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  1. #1

    Default Great Books To Read

    I used to be an avid fiction reader and then started reading mainly spiritual types of books. I know i'm going back in time but I just ordered the paperbook of Ayn Rands, "Atlas Shrugged." I see from reader's comments this should be on list of books to read.

    Actually my favorite fiction book thusfar is Anne Rice's "The Witching Hour." It was a book I couldn't put down.

    Does anyone else have opinions of good books to read fiction or non-fiction for the upcoming winter ahead?

  2. #2

  3. #3

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    If you like autobiography, I'd recommend 'American on Purpose' by Craig Ferguson. It's funny, touching, sad and uplifting as well as being damned interesting. From Scottish punk-rocker to American late-night talk host in several hundred difficult steps.

  4. #4

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    I'm still shaking my head over Charlie Pierce's nailing of the right in "Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free".

  5. #5

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    I shake my head every time I read one of your posts.

  6. #6

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    I have read a bit of Greg Bear and find him to be similar in thought and writing to Michael Critchton in so far as ficiton goes.

    Res

  7. #7

    Default Undset !

    Sigrid Undset won a Nobel Prize for literature.

    Sigrid Undset's books Kristin Lavransdatter or The Master of Hestviken. I preferred the latter but women generally prefer Kristin Lavransdatter. In both 1,300 page books, Undset gets into the heads of the main characters. How she can think like a male in mid-evil Norway? I don't know but she is incredible. Note that I did not say she believes in happy endings. Remember that in the old religion of Scandinavia, it was believed that in the end, the gods will lose their final battle with the snow giants. If winning and happiness are not necessarily the reason for the gods to go on, then why should humans expect a better fate?

    Kristin Lavransdatter Amazon reviews
    The Master of Hestviken Amazon reviews on bottom of page
    Last edited by oladub; August-12-10 at 06:41 PM. Reason: missing word

  8. #8

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    If you like reading about the Knights Templar and the Crusades, I suggest Jerusalem by Cecilia Holland. It is historical fiction.

  9. #9
    Ravine Guest

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    In my house, I found a paperback of Ray Bradbury stories that I had never read. I read it last summer, and it was some of the most fun reading I have ever had in my life, and that's coming from a guy who loves to read.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravine View Post
    In my house, I found a paperback of Ray Bradbury stories that I had never read. I read it last summer, and it was some of the most fun reading I have ever had in my life, and that's coming from a guy who loves to read.
    I read the Martian Chronicles, that was pretty good.

    On another thread, Danny mentioned Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. That was a good book too, though it may be more appealing to those further down the nerd end of the spectrum.

  11. #11

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    Rotten - By John Lydon. I like his frankness about his life and that of late 1970s Brit punk movement.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by GOAT View Post
    Rotten - By John Lydon. I like his frankness about his life and that of late 1970s Brit punk movement.
    On that note, I read England's Dreaming – Anarchy, Sex Pistols, Punk Rock and Beyond by Jon Savage. Very good telling of the whole scene. I should read the Lydon book as well.

  13. #13

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    Thanks JohnLodge. I will check that out. For a view from the U.S. side of American Punk "Please Kill Me" by Legs McNeil is great.

  14. #14
    littlebuddy Guest

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    A book I enjoy is "The Last Farmer" by Howard Kohn, He grew up between Midland and Bay City on a farm and writes about his dad. Good read.

  15. #15

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    "Catch 22" is one of my all time faves, and by the looks of the latest stories about the U.S. air-conditioned army tents, it's more truth than satire.
    Last edited by maxx; August-16-10 at 12:55 PM.

  16. #16

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    I just finished reading AMERICAN EVE, about Evelyn Nesbit and the "scandal of the century" in 1906 when Harry Thaw shot architect Stanford White on the roof of Madison Square Garden, supposedly because White had 'ruined' Evelyn...

  17. #17

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    A colleague recommended "The Peasant Prince" by Alex Storozynski. It's a biography of revolutionary hero Tadeusz Kosciuszko, about whom American schoolkids really need to be learning.

