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All-Time Favorite Books?

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Carmel1379
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#41

Post by Carmel1379 »

Some of the books whose titles I've read in this thread, which I read start-to-finish & liked a lot:

The Brothers Karamazov (clem), Gravity's Rainbow & Blood Meridian (funky & Reflect), The Book of Job (Gershwin), 1984 (nimimerkillinen & Stijak), Crash (beavis), The Book of Disquiet (brokenface), Voyage au bout de la nuit & Neuromancer (cinephage), The Master and Margarita (Mysterious Dude), The Trial & Crime and Punishment (Coco & RBG), Norwegian Wood (outdoorcats & Lonewolf), Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Leopardi), Heart of Darkness (rnilsson), The Castle (Kafka) (PirateJenny).

The way I've written this sounds like you're complicit in a stage play of making the ultimate masterpiece that in actuality is probably this forum. :turned:

If you don't see your (nick)name above, then that means I haven't read anything from your selection! Btw, skimming through all the lists here, is it just me or is LOTR (which I read in a Polish translation) winning?

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prodigalgodson
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#42

Post by prodigalgodson »

Top 20 (atm)...

Apaches (Oakley Hall)
Augustus (John Williams)
Blood's a Rover (James Ellroy)
Blood Meridian (Cormac McCarthy)
The Brothers Karamazov (Fyodor Dostoevsky)
Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoevsky)
Gravity's Rainbow (Thomas Pynchon)
The Lover (Margeurite Duras)
Middlemarch (George Eliot)
Notes of a Native Son (James Baldwin)
Notes on the Cinematographer (Robert Bresson)
Pale Fire (Vladimir Nabokov)
The Radiance of the King (Camara Laye)
Republic (Plato)
Red Harvest (Dashiell Hammett)
Suttree (Cormac McCarthy)
War and Peace (Leo Tolstoy)
Warlock (Oakley Hall)
Watchmen (Alan Moore)
White Jazz (James Ellroy)
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gunnar
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#43

Post by gunnar »

Favorites

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
Magician by Raymond Feist
pretty much anything by Lois McMaster Bujold (but I'll choose Memory just to pick one)
The Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon (cheating a bit since it is 3 books in one)
Lord Valentine's Castle by Robert Silverberg
Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov
Shogun by James Clavell
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mendel
Doctors by Erich Segal
Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Scout's Progress by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
The Praxis by Walter Jon Williams
Sherwood by Parke Godwin
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein
Small Gods by Terry Pratchett
Master of the Game by Sidney Sheldon
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

and many others
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#44

Post by RolandKirkSunglasses »

Master & Margarita - Mikhail Bulgakov
Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
Don Quixote - Miguel de Cervantes
In Search of Lost Time - Marcel Proust
Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoevsky
100 Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Middlemarch - George Eliot
Master of Go - Yasunari Kawabata
Count of Monte Cristo - Alexander Dumas
Civilisation & Capitalism - Fernand Braudel
Single-Storey America - Ilya Ilf & Evgeny Petrov
Darkness at Noon - Arthur Koestler
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#45

Post by prodigalgodson »

A current top 10, off the rip:

1. Middlemarch -- George Eliot
2. The Crossing -- Cormac McCarthy
3. Gravity's Rainbow -- Thomas Pynchon
4. Moby Dick -- Herman Melville
5. Republic -- Plato
6. Crime and Punishment -- Fyodor Dostoevsky
7. Blood's a Rover -- James Ellroy
8. Notes of a Native Son -- James Baldwin
9. Augustus -- John Williams
10. Pale Fire -- Vladimir Nabokov
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#46

Post by mightysparks »

The Goodreads link I posted years ago is messed up but I keep a spreadsheet list now. So my current top 10:

1. Flesh And Blood - Graham Masterton (1994)
2. Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card (1985)
3. The Name of the Wind - Patrick Rothfuss (2007)
4. A Storm of Swords - George R.R. Martin (2000)
5. The Wise Man's Fear - Patrick Rothfuss (2011)
6. Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell (1949)
7. The Forever War - Joe Haldeman (1974)
8. Wool Omnibus - Hugh Howey (2012)
9. Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes (1966)
10. Red Dragon - Thomas Harris (1981)

