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Junebug68
06-09-2008, 11:02 AM
In the spirit of the worse books ever thread, what are some of the best books you guys have read? I'm always up for a good new book :)

LibraryLady
06-09-2008, 11:05 AM
It's out of print but my all time favourite (well, one of several) is The Moonflower Vine by Jetta Carleton.

Shannon
06-09-2008, 11:16 AM
Watership Down. It will always be my favorite book. GWTW is up there too.

LogansPapa
06-09-2008, 11:19 AM
The Grapes of Wrath (1939) written by John Steinbeck.

Junebug68
06-09-2008, 11:24 AM
Watership Down. It will always be my favorite book. GWTW is up there too.

Never read Watership down, but GWTW was great. There's a book called Bringing out the Dead about paramedics that I really liked. When I was a kid, my fav book was The Three Musketeers. I was a nerd. :Da

biccat
06-09-2008, 11:29 AM
As a kid, Bunnicula, The Celery Stalks at Midnight, etc. were my favorites.

Now, I tend towards sci-fi/fantasy, books like Armour, Ender's Game, and Starship Troopers are some of my favorites.

linda22003
06-09-2008, 11:37 AM
These bear rereading every few years, for me:

Moby Dick, by Herman Melville. It's not about whales; it's about obsession and what it can do to you. This should not be assigned in high schools; no high schooler can understand the real theme, and everyone can understand it by the age of forty.

Home Life, by Alice Thomas Ellis. Her essays for The Spectator on her attempts to deal with her disorderly house, family, and mind are by turns touching and laugh-out-loud funny.

The Missing of the Somme, by Geoff Dyer. It's not so much about the First World War as it is about the function of memory - anticipated memory, memory of fairly current events, and how memory changes over time as events recede into the past.

Cold Comfort Farm, by Stella Gibbons. The Starkadder family of Cold Comfort Farm are set in order and put to rights by a cousin from the city who refuses to accommodate their nonsense.

One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez has been vilified on the "worst books" thread, so let me cast a vote of confidence for him here.

There are lots more, but that's a start.

Shannon
06-09-2008, 11:42 AM
Never read Watership down, but GWTW was great. There's a book called Bringing out the Dead about paramedics that I really liked. When I was a kid, my fav book was The Three Musketeers. I was a nerd. :Da

I don't know if reading Watership Down as an adult would have the same effect but give it a try anyway. Bringing out the Dead was a Cage movie, right? I don't think I ever made it through the movie.

Junebug68
06-09-2008, 12:39 PM
I don't know if reading Watership Down as an adult would have the same effect but give it a try anyway. Bringing out the Dead was a Cage movie, right? I don't think I ever made it through the movie.

Yeah it's a Cage movie, but the book came first and it's different and much better than the movie.

noonwitch
06-09-2008, 01:20 PM
A Tale Of Two Cities by Dickens. There's a reason why they make us read it in 8th or 9th grade, it's a great story of love, history and sacrifice.

My favorite modern novel is East Of Eden by Steinbeck. I like family sagas, and this one has characters as diverse as an Irish-American farmer and his strictly religious and thoroughly practical wife, a rich man from the east who thinks he can control nature, a madam who runs a house that caters to the darker pleasures, and a chinese manservant who studies philosophy on the side.

I saw someone named The Witching Hour as one of the worst novels-it's one of my favorites, although I concede that the ending sucks, and Rowan and Michael should have killed the SOB once it took on flesh. But the build up is so awesome, and the family history of the Mayfairs. I also love the character of Carlotta, the seemingly evil old aunt.

Cold Warrior
06-10-2008, 06:42 AM
If we're doing primarily fiction, here's mine:

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - American rendition of the Aussie/Brit concept of "the tall poppy syndrome"

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway - The joys and sorrows of manhood as exemplified in Jake Barnes who has lost his in WWI

Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald - Love, sacrifice, control, and eventual loss. Everything you can say about the relationship between a man and a woman

On the Road by Jack Kerouac - Purest expression of post-WWII America and the beat generation with an exuberance for living and loving

The Razor's Edge by Somerset Maugham - The antithesis of the 30 year fixed, 2.1 kids in an SUV, Pleasant Valley Sunday set

talleyJudy
06-10-2008, 08:18 AM
This isn't fiction, but a lovely, thought provoking biographical story none the less. Especially for us canine 'fans', you will look at you dog with new awareness.

