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Thread: Favorite Books and Authors

  1. #1
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    Favorite Books and Authors

    I'm ALWAYS reading a book. By that i mean that even though some days i read less than others, i am ALWAYS in the process of reading a book, and have been since i was a child.

    Part of the reason i'm starting this thread is to get recommendations for myself

    My favorites are John Steinbeck, Stephen King and Anne Rice.
    I've read everything these three have ever published, and i'm sure they need no introduction.

    My other favorite is the husband and wife duo of W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear. They are a bit more obscure, famous for their incredible First North Americans series. W. Michael has a masters in anthropology and worked as an archaeologist, while Kathleen Gear is a former state historian and archeologist for Wyoming, Kansas and Nebraska for the US Department of the Interior.
    They write WONDERFUL historical fiction about Native Americans, ranging in time between 13000 BC to 1400 AD.
    These books are fucking EXCELLENT...the Gears treat Native peoples with a great deal of respect, making their characters come to life possessing a great deal of intelligence and complex social hierarchies. And, of course, due to the couple's former occupations, the anthropological content is accurate...from religion, to weaponry, to diet, to lodging, everything is factually correct. For me, their writing is addictive. I've read 18 of the series.

    Some of my other favorites are A Clockwork Orange (Burgess,) Johnny Got His Gun (Trumbo,) The Catcher in the Rye and Franny and Zoey (Salinger,) Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead and Anthem (Rand, even though my ideology is pretty much 180 degrees from Rand's, i still loved the books,) Cities of the Red Night, Junky, Queer, and The Place of Dead Roads (Burroughs,) The Basketball Diaries (Carroll,) Things Fall Apart (Achebe,) Cry the Beloved Country (Paton,) The Invisible Man (Ellison,) The Poisonwood Bible (Kingsolver,) The Science of Self Realization (Prahupada,) Shadowland (Straub,) The Problem of Pain, (C.S. Lewis.)
    That's all i can think of right now. Oh, and i greatly enjoyed the Hunger Games books. I'm really glad that i didn't realize that the books were intended for teenagers, because i would not have read them! Oh yeah...i also LOVED Thomas Harris' Hannibal Lecter books...he makes great use of literary techniques. At the end of the day, that is one of my favorite things in writing...symbolism. I love it when contemporary writers use good literary techniques...sadly, i'ts starting to get rare.
    Between the good ones and the favorite authors, i read an endless procession of contemporary american pulp, which are seemingly invariably "thrillers:" courtroom, political, financial. These books, written by the likes of Coben, Cromwell, Patterson...they aren't BAD...they just aren't exactly GOOD.

    I thought that maybe here, we could turn each other on to our favorite books. I really look forward to hearing everyone's suggestions.

    By the way, my ultimate all time favorite author is Stephen King. It's not just because it's horror or fantasy, it's his
    "voice," i just can't get enough of it.
    And my favorite book ever written is East of Eden by Steinbeck. That one is SO fucking amazing, the way Steinbeck uses adam and eve/ cain and abel symbolism over and over again in a sweeping, multigenerational family saga. That being said, Anne Rice's "The Witching Hour," is a very close second.

    So who are your favorites?
    Last edited by elevenism; 07-01-2014 at 10:41 AM.

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    Boring answer: Charles Dickens, especially Great Expectations

    But I'm mostly a lover of sci fi and horror, quick list of some favourites

    Charles Dickens - Great Expectations
    Philip K Dick - Time Out Of Joint
    Max Barry - Jennifer Government
    Sergei Lukyanenko; translated by Andrew Bromfield - Day Watch (that's book 2 of 4 in the Night Watch series)
    Douglas Adams - The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul (2 of 2.5 from the Dirk Gently series)
    Jostein Gaarder - Sophie's World
    Will Self - The Book of Dave

    And for younger orientated books
    Eoin Colfer - Wish List
    The Darren Shan series (aka the Cirque du Freak series)

    I'm not really an avid reader these days, have trouble concentrating often, but I'll still pop into a second hand store and get something with an interesting blurb now and then.

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    Cormac McCarthy's imagery in stunning and he doesn't pull any punches. I finished "Blood Meridian" a few weeks ago, it's about a 14yr old kid who leaves home and falls in with a gang of scalp-hunters in Texas and Mexico in the 19th Century. It takes the image of the "Wild West" and how it was a crazy place full of outlaws and adventures and reminds the reader that actually, the "Wild West" was a FUCKING TERRIFYING PLACE. A really hard read, there was what felt like 2 straight chapters that were a nonstop bloodbath, but his style of writing keeps you riveted.

    Also read China Mieville's "Perdido Street Station" on the advice of playwithfire and need to get more of his stuff!
    Last edited by Fixer808; 07-01-2014 at 07:46 AM.