I think my favourite book genre is obvious.. I need to read a lot more though before I feel super confident in my favourites list. Only the top 3 are 10/10 and I'd love to have a top 10 all 10/10.
"I do not always know what I want, but I do know what I don't want." - Stanley Kubrick

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#47

Post by gunnar »

mightysparks wrote: June 29th, 2022, 4:30 am The Goodreads link I posted years ago is messed up but I keep a spreadsheet list now. So my current top 10:

2. Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card (1985)
3. The Name of the Wind - Patrick Rothfuss (2007)
5. The Wise Man's Fear - Patrick Rothfuss (2011)

I think my favourite book genre is obvious.. I need to read a lot more though before I feel super confident in my favourites list. Only the top 3 are 10/10 and I'd love to have a top 10 all 10/10.
I love the three I quoted above. Hopefully Rothfuss is finally able to finish the third book and have it published in the near future.

I recently reread The Forever War and while I wouldn't classify it as a favorite, I did enjoy it.
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#48

Post by peeptoad »

top 20 loosely, and variably, something like this-

Lonesome Dove (Larry McMurtry)
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Hunter S. Thompson)
Dracula (Bram Stoker)
Childhood’s End (Arthur C. Clarke)
Rule of the Bone (Russell Banks)
Concrete Island (J.G. Ballard)
Post Office (Charles Bukowski)
Rabbits Rafferty (Gerald Dumas)
RE/SEARCH 10: Incredibly Strange Films (V. Vale, Andrea Juno, eds.)
Monster: The Autobiography of an LA Gang Member (Sanyika Shakur)
Cannery Row (John Steinbeck)
The Miracle of Mindfulness (Thich Nhat Hanh)
Autobiography of Malcom X (Alex Haley and Malcolm X)
The Real Frank Zappa Book (Frank Zappa)
69 (Ryu Murakami)
Into the Wild (Jon Krakauer)
The Yearling (Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings)
A Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
The Lord of the Flies (William Golding)
Young Adam (Alexander Trocchi)
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#49

Post by 3eyes »

When I was 7 my favorite book was Treasure Island. The minister was coming to dinner, and I was so looking forward to discussing it with him - and was dismayed to find that he'd never read it. A little while later I heard my mother say he was sick (not very, I think), so I made him a get well card, appropriately decorated with skull & crossbones, daggers dripping blood, etc: "Dear Alan Jenkins, I am sorry you are sick. I hope you get well soon. Maybe you will have time to read Treasure Island.

20 years later I had occasion to visit the church where he was then minister. As he came down the aisle at the beginning of the service, he dropped that card in my lap. He told me he had once used it as the basis for a sermon. (Wish I could see that.)

So, anybody's favorite childhood books?
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#50

Post by gunnar »

My favorite books that I read when I was a kid are the books in the Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators mystery series. I loved that series and still pull them out every decade or so for a reread. I can't think of any individual books that I read which stuck with me until ones that I read when I was in my teens, such as Lord Valentine's Castle by Robert Silverberg.
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#51

Post by OldAle1 »

I think I read Treasure Island when I was young also - and Swiss Family Robinson. I loved those kinds of exotic adventures (still do). I think most of what I read after getting past picture books, and before the age of 11-12, was series books like The Hardy Boys and The Lone Ranger. I still have a fondness for the former and have collected a few of the early books; don't remember anything at all about the latter, apart from vague ideas that might be mixed up with the Clayton Moore TV series.

