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hairyman
19-09-2005, 11:47
Ok, following on from Soy's albums thread (and apologies if this has been done before; I had a vague sense of deja vu when typing the title), what are your favourite ten books?

My best go at narrowing down centuries of literature into ten titles:

The Gormenghast trilogy - Mervyn Peake Atmospheric and full of wonderful characters

The Glass Bead Game - Herman Hesse His best work, IMO.

The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien Had to be on the list.

Brighton Rock - Graham Greene Don't know if it was just the tme I read this, but it utterly sucked me in. Has one of the nastiest characters I've ever read in in it.

The Devils - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (sp?) Sprawling epic that I enjoyed more than crime & punishment or his other more famous works. Nothing happens for 250 pages, but after a while you realise you've been totally pulled inside his character's heads.

Germinal - Emile Zola Could've picked four or five Zola books, but I went for his most famous. Brilliant portrayer of the weakness of men.

The Alexandria Quartet - Lawrence Durrell Wonderfully complex and cerebral construction. Every paragraph is a work of art. Possibly the best writer I've ever encountered.

The Player of Games - Ian M Banks Probably not his best culture book, but it's my favourite

The Moor's Last Sigh - Salman Rushdie His best book, rich and hugely imaginative

100 Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez Magical realism at its best

Wolflord Bloodangel
19-09-2005, 11:59
Well this is far more than ten books ;) but its my favourite serieses.

1. Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time - Theres very little to say that isnt already known. THE greatest fantasy series ever, recently recovering from a slump (books 7, 8 and 9) but 10 was excellent, so am optimistic.

2. George R R Martin's Song of Ice and Fire - Absolutely sensational, nothing like a fantasy author that enjoys killing his characters off :D Its a great story, with excellent characters and a nice sense of the epic.

3. Katherine Kerr's Deverry books - Its been a while since the last one, and the current series is a little less good than the first two, but really great story, excellent sense of the epic, very visceral and brutal.

4. Robin Hobb's Assassin's Apprentice-Liveship Traders-Tawny Man - Excetionally well written fantasy. Great stories, great characters.

These all really are the best of the best as far as Im concerned.

He Who Laughs
19-09-2005, 12:36
Hmm. Unfortunately, my recent readings have been either Black Library books, or engineering texts :cries: But a few memorable reads from my past:

The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien . Read it when I was about nine, and was enthralled by it. Enjoyed it more that LoTR, to be honest.

The Belgariad series etc - David Eddings Can't remember what all the series were called, but I enjoyed them all. The humour and simplicity were a refreshing change from other, heavier fantasy novels. I was sad when I finished each book - it meant I had to wait to go to the library to get the next one!

Day of the Triffids - ??? Killer garden plants on the rampage through a blinded populace. Couldn't put it down, and when I'd finished it, I wanted to read more. Theme has been ripped off my many sci-fi zombie-esque flicks - 28 Days Later was perhaps the closest.

Red Storm Rising - Tom Clancy - World War III in a novel. After the initial BOOM CRASH, it was slow going but eventally picked up into a full-blown cinematic experience, full of tension on all levels, from infantry level all the way to mass airstrikes, tank battles and naval conflicts. Must read.

Rainbow Six - Tom Clancy - Must read for all "733t commando" buffs out there.

Commandos - John Parker - Non-fiction history of the beginnings of the British commandos - and their WW2 spin-offs (SAS, SBS, SOE etc). Amazing insight on how the commandos started out and details of the daring raids and actions they undertook. Highly recommend it to all commando fanboyz, so you can actually know what you're talking about ;)

Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown - For those that haven't read it (both of you ;)) it provides a plausible alternative to the preachings of the Church. Got really involved in it (at times I really felt strongly that finally someone would show all the religious do-gooders what for, and turn their precious worlds upside down :evilgrin: )

The Penguin Book of Australian Slang - I love Aussie slang, and I thoroughly enjoy educating others in it's nuiances. Didn't learn too much from it (I'm a stubby shorts, blue wife-beater and thongs Aussie - so I knew most of it already) but makes for an excellent reference when "educating" overseas visitors.

Odin
19-09-2005, 13:03
1. Use of Weapons - Iain M Banks: Complex, cunning intelligent Sci-Fi (none of this "reverse the polarity of the flux-capacitor" pseudo-scientific cobblers), with an ending that left me stunned. Superb.

