Recommend a book

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PAstrychef
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby PAstrychef » Sat Dec 27, 2008 1:43 am UTC

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. One of the all time great reads about letters, numbers and the ideas behind them. This story, about a boy named Milo, "Who didn't know what to do with himself, not just sometimes, but always." He finds a package in his room one day, which proves to be a tollbooth, just like the ones you see on trips with your family, except much smaller, and purple. He visits the Lands Beyond "Beyond What?, wondered Milo" And finds out how nice it is to engage with the world. Think of it as a training manual for young geeks.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Whispering » Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:38 am UTC

Torvaun wrote:
AtlasDrugged wrote:Admittedly the Da Vinci Code was a load of trash, but I actually found Digital Fortress quite good.
There is so much wrong with Digital Fortress that I could write a longer book just pointing out everything he screwed up.


Please do perhaps it would calm down the Dan Brown fever. Then do a book or two on the Twilight series. :lol:
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby MaybeAndroid » Sat Jan 03, 2009 10:41 am UTC

I realise that this thread is for recommending books, but is it okay to also request a book recommendation? If not, apologies from the noob.

I'm reading Cory Doctorow's short story collection Overclocked right now, and really enjoying it. I've read all of his other books as well, and I was wondering if anyone could recommend me something similar. That could be either something similar in theme to most of Doctorow's books, but ideally I'm just looking for some good near-future SF or fantasy.

Thanks.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Ralith » Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:04 pm UTC

Alright, I apologize if anyone has mentioned these, I was too excited to read through the second and third pages .

Slaughterhouse Five. Kurt Vonnegut wrote it, I believe. Not for people who are not already so warped it's impossible to warp them. It's up there with my next book in warpiness, perhaps more.

Stranger in a Strange Land, by Heinlein. Simply amazing, gotta read it.

Jaran. By Kate Elliot, this book's not as deep, but it's still an interesting and fairly deep book. Can be looked at as both sci-fi or fantasy.

Mote in God's Eye. Joint Writing by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, I'm only on about page 150 but it's got me hooked. First-Contact sci-fi.

I endorse the posting of the Taltos books :D

Honorverse, by David Weber. The first book is ,"On Basilisk Station", it's published by Baen, good, steady sci-fi. Something like 11 or 12 books out now. Easily readable in 1.5 months for me, it's about 5000 pages in all. So far.

I could go on and on, but I'll stop here.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Jorpho » Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:58 pm UTC

Ralith wrote:Stranger in a Strange Land, by Heinlein. Simply amazing, gotta read it.
It occurs to me that maybe if I had read that book when I was younger it might have had more of an effect on me. Maybe by the time I got around to reading it I had just seen the same thing done much better many times over. (I quite liked Job: A Comedy of Justice by Heinlein, for instance.) In any case, I can't recommend it at all - I found it to be quite terrible.

By the way, there's currently two versions available: the original Hugo award-winner, and the considerably longer, unabridged version that Heinlein's publisher asked him to cut down. It seems some find the original to be thoroughly verbose as it is and that additional verbiage is not beneficial.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Ralith » Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:57 pm UTC

I only read the uncut one- sorry.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby mewshi » Sun Jan 04, 2009 8:45 am UTC

xenuphobia wrote:House of Leaves, by Mark Z. Danielewski

A complex, layered, beautiful work that manages to be by turns deleriously romantic and really freaking scary.

On the lowest level, it's the account of a famed photographer and his family in a house that's mysteriously larger on the inside than it is on the outside.

On a slightly higher level, it is a film, constructed from footage taken on cameras distributed throughout the house by the photographer/filmmaker/protagonist of the lower story.

Higher than that it's a critique of this film (that never existed, with fabricated references and footnotes) by a blind man, constructing the entire thing out of whole cloth.

Higher than that it's notes written on this entire work by a guy who finds it, by some weird coincidence, after the blind author's death. Strange things start happening to him after he begins to read this, and he leaves extensive notes in the margins accounting what happened to him.

The book is like an ogre (or an onion, if you prefer) - there's always something sitting just below the surface, something watching you as you read it, and you get the distinct sense of this from the book. Not only does it have this complex layered structure, towards the middle and end of the book Danielewski starts playing with the layouts and traditional form of the novel. Text, instead of moving from the top to the bottom of the page, becomes enclosed in boxes, flowing in and around itself, with multiple things happening in each area. It leaves you chasing footnotes and flipping back between pages in an attempt to absorb it all.

Frankly, it's one of those things that have to be experienced. Head down to your local book-o-mart and plop down the $20 for this book. You will not regret it.


House of Leaves was amazing - I second this recommendation, after having it assigned to me for my English class (Dr. Sideris is my professory hero XD)

Also, Gravity's Rainbow, or anything by Pynchon. Watchmen is good, too. So is a lot of Chomsky's work. Also, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Which I have been reading to my girlfriend the past week) is great.