Somewhere between 10 and 11 I started reading science fiction and fantasy, and that changed my tastes dramatically. Strong favorites from that period that were kid-oriented are Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass, and The Hobbit, which I've re-read many times since childhood. But by 12 I think I was mostly reading stuff that wasn't specifically aimed at children; I guess I was a fairly advanced reader, but in retrospect it seems that my whole brain was focused only on that - it was the only thing I was ever good at.
It was the truth, vivid and monstrous, that all the while he had waited the wait was itself his portion..
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#52

Post by peeptoad »

3eyes wrote: August 25th, 2022, 4:13 pm When I was 7 my favorite book was Treasure Island. The minister was coming to dinner, and I was so looking forward to discussing it with him - and was dismayed to find that he'd never read it. A little while later I heard my mother say he was sick (not very, I think), so I made him a get well card, appropriately decorated with skull & crossbones, daggers dripping blood, etc: "Dear Alan Jenkins, I am sorry you are sick. I hope you get well soon. Maybe you will have time to read Treasure Island.

20 years later I had occasion to visit the church where he was then minister. As he came down the aisle at the beginning of the service, he dropped that card in my lap. He told me he had once used it as the basis for a sermon. (Wish I could see that.)

So, anybody's favorite childhood books?
That's a great story... does make you wonder what that sermon consisted of.

My fav childhood books-

Rabbits Rafferty (Gerald Dumas)
The Black Stallion (Walter Farley)
the Freddy the Pig series (Bean Home News, Clockwork Twin, etc.)
anything illustrated by Wallace Tripp, esp the nonsense verses (A Great Big Ugly Man Came Up and Tied His Horse to Me is prob the best)
every single one of the Graham Oakley Church Mice books. Best picture books ever...except maybe for-
the Bill Peet books (those had great illustrations and stories as well)
the entire Wizard of Oz series (still have the Del Rey mass markets from the 1970s)
The Hungry Thing (Jan Slepian)
The Fat Cat (Jack Kent)
HobNob (Christopher Wilson) still remember what the pages smelled like
Fred and Ted (the dogs)
etc etc etc
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#53

Post by OldAle1 »

peeptoad wrote: August 25th, 2022, 4:48 pm
the entire Wizard of Oz series (still have the Del Rey mass markets from the 1970s)
You are just a few years younger than me but we sure read different books as kids - I don't remember any of the other books you list except for The Black Stallion (which I don't think I read, and haven't seen the movie either). I suppose gender differences could be part of it though I do have vague memories of reading some "girl" books alongside the manly stuff with cowboys and such. But the Oz books... funny, I didn't even think of them because I don't know that I read any of them (except maybe the original) as a kid - didn't get around to them until I was a teenager, probably in those same Del Rey editions, though I may have read some of them in earlier copies at my uncle's house - he had thousands of thousands of books of all kinds and when inevitably we'd be there for the family reunion, and it rained all day, that's where I'd be. Anyway I love Oz and have read through I think the 5th or 6th of Ruth Plumley Thompson's books. I see early or first editions all the time in used book stores but they're a bit out of my price range; maybe I'll manage to collect everything in later reprints, someday.
It was the truth, vivid and monstrous, that all the while he had waited the wait was itself his portion..
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#54

Post by gunnar »

I've never read the Oz books, though I do have a box set of hardcovers that I bought ages ago (and have yet to even really look through). I'm a few years younger than you as well, OldAle. I loved the Black Stallion books when I was a kid, though they had slipped my mind when I posted above. I've reread them a couple of times over the years, but not recently. I thought the movie was good, but I was a bit disappointed compared to the books.

I read the Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and Bobbsey Twins books when I was a kid. My mom had around 40 of the Bobbsey Twins books from when she was a kid that I read multiple times until I outgrew them. I preferred the Nancy Drew series to the Hardy Boys. There was a promotion back in 1978/79 to send in proof of purchases (I think from toothpaste) and get the hardcover books at a really cheap price. My dad had access to lots of those proofs of purchases so I filled a bunch of holes in my collection. When we went on a family trip to California, I sat in the backseat reading a bunch of them during some of the long drives between places we visited.
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#55

Post by mjf314 »

My favorite book is the manga, Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou.

I don't read novels anymore, but my favorite novels are the Wizard of Oz series, which I read as a kid.

