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Old 07-18-2007, 08:18 AM   #16
Enigmatism
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Default Re: Favorite Book?

Fiction: The Alchemist
Non-Fiction: Hagakure
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Old 07-18-2007, 08:23 AM   #17
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Default Re: Favorite Book?

Fictional: The Bridge of Terebitha, Huckleberry Finn, The Adventure of Tom Sawyer, Peter Pan.

Non-Fiction: The Art of War in Politics
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Old 07-18-2007, 11:22 AM   #18
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Default Re: Favorite Book?

For those who are interested:

Quote:
Let's not mince words: literary lists are basically an obscenity. Literature is the realm of the ineffable and the unquantifiable; lists are the realm of menus and laundry and rotisserie baseball. There's something unseemly and promiscuous about all those letters and numbers jumbled together. Take it from me, a critic who has committed this particular sin many times over.


But what if—just for argument's sake—you got insanely rigorous about it. You went to all the big-name authors in the world—Franzen, Mailer, Wallace, Wolfe, Chabon, Lethem, King, 125 of them— and got each one to cough up a top-10 list of the greatest books of all time. We're talking ultimate-fighting-style here: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, modern, ancient, everything's fair game except eye-gouging and fish-hooking. Then you printed and collated all the lists, crunched the numbers together, and used them to create a definitive all-time Top Top 10 list.

Yes, it would probably still be an obscenity. But it would be a pretty interesting obscenity. And that's what we have in J. Peder Zane's The Top 10 (Norton; 352 pages).

Each individual top 10 list is like its own steeplechase through the international canon. Look at Michael Chabon's. He heads it up with Jorge Luis Borges's Labyrinths. (Nice: an undersung masterpiece by a writer's writer.) He follows that up with by Pale Fire by Nabokov at #2. (Hm. Does he really think it's better than Lolita? Really?) Then with number 3 he goes straight off the reservation: Scaramouche, by Rafael Sabatini. (What? By who?) The whole exercise is an orgy of intellectual second-guessing, which as we all know is infinitely more fun than the first round of guessing.

There's plenty of canon fodder on the lists. Zane, who's the books editor at the Raleigh News & Observer, has done a statistical breakdown of the results, so we know, for example, that Shakespeare is the most-represented author (followed by Faulkner, who ties with Henry James; they're followed by a five-way tie, which you can read about for yourself). But I'm more interested in the dark horses, the statistical outliers, which lay bare the secret fetishes and perversions of the literati. Douglas Coupland puts Capote's unfinished Answered Prayers at number one, blowing right by Breakfast at Tiffany's and In Cold Blood, too. Jonathan Franzen begins straight up the middle, with The Brothers Karamazov, but turns a sharp corner at #9 with The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead, and another at #10 with Independent People by Halldor Laxness. The quintessentially American Tom Wolfe starts by reeling off four French classics in a row. Norman Mailer revives John Dos Passos's out-of-fashion U.S.A. trilogy for his #6 (and shows uncharacteristic forebearance by leaving his own works off the list). And so on. (At times one reads in the knowledge that one is being messed with. There's an outside, screwball chance that David Foster Wallace really reveres C.S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters above all other books, but I feel comfortable asserting—having read Infinite Jesttwice—that Wallace does not feel that way about Stephen King's The Stand (at #2) or The Sum of All Fears, by Tom Clancy (#10).)

There are several lifetimes' worth of promising literary leads here—544 books in all. An 85-page appendix providing enlightened summaries of all the works mentioned is worth the price of admission all on its own. But to get you started, here, in all its glory, is the all-time, ultimate Top Top 10 list, derived from the top 10 lists of 125 of the world's most celebrated writers combined. Read it and— well, just read it.


Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald
In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
The Stories of Anton Chekhov by Anton Chekhov
Middlemarch by George Eliot
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Old 07-18-2007, 11:40 AM   #19
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Default Re: Favorite Book?

"1984" by George Orwell

Some other good books are Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons, Fight Club, The Iliad and Broken April.
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Old 07-18-2007, 11:43 AM   #20
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Quote:
But to get you started, here, in all its glory, is the all-time, ultimate Top Top 10 list, derived from the top 10 lists of 125 of the world's most celebrated writers combined. Read it and— well, just read it.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald
In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
The Stories of Anton Chekhov by Anton Chekhov
Middlemarch by George Eliot

I read a bunch of those.

The Tolstoy stuff was really great.
Huckfinn and The Great Gatsby I thought was nothing special.
Shakespeare just plain sucked.
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Old 07-18-2007, 11:45 AM   #21
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Default Re: Favorite Book?

