun).  It just seemed to mostly outline common sense.  What exactly did you guys find so awesome about the book?

beachbound

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #67 on: September 21, 2016, 11:37:19 AM »
The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo

SeaKayEl

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #68 on: September 21, 2016, 12:04:11 PM »
Favorite Books

The Scavengers' Manifesto by Anneli Rufus & Dristan Lawson
     "...Discover one of the most gratifying (and thrifty) ways there are to go green.  Whether its refurbishing found object into
     furniture, hitting all the thrift shops in town, or harvesting fruit from neighbors trees (not on private property, of course!),
     Rufus & Lawson chart the history of scavenging and the world-changing environmental and spiritual implications of
     "scavenomics," and offer readers a framework for adopting scavenging as a philosophy and a way of life."

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
     "The story is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian
     desert in search of a treasure buried near the Pyramids.  Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself
     king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest.  No one knows what the treasure is, or if
     Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles in his path.  But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into
     a discovery of the treasure found within.  Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament
     of the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts."

Ishmael by Danial Quinn
     "The narrator of this extraordinary tale is a man in search for truth. He answers an ad in a local newspaper from a teacher
     looking for serious pupils, only to find himself alone in an abandoned office with a full-grown gorilla who is nibbling delicately
     on a slender branch. “You are the teacher?” he asks incredulously. “I am the teacher,” the gorilla replies. Ishmael is a
     creature of immense wisdom and he has a story to tell, one that no other human being has ever heard. It is a story that
     extends backward and forward over the lifespan of the earth from the birth of time to a future there is still time to save. Like
     all great teachers, Ishmael refuses to make the lesson easy; he demands the final illumination to come from within
     ourselves. Is it man’s destiny to rule the world? Or is it a higher destiny possible for him—one more wonderful than he has
     ever imagined?"

Recent Reads I have really enjoyed:

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Considered Non-fiction but written like fiction)
     "On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered
     by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were
     almost no clues.
     As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, he   
     generates both mesmerizing suspense and astonishing empathy. In Cold Blood is a work that transcends its moment,
     yielding poignant insights into the nature of American violence."

Fool by Christopher Moore (Hilarious)
     "A hilarious new take on William Shakespeare’s King Lear…as seen through the eyes of the foolish liege’s clownish jester,
     Pocket. A rousing tale of “gratuitous shagging, murder, spanking, maiming, treason, and heretofore unexplored heights of
     vulgarity and profanity.”
« Last Edit: September 21, 2016, 12:06:48 PM by SeaKayEl »

golden1

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #69 on: September 21, 2016, 12:59:54 PM »
So many good ones here.

Sci-fi/fantasy:  I second the Hyperion Series by Dan Simmons.  It is the best Sci-fi series I have ever read - 4 books.  You know how so many sci-fi and fantasy series start off strong and then can't end things properly (cough Wheel of Time, Game of Thrones cough)?  Well the end of the Hyperion series is just amazing.  I weep every time.
Cloud Atlas, Bone Clocks, Slade House - David Mitchell - excellent.
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - hysterically funny and smart
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline - Amazing nostalgia for Gen X nerds

For chick type lit, I am partial to the books by Wally Lamb, particularly "I Know This Much is True". 
I also like most books by Jodi Picoult
Me before you by Jojo Moyes  - that was a weeper for sure!

Classics - Sherlock Holmes, Pride and Prejudice, 1984, Jane Eyre

Non-fiction:
Guns, Germs and Steel - Jared Diamond
Lies my teacher told me - Loewen
Unbroken - Hillenbrand
Omnivore's Dilemma - Pollan

It, The Stand, and 11/22/63 by Stephen King - his best work

Lots more, but those are some of my all time faves. 

Chris22

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #70 on: September 21, 2016, 07:08:37 PM »
Anything by Pat Conroy is really really good.