Read stuff that has meaning to it, and you won't be disappointed. Read something like The Da Vinci Code or Twilight, and you'll waste your time and rot your mind.

Even though, for example, Pynchon uses unconventional, sometimes dead wrong, grammar, it's great to read and understand the nature of his works.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Wooster » Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:08 pm UTC

Appleseed, by John Clute. Sci-fi...one of the oddest books I've ever read.

http://www.amazon.com/Appleseed-John-Cl ... 841&sr=1-1

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby BADALEX » Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:12 pm UTC

A Booke Of Days by Stephen Rivelle. Truly excellent.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Sharkeh » Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:22 pm UTC

I know someone mentioned this book in unfavourable comparison to another on page 3, but American Gods, by Neil Gaiman is still a bloody good read.

Failing that, you move to my next favourite sort of books... Steinbecks 'Of Mice and Men', Shakepeares 'King Lear' (If you actually read 'into' it, not just read it, you might end up looking at life differently. And don't read Nahum Tate's happy ending version)

Again failing that, Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan will quite easily eat up an entire weekend, if you let it

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby sabriel1206 » Tue Jan 13, 2009 11:40 am UTC

i fourth? fifth? House of Leaves
anything by Nicholson Baker
She's Such a Geek (for the women who read these fora)
Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder
Childhood's End (its just such a classic)
In The Penal Colony
ummmm there are just so many

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Narsil » Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:12 pm UTC

mewshi wrote:Also, Gravity's Rainbow, or anything by Pynchon.


I read every word on all 765 pages.
And that's all I can say about that book. One of these days I'll go back and try again, but damn it makes my head hurt. So many bananas.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby diotimajsh » Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:39 pm UTC

I finished House of Leaves a while ago, and it is indeed very, very, very good. Currently my favorite work of fiction.

In a related way, I would also recommend Salvador Plascenia's The People of Paper. It's not nearly as good as HoL, IMO, but it's a fun read and contains some author-character interaction in a similar manner as the above-recommended Sophie's World.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Baron » Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:10 am UTC

I like to read an obscure mix of nonfiction and comics - recommend the Life on Earth accompaniment for the David Attenborough TV series (sorry if it's been mentioned, couldn't see it) and I'm currently reading Ghosts of Gondwana by George Gibbs.

Can anyone tell me if the 5th Temeraire book is any good? Got the first 4 but not sure if I want to continue.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby cheesemonkey » Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:34 pm UTC

I've not long finished Robin Hobb's Royal Assassin (the second one in trilogy and waiting for last) and it is definately one of my favourite series for a long time, took about 5 hours for each of the books and I know i'll not be able to read it when it gets delivered at work :(

Standard recommendation by me to anyone: abhorsen series by garth nix.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Ralith » Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:03 pm UTC

Baron wrote:I like to read an obscure mix of nonfiction and comics - recommend the Life on Earth accompaniment for the David Attenborough TV series (sorry if it's been mentioned, couldn't see it) and I'm currently reading Ghosts of Gondwana by George Gibbs.

Can anyone tell me if the 5th Temeraire book is any good? Got the first 4 but not sure if I want to continue.

I've not gotten to it myself, but my parents said good about it.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby SuperTD » Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:59 am UTC

I would reccomend anything by Terry Pratchett. I also think that the Jennings and Darbyshire books are very funny, even for the grownups.(It was designed as an early teenagers series)
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby diotimajsh » Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:34 am UTC

I recommend Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco. It's kind of like if The Da Vinci Code had been written by a better scholar, and if it made fewer silly, extravagant claims about the history of Christianity. They don't follow the same subjects, but there's some overlap (the Knights Templar, the Holy Grail, secret societies in general, etc.).

Um, but it is quite a bit less of a page-turner, to be honest. Eco's style is a lot drier and more encyclopedic than Dan Brown's, by which I mean he loves to throw in thousands of historical and philosophical references without always explaining them. I looked up a ton of terms while reading it, and I still missed a lot, I'm afraid.

But it's good! Really quite good, with a lot of amazing moments in it.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby molbio5 » Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:37 pm UTC

PAstrychef wrote:The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. One of the all time great reads about letters, numbers and the ideas behind them. This story, about a boy named Milo, "Who didn't know what to do with himself, not just sometimes, but always." He finds a package in his room one day, which proves to be a tollbooth, just like the ones you see on trips with your family, except much smaller, and purple. He visits the Lands Beyond "Beyond What?, wondered Milo" And finds out how nice it is to engage with the world. Think of it as a training manual for young geeks.


lolz
i've read that book so many times, and forgot all about it until i saw this...

i say:

Fight Club: the book is a million times better than the movie.

