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Thread: Top 5 books?

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    Regular User Array tropic of cancer's Avatar
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    Top 5 books?

    Following on from the 'adverbs' thread where my assertion that US novelists were the tops, I wondered which books posters put as their best and why. Though with the kid there's not a lot of time (alas) to read, it'd be nice to get some tips for when i get down to that 2nd hand place on Sukhumvit.

    Here's my (tentative) top 5 (in no particular order):

    1/ Immortality - Milan Kundera: his masterpiece, deeply profound and one which demonstrates his great love and understanding of music.

    2/ Humboldt's Gift -Saul Bellow: no one (to my mind) combines such rarefied intellectual questing with such a sublime gift for the one-liner. This book is distinguished by feverishly memorable characters.

    3/ Rabbit Redux - John Updike: where the great 'state of the nation' novel finds its perfect pitch

    4/ Tropic of Cancer - Henry Miller: though eternally unfashionable, Miller influenced every post war American writer - he taught them how to speak. A life-affirming writer, par excellence

    5/ London Fields - Martin Amis. (To please Cyrille) I had to have an English novel; it could've been the Rainbow, but this book (shamefully overlooked by the Booker) has for me come closest to capturing the forces that moved modern Britain - and is absolutely fucking hilarious

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    A Gorging Member Array jimbo's Avatar
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    Re: Top 5 books?

    The Bible (King James Version) Tho I'm no religionist (nor believer), I find it astounding to read.

    Paradise Lost (Milton) If only I were able to express myself (in modern terms) anything near "Sir Eloquence."

    The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe. The master of macabre is a necessity.

    Tom Robbins Collection (I just got 'Half Asleep'...'jitterbug'...'Even cowgirls'...as a set) He's my favorite modern American writer.

    The "Conversations with God" series. Alot of truth in these books, methinks.

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    Senior Member Array Robin Friday's Avatar
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    Re: Top 5 books?

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
    The Bible (King James Version) Tho I'm no religionist (nor believer), I find it astounding to read.
    What is astounding about it, I've never read it.

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    poltroon and blagard Array reinvented's Avatar
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    Re: Top 5 books?

    im sure this has been done
    Quote Originally Posted by tropic of cancer View Post
    Following on from the 'adverbs' thread where my assertion that US novelists
    have you never heard of conrad or kipling? shakespere perhaps, even hugo or tolstoy

    though heller is pretty good
    Serial Wolf Bagger

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    Senior Member Array tomcat's Avatar
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    Re: Top 5 books?

    I wish Stephen King would rewrite the bible....
    I wish Ernest Hemingway were alive to rewrite Stephen King...
    I wish Haruki Murakami would rewrite Proust (E.)...

    I may attempt a rewrite of W. Blake's "Epistles to a Tigress"...
    ...majestically enthroned amid the vulgar herd...

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    Senior Member Array DaveyG's Avatar
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    Re: Top 5 books?

    George Orwell? he spun a good yarn.

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    Regular User Array tropic of cancer's Avatar
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    Re: Top 5 books?

    Quote Originally Posted by reinvented View Post
    im sure this has been done


    have you never heard of conrad or kipling? shakespere perhaps, even hugo or tolstoy

    though heller is pretty good
    We were actually arguing about writers who wrote in English, so that would rule out the latter two. Shakespeare, to my knowledge, didn't write novels. 'A Conrad', I confess, is something I've never managed to finish.

    [quote=tomcat;1094246]I wish Haruki Murakami would rewrite Proust (E.)...

    quote]


    Last edited by tropic of cancer; 14th November 2008 at 15:42. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Pretty Like Girl Array WilliamBlake's Avatar
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    Re: Top 5 books?

    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    I wish Stephen King would rewrite the bible....
    Then we'd have The Four Headless Horsemen of The Apocolypse, the Seven UnDeadly Sins, The Plague of Flesh-Eating Locusts, and the serpent in the Garden of Eden would be voiced by Jeremy Irons...

    I wish Ernest Hemingway were alive to rewrite Stephen King...
    Good point.

    I wish Haruki Murakami would rewrite Proust (E.)...
    Come on now, no one could replace Elvis. Uh-huh-huh.

    I may attempt a rewrite of W. Blake's "Epistles to a Tigress"...
    That would be like me trying to rewrite Armistead Maupin's 'Tales of the City'.
    The literary spirit may be willing, but the flesh may not be up to the occasion...
    I married two separate women to save them from poverty - which was big o' me.

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    Wannabe Guru Array theent01's Avatar
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    Re: Top 5 books?

    My Name is Asher Lev - Chaim Potok

    Body and Soul - Frank Conroy

    Welcome to the Monkey House (ok, technically a collection of short stories) - Kurt Vonnegut

    Jitterbug Perfume - Tom Robbins

    And I'm throwing in one non-fiction: The Future of Freedom - Fareed Zakaria
    "$!!str8 hood!$$" - This is how one of my student's parents ends the text messages they send me... What planet am I working on?
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

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    Pretty Like Girl Array WilliamBlake's Avatar
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    Re: Top 5 books?

    1. The Dictionary, 'cos it's got all the other books in it.

    2. The Thesaurus, 'cos all the other ones are extinct.

    3. The phone book. (Insert joke about looking up address here.)

    4. The TV Guide, 'cos it allows you to plan your social calendar.

    5. My actual for-really-real favourite: Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, which would bring a tear to a gargoyle's eye.

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    Regular User Array tropic of cancer's Avatar
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    Re: Top 5 books?

    Quote Originally Posted by theent01 View Post
    My Name is Asher Lev - Chaim Potok

    Body and Soul - Frank Conroy

    Welcome to the Monkey House (ok, technically a collection of short stories) - Kurt Vonnegut

    Jitterbug Perfume - Tom Robbins

    And I'm throwing in one non-fiction: The Future of Freedom - Fareed Zakaria
    Never read any of those - and I've never heard of Frank Conroy. 2nd mention for Tom Robbins - another writer I've never read (now resolved to try).

    Can't believe I didn't have a Dostoevsky in my original list. What was I thinking?

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    A Gorging Member Array jimbo's Avatar
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    Re: Top 5 books?

    Quote Originally Posted by tropic of cancer View Post
    2nd mention for Tom Robbins - another writer I've never read
    Pardon for saying then,.....you haven't lived!!!!!

    robin: soon...need some time
    Last edited by jimbo; 15th November 2008 at 00:53. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Re: Top 5 books?

    Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand. Life changing in the best way.

    The Awakening of Intelligence, J. Krishnamurti. See how far you need to read before you toss the book and laugh your ass off at how thick you are.

    The Tao of Jeet Kun Do, Bruce Lee. Not just a fighter, this guy was genius.

    Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, Deepak Chopra. A buffet for the mind.

    Private Dancer, Stephen Leather. If you've ever had a relationship with a Thai Bargirl, it's like reading about it.

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    Re: Top 5 books?

    The Power of Now - Eckart Tolle

    The Alchemist - Paul Coelho

    The Catcher in the Rye - J.D Sallinger

    Cider House Rules - John Irving

    Love - Leo Buscaglia

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    connoisseur of empathy Array cluezo's Avatar
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    Re: Top 5 books?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robin Friday View Post
    What is astounding about it, I've never read it.
    It is astoundly inane and insipid.

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