What is your favourite book?

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year in the sun
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby year in the sun » Thu Apr 16, 2009 8:39 am UTC

i don't think i can pick a favourite book. that's like if you had to pick a favourite person (not counting significant others and your own kids) in the sense of 'this is the only one that i need'.

i can think of one book that i would seriously consider as a candidate though, if i had to make that choice - the only one that i think of having as close as it gets to everything literature's for. it's cancer ward by aleksandr solzhenitsyn. it's never going to be the only book i ever want or need. i don't even read it that often - every couple of years. but it's the only one i can think of that feels to me like a genuinely, seriously important book. as in, this is one book that i absolutely must have in the house at all times. moby dick might be another one i want around all the time, but for different reasons.

there's nothing that compares with cancer ward, but there are others that come somewhat close and are like smaller members of the same category. books i think i must have and that i (secretly) believe are so essential everyone should read them.

mickelsson's ghosts by john gardner used to occupy cancer ward's spot until i read cancer ward for the second time. not so much anymore - i need to think about it. it's still in my important-book category, but i think his nickel mountain might actually be the real one.

the apprenticeship of duddy kravitz by mordecai richler.

whoever said cormac mccarthy's the road - that one, if it's the one i'm thinking of, with the boy who traps a wolf by accident and takes her to mexico to release her. in fact the whole city of the plains trilogy. i'm not 100% sure about it though. it hit me like a mack truck when i read it, but sometimes when i go back to something like that i realise that i've just gotten sucked into the author's own specific trip, and i opt off the emotional bandwagon just as fast as i opted on.

something by roddy doyle. i'm not sure which one. either the woman who walked into walls or one of the barrytown ones.

cry the beloved country by alan paton.
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Telchar
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby Telchar » Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:51 am UTC

Hey fellow bibliophiles.

Song of Ice and Fire by George R R Martin
LotR/Sillmarilion
Wheel of Time
The Great Gatsby (GASP!)
Catch-22
The first 3 Dune books


Non-fiction
Uranium
An Inconvenient Book (Yes, I find Glenn Beck funny. I'm still in the closet so shhhh)
Undaunted Courage
Most Bill Bryson books
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Amalith
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby Amalith » Mon Apr 27, 2009 3:37 am UTC

I don't think I could really choose a favorite book, but my favorite series is the Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss is also really good though, depending on how the next books in the series go, I might put that as my favorite (probably not though).

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TheOtherDOOMGuy
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby TheOtherDOOMGuy » Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:41 pm UTC

Wow, I feel so uneducated...

For me, one of my favourite book series of all time, although its probably not seen as good, is Broken Sky, by Chris Wooding. The guy was in a Manga phase, and thought, hey why arent there any actual novels based on Manga. Lets make 1.

And of course, discworld has to get a mention, although some of the newer stuff just isnt as funny anymore.

Umm, lets see (runs through giant book stacks in cupboard)
The Black Magician Trilogy by Trudi Canavan. Thats a series I would recommend to anyone.
Life of Pi, by Yann Martel, is also great.
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby infernovia » Fri May 01, 2009 5:04 am UTC

I honestly have gotten tired of literature... I am attempting to get back into it:
Crime and Punishment. Far better than the Idiot. I hope Brothers Karamazov will not disappoint.
Contempt by Alberto Moravia. Haven't read it for a while though. Very pessimistic and the only book that I could match my thoughts word for word. It was like seeing myself in paper. Perhaps that's its fault rather than its strength...

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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby SOSkanesumi ARK » Fri May 08, 2009 8:26 am UTC

Battle Royale is awesome, so is Ender's Game
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prolegomenon
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby prolegomenon » Fri May 08, 2009 3:43 pm UTC

The Power Of One by Bryce Courtenay is awesome. This thread just made me remember it. Must reread.

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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby Lissa » Fri May 08, 2009 7:56 pm UTC

I'm not sure if they're my all-time favourites, but I really love "The book thief" by Markus Zusak and "A long way down" by Nick Hornby. Oh, and the Harry Potter series, naturally.

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Emily St Aubert
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby Emily St Aubert » Sun May 10, 2009 3:46 pm UTC

Probably Jan Kjaerstad's trilogy, The Seducer, the Conqueror, The Discoverer. Epically brilliant gripping books. Villette, Madame Bovary, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. And The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood. For brilliant entertainment value, The Quincunx by Charles Palliser, maybe.

Favourite authors is a different thing, maybe. I love everything Iris Murdoch, Ursula Le Guin, Reginald Hill, James Lee Burke, George RR Martin, Simon Raven, Robin Hobb, Patrick O'Brian & KJ Parker ever wrote. Pretty sure I'm going to love everything by Scott Lynch, Patrick Rothfuss, Joe Abercrombie & Alan Campbell too, when they write more.

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MHD
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby MHD » Fri May 29, 2009 10:05 pm UTC

Waystation by Clifford D. Simak

The oldest book in my shelf.
One of the best sci-fi's I have ever had my hands on.
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Mr.RobLikesBrunch
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby Mr.RobLikesBrunch » Sun May 31, 2009 3:03 pm UTC

Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You by Peter Cameron

Basically, it's a modern Catcher in the Rye. I like it more, though. The protagonist discusses the common banalities and platitudes we encounter each day, the seemingly-trivial nature of social interaction, and his personal tragedies, among which is, of course, religion.

