GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

Books you can't live without

POSTED BY: BADGERSHAT
UPDATED: Thursday, May 12, 2005 04:58
SHORT URL:
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Sunday, December 26, 2004 2:31 PM

ANNIK


Quote:

Originally posted by sgtgump:
Well, I just got my first taste of Ayn Rand. I just read 'Anthem', took about 3 hours. I think that I'd have to put it right near the top of my favorite books list.



Anthem is fantastic, and one of my all-time favourites. I've read many others by Rand, but none have stuck with me the way this one did.

I'd also want to take my Frank Herbert collection, most especially the Dune series.

And I'd really hurt if I failed to take my various 'best of'-style anthologies from 1940 onwards. I *love* short speculative fiction!

BUT ... if faced with a fire, I would happily watch the Dune "prequels" burn to the last puff of flying ash. Pure crap, sadly. However, I'd have to watch them burn someplace else ... they're so bad I haven't bothered to purchase any for myself, LOL!

Cheers,
Annik
... my sister's a ship. We had a complicated childhood.

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Monday, December 27, 2004 12:42 AM

YT

the movie is not the Series. Only the facts have been changed, to irritate the innocent; the names of the actors and characters remain the same


Quote:

Originally posted by LadySilver:
the Bookman series (and the author's name escapes me! aarrgh!)


John Dunning. I'm not that impressed with the Bookman series, but I love 2am Eastern WarTime.

Keep the Shiny Side Up

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Monday, December 27, 2004 1:03 AM

YT

the movie is not the Series. Only the facts have been changed, to irritate the innocent; the names of the actors and characters remain the same


Quote:

Originally posted by zoid:
Folks, remember to read more than fiction. History is good. So are archaeology and the natural sciences. Mix up your reading diet.

P.P.S.
The books I can't live without are the ones I have yet to read. Life would be pretty unbearable without the prospect of great books to read for the remainder of my time here...


I would have a hard time saying I couldn't live without a particular book that I haven't read. And though a lot of the history, economics, politics, physics & mathematics that I've read is probably still in my library, the reason I'm not sure is I haven't felt the need to reread much of it. To put it another way, if it's already missing, reckon I didn't miss it.

What I would miss are the books I reread over & over again:

Neutron Star, Larry Niven
Neuromancer, William Gibson
Burning Chrome, William Gibson
Snow Crash, Neil Stephenson
Point of Impact, Stephen Hunter
the War in 2020, Ralph Peters


Keep the Shiny Side Up

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Monday, December 27, 2004 6:52 AM

ZOID


YT responded thus:
Quote:

I would have a hard time saying I couldn't live without a particular book that I haven't read. And though a lot of the history, economics, politics, physics & mathematics that I've read is probably still in my library, the reason I'm not sure is I haven't felt the need to reread much of it. To put it another way, if it's already missing, reckon I didn't miss it.

What I would miss are the books I reread over & over again:

Neutron Star, Larry Niven
Neuromancer, William Gibson
Burning Chrome, William Gibson
Snow Crash, Neil Stephenson
Point of Impact, Stephen Hunter
the War in 2020, Ralph Peters


Keep the Shiny Side Up


Hmmm... Your points are well taken; but I fear we've had a bit of a miscommunication, so I'll rephrase somewhat, to give my statement depth (width? height?).

My statement, "The books I can't live without are the ones I have yet to read", means that I'm really looking forward to Greg Bear's next novel, David Brin's next, Gregory Benford's next book, whenever these might come out, whatever they may be about. These are the books I can't live without. I am currently eagerly anticipating William Gibson's "Pattern Recognition" in paperback; I don't buy hardcovers because I only like to read a book once (it's a long and boring story).

Suffice to say, it takes a special book to make me reread it, to warrant a hard-backed edition, and to make my elite list of books I can't live without. All 4 of my examples, above, fall into this category. Not many others do.

Having said that, I hafta get hardcovers for LoTR trilogy. Might want to lend them to the grandkids, someday...

Thanks for your list. Care to point out the reasons that make your list so re-readable? I dig Gibson, but I 'get' him on the first go 'round, and don't really see hidden depths in his work like Herbert's 'wheels within wheels' writing style, which can be interpreted at least three different ways, depending on how you set your mind to receive it. I suspect I could reread "Dune" from now to eternity and get something different, something revelatory out of it each time. In my evaluation, a great novel -- like a great movie -- doesn't just play over your eyes and capture your imagination (and I'm not saying there's anything wrong with pure escapism). Instead, the great novel or film runs through you from brain, to heart, through your 'dangly (or moist) bits' and out your feet, like a thunderbolt from God; an intense packet of multi-dimensional information that changes over time, yet remains valid and instructive.

And lest we forget, I consider "Firefly" to be in that class of entertainment. So, right now, the movies at the top of my 'I can't live without' list are "Serenity", "Shadow" and "Firefly", even though I've never seen them...


Explanatorily,

zoid

P.S.
I am also eagerly awaiting Neil Gaiman's next novel, having read all of his work to date. I highly recommend him to anyone with a sense of humor. Not 'science fiction-y', more of a 'Harry Potter' for adults (sort of 'world mythology-fiction'), but with a wicked wit that had me laughing out loud in doctors' waiting rooms, which are generally not funny places. If anybody knows Neil personally, could they please drag his ass out of whatever pub he's enjoying and chain him -- Prometheus-like -- to his typewriter?
_________________________________________________

"Burn the land and boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me." The Ballad of Serenity

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Monday, December 27, 2004 8:24 AM

CORNCOBB


The Kama Sutra and the Necrotelecomnicon


"Gorramit Mal... I've forgotten my line."