For lower-brow reading, I enjoy Vince Flynn, Greg Iles, and David Baldacci.
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human

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #71 on: September 21, 2016, 08:17:55 PM »
Any of the novels by J.M. Coetzee, I need to pick up the childhood of jesus.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy;

More recently Ready Player One.

I used to a big fan of Maxim Gorky's propaganda and I love Vladimir Nabakov's Bend Sinister and Laughter in the Dark.

Mtngrl

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #72 on: September 21, 2016, 08:54:40 PM »
Great thread. It is reminding me of favorites and giving me ideas for new things I want to read.

I second the recommendation for Terri Pratchett's Discworld series -- fabulous books and I am still mourning his too-early passing. Also, Bill Bryson. My favorite of his is The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, but I have enjoyed them all.

Other favorites:

The Dog Stars, by Peter Heller
The Martian, by Andy Weir
The In Death series by J.D. Robb (there are 30 plus books in the series and I really recommend starting with the first -- Naked in Death
The Virgil Flowers series by John Sandford


Tom Bri

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #73 on: September 21, 2016, 08:58:49 PM »
Lots of Sci-Fi readers here. My best is:

A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Canticle_for_Leibowitz

The Illiad is also great, though it took me ages to get into it.

human

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #74 on: September 21, 2016, 09:06:05 PM »
Great thread. It is reminding me of favorites and giving me ideas for new things I want to read.

I second the recommendation for Terri Pratchett's Discworld series -- fabulous books and I am still mourning his too-early passing. Also, Bill Bryson. My favorite of his is The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, but I have enjoyed them all.

Other favorites:

The Dog Stars, by Peter Heller
The Martian, by Andy Weir
The In Death series by J.D. Robb (there are 30 plus books in the series and I really recommend starting with the first -- Naked in Death
The Virgil Flowers series by John Sandford

Loved the Dog Stars, probably my second favorite "end of the world" genre book I've read. Except that it's hard to place such good writers in that category, there's much more going on then simple apocalypse.

stoaX

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #75 on: September 22, 2016, 10:26:34 AM »


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



Like you I read it a few years ago so it's hard for me to remember exactly why I liked it so much, I just remember that I did.  I agree that much of it seemed like common sense so perhaps I enjoyed how all that common sense was well organized and articulated in the philosophical framework of stoicism. 

I also was intrigued by his comparisons of stoicism to zen Buddhism and how they differ.

+1

another +1

I read this a few years ago and didn't really feel that I got much out of it (except the description of Seneca's gruesome death . . . that was kinda fun).  It just seemed to mostly outline common sense.  What exactly did you guys find so awesome about the book?

PencilThinStash

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #76 on: September 22, 2016, 11:09:06 AM »
I'm digging the Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss. The storytelling is just amazing, and manages to be a little bit philosophical. Be warned though, it's an unfinished trilogy. And book 3 is taking a while. I have faith that the wait will be worth it, but there's always risk with an unfinished series.

Be still, my beating heart. I recently made the mistake of rereading the first two books - Being reminded of precisely how fantastic they are tore open all my old wounds of waiting for Book 3. Rothfuss needs to quit pushing that publication date back.

Oh, additional recommendation, in case anybody is a fan of autobiographies: My Wicked, Wicked Ways by Errol Flynn. His life pre-Hollywood was just one adventure after another - some of them have been proven untrue, but he's such a charming and charismatic storyteller that you don't even care. I mean, this is the guy who met and wooed his third wife at his own statutory rape trial. Clearly not a saint, but entertaining as hell.

tonysemail

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #77 on: September 22, 2016, 11:23:11 AM »
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline - Amazing nostalgia for Gen X nerds

i loved it too.  they're making it a movie.  i hope it's not too terrible =/

for non-fiction, i liked this one-
it's well written.  sometimes dark and depressing, othertimes uplifting, and generally a great history lesson about hubris.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7170627-the-emperor-of-all-maladies

Piwakawaka

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #78 on: September 23, 2016, 10:57:27 AM »
A few that spring to mind

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius - The pinnacle of stoicism. Still read from it on a regular basis today. Nuff said.

