What is your favourite book?

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John O)))
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby John O))) » Thu Jun 26, 2008 9:46 pm UTC

My absolute favorite book is The Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan. Not only did it give me a formal introduction to skepticism, but basically changed my life. I love all of Sagan's other works as well.

Fiction-wise, my favorite novel is Catch-22. Its not only the most clever and hilarious thing I've ever come across, but its emotionally potent as well. It influenced my writing style a great deal.

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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby Benitosimies » Fri Jun 27, 2008 1:41 am UTC

Mercy wrote:Catch-22, I mean, who doesn't love it. :>


Fox News types and snobs who dislike the prose. Maybe also people who can predict the direction of the humor and somehow that ruins it for them.
...

Codgery bastards, that's who.

poleboy wrote:I'll probably have to go with the first book of The Hitchiker's Guide trilogy (quadrulogy? Quintology? Am I just making up words now?)


Quintogy is the appropriately cromulent word you're looking for.
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby cj-maranup » Fri Jun 27, 2008 12:42 pm UTC

Loved Demon-Haunted World, and Dawkins Unweaving the Rainbow had me laughing out loud in a similar vein :)

Dune, God-Emperor of Dune & Ender's Game were all books that left me staring into space vacantly for an extended period, adjusting to the shift in my perception of the universe... 1984 had a similar impact (then I carried straight on through Burmese Days & A Clergyman's Daughter and ended as close to suicidal as I've ever been...)

Adored Neal Stephenson's Zodiac, while Snow Crash had an impact similar to the aforementioned.

A childhood favourite I still go back to is Roald Dahl's Matilda :) Garth Nix's Sabriel is brilliant as well. I devoured everything Eddings had written in junior high & would still re-visit them as old friends.

Stopping now before this post reaches epic length! I love books, I miss them so :(

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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby Kaspa » Sun Jun 29, 2008 6:11 pm UTC

The first few books of Dune by Frank Herbert are my absolute favourites, the later ones got a bit silly I felt. I've read all the ones by his son Brian Herbert and Keven Anderson and found them totally lacking the depth of the originals...

I've enjoyed some others of Frank Herbert's science fiction also.

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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby pollywog » Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:37 pm UTC

Kaspa wrote:The first few books of Dune by Frank Herbert are my absolute favourites, the later ones got a bit silly I felt. I've read all the ones by his son Brian Herbert and Keven Anderson and found them totally lacking the depth of the originals...

I've enjoyed some others of Frank Herbert's science fiction also.


The new prequels really aren't worth it, I find. I gave them a chance, but they just disappointed me. But it's not the first time a descendant of a literary "big man" has tried to make money out of the ancestor's ideas.

cj-maranup wrote:A childhood favourite I still go back to is Roald Dahl's Matilda :) I devoured everything Eddings had written in junior high & would still re-visit them as old friends.


Roald Dahl is a legend of children's fiction. I love large amounts of his work, but The twits and James and the Giant Peach were my favourites. JatGP most of all. There's something about it, surreal and childlike, that made it perfect for me as a kid.

And I really should start reading Eddings again. For a long time (three years of high school, which is forever at that age) they were my favourite books, and had a large impact at the time on my liking of fantasy. Definitely going to get back into them.
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby danteshepherd » Mon Jun 30, 2008 10:42 am UTC

The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys by Chris Fuhrman.

This is a great coming-of-age story, hitting on religion, drugs, alcohol, love, abuse, and rebellion. It not only has a great title, it's a deeply engrossing story. It was made into a really pretty decent movie, too, but the book definitely needs to be read first.

This book changed my life - I was an overwhelmingly naive kid when I saw this book on my Dad's shelf (I think he just picked it up for the title) and all of a sudden I realized that while I was being the perfect son, every other kid out there was actually doing stuff. Talk about a wake-up call.
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby souldelay » Sat Jul 05, 2008 8:24 am UTC

I'm a huge fan of George RR Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series. His writing is just so... fresh and real and fantasy-without-the-pink-fluffy-clouds. Don't get me wrong, I love a good fantasy novel, but I like it when an author deviates from the norm and puts some actual effort and research into the writing. Currently awaiting the fifth book with anxious eyes.

Tad Williams is also a pretty good author. I'm currently in the middle of Shadowmarch, and War of the Flowers was extremely hard to put down, too. Williams has a taste of Martin with pieces of Robert Jordan (he's windy, but not quite as long winded) and Terry Goodkind (the sappy-ness is a good example).

Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow are also pretty high up on my list, as well.

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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby Mobius 1 » Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:51 pm UTC

souldelay wrote:Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow are also pretty high up on my list, as well.


Holy crap.
Reading those right now.
Ender's Game is probably my favorite book of all time.
Empire by the same author is awesome, too.

In the Ender Saga, i left off after Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide was severely "meh" to me.
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby souldelay » Tue Jul 08, 2008 6:31 pm UTC

@Mobius
I can't say I've read much past 'Game and 'Shadow, haha, but I'll be going to the library soon. so.

