Top 10 Books


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I couldnt find a book thread lurking anywhere so thought id start one. I dont read much at all, but want to start doing it more often and thought this was a good way to get suggestions. Also, i bought myself some books today to read through during christmas. I got a book called Hypersace by Michio Kaku which ive dipped in and out of and its actually really interesting and explains some complex stuff in a good way and make you think. It deals with paralell universes, dimensions and such. I also bought a lovely little book entitled Crap Towns 2 which is a good laugh and very true. And my other purchase was called between heaven and earth and is full of beautiful photography.
1. 'The Da Vinci Code'
2. 'Northern Lights trilogy'
3. 'Lord of the Rings'
4. 'Harry Potters'
5. 'The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents'...quite possibly the funniest book Ive ever read

Erm..yeh, quite normal common books but theyre the only ones I can remember the names of. Will edit when my memory returns. Currently reading 'Digital Fortress' by Dan Brown...tis ok, but so far a let down from 'The Da Vinci Code' :sad:
no order

lord of the rings - tolkien
the hobbit - tolkien
dark matter trilogy - pullman
the beach - a.garland
neither here nor there - bill bryson
chocolat - joanne harris
the real middle earth.. can't remember who by..
numerous books by pratchett

when i was a child, i was (and still am) absolutely besotted and in love with the enchanted wood and the magic faraway tree by enid blyton. i don't know if it ever got better than this... :Smile3:
hmm.. well out of my bookcase, id choose..

1) Vikram Seth - just amazing, written in the style of Pushkin's - Eugene Onegin but modern and the language/poetry is really something with a very emotive plot as well... really a masterpiece.
2) John Steinbeck - Cannery Row - short story but also, very nicely written.
3) Jonathen Franzen - The Corrections - Another modern classic... sorta like a modern day victorian novel - a big social panorama and indepth characters and v.v.good story.
4) Lermontov - A hero of our time. The only story that this Russian poet wrote, and in typical C19 Russian style, it has some beautifully drawn moments.
5) Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov - Another C19 Russian author and this epitomises the psychological realism and indepth characterisation of the genre, very good but it is long and possibly tedious in places.
6) Turgenev - First love - Last of my Russian authors - this is short and very poetic and very nicely written. This and 'A hero of our time' are very complimentary.
7) Marius Brill - Making love - Very postmodern and wacky - the story is told by the book itself who is kidnapped! No-one seems to have heard of this book although it was published only last year but it is immense and extremely witty. However quite a lot of literary in-jokes so some of it may fly over your head if your not a lit. student. But really very good and a very clever plot-structure.
8) J.G. Ballad - Crash - just for the hardcore in you
9) William Burroughs - Naked lunch - just recently started on Burroughs and he's a world unto himself, very bizarre but interesting.. speak to Benway who is forum resident expert on Burroughs
10) Don De Lilo - Underworld... big, epic, modern panorama of American society, very well written, he's one of the current stable of older, living American authors (along with Updike and Mailer)
11) Philip Roth - Portnoy's Complaint - bloody funny - a 230-odd page rant against his repressed childhood.
12) Sci-fi front - Peter F. Hamilton - Nights Dawn Trilogy - this is immense, each book is over 1000 pages long and the story is vast, but if you like sci-fi, its absolutely amazing and full of sex and violence on a vast scale.. rarrghh.. a great relief from all the Russian sentimentality.

hope any of this is useful :Smile3:
I must add that all of these are 'proper' books, not like the crap listed above :hehe:
Here are a couple of books I've enjoyed recently:

Vladimir Nabakov - Pale Fire [Unbelievable, probably my favorite book now.]
Luo Guanzhong - Three Kingdoms (Translated by Moss Roberts)
James Joyce - Finnegans Wake
Carl Jung - Memories, Dreams and Reflections
James Howard Kunstler - Geography Of Nowhere: The Rise And Decline of America's Man-Made Landscape
Deng Ming-Dao - The Chronicles of Tao: The Secret Life of a Taoist Master

Hyperspace by Michio Kaku is a great one, good to see you enjoyed it too.
The Best of Luck, In the Royal Air Force 1935-1946

by Dennis Conroy
josh said:
I must add that all of these are 'proper' books, not like the crap listed above :hehe:

Portioning merit to literature based on its inaccessibility to the masses is the domain of the pathetic elitist. Please remember, josh, that your precious academia is just one theory amongst infinite possibilities.

You are not a member of the Literati. You are a 19 year old spotty twat who knows precious little about the world outside of Golders Green.