Anthem, by Ayn Rand: the end of this book made me cry. its one of the most amazing things i've ever read
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby mocha0range » Fri Jan 30, 2009 4:40 pm UTC

I just finished Childhood's End by Clarke - fantastic.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Rippy » Fri Jan 30, 2009 6:26 pm UTC

Anyone know of any good introductory psychology books? I'm just extremely interested in human behavior and emotions right now, and I'd really like some book on the subject.

I searched up psychology books on my library's site, but they have a lot of books and most seem to be very specific and/or complicated. I guess I'm looking for something along the lines of a first-year introductory textbook or something: I'd like something that does go in-depth, but that ramps up to it since I have no past experience with psychology stuff.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Jorpho » Fri Jan 30, 2009 9:06 pm UTC

mocha0range wrote:I just finished Childhood's End by Clarke - fantastic.
When I finally got around to reading that one, I was at a considerable loss as to why it apparently tops many people's lists. Maybe it was different when it came out, but now it seems thoroughly dull and uninspired.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Zohar » Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:05 am UTC

molbio5 wrote: Fight Club: the book is a million times better than the movie.


Finished reading it a few weeks ago, it was pretty good but I didn't think it was very different from the movie. Sure, some plot points were changed, but mostly I thought (in retrospect) that the movie was a very good adaptation of the book.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby vkanne » Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:23 am UTC

I'm with Zohar. I blamed the movie for not living up to the potential of the idea, but then I read the book and saw that for once it wasn't Hollywood's fault.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby NO1PCKTHS » Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:38 am UTC

I strongly support all recommendations of works by Murakami (I would start with Kafka on the Shore or Wild Sheep Chase). Also, I second (only second?) Ender's Game, and both subsequent series.

My recommendations are books you've almost definitely heard of but may or may not have tackled:

Crime and Punishment (I really enjoy Dostoevsky in general)
Tolstoy's short stories (haven't gotten to the big ones yet)
Believe it or not, Atlas Shrugged. I still don't believe I started it, don't believe I couldn't put it down, and don't believe that I'm recommending it. (Should I be embarrassed?)
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby peter-lebt » Thu Feb 05, 2009 10:03 pm UTC

Thornton Wilder

I loved the "The Bridge of San Luis Rey" because Wilder can explicate human characters and their connection to each other in such a wonderful detailed but nevertheless hearty way ...

And that is why I read "The Eighth Day" at least five times during the years. In a great picture he realizes that there is a massive change going on and he could see it in the 1960s already ... Here he wrapped it up into a broad epic novel and he used a crime case to attract the attention of his readers ...

More or less the same topics as in "The Eighth Day" can be found in the novel "Theophilus North" - but now in a more funny way ...

For our days Wilder's style is somewhat outdated --- but the books transport a lot of wisdom and knowledge of humans in an interesting and funny way ...
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby ETHANR26 » Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:16 pm UTC

Im going to have to recommend every single book Chuck Palahniuk has ever written. Examples being: fight club, haunted, survivor, choke, lullaby, and diary.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby HarleyQuinn » Sat Feb 07, 2009 7:32 am UTC

The Book Of Lost Things, by John Connolly
I honestly enjoyed this book and throughout the plot had a mixture of emotions. Even better was when I had to do a report on it and my teacher gavce me all sorts of analytical questions.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Spinoza » Sat Feb 07, 2009 6:07 pm UTC

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Everything is Illuminated - Jonathan Safran Foer

A young American Jew, who shares a name with the author, journeys to Ukraine in search of Augustine, the woman who saved his grandfather's life during the Nazi liquidation of Trachimbrod, his family shtetl. Armed with many copies of an old photograph of Augustine and his grandfather, maps, cigarettes, and a fanny pack filled with Ziploc bags, Jonathan begins his adventure with Ukrainian native and soon-to-be good friend, Alexander "Alex" Perchov, who is his own age and very fond of American pop culture, albeit culture that is already out of date in the U.S. Alex has studied English at his university and is "premium" in his knowledge of the language, therefore he becomes the translator. Alex's "blind" grandfather and his "deranged seeing-eye bitch," Sammy Davis, Jr., Jr., accompany them on their journey.

The writing and structure received critical acclaim for the manner in which it switches between two story arcs: (1) fragments of Foer-the-character's novel-in-progress, where he tells in highly literary English a quasi-magical story about the citizens of Trachimbrod; and (2) a straightforward narrative of searching for Trachimbrod (which is an invented name for the real village Trochenbrod), as told by Alex in broken English. They are tied together by letters sent from Alex to Foer and attached to Alex's version. Alex's narrative is most notable for its broken English, which sounds as if he learned English via thesaurus without ever hearing it spoken. Throughout his narrative, he makes frequent use of improper synonyms, such as using the word rigid to mean "difficult" or "hard".

