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TyroneShoelaces
Snowy Owl
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25 Jun 2004, 12:26 am

:wink: Hello, One and All!

How's it going? I shall start by saying, reading is my life; very literally at the moment. I am taking an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Communication Studies, so textbooks are omnipresent, but reading for pleasure is definitely my first love. As a result, I am always on the hunt for something new to read! I was hoping that I might begin a trend by recommending books on this post - I would be ecstatic to receive similar information in return!

Cheers, Greg

Greg's Favourite Books as of 25/06/2004

:D "Rebecca" by Daphne Du Maurier - This novel was originally published in 1938. Set in a seaside manor in the South-West of England, "Rebecca" has proven to be a story for the ages. It follows the plight of young woman and her battle to win the affections of her new husband, from her predecessor Rebecca, who exists beyond the grave. "Rebecca" is a genuinely excellent read.

"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again"
The opening line of "Rebecca" - Stephen King made a point of saying that he considers this particular phrase to be the most frightening ever written in his novel, "A Bag of Bones" - also highly recommended.

8O "Hearts in Atlantis" by Stephen King - This is a truly wonderful story! Until very recently, I would not have given anything Mr King had written the time of day, as I consider many of his earlier works, such as "Christine" and "Pet Sematary" to be often ridiculous and always repulsive. Despite this, because of more recent masterpieces, like "Bag of Bones" it is apparent that he has matured and is making a concerted effort to become a legitimate author.

Although "Hearts in Atlantis" is not strictly of the Science-Fiction genre, it has themes, which could be best placed in this category. The story is anchored upon the life progression of a young man and his friends, the the which they encounter, and perhaps most importantly, the disappearance of someone extraordinary.

:!: "Bag of Bones" - by Stephen King - Lay aside what you think you know about Stephen King when you appraise the title of the book in question. It provides you with a false impression that it will be another gruesome bloodbath, as well as being about as predictable as a cup of tea. However, this is definitely not the case! It is a wonderfully crafted tale, capturing the essence of the best mystery and combing it with that of a best-selling thriller.

Like "Rebecca", "Bag of Bones" is almost primarily concerned with a struggle between the dead and the living. There are also other notable similarities in the storyscapes of the two books, although I shall not give these away.

:roll: "Once Were Warriors" - By Alan Duff -

This is a disturbing, yet oddly beautiful story relating to domestic violence, and how a man's carelessness can lead to the disintegration of his family. Set in New Zealand, it is well written with a storyline that reflects the lives of some who live here. The author, who is of Maori descent [the indigenous people of New Zealand] spent some time in London as a gangster.

:idea: "Lord of the Flies" - Willam Golding -

You should read it! If you have not or ready, I would consider throwing out your Television [you are obviously spending too much time watching it]!

:twisted: "1984" - George Orwell

The same as above - if you have not read this one I feel you must be at best semi-illiterate. Get rid of your radio as you did your television.

That's all for now, but I have one further responsibility to you. I must warn you that Richard Laymon is a very poor writer. I recently read a book by this man, in which every second page was occupied by some bizarre [and possibly painful] lewd act. This man has some issues - both sexually and with grammar. It frightens me that an imbecile such as Laymon managed to attain an M.A. in English Literature from a reputable American University. Yuck - the less said about him and his drivvle, the better.

Please - suggest something for me to read! I would love you forever; of course, not in the literal sense!

Hope to hear from you all soon :lol:



alex
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25 Jun 2004, 8:09 am

Lord of the Flies and 1984 are truly two of the best books every written. I just finished Lord of the Flies a few days ago, and it was amazing. If you haven't read it yet, you really should! Also check out Fahrenheit 451. The Harry Potter books are pretty good too.[/i]


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Taineyah
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25 Jun 2004, 3:01 pm

If you're interested in world building on a grandiose scale, read anything by Anne McCaffrey, one of the top world builders of our time!!

Also, I highly recommend Harry Potter, and The Vampire Chronicles, by Anne Rice. Anne Rice's Mayfair Witches stories are equally as good, if you can stomach non-explicit incestuous relations. (That's really the biggest downfall of the Mayfair Witches stories, otherwise, they're excellent and hold together brilliantly.


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BlueFeather
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25 Jun 2004, 4:53 pm

I would probably read considerably more than I do except I have comprehension problems (some books I simply can't get through, others take a great amount of effort) and additionally, I get so engrosed in reading that I get severe orthopedic pains and headaches if I'm not very careful to take frequent breaks.

