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?