Timeless Simplicity by John Lane - A short read that will really speak to those seeking a simpler life with less stress and more joy, purpose and love. Consumer suckahs need not apply.

The Tibetan book of the dead - A masterpiece of spirituality. Very moving poetry too.

The stinky cheese man - Best book ever written.

Mans search for meaning by Viktor Frankl - Rethink how you 'suffer'. "Do not ask what you expect from life, but what life is expecting from you at any given moment" (or something to those words).
Ambition is for the chronically discontent

Hokum

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #79 on: September 26, 2016, 03:05:08 PM »
Those are the ones I reread at least twice, with gusto:

Dune - Frank Herbert (best scifi book ever written, not a doubt about it.)

Snow Crash - Stephenson (a founding work as well as the deconstruction of cyberpunk. made of awesome and funny)

The Light Fantastic & Night Watch by Pratchett (first one clever, funny fantasy, second one tense neo-noir fantasy)



Other good ones tat are worth a reread:

The Curse of Chalion - Lois Mcmaster Bujold  (Oldschool Fantasy, not very deep in a good way, but it still should have won the Nebula instead of its mediocre -in the Mad Max sense- sequel)
Good Omens - Pratchett/Gaiman (Modern Fantasy, funny)
The Flying Dutchman - Tom Holt (Modern Fantasy, funny)
Consider Phlebas & Use of Weapons - Iain Banks (High quality Scifi)
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff & Dirty Job - Christopher Moore (very funny modern fantasy)
Zodiac - Stephenson (eco thriller, awesome in a way only Neal Stephenson can do it.)
The Book of The New Sun - Gene Wolfe (HQ fantasy, all 4 books have to be read or none. still not sure if this one is maybe to clever for me.)
The Khaavren Romances - Steven Brust (3-Book fantasy-spoof of Dumas' Mousquetaire books that I can't help but love)
Motherless Brooklyn - Lethem (neo-noir dark humor)
Gulp & Packing for Mars & Stiff & Bonk by Mary Roach (funny science journalism)

A few European ones:
Die Tante Jolesch - Torberg (Must read for Austrians or if you have an interest in the Austrian soul)
Komm, süßer Tod - Wolf Haas (austrian cult-classic, movie equally good)
Cyrano de Bergerac - Rostand (wordplay I am always baffled by, I still know some passages by heart)





personally I think most scifi and fantasy is overboarding, word-wasting pretentious crap, with a special hell for those overly long cycles. but there are pearls to be found.


« Last Edit: September 26, 2016, 04:03:43 PM by Hokum »

londonbanker

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #80 on: September 27, 2016, 01:25:29 PM »
I have stumbled across that UK blogger who's very much a MMM disciple. He's issued out a list of "life changing books" - which I would really class as self improvement / mediation / reflection books

https://theescapeartist.me/life-changing-books/

One of my 2016 personal goals was to read half that list among others I had intended to read (and a few that I picked up from that great thread, that will jump the queue)... You probably can guess what my 2017 personal goal on reading will consist of :-)

usoverseas

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #81 on: October 08, 2016, 08:41:20 AM »
following so I can see which ones have audio versions from my library. 

dcamnc

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #82 on: October 20, 2016, 09:06:49 AM »
I never read fiction, but my favorite book is fiction: Robinson Crusoe

Dmoneyzzz

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #83 on: October 25, 2016, 01:44:22 AM »
Best book I've read so far, hands down has got to be The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.


The book is an allegorical novel which follows a young Andalusian shepherd in his journey to Egypt, after having a recurring dream of finding treasure there.

The book is an international best seller and if you have read it, you know why!  Anyways, off to do more reading now :)
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Mr stuble

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #84 on: October 25, 2016, 10:32:42 AM »
Jack: Straight from the gut - Jack Welch

The autobiography of the most successful CEO in history (arguably) and a regular golfing partner of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.