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    Now read The Scar

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    Next on the list! Thanks!

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    I've actually just started to get back into reading seriously after an extended hiatus. I picked up a bunch of Kurt Vonnegut's stuff and I'm loving every moment. I've read Slaughterhouse 5, Cat's Cradle, Mother Night, Sirens of Titan and Breakfast of Champions thus far. It's too hard to pick a favourite from that bunch.

    Vonnegut aside, my favourite novel is probably House of Leaves by Mark Z Danielewski. I say 'probably' because there are a bunch of good books I'm well overdue for a re-read of.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xmd 5a View Post
    my favourite novel is probably House of Leaves by Mark Z Danielewski. I say 'probably' because there are a bunch of good books I'm well overdue for a re-read of.
    i've tried to read house of leaves a few times but never finished it. i get caught in the endless lists.
    any tips on how to finish it?

    As far as Vonnegut, i've read Breakfast of Champions and God Bless you Mr. Rosewater. I read them years ago and loved them both.

    I was wondering how in the FUCK i came up with this stream of words in the first post. i was pretty tired, but this is still pretty fucking strange, lol.

    which are seemingly invariably "thrillers:" courtroom, political, financial...avid forever searching for something transcendent know what i mean.
    i think i'm going to edit that bit out

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    A few favourites:

    The Road - Cormac McCarthy
    1984 - George Orwell
    Matilda - Roald Dahl
    Kurt Vonnegut - Slaughterhouse 5
    Cosmos - Carl Sagan
    All Quiet on the Western Front - Erich Maria Remarque
    The Wind up Bird Chronicle - Haruki Murakami
    Post Office - Charles Bukowski
    The Lord of the Rings - Tolkien

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    Quote Originally Posted by elevenism View Post
    i've tried to read house of leaves a few times but never finished it. i get caught in the endless lists.
    any tips on how to finish it?
    I didn't have many problems reading it as it was laid out, page by page. I had fun navigating the 'labyrinth' presented by the text. My wife couldn't get past the format screw and quit after a couple of chapters though. To each their own.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xmd 5a View Post
    I didn't have many problems reading it as it was laid out, page by page. I had fun navigating the 'labyrinth' presented by the text. My wife couldn't get past the format screw and quit after a couple of chapters though. To each their own.
    it certainly is labyrinthine. but FUCK to each his own! i WiLL read it! in fact, i'm going to read it next.
    i have conquered the fountainhead and atlas shrugged. (i thought i was right wing when i was a teenager...then i experienced life and went 180 degrees...i'm a commie pinko left wing liberal now)
    but i digress...i WILL read the damn book! i've started reading it like five times. in fact @xmd 5a , i am going to challenge myself. i will discuss the book with you in ONE WEEK.

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    I love Atlas Shrugged and The Fountain Head. I think her philosophy is nonsense and has no place for anyone excpet maybe a small few but I enjoyed tangling with her values and it made me construct a more coherent outline of my own. I cite Atlas as being a very important book in my life.

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    I love pretty much everything that Barbara Kingsolver writes.
    @allegro , i love your sharp mind. thanks for the tips...i've never read anything you mentioned except for kingsolver.
    and i loved the poisonwood bible, but then i tried prodigal summer and it just didn't click. it felt like female erotica.

    "Evil all its sin is still alivE"
    remember that palindrome? those chapters blew my mind.

    Well, hot damn...THIS. the one on the left is out and the one on the right is out soon...not nin soon, but in the fall.
    i'm all over the first one...it's supposed to be a detective novel, which kind of worries me, but i think it will be interesting.


    @Digital Twilight , i read everything Rand wrote when i was a teenager because i thought that i was part of the "elite."
    Then, life happened.
    Now i find rand's philosophy to be a great parallel to satanism...and the tea party.
    But those books ARE fucking awesome, and they were important in my life too. They did teach me to strive for excellence under pressure.
    I was in AP english 5, and when i took the test (which gives college credits,) i wrote about Atlas and i made a PERFECT score.
    But sadly, i never even used the free college credits and pissed my 20s away with booze and women.
    I'm starting my life NOW. Jesus, i'm rambling. I shut up now

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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    What's wrong with female erotica? LOL. "
    Female erotica is, i'm sure, wonderful for females.

    Thank you so much for the suggestions. I need to ride to amarillo and go to a BOOK STORE book store. we have to drive 30 miles to get even to a fucking wal mart, and their selection is kinda rough...remember, this is the place that sells guns with which we can all murder one another but finds guitar magazines to be way too edgy,

    And no, i haven't read The Magus, what's it all about? I felt like i was pretty damn well read, but i haven't read hardly ANY of the work you are mentioning, but i will.
    there is a great website called thriftbooks.com where these sainted book hippies have pretty much made the going rate on a hardback with shipping $4...maybe i'll get some there.

