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Mustachian Community => Mustachian Book Club => Topic started by: EAL on September 13, 2016, 12:15:47 PM

Title: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: EAL on September 13, 2016, 12:15:47 PM
Book suggestions? Non-fiction or fiction, anything.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: startingsmall 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
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: coffeelover 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.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: LeRainDrop 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!!!
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: NV Teacher 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
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: Northwestie on September 13, 2016, 01:09:08 PM
The Alexandria Quartet

A Story Like the Wind

The Brothers K

.....to name a few
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: deadlymonkey on September 13, 2016, 01:13:18 PM
Brave New World

Starship Troopers

Stranger in a Strange Land

Hyperian
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: Orvell 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!
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: Burghardt 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.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: Tay_CPA 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)
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: BeardedLady 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.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: stoaX 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.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: MuttIsMyCopilot 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.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: sparky28 on September 13, 2016, 02:45:31 PM
East of Eden - John Steinbeck
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: Fudge102 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.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: stoaX 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".
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: RidinTheAsama 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)
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: katesilvergirl 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
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: rweba 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.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: Del Griffith 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.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: Lanthiriel 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.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: bobechs 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.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: tyort1 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. 
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: freeedom on September 13, 2016, 07:57:00 PM
Dune is my favorite book of all time.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: Fauxdc 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.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: aceyou 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

Coaching: They Call Me Coach: John Wooden

Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: trailrated 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."
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: GuitarStv 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.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: stoaX on September 14, 2016, 12:18:02 PM


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



+1
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: PencilThinStash 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.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: mlejw6 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.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: mtn 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.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: mtn on September 14, 2016, 01:42:13 PM
Oh, also anything by Norman Maclean.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: LeRainDrop 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!
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: EAL on September 14, 2016, 03:27:31 PM
Thanks for all your suggestions.  I know it was a broad and general request.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: mancityfan on September 14, 2016, 04:19:22 PM
Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury
Monkey Wrench Gang - Edward Abbey
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: Kell7279 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
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: doggyfizzle 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."
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: aschmidt2930 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.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: juan pavo 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
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: Big in Japan 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
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: Fudge102 on September 15, 2016, 08:31:38 AM
Give and Take by Adam Grant
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: cj25 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!

Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: Inevitable 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.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: mountains_o_mustaches 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

Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: Seppia 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
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: Lanthiriel 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."
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: Fishfindr 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.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: londonbanker 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
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: RentSeeking 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)

Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: pbkmaine 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.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: MrMathMustache 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
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: Bicycle_B 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. 
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: Chaplin 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).

Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: CU Tiger 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. 
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: wenchsenior 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"
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: Mmm_Donuts 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
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: SaskyStache 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.


Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: Fudge102 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!
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: scantee 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
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: mlejw6 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.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: LeRainDrop 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!
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: zhelud 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
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: Grogounet 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.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: Sailor Sam 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.

Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: Villanelle 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.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: GuitarStv 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?
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: beachbound on September 21, 2016, 11:37:19 AM
The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: golden1 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. 
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: Chris22 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.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: human 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.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: Mtngrl 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

Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: Tom Bri 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.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: human 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.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: stoaX 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?
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: PencilThinStash 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.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: tonysemail 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
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: Piwakawaka 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).
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: Hokum 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, sŁŖer 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.


Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: londonbanker 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 :-)
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: usoverseas on October 08, 2016, 08:41:20 AM
following so I can see which ones have audio versions from my library. 
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: gggggg on October 20, 2016, 09:06:49 AM
I never read fiction, but my favorite book is fiction: Robinson Crusoe
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: Dmoneyzzz 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.

(https://lh4.ggpht.com/XB17SS1H6JOCV9YXe383DVKSVXlaI5cqtxKIEEHJ1U0MZC9SoqC-NY6xn_Vr50qSSivr=w100)

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 :)
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: Mr stuble 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.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: gggggg 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.

(https://lh4.ggpht.com/XB17SS1H6JOCV9YXe383DVKSVXlaI5cqtxKIEEHJ1U0MZC9SoqC-NY6xn_Vr50qSSivr=w100)

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.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: CarrieWillard 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!!
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: Libertea 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.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: NoMustachForYou 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
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: lifejoy on January 15, 2017, 12:00:28 PM
The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

True story. Poverty upbringing. Fascinating read.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: MgoSam 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
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: rmalloy 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
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: trashmanz 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.