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Monday, December 27, 2004 2:08 PM

BRUISERSMOM


Star Trek books

Harry Potter series

Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles from Interview with a Vampire to Memnoch the Devil The rest of her vampire books are crap. She should listen to her editor.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy

Firefly books when/if they come out and are good.

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Monday, December 27, 2004 3:32 PM

GUITARCHICK


Anything that has to do with Harry Potter (I love fairy tales).

And stuff by Marrion Zimmer Bradley. Ooh! And Madeline L'Engle.

Sci-fi in general and tattoo magazines!

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Monday, December 27, 2004 3:45 PM

ALTA


Stephen King: The Stand: Dark Tower series, It, pretty much all of his stuff.
Richard Adams:Watership Down
Neil Gaiman: American Gods
Harlan Ellison:Anything he has ever written.
Daphne Du Maurier: Rebecca
Too many more to list.

*****************************
There's no place I can be
Since I found Serenity

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Monday, December 27, 2004 4:18 PM

GUITARCHICK


ooooooooh! forgot about watership downs. and tailchaser's song.

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Monday, December 27, 2004 7:34 PM

ANNIK


Quote:

Originally posted by zoid:
Folks, remember to read more than fiction. History is good. So are archaeology and the natural sciences. Mix up your reading diet.

P.P.S.
The books I can't live without are the ones I have yet to read. Life would be pretty unbearable without the prospect of great books to read for the remainder of my time here...



Great advice, Zoid. I'd say that I read two fiction books per week (as nighttime reading), and anywhere from one to three factual books in any area of interest (which is everything except sports -- I just can't get into sport stuff).

One of the more interesting factual books I ran across awhile ago is "Prehistory of Sex" by Doctor Timothy Taylor. And the Building Big series is great for us non-engineers to understand civil engineering issues and innovations.

If I could live forever, I'd really need access to a good library.

Cheers,
Annik
... my sister's a ship. We had a complicated childhood.

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Monday, December 27, 2004 8:54 PM

WILLIAMX


I see
The Forever War - Joe Haldeman
"The sprawl series* -William Gibson

Stuff I havn't seen:
A Distant Mirror - Barbara Tuchman

Regeneration
The Eye in the Door - Pat Barker
The Ghost Road

Bogeys and Bandits - Robert Gandt
Punks war - Ward Carroll

and the tons load of classics, atlases and military history I see laying around . . .

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Tuesday, December 28, 2004 3:28 AM

GORRAMREAVERS


Shepard Book.







"..it is my very favorite gun."

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Tuesday, December 28, 2004 4:10 AM

BROWNCOAT1

May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.


Here are mine:

- Lord of the Rings trilogy
- "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" by Robert Heinlein
- "Stranger in a Strange Land" by Robert Heinlein
- "Starship Troopers" by Robert Heinlein
- "The Forever War" by Joe Hadleman
- "MacBeth" by Shakespeare



__________________________________________

"May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one."

Richmond, VA & surrounding area Firefly Meet Up:
http://firefly.meetup.com/9/boards/


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Thursday, December 30, 2004 3:13 AM

YT

the movie is not the Series. Only the facts have been changed, to irritate the innocent; the names of the actors and characters remain the same


Quote:

Originally posted by zoid:
I am currently eagerly anticipating William Gibson's "Pattern Recognition" in paperback; I don't buy hardcovers because I only like to read a book once (it's a long and boring story).


We have an extra five months . . .

I, on the other hand, don't purchase paperbacks 'cause, if I'm only going to read the book once, I'll support my local library.

Quote:

Suffice to say, it takes a special book to make me reread it, to warrant a hard-backed edition, and to make my elite list of books I can't live without.
...
Having said that, I hafta get hardcovers for LoTR trilogy. Might want to lend them to the grandkids, someday...


I applaud your sense of grandfatherly responsibility.

Quote:

Thanks for your list. Care to point out the reasons that make your list so re-readable?



Familiar books are like time machines; rereading them takes me back to the first time. Neutron Star may mean more to me, for that reason, than to a new fan. It is a collection of hard SF, published in 1966. Larry Niven was on his way to becoming the O Henry of science fiction when he was seduced, by awards & scads of money, into working only on novels. But before that, he saved SF from the new wave.

William Gibson's science fiction (as opposed to his more recent stuff, which ain't exactly SF) is the most information-dense literature I've ever encountered. He can invent a word, and show me a whole new world. He deserves a section in the next edition of Elements of Style, & I need a new word to describe what he does. I think of it as an evolution of imagery, his language conjuring not just pictures but societal frameworks. Gibson affects me the way poetry is supposed to, but almost never has. But the time machine may be @work here, too. I had lost my faith in SF when I found Gibson, and was reborn.

There are flaws in Snow Crash but, two great characters, & concepts spanning all of recorded history, kept me so engrossed that I didn't begin to notice the flaws until I'd read it several times. Stephenson can also create a world with a word.

I love conspiracy theories; I even liked the Lone Gunmen. Point of Impact is the conspiracy theory of a lone gunman, & fascinatin' character.

Ralph Peters is a retired US Army officer. He has written several novels, most involving small unit combat. Some folk might call that military fiction but, as it says on the tin, the War in 2020 is set in the future, which quacks like SF to me. The time machine means it always feels like I'm reading it when the USSR still mattered.

Thinking of these books is like remembering my first kiss. Rereading one of them is like feeling it again.

Rereading Little Big, by John Crowley, is like tasting it.