There is no real plot, there is no real "turning point". It's just James, lost in the world...and for a little bit, you don't feel so lost yourself.

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Lithium33
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby Lithium33 » Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:25 am UTC

House of Leaves. That book is such an awesome mindfuck.
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faye159
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby faye159 » Fri Jun 12, 2009 5:50 pm UTC

The Catcher in the Rye

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mindlesszombie
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby mindlesszombie » Sat Jun 13, 2009 2:32 am UTC

To kill a mockingbird, by harper lee.

not original i know, but almost fifty years of print can't be beat.

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Ampaire
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby Ampaire » Sun Jun 14, 2009 2:42 am UTC

Two of my favourite fiction books are, if they can both be categorized as fiction, The Diamond Age and Candide. The world set up in Diamond Age is one of the most captivating worlds I've read about, and was what really made me see the power of tiny machines. I had read about nanomachines in SciAm and other places, but had never really seen the potential until Stephenson made a world powered by them in The Diamond Age. Candide is also somehow one of my favourite novels, and I always love to watch young Candide stumble through tragedy and misfortune, all the while maintaining his view that everything is for the best.

Non-fiction wise, my favourite textbook is The Cosmic Perspective, which teaches a lot of physics as well as astronomy. I also have to mention The Selfish Gene, because the whole case it makes about the gene and its importance changed the way I look at evolution irreversibly.

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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby tweetics » Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:42 pm UTC

I seem to be able to read Guards Guards! again and again. I also really like Green Grass, Running Water by Thomas King.
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thetinkris
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby thetinkris » Wed Jun 24, 2009 9:27 pm UTC

Hmmmm...
of course it shifts quite a bit..
but at the moment, I'd consider my favorite to be The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.
...Although I do have quite the soft spot for Kurt Vonnegut.

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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby Triangle_Man » Wed Jul 08, 2009 1:04 am UTC

My favorite books include any novel written by Terry Prachett (especially his discworld series). I am also currently reading a Sci-Fi novel called 'Ilium' by Dan Simmons, and so far I am impressed by the intracate and unique plotlines and interesting characters. I hope this continues to be the case.
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chevalier
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby chevalier » Thu Jul 09, 2009 5:12 pm UTC

I can't seem to read anything "serious," so my list will not be impressive.

The Dark Tower series by Stephen King
Going Postal and The Hogfather by Terry Pratchett
Mr. Commitment by Mike Gayle
A Song of Ice and Fire series by George RR Martin
I enjoy the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, but my fave book would have to be either A Crown of Swords or Knife of Dreams (so far).
Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli still holds a place in my heart.

If I had to choose just one book, then I'd say The Wastelands (book 3 in the Dark Tower series) by Stephen King.
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby MildCore » Sat Jul 11, 2009 3:15 am UTC

Signal to Noise by Eric Nylund
A Signal Shattered (Sequel) by Eric Nylund
The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer
Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein

And probably a few more that I can't think of. I don't read often enough to have a comprehensive list, but these are definitely my favorites.
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mystic_aura
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby mystic_aura » Sat Jul 11, 2009 12:51 pm UTC

Mhm..you're right a nearly impossible question to answer...I wouldn't call these my favourites per se, but they are books that I've read not so recently but really liked:

The Dark Elf Trilogy by R.A. Salvatore - [The Icewind Dale trilogy is alright]
Life, the universe and everything - Douglas Adams [Hilarious, no doubt =)]
The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
The Idiot - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

For the time being, these are the ones that come to mind..=)
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dprimedx
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby dprimedx » Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:57 pm UTC

My favorite series is the Foundation Series by Asimov. I'm also a fan of the Belgariad by Eddings.

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goingnorthwest
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby goingnorthwest » Tue Jul 14, 2009 8:46 am UTC

Lithium33 wrote:House of Leaves. That book is such an awesome mindfuck.

This.
And...
Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass
or
On the Road

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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby graphite » Fri Jul 17, 2009 12:18 am UTC

My all time favorite book of all time is The Forever War by Joe Haldeman.

Some other books I really liked:
The Lies of Locke Lamora
The Name of the Wind
Goblin Quest


I also like pretty much anything in the Forgotten Realms setting

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Chivalry
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby Chivalry » Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:24 pm UTC

Well some of my favourite books include We by Zamyatin, Wheel of Time series by R.Jordan and perhaps the Farseer trilogy by Robin Hobb. Thats purely pleasure reading really.

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minno
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby minno » Wed Aug 05, 2009 3:50 pm UTC

I'd have to say the book Evolution, by Stephen Baxter. It's a 400+ page narrative, and each chapter tells the story of an animal, starting with before the dinosaurs, and continuing into the bleak future he imagines. He also imagines several new species, like semi-intelligent dinosaur tool-users and enormous pterodactyls who almost never land.