2. The Satanic Bible - Anton Szandor LaVey: The first half of this is a brilliant rant against organised religion and in favour of enjoying every waking moment. The second half loses me a bit when it gets into casting spells. Still a great read.

3. Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien: A cliched choice I know, but I really do love the language Tolkein uses, so much so that I can put up with the songs which turn up on a regular basis.

4. HitchHikers Guide to the Galaxy trilogy in five parts: Laughed my nuts off most of the way through. Shame they took all the punchlines out for the movie.

5. The Crow Road - Iain Banks: Yup, I'm back to Iain Banks, this time his fiction. Difficult to choose a favourite, but the Crow Road just pips the Wasp factory and Complicity.

6. Good Omens - Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman: Frankly,I could include the entire Discworld series here as well, but Good Omens was lent a somewhat darker edge by Gaiman, which I think makes it stand out.

7. Complete Works - William Shakespeare: I have a great bound copy of this - always like to read a script through before I go to see one of his plays, usually at the Globe.

8. Angels and Demons - Dan Brown: The Da Vinci Code was basically a watered down copy of Dan Brown's previous book, which was far superior in my opinion.

....must do some work. Have to see if I can think of two more later.

Ok, here's another good 'un...

9. IBM and the Holocaust: A fascinating study of the use of tailor-made IBM machines to help keep track of Jewish victims, and the lengths to which IBM went in the latter stages of the war to ensure that all the profits from IBM Germany went through Switzerland to IBM HQ in America. This is definitely not light reading.

Rik Valdis
19-09-2005, 14:01
Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown - For those that haven't read it (both of you ;)) it provides a plausible alternative to the preachings of the Church
Plausible? umm, struggling not to send this to PnR, ok better just give my list instead.
10. Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee-Dee Brown An excellent view of the 'Indian Wars' told from a view sympathetic to the Native americans

9. Hitchhiking to heaven- Lionel Blue The autobiography of a gay Rabbi who has atdifferent points been a marxist, stalinist and a zionist and flirted with christianity and becoming a monk. I was surprised but this was an excellent book written by a fascinating man examining the struggles in his life.

8. The eagle of the Ninth-Rosemary Sutcliff The favourite book of my childhood, Sutcliff was an incredibly good writer, one of the things I am going to do when I have some money is complete my collection of her works, they may be childrens books but I can still read them now

7. Nicholas and Alexandra- Robert K Massie The Russian Revolution is a period of history that really fascinates me and this is probably the best book on it that i have read, accessible and yet deep Massie really lets you feel that you understand the two tragic heroes (in my opinion) at the center of the book.

6. The Kon-Tiki expedition-Thor Heyerdahl I had to include something by Heyerdahl, a great man in my opinion, his efforts and perseverence are inspiring and his intellect undeniable

5. Decline and Fall of the Roman empire- Gibbon One of the great works n the english language, if you haven't read it then you cannot say you have an real interest in history

4. Lord of the rings- Tolkein I shouldn't think this needs much justification for its inclusion.

3. A Day in the Life of Ivan denisovich- Alexandr Solzhenitsyn Arguably the greatest writer of the 2oth century, I had to make a point of only inclyuding one of his books, read them all!

2. Years of endurance/years Of Victory/Age of Elegance- Arthur Bryant This trilogy covers the Napoleonic wars and the few years afterwards and is without a doubt the best account of those years that I have read (and I've read a lot). I don;t think its in print at the moment (though it certainly should be) so I would advise absolutely anyone with even the slightest interes in possibly the most interesting period of British, European and world history to go and have a look on ebay, I got first editions of all three books for under a tenner.

1. In defence of Aristocracy-Peregrine Worsthorne Don't be put off by the title, this is not a book about how the upper classes need massive amounts of privilege, it is an essay in defence of the principle of noblesse oblige and the benefits of the old class system in Britain. It does not ignore the injustices but tries to redress the balance where in recent years it is very easy to be called a snob for finding the slightest good thing about the old system. Worsthorne (a prominet journalist from an old but untitled family) argues eloquently and powerfully that the aristocratic governments gave Britian a far more fair system that did more for the common good than the present 'meriticratic' one.