Merle's door : lessons from a freethinking dog by Ted Kerasote

IanMartins
06-10-2008, 08:21 AM
Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. The book that changed my life in so many ways.
http://www.atlasshrugged.com/


Ayn Rand’s masterpiece. It integrates the basic elements of an entire philosophy into a highly complex, yet dramatically compelling plot—set in a near-future U.S.A. whose economy is collapsing as a result of the mysterious disappearance of leading innovators and industrialists. The theme is: “the role of the mind in man’s existence—and, as corollary, the demonstration of a new moral philosophy: the morality of rational self-interest.”

Nathan S.
06-10-2008, 04:03 PM
I have to admit I'm a HUGE sci-fi and fantasy fan. It helps to "escape" in this way every now and then. Top pick? Alastair Reynolds is a great noir, space-opera author. Great stuff.

Robert Jordan's epic "The Wheel of Time" series is a classic in the making for fantasy fans. Those are 'my classics'.:)

DarkScribe
06-10-2008, 05:18 PM
Gee, mine are going to seem so trivial compared to most on here, but here goes (keep in mind, this is what I think as best, of course):

Pet Semetary by Stephen King -- the first book of his I'd read and still one of the most frightening things he's ever written.

Watchers by Dean Koontz -- I think this was the 2nd book of his I'd read but left such a huge impression on me. Man and super-smart dog versus mutant killer-thing. What could be better?

The Dark by James Herbert -- the opening scene in this book freaked me out...still does. The British equivalent to King and still writing novels.

Succubi by Edward Lee -- the opening scene in this book hooked me, it being so graphically different from anything I'd ever read in the horror genre. Been hooked by Lee ever since.

The Doc Ford novels by Randy Wayne White -- I grew up in southwest Florida where all his novels are set, especially around the Pine Island, Sanibel and Captiva areas. I breeze through his novels because they are fast, engaging reads, with well-developed characters and twisting plot threads. If they ever made movies from these books I always picture Harrison Ford as Doc Ford, for some reason.

LogansPapa
06-10-2008, 06:20 PM
Who Goes There? (science fiction) by John W. Campbell, Jr :eek:

FeebMaster
06-10-2008, 06:39 PM
Robert Jordan's epic "The Wheel of Time" series is a classic in the making for fantasy fans. Those are 'my classics'.:)

I just hope Brandon Sanderson doesn't butcher the last book. Which reminds me, I have to pick up some of his work to check out.


My picks:

Almost everything Heinlein ever wrote.

Any of Neal Stephenson's work. Especially Cryptonomicon and Snow Crash. Also The Diamond Age. I really liked the Baroque Cycle as well, but a lot of people seem to think it's too long and rather slow.

Symbols Flow, by George Potter.

Gates of Fire, by Steven Pressfield.

It's hard to come up with a list of bests. There's a lot of really great books out there.

Ike
06-10-2008, 07:09 PM
One of my favorites is All We Need of Hell by Harry Crews. I love southern lit, and Crews is one of my favorites. I'm also a big fan of Larry Brown and Flannery O'Connor.

Zafod
06-10-2008, 07:20 PM
As a kid, Bunnicula, The Celery Stalks at Midnight, etc. were my favorites.

Now, I tend towards sci-fi/fantasy, books like Armour, Ender's Game, and Starship Troopers are some of my favorites.

Enders Game and pretty much anything Card writes if F-ing awsome.

DarkScribe
06-10-2008, 08:13 PM
Enders Game and pretty much anything Card writes if F-ing awsome.

One of my co-workers who is also a writer got picked to attend an invite-only week-long writer's workshop in San Diego by Card...of course he has to pay for air-fare and lodging, but still....pretty cool.

