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Old 15-10-2003, 05:07   #1
russkayatatu russkayatatu is offline
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Favorite Books and Authors

We already have threads on favorite classical pieces, favorite bands, favorite movies...does anyone have favorite books or authors that they'd like to share? First, do you like to read? What novels/poems/plays do you enjoy the most or have meant a lot to you?

For me, I have a lot of favorites:

William Somerset Maugham - I've had friends laugh at me for liking him because they say "everybody thinks he's wonderful when they're twenty" but I like almost everything he's written - Of Human Bondage, and recently I read The Painted Veil, which I thought would make a good film. Not many people I know have heard of it, but Theatre is a fantastic novel; I love his style, the way he writes, and his ideas too: I keep turning them around trying to see where they fail but they stand up pretty well. So at the moment I am enjoying liking Somerset Maugham

Thomas Mann, with his Death in Venice - sometime last spring I reread that novella again and I've remembered it over and over since then - especially one passage about "the communion of a mind and a body," when the hero is watching Tadzio on the beach and in the hotel, thinking over what his name could be and watching him from afar - maybe being alone so often this summer in crowds of people had something to do with it but anyway, I think this is a beautiful book.

I used to love Sartre's plays: "Huis Clos," "Les Mouches," "Les Mains Sales" - I still like them, but not as much as I did. I like Hesse too, Steppenwolf and others - Kafka's stories - The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. This summer I picked up Immortality by Milan Kundera and kept returning to passages long after I'd read them the first time...I think I like Kundera I also read Haruki Murakami for the first time, his novels Norwegian Wood and Sputnik Sweetheart, which after hesitation I decided were pretty good. And now I'm reading Vladimir Nabokov's Russian works, which I like much, much better than I thought I would; a long time ago I thought his Lolita was absolute genius - several English novels later I decided he wasn't so great after all, which is still sort of what I think - in some ways he is too narrow-minded for me - although his Russian works are pleasant to find, a real treat - Nabokov at his best is like twentieth-century classical music

I like VS Naipaul too; his books disturb me because they're so depressing, somehow, but somehow I feel like it's very accurate, and pointed, and right to the heart I don't know how to explain exactly...I liked his Enigma of Arrival and A Bend in the River.

Huh, I guess that's more than enough (and a REALLY odd collection), although there are a lot more that I like...anyone else here have books they like? Can be any book, by anyone, doesn't even have to be fiction

Last edited by russkayatatu; 15-10-2003 at 05:17.
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Old 15-10-2003, 05:16   #2
thegurgi thegurgi is offline
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Very Simply

HOCUS POCUS by KURT VONNEGUT. Man is convicted of a crime he didn't commit, he doesn't care, he's dying anyway, and the library at the prison is just way too cool. Written on scraps of paper. Weirdly Amazing. GO READ IT

oh, and Slaughter House 5 by the same.

actually, Anything by Vonnegut.

The Master and Margarita by Mihail Bulgakov, the devil comes to moscow during early soviet rule... and meanwhile a man who's retelling the tale of pontius pilate finds 'love' with the woman who is obsessed with him. IT'S AWESOME....

ummm...too many books to talk about at bed time!
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Old 15-10-2003, 05:53   #3
Lux Lux is offline
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for fun but stimulating reading, steven king: dolores claiborne, the shining, desperation, needful things, the tommyknockers [to name a few].

for oddly intriguing reading, anne rice: the vampire chronicles 1-4

for deep albeit slightly extreme philosophical reading, ayn rand: the fountainhead, atlas shrugged

for stylistically beautiful reading, john steinbeck: east of eden, grapes of wrath, travels with charlie

for utter indulgence, charles dickens: great expectations [one of my all time favorites]

oy there are so many more..aldous huxley, tom robbins, ethan hawke [the hottest state], max danielewski [house of leaves - but only if you want nightmares], eve ensler [vagina monologues!!! w00t w00t], david sedaris, the counte of monte cristo, jane eyre [or anything by the bronte sisters], pride and prejudice [classic], the great gatsby [classic], one hundred years of solitude....
oy it goes on and on, and i really should start recreationally reading again

but this should be a good start ... for anyone who wants to start with classics
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Old 15-10-2003, 06:06   #4
angeljas01 angeljas01 is offline
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My favorite book of all times is "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky....It's really an amazing book that won't take to much time to read.

And if you want something grotesques I suggest "Splatter Punks"...a little bit of warning this is not for the weak of heart or stomach.
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Old 15-10-2003, 11:52   #5
Tom Violence Tom Violence is offline
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I read The Master and Margarita very recently. During the week between finishing my university course and my university library card expiring, I decided to attack the Russian Literature section of the library. Not literally. It's a figure of speech, see.

It's a fine book, the magic realism puts me very much in mind of Gabriel Garcнa Mбrquez. Who is, of course, dynamite himself. A friend recently told me that he would buy and read any one book I recommended to him. Of Love and Other Demons was my choice. On reflection, Love in the Time of Cholera may be better. I love the sentiment that devoting a lifetime to apparently fruitless romance is a valuable way to spend ones days.

