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

Martin

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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 :tem
 

Gold Knight

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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.
 

Martin

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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 :D
 

Anax

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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 :mad ). 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!
 

njt

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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 :p

Currently reading The Da vinci code and just finished the entire series "the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy" Now that's a GREAT=====-----====---===---==-- Series! :o read it if you haven't, it's one of the best set of books you can read :p.
 

Anax

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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:
42

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 :D

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.
 

Martin

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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 :D 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 ;)
 

bebong

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Re: The Great Books!

The two weeks and the queen???gay love...*cough*
 

kadoman

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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.
 

Anax

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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...
 

Raine_Joybringer

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Re: The Great Books!

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

Pazuzu

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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.
 

Dragonzair

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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! :nuts 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
 

Orochimaru-chan

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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.
 

aburame

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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. ^.^
 

venicia777

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hmm!! something just for me. i have too many books for me to remember them. well, it is better i write what i am reading now. just this weekend i finished reading John Steinbecks East of Eden- classic book of human nature

and now i am in the middle of The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger. will post more  when i start new ones
 

Galth

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I'm kinda a fantasy-only nerd, but i've read
1. Terry Goodkind: Sword of Truth series 1-9 + prologue
2. Robin Hobb: 3 Trilogies so far + the first book of the new series + prologue
3. currently reading the Robert Jordan: Wheel Of Time Series ( book 4 of 11 or something so far)
4. his dark materials, beginning to see a theme here ( note: if you havn't, READ THIS SERIES, only 3 books, for older children but really easy to read while still including serious and potentially difficult subjects )
5. Harry Potter 1-6 ( i agree with whoever it was that said it, they are pointed to a growing ( in age ) audiance, and books 4 and 6 are just BRILLIANT where 1-3 are more children's books, allways read before you go to the movies if you can )
6. LoTR, who hasn't?
7. Dracula by Bram Stoker
8. 'bout 20 stories by Edgar Allan Poe ( 19th century 'horror' that's actually really philosophical and difficult sometimes... brilliant )
9. dan brown, though not per se so good a book, the theorie is really interesting, bernini > da vinci ( have not read juvenalis yet...)
10. fahrenheit 451 // 1984 // animal farm // the moonstone // robinson crusoe // lord of the flies
11. Ender series, by Orson Scott Card

those are about the more important ones i've read so far, at the moment reading the boring dutch literature for dutch class, but then i'll go back to english literature and fantasy asap :D

EDIT: and yeah, bartimaeus is fun to, read 1+2 so far, is the third released yet? though not that great a book, really amusing, real original look at wizards and spirits... and totally forgot about the Weiss and Hickman 'Gate of Death' ( dont know the english name, read it translated, bad khaludh - i mean the one with haplo and alfred ) series!! That's just sooooo good it hurts!

Ah yes, and NJT if you liked Animal Farm, you MUST read the classic... 1984, by Orwell too, but not in fairytale format.

and off course, nobody's perfect, i've read waaaay to much goosebumps and such series not too long ago *blinks at some line of books with RL STINE on thecover right behind him on the shelf and ignores them...*
 

aburame

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Khaludh ~ they just came out with the 3rd one, it's only in hardback. I agree, they're not great by a long-shot, but I think they're quite entertaining. Yes, REPRESENT DARK MATERIALS!!! Those books are so amazing. I recommend them to anyone and everyone, if they've never even read a fantasy book it doesn't matter they HAVE to read those.

Farenheit 451 and the Orwell books are also wonderful. I have a thing for dystopia books, I admit. In that vein, have you ever read Brave New World by Aldous Huxley? It reminds me a lot of 1984 and such. Good stuff. Also, if you like fantasy and Farenheit, try reading more by Ray Bradbury. He's a wonderful author~

Also, have you ever read The Dark Is Rising? That's another great fantasy series. Fun stuff!
 

Galth

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ow, there's just so much i have to read... and yes, i ALMOST read Brave New World, like my hand was already grabbing it in the library when i remembered i was reading 3 other books real slowly at the same time then, so it's on the amazingly large 'to-read-list' about 'the dark is rising', i cannot say i have ever heard of it, what's it about? ( glancing at 3000 pages of robert jordan looking angry to me over my back... i may not want to know...)

And like ...njt?... said before, read The Hitchhikers Guide! i've only heard very little from the story ( read: the jokes, by little annoying brother) but from that i see that it just ROCKS!!!

other amusing series ( but not neccisarily - yes, i know it's spelled wrong, but where...?- so great)
1. keys to the kingdom by garth nix 3/7 released - really original easy reading childrens book's
2. raymond e. feist's books  ( imho not so great, as in: good story, but little talent for writing itself - though his fans will lynch me if they see me  :blink)
3. julian may's series ( first series in english probably called 'the land of many colours', the books with firvulag and tanu and everything he wrote related to this series)
4. roger zelazny's Amber series ( like in genius! -  but chaotic storyline sometimes...) HOW COULD I 'A FORGOTTEN ABOUT THAT ONE!!

and i admit i read way to many books translated into dutch, so i'll wait for the translation of bartimaeus3 anyway...
 

Dragonzair

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Woohoo!

I just got the 5th installment of Chronicles of Narnia. I love it. XD I'm tempted to buy the last two, but I'm kind of out of cash, so I'm just going to try looking for ebooks.
 
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