What is your favourite book?

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b.i.o
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Postby b.i.o » Thu Aug 02, 2007 3:17 am UTC

Whipping Star/The Dosadi Experiment (Frank Herbert)
Dune/Heretics of Dune/Chapterhouse: Dune (Frank Herbert)
H2G2 (Douglas Adams)
Thud/Going Postal (Terry Pratchett)

mountaingoat
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Postby mountaingoat » Thu Aug 02, 2007 7:29 pm UTC

Count of the Monte Cristo
The Catcher in the Rye
The Great Gatsby
Fountainhead

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Postby 3li » Fri Aug 03, 2007 3:07 pm UTC

jfarquhar wrote:- His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman, I loved these books and the subtext beneath them, I hope they don't cut out the religious parts when the first book becomes a movie.


Yes! I couldn't agree more!

My favorite book is "Women" by Charles Bukowski.

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Pebbles
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Postby Pebbles » Mon Aug 06, 2007 2:06 am UTC

easily Catch-22 by Jospeh Heller.
She only looked away for a moment, and the mask slipped, and you fell. All your tomorrows start here.
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Postby bbctol » Tue Aug 07, 2007 8:58 pm UTC

Wow, the gods of forum-sorting have really, really bad taste.

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Postby Gofyr » Fri Aug 10, 2007 1:23 pm UTC

Phenriz wrote:Stephen King - The Wizard and the Glass (The Dark Tower: Book 4)


Favourite book of the series, that and The Gunslinger.

'His Dark Materials' actually drew tears, it was that good, shame the religious content is being toned down in the film, a large part of what made the series so gripping in my view was that darkness.

Trudi Canavan's 'Black Magician' and 'Age Of The Five' had me hooked.

Karen Miller's 'Innocent Mage' - just because the protagonist is the complete opposite of the clichéd fantasy hero, he speaks with a thick country bumpkin accent, for one, that's usually the comic relief character's voice.

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Stief
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Postby Stief » Sat Aug 11, 2007 1:08 am UTC

Hg2g series (what more need be said?)
A Clockwork Orange (A classic, and more violent than the film IMO)
the french lieutenants woman (really well written, Fowles did something completely different from what I had read before)
The Hobbit (I love this book ^_^ just a great read from beginning to end)
Anything by Terry Pratchett

These are a few of my favourites...

I need to read more :P

[edit:*slaps head* how could I forget Terry Pratchett?]
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Postby JCOrion » Sun Aug 12, 2007 1:48 am UTC

Great list of books, just had to add some that haven't been mentioned yet.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchel

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Pebbles
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Postby Pebbles » Tue Aug 14, 2007 12:51 pm UTC

JCOrion wrote:The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon


that was an awesome book.

The book theif by Marcus Zusak is also great.
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Postby Droooo » Wed Aug 15, 2007 9:44 am UTC

Tenderness of the Wolves by Stef Penney
The Beach by Alex Garland
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

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Peevish
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Postby Peevish » Thu Aug 16, 2007 5:22 pm UTC

The Motion Of Light In Water by Samuel R. Delany.

Delany was likely the first successful black scifi writer. His later stuff gets really complex (Dhalgren is a labyrinth).

Hard to get jazzed about his scifi, but the guy's written 5 autobiographies, and this is the most fascinating memoir I've ever read. I kept pausing to yell at the him, "you are so interesting!!" Talks about the experience of being black but able to pass for white, gay in the late 50's but able to have lots of sex with your wife, and to have several published books by 21 and be briefly institutionalized.

Favorite essay: Politics And The English Language by George Orwell.

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Postby ChooChoo » Sun Aug 19, 2007 8:31 am UTC

I must apologize for this, but...

Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne.

If you can read that book without smiling, you have no soul.

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Postby Meowsma » Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:45 am UTC

Gone with the Wind - Margaret Mitchell

A masterpiece, without a doubt. This is the only book that nearly brought me to tears. I also happen to love the antebellum South, so that was a major plus. =)


Into the Cool: Energy Flow, Thermodynamics, and Life - Dorion Sagan and Eric Schneider

Shows how the Second Law influences absolutely every part of our lives. Incredible in its influence.