Overall it's a very engrossing book, and it has the most epic description of the dinosaur-killer asteroid ever.
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby RokstaEnSweden » Thu Aug 06, 2009 12:38 am UTC

It's really hard picking favorites, but I would say a good majority of my favorite books are by Kurt Vonnegut. Mother Night and Player Piano are really amazing reads, and I always go back to them when I have to travel. Slaughterhouse Five and Cat's Cradle are also excellent stories, but they really don't grab me like the other two. Vonnegut just has a satirical writing style that I can really appreciate, much like Joseph Heller's. Speaking of him, I'd also have to throw Catch-22 and Something Happened in there as well. I really have a thing for that sarcastic, satirical commentary on society. It amuses me.

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Manifold
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby Manifold » Fri Aug 07, 2009 1:08 pm UTC

minno wrote:I'd have to say the book Evolution, by Stephen Baxter. It's a 400+ page narrative, and each chapter tells the story of an animal, starting with before the dinosaurs, and continuing into the bleak future he imagines. He also imagines several new species, like semi-intelligent dinosaur tool-users and enormous pterodactyls who almost never land.

Overall it's a very engrossing book, and it has the most epic description of the dinosaur-killer asteroid ever.


Didn't you find the lack of homo sapien in the whole narrative humbling/depressing? They only really appear towards the last couple of chapters. Having said that, yes, Evolution is, literally, awesome.

Have you read his Destiny's Children series? It's even more epic.
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby karkaputto » Fri Aug 21, 2009 5:09 am UTC

Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev is very good. Anne of Green Gables is fun, too.
From my point of view, it seems like there's a lot more variety in people's favorite authors/books than favorite bands/songs.

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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby Ivora » Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:11 am UTC

"Goodnight Moon." :D

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ahippo
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby ahippo » Sun Aug 30, 2009 2:07 am UTC

First post on xkcd forums.

Ender's Shadow

I read it before I read Ender's Game. Once reading Ender's Game I found that Bean is actually, at least in my opinion, a more interesting character than Ender. Don't get me wrong, I'm also completely in love with Ender. I just like Bean even better. Currently on Shadow of the Hegemon. Looking forward to Speaker for the Dead since the as OSC said Ender's Game was written to set up the character of Ender for Speaker. There are plenty of other great books but Ender's Shadow just took me by surprise and it's just my kind of story. My Grandma of all people told me to read Ender's Game, but from my Dad's description of it I thought it was just a preachy, don't-play-video-games message, I know my Dad would want me to read because he hates it when I play games. I read Ender's Shadow in the hopes of avoiding that and I was blown away. All of my stupid preconceived notions were completely wrong and I loved it. For those of you who have read Ender's Game and/or the rest of the Ender series but not Shadow, It's highly recommendable.

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Ranulfr
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby Ranulfr » Thu Sep 03, 2009 5:30 am UTC

more of a short story than a full book but "Repent Harlequin! Said the Ticktockman." by Harlan Ellison.
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julianharry
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby julianharry » Fri Sep 04, 2009 11:34 am UTC

"Alchemist" by "paulo coleho". One of the best fiction books that I have ever read and inspirational as well. It is a story of the shepherd boy and his journey towards his dream.

mispeled
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby mispeled » Fri Sep 04, 2009 6:13 pm UTC

Can I pick the library card catalog as a book? That thing gets me access to many books. :D

If not, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig. I probably reread it once a year, and have been since 2002. The mark of a good book is the ability to reread it and always get something new out of it.

saywolfagain
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby saywolfagain » Tue Sep 08, 2009 11:01 pm UTC

A mainstream choice but it has to be Pride and Prejudice - because of the historial period, the charm and the overall lightness of touch
(can't see what the fuss is about Mr Darcy though!)

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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby derick » Wed Sep 09, 2009 2:27 pm UTC

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.

Other favorites include Ayn Rand's various fiction and non-fiction writings, the Harry Potter books, all three of Malcolm Gladwell's books, Freakonomics, A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson, 1984, Les Misrables by Victor Hugo, and The Rebel Sell.

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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby arran4 » Sun Oct 04, 2009 4:35 am UTC

I haven't read too much fiction, and when I do it's usually for some association.. So, my favorites would be from a limited collection.. However The Brothers War, is mine so far.

In terms of nonfiction, G.E.B, The Logic of Life, and Modern Heuristics.

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Under A Pale Grey Sky
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby Under A Pale Grey Sky » Sun Oct 04, 2009 4:15 pm UTC

I would have to say "The Farseer Trilogy" by Robin Hobb is my favourite.
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Under A Pale Grey Sky
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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby Under A Pale Grey Sky » Sun Oct 04, 2009 4:17 pm UTC

mispeled wrote:Can I pick the library card catalog as a book? That thing gets me access to many books.


That is one of the most brilliant things I've seen today... although it IS 3:17am where I am...
Firelight holds their peace
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We farewell the old
As they fall to silence

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Re: What is your favourite book?

Postby Ridcully » Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:00 pm UTC

I would have to say my recent favorite is "The life of PI" It's an incredible look at life and religion.
Then there's Discworld, which is very funny. I've been reading the Sandman series, which is also brilliant and epic...now if I could only stop having nightmares.
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