He argues that what is needed is not a return to privilege (he supports reform of the house of Lords) but an end to the reverse snobbery endemic in this country where anyone with a 'posh' background is looked down on. For an example of this look at David Cameron a potential leader of the British Conservative party (mainstream center-right) who is judged to have lower chances of becoming leader because he went to Eton (the greatest of Englands private schools). Whatever your political beliefs I honestly believe that this book must be read by absolutely anyone with an interest in politics (well, British politics at least).

Ok, that was longer than I intended but never mind.

Adept
19-09-2005, 14:20
1 - Neuromancer
2 - A song of Ice and Fire
3 - Lord of the Rings
4 - The Hobbit
5 - The Ninja
6 - Rainbow Six
7 - Small Gods
8 - Legend
9 - The original Bourne series
10 - Tao of Jeet Kune Do

Odin
19-09-2005, 14:22
Quote:
Originally Posted by He Who Laughs
Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown - For those that haven't read it (both of you ) it provides a plausible alternative to the preachings of the Church


Plausible? umm, struggling not to send this to PnR, ok better just give my list instead.


Well, I don't know if plausible is the right word. Well-researched and convincing would perhaps be a better description (more convincing than most of the stuff spouted by the Catholic church anyways).

x-esiv-4c
19-09-2005, 14:35
1- 1984
2- Inside the Third Reich ( Albert Speer )
3- LOTR trilogy
4- Reaper man
5- Thief of Time
6- Hitchhikers ( bless D.adams )
7- Small gods
8- Da Vinci code
9- At the mountains of madness
10- Call of Cthulhu

Rik Valdis
19-09-2005, 14:39
Well, I don't know if plausible is the right word. Well-researched and convincing would perhaps be a better description (more convincing than most of the stuff spouted by the Catholic church anyways).
Please, please, please get a guildership, The Da vinci code can be pulled apart in seconds, but I cant here :(

hairyman
19-09-2005, 14:42
Lots of excellent books (Hitchiker's, Solzhenitsyn, those Kathryn Kerr books I'd forgotten about, Rosemary Sutcliffe)... surprised how many people like Dan Brown, though. Setting his ideas aside for a moment, I thought he was a pretty simplistic and poor writer. Guess it depends on what you want out of a book, though; ideas, plot, characters or good writing (or all of them at once)?

Rik Valdis
19-09-2005, 14:59
I would say (ideas aside) as a writer of the sort of book you read to pass the time he is very good, but he is never going to be on the same level as truly powerful writers like Solzhenitsyn or Steinbeck (I forgot Grapes of Wrath!)

Son of Morkai
19-09-2005, 15:31
George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire - If I need to explain this, you're a Lannister dog.

Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts - Meh. Some folk'll argue against it, but I love the series.

Gordon Dickson's Childe Cycle - Just go pick up Soldier, Ask Not or Tactics of Mistake.

Only 3 sets, but far more than 10 books.

Makaber
19-09-2005, 16:28
cryptonomicon
hitchhikers
lord of the rings
the great and secret show
all tomorrows parties
the illuminatus triology
last chance to see
galilei
various conan stuff

Son of Morkai
19-09-2005, 17:04
various conan stuff
How could I forget Conan?

Add that series to my list. Sometimes is nice to pick up a nice sword & sorcery and watch the hero rip his way through an army. Though Conan is actually fairly realistic - he never fights the big monster alone and wins. In fact, he usually throws a spear at it, grabs the woman, and runs. It's kinda refreshing to have a hero not win hands down all the time.

The Dragon Reborn
19-09-2005, 17:20
In no order

enders game seires
LotR
Eragon seires
wheel of time seires
dune seires
sword of shanara alllll of them
angels and deamons
I,jedi

and many many more

Baggers
19-09-2005, 17:45
1) The Bible - the only book I read every day because I want to

2) LOTR trilogy, tis one of the books I try to read regualry

3) Jurassic Park by Micheal Crichton, a birlliant book which caught my imagination as a child. Must get a new copy as my copy (well my dad's) is dying

4) Bourne Trilogy by Robert Ludlum, three great books which apart from getting longer and longer are very enjoyable

5) Join Me by Danny Wallace, a very funny book about a man who sets a cult up for giggles

6) Thief of Time by Terry Pratchet, one of his better books because the plot is a refreshing change, (time is a lady and has a son or two) Great writing from this man

7)Esienhorn Trilogy by Dan Abnett, though I have only read them once, this is the kind of writing that he should do more often. A good plot which progress over the three books unlike the plot to the wheel of time series which is decent for about three books and then just stagnates

8) Are you Dave Gorman by Dave Gorman and Danny Wallace. A genius book inspired by the evils of Tequilla, very funny and ingenious which keeps me enthralled.