    In between stephen king releases, i read whatever i can get my hands on. i go to wal-mart and buy 8 or ten books that look like they might be good. like i said earlier, they are ALL thrillers. i don't even know who the authors are half of the time
    they are entertaining but utterly forgetable. I HAVE to read though, so i take what i can get.

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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    Ana´s Nin. Read not just by Henry Miller, duh. I'm assuming that your best-seller Stephen King list doesn't include "Delta of Venus" or "Little Birds" which are read NOT SOLELY BY WOMEN.

    I gave you a LINK to The Magus, dude. You don't even get Amazon? Can't you order a Kindle like the rest of us and download books to the Kindle?

    I promise I won't poke fun at you for your love of that formulaic hack, Stephen King.
    I've happened upon a bit of Anais Nin in my day. I guess what i was saying was, the kingsolver book made me feel like i was reading something private intended for a woman, almost like i was peeking in on something i shouldn't see. It's hard to explain.

    Ahhh , Steven King. I've read everything but his grocery lists. I find him to be consistently sublime. I feel that his "voice" is so singular, such a pure product of americana, providing an inimitable mirror and always capturing the zeitgeist of our time. Formulaic hack?! Have you read much stephen king?
    Read the eight books of the Dark Tower series and then tell me he's formulaic.

    I didn't realize you sent me a link. Today has been about other things, lovey dovey things. I will damn sure check it out, especially if you are offering it as your top recommendation.
    I don't have a kindle or money for amazon. But i can find it on Thriftbooks.com for $4, or get it in some renegade way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    I didn't "send" you a link, my post included a link.
    Now you are just being mean for the sake of being mean, aren't you? Why?

    I really, honestly don't need that shit in my life. I don't wish to be hurt. Obviously i enjoy discourse with you, but why are you speaking to me this way? It's a little venomous.

    and by the way, i've read On Writing, obviously. He certainly doesn't "admit" to using a formula in a negative sense in any way.
    Last edited by elevenism; 07-03-2014 at 11:57 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    What? The blue text means it's a link, dude.
    i realize that. I'm sorry if i mistook your words for cruelty...i felt like you were belittling me for saying you sent me a link, for just saying the wrong thing.

    I'm kind of on edge...i didn't sleep last night, and somebody justgot on to me for wanting to "talk to strangers on that NIN site" instead of spending time with her. But she was SLEEPING for fuck's sake. I think she is getting jealous of ETS.
    Sigh.
    Sorry if i was wrong. Inflection doesn't come through in text, and i took what you said the wrong way, it would seem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    yeah well you're no fun to talk to, so I still give up. I'm not into really overly sensitive people.
    damnit @allegro , you ARE fun to talk to. Don't give up... i am not overly sensitive...i'm hard as a motherfucker. I've just been awake for too long and i get spacy and strange after the 24 hour mark.

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    Patrick O'Brian

    The Aubrey-Maturin series of novels. Twenty books set upon Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin in the Royal Navy, from 1800 through 1815.

    Not only the best historical fiction, but some of the best fiction, ever. Every book—every page!—is stuffed with brilliant prose.

    Here's a good review by Richard Snow for the New York Times in 1991, when only fourteen novels were available.

    And this is one by Christopher Hitchens for the New York Review of Books in 2000, on the occasion of the series' final complete novel.

    And if you prefer to listen to your books, the Patrick Tull readings of the series are excellent. If you begin (at the beginning, as you should) with 'Master and Commander' and find it a bit of a slog with all of the unfamiliar (and often unexplained) terminology and naval minutiae, try Tull's audiobook version instead.

    (EDIT: YouTube audiobook recording was deleted.)
    Last edited by Corvus T. Cosmonaut; 09-11-2014 at 03:50 PM.

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    Stanisław Lem

    I have a long list of favorite authors. I'll start with one. One of my all-time favorite SF writers is Stanisław Lem. Lem wrote delightful books that enthralled me. He wrote very intelligent, clever stories filled with a love of language, logic, puzzles and whimsy. The Cyberiad is a wonderful book, telling the stories of two friendly rival inventor robots, who travel the universe getting into all sorts of odd and unlikely adventures. The Cyberiad is appropriate for all ages, but Lem wrote novels for adults as well. He has been poorly served by movies, at least in America. Solaris, starring George Clooney, was based on his book, but don't let that prejudice you against him. The book has little resemblance to the movie. The Congress, starring Robin Wright, is loosely based on Lem's The Futurological Congress.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elevenism View Post
    it certainly is labyrinthine. but FUCK to each his own! i WiLL read it! in fact, i'm going to read it next.
    i have conquered the fountainhead and atlas shrugged. (i thought i was right wing when i was a teenager...then i experienced life and went 180 degrees...i'm a commie pinko left wing liberal now)
    but i digress...i WILL read the damn book! i've started reading it like five times. in fact @xmd 5a , i am going to challenge myself. i will discuss the book with you in ONE WEEK.
    this was me talking about house of leaves 1 year and 27 days ago.
    sooooooo

    i'm halfway through it now, and it's fucking incredible.