Last year I tried to read 100 Years of Solitude. The first few chapters were great, but then I started getting bored of it, and I didn't have the patience to finish it. I probably would've liked it more if it was half the length.
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#56

Post by gunnar »

mjf314 wrote: August 25th, 2022, 5:41 pm My favorite book is the manga, Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou.
I love YKK, too, and was really happy when Seven Seas picked it up for omnibus publication. The first book is out now and will hopefully show up at the place I ordered it from soon.
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#57

Post by OldAle1 »

gunnar wrote: August 25th, 2022, 5:34 pm
I read the Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and Bobbsey Twins books when I was a kid. My mom had around 40 of the Bobbsey Twins books from when she was a kid that I read multiple times until I outgrew them. I preferred the Nancy Drew series to the Hardy Boys. There was a promotion back in 1978/79 to send in proof of purchases (I think from toothpaste) and get the hardcover books at a really cheap price. My dad had access to lots of those proofs of purchases so I filled a bunch of holes in my collection. When we went on a family trip to California, I sat in the backseat reading a bunch of them during some of the long drives between places we visited.
It's funny, I don't think I ever read any Nancy Drew (or Trixie Belden for that matter). I think the Hardy Boys books I had were mostly given to me as presents, and while I don't think my parents were super-conservative about gender roles they probably just thought it was normal for a boy to get Hardy Boys; and I only had a brother, so that reinforced the unconscious thinking. Did you see the TV series? Premiered in the fall of 77 when I was 11; I had forgotten until coming across it on IMDb one day that it combined the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew into one series. I watched an episode not long ago (they were or are on YouTube)... remembered the theme music, that's pretty distinctive, but little else. Not sure my nostalgia is strong enough to watch much more than the one I caught.

I remember the Bobbsey Twins also, I think I read 2-3 of those - have one on my shelf behind me now. That's really old-timer stuff now - since they never turned them into movies or TV they have really faded from the public consciousness. Looks like the last books were published in 1992, so it'd be the rare person under 40 who would have any knowledge of them.
It was the truth, vivid and monstrous, that all the while he had waited the wait was itself his portion..
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#58

Post by mjf314 »

gunnar wrote: August 25th, 2022, 6:00 pm
mjf314 wrote: August 25th, 2022, 5:41 pm My favorite book is the manga, Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou.
I love YKK, too, and was really happy when Seven Seas picked it up for omnibus publication. The first book is out now and will hopefully show up at the place I ordered it from soon.
I was planning to order it, but I didn't order it because of the bad print quality. Some parts are too dark and a lot of detail is lost.

If they fix it in a future release, then I'll order it.
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#59

Post by gunnar »

mjf314 wrote: August 25th, 2022, 7:30 pm
gunnar wrote: August 25th, 2022, 6:00 pm
mjf314 wrote: August 25th, 2022, 5:41 pm My favorite book is the manga, Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou.
I love YKK, too, and was really happy when Seven Seas picked it up for omnibus publication. The first book is out now and will hopefully show up at the place I ordered it from soon.
I was planning to order it, but I didn't order it because of the bad print quality. Some parts are too dark and a lot of detail is lost.

If they fix it in a future release, then I'll order it.
That's a shame. Seven Seas has done a nice job on many other series that I've read.
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#60

Post by 3eyes »

I had 3 Oz books: Wizard, Lost King (Thomson), Wonder City (Neill) all of which I read over and over. Later my sister got into Oz and we got more whenever we visited Marshall Field's in Chicago, the nearest big department store. I don't really remember those, though.

Nancy Drew and her chums are racing the storm in her roadster, which is a different color in every book. They finally take shelter somewhere and come on a suspicious circumstance and the mystery begins.

The Hardy boys are walking down the street and one of them says "Follow that man!" and off they (and the plot) go. (I only read a couple of those.)

