Five books that you return to, often

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by NCbear, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. NCbear

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    I'll start:

    Gone With the Wind. By Margaret Mitchell. I saw the movie when I was three or four years old, but the book was so much more complicated than the "wish the South would rise again" movie. And quite interesting to re-read now, many years after I first read it in third grade. It's quite a psychological novel describing subtle shifts in relationships, if you can temporarily block out both the historical details and the movie's obvious agenda.

    The Family Heart: A Memoir of When Our Son Came Out. By Robb Forman Dew. Some of the most poetic prose I've ever read. I pick it up whenever I want to read prose as starkly, elegaically beautiful, in its way, as Robert Frost's poetry.

    The Last Convertible. By Anton Myrer. A self-consciously nostalgic look back at the 1940s generation--those who fought in WWII--and how they were sandwiched between the Depression era and the baby boomer/counterculture eras.

    The Lord of the Rings. By J. R. R. Tolkien. I had picked up The Hobbit in third grade, drawn by the mysterious title, but when I found this trilogy, I knew I had to have my own copy. (Well, copies, now. I have it in several different sizes.) It still is the gold standard of fantasy fiction, with an amazingly believable sweep of action against a complicated, well-conceived alternate-history backdrop. It also still is the book I pick up if I'm going camping and can only fit one book in my duffel bag.

    Remnant Population. By Elizabeth Moon. How in the world can an old woman, left behind on a new planet, be so interesting? I don't know. I'm captivated by her--the way she thinks, the way she reminds me of female relatives, the way she is herself and Everywoman all in one. I've found myself re-reading the novel once about every week since I bought it.

    NCbear (who's looking forward to the responses)
     
  2. naughty

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    Cane River

    This book a mixture of fiction and non fiction is about three generations of women in slavery on the Cane River of Louisiana. It tells the history of the Gens des Couleur of the area and their interactions with the White slaveowning class and enslaved blacks. I found it riveting.
    I loved that the characters were from the author's own family.

    City of Dreams

    THis is a book about the earliest days in the development of Manhattan. Somewhat grisley, it is a book that will hold your attention page after page.

    THe Joy Luck Club

    Once again a book about three generations of women but this time in the chinese community of San Francisco. Amy Tan takes the reader on a journey back to china and through the experiences of the women who made up the joy luck club.


    THe THornbirds

    The story of a forbidden love between a priest and the youngest member of a family which he betrays in his quest to be a Cardinal. I fell in love with McCullough's images of the ever changing face of the Australian Outback.


    Daughter of Fortune

    the story of a young girl's search for the love of her life. It takes the reader through the wilds of 19th century California at the start of the Gold rush and brings a dramatic conclusion with the appearance of the folk hero, Joaquin Muriatta.
     
  3. IntoxicatingToxin

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    The five books in my collection that have been read the most often are:

    Conversations with God, by Neale Donald Walsh.

    Plainsong, by Kent Haruf

    The Celestine Prophecy, by James Redfield

    Helter Skelter, by Vincent Bugliosi

    The Bean Trees, by Barbara Kingsolver
     
  4. SpeedoMike

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    anything by Arthur Hailey... among others he wrote Airport
     
  5. What to do?

    What to do? New Member

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    TattooedMamaMeg,
    I love The Bean Trees! I just read it for the second time and want to read the others in the series!

    I always fall back on Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time. It is an absolute must for anyone's library!

    If I am in a peace seeking mood and want easy reading, I choose a book by the Dalai Lama or Thich Nhat Han.

    I read everything Faulkner over and over again.

    With 2 kids, I read Dr.Suess non-stop :) I can recite every story by heart!
     
  6. SpeedoGuy

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    Ernes't K Gann's Fate is the Hunter: Gann's autobiographical account of his life as an airline and, during WW2, transport pilot during the golden age of propeller powered flight. He was never a combat pilot but some of the harrowing adventures in the air he survived have to be read to be believed. Fate is by far my favorite book.

    Andrew Gordon's The Rules of the Game: Gordon painstakingly clarifies the 100 years of historical context necessary to understand why Britain's Royal Navy failed to smash its smaller German foe at the battle of Jutland in 1916. This complex study is much more a story of the competing egos and personalities among the RN's senior commanders than the inevitable clash with the German fleet.

    James Michener's Chesapeake: Michener's spins this novel in his usual style of recounting the exploits of several fictional families of different economic castes who settle in Maryland beginning in the 1600's. Each family's history is historically interwoven with that of the others', at times cooperating such as in the Revolutionary War and then bitterly clashing, over slavery and the Civil War

    Richard Bach's Stranger to the Ground Bach's allegory of aviation and life is set during an ordinary flight during the height of the Cold War that nearly ends in disaster during a storm. The reader need not be a pilot to appreciate the description of the range of emotions Bach undergoes before, during and after the flight.