Don't mock people for their passions.
psychedelic_acid_fairy said:
2. 'Northern Lights trilogy'

only read the first two of those northen lights an subtle knife, both were ferry good

but erm....
american phsyco
a multitude of the discworlds - by the great mr pratchett
along with truckers, diggers, wings and the carpet people
man and boy - tony parsons (there was another one he wrote in this series, i think before man & boy which was also superb....both made me cry)
loads of the asterix comics :P
nostradamus ate my hamster - robert something
and anything by edgar allen poe (specially the raven...absolutly love that poem)
Bird said:
josh said:
I must add that all of these are 'proper' books, not like the crap listed above :hehe:

Portioning merit to literature based on its inaccessibility to the masses is the domain of the pathetic elitist. Please remember, josh, that your precious academia is just one theory amongst infinite possibilities.


ah bless bird, you always make me smile with your pseudo-intellectual, ive-just-learnt-big-words approach to arguing - and combined with really mature insults* make for a truly devastating response - well done!

In my defence, you have it completely wrong - im not at all "Portioning merit to literature based on its inaccessibility to the masses" - all these books are easy to read, available in any W.H.Smiths - they all have explanatory notes and introductions in them (well, the older stuff does, not the modern ones obviously) - they are better written, better plotted stories.
Yes you can debate back and forth on a philosophical 'what is art?' level on whether they really are 'better' than harry potter - but that's just tedious really.

Edit: P.S. All of the books i mentioned were read long before I went to uni so none of them are mentioned out of academic-look-what-ive-been-discoveringness - sorry to have blown your theory! [/edit].

Anyway :offtopic:
and as OTT has said 'arguing on the internet is like..' *cant remember the witty ending but looks to JoePsychodelicacy for completion*

*sarcasm :Smile3:
no order:

vikram seth's 'an equal music' is also a stunning work... as a violinist i found it especially compelling, but it's just a beautiful story.

patrick suskind's 'perfume' is a compelling, mindblowing, sensory, sensual, terrifying experience.

robert harris' 'archangel' is brilliant; ignore the airport-novel-genre-cliche, and revel in a fascinating story beautifully told. 'enigma' is also pretty special; forget the film ever existed :Wink3:

jean cocteau's 'opium' is definitely worth a read. he welcomes you with many open arms into a fucked-up world of opium withdrawl, insane inspiration, and casual drug-infested observations... all with accompanying hand-sketches of the time he spent trying to quit opium & some interesting artefacts, such as his correspondence with picasso.

stephen fry's 'making history' and 'the liar' are also great reads. filthy, funny, floaty, self-referential... a great muck-about time-passer.

milan kundera's 'immortality', 'the unbearable lightness of being', and 'identity' are all brilliant. i suggest newcomers start with the unbearable lightness of being.

P.J. O'Rourke's 'Republican party reptile', 'all the trouble in the world' and 'age & guile' are fascinating insights into a totally different lifestyle - i.e. that of a republican gun-nut former hippie who can still see sense in the world. crazy, american, but fucking brilliant.

john wyndham's 'the chrysalids', 'day of the triffids' and 'the midwich cuckoos' remain on my all-time favourites list. superb storytelling, real craftsmanship, and an eternal sense of 1920s english hedgerow life.
interesting choices - vikram seth really is good - i put 'golden gate' as my number 1 choice - check it out - its immensely moving and so well written. can't recommend it enough.

shall check out cocteau - im into that sort of lit at the moment so it'll be interesting :Smile3:

and wyndham - havent read since i was really young but day of the triffids has to have the best intro of a story - something like 'you know when a day is a sunday, it feels like it. but today was a wednesday...' (im shit at rememebering quotes!)

josh said:
I must add that all of these are 'proper' books, not like the crap listed above :hehe:

erm... does the Da Vinci Code count as "the crap listed above", coz fair play the writing style is very standard and boring, but the content is seriously good, and well researched.

(also, the Northern Lights Trilogy was awesome)
Burroughs- Naked Lunch.
Irvine Welsh- Marabou Stork Nightmares
Howard Marks- Mr Nice
Haruki Murakami- The Wind Up Bird Chronicle
Brett Easton Ellis- The Informers

Reading 'Steppenwolf' by Hermann Hesse at the mo, great!
Aldous Huxley- Brave new World

Anthony Burgess- A Clockwork Orange

Irvine Welsh - Trainspotting

Niall Gritthiths - Grits (also knows a shit load about psy trance)

Niccolo Ammaniti - I'm Not Scared (definatley worth a read)