As it goes, I've been reading a great many novels in translation lately. They were off-limits during my English Literature course, so I've been overloading myself with them since. Next I intend to tackle Death and the Penguin by Andrey Kurkov. I will admit it was solely the title that reeled me in. And the short chapters will suit my attention span.

Bringing poetry in, I would propose Miguel Algarнn is worth a few minutes of anyone's consideration. He founded the Nuyorican school of poetry. I once wrote a long essay about the use of the '/' symbol in his work. So there you go. Body Bee Calling from the 21st Century is a fine and frisky number.
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Old 15-10-2003, 16:02   #6
LenochkaO LenochkaO is offline
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Originally posted by Tom Violence
Next I intend to tackle Death and the Penguin by Andrey Kurkov. I will admit it was solely the title that reeled me in.
I like the sound of the title as well, for some reason.

I have "The Master and Margarita" on my bookshelf, but I've not been doing a lot of reading this year, for various reasons that I myself don't really understand, so it remains unread.

I used to be pretty keen on Kafka and Camus, and I loved Doctor Murke's Collected Silences by Boll, when I read it for German A-level. I loved "A Wild Sheep Chase" and "Dance Dance Dance" by Murakami Haruki (an old university friend of my bf's is Murakami's Russian translator, inkidinkily). I'd also recommend "The Castle of Dreams" and "The File on H" by an Albanian author called Ismail Kadare.
You've cried enough this lifetime, my beloved polar bear
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Old 15-10-2003, 20:45   #7
Charles Charles is offline
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In on particular order:

Terry Pratchett - Discworld series
Isaac Asimov - misc. robot stories
Robert Heinlein
Arthur C. Clarke - 2001, Childhoods End, Randevous with Rama
Ursala K. Le guin - Dispossessed, The Lathe of Heaven, Earthsea Trilogy
Lous McMaster Bujold - Vor series
David Drake - Honor Harrington series

Granted, much of that is to literature as popcorn is to fine dining, but still fun to read.
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Old 15-10-2003, 21:22   #8
QueenBee QueenBee is offline
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I donno.. I don't read books very often. :/
Any phisophical/psychological books out there you would recommend?
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Old 15-10-2003, 22:11   #9
nath nath is offline
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Hello Russkayatatu!..hehe....I Love Thomas Mann!...."Death in Venise" is beautiful..but try too "Tonio Kroger"...

My favourite writer is Tennessee Williams and all his novels and his plays...
I love Truman Capote, too....i love the man.
I adore Carson Mc Cullers..: "The Mortgaged Heart", "The Ballad of the Sad Cafй"(novels), "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" ...
For a long time, I thought that Hemingway was only a macho which was satisfied to go to fishing and to kill out of the savage animals, at the time of safaris. I discovered his writings which report his life in Paris "Paris is a festival" and I discovered there a man of a great sensitivity which can describe with wonder all these small simple happinesses of the life.
F.S.Fitzgerald : "The Great Gatsby", "Tender is the night".
Love Marguerite Duras: "La maladie de la Mort" ("Death's ill"), Stefan Zweig, Virginia Woolf, Ibsen, Oscar Wilde, Colette and Tchekhov... I adore Tchekhov..
I lived a great moment reading "The Sophie's Choice"..
William Boyd made me much laugh with "English in the Tropics"..

When I passed my baccalaureat (our French examination of end of studies), I put each time "Lolita" on my table of examination, it was my book "amulet"... hehe...

In this moment, my book of bedside is "Shadows on Hudson" of Singer(I liked enough the atmosphere of "Meshugah") but I will take your advice and will try to read "The Master and Marguerite" because that made 20 years that I intend to say that it is a good book...

Last edited by nath; 15-10-2003 at 22:28.
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Old 15-10-2003, 22:55   #10
haku haku is offline
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The 6 volumes of Dune by Frank Herbert.

1- Dune
2- Dune Messiah
3- The Children Of Dune
4- God Emperor Of Dune
5- Heretics Of Dune
6- Chapterhouse

I've read them over a dozen times.
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Old 15-10-2003, 23:39   #11
parrish122 parrish122 is offline
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Robert Heinlen--Stranger in a Strange Land

Alice Sebold---The Lovely Bones

Pat Conroy--The Prince of Tides

Spider Robinson--The Stardance series.

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Old 16-10-2003, 02:39   #12
LenochkaO LenochkaO is offline
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Originally posted by Charles

Terry Pratchett - Discworld series
Doh! How could I forget Pratchett?! Interesting Times is a particular favourite of mine because of the Oriental (Auriental?) flavour

John Wyndham's books (Day of the Triffids, Midwich Cuckoos, Chocky, etc.) are vvvv.good.