Quote:
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald
**** that...
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Old 07-18-2007, 11:47 AM   #22
i seen hippos
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Default Re: Favorite Book?

On a side note, maybe this is only in Canada, but do you notice that highschools make kids read really depressing books?

These were the major books I read each year:

gr.9: Lord of the Flies
gr.10: Catcher and the Rye
gr.11: The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (although our teacher let us choose to read this over A Tale of Two Cities thank God) and To Kill a Mockingbird.
gr.12: Death of a Salesman and A Man For All Seasons (He got axed so it can be seen as slightly depressing: ).

Conspiracy.

Last edited by i seen hippos : 07-18-2007 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 07-18-2007, 11:49 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LJJ
I read a bunch of those.

The Tolstoy stuff was really great.
Huckfinn and The Great Gatsby I thought was nothing special.
Shakespeare just plain sucked.

Hamlet was the only Shakespeare playwrite I truly enjoyed to be honest.
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Old 07-18-2007, 11:49 AM   #24
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Default Re: Favorite Book?

Sophie's World - Josteen Gardner
What Dreams May Come - Richard Mattheson (sp?)

Currently I'm reading Gorgias by Plato, and I'm hoping to read Utopia soon.

I'm thinking about reading Ender's Game. My teacher assigned for me to read it in 7th grade, but I was a stupid immature kid at the time who didn't care to read.
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Old 07-18-2007, 11:55 AM   #25
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Default Re: Favorite Book?

Quote:
Originally Posted by i seen hippos
On a side note, maybe this is only in Canada, but do you notice that highschools make kids read really depressing books?

These were the major books I read each year:

gr.9: Lord of the Flies
gr.10: Catcher and the Rye
gr.11: The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (although our teacher let us choose to read this over A Tale of Two Cities thank God).
gr.12: Death of a Salesman and A Man For All Seasons (He got axed so it can be seen as slightly depressing: ).

Conspiracy.

Here they make a 100+ list of Dutch literature you can choose from. Then you have to read a bunch of them in two years, the more difficult the books you read the less you have to read.
In English class you can pretty much choose whatever you want.

Most just read summarys.
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Old 07-18-2007, 11:55 AM   #26
i seen hippos
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Default Re: Favorite Book?

Anyone ever read Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov?

Quote:
Here they make a 100+ list of Dutch literature you can choose from. Then you have to read a bunch of them in two years, the more difficult the books you read the less you have to read.
In English class you can pretty much choose whatever you want.

Most just read summarys.

Sounds like a lot more fun...unless you have to read 5 books a year....then I'd rather read depressing books.
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Old 07-18-2007, 12:17 PM   #27
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Default Re: Favorite Book?

Quote:
Originally Posted by i seen hippos
On a side note, maybe this is only in Canada, but do you notice that highschools make kids read really depressing books?

These were the major books I read each year:

gr.9: Lord of the Flies
gr.10: Catcher and the Rye
gr.11: The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (although our teacher let us choose to read this over A Tale of Two Cities thank God) and To Kill a Mockingbird.
gr.12: Death of a Salesman and A Man For All Seasons (He got axed so it can be seen as slightly depressing: ).

Conspiracy.

Had to read "The Kite Runner" in grade 9. Outstanding book but it was pretty heavy.
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Old 07-18-2007, 12:21 PM   #28
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Default Re: Favorite Book?

I'm a fan of the Russian authors like Tolstoy, Pasternak, Dostoyevsky (sp?), etc.

My favorite books though are Blindness and Freddy and Fredericka probably. Blindness is by Jose Saramago, he won the nobel prize for literature, and is a story where a whole country is hit with an epidemic of blindness (except they see white not the typical black associated with blindness) and one woman can still see and the story is told mostly from her perspective of what she witnesses society become. Great book and they are making a movie as well with the new bond guy in a role.

Freddy and Fredericka is more of a satire. They are a prince and princess and make a mockery of the crown so they are sent to America undercover and have to do a whole bunch of things before they can return to their country. It's a pretty hilarious book.
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Old 07-18-2007, 12:29 PM   #29
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Default Re: Favorite Book?

1) A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines: one of the few books that accurately touches on the pressures put on Black men from their own community. Every black male should read it. Movie with Don Cheadle Mekhi Phifer was good, but as usual the book is better.


2) Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis: probably the only faith-based fictional books that have major and lasting crossover appeal.

Last edited by Sean77 : 07-18-2007 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 07-18-2007, 12:35 PM   #30
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Default Re: Favorite Book?

(Stand alone) Through the eyes of a dragon- Stephen King
(Series) The Dark Tower- Stephen King
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