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Favourite Books?

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#81

Post by burneyfan »

brokenface on Sep 20 2013, 06:13:04 AM wrote:
mightysparks on Sep 20 2013, 06:02:22 AM wrote:And my favourite book is about a mythological tree monster who rapes and impregnates women in return for making the crops grow and returns to kill the grandchildren years later. Also there is a giant pig who has a brain transplant from one of the grandchildren of said tree guy and then goes on a rampage.
ah that old story.
All the neighborhood kids used to re-enact that story. We used to fight over who got to be the brain-transplanted pig, and nobody wanted to be the crops.
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#82

Post by mightysparks »

burneyfan on Sep 20 2013, 06:21:11 AM wrote:
brokenface on Sep 20 2013, 06:13:04 AM wrote:
mightysparks on Sep 20 2013, 06:02:22 AM wrote:And my favourite book is about a mythological tree monster who rapes and impregnates women in return for making the crops grow and returns to kill the grandchildren years later. Also there is a giant pig who has a brain transplant from one of the grandchildren of said tree guy and then goes on a rampage.
ah that old story.
All the neighborhood kids used to re-enact that story. We used to fight over who got to be the brain-transplanted pig, and nobody wanted to be the crops.
Well the crops don't feature heavily :whistling: It starts off with a dude chopping off the heads of his kids, but one gets free and he goes to jail. Then the tree monster (who is the guy's father) and his mates come to 'collect' and deal with him. Whilst this is happening, these scientist people take the brain of his youngest son and put it into the genetically modified pig, but because the kid was spawn of the tree guy, it causes the pig to become violent and it escapes the facility to go on a rampage.

I've read it about 5 times in the last 10 years but I JUST LOVE IT SO MUCH. GRAHAM MASTERTON IS THE BEST.
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#83

Post by brokenface »

I just googled him and see he wrote the book that The Manitou is based on :lol: I know burney is a big fan of that one.

also he has a surprising amount of sex instruction books in his bibliography :whistling:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graham_Masterton
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#84

Post by mightysparks »

Yeah I don't know what is up with all that sex stuff :/ But his horror books are great. His writing style really appeals to me, although I wouldn't say he was a 'great' writer. He is my favourite author though. My dad got a bunch of books of his from a friend when I was 12 and after he read Flesh and Blood he recommended it to me and I fell instantly in love.
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#85

Post by burneyfan »

brokenface on Sep 20 2013, 06:49:14 AM wrote:I just googled him and see he wrote the book that The Manitou is based on :lol: I know burney is a big fan of that one.
:o :/ :facepalm:


Ohhhhh, The Manitou...I'm looking for the "ick, shudder" emoticon. Kaspar just saw that film in the past week, and based on what he ranted told me, I think he's another big Manitou fan. tehe
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#86

Post by Kasparius »

Tony Curtis was fabulous....
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#87

Post by cinephage »

brokenface on Sep 20 2013, 06:13:04 AM wrote:
mightysparks on Sep 20 2013, 06:02:22 AM wrote:And my favourite book is about a mythological tree monster who rapes and impregnates women in return for making the crops grow and returns to kill the grandchildren years later. Also there is a giant pig who has a brain transplant from one of the grandchildren of said tree guy and then goes on a rampage.
ah that old story.
Well, you know, it's a classic. You can't really discuss litterature without it being mentioned at one point...
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#88

Post by jgwr »

I'm actually kind of bothered that I can't really come up with much of a list. It's not that I don't read at all (like some), but I don't feel I've ever read as much as I should, and I'm running out of time to catch up on stuff I've missed. Too many of the classics I've never read, so I keep trying to remedy that (been on a bit of a 19th century fiction jag for a while). But it takes a lot more time and mental effort compared with a film, so I tend not to re-read much.

With that caveat, and bearing in mind I haven't read some of these books in a lot of years, this is a possible partial list of favourites...

Homer—The Iliad, The Odyssey
Virgil—The Aeneid [at least in the John Dryden translation]
Marcus Aurelius—Meditations
Edward Gibbon—Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire*
Mikhail Lermontov—A Hero of Our Time
Herman Melville—Moby-Dick
Ivan Goncharov—Oblomov**
Friedrich Nietzsche—Zarathustra, The Antichrist
James Joyce—Ulysses
John Cowper Powys—A Glastonbury Romance
Kevin Brownlow—The Parade's Gone By
Patrick Suskind—Perfume
Joscelyn Godwin—Arktos
plus various plays (mostly the tragedies) by Wm Shakespeare, verse tales by Lord Byron, stories by HP Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith

* And yes, I have read the entire thing (3000 pages in the edition I have).
** Only read this for the first time last year. I don't often have "instant" classics any more, but I certainly had one with this. Incredible.
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#89

Post by mightysparks »

I've picked up reading again this year and so am finally starting to get around to some of the classics (mostly the sci-fi classics...). The only 'instant' favourite I've had recently was Ender's Game. There have been some other really great books I loved, but I only read that a few weeks ago and I had no hesitations putting it at #2.
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#90

Post by Spiritchaser »

The Man Without Qualities (Musil)
Crime and Punishment (Dostoevsky)
Street of Crocodiles (Schulz)
Dead Souls (Gogol)
The Book of Disquiet (Pessoa)
One Hundred Years of Solitude (Garcia Marquez)
The Labyrinth of Solitude (Paz)
Pedro Paramo (Rulfo)
The Obscene Bird of Night (Donoso)
Journey to the End of the Night (Celine)
The Magic Mountain (Mann)
Death in the Andes (Vargas Llosa)
Hunger (Hamsun)
Children of Gebelawi (Mahfouz)
The Family of Pascual Duarte (Cela)
Things Fall Apart (Achebe)
Catch-22 (Heller)
The Return of the Native (Hardy)

If I were to pick just ONE book, that'd most definitely be Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment (though my favourite book is The Man Without Qualities) - the singular, most impressive novel that has left a tremendous impact on the works of literature, philosophy, film, music, psychology, etc.
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#91

Post by brokenface »

Spiritchaser on Sep 28 2013, 10:10:36 AM wrote:Crime and Punishment (Dostoevsky)
The Book of Disquiet (Pessoa)
One Hundred Years of Solitude (Garcia Marquez)
Hunger (Hamsun)
Catch-22 (Heller)
(l) (l) (l) (l) (l)

most of the others I haven't read but as you list 5 of my favourites I probably should :)
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#92

Post by Leopardi »

Spiritchaser on Sep 28 2013, 10:10:36 AM wrote:The Man Without Qualities (Musil)
Crime and Punishment (Dostoevsky)
Street of Crocodiles (Schulz)
Dead Souls (Gogol)
The Book of Disquiet (Pessoa)
One Hundred Years of Solitude (Garcia Marquez)
The Labyrinth of Solitude (Paz)
Pedro Paramo (Rulfo)
The Obscene Bird of Night (Donoso)
Journey to the End of the Night (Celine)
The Magic Mountain (Mann)
Death in the Andes (Vargas Llosa)
Hunger (Hamsun)
Children of Gebelawi (Mahfouz)
The Family of Pascual Duarte (Cela)
Things Fall Apart (Achebe)
Catch-22 (Heller)
The Return of the Native (Hardy)

If I were to pick just ONE book, that'd most definitely be Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment (though my favourite book is The Man Without Qualities) - the singular, most impressive novel that has left a tremendous impact on the works of literature, philosophy, film, music, psychology, etc.
I've been working my way through Dostoevsky's writings more or less chronologically over the last twenty years and have finally reached his 'Big Five'. I think this will be the year of Crime and Punishment and the anticipation is killing me!

Good to know you enjoyed Hunger. I have Mysteries on my shelf but I haven't read it yet or anything else by Hamsun, and in fact you're the first person I've heard comment on his works at all, so it's nice to know you think highly of him!

And finally, Street of Crocodiles looks amazing. I picked it up last year and it's high on my list of books I'm excited about. It's nice to see somebody else appreciates it!

All in all a very nice list. Thanks for sharing it!
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#93

Post by Spiritchaser »

brokenface on Sep 28 2013, 10:22:57 AM wrote:
Spiritchaser on Sep 28 2013, 10:10:36 AM wrote:Crime and Punishment (Dostoevsky)
The Book of Disquiet (Pessoa)
One Hundred Years of Solitude (Garcia Marquez)
Hunger (Hamsun)
Catch-22 (Heller)
(l) (l) (l) (l) (l)

most of the others I haven't read but as you list 5 of my favourites I probably should :)
I'm drawn towards the magical realism which permeated South American literature. I highly recommend the novels of Octavio Paz, Gabriel Vargas Llosa, Jorge Luis Borges, Carlos Fuentes and Ernesto Sabato.

I still have a lot of writers that I desperately need to read, especially Murakami. So if anybody has any recommendations for Asian literature (Japanese, Chinese or Southeast Asian) feel free to post away!
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#94

Post by brokenface »

I love Borges too. read one each of Llosa and Sabato. will look out for some Paz & Fuentes.