Elspeth
06-10-2008, 08:22 PM
My weird picks:

Dante's Inferno
Descartes Discourse sur la methode
Agatha Christie The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
Charlotte Bronte Vilette

and any Far Side Comic collection. :)

raiderguy8
06-10-2008, 09:41 PM
The Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy
The Stand by Stephen King (both the 700+ page and the 1100+ page versions)
The three original "Shannara" books by Terry Brooks

nightflight
06-10-2008, 09:47 PM
The True Believer by Eric Hoffer

God Part of the Brain by Matthew Alper

1984 by Orwell

Race and Culture by Thomas Sowell

Cold Warrior
06-10-2008, 09:53 PM
My weird picks:

Dante's Inferno
Descartes Discourse sur la methode
Agatha Christie The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
Charlotte Bronte Vilette

and any Far Side Comic collection. :)

Possibly the most perfect "English" murder mystery ever written.

patriot45
06-10-2008, 09:54 PM
Gee, mine are going to seem so trivial compared to most on here, but here goes (keep in mind, this is what I think as best, of course):

Pet Semetary by Stephen King -- the first book of his I'd read and still one of the most frightening things he's ever written.

Watchers by Dean Koontz -- I think this was the 2nd book of his I'd read but left such a huge impression on me. Man and super-smart dog versus mutant killer-thing. What could be better?

The Dark by James Herbert -- the opening scene in this book freaked me out...still does. The British equivalent to King and still writing novels.

Succubi by Edward Lee -- the opening scene in this book hooked me, it being so graphically different from anything I'd ever read in the horror genre. Been hooked by Lee ever since.

The Doc Ford novels by Randy Wayne White -- I grew up in southwest Florida where all his novels are set, especially around the Pine Island, Sanibel and Captiva areas. I breeze through his novels because they are fast, engaging reads, with well-developed characters and twisting plot threads. If they ever made movies from these books I always picture Harrison Ford as Doc Ford, for some reason.


I will agree on the Koontz book, Watchers, probably the best book I ever read where all 4 of the movies made from it sucked!!

From King my all time favorite would be Salems Lot, I have read that book many times and it is still good.

But, for what has any author done for me lately, it would be F. Paul Wilson and the Repairman Jack series.
I like them so much that I pre order signed copies from Gauntlet press. He just came out with a book on Jacks younger years - Jack: Secret Histories, it will be three books on the young Jack and supposedly will have a bearing on the LAST Repairman Jack book!

I have to add, any thing by Vince Flynn, not a bad book yet.

PS. I haven't read anything by that guy Lee yet, lol!

Shannon
06-10-2008, 09:56 PM
PS. I haven't read anything by that guy Lee yet, lol!


Don't bother.:p

patriot45
06-10-2008, 10:10 PM
Don't bother.:p



LOL, did he lose my address again! I've been standing by my mailbox for 3 weeks now! Just waitin for that E. Lee book to come!

http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i230/patriot45270/mailbox.jpg

DarkScribe
06-11-2008, 07:07 AM
LOL, did he lose my address again! I've been standing by my mailbox for 3 weeks now! Just waitin for that E. Lee book to come!

http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i230/patriot45270/mailbox.jpg

Pat, I will get that out to you this week...sorry for the delay, man...and no, didn't lose your address...still have it.:cool:

Junebug68
06-11-2008, 11:51 AM
I also really like books by Jack Higgins with the character "Sean Dillon" in them. Just good for fun, relaxing reading.

As for more serious books, I remember really liking "The Picture of Dorian Gray"

Shannon
06-11-2008, 11:54 AM
I also really like books by Jack Higgins with the character "Sean Dillon" in them. Just good for fun, relaxing reading.

As for more serious books, I remember really liking "The Picture of Dorian Gray"

Dorian Gray was a good book. I think I read it in about two hours. That was one of those that I had heard about for years and finally read when I was around 23. I expected something ...more.

Jumpy
06-11-2008, 08:02 PM
I listen to audio books while I work. From the Library, or I pick them up at yardsales, or a bargain basement place. I have listened to most of the Stephen King DarkTower series and LOVED some of them. I wasn't wild about the ending.

Books I will read, or listen to more than once are the Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisters. I absolutely loved it. So shoot me.

I loved Ruth Rendell's, "Crocodile Bird". Listened 3 times and will listen again. It might not be as good of a read as it is a listen. The reader is amazing.

Garden of Beasts, by Jeffrey Deaver was very good, and I will listen again.

Dean Koontz- The Watchers. Delightful read, and listen.

To Kill a Mockingbird-Harper

Carrie - Stephen King

I keep trying to listen to the Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy, but mostly I fall asleep to it.

Oh.. one more. I actually had time to read this one. I loved it.. very easy read and couldn't put it down until the end. "The five people you meet in Heaven".

P.S.S Another must read. Jeannette Walls - Glass Castles.