We once tried to figure out how to write a Nancy Drew play. Got as far as the Ned pushing Nancy in the orange wagon and a hose draped over the porch railing for the storm, but couldn't think of a plot.
Last edited by 3eyes on August 25th, 2022, 7:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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#61

Post by gunnar »

OldAle1 wrote: August 25th, 2022, 6:17 pm It's funny, I don't think I ever read any Nancy Drew (or Trixie Belden for that matter). I think the Hardy Boys books I had were mostly given to me as presents, and while I don't think my parents were super-conservative about gender roles they probably just thought it was normal for a boy to get Hardy Boys; and I only had a brother, so that reinforced the unconscious thinking. Did you see the TV series? Premiered in the fall of 77 when I was 11; I had forgotten until coming across it on IMDb one day that it combined the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew into one series. I watched an episode not long ago (they were or are on YouTube)... remembered the theme music, that's pretty distinctive, but little else. Not sure my nostalgia is strong enough to watch much more than the one I caught.
My dad was an elementary school teacher so I got introduced to a lot of books that way, including the various mystery series. I only have a brother as well (older by 5 years), but he wasn't one that enjoyed reading very much, except for Richie Rich and Uncle Scrooge. I did watch the Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew tv show and I remember loving it at the time. I was 7 when it first aired. The kids in my dad's class asked him to play Shaun Cassidy songs with some regularity. I rewatched the first season back in 2014 and liked it, though I haven't gotten around to rewatching the second or third season. Nancy Drew was dropped for the third season. I tried watching the current Nancy Drew tv series, but gave up after one episode. I did like the 4 Nancy Drew movies from the 1930s and the two more recent movies with the character.
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#62

Post by OldAle1 »

Oh yeah, I like the original Nancy Drew films too - I guess I have a thing for Bonita Granville. I vaguely knew that there was a newer TV series, no idea that there were more recent films. I guess old characters never die if there's still money to be made and they can be fairly easily updated to the present.

I remember Shaun Cassidy being a HUGE sex symbol in the late 70s, definitely remember that he was on a lot of teen magazines at the time.
It was the truth, vivid and monstrous, that all the while he had waited the wait was itself his portion..
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#63

Post by peeptoad »

OldAle1 wrote: August 25th, 2022, 5:21 pm
peeptoad wrote: August 25th, 2022, 4:48 pm
the entire Wizard of Oz series (still have the Del Rey mass markets from the 1970s)
You are just a few years younger than me but we sure read different books as kids - I don't remember any of the other books you list except for The Black Stallion (which I don't think I read, and haven't seen the movie either). I suppose gender differences could be part of it though I do have vague memories of reading some "girl" books alongside the manly stuff with cowboys and such. But the Oz books... funny, I didn't even think of them because I don't know that I read any of them (except maybe the original) as a kid - didn't get around to them until I was a teenager, probably in those same Del Rey editions, though I may have read some of them in earlier copies at my uncle's house - he had thousands of thousands of books of all kinds and when inevitably we'd be there for the family reunion, and it rained all day, that's where I'd be. Anyway I love Oz and have read through I think the 5th or 6th of Ruth Plumley Thompson's books. I see early or first editions all the time in used book stores but they're a bit out of my price range; maybe I'll manage to collect everything in later reprints, someday.
I read a lot of stuff having to do with animals (Lloyd Alexander, etc) as a kid and never got into the Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys books, but almost everyone I knew at that age had them. That might be why some of the stuff isn't recognizable. E.g. the Freddy the Pig stuff were originally my dad's from the 1940s. Several of those I mentioned were picture books though, from my very early years.
The Oz books are great. Ozma of Oz and the Patchwork Girl of Oz were my favorites I think. Loved the Glass Cat and the Gnome King. Here are some of the Del Reys-

Image

Also, I forgot Pippi Longstocking books. Loved those, esp Pippi in the South Seas...
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#64

Post by OldAle1 »

Oh yeah, I sure remember those spines. I have a bunch of them - not sure where they are, but I have them. Don't remember which were my favorites really, and I doubt I read most of them (apart from the first) more than once. And actually now I remember - after I moved to Chicago to go to school, the first time I went to a used & rare book store I bought an old hardcover of Kabumpo in Oz

Image

- I think this was before Del Rey started reprinting any of the post-Baum books. It was likely the first book I ever paid a real "collectible" price for - $40 back in 1983-4 or so. And still the only early edition of any of the books I own - realized pretty soon that this was an area of collecting that was beyond me (and still is).