    I'm a year late though,

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    'perv - a love story' by jerry stahl
    'l'assommoir' by emile zola
    'papillon' by henri charriere
    'where the sidewalk ends' by shel silverstein
    'go ask alice' by anonymous
    'midnight in the garden of good and evil' by john berendt
    'taber's cyclopedic medical dictionary' by various (it's a reference book)
    anything by hunter thompson
    'hollywood babylon' by whoever (good junk reading)

    i could go on forever......

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    Quote Originally Posted by ldopa View Post
    'go ask alice' by anonymous
    Go Ask Alice, man I loved that book when I was a 'tween in the early-70s, a cautionary tale that made absolutely no difference to me LOL except it turned me on to "She's Leaving Home" by the Beatles.
    Last edited by allegro; 11-27-2015 at 05:50 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    Go Ask Alice, man I loved that book when I was a 'tween in the early-70s, a cautionary tale that made absolutely no difference to me LOL except it turned me on to "She's Leaving Home" by the Beatles.
    i was maybe 19 or 20 when i read it the first time. in one sitting on my grandparent's front porch. at the time it wasn't cautionary for me, it was an aspiration of sorts. now it's bittersweet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ldopa View Post
    i was maybe 19 or 20 when i read it the first time. in one sitting on my grandparent's front porch. at the time it wasn't cautionary for me, it was an aspiration of sorts. now it's bittersweet.
    Wow, yeah, it was INTENDED to be a cautionary tale but nearly everybody I know who read it (seems to be mostly females), myself included, went on to do acid. So it actually gave us romantic ideas about acid? And running away from home? Who knows. Its author is no longer anonymous, as we know the author to be Beatrice Sparks.

    I still have this 1971 tattered yellowed paperback on my shelves:
    Last edited by allegro; 11-27-2015 at 08:21 PM.

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    and romantic ideas about artistic freedom vs. applicable economics

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    Quote Originally Posted by ldopa View Post
    and romantic ideas about artistic freedom vs. applicable economics
    Lol. Snopes confirms what we all suspected: that this story isn't true
    http://www.snopes.com/language/literary/askalice.asp
    Last edited by allegro; 11-27-2015 at 08:51 PM.

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    the bittersweet just turned to stone!
    the same family that brought you reefer madness, cocaine fiends, test tube babies, and the chick who took quaaludes, drank too much and died. (sharon? susan? something?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ldopa View Post
    the bittersweet just turned to stone!
    the same family that brought you reefer madness, cocaine fiends, test tube babies, and the chick who took quaaludes, drank too much and died. (sharon? susan? something?)
    KAREN ANN QUINLAN! NEW JERSEY'S STATE VEGETABLE.

    Yeah, exactly. They were just bullshitting us to keep us from doing drugs. HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!

    Hey guess what?!?! WE HAD SEX, TOO!!! MUAAA HAHAHAHAAAAAAAAA!!!!

    Edit: wow, that's weird from Quinlan's Wiki page. All those years ago, we all thought she vegged from combining alcohol and 'Ludes. Ends up she was anorexic, did Darvon, Valium and alcohol; no Quaaludes at all.
    Last edited by allegro; 11-27-2015 at 08:57 PM.

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    her name and face is so all american you almost die a bit inside!
    like a game of "telephone"
    hyper-prevention begets curiosity (almost) every time.
    and the latter wins.

    seeing her wiki makes me think lots about cali's current "right to die" movements. we've actually come a long way in contrast. fucking terry schaivo.
    heart and / or brain death...fuck.
    Last edited by ldopa; 11-27-2015 at 10:19 PM.

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    As a teenager, I read ALL of Sharon Creech's books. Well, all that were around at the time anyways, she's probably come out with more since "my time". Then there's other young adult classics I fell in love with like "The Giver" and the subsequent two books, "Gathering Blue" and "Messenger" (Lois Lowry). I just read there was a fourth one out in 2012, called "Son" and now I'm curious to read that. I read a lot of Anne Rice too at the time. Would be interesting to read it again.

    I'm a big fan of Neil Gaiman.
    I read so many great books in college that I want to re-read but don't come to the top of my head now (those were chaotic years). One being White Noise by Don Delillo.
    Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky is a favorite too.
    Life of Pi by Yann Martel.
    Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre.
    The Stranger by Albert Camus.

    MmmmMMmmm....So many good books, it's unfortunately hard to remember them all at once.

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