9) The Hole, by Guy Burt, the book the film is based on, its an intresting look into human survuival in strange situations, very intresting and only takes an hour or two

10) Gods Big Picture by Vaughn Robets, a good book that looks at the whole bible and its overriding themes. Nice and easy read.

Great Harlequin
19-09-2005, 17:51
That really is a question which my answer always changes depending on the mood. For instance I go through periods where I absolutely love Fantasy but later switch to Science Fiction and won't touch a Fantasy book for a while.

However, at this point in time I'd probably say:

1.) Enders game.
2.) The Antipope.
3.) Lord of the Rings.
4.) Harry Potter series.
5.) Weirdstone of Brisingamen.
6.) Knees up Mother Earth.
7.) Old Kingdom series.
8.) Artemis Fowl.
9.) Wind on Fire trilogy.
10.) Pendragon.


I've probably forgot loads of my favourites so I'll probably come back and edit this. :rolleyes:

Odin
19-09-2005, 18:57
"Please, please, please get a guildership, The Da vinci code can be pulled apart in seconds, but I cant here "

Well, I want a guildership, just having to sort out a bit of a cash-flow problem first.

I think you misunderstood my point in any case - I have no doubt that the Da Vinci Code is a load of twaddle which can be pulled apart in seconds - I don't mistake it for non-fiction like some muppets. I just think that it is well researched and detailed enough to make a convincing fictional conspiracy thriller, certainly enough that I enjoyed it all the way through.

Venomizer
19-09-2005, 19:22
I dont have a top ten because I don't really read books very often but heres my top 5

1. Romance Of The Three Kingdoms
2. The Art Of War
3. Lord Of The Rings
4. The Hobbit
5. Ninjutsu: History & Tradition

Wintermute
19-09-2005, 19:22
I just think that it is well researched and detailed enough to make a convincing fictional conspiracy thriller, certainly enough that I enjoyed it all the way through.

Its an entertaining read.

Unfortunately the one thing I cannot say for any of the Dan Brown books I've read, including The Da Vinci Code is they are well researched - because they are not.

Back on topic

My list

1 Neuromancer by William Gibson (no surprise really :rolleyes:)
2 Mort by Terry Pratchett OBE
3 The Star Fraction by Ken MacLeod
4 Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds
5 Dune by Frank Herbert
6 American Gods by Neil Gaiman
7 Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan
8 Hyperion by Dan Simmons
9 Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
10 The Many Coloured Land by Julian May

Tom
19-09-2005, 19:24
Okay, a few of them here.

The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy- A trilogy in FIVE parts- Saint Douglas Adams
I don't know why they keep missing out MH from these, yes I know it's downbeayt but it's also Adams' last book and deserves some mention here.

His Dark Materials Trilogy- Phillip Pullman
Childrens' books? These are Childrens' books? What? You had me going there for a second.

Excession- Iain M. Banks
Only one of his I've read, and that was like two weeks ago. And I want more. The Minds are just fun. Infinite Fun Space!

Sabbat Martyr- Dan Abnett
Best of the eight, although I need to re-read TG, because I remember that being quite good.

Lord of the Rings- JRR Tolkien
It's a good story told badly. It's still a good story. If you skip the songs.

Last Human- Doug Naylor
What they would have done with Red Dwarf if they'd had the budget and if Kochanski hadn't ruined it. Perversely, in the novels she actually makes it better. Odd.

Hmm. Need a non-SF.

Damn, got none. Damn.

Oh, and a bit of Pratchett needs to go in there because I remember enjoying them a lot but that was like five years ago and I need to re-read.

marv335
19-09-2005, 22:13
altered carbon
neuromancer
island in the sea of time
good omens
assassin series
snow crash
red storm rising
neverwhere
h2g2
belgariad/malloreon

Lafeel Abriel
19-09-2005, 22:29
I dont have a top ten because I don't really read books very often but heres my top 5

1. Romance Of The Three Kingdoms
2. The Art Of War
3. Lord Of The Rings
4. The Hobbit
5. Ninjutsu: History & Tradition
Funny..first four are all ones I'd put on my list, too..
heres a few others (no particular order)
The Wheel of Time series
The Dragon Star series by Melanie Rawn
The Riftwar series (Raymond E Feist)

Kohhna
19-09-2005, 22:54
Last Human- Doug Naylor
What they would have done with Red Dwarf if they'd had the budget and if Kochanski hadn't ruined it. Perversely, in the novels she actually makes it better. Odd.
Absolutely spot on.