Love Murakami. I started with Hard Boiled Wonderland & the End of the World. Norwegian Wood would be another good starter. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is my favourite, but I haven't read them all (building up the energy to tackle IQ84 next)

sadly I'm totally ignorant about other Asian writers though.
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#95

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Spiritchaser on Sep 28 2013, 11:06:46 AM wrote:
brokenface on Sep 28 2013, 10:22:57 AM wrote:
Spiritchaser on Sep 28 2013, 10:10:36 AM wrote:Crime and Punishment (Dostoevsky)
The Book of Disquiet (Pessoa)
One Hundred Years of Solitude (Garcia Marquez)
Hunger (Hamsun)
Catch-22 (Heller)
(l) (l) (l) (l) (l)

most of the others I haven't read but as you list 5 of my favourites I probably should :)
I'm drawn towards the magical realism which permeated South American literature. I highly recommend the novels of Octavio Paz, Gabriel Vargas Llosa, Jorge Luis Borges, Carlos Fuentes and Ernesto Sabato.

I still have a lot of writers that I desperately need to read, especially Murakami. So if anybody has any recommendations for Asian literature (Japanese, Chinese or Southeast Asian) feel free to post away!
I can't help but notice The Master and Margarita's not in your list (it's the first novel that springs to mind when I think of magical realism, along with One Hundred Years of Solitude). Is it that you haven't gotten around to reading it yet, or didn't you care for it? If you haven't read it yet, I'd definitely recommend it!
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#96

Post by Gershwin »

Nice list, Spiritchaser. Most of these are among my favourites or have been high on my watchlist for ages. :thumbsup:
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#97

Post by mightysparks »

You guys read such weird books :/
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#98

Post by Gershwin »

That's what they call literature, dear.
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#99

Post by mightysparks »

What I find confusing is 1) how you guys even hear about these books. I've barely heard of anything mentioned in this thread. And 2) why most of these plots sound interesting to you :lol: . At school we weren't really encouraged to read, and although I loved reading, I never ventured out of the sci-fi/horror area.
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#100

Post by Cippenham »

Seems to me its a bit like the canon for films, there is a canon for the greatest books

eg The Guardian

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2003/o ... es.fiction

Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_100_Be ... f_All_Time
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#101

Post by Gershwin »

Yeah, that would be a nice way to start, indeed. I had quite good introductions in Dutch, English, German and French literature when I was in high school, but that's basically the same as these canonical lists.

Plus, I've got some friends who studied literature. We know each others tastes, they recommend me some books, I recommend them some films. It works well. Like I pick up a lot of great films here. :)
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#102

Post by mightysparks »

Books are a lot harder than film. I've tried looking for good canonical lists but it's hard to find a decent one. Also, if I'm watching a bad film, it's only 2 hours of my life wasted. It's a lot longer if it's a book :whistling: I rarely find book summaries interesting.
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#103

Post by Marazmatique »

My favorites are a mixture of Russian classics and fantasy books, but I couldn't rank them between themselves.

Btw, is anyone here a member on Goodreads by any chance? Here's my page: http://www.goodreads.com/Marazmatique
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#104

Post by mightysparks »

A few of us are on GoodReads, I added you. I also made a group for us: http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/110 ... vies-forum though we don't really use it :P
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#105

Post by Marazmatique »

Hah, cool.

Most of goodreads isn't too awfully active. Books take a hell of a lot more time than movies, after all.
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#106

Post by Pretentious Hipster »

mightysparks on Sep 29 2013, 04:32:01 AM wrote:What I find confusing is 1) how you guys even hear about these books. I've barely heard of anything mentioned in this thread. And 2) why most of these plots sound interesting to you :lol: . At school we weren't really encouraged to read, and although I loved reading, I never ventured out of the sci-fi/horror area.
http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/497. ... _book_ever this is a great list

High School kind of ruined reading for me. They assumed that every book didn't have any literal meaning and everything was always a metaphor. There was also my grade 12 English teacher. He was very passionate about literature but he had this attitude that was like "If you can't fully analyze and enjoy The Great Gatsby and The Stone Angel (both books are shit btw) then you should just give up on trying to get into reading". Good thing there was that sick fuck Bataille that got me back into reading last year.
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#107

Post by mightysparks »

Everything we had to 'analyze' in highschool I ended up hating. Dunno if just highschool, or the films/books sucked, or I just hated not being able to interpret things my way :P What always annoyed me is this:

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Why does EVERYTHING has to have an ulterior motive? And why do we always have to know what everything meant?? This is why I hate objective criticism. When I wrote good and detailed essays disagreeing, I got low marks, when I wrote poorly written essays agreeing, I got high marks.

