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Author Topic: Favorite Books  (Read 3596 times)
Eusis
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« on: April 16, 2007, 10:31:23 PM »

There's a favorite RPG thread, and we haven't had this in what seems to be forever. Certainly wasn't done during this forum's life cycle.

... I can't really pick any. Snow Crash may've been one of the most flat out enjoyable reads though, and the Book of the New Sun could be a favorite, but I need to sit on that and probably re-read it later.
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« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2007, 06:15:04 AM »

I'll get my nerdy choice out of the way first: Lord of the Rings :P A lot of people are put off by Tolkien's writing style, and I'll freely admit that sometimes it was a but of a slog to get through, but on the whole I enjoyed the thoroughness. No other fantasy story has been so convincing for me, populated with such believable and interesting characters. It just rocks.

The Beach, by Alex Garland - I can never explain quite why I love this book the way I do. Perhaps because it's just so damned readable; I've read it through many times in just a day or two.

Watership Down, by Richard Adams - Just so, so good. Never have animal protagonists in a novel been made so human, not even in Animal Farm. I love the characters, the story, and the real sense of being made small and vulnerable in a world so much bigger than yourself. I think the fact it's so very English helps as well, it really gives it a certain charm.
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« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2007, 09:06:18 AM »

Trying to select my favourite books is much more difficult than trying to select my favourite RPGs.

"And Then There Were None" by Agatha Christie is definitely on my top list. It was the first Christie novel I ever read; I fell almost completely in love with the concept and the characters. There was something very charming but nonetheless ugly about it that I'll never forget.

"Emma" by Jane Austen. I sometimes forget the way the story flows in this novel, especially if I haven't read it in over a year, but it's always a pleasure to read it again and be re-introduced to the plot. I'll admit that I love this among all Austen novels because of dear Mister Knightly and Emma's romantic delusions about match-making.

I read a lot of fantasy (at least I think I do) and it's hard to choose from that genre. Sabriel and Canavan's ongoing AoF Trilogy are most prominent in mind. I'd mention Harry Potter here, but I'm a bit over those books. :P

Will post later if I think of other books. It's just really hard to choose. ;__;
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« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2007, 01:02:30 PM »

Cliver Barker - Books of Blood - All 6 volumes

Clive at his best - really creative short stories of all different styles.

Roger Zelazny - Chronicles of Amber - First five volumes.
Fantastic fantasy - not swords & sorcery but a really interesting take on multiple realities and lots of good political intrigue. (Much like Suikoden funnily enough.)

Lawrence Miles - Dead Romance - kind of a Doctor Who tie-in but only peripherally. Really cool ideas about humanity and featuring the end of the world.

Tons of books I could mention - that's a good start I think.
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« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2007, 09:54:56 AM »

The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac. I wasn't so turned by On the Road but this is perfect. Not only is his writing just beautiful, the entire experience is just pure joy. I would recommend this book first, to someone who's never read Kerouac.

This technically isn't a novel, A Coney Island of the Mind by Lawrence Ferlinghetti is probably the best poetry I've ever read in my entire life.
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« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2007, 01:15:33 PM »

"Kushiel's Dart" by Jacqueline Carey.  Good stuff, if you like an abundance of fucking, torture, and politics.

I'm pretty fond of "A Scarlet Letter" as well.  It's one of the few classic literary novels I can bring myself to read for pleasure.

"Carmilla" (by J. Sheridan LeFanu) is closer to a short story than a novel, but I adore it enough to list it.  It's hard to beat Victorian lesbian vampires.

And speaking of that, I've manhandled my fifteen-year-old copy of "Dracula" so many times that it looks like a medieval manuscript.  If I could only take one book to a deserted island, this would be the one.
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« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2007, 01:55:23 PM »

It HAS been awhile since we've had a fav books thread.

I get to be the first to mention George R.R. Martins A Song of Ice and Fire series. My favorite so far is A Storm of Swords. AMAZING series, although book 4 slipped a bit.

Hyperion and Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons - It's books like this that have me just as interested in sci-fi nowadays as fantasy.

Eye of the Dragon by Stephen King. I read this SO long ago, yet it remains in my mind to this day.


and LOTS more that I am totally forgetting.
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« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2007, 05:01:17 PM »

The Dark Tower books HANDS DOWN!!...for me anyway.

Other books of note: Swan Song by R. McCammon, The Thief of Always by Clive barker, Memnoch The Devil by Anne Rice and Eyes of the Dragon by S. King(Dark Tower related).
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« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2007, 09:10:34 PM »

Thank goodness this is not for a singular item in question, or else this would be too cruel. For starters:

-In Silent Graves-To anyone who likes dark and broody fiction, Gary Braunbeck's tale of a man who loses everything is gripping from start to finish. Certainly not for the emotionally impaired, this will really put you through the ringer.

-Once an Eagle-The most gripping war story I've come across, and absolutely vivid, from the battle scenes to the everyday struggles the protaganist goes through. Spanning the beginning of the First World War until the brunt end of Vietnam, you'll be inspired by Matt's desire to be a good person before a good soldier even if you have no interest in war history whatsoever. Incredible.