Keep the Shiny Side Up

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Thursday, December 30, 2004 6:01 AM

XENOCIDE


I couldn't possibly save all the Heinlein I own (in the proverbial fire.) I am amazed that everyone seems to be willing to save Starship Troopers. Personally Heinleins nod to facism would get left as I sacrificed my flesh for:

Moon is a Harsh Mistress (and any of Heinleins more libertarian treatises)

Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Books,

Harvest the Fire; The Stars are Also Fire and the rest of that Series.

Books by Ken MacLeod especially The Cassini Division and other books in that series.

Forever War would make the cut but not Forever Free. Did anyone Read that? I mean what the hell kind of drugs was he doing that day. Talk about God in the machine.

Fallen Angels by Niven and Pournelle? Maybe? Introduced me to fandom and so I owe that book a debt.

And of course Farenheit 451. If that book burned the irony alone might kill me.
Outside of fiction:

All the poetry of Pablo Neruda.

Bastiat's "The Law"

Free Market Environmentalism

The Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche

The Complete Works of Weber

The Marx Reader

501 Spanish Verbs (awesome book with conjugations and colloquial meanings and useful phrases)

Civilization and Its Discontents (the only good thing ever written by Freud IMNSHO)

The Jefferson Bible.

The NRSV Bible. Maybe Darby in a pinch. And the old family king james (but only cause it has the family tree...the translation sucks.)

"The Art of Happiness" from the Dalai Lama

The State by Peter Kropotkin

Anarchy in Action by Colin Ward

And...and...and...

nevermind. If the books must burn I am staying in my study!

-Eli



"If voting mattered it would be illegal."

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Thursday, December 30, 2004 6:01 AM

XENOCIDE


Double post Sorry.

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Thursday, December 30, 2004 1:31 PM

SSPRINGS


The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Jefferson Bible by Thomas Jefferson

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Thursday, December 30, 2004 2:05 PM

ZOID


xenocide:

Great list! You wrote:
Quote:

...I am amazed that everyone seems to be willing to save Starship Troopers...

The first Heinlein I ever read was "Revolt in 2100". When I saw the trailer for the original Star Wars back in nineteen-seventy-*mumble*, I took one look at the light sabres and exclaimed -- sotto voce -- in the theatre, "Cool! Vibroblades!". In similar fashion, when "The Empire Strikes Back" trailered, I muttered, "What a rip! That's a sandworm from 'Dune'".

Quote:

...Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Books...
Read 'em, dug 'em all; red, green and blue.

Quote:

...Niven and Pournelle...
Great team. Loved the Heorot/Beowulf books. Very good characters and believable alien lifeforms. Nobody's mentioned Frederick Pohl, so I'm gonna lump the Heechee in with Niven's Ring denizens as best of genre.

Quote:

...The Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche ...
Seriously? Ubermensch socialism that so appealed to Hitler? Nietzsche was wrong, bass-ackwards: The State exists to serve the People, not the other way 'round. Do you like his stuff as an example of logical folly? I mean, no offense intended to you, but, whoa!

Quote:

..."The Art of Happiness" from the Dalai Lama...
Good call there, though strange bedfellows with FN and Weber. On a similar note, "Zen and the Art of Making a Living", by Laurence Boldt changed my way of looking at my life's work. Read my profile page, regarding 'never wanting to retire'. Since reading his book, I have striven to make my life's work an artform that I perfect every day. As a result, I am fully self-actualized in my profession.

Quote:

...If the books must burn I am staying in my study!
One of the more memorable images from Fahrenheit 451. And I'll be right there with you, Brother, pouring the brandy and offering you a last cigar (and probably arguing with you 'til the flames embrace us that a true ubermensch knows he must serve others, not force them to serve him). If the thirst for knowledge and enlightenment ever totally leaves Humanity, I'm going with it. Let's hope that 'reality TV', "Judge Judy" and "Entertainment Tonight" and their ilk are just passing phases, not the barbarians at the gates...


Appreciatively,

zoid
_________________________________________________

"Burn the land and boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me." The Ballad of Serenity

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Thursday, December 30, 2004 2:28 PM

MALICIOUS


Quote:

Originally posted by Alta:
Daphne Du Maurier: Rebecca




Hi, Alta!

Ever read "The House on the Strand" by Ms. Du Maurier? If not, I HIGHLY recommend it.

Mal-licious

Co-Holder of the Red Bell from Hell

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Thursday, December 30, 2004 3:10 PM

AX


Wow! I love threads like this. I need to go through and make a list of books I haven't read yet.

My List:

Sandman, all volumes, by Neil Gaiman: One of the best comic books of all time. Brilliant, moving, and meaningfull. I love everything else by Gaiman, but the Sandman is easily at the top of the list.

The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings, by JRR Tolkien: I love the Silmarillion because it tells the history of an entire people in a way that moves me. More than once I found myself overwhelmed by the courage of the characters, and the tradgedy that they bring down on themselves. The Hobbbit is a brilliant children's story that hints at darker happenings. The Lord of the Rings is filled with a diverse cast of fleshed out characters, and gives builds on the themes of how even the smallest person can change the world.

White Apples, by Jonathan Carroll: I love everything I've ever read by this author, but his most recent story takes a high place on my list.
From the perspective of a man who has been brought back from death to help protect his son from Chaos, this novel is filled with detailed characters and asks a lot of really great questions about life and death.

Kushiel's Dart, by Jacqueline Carey: An intricate fantasy, told from the first person prospective of a prostitute. This woman though has been touched by a god and plays an important role in a struggle taking place for her country. Describing the story is difficult, but there are a lot of really neat ideas in this book. A very unique fantasy.