I don't think I ever read Pippi but I've certainly been aware of her adventures for a long time. I remember we had a whole bunch of the movies at the video store I worked at - all English-dubbed I think. Scary box covers like this one

Image

I feel like I tried to watch one but couldn't take it - that was back in the days before I became an obsessive who won't turn anything off.
It was the truth, vivid and monstrous, that all the while he had waited the wait was itself his portion..
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#65

Post by peeptoad »

That is kind of an off putting cover. I don't think I've seen any of the films except maybe snippets from when they occasionally aired on local UHF TV.
I'm not into collecting either. I paid around 20$ for a comic once but that's about it. I actually just went looking for a cheap, used copy of Bukowski's Post Office and saw one listed for 5800 dollars. Yikes.
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#66

Post by OldAle1 »

Oh I am into collecting - just not, generally, into paying hundreds or thousands of dollars for any individual thing. I do look for deals, and I've sold stuff on eBay before and will again, so occasionally I will spend a little bit on something - I bought a copy of the comic where Art Spiegelman introduced his Maus story a few months ago for, I think around $150 for instance, but that was probably a steal. And I have a few others books and comics that were comparable in price, but very few. At the time I bought that Kabumpo, $40 seemed like a deal - and it would be today even inflation-adjusted to $120 or so - but those Thompson Oz books all did got reprinted, first by Del Rey in paperback and then by Books of Wonder in hardcover, and if I ever decided to re-start my Oz collecting, that's the direction I'll go in. I do love quality editions and first editions and such, but even if they weren't generally out of my price range I'm really much more interested in the content. It's only tricky when you want something that never has been reprinted and you can't access it without paying a lot, but even though my tastes can be pretty eccentric that is rarely the case. And really, while the internet has helped explode the price of the really rare collectibles, it's probably actually brought down the prices of a lot of less-rare stuff and certainly made things much easier to find if they were never published near where you live. I've slowly been collecting Mervyn Peake (the Gormenghast books for those unfamiliar with the name) and apart from his trilogy almost none of his stuff was ever published in the USA, and finding it in physical stores even in big cities was/is near-impossible. But now it's just a button away.
It was the truth, vivid and monstrous, that all the while he had waited the wait was itself his portion..
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#67

Post by brokenface »

On the childhood favourite books, Treasure Island was one of mine too. Certain others of the old classics type like Wind in the Willows, Alice in Wonderland. Also very much liked Roald Dahl (The Twits esp.,) who was probably #1 author for any British kid in 80s/early 90s. Plus some in that kid detective realm like Enid Blyton (Secret Seven/Famous Five) + Hardy boys.

Then more onto fantasy - Narnia + Tolkien - and horror: Point Horror books and then naturally on to Stephen King. And science fiction which prob came first via John Wyndham and Hitchhiker's Guide at some point + I think I just had a few random short story collections.
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#68

Post by blocho »

I was a ravenous reader as a child and could mention many books that were favorites, but I'll highlight only one for now:

The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill

Has anyone read this one? It's a delightful political satire and a great New York book. I read it again about a decade ago and it holds up very well for the adult reader.
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#69

Post by OldAle1 »

blocho wrote: August 26th, 2022, 4:25 pm I was a ravenous reader as a child and could mention many books that were favorites, but I'll highlight only one for now:

The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill

Has anyone read this one? It's a delightful political satire and a great New York book. I read it again about a decade ago and it holds up very well for the adult reader.
Never read it but I knew the title and the picture of the cover was instantly familiar. Hmm, maybe I'll look for it in the library today.
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#70

Post by 3eyes »

Well, The Alice books of course; Mary Poppins series; Pooh; Thornton W. Burgess, esp. the Burgess Bird Book for Children; The Lost World. That takes me to ca age 10. Most of these were initially read to me by adults.

I was at my cousin's a few times when her father was reading the Swiss Family Robinson - all I remember is whatever they needed - ladder, saw, etc. -- Mrs. Robinson had one in her reticule (whatever that was).