So, now I just read for me (goes for films too :P ). No-one's going to tell me how to read a book and watch a film.
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#108

Post by Marazmatique »

Over the course of high school there were so many times I'd wonder what the book authors themselves would think of all the hidden meanings my literature teacher dug up in their writing... Though in the case of my teacher I think she was right most of the time. Literature with her was fascinating, by far my favorite class.
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#109

Post by mightysparks »

I loved English class in primary school, but then in highschool it was basically my teacher telling us what to find in the books and what they were supposed to mean. We were discouraged from 'thinking for ourselves' and I hated it. I don't mind a teacher saying 'I see this and this and this' but encourage us to think as well. Once I realised thinking for myself was going to make me fail the class, I would just go on SparkNotes, steal everything, vomit out the most superficial and empty essay possible and all of a sudden my marks started increasing.

As you can probably tell, I'm still quite angry about this and which is why I can't stay out of arguments on the forum regarding objectivity and authorial intent :P

I just want reading to be fun.
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#110

Post by Marazmatique »

My teacher's approach was different. She'd basically ask questions or lead a discussion leading up to the students 'discovering' the hidden meaning or metaphor or connection, eventually getting into a state of "Whoa! NOW I GET IT! Cool." Never really just saying "this means this and that means that, because I say so. And if someone made a conclusion different from hers, eh, that was fine.

The one time I recall her getting angry and lashing out bad grades over an opinion was when a student plainly said "I don't like it and I think it's utter shit" to what she considered a work of art. :lol: And that probably could've been avoided if the student could rationally explain WHY they thought it was shit.

That class was exclusively russian literature btw.
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#111

Post by Gershwin »

But it's cool, that's how literature should be taught. My teachers did it that way, and I loved it. :)
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#112

Post by Spiritchaser »

The Master & Margarita is on my watchlist. Thanks for reminding me to read that.

Literature isn't as accessible as film, but the beauty of it is that one can stop reading halfway and continue another day, and suddenly one sees the same piece of work from a different perspective. In other words you dictate the pace of the activity, whereas for film it seems that the objective is to complete the film in one sitting as quickly as possible, and then analyse the work. So different styles, different approaches being used here. It took me 1 month to complete Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception, and to this day it remains as one of the best philosophy books I have ever read.

On the other hand there are some books that are too inaccessible and difficult. For instance, Deleuze's Difference and Repetition, Levinas' Totality and Infinity and Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach were so frustrating to read that I never got past a few pages. :verymad:

By the way, do you guys have any favourite non-fiction books? V.S. Ramachandran's Phantoms in the Brain was rather thought-provoking, especially when the author probes the age old philosophical problems of knowledge and the self using neuroscience as the breakthrough process.
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#113

Post by brokenface »

Spiritchaser on Sep 29 2013, 09:37:26 AM wrote:Literature isn't as accessible as film, but the beauty of it is that one can stop reading halfway and continue another day, and suddenly one sees the same piece of work from a different perspective. In other words you dictate the pace of the activity, whereas for film it seems that the objective is to complete the film in one sitting as quickly as possible, and then analyse the work.
very true. I'm usually reading several books at once because I can just put them down and pick them up depending on mood. films are much more dictatorial in that way, they decide everything. books are more of a negotiation.
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#114

Post by Chilton »

In terms of canonical lists, this one is very interesting, both international and with different kinds of literature: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_100_B ... f_All_Time

And then this one, only 14 non-English books in the top 100, I think, but still a very interesting list: http://www.teachthought.com/featured/th ... -all-time/
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#115

Post by jgwr »

Spiritchaser on Sep 28 2013, 11:06:46 AM wrote:I still have a lot of writers that I desperately need to read, especially Murakami. So if anybody has any recommendations for Asian literature (Japanese, Chinese or Southeast Asian) feel free to post away!
My total knowledge of Asian literature amounts to some of Ryunosuke Akutagawa's stories, which I really liked. "Hell Screen" in particular is incredible.
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#116

Post by funkybusiness »

David Bowie's favorite books. http://www.stereogum.com/1503111/david- ... ooks/list/

I'm 7/100 with 1 currently reading. Nifty list. A lot of things I haven't heard of before.
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#117

Post by Kasparius »

Cool!!
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#118

Post by Spiritchaser »

100 Non-American Books that every American should read:

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/553 ... ead#127047

100 Best Books of All Time: The World Library List:

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/944 ... ist#127047

The Guardian Top 100 Books:

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/202 ... ime?page=1
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#119

Post by Gershwin »

I love how The Book of Job is on some of these lists. Best religious book ever. :happy:
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#120

Post by Spiritchaser »

Gershwin on Oct 7 2013, 05:16:36 PM wrote:I love how The Book of Job is on some of these lists. Best religious book ever. :happy:
Haha. What are your favourite books, Gershwin?
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