P.S.S.S The boy named IT.

What is all the fuss about "Catcher in the Rye"??? I recently finished that for the first time.

Gingersnap
06-11-2008, 09:36 PM
What is all the fuss about "Catcher in the Rye"??? I recently finished that for the first time.

When it was published (and for way too many decades thereafter) it was considered a groundbreaking insight into adolescent angst. The futility what-his-name feels in engaging the "adult" world is supposed to make us question the hypocrisy and uselessness of most adult interaction.

In reality, it just showed us the typical adolescent experience of an upper class, white liberal of the type who would later write wrenching Letters-to-the-Editor of the NYT about the evils of Wal-Mart while avidly investing in the commodities market. :)

Jumpy
06-11-2008, 10:00 PM
When it was published (and for way too many decades thereafter) it was considered a groundbreaking insight into adolescent angst. The futility what-his-name feels in engaging the "adult" world is supposed to make us question the hypocrisy and uselessness of most adult interaction.

In reality, it just showed us the typical adolescent experience of an upper class, white liberal of the type who would later write wrenching Letters-to-the-Editor of the NYT about the evils of Wal-Mart while avidly investing in the commodities market. :)

It was good.. but dang, that kid had a potty mouth. Not a book I would recommend to my mother. I really liked parts of it, and might listen again, because it is in the top 10 or 20 of the greatest books ever, on most lists.

Gingersnap
06-11-2008, 11:16 PM
It was good.. but dang, that kid had a potty mouth. Not a book I would recommend to my mother. I really liked parts of it, and might listen again, because it is in the top 10 or 20 of the greatest books ever, on most lists.

The mild (by our experience) vulgarity is what shot it to the top of the bestseller lists and made it a high school staple.

I would not personally consider it important enough to make a top 10 list of American literature. A much better take on adolescent male coming-of-age can be found in 'A Separate Peace' from roughly the same era.

Nathan S.
06-12-2008, 08:45 AM
FeebMaster - I agree, I hope he does a good job (Brian Sanderson) as well. It looks promising though.

For you Dean Koontz fans, how many of you loved Velocity and The Takers? I think I got that last title right.

I'm thinking of checking out the Odd Thomas books. Any thoughts?

linda22003
06-12-2008, 09:40 AM
"Catcher in the Rye" AND "A Separate Peace" were both required, and very popular, reading during my prep school days (1968-1972).

Shannon
06-12-2008, 09:41 AM
FeebMaster - I agree, I hope he does a good job (Brian Sanderson) as well. It looks promising though.

For you Dean Koontz fans, how many of you loved Velocity and The Takers? I think I got that last title right.

I'm thinking of checking out the Odd Thomas books. Any thoughts?

You didn't get that last title right.;)

Junebug68
06-12-2008, 09:44 AM
FeebMaster - I agree, I hope he does a good job (Brian Sanderson) as well. It looks promising though.

For you Dean Koontz fans, how many of you loved Velocity and The Takers? I think I got that last title right.

I'm thinking of checking out the Odd Thomas books. Any thoughts?

I really liked the Odd Thomas books - there's a new one out now too. Kinda dreamy but fun.

Shannon
06-12-2008, 09:45 AM
I really liked the Odd Thomas books - there's a new one out now too. Kinda dreamy but fun.

I just finished it a couple of weeks ago. None of them are as good as the first one but I still enjoy the series. There will definitely be another one.

Gingersnap
06-12-2008, 09:59 AM
"Catcher in the Rye" AND "A Separate Peace" were both required, and very popular, reading during my prep school days (1968-1972).

I had to discover "A Separate Peace" on my own and I'm glad I did. :)

Sonnabend
06-12-2008, 10:12 AM
David Graham "Down to a Sunless Sea"...shattering.

Ken Follett "Pillars of the Earth" One of the best he has ever done.

Mary Gentle "Grunts" Just about the funniest book I have ever read.

David Brinckley "The Last Ship"..haunting and wonderfully human in the face of Armageddon.

Leon uris Mila 18 :Warsaw Ghetto , the day they taught the Nazis fear

Leon Uris QB VIII - Courtroom drama of the best kind

Stephen King IT - a magical adventure back into childhood, his masterpiece.

and

Frank Herbert's Dragon In the Sea...when fear is the greatest enemy.