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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby nsmjohn » Tue Jul 08, 2008 6:37 pm UTC

The lack of praise for Gene Wolfe's "Book of the New Sun" (series) saddens me to no end. Go, read, enjoy, thank me later.
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby admiral-zombie » Thu Jul 10, 2008 3:02 am UTC

1984


The book still haunts me to this very day, requiring me to question my very thoughts. It has become so dreadfully annoying, but I do not regret reading it.

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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby The Rumpled Academic » Thu Jul 10, 2008 4:45 pm UTC

Suzannah Clarke's "Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell" is probably the single novel in the whole world that I enjoyed reading the most, and look most forward to revisiting, once a year, until I die. :-)

It's just magic.

(Also - big ups to Roald Dahl, and everyone who still digs him. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has probably had more influence over my life than any other book, just because it was the first thing I ever read that really showed me the unfettered wonder of pure imagination and creativity... Willy Wonka was the first artist I ever fell in love with. ^_^)

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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby asteroid54 » Mon Jul 14, 2008 3:23 am UTC

My absolutely all-time favourite book is Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I think it's a bit like xkcd, because you'll recognize parts of it in your life every day since you've read it. But of course you have to get Adams' sense of humour.

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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby Weebo » Mon Jul 14, 2008 6:07 am UTC

Good Omens, by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. A tongue-in-cheek take on the apocalypse from a pair of British men.

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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby Alder » Mon Jul 14, 2008 1:53 pm UTC

This is a tricky question - it's difficult to cut down the list to even a handful. But if I was to think what ones I would have to take if I was abandoned on a desert island it would have to be, in no particular order:

The Blue Castle, L.M.Montgomery
Picadilly Jim, P.G.Wodehouse
The Second Confession, Rex Stout
East of Eden, John Steinbeck
The Courts of the Morning, John Buchan

I'm not sure how many of them are in print, these days...
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby Charley » Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:38 pm UTC

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress - Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby asteroid54 » Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:28 pm UTC

Benitosimies wrote:
poleboy wrote:I'll probably have to go with the first book of The Hitchiker's Guide trilogy (quadrulogy? Quintology? Am I just making up words now?)


Quintogy is the appropriately cromulent word you're looking for.


They say, it's the four-parted triology in five volumes. :D

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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby ParanoidAndroid » Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:40 am UTC

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

What a great book. :D

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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby Menagerie » Mon Jul 21, 2008 3:49 pm UTC

Clive Barker's Great and Secret Show. I first read it when I was 18 and to this day I reread it every two years or so.

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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby ewige » Mon Jul 28, 2008 8:48 pm UTC

Plot a curve hitting infinite jest, the His Dark Materials and Lord of the Rings Trilogies, and The Ancestor's Tale. Extrapolate and rotate about the axis at I'm a Stranger Here Myself.
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby Baza210 » Mon Jul 28, 2008 11:22 pm UTC

Stalky & Co. by Rudyard Kipling. Despite first reading it when I was circa 10.
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby sje46 » Tue Jul 29, 2008 12:30 am UTC

ParanoidAndroid wrote:The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

What a great book. :D

I tried to read that. I really really tried.
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby Prika » Fri Aug 01, 2008 4:43 pm UTC

I agree with all who say that T. Pratchett books are awesome.

But my favorite book of all time is My Family and Other Animals. It is the one book that, by simply reading the author's note, can lift me up when I'm feeling down in the dumps. I find it witty and delightful. This is something that I can't say about any other book, no matter how much I enjoy it.
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby DrPhibes » Sat Aug 02, 2008 4:02 pm UTC

For now, I only have two books, it will get more eventually but I'm trying to read books first (or again) and then put them on a list like this because I've read allot of books and I can't remember if they are that good.
- I also think that Terry Pratchetts books are really funny and good, but they are all-together one favourite, I don't think one of them individually is good enough for my favourite book list.


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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby I Am Raven » Sun Aug 03, 2008 5:31 pm UTC

I just finished Life of Pi. It's, fucking, good.
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby Aequitas » Mon Aug 04, 2008 7:45 pm UTC

My first love in books is the Wheel of Time. I've been reading and rereading it since I was 11 years old, and as I've gotten older (23 now) I've only came more and more to realize what a great writer Robert Jordan really was.

As for standalone book, it used to be Ken Follet's the Pillars of the Earth, but more and more, I'm thinking it is actually The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevsky. I'd like to become a writer eventually and hope to bring Dostyevsky's moral intensity to fantasy.

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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby Autonomous_Anonymous » Tue Aug 05, 2008 1:36 pm UTC

It's got to be the Wasp Factory by Ian Banks. I've never felt such empathy towards a malicious and mentally derranged sadist.

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Re:

Postby Asmodieus » Fri Aug 08, 2008 7:35 pm UTC

liza wrote:Well, I have a special place in my heart for a lot of books, but if I have only one favourite it's 1984. All Quiet on the Western Front is a close second, with Grapes of Wrath rounding out the top three.