A lot of the other books I'd put on my list have been mentioned (Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, To Kill a Mockingbird, anything by Ray Bradbury, The Dark Tower Books), so I'm going to call it good for now.


"Blue so deep it swallowed me / Like the sky eating the birds." Matt Lindquist

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Thursday, December 30, 2004 4:35 PM

TERRYO


Great, now where did I put my copy of The House on the Strand?

Any book that echoes in your mind decades after you've read it gets 5 stars, no question.

terry

p.s. am I the only one who thinks that the AddAll site is even better than half.com? http://used.addall.com/

Quote:

Originally posted by Malicious:
Quote:

Originally posted by Alta:
Daphne Du Maurier: Rebecca




Hi, Alta!

Ever read "The House on the Strand" by Ms. Du Maurier? If not, I HIGHLY recommend it.

Mal-licious

Co-Holder of the Red Bell from Hell


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Thursday, December 30, 2004 6:09 PM

NEUTRINOLAD


I'm going to try to not duplicate any of the many fine entries already cited.
This is from memory, sorry if I misspell an author's name or get the title wrong.

1. Tales of The Dying Earth Jack Vance
2. Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
3. Ken's Guide To The Bible Ken Smith
4. Stories from the Thousand and One Nights Harvard Classics Edition
5. The Whys of a Philisophical Scrivener Martin Gardner
6. Reminiscences of a Stock Operator Edwin Lefevre
7. Silverlock John Myers Myers
8. Symbolic Logic Lewis Carroll
9. The American Language H. L. Mencken
10. Reference Data for Radio Engineers
11. Rudyard Kipling Complete Verse
12. The Physiology of TasteBrillat Savarin, love the MFK Fisher translation with her notes
13. Expert C Programming Peter van der Linden, an entertaiing book about programming for programmers
14. The Mythical Man Month F. P. Brooks Jr.
15. The World of Mathematics ed. J.R. Newman
16. any Benchley collection
17. 3:16 Bible Texts Illuminated Donald Knuth
18. Jeeves and Wooster stories PG Wodehouse
19. Bartlett's Familiar Quotations
20. The Story of Philosophy Will Durant
21. A Wrinkle In Time Madeleine L'Engle
22. The Dark Knight Returns/The Complete Frank Miller Batman Frank Miller, The edition I have is a really beautiful example of the bookmaker's art.

Still way too many to actually carry, but all worth re-reading.

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Friday, December 31, 2004 4:45 AM

XENOCIDE


Zoid:
I'll gladly accept the cigar, and the arguments...

Quote:

...The Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche ... Seriously? Ubermensch socialism that so appealed to Hitler? Nietzsche was wrong, bass-ackwards: The State exists to serve the People, not the other way 'round. Do you like his stuff as an example of logical folly? I mean, no offense intended to you, but, whoa!


Nietzsche gets a bad rap because Hitler misread him and said he liked him. Have you read zarathustra? Nietzsche hates the state and limiting religion. His work is about becoming your true self...self actualization. Just look at the choice of word mensch. German has a lot of words for man that would better fit the typical interpretation. But he uses mensch which means (colloquially) a decent guy.

The idea of the Ubermensch is meant to mean someone who was freed himself. Zarathustra tries to persuade all men to free themselves from chains to state and religion and other constucted loyalties that make us less than we can be. It is not about the slavery to the state that hitler (and every other authoritarian from plato on) proposes. It is about mental and spiritual freedom.

But in fairness, Nietzche is more literature than consistent philosphy. I'm at work now, but I'll try and bring in some juicy quotes on monday.

-Eli


"If voting mattered, they'd make it illegal."

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Friday, December 31, 2004 12:20 PM

MONTANAGIRL


Quote:

Originally posted by xenocide:
And of course Farenheit 451. If that book burned the irony alone might kill me.




I love this thread! It's great to see so many old favorites get mentioned, and it's added incredibly to my list of books to read. Thank you everyone!

Packer fans welcome.
All others tolerated.

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Friday, December 31, 2004 2:40 PM

UNCHARTEDOUTLAW


Well, I would definitely say anything by Stephen Baxter. He rocks! But I'd most definitely say his new book _Coalescent_ and its sequel _Exultant_. Both of them are top-notch reads!

-Taylor

The Uncharted Outlaw!
Captain of Prosperity (99-K64)

See my Site:
http://www.geocities.com/norcalriviera
See my Firefly Store: http://www.cafepress.com/NorCalRiviera

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Friday, December 31, 2004 3:08 PM

ECGORDON

There's no place I can be since I found Serenity.


I've been meaning to respond to this thread ever since El Jefé started it, and even started several lists which became too long and cumbersome, so I'm gonna just mention a few that I absolutely could not live without.

I did read through the entire thread and I am sure no one mentioned the book I consider to be the best I have ever read - Olaf Stapledon's Star Maker.

Robert Heinlein is my all-time favorite author and I would not want to be without any of his books, but most especially The Moon is A Harsh Mistress, Starship Troopers, Friday, and Job: A Comedy of Justice. I am anxiously awaiting the day that Tim Minear's screenplay version of "Moon" is greenlighted, and if Joss directs I might have to assume I have died and gone to heaven.

My favorite of current authors is Gene Wolfe, and his best include The Fifth Head of Cerberus, The Book of the New Sun, and the Latro novels, Soldier of the Mist and Soldier of Arete. I have read The Knight but have not yet gotten its follow-up The Wizard.

