Books That MEAN Something to You

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by steve319, Apr 23, 2005.

  1. steve319

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2005
    Messages:
    1,205
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    North Carolina
    One of my roles at work is to moderate a monthly community book club (another nice piece of The Oprah Legacy), and we’re approaching the time to select books for the last six months of the year. So if figured, where better to solicit suggestions than from a website dedicated to big cocks? :p

    Seriously, in the past few weeks I have come to truly value the voices here at LPSG, and your opinions matter to me. God knows this is the best opportunity I have to enjoy and learn from the experiences of such a diverse (and undeniably cool) crowd of people. The intelligence and insight on display here is staggering sometimes. In short, I love you all! :wub: (how embarrassing--and that smiley face is pink too!)

    So, in a nutshell: We choose one book for each month with an eye toward things that have at least some degree of mass appeal and literary merit. Really, the goal is just to get people reading. We try to select at least one non-fiction and one classic for every six-month period with the other four dedicated to general fiction. It’s been my covert mission to try to stretch the boundaries a bit by pushing things outside the comfort zone of “chick lit” and heart-warming fare with books of non-traditional structure or content. Since this monthly meeting is open to students, faculty, and the community at large (always adults), we have to be a bit careful in regard to controversial elements, but that doesn’t mean we can’t explore big issues.

    Oh, and we try to choose books that are available in paperback (for cost reasons) and under six-hundred pages (for time reasons). I don’t mean to lay a bunch of conditions on you, but we’ve learned over the years to avoid those pitfalls.

    I thought about giving you a list of books that we’re considering but decided that I don’t want to color the variety of suggestions (any more than I already have). Funny is good, strange is good, deep is good, whatever. I know that you guys will steer me in fruitful directions that I’d not previously considered, so let’s hear it. Your favorite novels, thought-provoking issues, best book you read recently, good authors to consider, enjoyable fluff—give me what you’ve got!

    Thanks!

    (Hope you guys don't mind a relative newbie presuming to start new topics.) :unsure:
     
  2. naughty

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Messages:
    12,837
    Likes Received:
    14
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Workin' up a good pot of mad!

    OH Steve!

    This is a wonderful idea! I hope that others will be ready to get involved. I am a total and absolute book worm! I started one of those online groups as well for another board of which I am a part. You have every right to start a thread Newbie or not! I am now going to go into my most recent stash and come up with some suggestions post haste!


    Naughty
     
  3. Imported

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2000
    Messages:
    56,713
    Likes Received:
    55
  4. yaoifun

    yaoifun New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2005
    Messages:
    783
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Northeastern US
    The Joy Luck Club is a pretty good book. It's fiction, but based on history for the most part. It's written by Amy Tan.
     
  5. naughty

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Messages:
    12,837
    Likes Received:
    14
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Workin' up a good pot of mad!
    I totally agree with that choice Skai! I love that story!

    Naughty
     
  6. yaoifun

    yaoifun New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2005
    Messages:
    783
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Northeastern US
    I totally agree with that choice Skai! I love that story!

    Naughty
    [post=303985]Quoted post[/post]​
    [/b][/quote]

    Actually, I love ALL of her stories! I was forced to read The Kitchen God's Wife for Summer Reading two years ago...and I actually liked it! (I actually chose it and you were stuck with your choices. It was rather depressing, but very good nonetheless!
     
  7. GottaBigOne

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2004
    Messages:
    1,020
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    New York
    I'd suggest Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, but thats a really huge book, and I don't think it can be read easily in a month. It really is amazing, and I know it gets a bad rap from liberals, but I have never heard a convincing argument against her ideas.
     
  8. madame_zora

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    Messages:
    10,252
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Ohio

    Dirty little secret time- I actually have a soft spot for her of sorts. I'd have to re-read it by now, but that might be fun, it's been about 20 years.
     
  9. Imported

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2000
    Messages:
    56,713
    Likes Received:
    55
    carolinacurious:
    The only reason it doesn't get a bad rap from conservatives is because they don't understand it.

    Hey all you businessmen who think the book is your bible, a major villian in the book was a BUSINESSMAN. The heros weren't the marketers and the people who have figured out how to best exploit the labors and inventions of others but the actual laborers and inventors.

    Convincing argument #1: There is no way you can give John Gault the freedom he needs to do good for the world without also giving Dagny Taggert's brother (Richard?) the freedom to fuck things up.

    Convincing argument #2: The world is neither an infinite resource or infinite garbage pit.

    It is a really good book though.
     
  10. surferboy

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    Messages:
    3,182
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    9
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Sunrise, Florida
    I didn't think I'd like it because I'm not a fan of sci-fi, but like, Auldous Huxley's "A Brave New World" was awesome. The end was so creepy.
     
  11. InsertHere

    InsertHere New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2004
    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    0
    I really need to read some Ayn Rand. *adds to my summer reading list* I just don't get properly angry often enough anymore.