Other great books:
H2G2
Brave New World (I'd number it at 4 on my list)
Anna Karenina

I've been reading Crime and Punishment (for a very, very long time - I'm nearing the two-month mark) and though it's slow-going, I'm enjoying it thoroughly. Damn good read. I recommend it if you're into that whole mid-19th-century Russian thing.
Siddhartha was good, but I didn't find it as life-changing/enlightening as some. Decent read though.


Crime and Punishment was a good book i read it a couple years ago, but it didnt take me that long to read XD
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby s00z » Fri Aug 08, 2008 8:16 pm UTC

most of the sci-fi i would have on my list have been mentioned numerous times, so i won' t bother repeating them here.

an earlier post mentioned The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster. everything i have read by this author has been great - but the Trilogy, Moon Palace and The County of Last Things are my favorites.

One Hundred Years of Solitude has been mentioned but i have to mention it. the lanugage, the imagery is stunningly beautiful.

other faves:
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter - Carson McCullers
The Wind Up Bird Chronicles and Kafka on the Shore - both by Murakami
The Last Report of the Miracles at Little No Horse - Louise Erdrich
A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich - Alex Solzhenitsyn
The Dancing Wu Li Masters - a favorite non-fiction - Gary Zukav
True and False - a collection of essays by David Mamet
and ...
the short stories of Ernest Hemmingway, John Steinbeck, Aliex Sherman and Mark Richard
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby defaultusername » Mon Aug 11, 2008 7:51 pm UTC

The Lord of the Rings, which is not a trilogy.
Because phlogiston.

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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby paddy » Mon Aug 11, 2008 8:39 pm UTC

A Seaman's Guide to the Rule of the Road. That little book has got me through many a long, cold night. By burning it, mostly.

Favoirite books have to be Catch-22, definitely, followed by Crime and Punishment. And the Discworld books, to which I was introdued at an early age, and by now have read each multiple times. I'm not much of a fiction reader, on the whole - I tend to kill time by reading history.

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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby Kendra » Fri Aug 15, 2008 2:17 am UTC

Shalimar The Clown by Salman Rushdie.
Until I Find You by John Irving.
A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
Ender's Game, and the rest of that series, by Orson Scott Card.
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler.
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut.
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.
1984 by George Orwell.
Lord of the Flies by William Golding.
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.
Anything written by Neil Gaiman.

And I need to stop there, but I could go on for a while.
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby Avelion » Fri Aug 15, 2008 2:22 am UTC

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and sequels.
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby semicarbazone » Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:47 am UTC

I always keep Oliver Sacks "An Anthropologist on Mars" in my top ten, I've read all his other books and this one was the easiest read for someone not already in the medical field, and enthralling and informative throughout the whole book. His other books definately have pacing problems and education standards.

I have to admit, I read the bell jar last year and loved it.

Um, hm. I liked dostoyevsky's notes from the underground, and have reread it numerous times since highschool.

I always fall in love with books then forget about them until some random reference jerks my mind.

EDIT: Oh me yarm how could I forget, Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan. Absolutely hilarious
I tried to force all my friends at the time to read it, all of them said it sounded interesting but never borrowed it from me or checked it out. Man, now if I have one thing to hold a grudge about it's them not reading that spectacular book so they could talk about it with me

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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby Amoeba » Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:21 pm UTC

I always find this question (along with 'what sort of books do you like?') really awkward, but I usually say Generation X by Douglas Coupland.
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby I Am Raven » Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:31 pm UTC

Kendra wrote:Shalimar The Clown by Salman Rushdie.
Until I Find You by John Irving.
A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
Ender's Game, and the rest of that series, by Orson Scott Card.
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler.
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut.
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.
1984 by George Orwell.
Lord of the Flies by William Golding.
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.
Anything written by Neil Gaiman.

And I need to stop there, but I could go on for a while.

You actually liked Lord of the Flies? I just thought it was good, but I didn't like it.
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby Kendra » Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:02 pm UTC

I Am Raven wrote:You actually liked Lord of the Flies? I just thought it was good, but I didn't like it.


Haha. Yeah, I know...no one else I know actually liked it either. I guess I found it so intriguing that it was enjoyable. Same for 1984 and Brave New World. Horrible to read, but thought-provoking and very interesting.
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby stevenf » Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:55 pm UTC

A light frivolous read - Laurence Durrell's trilogy of diplomatic memoirs from the Balkans.

Deeply strange yet strangely appealing - Louis de Bernieres' South American trilogy - Senor Vivo and the Coca Lord, The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman, The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether parts.

Best SF - Excession by Iain M Banks

Most poignant - On the Beach by Neville Shute

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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby Maybe » Tue Aug 26, 2008 3:28 am UTC

The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul was really good.
Grimus by Salman Rushdie blew up my brain for a while, so did the first few Dune books.
Started a couple things by Sagan, never finished em though, and I disrecommend Atlas Shrugged. Or anything by Ayn Rand really. Might be just me, but her writing is just annoying.
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby Narsil » Tue Aug 26, 2008 12:54 pm UTC

Spoiler:
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Oh... that.


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