I also want to mention a book brought up by Debbiebuk. I believe this is the first time I've encountered anyone else who has read Riddley Walker. I've only read it once, but recall it fondly. It was probably easier for someone in the UK, but for me I had to read a lot of it out loud (with a feeble attempt at a British accent) to understand some of the phrasing.



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Friday, December 31, 2004 3:46 PM

MALICIOUS


I'm sorry, but I instantly read your post with John Cleese's voice in my head!

Mal-licious

Co-Holder of the Red Bell from Hell

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Friday, December 31, 2004 6:57 PM

SAMSONITEGORILLATEST


Congratulations on getting the titles right!

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Tuesday, January 4, 2005 1:32 PM

YT

the movie is not the Series. Only the facts have been changed, to irritate the innocent; the names of the actors and characters remain the same


Quote:

Originally posted by zoid:
Nobody's mentioned Frederick Pohl, so I'm gonna lump the Heechee in with Niven's Ring denizens as best of genre.


Ringworld, or Smoke Ring? I loved Ringworld (think he's been slackin' with the sequels (actually, with all of his sequels)), but could never get into the Smoke Ring. The concept is so foreign I just have trouble believing that any of its denizens would have enough in common with me to communicate anything more personal than physics.

Keep the Shiny Side Up

Wutzon: Stones, "Exile On Main Street"

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Tuesday, January 4, 2005 4:18 PM

ZOID



YT:

Should read, "...Ringworld denizens". Sorry. I always just thought of the place as The Ring.

Since we're on the subject of good reads (as opposed to books we can't live without), have you read Niven's "Destiny Road"? I thought that was eminently readable and novel. Kinda Firefly-like, in that the human settlers just get dropped off in a place, and then the supplies run out and they're left to their own resources. Culture devolves to match the strains of the environment, et cetera.

Very entertaining, I thought.


Respectfully,

zoid
_________________________________________________

"Burn the land and boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me." The Ballad of Serenity

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Tuesday, January 4, 2005 5:50 PM

YT

the movie is not the Series. Only the facts have been changed, to irritate the innocent; the names of the actors and characters remain the same


Quote:

Originally posted by zoid:

Should read, "...Ringworld denizens". Sorry. I always just thought of the place as The Ring.


So did I &, I expect, everyone else, until he wrote the Smoke Ring novels.

Quote:

have you read Niven's "Destiny Road"? I thought that was eminently readable and novel. Kinda Firefly-like, in that the human settlers just get dropped off in a place, and then the supplies run out and they're left to their own resources. Culture devolves to match the strains of the environment, et cetera.


No, but I have it (around here (somewhere)). I'm looking forward to the difference between the society he creates & that of "Legacy of Heorot". The latter was Jerry Pournelle's concept, & is influenced by his philosophy that a society has the morality it can afford.

Keep the Shiny Side Up

Wutzon: SRV, "the Sky Is Crying"

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Wednesday, January 5, 2005 12:39 PM

INDIGO


Yay! One of the best games ever -- difficult too. My but aren't we a well read bunch!
Some of my favorite books are those that I have read while travelling and so are associated with the memories of those times and places and the intense attention that I placed upon the book, because it and the moment were so precious (I put a + sign by them). Severely limiting myself:

Non Fiction:
A good dictionary
The Elements of Style - W. Strunk Jr. & E. B. White, 1979, 3rd ed. If you write, you must have this or its like.
+ A Distant Mirror; the Calamitous 14th Century - Barbara Tuchman, 1978
+ The Dream at the End of the World; Paul Bowles and the Literary Renegades in Tangier - Michelle Green, 1992
Man and His Symbols - Carl Jung, 1964
The Tao of Physics - Fritjof Capra, 1991, 3rd ed.
The Power of Limits: Proportional Harmonies in Nature, Art & Architecture - Gyorgy Doczi, 1985
Chaos - James Gleick, 1987
(And yes, I did like Goedel, Escher, Bach!)
+ Shelter - a neato, big book published by the folks at Whole Earth Catalogue. Don't own it now, but it was so cool to look through; a compedium of architectures around the earth.

Religion and Philosophy:
Well, that's difficult so I'll limit myself harshly (I study mythology).
The Tao Te Ching - Lao Tzu
+ A Witches Bible Compleat - Janet & Stewart Farrar, 1981
The Prologemena, Themis, & Epilegomena - a Study of the Social Origins of Greek Religion - Jane Ellen Harrison, 1903-1921
The Eddas (haven't finished them yet; think Beowulf)

Poetry:
All the Night Wings - Loren Eiseley
+ Anything by Gary Snyder
+ Modern Greek Poetry - ed. & trans. by Kimon Friar, pub. 1993

Prose and other Fiction:
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll (odd, no date on my old edition; probably the first book that I remember reading and will do so again every few years - best out loud!)
Foucault's Pendulum - Umberto Eco. Hell, one of the best books *ever*.
Anything by Neal Stephenson. Yum, yum, yum.
Most of + Herman Hesse, + Lawrence Durrell, Paul Bowles, H. P. Lovecraft, Lois McMaster Bujold, Bruce Sterling, Ray Bradbury, Robert Holdstock, Spider Robinson, Gene Wolfe (!!!), John Fowles, Tanith Lee, and all time favorite... Charles de Lint (*nice* people too, he and his wife).
+ A Movable Feast - Hemingway (short book, but I read it 5 times on a **long** bus ride once, and it held up every time).
+ Desert Solitaire; A Season in the Wilderness - Edward Abbey, 1968. That book has been everywhere with me.
And but of course: Euripides and Homer.