(https://lh4.ggpht.com/XB17SS1H6JOCV9YXe383DVKSVXlaI5cqtxKIEEHJ1U0MZC9SoqC-NY6xn_Vr50qSSivr=w100)

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. 
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: memorytoast 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 (https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/26719695-memory-toast?shelf=favorites)
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: ringer707 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
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: meatface 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)
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: Jakejake 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?
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: Dr. Hasslein: Russian Bot Commander 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.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: sherr 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.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: GuitarStv 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.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: Stachey on May 21, 2017, 11:53:50 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?


LOL!  The two are almost interchangeable.  ;)
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: grantmeaname on January 12, 2018, 01:11:43 PM
This thread has been an absolute gold mine for book recommendations.

The best book I read last year was Farm by Richard Rhodes.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: lifejoy on January 12, 2018, 01:14:38 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?

LOL!!!
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: aceyou on February 09, 2018, 08:14:09 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?


LOL!  The two are almost interchangeable.  ;)

Yeah, screw stoic joy, I didn't know there was an option to just be sexy forever instead...sign me up!!!!!
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: ematicic on April 30, 2018, 10:24:58 AM
1. Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand
2. Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Particularly the Restaurant at the End of the Universe, by Douglass Adams
3. One Second After, by William Forstchen


All very different from each other but of all the reading I have done, these 3 were the hardest to put down and the most memorable.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: Leisured on May 02, 2018, 06:12:54 AM
One book I have not seen mentioned here: The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: Cordivae on May 03, 2018, 11:51:46 AM
Fiction:
#A timeless tale with mustachian theme and pitfalls.  Won a Pulitzer for a reason.
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

Self Help:
#This is the book that got me started in systematically being a better person.
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg


Non-Fiction:
#Bill Gates lists this as his favorite book of all time.  I think it should be mandatory reading and is the perfect antidote to the 24-hr news cycle induced stress.
Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: I'm a red panda on May 03, 2018, 12:02:39 PM
One of my favorite books ever- Seven Summits by Dick Bass (and Rick Ridgeway).
Great for arm chair mountaineers.

Talk about being able to have FU money to do what you want.  I read it in 9th grade, and have read it probably 20 or more times since then.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: grantmeaname on May 08, 2018, 06:46:46 PM
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.
A bit of preamble: Over the last year and a half I have been using Goodreads because I really like that I can drop a book onto my "to read" list any time I see an interesting recommendation and then just scroll through the list when I have finished or given up on the last round of books ordered from the library. The MMM forums, especially this thread, have been a good source of book recommendations; I just check through this subforum and a handful of other threads and drop anything intriguing onto my Goodreads list. I've found a few duds here and there, along with a big pile of good reads.

The Sparrow and its sequel Children of God are easily the best two books I've found here. Mad props to Bicycle_B for the recommendation. I finished Children of God on Saturday, not even 36 hours after I got to the front of the library's hold queue. I'm currently weighing whether I reread them both right now, start to finish, or if I give it a few weeks' time to let things settle. These books are everything first contact books like Speaker for the Dead (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speaker_for_the_Dead) could be if their authors really understood human beings, and it's hard to think of another book covering the same topics that doesn't pale in comparison. Seriously, go read The Sparrow.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: pbkmaine on May 09, 2018, 06:03:04 PM
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: stoaX on May 10, 2018, 04:47:40 PM
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande.

Yup - great book.  I've liked all the books I've read by him.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: JetBlast on May 28, 2018, 10:07:02 AM
Not sure Iíd say itís the best ever, but one I really enjoyed and havenít seen here is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig. Itís not that the philosophical ideas were new, but the way of exploring them and weaving them into the narrative is excellent.

Itís a book Iím glad I read in my late 20s instead of high school or even college. I donít think I would have really understood it back then, or had the patience to see where it was going.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: profnot on September 23, 2018, 03:27:27 PM
Canadian authoress Louise Penny is my favorite.