Top 10 books in no particular order

The Black Jacobins CLR James.
The history of the revolution on Haiti that overthrew the white oligarchy. Puts in in its proper historical context as an episode of the French revolution.

A History of Ulster Jonathan Bardon
Probably the closest thing the province has to a total History.

The Prophet Armed Isaac Deutcher
First in the classic serise of Biographies of one of the most fascinating characters of the 20th century, Leon Trotsky. This part chronicles the early years up to the end of the Civil War. More than just a biography it also provides a deep insight to the political history of the time.

Watchmen Alan Moore (writer) and Dave Gibbons (Artist)
The highest achievment of the entier Sequential Art form. Consumate storytelling and characterisation meets and inventive and challenging formalism in the hands of the greatest living exponent of the art form.

The Lord of The Rings JRR Tolkien
What can be said that hasn't been said already?

A Wizard of Earthsea Ursula K leGuin
Probably the only thing that comes close to Tolkein in feel, but is very different in the specifics. Less didactic that her Hainish novels and more magical than Potter, probably best read at about 13/14, but I didn't read it until I was 20 and loved it anyway

The Mentor Book Of Irish Poetry Devin A Garrity ed.
The best in Irish Poetry from the 6th century up to the 1960s when the book was published. Contains the Frank O'Connor translation of The Old Woman of Beare, the best translated poem I have ever read, the best of WB Yeats, some of James Joyce's lyrical poetry and the works by earlier masters like Jame Clarance Mangan who inspired them. I take this one with me everywhere.

Junk Mail Will Self
The collected journalism of one of the most unique voices in Britain at the moment. The longer peices on Northern Ireland and recovered memories, or the interveiw with JG Ballard, would be worth putting on this list on their own. As much as I love the novels and short stories, they all contain some flaw or another that I just can't get over enough to put on this list, but with this and Feeding Frenzy, the other book of collected journalism, you get everything in bite size chunks that have all the spark of Selfs prose style and are centered enough to be coherent.

Hegemony Or Survival Noam Chomsky
The masterly breakdown of power in the post 9-11 world (and why its not actually any different to power in the pre 9-11 world) by the greatest living voice on the left.

Which leaves 10, which frankly could be a number of things. Studying History, by Jeremy Black and Donald MacRaild, a concise guide to the state of history today - should be read by all students of History at undergrad level at least. Any of Trosky's own books. Almost anything by Iain Banks or any of the Hitchhikers, Stainless Steel Rat or Discworld books. Capital, One Dimensional Man by Marcuse, Adorno's Dialectics of Enlightenment or the Theory of The Leisure class are all books I'll have to read in the next year and might be there if I do a list like this next year. I'll leave 10 free because there is always more you think of later that just didn't make it.

Velkyn Kyil
20-09-2005, 01:02
My List:

David Webber's Honor Harrington Series (that's 9 books?)
Ben Bova's Orion Series (5 books?)
Steven Brust's Jhereg Series (no idea.. 7?)
Robin Hobb's Farseer, Liveship and Tawnyman Series (9)
Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game Series, although I liked the sequels better than the original... (5?)
Orson Scott Card's Seventh Son Series (not sure how many)
Larry Niven's Ringworld Series (4, new one just out!)

New Cult King
20-09-2005, 01:26
This is difficult.

The Dark Half by Stephen King is up there.

The Necroscope series and Vampire World Trilogy that follows by Brian Lumley are just phenomenal.

Anything by Terry Pratchett - I have yet to read a bad or sub-par book by him.

Sorry I can't come up with an itemised list :(

Shadowheart
20-09-2005, 08:28
This'll just be a list of ten books, series and authors that happen to pup into my thoughts as I type. I don't read as much as I ought to, but still I've read more stuff than I remember on any given day. The first couple are established faves, but the rest of the list is up for constant revision. I don't really keep track of my favourite lists.