But I ramble, agh, this is an impossible task.
--Indigo





Art is Long and Time is fleeting -- Longfellow

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Thursday, January 6, 2005 2:13 AM

NICOLACLARKE


I've actually been avoiding this thread, because I know that once I start listing my favourite books I'll never stop. Still, am in a mood to procrastinate right now, so here goes.

SF/fantasy:
The Lions of al-Rassan - Guy Gavriel Kay
The Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula Le Guin
Ash - Mary Gentle
Mythago Wood - Robert Holdstock
The Sparrow - Mary Doria Russell
Collected Sandman - Neil Gaiman et al
Use of Weapons - Iain M Banks
Pavane - Keith Roberts
Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes
Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson
The Gap Series - Stephen Donaldson
A Song of Ice and Fire (thus far) - George RR Martin
The Broken Crown - Michelle West
Grass - Sheri S Tepper
Dragon Star trilogy - Melanie Rawn
The Mists of Avalon - Marion Zimmer Bradley

Other fiction:
A Game of Kings - Dorothy Dunnett
The Diary of a Madman and other stories - Nikolai Gogol
The Name of the Rose - Umberto Eco
The Crimson Petal and the White - Michael Faber
The Castle of Crossed Destinies - Italo Calvino
Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Master and Margarita - Mikhail Bulgakov
Fingersmith - Sarah Waters
The Tin Drum - Gunter Grass
A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

Random (auto)biographical-ness:
The Travels - Ibn Battuta
The Baburnama
Six Records of a Floating Life - Shen Fu
Wild Swans - Jung Chang

History:
The Annals - Tacitus
The Twelve Caesars - Suetonius
White Mughals - William Dalrymple
Captives: Britons, Empire and the World - Linda Colley
Enlightenment - Roy Porter
Bright Earth: Art and the Invention of Colour - Philip Ball
Moorish Spain - Richard Fletcher
The Incas - Terence N. D'Altroy
The Legacy of Muslim Spain - Salma Khadra Jayyusi (ed)
Orientalism - Edward Said
God's Caliph: Religious Authority in the first centuries of Islam - Patricia Crone and Martin Hinds

Poetry/drama/saga:
Anything by Euripides, especially Medea and Bacchae
Aeneid - Virgil
Gulistan (The Rose Garden) - Sa'di
Sonnets to Orpheus - Rainer Maria Rilke
The Conference of the Birds - Farid al-Din Attar
Yeats
The Narrow Road to the Deep North - Basho
Njal's saga
The Duchess of Malfi - John Webster
Various Shakespeare, esp. Othello

Misc:
The Symposium - Plato
Hans Wehr's Arabic-English Dictionary (4th ed)

...enough already? Anyone curious about any of these books, just ask


/ pure intentions, juxtaposed /

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Thursday, January 6, 2005 7:18 PM

ZOID



YT:

Ahhh! Two days without electricity in an 18 degree (hi temp) ice storm! Midwest livin' at its finest!

Heorot differs from Destiny in that the Beowulf/Heorot settlers are few and the tech they bring with them is prodigious. In Destiny, the settlers are prodigious, but the planet lacks the necessary natural resources to support a technical -- or even industrial -- society. Lots of neat cultural insights, more than Man-Versus-Critters (although I did love the dragons).


Respectfully,

zoid
_________________________________________________

"Burn the land (for wamth) and boil the sea (over the burning land, 'cause the microwave ain't runnin'), you can't take the sky from me." The Ballad of Serenity

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Thursday, January 6, 2005 11:51 PM

NKYJAY


never can resist these threads

So, for some of my favourites.

Sci-fi:
Downbelow Station, Rimrunners, Heavy Time, Hellburner all by CJ Cherryh. Really enjoyed her fantasy Morgaine trilogy too.
The Uplift Wars series by David Brin
Dune
Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula LeGuin, and loved her fantasy Earthsea series too
House of the Wolf series by MK Wren
Ender's Game and Xenocide, Orson Scott Card
Grass and Beauty by Sheri S. Tepper
The Gandalaran Cycle (Glass of Dyskornis, Search for Ka, Bronze of Eddarta, Steel of Raithskar and The River Wall) by Randall Garrett
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Farenheit 451

Fantasy:
The Last Unicorn by Peter Beagle
Dragonslayer, Knight of the Demon Queen, Dragonstar (and I'm forgetting one in this series) by Barbara Hambley
The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings for defining the genre
Greenwich, Over sea under Stone, The Grey King (and again forgetting a couple of titles) by Susan Cooper, which introduced me to fantasy at the tender age of 10
Bridge of Birds - never fails to cheer me up

Other:
Watership Down by Richard Adams
Prince of Tides
The Great Gatsby
Turtle Moon, Susan Howard
An Instant in the Wind by Andre Brink
Before Adam
Firestarter by Stephen King
Any poetry by Roy Campbell, but particularly Zulu Girl and Horses of the Camargue

...and there are plenty more, but I'll leave it at that for now.