    I've purchased the book, but it's still sitting on the shelf awaiting completion of my current read.

  18. #18

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    My usual list:
    • The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, by Julian Jaynes
    • Gödel, Escher, Bach and Metamagical Themas, by Douglas Hofstadter
    • Johnny Got His Gun, by Dalton Trumbo
    • Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll
    • The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco
    • Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
    • Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
    • Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes Saaverdra
    • The Prince, by Niccolo Machiavelli
    • Zen and the Beat Way, by Alan Watts
    • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert M. Pirsig
    • Kafka, The Complete Stories, by Nahum N. Glatzer
    • My Dinner With Andre, by Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory
    • The Invented Reality, by Paul Watzlawick
    • The Foxfire Book, by Eliot Wigginton
    • Gödel's Proof, by Ernest Nagel and James R. Newman
    • The Prisoner, by Patrick McGoohan (the television series)
    • Nineteen Eighty-Four, by George Orwell
    • anything written by Noam Chomsky
    • A People's History of the United States, by Howard Zinn
    • The Little Prince, by Antoine deSaint-Exupery
    • I Hear Voices, by Paul Ableman (the short story)
    • Epistemology and Cognition, by Alvin I. Goldman

  19. #19

  20. #20

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    Aldous Huxley: Brave New World.

    Great bed time reading that helps put into perspective the events of the day.

  21. #21

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    I am pleased to see that I have read most of the books posted. My current recomendation is the Girl Who series. The first is the Girl with the Dragon Tatoo.

    Went up north on a sister in law invite. She is a consumate hostess and loaded the cottage with books. Help was a interesting read which details Black servant experiences in White households in the south during the 1960's.

    The only book I took a pass on was a Sarah Palin Autobiography.

  22. #22

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    Can someone set me straight on Atlas Shrugged?

    Honestly, I've been a pretty voracious reader for my entire life. I read The Gulag Archipelago (all three volumes) from cover to cover, I have tons of books all over my house and if my library card were a frequent flyer card, I'd have enough miles accrued to travel the world 10 times over.

    Notwithstanding, I just can't get through Atlas Shrugged.

    I've read critiques on Rand and her philosophy, reviews of her works, including Atlas Shrugged, and other associated content. So one day in an airport in Europe, I picked up a copy of Atlas Shrugged. I figured I was going to be on an airplane for at least the next 20+ hours, so why not see for myself what all this John Gault stuff was all about?

    I started reading the book before the plane was in the air, but really couldn't get into it. Kept trying to read it, but found myself re-reading some passages because it just wasn't keeping my interest. I found myself nodding off quite a bit, so eventually I put it down and read the other books I'd brought with me.

    I tried to pick it back up several times back at home during the spring and summer, but really just couldn't get too far into it then either. Took it with me back across the ocean a second time and tried several times to get back into it, but really couldn't.

    I've read all sorts of books on political and economic thinking to challenge my personal beliefs and have no problem reading and thinking about ideas that do not comport with my own. Nevertheless, I can't get through Atlas Shrugged to save my life. I find it shallow, boring and inane.

    Am I missing something here? Do I need to press on to get to the good part that has not seemed to come thus far? Are there some assumptions I need to embrace before I can properly appreciate this book?

    Not trying to insult any Rand fans here, but I just don't get what all the fuss is about........

  23. #23

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    Her repellent politics aside, Ayn Rand was a very bad writer. Her books are highly political romance novels. Breathless bodice rippers. Terrible stuff. Read a good book instead.

    I recently read Patti Smith's autobiography "Just Kids", the story of Patti and Robert Mapplethorpe when they were young in New York. So far the best book I read this year.

  24. #24

    Default

    Someone could easily edit out about 200 pages from "Atlas Shrugged", and no one would notice.
    Some conservatives are taken with the character of John Galt who won't sell his inventions.

  25. #25

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    Some conservatives consider Rush Limbaugh an intellectual. You can't put brains into people's heads.

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