Bill Bryson's books usually make amusing reading, particularly Notes From a Small Island.
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Old 16-10-2003, 03:07   #13
guesshoo guesshoo is offline
keep 'em guessing
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the coldest winter ever - sistah souljah
whatever it takes - poisonous truth
the best laid plans - parrish
learning, loving, living - poisonous truth

(yes, 3 out of the 4 books were written by persons on this mb. )
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Old 16-10-2003, 11:28   #14
teeny teeny is offline
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Stephen King and John Grisham books.
Among the favorites: Stephens "Dreamcatcher" and Johns "Rainmaker"

But I liked Lorenzo Carcaterra - Sleepers, and Meave Binchy - Circle of Friends too.
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Old 16-10-2003, 22:09   #15
lolitagirl lolitagirl is offline
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Catcher and the Rye - JD Salinger

Poems by Shakespeare, Edgar Allen Poe, Sappho and me. Yes I am a writer/Poet
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Old 17-10-2003, 05:18   #16
Khartoun2004 Khartoun2004 is offline
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Oh I just love books. You should see my house, most of the vertical space in every room is bookshelf after bookshelf full to bursting with books. But then again that's what happens in a house full of pack-rat book collectors.

my favorite author of all time is Ayn Rand. I know most people that have read her stuff either don't understand it, totally miss the point or don't agree with her, but She's changed the entire way I look at things. my favorite by her is The Fountainhead. It's absolutely amazing and I really wish I had a girlfriend that looked like Dominique. Oh and Kira Argounova from We the Living has to be the my favorite character from any book. I love her perseverance, strength, and will to live her life by her own standards, not anyone elses.

Charles, I really enjoyed Ursula K. LeGuin's Earthsea trilogy also. You gotta love Ged, and Tenar kind of reminds me of Yulia with long hair and black robes.

Another must read is of course Tolkein's The Lord of the Rings - Trilogy. My mom read it to me when I was six and I've read it once every year since i was about 12 I think. (Return of the king comes out on Dec. 17! )

Anne Rice is always excellent. I love her still and the way she portrays Vampires as more than just blood-sucking fiends. They have personality, depth and something that just makes them seem so romantic and beautiful. It almost makes you wish they really existed.

I think I'll stop now. I could go one and on for pages upon pages about the books I've read. I think I have a stack of 10 waiting by my bed to be read before next semester when I have English.
Velvet ropes and guitars
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Old 17-10-2003, 06:56   #17
denial denial is offline
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... I tried .. I never finished any novel .. last year I tried to read that Vanish from Susan Sarandon ...still not finish ..

Post edited
I will forget my dreams
Nothing is what it seems
I will effect you
I will protect you
From all the crazy schemes

You traded in your wings
For everything freedom brings

You never left me
You never let me
See what this feeling means

Last edited by denial; 27-10-2003 at 19:39.
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Old 17-10-2003, 07:12   #18
shizzo shizzo is offline
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I'd think that it's a bit difficult, considering how many books
a person must have read while literate, to narrow down all
that literature to select a list of favorites.
A more appropriate description of my preferences would be
a "contemporary list of potentially momentary interests".

I've read a lot of William Blake's poetry, which I think is an
awesome collection of works. He has two volumes of poetry
which are meant to coincide [and contrast] one another :
"Songs of Innocence" and "Songs of Experience". Nicely
different and oddly alike. I lufs!

As for novels, I'd been a big Christopher Pike fan [before he
hiatused for years and broke off the steady churning out
of books he'd had going]. Paulo Coelho's "Veronika Decides
To Die" is cleverly written and highly appealing to one's sense
of what matters in life and the entire interconnectedness of
everything. Profound on several levels.

As for my current favorite books... hmm.
Thomas E. Payne's "Describing Morphosyntax : A guide for field
linguistics" comes to mind. A textbook on the history and
grammar of the Afrikaans language is also of interest at the
moment. [I ьberlufs Afrikaans.] And the French version of the
novel "The Little Prince" ["Le Petit Prince"] also should be
named, since it's been an ongoing favorite for quite a long

[I don't often stray far from the linguistic genre of books. Half
of my literary collection consists of language textbooks.
It's honestly a sad thing to realize at times. :P]

// Loki
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Old 17-10-2003, 10:10   #19
luxxi luxxi is offline
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R. Heinlein-Starship Troopers
S. Pressfield-Gates of Fire
S. Pressfield-Tides of War
E. Bradford-Thermopylae, the Battle for the West
N. Chomsky-Fatefull Triangle
A. Beevor-Stalingrad
S. Huntington-The Clash of Civilisations
E. Manstein-Lost Victories
H. Guderian-Panzer Leader
H. Turtledove-Darkness series
H. Turtledove-Worldwar & Colonisation series
H. Turtledove-Great War & American Empire series
R. Harris-Fatherland
V. Bartol-Alamut
L. Hart-The Other Side of the Hill
Ho, ho, ho. Santa is in town. And he has a list of naughty girls.

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Old 17-10-2003, 14:15   #20
raven ryuu raven ryuu is offline
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I rarely read books. My ADD keeps my attention span to a minimum :P So, I basically read magazines and the newspaper. Things have to be short and to the point. But this year, I was able to accomplish one of my life's goals, which was to read War and Peace by Tolstoy. It took me 5-6 months to finish it, but I was able to do it I think the only thing that kept me interested in reading such a long novel was the love stories within it I didn't care much for the historical context of it...Napoleon Bonaparte and his wars was never an interesting subject for me.

The only other things I read were requirements for school.
I was very fond of Jack London's "Sea Wolf". I can't remember the author, but Where The Red Fern Grows was a very moving story.
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