Elric - Michael Moorcock

Elric's cheesy, but in a cool way. He's so tragic it tends to be a bit over the top, but that makes it even better. It stops the story from taking itself too seriously. It'd be unbearable if that'd happened.
Anyway, you've got one of the greatest icons of Fantasy, tons of adventure, a backstory with fascinating philosophical concepts and the perfect ending. If I'd to pick just one novel, it'd be the last one, Stormbringer.

By extension, Moorcock's other (Fantasy) works are also favourites, since they all connect and are basically about the same themes (and the same character). They're often in their own ways better than the Elric stories. I haven't read the Corum trilogies yet, but from what I've heard those ought to be great too.

The Hobbit / The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien

Might seem odd to anyone familiar with Moorock's criticism of Tolkien, but meh, if Christopher Lee can be a fan of both then it can't be uncool. I do agree with a lot of the criticism, but in spite of all their flaws the books still draw me in. It's sort of a guilty pleasure.

Amber - Roger Zelazny

Especially the first five parts which make up the tale of Corwin. One of the very rare stories that had me firmly hooked throughout, I really had trouble putting the books down at any point.

The Clan of the Cave Bear - Jean M. Auel

The novel you'll desperately long back to if you go on reading the rest of the series, especially past part three. The fifth one was just abysmal. But before prehistory dissolves into constant lengthy repetitions and erotica, Clan of the Cave Bear is a rather different and more intense story.

The Sandman - Neil Gaiman

Okay, it's a comic, but I don't normally read comics, and Gaiman obviously needs to be on the list. I've read a Dutch translation of Neverwhere, based upon which I've decided to hold off on American Gods until I find an English copy. It's a safe bet that I'll like that one enough to put it on the list, but until then the graphic novel will have to stand in for the regular one. Gaiman's creativity and mastery of writing are well known, though I just wish he would dare to lower himself every once in a while. The stories could do with the occasional bout of action or obvious joke to lighten things up.

A bunch of really, really old stories

I like reading a bit of early Dutch or English literature every now and again. Karel ende Elegast is my favourite, and I take some pride in the fact that I got all the way through Van den Vos Reynaerde in the original spelling. On the English front it's stuff like Beowulf and recently Le Morte Darthur. Good clean fun.

The Demolished Man - Alfred Bester

Bester's Tiger! Tiger! is an SF classic, but I liked The Demolished Man a little better. Both great stuff though, the king of thing sceptics of SF should read.

Dune - Frank Herbert

Have to admit I've only read the first book. It's another of those Dutch translation vs. English original things. At any rate, it's already great, althought it's definitely something you need to read multiple times.

The Sheep Look Up - John Brunner

Read that one recently, it's one depressing book. Sort of a catalogue of the many ways in which the world might go completely to **** in the next couple of decades due to the mess we're making of the environment. It may be a worst case scenario, but it's not something you want to take any chances with.

Eisenhorn - Dan Abnett

This being a GW forum and all... I'd recommend getting the omnibus that's out now, it's good value for your money. Still a long way from using 40K's full storytelling potential, but it's a damn sight better than the usual trash.

polymphus
20-09-2005, 09:08
Hmm...

10:Children of God (Mary Doria Russel), not as good as the first but still absolutely amazing
9:Night Watch (Terry Pratchett) Do you need a reason?
8:Eats, shoots and leaves (can't remember) Because I'm compltely anal retentive when it comes to spelling/punctuation (ignore the previous sentence ;) )
7:Mostly Harmless (Douglas Adams) Great stuff really
6:The Artemis Fowl series (Eoin Colfer) Soooo much better than Harry Potter
5:Resteraunt at the End of the Universe (Douglas Adams) Once again Adams makes it onto my list, why? just because
4:Wyrd Sisters (Terry Pratchett) Read Macbeth then read this. If you don't laugh you are officially the most boring person on the planet.
3:Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy (Douglas Adams) the best of the series, had me laughing the whole way through.
2:The Sparrow (Mary Doria Russel) I actually cried when I read this book. I think that explains how powerful it is.
1:Men at Arms (Terry Pratchett) The most amazingly written book I have ever read. Pratchett at his finest


As you can see Pratchett is my favorite writer but there are others in there. I didn't really like the Da Vinci Code that much. Everyone says how intellectual and deep it is but I (a 14 year old boy) found it thin, weak and overall pretty boring (and supposedly big words should impress me :eyebrows: )

hairyman
20-09-2005, 09:10
Amber - Roger Zelazny

Especially the first five parts which make up the tale of Corwin. One of the very rare stories that had me firmly hooked throughout, I really had trouble putting the books down at any point.


