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Thread: The Great Books! ( And What Are You Currently Reading? )

  1. #1
    Registered User 初心者/ Shoshinsha / Beginner
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    The Great Books! ( And What Are You Currently Reading? )

    So since we have a moive thread, a music thread and a game thread, I think its just right to have one about books as well...
    What books do you like, what kind and what can you recomend to others?

    lord of the rings goes without saying, but i have recently read a few other books in the series of 'historical' manners.. :

    EMPEROR by Conn Iggulden - a book series (currently on book 3, here in norway at least) about Julius Caesar and his life from the beginning. a book you shouldnt miss if you like history.
    ALEXANDER by Valerio Massimo Manfredi - the thrilogy about Alexander, king of Maccedon and the taking of Asia.. dont miss it folks



    Edit by GK - finally got around to modifying the title

  2. #2
    MH Senpai 伝説メンバー / Densetsu / Legendary Member
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    Re: The Great Books!

    Good idea, Martin.

    We could also make this a "What are You Currently Reading" thread.

    For myself I'm still working on finishing Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. (Haven't seen the movie yet, either.)

    My favorite books are usually fantasy-oriented, including David Eddings' Belgarath books. Good reading. Lord of the Rings and the Dragonlance Trilogy are also some of my favorites too.

    Count of Monte Cristo is my favorite classic.

  3. #3
    Registered User 初心者/ Shoshinsha / Beginner
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    Re: The Great Books!

    Harry Potter is nice ^^
    And yes, ur a admin so just change the name

    Just placed a amazone order on :
    1. The art of war by Sun Tzu
    2. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
    3. Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn
    4. Grass for His Pillow by Lian Hearn
    5. Brilliance of the Moon allso by Lian Hearn

    Cant wait to get em

  4. #4
    Schrödinger's cat 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member Anax's Avatar
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    Re: The Great Books!

    Way to go Martin! I found a copy of Sun Tzu's the Art of War and Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince (Greek: The Hegemon) that didn't inspire a lot of trust to them (given the publishers), hopefully the translations are accurate. Also, note they had little to no comments. As for Lian Hearn's masterpieces, did you order those because you heard me telling 1-2 people around here how great they were?

    It's going to be hard to tell you what books I liked since they are so many and I like them all so much... well, let's start:

    The tip of the iceberg of books I have enjoyed

    The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho(1): A brilliant book that I've read in English, written in a bed time story kind of way, simple and warm. However simple it may be though, it's a highly didactic fable about following your dreams and living life to its fullest. Every time something reminds me of the book the image of a desert comes to mind and then caravans and oases... It's what made me like Gaara of the sand at first. (read in English)

    Siddhartha by Herman Hesse(1): A great book that I cannot describe in a better way than Amazon.uk, which I thoroughly enjoyed. (read in English)

    His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman: A trillogy that will always be in my heart... Before this I had never ever wept during reading! After finishing those magnificent books I wept for the remainder of that day and felt really sad for the next three. Why? Because of the ending and because the books ended. Read them and quite possibly you'll experience the same. (read in Greek)

    Tales of the Otori Trilogy by Lian Hearn: The books Martin is waiting for and the books all of you should be getting! Once more, I can't say anything more than what Amazon.uk already does, except that I loved these books and that when I got the much awated final part, I read it one day. (read in Greek)

    The Harry Potter books 1-5, Harry Potter 6 by J.K.Rowling: In my eyes these books are one book, only too big and should be seen as such, though not read as such. This is something no fan would do (or possibly "could do"), I however believe that those books are structured in a way that with every one you read the plot thickens and targets a more grown audience. So, by the time you read the seventh you should be seven years older than you were when you read the first. Of course this applies to kids around 12 years old when they read the first. The case with older people is that they usually find the first and second books too childish, shoud they be patient though and embrace the world that is built brick by brick before their eyes, they will get to enjoy living in the magical lands of the books past the fourth... As for me, I've read each one of them in less than three days, two days for the 6th. See, once you get familiar with this world, you just can't turn your back to it. (read in Greek from 1-4 and then in English from 1-6)