At 12 I got into the 3 Musketeers series and eventually read them all - tho all the shenningans at Louis XIV's court were beyond my ken.
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#71

Post by blocho »

I'm going to list some more childhood favorites. I'm going to keep it to books I read before the age of 10 or so because after that I was mainly reading "adult" books (though I find the distinction between children's literature and adult literature a bit artificial).

- The Tintin books
- Henry Winterfield (Trouble in Timpetill, Detectives in Togas, etc.)
- Robert Lawson (The Fabulous Flight, etc.)
- Erich Kastner (The Flying Classroom, Emil and the Detectives)
- Rosemary Sutcliff (she wrote a lot of historical fiction set in Roman-era Britain)
- Lloyd Alexander (The Chronicles of Prydain)
- Roald Dahl
- Natalie Babbitt (The Search for Delicious, Tuck Everlasting)
- The Rats of NIMH series
- Susan Cooper (The Dark Is Rising series)
- Diana Wynne Jones (Dalemark series)

And though I can't say I enjoyed them quite as much as the above, I was at certain points, a voluminous reader of:
- Agatha Christie books
- Hardy Boys books
- Boxcar Children books
- A biography series called "Childhood of Famous Americans"
- John Bellairs (he wrote a lot of Gothic mystery/fantasy)

I also read some of the books others have mentioned (Pippi Longstocking, Treasure Island, The Swiss Family Robinson), and I liked them, but I can't say they were favorites.

Looking at this selection overall, it becomes clear to me that there was a deep interest in fantasy and adventure stories as well as a tremendous interest in history.
Last edited by blocho on August 26th, 2022, 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#72

Post by blocho »

OldAle1 wrote: August 26th, 2022, 4:30 pm Never read it but I knew the title and the picture of the cover was instantly familiar. Hmm, maybe I'll look for it in the library today.
I spoke to the author, Jean Merrill, on one occasion. This was about 15 years ago. I was doing a fair bit of freelance writing at the time, and I had an idea to write an article about the book -- a "50 years later" kind of thing. I don't remember how I got her number, but I spoke with her briefly on the phone to get some info so I could make a pitch. Unfortunately, I couldn't get any of the publications I wrote for interested in the idea. And then Jean Merrill died a few years later.
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#73

Post by Minkin »

The Hardy Boys 100% hold up. One of my early collector's goals (and I managed to complete this) was to own all of the "original" blue book (Grosset & Dunlap) series. A friend and I used to trade off reading them, and they're just absurd, with lines like,

"Chet let out the bellows of a walrus' mating call"

Then Chet eats the entire cake that was supposed to be for a party. Also, every book is about smugglers; or one of them ends up temporarily unconscious - which must leave them with some serious chronic traumatic encephalopathy. It blew my mind when I realized most of the books were written in the 30s and then "updated" in the 50s (and then not updated since then). I'd like to track down the originals someday, as I'd wonder what they would do before having some of their 50's conveniences. I downloaded copies of all ~190 books a few years ago and eventually want to see what dirtbike Frank & Joe is like in the 2000s.

That, Sideways Stories from Wayside School and Goosebumps were my main childhood reading indulgences. I did Book It at least one summer + made it to the free pizza level too - which was probably the start of my visual progression love.

Random story: My 6th grade English class required us to read like 6 books a year, of our own choosing (from a lengthy list), but we had to take a digital test on details of the book once completed. They had most everything, but it was sorted by reading difficulty, and I wanted to challenge myself by picking the most difficult book - so I started reading Profiles in Courage... until I got a chapter through it and realized the test would be super difficult on this one. And then I found out your grade or anything didn't matter based on what reading difficulty you chose, so I abandoned JFK and chose the "my bus driver is a gargoyle" series to just get the bare minimum easy requirement over and done with so I could move on with my life and go play Runescape.
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#74

Post by blocho »

Minkin wrote: August 27th, 2022, 12:15 am so I abandoned JFK
Except JFK didn't actually write it. Ted Sorensen was the ghostwriter. He kept it a secret for 50 years.
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