I have a slight flaw in my character

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Friday, January 7, 2005 5:09 AM

IAMZOE


When the arsonist set my house on fire, I didn’t stop to pick up anything. Not even books. Me and my flatmate just ran out into the snow in our pyjamas and a weird assortment of whatever warm clothes were to hand.
Weirdly, it wasn’t that scarey at the time, but, wow, I get some nightmares now.
However, assuming that a very slow emergency was happening, which gave me time to look through some books and choose some of the best ones, I would pick:

1. something or everything by Antonia Forest – a true unrecognised genius
2. at least one book by Charles Ritchie – probably the one about his childhood – Canada’s best diary-writer
3. The Three Muskateers – I still want to be d’Artagnan
4. Love and Zen in the Outer Hebrides by Kevin Macneil - perfect
5. No Great Mischief by Alistair Macleod – see above

I liked a lot of the lists above… glad people mentioned Little Women. Also nice to see Jack Vance on a list – a friend gave me Tales of the Dying Earth last year with the recommendation that it they were the best SF novels he’d ever read. It’s my aim to finish them this year – I got to the book where he has to start that journey all over again (trying not to spoil it here) and I just couldn’t take it. There are some recommendations I’ll be checking out… plus, The Face on the Milk Carton – I haven’t seen that for years!

Final book list: ones that I have just read recently, so can’t be put on the first list, but which I am currently recommending:

1. Madame by Antoni Libera – oooh, Polish
2. The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber – it is too short. Really, Just start, and you’ll see what I mean.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2005 4:48 PM

SIMONWHO


I must admit, even though I'm an avid reader, I'm not that much of a re-reader, plus there's loads of great books out there I haven't read yet but then I'd never know how great they were if they disappeared off the planet.

Books that meant a lot when I read them for the first time:

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - an endless succession of brilliant ideas, jokes and thoughts. This is undoubtably the unfashionable end of the Milky Way.

The Catcher in the Rye - I read this at just the right age but haven't re-read it since. I almost don't want to since I have grown up but Holden hasn't.

The Sherlock Holmes stories - I now know the twists of these plots like the back of my hand but the pace of the writing and the evocation of the era raises above other mystery stories.

I'd also really miss all the books of Terry Pratchett, Dick Francis, Tolkien and my compendiums of Far Side, Calvin and Hobbes and Dilbert but I don't think there's any "one" book I just couldn't live without.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2005 6:44 PM

WHISPER


oOoOoh! Books, yay!

If i had to pick one and only one it would be:

"The Light Bearer" by Donna Gillespie.

Absolutely my all time favorite. Wonderfully, epic, violent, and romantic. Quote from back of book "She was a warrior, a priestess, and a threat to the powers of ancient Rome." Highly, HIGHLY recommend this novel.

If i had a box to carry books in:

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher (like an adult Harry Potter- very good, very funny)

Merry Gentry series/ Anita Blake series by Laurell K Hamilton (sexy, smutty, fantasy fun)

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Jayne Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde (Fun, witty and whimsical series about a literary detective that can jump into books and interact with the characters. The first book is called "The Eyre Affair" and Thursday jumps into Jane Eyre to stop an assination plot and ends up changing the ending of the book. Very cute series.)


Those are all for now. That box would be pretty damn heavy.

www.whispergraphics.net

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Wednesday, April 27, 2005 7:07 PM

MANWITHPEZ

Important people don't do field work.


All right! I was hoping this one would turn up again...

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux...So very pretty!

Bag Of Bones by Stephen King...You may not be a King fan, but you don't have to be to love this book. So good!

American Tabloid by James Ellroy...I was going to put The Black Dahlia, but that book was like a kindergarten primer compared to this one.

MacBeth/Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare...I won't try to include all of his stuff, so here's my two favorites.

High Fidelity by Nick Hornby...If you've seen the movie, you don't have the whole story (Not a dig on the movie, I love that movie, but this book!)


The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving...Read this book and try to not think of Autumn...go ahead, try!

Watchers by Dean R. Koontz...hailed by some critics as the most accomplished poopular novel of the 80s...you could do a lot worse than reading Lightning as well.

The Tick: Omnibus #1 by Ben Edlund...Yeah, I know he writes for the Jossverse, and that alone should give him the tip, but The Tick was just so mind numbingly...well, stupid, and probably one of the funniest things I've ever read.

Bring Me The Head of Prince Charming by Roger Zelazny and Robert Sheckley...I choked laughing out loud at this book. A little hard to find now, though, and I've never read any of the others in this series.

A Night In The Lonesome October by Gahan Wilson and Roger Zelazny...Jack the Ripper a good guy? Animal familiars telling the stories of some of the victorian eras greatest monsters and detectives...Also, hard to find.

There's a few to start...




Kaylee: "What's so damn important about being proper? It don't mean nothing out here in the black."
Simon: "It means more out here. It's all I have..."

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Wednesday, April 27, 2005 7:45 PM

HANITRADER


Scrolling through the Thread...

Most folk seemed to have seem to have hit upon the major titles...

But what of the Novels that have paved the way for Firefly???

Andre Norton: The Solar Queen Series.
C.J. Cherryh: Downbelow Station and Chanur Series.
Poul Anderson: The Polesotechnic League Series.
John Clute: Appleseed.

Interstellar Traders and Freelancers abound- jobs and mayhem everywhere- Have'nt read them? Check them out.

Just cannot wait for the Movie!!!!

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Thursday, April 28, 2005 12:07 AM

COTTONWOOLFAIRY


For books to save from a fire I would have to choose:

First and foremost all 9 Robin Hobb books: The Farseer Trilogy, The Liveships Series and the Tawny Man Trilogy - utterly wonderful fantasy.
Watership Down by Richard Adams
The Colditz Story and its sequel, The Latter Days At Colditz, by Pat Reid
As many Anne Mccaffrey and Terry Pratchett books as I could carry
The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart

These are the only ones I can think of off hand (not counting Harry Potter or LOTR).