Her novels are set in Quebec and feature the provinceís Chief of Homicide. 
Gamache is an unusual detective in the genre - he is highly intelligent, he listens, he loves literature, and he adores his wife and children.  The writing and plots are top notch. Action scenes are terrific.  Plots always contain surprises.  Character development is wonderful.

Read the oldest book first, then in order.  The stories are all stand-alone but characters develop over the series.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: mountain mustache on September 23, 2018, 03:39:37 PM
All time best I've ever read, definitely LOTR Trilogy. There are no books that compare in my mind, no books that were a bigger part of my life than those. I've re-read them countless times, and I learn/discover something new each time!

Besides LOTR, I love anything Barbara Kingsolver has written, especially Animal Dreams, and Bean Trees.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: wheezle on October 02, 2018, 01:57:35 PM
Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew Crawford
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: grantmeaname on October 02, 2018, 06:56:34 PM
Really? That's been on my to read list for a long time. What made it so impactful?
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: wheezle on October 02, 2018, 07:57:53 PM
Really? That's been on my to read list for a long time. What made it so impactful?
I remember one passage where he's describing a master plumber explaining why you have to vent a toilet properly, because if you do it wrong, "the house will smell of shit."

There's something about seeing the real, tangible, and lasting effects of the work that you do every day that's basically what we, as humans, expect, but those of us who live a meaningless, paper-pushing white-collar existence don't ever feel it. So it's like we're missing something and we don't even know what it is.

He tells the story and makes the point very well. That we ought to MAKE things, because we're unhappy if we don't. It's a very compelling book.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: StarBright on October 02, 2018, 08:03:51 PM
Happy to see Cloud Atlas got a few mentions already - it is one of my favorite reads just because it hits so many genres and is a really gorgeous book.

My all-time favorite, re-read every year book is Possession by A.S. Byatt. If I could only choose one book for the rest of my life, that would be it.

Honorable mentions: Cloud Atlas, Katherine (or Dragonwyck) by Anya Seton, or Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters (Poetry but tells a story).

mountain mustache - Kinsgolver's Animal Vegetable Miracle is one I re-read often!
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: stoaX on October 19, 2018, 02:49:00 PM
Fiction:
#A timeless tale with mustachian theme and pitfalls.  Won a Pulitzer for a reason.
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

Self Help:
#This is the book that got me started in systematically being a better person.
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg


Non-Fiction:
#Bill Gates lists this as his favorite book of all time.  I think it should be mandatory reading and is the perfect antidote to the 24-hr news cycle induced stress.
Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker

Just finished listening to Enlightenment Now on audiobook.  I agree - it was worth every moment spent listening to it. 
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: GrowRichEnough on November 28, 2018, 04:29:01 AM
There are a few books that have completely changed my life for the better, including ...


The full list is here, hope it's useful ...

http://www.growrichenough.com/life-changing-books/
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: Pieve on December 28, 2018, 03:22:32 AM
The great Gatsby
Crime and Punishment
Catch-22
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: aliciagold on March 30, 2019, 02:52:48 AM
The Foundation trilogy. Especially the first one.

Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: daverobev on March 30, 2019, 09:19:30 AM
I don't think anyone's mentioned Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights. I saw a few mentions of Steinbeck - I couldn't get into East of Eden, but I loved his Grapes of Wrath.

Similar in vein to Steinbeck's Travels with Charley is Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon.

Lots of people have mentioned Dune, which I haven't read for a few years. Might be time to go back to that.

Oh, I love Stephen Donaldson generally. His Gap Series is absolutely fantastic sci-fi. I gave my set away... might have to undo that.

(Edited to add authors).
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: tyort1 on March 30, 2019, 09:40:12 AM
I think Catch 22 has now kicked Moby Dick out of my top spot.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: daverobev on March 30, 2019, 10:02:49 AM
I think Catch 22 has now kicked Moby Dick out of my top spot.

"Something Happened" also by Heller is... quite something, too.
Title: Re: Best book you've ever read? Book recommendations?
Post by: stoaX on April 06, 2019, 04:45:11 PM


Similar in vein to Steinbeck's Travels with Charley is Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon.



I enjoyed both of these as well.  Thanks for mentioning!