    Some books I suggest:

    Ishmael by Daniel Quinn: not a challenging read, very good for all levels, but challenges your views and assumptions.

    The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. GORGEOUS writing, very modern and unconventional. This is not a long book, but it's a very difficult read (both mentally and emotionally). Worth the trouble a thousand times over.

    Anything by Carl Hiaasen - fun, easy, short, readily available, cheap

    Anything by Kurt Vonnegut but especially Cat's Cradle. Mesmerizing, fast reads with a lot more literary value than Hiaasen.

    I'm positive I have more, but that's all I can think of right now. Hope that's helpful!
     
  12. GottaBigOne

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2004
    Messages:
    1,020
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    New York
    Agree with you about conservatives not understanding that the book doesn't mean to do whatever it takes to make money and to just say "fuck them" to everyone else.

    Dagny's brother's name is James Taggart, and Rand's philosophy is not about absolute freedom, it is a real code of ethics as there is right and wrong. SO you don't have to allow James to do whatever he wants if he is not living by the rules, which are set up from logical arguments and not just arbitrarily. The freedom she says that man should have is to do the work that is "right" for man, and not be forced to do otherwise. James would have the freedom to give his entire fortune away if he wanted to, but to set up a system where men are forced to do so would be wrong.

    As to your second convincing argument, I dn't remember reading anything in that book that suggested that the world was infinitly resourceful or should be polluted to death, certainly I think certain restrictions on pollution would be in keeping with Rand's philosophy; she does not advocate that the industrialist should have absolute freedom and control over everything, they are not immune simply because they provide the jobs and advance society. They have a responsibility to the rest of humanity, and must trade with them equally, this includes fair pay, benefits, and such. Most of the CEO's today wouldn't fit Rand's ideal prime mover.
     
  13. madame_zora

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    Messages:
    10,252
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Ohio
    Okay dammit, Now I'm going to have to read it again, I'll get back to you in about a month. grrr.
     
  14. Imported

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2000
    Messages:
    56,713
    Likes Received:
    55
    carolinacurious: GBO,

    Good points, I'll have to get back to you.

    Great book, I almost suggested this one myself. I'm reading "My Ishmael" right now.
     
  15. InsertHere

    InsertHere New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2004
    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    0
    If anything, that one's even better. But it wouldn't work out as well without reading Ishmael first.
     
  16. Imported

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2000
    Messages:
    56,713
    Likes Received:
    55
    carolinacurious:
    Your first sentence is 90% of my battle so if we can agree on that and that it is a good book, I'm happy.

    I'm having to do this from memory so I may just be wrong but it always seemed to me that I didn't see where Rand provided an adequate mechanism that would reign in James while freeing John.

    Again from memory but it seems to me that if we agree that we have limited natural resources and multiple talented individuals who have designs on those resources there needs to be some mechanism (a level of state control that I believe Rand would be very uncomfortable with) to apportion who gets what share of the resources.

    Anyway, my copy of Atlas Shrugged is over 3K miles away so I doubt I'll be able to continue much deeper. I will check out some of the Rand websites and try to give it another look (based on your comments).

    It is a great book and Rand is fantastic in pointing out problems. I also found comparing the book to the recent California energy crisis was fascinating and at one point I was starting to wonder if someone was actually using the book as a blueprint.

    on edit: I had meant to say earlier that I do know many liberals who do like the book, a quick trip around the web shows me that it is certainly not universal.
     
  17. Imported

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2000
    Messages:
    56,713
    Likes Received:
    55
    carolinacurious:
    If anything, that one's even better. But it wouldn't work out as well without reading Ishmael first.
    [post=304040]Quoted post[/post]​
    [/b][/quote]

    Yes, I'm enjoying "My Ishmael" but I would have to give the higher recommendation to "Ishmael". The chapter about the Biblical Genesis story is amazing.

    I'm surprised that no one has chimed in on "Owen Meaney".
     
  18. steve319

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2005
    Messages:
    1,205
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Man, let me tell you, it's been TOUGH to stay quiet about that book! I just about flipped when I read your post because, if I had to choose my favorite book of all time, it would be A Prayer for Owen Meaney! :eek: I didn't want to post before because I didn't want to "kill" the discussion.

    The issues of faith and martyrdom and purpose and absent fathers and male friendships are all intertwined there. That was the book that endeared Irving to me forever.

    I can't believe that I've run into another person who loves that book. I'm a sucker for big, old-fashioned storytelling, especially with good doses of humor, so it makes sense that I'd love Irving, but that one in particular spoke to me on a lot of levels, dealing with issues that cut to my core.

    We'll have to talk about the book, CC! I'm hoping to reread it this year.
     
  19. surferboy

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    Messages:
    3,182
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    9
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Sunrise, Florida
    No love for Auldous Huxley?
     
  20. Pappy

    Pappy Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Messages:
    2,416
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Outta Here
    The DaVinci Code is a good read. My all time favorite is an old one, The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck. Telling my age here...hehehe
     
Draft saved Draft deleted