Of course since I'm currently at uni and the bookshelf (singular!) is microscopic, most of the books I have with me have titles like: 'Engineering Mathematics' and 'The Astronomical Almanac 2005'. Not sure I'd risk anything to rescue Physics textbooks from a fire!

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Monday, May 2, 2005 11:05 AM

YT

the movie is not the Series. Only the facts have been changed, to irritate the innocent; the names of the actors and characters remain the same


Quote:

Originally posted by Whisper:
Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde


Hey Whisper, glad to see you're getting out of the Blue Sun room, and congratulations on finding this thread. The best old thread, imo, is "Ten things I learned from watching Firefly" http://www.fireflyfans.net/thread.asp?b=4&t=1967 .

As for Jasper, I second your endorsement of the Eyre Affair. It's even more difficult to classify than Firefly. Ffolks, just find a copy & start reading it. I thought Lost In a Good Book, & the Well of Lost Plots (sequels) were something of a comedown. But I highly recommend his website http://www.jasperfforde.com/ ; you might want to stop in for upgrades to your copies of his novels.

Quote:

www.whispergraphics.net

I can also recommend this website.

Keep the Shiny Side Up . . . (wutzon) Squeeze, "Tempted", from "GH"

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Monday, May 2, 2005 11:19 AM

YT

the movie is not the Series. Only the facts have been changed, to irritate the innocent; the names of the actors and characters remain the same


Quote:

Originally posted by cottonwoolfairy:
The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart


The whole tetralogy (+ Hollow Hills, Last Enchantment, & Wicked Day). Mary Stewart fixed the mistakes made by Geoffrey of Monmouth, Sir Thomas Malory & T H White. This is as close as we're likely to get to the true story of Merlin & Arthur, and it's wonderful.

Keep the Shiny Side Up . . . (wutzon) Bob Marley & the Wailers, "Jammin' ", from "One Love"

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Monday, May 2, 2005 11:50 AM

COTTONWOOLFAIRY


yeah, I've read the first three many times and love them dearly, but we don't have Wicked Day at home - did it come out more recently?

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Monday, May 2, 2005 12:17 PM

YT

the movie is not the Series. Only the facts have been changed, to irritate the innocent; the names of the actors and characters remain the same


Quote:

Originally posted by cottonwoolfairy:
we don't have Wicked Day at home - did it come out more recently?


There was a bit of a gap, but it was published in 1983. Mary Stewart originally envisioned a trilogy about Merlin, which is what you have read. The fourth book is about, with much of it told from the point of view of, Mordred.

Amusingly, 'though it's been known as the four-novel Arthurian Saga for a couple of decades, an omnibus volume of the Merlin trilogy (the first three novels) was released just last year.

Keep the Shiny Side Up . . . (wutzon) Moe, "Seat of My Pants", from "Warts & All, vol 2"

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Monday, May 2, 2005 12:26 PM

CAPTAINCDC


Among many these stand out for me:

The Sword Of Truth series by Terry Goodkind

Lord Of The Rings

The Stand, It, Dark Tower series, Talisman and Black House, Insomnia by Stephen King

---------------------------------------

The only sovereign you can allow to rule you is reason!

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Monday, May 2, 2005 4:09 PM

BLACKEYEDGIRL


The Hitchhiker's Guide series (all 5 in the trilogy)
Fear and Trembling in Sunnydale: The Philosophy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Francesca Lia Block's Weetzie Bay series, now all in one book called Dangerous Angels

That's about all I can't live without, lots of books I'd love to keep though!

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Inara: "Do aliens live among us?"
Kaylee: "Yes. One of them's a doctor."

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Monday, May 2, 2005 5:48 PM

FILMGODDESS


hmmmm, good question.

Brave New World - Aldous Huxley - Favorite book of all time
All of Chuck Palahniuk's books (he's amazing)
1984, and Clergyman's daughter - George Orwell.
(I seem to have a think for Satire)

The lord of the Ring Trilogy
The Harry Potter series
The Zahn Star Wars Books

And I can't think of anything else at the moment so I guess they're not as important

"If you're stupid, surround yourself with smart people. If you're smart, surround youself with smart people who disagree with you"
- Isaac from Sports Night

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Monday, May 2, 2005 6:03 PM

WHISPER


Quote:

Originally posted by YT:

I thought Lost In a Good Book, & the Well of Lost Plots (sequels) were something of a comedown.



I agree, YT. I am currently reading Something Rotten, the fourth (and last?) novel in the series. It too seems to have lost some of the charm the original had. It still makes me laugh out loud though in some spots. Which can get you some pretty weird looks, when around other people!

Quote:

Quote:

www.whispergraphics.net

I can also recommend this website.



Thanks for the endorsement! This is the first site I've ever done, so I'm just kind of muddling my way through it. So it means a lot. Thanks!

Quote:

The best old thread, imo, is "Ten things I learned from watching Firefly"


I'll check it out, thanks!

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Monday, May 2, 2005 6:18 PM

SHINEY


The Oustsiders by SE Hinton

Dune novels by Frank Herbert.

Harry Potter novels by JK Rowling

Lioness Rampant novels by Tamora Pierce
(classics from my youth)

Friday by Robert Heinlein

Xanth novels by Piers Anthony

A Wrinke in Time by ( shoot I forgot how to spell her name)

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Merry Gentry novels by Laurell K Hamilton

Artemis Fowl books by Eion Colfer

A Series of Unfortunate Events books by Lemony Snickett

Hitchicker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

There's more but since I'm such a bookworm I'll cut it at that length.



"Oh My God It's Grotesque! Oh And There's Something In A Jar."

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