-Sea of Fertilitiy tetralogy-Yukio Mishima had to be mentioned, and I would choose his ambitious foray into moral precepts, buddhism, and even homosexuality as the clincher. The first book, Spring Snow, remains entrenched in my memory with its elegiac look at innocence.

-The Girl Next Door-Another heavy hitter, Jack Ketchum builds up the sweetest scent of humanity, only to drop a festering carcass of putrescence upon it. I read this in a single day, one sitting really, disgusted and moved by the evil a single person can perpetrate, and the "herd effect" it has on others.

I don't expect anyone here to go pounding on the door of their nearest church demanding a copy(I'm hoping no pounding on the keyboard in furious reply either!), but I would have to mention the bible since this is a topic of "favorite books", not solely a list of reccommendations. And even if you ignore that last one, the others are not even remotely related, so do check them out if you haven't done so already.
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« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2007, 11:30:37 PM »

Cool - a few of my favorites have already been mentioned (Eyes of the Dragon, the Dark Tower series, And Then There Were None).  

In SK's library, I also love The Stand, although I have mixed feelings about the content he added back into the extended version.

Other favorites include Ender's Game and the Alvin Maker series by Orson Scott Card.  The rest of the Ender series is good, but only Speaker for the Dead approaches the original for me.

As I'm sure all of you do, I have tons of other books I love, but don't quite reach "favorite" status.  The Lord of the Rings books (including The Hobbit), Isaac Asimov's Foundation series (as well as his Black Widowers' Club books), David Eddings' Belgariad and Malloreon series... the list could go on for a LONG time.
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« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2007, 01:41:34 AM »

my fa-vo-rite book is dahlgren. it is very very very very red and about a city.

m
y

s
e           orite book is catch 22 i think
c           v
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nd most f


         although i must say i am also rather fond of master and margarita.

regrettaibly i know very little about fantasy and sci-fi but i guess they're very irrelevant and lacking symbolism so i think i would like them more than literature because i don't feel like listening to english teachers masturbate to christ figures and frogs nightly.... .
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« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2007, 08:19:47 AM »

Quote from: "MeshGearFox"
regrettaibly i know very little about fantasy and sci-fi but i guess they're very irrelevant and lacking symbolism


Dude - you're on a forum for people who like role-playing games and you're going to make a blanket statement like that?  Whether you think that's a good thing or not, I'd guess that most folks here would disagree with you.  

Ever watch The Twilight Zone (since you say you don't know much about sci-fi/fantasy books)?  I know it's a little bit of a stretch, but I think it still falls into one or both of the genres.  The whole POINT of that series was that Rod Serling was able to make social commentary in in the guise of a sci-fi "what if" show that he couldn't make in a show based in normal life.  The same holds true for Star Trek.

I know those are old examples, but I chose them because those series are familiar to a lot of people.
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« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2007, 09:01:29 AM »

My favorite book has to be Motley Crue's "The Dirt."  Most books I'll read once and be done with it, but this is a book I can find myself reading regularly (i.e. once every summer.)  The first chapter alone is awesome beyond words.  I've read quite a few books in my life for school and for fun (I was an English minor in college) and I do like to read, but The Dirt is definitely my favorite.

Series I like a lot: Harry Potter (except for book 7), Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (all of them were good, but book 2 was my favorite), and some of the Shadowrun novels have been good (but others have been terrible.)  Dead Air by Jak Koke is my favorite Shadowrun novel.  I even modeled a PSO character after one of Dead Air's characters.  

EDIT: The Wayside series books by Louis Sachar are awesome.  Loved 'em as a kid, still love 'em now.  

  One book I definitely want to read is New Brunswick, New Jersey, Goodbye: Bands, Dirty Basements, and the Search for Self by Ronen Kauffman because it's supposed to be a really well-written book about the New Brunswick music scene- a scene very near and dear to my heart.
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2007, 01:29:58 PM »

Quote
you're on a forum for people who like role-playing games and you're going to make a blanket statement like that?


i don't see the roleplaying game correlation thing but really i guess im just making stuff up about that.

really when i say symbolism i dont mean commentary. i mean shit like "SAILBOAT MEANS RELIGION" and "BAREFOOT MEANS PAUL IS DEAD."

and when i say irrelevant i mean people seem less likely to canonize fantasy/sci-fi so maybe it's less incestuous than literary fiction has gotten lately -- more room to play around with things, less, "can i win a pulitzer with this."

anyway i also like the harry potter series (all of it) a lot and something which none of you will ever read which i'm also not going to divulge the title of because it's unpublished (and also untitled)

also, since you didn't specify "fiction," Hammer's German Grammar.
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« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2007, 09:46:41 PM »

Well, OK.  With more explanation of what you mean by symbolism and irrelevant, I'll let it slide. ;)  I'm not really into the Moby Dick level of symbolism either.

The correlation between fantasy, sci-fi and role-playing games felt pretty clear to me, though - have you ever played an RPG that wasn't fantasy or sci/fi?


Adding in non-fiction, you reminded me of two other books: Guns, Germs, and Steel, and 1001 Pitfalls in Spanish.
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