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Postby George Orr » Mon Aug 20, 2007 11:03 pm UTC

While on vacation, I just read "One Hundred Years of Solitude," by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and I think I'd definitely add it to my list of all-time favorite books. Damn, is it good. And I mean good on the level that is encountered very rarely in ones lifetime. Others' opinions may differ, but if you haven't read it you should check it out.
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Decker
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Postby Decker » Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:42 am UTC

Hrm. My all time favorite book is possibly "Going Postal" by Terry Pratchett. A story of hope, con-men, and the power of words

Let me take my favorite quote from it.


"He could feel that old electric feeling, the one you got deep inside when you stood there right in front of the banker who was carefully examining an example of your very best work. The universe held its breath, and then the man would smile and say, "Very good Mr. Assumed Name, I will have my clerk bring up the money right away." It was the thrill not of the chase but of standing still, of remaining so calm, composed, and genuine that, for just long enough, you could fool the world and spin it on your finger."

Edit: We need a neat quotes page. Do we have one already?
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Postby Nimz » Tue Aug 21, 2007 6:24 am UTC

Decker wrote:Edit: We need a neat quotes page. Do we have one already?
Yep. It's right here
LOWA

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Amnesiasoft
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Postby Amnesiasoft » Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:47 am UTC

I'd probably have to go with Hearts in Atlantis. Particularly the first part, Low Men in Yellow Coats.

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teamcorndog
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Postby teamcorndog » Thu Aug 23, 2007 1:26 am UTC

Currently, 'Anne of Green Gables'. It gives me new feelings every time i read it, and Anne is my favorite character of all time.

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Postby Sandry » Sun Aug 26, 2007 5:24 am UTC

Sometimes Zelazny's Lord of Light, sometimes Pratchett and Gaiman's Good Omens.
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lowbrass
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Postby lowbrass » Mon Aug 27, 2007 9:01 pm UTC

top four:

Dune (Frank Herbert): Best science fiction story ever told, period. I'm working on reading the rest of them.

The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand): Awesome story, lots of interesting philosophy.

H2G2 (Douglas Adams): This whole series is made of win.

Cosmos (Carl Sagan): Is nonfiction okay here? This is my nerdy space enthusiast side showing itself.

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ocarina_21
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Postby ocarina_21 » Mon Aug 27, 2007 10:04 pm UTC

I'm liking Eats, Shoots, and Leaves right now. The right balance of humour and punctuation.

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Postby schrodingersduck » Wed Aug 29, 2007 10:27 pm UTC

The "Coping With..." series by Peter Corey, especially "Coping With The Family", although they are only semi-fictional (ie; a few bits of useful advice, mixed with some hilariously surreal interludes).

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javajunkie
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Postby javajunkie » Thu Aug 30, 2007 6:52 pm UTC

teamcorndog wrote:Currently, 'Anne of Green Gables'. It gives me new feelings every time i read it, and Anne is my favorite character of all time.


I'm with you regarding your affection for Anne.

Some of my other favorites:

A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
The Known World - Edward P. Jones
1984 - George Orwell
Life of Pi - Yann Martel
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
Atonement - Ian McEwan
Beloved - Toni Morrison
The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
A Short History of Nearly Everything - Bill Bryson

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drosophila
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Postby drosophila » Fri Aug 31, 2007 2:57 am UTC

I think Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett have been pretty well covered, but I'll still plug them. I also like Vonnegut, especially Cat's Cradle and Welcome to the Monkey House.

Beyond that,

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace (you DeLillo types would probably like him)

Nightwood by Djuna Barnes

Dr. Faustus by Christopher Marlowe (I seriously disturbed some people on an airplane ride by laughing my ass off while reading this)

...and not really a book, but still makes me wet- "The Waste Land" by T.S. Eliot (thank god its free online, I feel naked without it)

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Postby dubsola » Fri Aug 31, 2007 11:34 am UTC

George Orr wrote:The New York Trilogy, by Paul Auster: Modern fiction that is actually good. Not only is it good, it's god damn genius. Comprised of three books, this series is a puzzle in itself, and enjoyable on just about every level.

Collected Fictions, By Borges

Nice name, by the way. Is it from The Bridge (Iain M. Banks)?

I bought these two books recently, on your recommendation. Borges is great, and I'm glad I've bought it. Auster - well... hmm. I am about a third of the way in, and will need to finish it to be able to venture a proper opinion, but so far - it's been tough going. His writing seems very dry, and I'm not particularly interested in any of the characters or the plot. Am I a bad person?

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dansez dansez dansez
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Postby dansez dansez dansez » Fri Aug 31, 2007 10:58 pm UTC

Anything by Jorge Luis Borges.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by Joyce.
Once I was a little light

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Postby rachel » Fri Aug 31, 2007 11:03 pm UTC

dansez dansez dansez wrote:A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by Joyce.