    El Maestro De Keops by Albert Salavado: A historical novel set in the time of Cheops, the famous pharaoh who raised the Great Pyramid of Giza. A novel that somehow is stuck in my head even though I read it many months ago on the bus to Leonidion from Athens. If you like Egypt as much as I do (when I was younger I liked it a lot more than Japan and I have even been there once), then this is a very nice book for you! Salvado has a way of passing down his knowledge of Egypt to you via a story that is no less than intriguing. In the end, the book shows that time may have passed, technology may have advanced, yet the people are more or less the same today as they were then. (read in Greek)

    What I am reading these days:

    Hagakure by Tsunetomo Yamamoto(1): Very interesting to say the least. Can't say I agree with everything Yamamoto has to say, but still I don't take his words lightly. Having the chance to observe a samurai's way of thinking, I must say my opinions for the samurai class, Japan and people who talk about them from what they've seen in Hollywood, has changed dramatically... This book is one of a line of books I've promised myself to buy, along with The Book of Five Rings, The Unfettered Mind, Budo: Teachings of the Founder of Aikido, Essence of Aikido: Spiritual Teachings of Morihei Ueshiba (<-- this one I've got).
    (still being read in English)

    Our Lady of Darkness by Fritz Leiber: An interesting book I picked up because of a strange magazine called "Strange" or "egnartS". In that magazine strange Greeks write strange things and often translate and publish strange books (for example antholgies of Lovecraft's novels that are so hard to find in Greece ). This book was translated by one of those people and suggested by another (a writer, philosopher, researcher and whatnot by the name Παντελής Γιαννουλάκης/Panteles Yanulakes). The story seems to be intertwined with many other books and also facts... The main character has a copy of a real(?) book, Megapolisomancy: A new Science for Cities, one that Panteles claims to have a copy of, one that led Panteles to write his own book: Megapolisomancy: The magic of the Big Cities. Anyway, it would be very difficult for me to judge the book on its own, even though it seems to be a thriller written with such skill, it just makes you want to put the book down and cuddle in your bed. Still, this could just be me, knowing a lot about this book's story, rather than the story inside the book.
    (still being read in Greek)

    Books to be read in the near future

    when Nietzsche Wept by Irvin D. Yalom: A book read by my uncle (who is not really my uncle but is close enough to me to be called such) and was branded "the worst book I've ever read", also his brother made it to page 226 and gave up saying he just couldn't bare to read a single word more... As you might have guessed such negative comments couldn't have left me apathetic, so I decided to borrow it and read it! (will be read in Greek)

    The Politics of Ecstacy by Timothy Leary, : A book I found in our library in Leonidion, presumably belonging to my mom, it is actually an anthology including some essays along with the main book. Anyway, it got me mildly interested since I was always intrigued by psychedelic drugs and have read an essay on them in the past...
    (will be read in Greek)

    Zen Buddhism and Psychoanalysis by Erich Fromm: Another one of my mothers books (who has always been interested in philosophy and psychology), and one I've tried to read countless times but something else always popped up... To tell you the truth the first time I found this on the library I was some 12 years old and really liked the cover, showing a drawing of an almost naked buddhist (more like a sumo wrestler) with a red aura. The auras and I is a whole different story...
    (will be read in Greek)

    (1): The book in the link is the exact same one I've got.

    That's all... for now!
    ~Schrödinger's Cat

  5. #5
    Last Boss ♪~( ̄。 ̄) 有名人 / Yuumeijin / Celebrity njt's Avatar
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    Re: The Great Books!