Currently reading:
Men at Arms, Terry Pratchett
Conversations with God - book 1, Neale Donald Walsch

A few of my favorite authors:
Douglas Adams - I'm sure you know who he is, I love all his works.
Neil Stephenson - SnowCrash, the Deliverator opening is awesome.
L. Ron Hubbard (haven't read dianetics, only Battlefield Earth and the "Mission Earth" decology, which I'd describe as good sci-fi/fantasy with a good measure of social parody.)

A recommendation:
StormWatch: Team Achilles, this is actually a comic book. It's not focused on spandex, although it does have some :P The art is so-so, but the writing is excellent -- good pacing, good character development, and at times a poignant look at contemporary issues. The first 12 issues have been published as two graphic novels for those of us who like comics, but not the itsy-bitsy ad-filled monthly's. I'm going to be keeping a look out for more of the author's works; he's involved in video games, movies, and has plans to self-publish his next comics straight to graphic-novel format, his name is Micah Ian Wright.


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flamingjune
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26 Jun 2004, 1:04 pm

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller - about a wwII pilot attempting to get discharged and sent home via the insanity ploy.
Bartleby by Herman Melville (actually a short story, but still...) - about a scrivener who systematically ceases all his jobs functions.
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck - about the life of a China man.
Normally I could think of a million books I've read and loved, but since you asked, I'm blanking. :(



TyroneShoelaces
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26 Jun 2004, 8:52 pm

Thank you all for your input so far! :lol: It is good stuff! "Catch-22" is excellent, I must concur. "Bartleby" as well - anything by Herman Melville is worth a look.



flamingjune
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26 Jun 2004, 10:41 pm

TyroneShoelaces wrote:
Thank you all for your input so far! :lol: It is good stuff! "Catch-22" is excellent, I must concur. "Bartleby" as well - anything by Herman Melville is worth a look.

You're my hero for the day. I've never actually met anyone, on or offline, who's ever read either. When I try to explain, I get looked at like my head fell off. Oh wait, I get looked at like that when I try to explain anything. Carry on..!



IrishWolf
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27 Jun 2004, 5:19 am

:lol: Good Omens ~ Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman.
Absolutely brilliant. A hilarious story about the apocalypse, the coming of the antichrist and an unusual friendship between an angel and a demon who "didn't so much fall, as drift gently downwards." Also has the rising of Atlantis and tunnelling Tibetan monks.

:D All of Terry Pratchett's books, especially the Death trilogy. What can i say, i'm obsessed 8)

The Saint series ~Leslie Charteris.
Probably no one's heard of these. Beautifully dated, naive books about a man named Simon Templar. Unbelievably handsome, impossibly clever, witty and funny, lady killer. He's technically a crook, but he only swindles bad guys and runs rings around the police. Brilliant. I almost have the whole series, working on the rest.

The Tell Tale Heart ~ Edgar Allen Poe.
This is a short story, but i'll include it anyway. I love all Poe's stuff. His writing ability was breath taking.



TyroneShoelaces
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27 Jun 2004, 5:26 am

Terry Pratchett is good - I read the "Discworld series" a while ago! Have you read "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allan Poe?

I cannot over-emphasise the sheer wonderment of Daphne du Maurier as an author! Check her out people! If anyone out there [in TV land] has had the pleasure of experiencing her work, I would be very keen to discuss it.

Once again - Thanks for all your recommendations -Keep them coming!



KtMcS
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03 Jul 2004, 6:19 am

very found of terry prachett- I've just read 'the fifth elephant'- I'm not sure if its as good as any of the other Sam Vimes discworld books (such as men at arms- one of my favourites!).
Either Death or The Luggage are my favourite characters...

I hate to disagree with everyone with regards to Lord of the Flies. I think if I'd read it on my own, for my own enjoyment I might think differently but I had to study it for over 3 months in English lessons at school- somehow having to analyse every other word takes all the genius out of a book.

Pride and Prejudice- Jane Austen. Great book, luckily I read this before I had to do it at school.

The Hobbit
Lord of The Rings- Fellowship of the Ring
- Two Towers
- Return of the King
whatever you think of the films the books are classics.

Watership Down- probably better for kids, quite violent for a book about rabbits!!

books by Bill Bryson or Tony Hawks (not the skateboarder lol) very funny- even more so because they are true.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time- its on the books list.



alex
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03 Jul 2004, 8:15 am

TyroneShoelaces wrote:
Thank you all for your input so far! :lol: It is good stuff! "Catch-22" is excellent, I must concur. "Bartleby" as well - anything by Herman Melville is worth a look.


I tried to read Catch 22 whilst in middle school, and I was disoriented by the jumpy narration. I had to stop reading after the first or second chapter. After that confusion, I decided to return the book to the store.