Try as I might, I could just never get into that book. Not even enough to finish it once through, although I started and got about halfway quite a few times before I lost interest. Now it's hanging out somewhere, at the house I used to live at probably, forgotten. What did you see in it?
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Postby Lyra Ngalia » Sat Sep 01, 2007 12:39 am UTC

Some get swapped out of the list every once in a while, but it's usually pretty consistent.

The Golden Compass/Northern Lights by Philip Pullman - Really loved the first one, liked the second one a lot, and was thoroughly let down by the third. It's kind of like he started off a little JRR Tolkien and ended up a lot CS Lewis in terms of subtlety.

Dune by Frank Herbert - I really think Dune by itself is one of the greats. It is just so dense and engaging, and the ending is so perfect. But then Herbert had to go and write more stuff for it.

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke - The woman is really something else, to be able to write such a fanastic, tightly woven novel as a debut. I loved almost everything about it.

War of the Flowers by Tad Williams - I'd put Otherland on here instead if it wasn't so damned long. This is I think the only time Tad Williams was able to write a story that fit a single book, and it's a great one. A nice spin on normal faerie fantasies.

Foundation by Isaac Asimov - Foundation was one of those books that when I read the end, I just sat there and stared at the book in shock, it was that good. The only other one out of that series that gave me the same reaction was Second Foundation.

Brave New World by Aldous Leonard Huxley - I like it a lot more than 1984. I think it has to do with the fact that 1984 focused more on how humans corrupt their society and is terrifying in that right, while Brave New World focused on how technology corrupted and crippled society.

Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson - Possibly my favorite hard sci-fi book of all time. Some parts of it read like a text, but so much of Robinson's science is just so good that I can't help but love it.
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Postby Fudge » Mon Sep 03, 2007 9:49 am UTC

Rendezvous with Rama and its sequels by Arthur C. Clarke. It's the first set of books I ever really got into. I think I read it when I was around 11 or 12.
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Postby zombie_monkey » Mon Sep 03, 2007 10:23 am UTC

I enjoy Zindell a lot, although I don't think I agree with his philosophy. At least with what he has expressed of it overtly in interviews.

I love almost all of Delany's books that I've read.

Stuff that might not have been mentioned in this thread yet and I like would be Pelevin's. Omon Ra, I loved its premise, but I couldn't really get into it. But everyone should read Generation "П".

A problem is that I don't have an archive of titles of books I've read that I can go through and pick. Borges, for example, I just remembered as someone I like because he's oft-mentioned in this thread. I could mention which of these I _don't_ like. Like Childhood's End. Seriously, what _was_ all that?

Also, I _liked_ L. Ron Hubbard's Mission Earth (which has nothing to do with Battlefield Earth). It was hilarious, at least the first few volumes that I read. The information about it and the author that I acquainted myself with later, though, made me fear it may have not been intended as such. Never did even the remote possibility that it may _not_ be a parody occur to me while I was reading it...
EDIT: apparently it _was_ meant to be "satire", but not of what I considered it parody of. And further in my defense, I think I wasn't even in high school yet.

I read Crime and Punishment for about two days sick in bed. Somewhat surprisingly, I liked it.

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Postby German Sausage » Mon Sep 03, 2007 1:57 pm UTC

Fudge wrote:Rendezvous with Rama and its sequels by Arthur C. Clarke. It's the first set of books I ever really got into. I think I read it when I was around 11 or 12.

absolutely seconded, although the sequels were pretty drab, to my mind. another in the same genre is Orbitsville by Bob Shaw - starts off slow but soon picks up to a ripping exploration yarn.
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Postby semicolon » Mon Sep 03, 2007 3:05 pm UTC

zombie_monkey wrote:Also, I _liked_ L. Ron Hubbard's Mission Earth (which has nothing to do with Battlefield Earth). It was hilarious, at least the first few volumes that I read. The information about it and the author that I acquainted myself with later, though, made me fear it may have not been intended as such.

Everytime I see L. Ron Hubbard's name mentioned when talking about sci-fi, I'm like, "wait, what?" Then I remember he was a sci-fi writer before he decided to become a prophet. Better pay, I guess.