    Ok, lets see....
    I've read almost all of the "goose bump" books by Rl Stein(I was in middle school people! hehe)that's around 70+ books

    I've read the entire Indian in the cupboard series... well almost, they are really good. I mean, bringing a toy to life! hell yeah, that's what I was talking about. and the books just got better and better, he actually got to switch places and go to the time where the toys were coming from. Seriously an awesome series.
    The Mystery of the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks (Author), Tom Newsom (Illustrator)
    The Secret of the Indian by Lynne Reid Banks (Author), Ted Lewin (Illustrator)
    The Key to the Indian by Lynne Reid Banks (Author), James Watling (Illustrator) (actually didn't read this last one...)

    then there is the harry potter series, I read all of those, and am reading the 1st one in JP now.... I liked them, and the movies.. it's hard to make a book into a movie and I belive she did a decent job.

    I've read all the Jurassic park books 1-2..those are by michael crichton (he's a great author~) Oh, don't even think about skipping this just because you watched the movies. They are way different. I mean, in the second book they don't even leave the island until the end... who knows where they got that scene in the movie.

    The chosen by chaim potok a story about a couple of jewish boys, one with a crazy gift of remembering everything he reads and can repeat it back to word for word. He goes off to even learn German to just to read works done by a famous german psychiatrist but I forget the name right now... you can find this book on amazon for a quarter(25 cents). I liked it because his ability to remember things sooo easily and how he could learn German in one sitting... pissed me off... hehe

    The Woman Warrior : Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts by maxine hong kingston. This actually has the story that is the background for the movie Mulan(by disney) it's a bit more graphic then the movie, but still very cool if you like asian history and all that jazz(jazz in this case means stuff~)

    Memoirs of a geisha: by Arthur Golden. Yeah, a gook about Geisha's written by a gaijin so I don't know how accurate it is... but it's a good read never the less

    the Joy luck club by amy tan. That is a great book, it's kinda hard to follow and doesn't really have a main point, but I just loved it. It's also a movie.

    20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne. A guy way too smart, he thought up the nuclear submarine even before it was produced. An interesting read~

    Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. This guy was smart too. It's crazy how many things he mentioned is out and about right now. Seriously gotta read this book. It's a book about in the future books are banned and so they burn all the books that exist... thus the number 451 "the temp at which books burn". great stuff~

    The Giver by Lois Lowry. Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear of pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. When Jonas turns 12 he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.
    You can get this book for a penny on ebay. anyways, I loved this book sooooooo much! it was awesome, kinda like pleasantville... but a little bit of a twist. It really gets you thinking and well... the book just flows. The only thing I hated about it... is the way it ended it leaves you thinking "what the hell happened after that?! I even wrote an alternative ending (well for HQ) I typed it up too if you want to check it out...

    The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I liked this book some what... I loved how they defined the scenery, and such. kinda gave you really good depth, even for a book.

    The Odyssey by Homer. When I was studying latin, I had to read this book. But it was very cool. It has the stories of the greek gods and such, pretty darn interesting

    Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson yep once I liked pirates

    Animal Farm, by George Orwell, not what you think. It has VERY strong ties to communisim.

    Of Mice And Men, by John Steinbeck. Some times big and stupid can get you in real big trouble... even if they work hard. Yeah, the story of a couple of guys trying to make a living. One can do the work of 2-3 guys, but gets his self in big trouble when he tries to keep a girl from telling on him for having some pets, she then starts screaming he panics, tries to keep her quiet... and well... guess what happens...

    Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. A good book if you ever want to know how to survive in canada after you plane crashes and you only have a few tools...

    Oh yeah, there is more....I'll add more as I think of em...

    and 3 or so books by Dave Barry... he's great

    Currently reading The Da vinci code and just finished the entire series "the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy" Now that's a GREAT=====-----====---===---==-- Series! read it if you haven't, it's one of the best set of books you can read .
    Serizawa: But it's really heartwarming to see such good guys - perhaps not as good as we wanted, translation-wise, but their hearts are already grade A
    If you see a mistake in my translations, let me know! Thanks Click a frog to see my Resume!!

  6. #6
    Schrödinger's cat 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member Anax's Avatar
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    Re: The Great Books!

    @ njt --> Haven't read The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy but I've heard something about it:
    Spoiler show


    Well, never really thought of them as books, rather than experiences (was too young, at about 10 years old), I've read both The Oddyssey and The Illiad.