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby MKiihnl » Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:59 pm UTC

Never Let Me Go, by Ishiguro. Don't read a plot summary.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby wasabi1787 » Tue Feb 10, 2009 2:12 am UTC

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Hyperion by: Dan Simmons

top-shelf science fiction. yes, it was inspired to a certain amount by Keats' poem of the same name.

http://www.amazon.com/Hyperion-Dan-Simmons/dp/0553283685/ref=pd_bbs_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1234232030&sr=8-2

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Jorpho » Tue Feb 10, 2009 2:19 pm UTC

wasabi1787 wrote:Hyperion by: Dan Simmons

top-shelf science fiction. yes, it was inspired to a certain amount by Keats' poem of the same name.

http://www.amazon.com/Hyperion-Dan-Simmons/dp/0553283685/ref=pd_bbs_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1234232030&sr=8-2

referrenced in the 2008 Chirstmas Special comic http://xkcd.net/521/
I cannot disagree that it is a truly awesome book, but the Yggdrasil was a major element in Norse mythology long before Mr. Simmons got to it. It also features prominently in American Gods and some of the Dragon Warrior video games, off the top of my head - and of course there's Yggdra Union, the well-regarded GBA/PSP tactical RPG. (I think it's awesome that it also has its own mythological squirrel.)

Also, as I've mentioned before, do not read Endymion or The Rise of Endymion as they are poopy.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Spinoza » Thu Feb 12, 2009 2:26 am UTC

thejdawg wrote:
Aleril wrote:"The Stranger" is a must read by me, just because the main character is so unfeeling that is amazing to hear about him.

For this reason, I had a hard time enjoying this book. I believe it was Vonnegut who said "Every character should want something, even if it's only a glass of water." As far as I can tell, Mersault has no desires, and little to no personality. How do you root for or against someone who has nothing to him? Moreover, how do you identify with him at all?


You don't.

That's the point of that book.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby molbio5 » Fri Feb 13, 2009 5:45 am UTC

Zohar wrote:
molbio5 wrote: Fight Club: the book is a million times better than the movie.


Finished reading it a few weeks ago, it was pretty good but I didn't think it was very different from the movie. Sure, some plot points were changed, but mostly I thought (in retrospect) that the movie was a very good adaptation of the book.


mostly i like the ending of the book a lot better than the movie; it would have been so cool. they could have even used the same finishing song (where is my mind) and it would have made perfect sense.
and the book didn't have that pointless scene about Lou's Tavern where Durden gets the crap beaten out of him
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If it had been BHG, would he have been her "sadistically significant other"?

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby ams » Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:26 am UTC

If I had to recommend a single book to everyone, everywhere, it would be Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. It might seem a little simple, but it is an easy read and among the most important works of American fiction. For younger readers, it's an exciting adventure story. For more mature readers, it's an informative satire of both the antebellum and reconstruction South.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Jorpho » Sun Feb 15, 2009 4:55 am UTC

ams wrote:If I had to recommend a single book to everyone, everywhere, it would be Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. It might seem a little simple, but it is an easy read and among the most important works of American fiction. For younger readers, it's an exciting adventure story. For more mature readers, it's an informative satire of both the antebellum and reconstruction South.
I'd heard the dialect makes for rough going.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby ams » Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:42 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:I'd heard the dialect makes for rough going.

I didn't find that to be the case, and I read it in the original vernacular when I was 12 or so. I guess for some people that could be the case, but if you consider the context and sound the words out, you can figure it out easily enough.

I imagine it would be much more difficult for someone with no exposure to Southern speech, though.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Chuff » Mon Feb 16, 2009 9:41 pm UTC

Anything by Jasper Fforde, especially the Thursday Next series. The sheer quantity of literary allusions is incredible.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby teamcorndog » Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:55 am UTC

'Diary of a Bad Year' by J. M. Coetzee.
At first it kind of seems like something you'd read in a western civ class (lots of opinions and theories about politics, science, religion, etc), but by the end it folds in on itself into a story about the narrator's relationship with the woman he hired to type up his essays about his opinions. I really liked this book's page-layout (wow that seems like a weird compliment) - each page is about two-thirds "opinion essay", [line break], a few lines of the narrator's personal life (like a diary), [line break], then a few lines of the typista's personal life (her diary). It's really unique and slightly challenging to keep straight at first, but really a breeze to read once you get into it. Quite enjoyable. :D

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby AmyShackles » Tue Feb 17, 2009 7:21 am UTC

Swan Song by Robert McCammon. This was, surprisingly, one of the first real books I ever read. I had a fear of chapter books until about third grade (my mum read a lot and I had this fear that books sucked out a person's soul or some such) and my mum got me over it by reading this and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy to me. I love it with every fiber of my being. :) Of course, that's probably for its emotional value to me too... this was the book my mum was reading on the plane to America to marry my dad.


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