The five books which star Corwin are fantastic... I think I turned myself into a hermit and read them all straight through when I first discovered them.

There's a whole load of sci-fi & fantasy popping up here, and it's reminding me of all sorts of books I'd forgotten about.:) The Earthsea trilogy was my favourite as a kid... the first one scared the hell out of me, and I've also now got a mind to dust off Elric (I occasionally use Moonglum as a username when Hairyman's taken), Dune and other classics.

Odin
20-09-2005, 09:57
I can't believe I missed out Dune by Frank Herbert - superb book.

Delicious Soy
21-09-2005, 02:19
Okay I'll give this a shot, though I don't think I can pout these in order:

Cervantes - Don Quixote: I think its testament to the genius of Cervantes that this text is still hilarious despite the 4 or 5 centuries that have passed since its creation. What's not to love about an old hindalgo thinking hes the next Orlando?

Vincent Bugliosi - Helter Skelter: A very well written and disturbing account of the Manson murders and subsequent trial. Bugliosi was the chief prosecutor and is a very accomplished writer, though he does have an incredible mix of characters to work with.

Dante Aligheri - The Inferno: Despite only having read a few Cantos, it easy to see why this is held in such high regard, I'll definitely be reading the enitre Commedia when I get the time.

Steven Runicman - A History of the Crusades (three volumes): A definitive look at the crusades that utilises just about every source that hd something to say on it. It primarily focuses on the history of Outremer from the first crusade to the final fall of Acre but it also has many diversions such as the Mongols and other infamous crusades such as the fifth and Albesigian crusades. Entertaining to say the least.

George Orwell - 1984: One of the most referred to books, I always get a kick out of socialists referring to it in the popular context, forgetting that it is a stinging critique of the extremes of communism and totalitarianism. Admittedly I still haven't read Brave New World which is a kind of its antitheisis.

John Birmingham - Weapons of Choice: An interesting look at our potential future and our past as a multinational task force from 2021 is hurled back in time and accidentally destroys the American fleet on its way to the Battle of Midway. Some of it is unblievably PC and the sequel Designated Targets also suffers from the same problem (apparently every woman is about to become Rambo) but its still highly entertaining.

J.R.R Tolkein - The Lord of the Rings: Okay whatever, its still a book that I usually read at least once a year and its awesome.

Dan Abnett - Malleus: Alright so I'll tarnish it with a BL book but I don't care. If I ever had the capability to make a movie it would be the Eisenhorn Trilogy and Malleus is the strongest in the series.

Hunter S Thompson - Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: No doubt some people will never understand how funny and occassionally insightful this book really is. Hilarious from the first line, the ability of Dr Gonzo and his attorney to get away with rampant insanity would seem impossible, unless you've seen it yourself.

Bruce Campbell - If Chins Could Kill: Confession of a B-movie Actor: Bruce Campbell is not only a hilarious actor, he's a hilarious writer. An amusing insight into the face of Ash and what Hollywood is like for the majority of working actors.

Xisor
21-09-2005, 02:51
The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit Everyone says it's a very poorly written book, and I'm no English scholar, but I found the writing style to be extremely soothing to me. Very intricate, but entirely fullfilling. Alternatively IMO, I think it is one of the greatest stories out there. Interestingly I own a couple of copies of both, including a nicely bound version of the Hobbit from the 70's. One of my favourite passages ever is Sam's fight with Gollum in Shelob's Lair and The Choices of Master Samwise

1984 Fantastic book, and very interesting from a contemplative point of view. Personally I was absolutely horrofied by it. It would be like if all my ideals and beliefs went horribly horribly wrong. It was brilliant since it left me with a terrible 'taste' in my mind, few if any books had ever done that before. For me myself, I think I took more out of it from the story and the 'fall' of Winston as opposed to the socio-politcal critique/thing. He loved Nineteen Eighty-Four Interestingly enough, I got a centenery edition of the book which had an excellent feel/smell to it. I laughed at my English teacher when she mentioned this kind of thing years ago, but now I should eat my hat.