Great for anyone still in employment or people who run their own businesses.

dcamnc

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #85 on: October 27, 2016, 04:44:16 PM »
Best book I've read so far, hands down has got to be The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.


The book is an allegorical novel which follows a young Andalusian shepherd in his journey to Egypt, after having a recurring dream of finding treasure there.

The book is an international best seller and if you have read it, you know why!  Anyways, off to do more reading now :)

I tried to read this, as everyone recommends it. I just couldn't get into it.

CarrieWillard

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #86 on: October 27, 2016, 05:05:17 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.

Yes, two of mine as well. I've heard that Count is the best revenge story ever written. Les Miserables is the best *redemption* story ever written. I read it, all 1400+ pages, as a teen and literally sobbed when it was over. (Not usually a dryer!)

So many messages in that book. The forgiveness of the priest towards Valjean and the power that had in his life, the folly of revenge and hate exemplified in Javert, the soul crushing pain of unrequited love, the nature of true love (speaking of Valjean's promise to Cosette's mother and his actions towards Marius, the power of always doing the right, hard thing, constantly working towards a huge goal when starting from the bottom, SO MANY lessons!!

Libertea

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #87 on: December 17, 2016, 06:44:06 AM »
Coming up on the holiday season, I want to put in a plug for "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens.  I re-read it during Christmas week every year, and sometimes I also watch my favorite movie version, which is the one casting Patrick Stewart (from Star Trek and X-Men fame) as Scrooge.  (He did a one-man audio recording of the book that is excellent as well.)

My favorite all-time book (also one that I re-read regularly) is "The Phantom Tollbooth" by Norton Juster.  I'm now in my forties; I have had this book and read it since I was a child, and have come to enjoy it more and more over the years.  It's one of those witty children's books that is actually an allegory with a lot of intelligence and humor that will pass right over the heads of a juvenile reader.  Those of you who have school age children may enjoy reading it with them.

Another classic fiction book that hasn't been mentioned yet is "The Princess Bride," by William Goldman.  The 80s movie based upon it is excellent and is well worth watching as well, but (as with most things), the book is better.

For nonfiction, my favorite book is Thomas Stanley's "The Millionaire Next Door."  It came out right around the time I got out of college and has had a lasting impact on me.  Definitely higher yield for those of you who are still youngish and in school, but still worth reading (or re-reading) even for those of us who are a bit more "mature."

A newer but excellent book that I read recently for those who like science is Sidhartha Mukerjee's "The Gene."  This is the same physician who wrote "The Emperor of All Maladies," and his new book is a prequel of sorts to that book in that it discusses the "normal" of genetics.

I also really enjoyed "The Moral Arc" by Michael Shermer, which gave me a lot to think about in terms of how, over the whole span of millennia, and in spite of the fact that there is still a lot of room for improvement, we really have come quite a long way as a species in terms of our moral development and critical thinking abilities.  Good book to read in that it offers an optimistic view on humanity's development to counter all those who think we're flushing ourselves (the planet, the economy, whatever) down the toilet.

NoMustachForYou

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #88 on: December 18, 2016, 07:45:02 AM »
- Gulliver travels
- Hard to be a god
- The 4 hour work week (amazing mindest book)
- Guns germs and steel
- Animal farm
- The millionaire next door

lifejoy

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #89 on: January 15, 2017, 12:00:28 PM »
The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

True story. Poverty upbringing. Fascinating read.