    I also read The Neverending Story when I was 8

    20,000 Leagues Under the Sea I've never finished somehow... I was very young, we moved to another house, book got lost, we moved again, book was found and lost again... in the end I gave up on it.
    ~Schrödinger's Cat

  7. #7
    Registered User 初心者/ Shoshinsha / Beginner
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    Re: The Great Books!

    Anax, I read the first book of the Otori books about a year ago.. had to get the rest xD
    As for 'the art of war' and 'the prince', well.. Heard alot about Sun Tzu, and The prince i just got
    recomended by a friend.

    Nice you finished the book, taylor I rerember I read a collection of all the books in 1.. and spilled coffee over it ><

    I have to wait a few weeks for my books to ship in, so i think i'll throw myself over 'the da vinci code' as soon as possilbe. Its on my list of books to read

  8. #8
    Registered User 上級員 / Jyoukuuin / Sr. Member
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    Re: The Great Books!

    The two weeks and the queen???gay love...*cough*
    Spoiler show
    <br />

  9. #9
    Itachi's Hat Maker MH中毒 / MH Chuudoku / MH Addicted kadoman's Avatar
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    Re: The Great Books!

    Adults:

    The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck - achingly good writing, an American masterpiece

    Titus Groan (aka Gormanghast trilogy) - Mervyn Peake - ain't no anime or manga out there weirder than this - like Charles Dickens on speed (and easier to read!)

    Cider with Rosie - Laurie Lee - poetic prose, beautiful

    Brokeback Mountain - Annie Proux - a short story, yeah, it's the one now turned into the 'gay cowboy movie' but it'll only take you 20 minutes to read and well worth it. Very brutal.

    Children's:
    Stormbreaker (and all the rest in the Alex Rider spy series) Anthony Horowitz - pure fun, well written, soon to be a movie in the summer!

    Clay - David Almond - spooky, creepy, beautifully written.




  10. #10
    Schrödinger's cat 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member Anax's Avatar
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    Re: The Great Books!

    I've watched the 2-3 concluding episodes of Gormenghast, on a DVD that came with some newspaper. I wonder if it's the same story...
    ~Schrödinger's Cat

  11. #11
    MH Senpai 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member Raine_Joybringer's Avatar
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    Re: The Great Books!

    I've been re-reading some of my Tamora Pierce books. She does wonderful fantasy series.

    RJ's Avatar Rotation!:

    Visit my dA account: deviantART Or my FF.net account: Fanfiction.net

  12. #12
    Translator 中級員 / Chuukyuuin / Member Pazuzu's Avatar
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    Re: The Great Books!

    I've been rereading my Discworld books lately. Terry Pratchett is the most fantastic author I have ever read, combining fantasy and real plot with humour, both obvious and subtle.

    Also, I'm going back over the Shannara books by Terry Brooks, my second favourite author. There's 14 so far, and they're amazing. The first one, The Sword of Shannara, is somewhat of a copy of Lord of the Rings for a lot of it, but in the second half that disappears, and the rest of the books are brilliant.
    And it's one of those types of series where you HAVE to read them in order.

    And I second Anax's recommendation for His Dark Materials. Great trilogy.

  13. #13
    MH Senpai MH中毒 / MH Chuudoku / MH Addicted Dragonzair's Avatar
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    Re: The Great Books!

    Books I've read:

    Stuff written by James Patterson. I love any good mystery/crime/suspense book. ^_^ My favourite one would be, 2nd Chance. I've also read Four Blind Mice. It was okay, but not my type. >_> *cough*

    My other favourite author would be...John Grisham. I love the books he wrote. Crime and suspence.
    The one I loved reading all over again was The Client. It's about this twelve year old kid who witnessed a murder, and has all the details as to where the body is hidden. He grabs media and police attention, including the FBI. But he can't say a thing since the killer threatened to kill his mom and younger brother.