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Postby apricity » Mon Sep 03, 2007 6:41 pm UTC

My favorites are:
-Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. I can read it and immediately read it 2 more times and still not get sick of it. It's so beautiful.
-The Harry Potter series. Duh. I've read all the books except HBP and DH at least 5 times. They're funny and entertaining, the storyline is really in-depth, and in short, they're amazing.
-To Kill a Mockingbird. Probably my favorite required book I ever read in high school. The movie's just as great too.
-The Jess Darling series by Megan McCafferty. They're teen lit, but so well-written and realistic that you forget it's just teen lit.
-Summer Sisters by Judy Blume. More teen lit that goes beyond its label.
-The Stand by Stephen King. Because he made me read in 4 days, and love, a 600+ page book that wasn't about a teenage wizard.
-Lincoln by Gore Vidal. A 600+ page biography no less, and I've read it 3 times and love it.
-The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. Another beautiful book.
-The Giver. Always a classic.
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Postby mewilliamson » Thu Sep 06, 2007 7:12 pm UTC

Dealing with Dragons
Patricia C. Wrede

because a princess quite capable of rescuing herself makes for a great read. and some of the variations on the 'traditional' fairy tales make it that much better.

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Postby zombie_monkey » Sat Sep 08, 2007 12:48 pm UTC

semicolon wrote:
zombie_monkey wrote:Also, I _liked_ L. Ron Hubbard's Mission Earth (which has nothing to do with Battlefield Earth). It was hilarious, at least the first few volumes that I read. The information about it and the author that I acquainted myself with later, though, made me fear it may have not been intended as such.

Everytime I see L. Ron Hubbard's name mentioned when talking about sci-fi, I'm like, "wait, what?" Then I remember he was a sci-fi writer before he decided to become a prophet. Better pay, I guess.

Btw, I suppose it would have made sense to also mention The Iron Dream by Norman Spinrad in that context. (comment)

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Postby zenja72 » Sat Sep 08, 2007 2:33 pm UTC

Fiction:
-His Dark Materials (Philip Pullman)
-Harry Potter (J.K. Rowling)
-The Hobbit (Tolkein)
-Rainbow Six (Tom Clancy)
-1984 (George Orwell)
-Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card)
-Empire (Orson Scott Card)
-The Alchemist (Paulo Coehlo)
-Peace Like A River (Leif Enger)
Non-Fiction:
-Mind Performance Hacks (Ron Hale-Evans)
-Lies My Teacher Told Me (James W. Lowen)
-Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity (John Stossel)

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Postby petra » Tue Sep 11, 2007 11:35 pm UTC

Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
Mademoiselle de Maupin - Theophile Gautier
Leaves of Grass - Whitman
Generally: Rumi and e.e. cummings
Richard Bach seems to stay fixed in my mind.
The Picture of Dorian Grey - Wilde

Remember Be Here Now - Baba Ram Dass
An interesting ride, which I'm currently rereading... as well as
The Self-Aware Universe - Goswami
Letters from Hazel - Todd
The Denial of Death - Becker

So many, how can one choose.

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Postby Gullindjemprins » Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:38 am UTC

My top 3:

Stranger in a Strange Land by Heinlein. Jubal was, and remains, my favorite character ever written. I also tend to like books that allude to religion, even if they're science fiction... Speaker for the Dead is another good example.

Dune by Herbert. Great story, amazing plot, but hated everything that came after it. Still, I enjoyed reading it, more than anything else at that time.

Catcher in the Rye by Salinger. Only school book I ever enjoyed, except maybe Great Gatsby. Still, a good book I really enjoyed reading, and I connected with the character Holden quite a lot.
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Eitel
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Postby Eitel » Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:48 am UTC

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. That one had me in its grip for a good half a year, and along with nearly all of Adams, Pratchett, and K. Dick's catalogue, stands as one of the best that I've read.

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Postby RockMuncher » Mon Sep 17, 2007 7:31 am UTC

mewilliamson wrote:Dealing with Dragons
Patricia C. Wrede



I loved the entire series when I was younger.

I enjoy a *very* wide range of books. A few of the books I couldn't live without:

Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman
Anything at all by Khalil Gibran
Anything at all by Terry Pratchett
Anything at all by Roald Dahl
The Quantum and the Lotus: A Journey to the Frontiers Where Science and Buddhism Meet, by Matthieu Ricard and Trinh Xuan Thuan (also from Ricard: The Monk and the Philosopher: A Father and Son Discuss the Meaning of Life)
and The Giving Tree, By Silverstein.

I have weird, strange and eclectic tastes.


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