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Books.

Postby Szethrusi » Tue Apr 22, 2008 7:34 pm

In short, I need new and exciting things to read. I'm working on improving my attention span so that is marginally more than it is now in the interest of taking 6 hour standardized test in July.

Post your recommended and favourite books here and discuss.

Recent/current reading material:
Pale Fire, by Vladimir Nabokov
The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde
The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, by Milan Kundera
Carpe Jugulum, by Terry Pratchett
The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran

Favourite books:
The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas
A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
Dune, by Frank Herbert
Catcher in the Rye, by JD Salinger
American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, by Douglas Adams
Lord of the Rings trilogy, by JRR Tolkien

Damned fine books/plays/poems:
1984, by George Orwell
Choke, by Chuck Palahniuk
Shogun, by James Clavell
The Awakening, by Kate Chopin
His Dark Materials series, by Philip Pullman
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, by Tom Stoppard
Tartuffe, by Moliere
Paradise Lost, by John Milton

Books about bunnies:
Watership Down, by Richard Adams

Things that make good books:
Depravity
Madness
Turmoil
Hedonism
Introspection
Bunnies

Currently, I'm liking The Picture of Dorian Gray the best. Well-executed ideas, but may not be for everyone.
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Re: Books.

Postby Jed » Tue Apr 22, 2008 11:12 pm

Oscar Wilde is awesome. Give The Importance of Being Earnest a try. It's very punny. :)
All glory to the Hypnotoad!
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Re: Books.

Postby Szethrusi » Wed Apr 23, 2008 10:26 pm

Not big on puns, but I'll have to check it out anyway, hehe.
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Re: Books.

Postby SoxMike » Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:33 am

My only actual novel reading (that isn't about a boy wizard) over the past several years has come from English class, and I'm sad to report that my favorite from all of them is something I read in French class my sophomore year of high school - Les Jeux Sont Faits, by Jean-Paul Sartre (I have seen this translated as both "The Die is Cast" and "The Chips are Down," neither of which are literal, but both of which get the point across). It's pretty short and I didn't understand about 20% of it, but it's got depravity/madness, turmoil, and introspection, for items on your list. It's also got a boatload of crazy philosophy that involves afterlife people walking around and watching other people play bridge. If you can read French or, more likely, if there's a decent translation of there, it might be worth your time if you like philosophical fiction.

Otherwise... anything by Vonnegut, maybe?
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Re: Books.

Postby Mike » Thu Apr 24, 2008 4:47 pm

Speaking of favorites from high school... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Things_They_Carried

The fact that there are Cliffs Notes for this book makes me sad.
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Re: Books.

Postby Szethrusi » Thu Apr 24, 2008 6:41 pm

SoxMike wrote:My only actual novel reading (that isn't about a boy wizard) over the past several years has come from English class, and I'm sad to report that my favorite from all of them is something I read in French class my sophomore year of high school - Les Jeux Sont Faits, by Jean-Paul Sartre (I have seen this translated as both "The Die is Cast" and "The Chips are Down," neither of which are literal, but both of which get the point across). It's pretty short and I didn't understand about 20% of it, but it's got depravity/madness, turmoil, and introspection, for items on your list. It's also got a boatload of crazy philosophy that involves afterlife people walking around and watching other people play bridge. If you can read French or, more likely, if there's a decent translation of there, it might be worth your time if you like philosophical fiction.

Otherwise... anything by Vonnegut, maybe?


Les Jeux Sont Faits sounds pretty awesome. If I can find it here (in English), I'll take a look at it. I think Sartre was an existentialist too? Pretty win.

I've already read a bunch of Vonnegut and like them all...Timequake, Slaughterhouse-5, Cat's Cradle. Anything in particular?

Mike wrote:Speaking of favorites from high school... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Things_They_Carried

The fact that there are Cliffs Notes for this book makes me sad.


Oh. Man. I read an excerpt of this book when I went to Governor's School in high school. I loved it, but I totally forgot about it. Will be checking it out.
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Re: Books.

Postby SoxMike » Thu Apr 24, 2008 10:54 pm

Epic fail! The English version of the book has been out of print for about 50 years now. Oh well.

The Vonnegut I read in high school (also sophomore year) was the less-known Mother Night, a presented as an autobiography of a fictional former American spy who had posed as a Nazi propagandist during WWII. It's pretty interesting, and also kind of sad and, occaisonally, littered with some offbeat/dark humor.

What else have I read... hmm....

If you liked 1984 (which I really want to read some time), you might check out something like Farenheit 451 (which I also want to read) because it's pretty similar thematically.

I also read this crazy book my freshman year of high school called A Confederacy of Dunces, which, if I had to describe it in a sentence, I'd say is about this really socially maladjusted man and his inadvertant quest to pretty much understand the point of basically everything. It's got a lot of really offbeat humor, including a series of chapters wherein the main character attempts to make sodomy the basis of a political party.

Wow... I miss reading...
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Re: Books.

Postby hanyou-no-miko » Fri Apr 25, 2008 10:38 am

Adam got me hooked on a trilogy of trilogies last year by Robin Hobb that were quite good. The first set, the Farseer trilogy, has all that in your list and more (if you count "bunnies occasionally being eaten" as covered under "bunnies"). It also has some interesting magical concepts, all of which come with heavy prices, like a really unpleasant addiction or potential loss of humanity/sanity. If you can deal with the main character acting like the retarded teenager he is and screwing himself over with really, REALLY unpleasant consequences for a large chunk of the second book, give it a shot.

The other trilogies are equally good, although the second trilogy relates to the first and third in much that arc of Twelve Kingdoms we cut out of showing relates to the rest; it's got a different cast of main characters and is set in a different country, but what happens to one set of characters has repercussions in regards to the other.
Keh.
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Re: Books.

Postby Eric O. » Sat Apr 26, 2008 5:45 pm

If you like short stories, I'd recommend "The Paris Review Book for Planes, Trains, Elevators and Waiting Rooms." It has a variety of stories of differing lengths that, as the title suggests, are just right for different situations when you may be waiting a short or long while. I've already read a few stories from the collection, and they've all been great.

Highly recommended!

:D
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Re: Books.

Postby lepidoptera » Sat Apr 26, 2008 6:24 pm

If you're looking for classics, here's a link to my goodreads classics bookself:

http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/80 ... lf=classic

...and plays:
http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/80516?shelf=plays

It's a good website. I've basically tried to rate everything I've ever read, but I'm sure I've missed a lot of it.
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