I just recently noticed Catch 22 atop a pile of about books that is on the stairway (yes, thats the kind of family I live in; we have so many books that we need to store them on the stairway). I actually went out to buy the book while i was in middle school, but the one on I just saw on the stairs was my fathers (its probably from the 60s or possibly as late as the early 70s; its a good thing I returned the new version to the store since we already own a copy.


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NanoTy
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08 Jul 2004, 12:20 pm

I would recommend E.L. Doctorow, who specializes in American historical fiction. The only novel of his that I have read is Ragtime, and it is truly one of the best that I have ever read. It is similar to the movie Chicago, but also quite different. The author integrates important people from the turn of 20th century into a fictional story. It gives the important figures, such as Harry Houdini, Sigmund Freud, and others, the same amount of signifance as the fictional story. For example, you read about what famous vaudeville entertainer Evelyn Nesbit might have done in New York City before the novel switches to a fictional family in suburban New York. It is very interesting style of writing and is extremely well executed.



ilster
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09 Jul 2004, 2:50 am

books, books books!! ! I have a visitor just turn up so I can't go to far, but to begin with
Carson McCullers - 'the heart is a lonely hunter'
Gabriel Garcia Marquez - '100 years of solitude' (and everything else he's written)
Patrick White - 'The Vivisector' (and everything else he's touched paper with)
Irvine Welsh - anything viva la outsider!
Joyce Carey – 'The Horses Mouth'
Anthony Burgess - 'A clockwork Orange' 'A clockwork testiment'
Graeme Green - everything you can get your hands on - too many to name
Doestoevsky – everything - the greatest outsider of them all
Peter Carey - 'Bliss', 'Illywacker'
Will Self – anything!
Dr Li Zhisui - The Private Life of Chairman Mao (if you love catch-22, you'll have to read this - it's real life!! !! and even more absurd)
Raymond Loewy - 'Something Wicked This way comes'

I'd better stop -starting to get concerned looks.... I love catch 22 - I've read it at least 6 times. Reading is my life..... A lot of the books I've listed are easy to find in second hand bookshops - welcome to the wierd and whacky world of my head.
Oh - does anyone here like Tom Waites?



focused
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09 Jul 2004, 3:27 am

If you like "Lord of the Files" then maybe you would like "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad. Why? It also plays with the theme, when man is all alone he will do horrible things. Keep a dictionary near! This guy did not learn to speak/write English until his late twenties and his mastery of the language is exceptional. Poetic at times.

My all time favorite is "Siddhartha" by Hermann Hesse. It is transforming! I wrote a book report on it the 11th grade. I got an F with a note that said I had not read the book. I did read it and identified closely with the portion that involved Siddhartha's love affair with Kamala, chapter 2, I think. This was the main theme in my report. I read it a second time a year later and the enire book had changed. Because I was older and more experienced, I then identified with a later chapter. I have read it many times since and each time the book transforms. I guess my english teacher only read it once. And yes, "The river speaks to me also." It is an excellent introduction to Eastern thought and religion. Fiction? A+

Finally, I am surprised that more people have not mentioned Franz Kafka. I was addicted for a while. That was a dark time. I may start a thread called, "Kafka's Asperger's Symptoms." His writing suggests many of the symptoms. His writing may have been fiction but most of it was very autobiographical. I think Kafka was more observant rather than creative. Clever too.

Thanks for sharing your lists. My list of books to read just got alot longer.



ilster
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09 Jul 2004, 9:56 pm

i was going to say Steppenwolfe (Herman Hesse) and all Kafkas before I was torn away from the computer! You beat me to it. My philosophy on life the universe and everything rotate around the wise one.... everything around me seems so Kafka (even the bugs are looking good)



synx13
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13 Jul 2004, 2:57 am

Hmm... what books am I reading right now...

  • Hatha Yoga Illustrated, Martin Kirk & Brook Boon
  • Perrine's Literature, 7th edition, Thomas R. Arp
  • Encyclopedia of Mammals, Ed. David Macdonald
  • The Encyclopedia of Fantasy and Science Fiction Art Techniques, John Grand and Ron Tiner
  • Dude, Where's My Country?, Michael Moore
  • The Elegant Universe, Brian Greene
  • The Writer's Idea Book, Jack Heffron
  • Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud
  • Reinventing Comics, Scott McCloud


:mrgreen: I tend to go back to a book over and over again these days--nonfiction is more fun to refer to over and over again than read straight through. I just love textbooks sometimes! Not been reading my math texts lately though, as I can't seem to keep up with math without a teacher to badger with questions.