Harry Potter Not to pick favourites, but it is intensley similar in my esteem to Lord of the Rings. With any parts of it, there's good and bad points, but the start and end of Philospher's Stone were simply amasing, to me. Book wise, Chamber of Secrets is one of my favourites, but I'm disposed to say that Half Blood Prince was one of the most intense reads I've had.

Robinson Crusoe It's a very difficult read, and I'm still working at the end of it, but it's age and near simplicity is dazzling for me. Again, it's not the most well written book, but it is redeeming and quite poignant in the situation that Robinson finds himself in is not entirely distasteful to me.

Now, I've a few others I'd comment on, but it's four in the morning so I'm hopping home!

Xisor

wazzdakka
21-09-2005, 07:59
Oh god, my 10 favorite books...

If you people knew how much I read, you'd understand the futility of this question :p My last two book orders off the Net totalled over 50 of them. So rather than try to remember 10 that I'd call my favorite, I'll list the first ten I think of that I think were really good.

I'm also including series as "books".

I really hope the text tags here are the same as they were on Portent...
1. Dune, by Frank Herbert. I haven't read it for some seven or eight years now, but it's a superb book.

2. The Guant's Ghosts series, by Dan Abnett. Most Black Library books I've read were pretty good, but these were the best I've read so far. Traitor General and Sabbat Martyr were both very good in particular.

3. The Dark Tower series, by Stephen King, up to Wizard and Glass. Because let's be honest, Song of Susannah and The Dark Tower both could have been far better. But Wizard and Glass and The Gunslinger were excellent reads, and those in between were almost as good.

4. Starship Troopers, by Robert A. Heinlein(sp?). Because it was set so far in the future, and yet there were so many similarities to life in the modern US military. If I had no military experience, I wouldn't have found it half as entertaining.

5. Lord of the Rings series, by J.R.R. Tolkien. I adore those books, even though I though the movies were overhyped badly. I think I first read the whole series 12 years ago. I think I've read it over 20 times since then.

6. The Forgotten Realms Drizzt Do'Urden books, by R. A. Salvatore (damn them for not having a name for the whole series :p). I don't think I was disappointed by any of them.

7. The Stand, by Stephen King. Hey, here's an idea: Let's unleash a plague that kills 97% of the human population, and then convince the ragged bands of survivors to attack each other. How can a book like that possibly be bad? :D

8. Angels and Demons, by Dan Brown. I liked it more than The Da Vinci Code, personally. But really, that's just the details, since all four of his books were written the exact same bloody way.

9. The Odyssey, by Homer. I read part of it for an assignment in junior high school, and liked it, so I eventually found a copy and read the entire thing. Nothing like a little divine wrath to liven up your life.

10. The Vampire Chronicles, by Anne Rice. I'm not even finished with the series yet and I love them anyway, so I'm including them.

Lord Balor
21-09-2005, 09:59
Balor's best in no Particular Order:

Shanara series by Terry Brooks

Dune by Frank Herbert

Eternal Champion by Michael Moorcock (Hawkmoon Owns Elric!)

The Prince/The Discourse by Machiavelli (100% Pure Renaissance Political Genious)

1984 by George Orwell

The Bible (You don't have to believe to Enjoy the most Unbelievable text of all time).

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (Ask not, question not, but simply know that i had to analyise this to such a degree that i developed a kind of twisted appreciation for it).

The Amber Spyglass (Last book of His Dark Material series) by Philip Pullman

Conan the Barbarian Robert E. Howard

The Book of the New Sun / The Urth Cycle by Gene Wolfe.

Firebreath
21-09-2005, 10:33
1 - The entire Hyperion-saga by Dan Simmons.

2 - Both Ilium and Olympos by Dan Simmons.

3 - Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks.

4 - Market Forces by Richard Morgan.

5 - The entire Revelation Space-saga by Alastair Reynolds.

6 - The mote in God's eye and The gripping hand by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.

7 - Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson.

8 - The Devil's Princes (or whatever it is called in English) by Jack Vance. My very first venture into SF.

9 - The Eisenhorn-trilogy by Dan Abnett. Never surpassed by anything in the Black Library. 'Nuff said.

10 - can't think of anything right now. :p

Some opinions some people may find blasphemous:
- I think Dune is okay, but not that great.
- I tried reading LoTR and didn't make it past page 100. Slooooooowwwww...

* small hint: click link in sig and start discussing books. heheheh. *