MgoSam

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #90 on: January 19, 2017, 02:21:20 PM »
These are my favorites of 2016
Sci-fi- Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Thriller- I am Pilgrim by Terry Haynes
Mystery- Silkworm by Robert Galbraight (cough, JK Rowlings)
Nonfiction-Shadow of the Silk Road
Horror- 1408 by Stephen King (I don't read much horror)
General Fiction- Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

rmalloy

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #91 on: February 15, 2017, 04:10:04 AM »
The Richest Man in Babylon
A great story, or set of parables that also teaches about how to grow wealth and find happiness. If you have not read it then you are lacking an essential read about living.
https://www.amazon.com/Richest-Man-Babylon-Magic-Story/dp/1537558056/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487156795&sr=8-1&keywords=1537558056

I also loved The Star Rover, by Jack London, it's a great metaphysical novel based on the true story of a guy who was put in a strait-jacket in prison in the 1920's and while in it he had out of body experiences, that let him revisit pass lives. Very weird, kinda lots of stories in one.
https://www.amazon.com/Star-Rover-Mr-Jack-London/dp/1506019129/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487156861&sr=8-1&keywords=1506019129

trashmanz

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #92 on: February 17, 2017, 09:11:56 AM »
Best book I've read so far, hands down has got to be The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.


The book is an allegorical novel which follows a young Andalusian shepherd in his journey to Egypt, after having a recurring dream of finding treasure there.

The book is an international best seller and if you have read it, you know why!  Anyways, off to do more reading now :)

I tried to read this, as everyone recommends it. I just couldn't get into it.

I slogged my way through it but didn't find it very compelling. 

For the other polarizing recommendations I did like Racing In The Rain quite a lot (though it was years ago that I read it), so different tastes can definitely color the reception of a book :)

For my guilty pleasure reading I like Bernard Cornwell's historical fiction. 

I also will say that The Martian was excellent (great use of science). 

I don't think Pullman, Philip has been mentioned yet, I liked his dark materials series. 

memorytoast

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #93 on: February 28, 2017, 06:40:05 PM »
I read a lot of children's fiction, because that's my taste and also because I'm a teacher, but I have some adult fiction too on my favorites on goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/26719695-memory-toast?shelf=favorites

ringer707

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #94 on: March 07, 2017, 07:22:38 AM »
Best book I've ever read is probably Gone With the Wind. I love something that just gives you a whole world like that and so much detail. I often hear people lament that a book has "too much detail," which I've never understood.

Some recent fantastic reads-

1. His Dark Materials series (The Golden Compass) by Phillip Pullman. Wow!! Don't know why I didn't read this sooner.
2. If you're from the south/a small town- anything written by Fannie Flagg. I've read about five of her books now and love and cry at every single one.
3. Historical (but not necessarily accurate) fiction- Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
4. A Monster Calls- talk about break my heart. Fantastic children's read
5. The Time Traveler's Wife- thought this would be a major chick lit-type book going into it, but it's not and it is phenomenal

meatface

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #95 on: April 25, 2017, 11:29:13 AM »
1. The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell ("A visionary work that combines speculative fiction with deep philosophical inquiry"). A very unique read.
2. Einstein's Dreams, by Alan Lightman (pro tip: read a chapter each night right before sleeping)

Jakejake

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #96 on: May 09, 2017, 03:52:32 PM »
Self Improvement: A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy
I just searched my library for the audio book of this. It returned just one title as relevant: Sexy Forever by Suzanne Somers. What do you all think - close enough?

thesvenster

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #97 on: May 09, 2017, 04:07:06 PM »
Sometimes a Great Notion by the same guy who wrote One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest I always forget his name.

sherr

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #98 on: May 19, 2017, 10:22:36 PM »
#1 East of Eden - John Steinbeck
#2 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

Interesting to see the Hyperion series called out here a few times. I liked the first one a lot but wasn't a big fan of the second. I'll have to read 3 and 4.

GuitarStv

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Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
« Reply #99 on: May 21, 2017, 08:32:30 AM »
Self Improvement: A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy
I just searched my library for the audio book of this. It returned just one title as relevant: Sexy Forever by Suzanne Somers. What do you all think - close enough?

A Stoic wouldn't complain.