    Philip Pullman's Dark Materials were a great read as well. I particularly liked the last one, since all was revealed in there. ^_^

    I've also read Peter Pan, 80 days around the world and The Wizard of Oz. Written by J. M. Barrie, Jules Verne and L. Frank Baum, respectively.

    At school, we got to do a lot of reading too, in Englsih class. I particularly enjoyed Sherlock Holmes series written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. ^_^ Yeah, I'm a big crime and suspense fan. Other books read at school...well. Stuff written by William Shakespere.

    My favourite Shakespere story was A Midsummer's Night Dream. It was more on the fantasy side. ^_^

    Speaking of fantasy, I loved Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I'm planning of buying the whole Chronicles of Narina series. I've already read Prince Caspian *borrowed from a friend* and I can't wait to read the rest.

    Like millions of others, i love the Harry Potter series. The best for me was the fifth book. Didn't really likethe latest one much. It dissapointed me greatly. >_<

    When I was younger, I also used to read Goosebumps, but I was always tired at all the endings always turning out the same. So I tried reading another series, called Spooksville. It got me hooked.

    It's interesting since we have the same characters *unlike the Goosebumps series* and they all have different adventures everyday. I jsut loved it. The sad thing, is that there are only 24 books which was written until it stopped being published.

    I highly reccomend it for any kiddish mystery/fantasy fan. ^_^ NJT, since you've read Goosebumps, you should try Spooksville too! It's very old, and hard to find here though.

    In fact, I've been searching for a whole year now, to collect all the books. So far, I have only 5 more to go until it's complete. But most of them were from second hand book stores. T_T So hard to find.

    Hmm...what else. Oh. LOL. I also read Horrible Histories. Hilarious, honestly. I already enjoy history, and I don't really need it to be horrible for me to enjoy, but I read one anyway. ^_^ It's quite interesting, since the facts are all real, but remains to interest young readers with their quip and sarcastic jokes. ^_^

    I've also read Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code and wuite enjoyed it as well. Even if some facts weren't real at all, and even a religious Catholic myself, I remain open to books like these. ^_^ I can't wait for the movie adaption.

    Roald Dahl's children's series always interest me. I loved Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

    I'm also planning on reading the Mary Poppins series since I enjoyed the Disney flick. Although, I've heard it's really different. So, I'm really not sure. I liked the understanding Mary in the movie, and I read that the pook portrayed her as a vain character. I don't want my perception of Mary to be ruined by the book..but..oh, I don't know.

    Currently, I'm not reading anything now, but there's one particular book that I've been re reading almost every week. It's by Jonathan Kellerman, which features his character Alex Delawawre. I've only read one book of this serires, but I really like it. It's called Self-defense.

    Oh, and I've read a few books by Agatha Chritie. Quite hard to understand with some of the suage of language she uses, but I liked them. ^_^

    Erm....I'm sure I've read many more books in my 16 years in Earth..but I can't remember them.

    Ah!! Last one. I also read some X Files series. I love the T.V show. ^_^ <333333333333333333333


    "Growing older is mandatory, growing up is optional."


  14. #14
    Registered User 初心者/ Shoshinsha / Beginner
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    Re: The Great Books!

    Oh oh Harry Potter is my favourite book! Dracula by Bram Stoker, Chronicles of Narnia, LOTR and other of Tolkiens books are good as well. Currently reading, for the third time, Elizabeth Kostovas The Historian.

  15. #15
    Registered User 初心者/ Shoshinsha / Beginner
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    Re: The Great Books! ( And What Are You Currently Reading? )

    Let's seee, what a nice thread! <3 Right now I am reading the second book in the Bartimaeus trilogy by Jonathan Stroud. It's a group of three fantasy books, and they're really cleverly written. Has anyone else read them?

    Next I plan to read Wicked by Gregiry Maguire - I've heard it's quite quite good.

    As for favorites, my favorite author is Kurt Vonnegut, but my favorite book is Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. I also love Ray Bradbury and His Dark Materials (AMAZING fantasy series - better than Harry Potter even ^.-). If you couldn't tell, I have very contrasting tastes - dark humor and children's fantasy. ^.^

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