    J.R.R. Tolkein's The Lord of the Rings: No description req'd.
     
  7. Tickled Pink

    Tickled Pink New Member

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    The Lord of the Rings (totalling at least 15 books I believe)

    The Foundation Series - Issac Asimov (now consisiting of about 14 books)

    The Many Coloured Land (4 books) - Julian May

    The Pern Series (lost count) - Anne MacCaffrey

    The Rama Series (4 books) - Arthur C Clarke

    Also many books by Stephen King, Robert Heinlein, James Herbert, Agatha Christie, J.K.Rowling, etc
     
  8. Hand_Solo

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    Nineteen Eighty-Four--George Orwell

    Cat's Cradle--Kurt Vonnegut

    Dune--Frank Herbert

    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas--Hunter S. Thompson

    A Confederacy of Dunces--John Kennedy Toole
     
  9. fivesalive

    fivesalive Member

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    Lord of the Rings- I love Tolkien's imagery to sum it all up. He manages to highlight the beauty of the real world by caricaturing it in his own fiction. The thoughtfulness of his mythology is no less epic than Homer or the Bible... its amazing.

    Golden Compass (Phillip Pullman) I got into this when I was very young, I remember waiting several years before the final book came out. Just plain fun to me, I can't wait to see angels battle in the movie theater...

    Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card) Best quick read this side of Of Mice and Men. Pick it up and you won't move for three hours til you're done. The first book is about a boy genius the world government is training to lead humanity against a hostile alien race, and the sequels bring in issues of morality and philosophy with respects to advanced biology, computers, and religion.

    Stranger in a Strange Land (Robert A Heinlein) I love anything that uses creative scifi/fantasy to accomplish a more realistic philosophical agenda... A kid raised by Martians ends up back on Earth with an alternative viewpoint of humanity and ends up turning it into a religion.

    Ishmael (Daniel Quinn) Respins the Bible into a portrayal of the history of humanity's war with the environment. It makes so much sense and is so well done. It's like "the Da Vinci Code" for environmentalists, without the whole "now I need to take a history course to unlearn all this fake and skewed history" aspect. I can't read it too much however because I feel like I have to change my life afterwards.

    I also rabidly love anything by Vonnegut, Hemingway and Camus. Stuff that makes me feel like I'm learning while having fun.
     
  10. midlifebear

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    Mi dictionario de Larousse: Castellano. ¡No puedo vivir sin esta obra grande!
     
  11. scanjock8

    scanjock8 Active Member

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    The Catcher in the Rye, Salinger
    The Stranger, Camus
    Democracy in America, De Tocqueville
    The French Chef Cookbook, Child
    The Bible
     
  12. prince_will

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    i'm trying to remember five books that i've read over and over again. i usually read so much...lemme see...

    The World According to Garp - John Irving
    The Harry Potter Series - J.K Rowling

    geez, i read so many books and have lots of favorites but these are the only books i've read more than three times.

    others i've read twice:
    In The Time of The Butterflies - Julia Alvarez
    The House of the Scorpion - Nancy Farmer
    A Widow For One Year - John Irving.

    lol...i'm sufferfing from a huge lapse in memory due to me doing homework, but i know there are lots more..
     
  13. B_NineInchCock_160IQ

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    As far as novels go.. I think there's only one that I've read through completely more than once.. that would be Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.
     
  14. dannymawg

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    "Crazy White Man (Sha-ga-ma-she Wa-du-kee)" - Richard Morenus, Rand McNally, 1952. Basically, a New Yorker gives up his busy radio career to live in the bush of Canada.

    I found this book to turn out like a binky, or a safe haven - something I can sit with, read it over and over and still enjoy the visuals. I had stumbled on it, as it was left behind in the basement of the apartment I was moving into.

    I would think this less appealing to intellectuals, as there's no deep message or challenging plot. It's kinda like comfort food. From 1952.
     
  15. ClaireTalon

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    A very good one, however, I prefer his Wheels or Hotel. His late work (post Strong Medicine is largely unremarkable).

    Neal Stephenson: Cryptonomicon. Three words: brute - rakish - sensational. Probably the best he has ever written, especially since I don't like S/F usually. If it wasn't so difficult to read it, I'd hit it again and again.

    Daniel F. Galouye: World On A Wire. The only S/F novel I like, only poorly adopted for the silver screen in Matrix or The 13th Floor.

    William & Marilyn Hoffer: Freefall. Just one sentence: Don't read it while you fly.

    Michael Crichton: Disclosure. The only book by him that I would recommend. The others, before and after it, are just poor imitations of it, also, if you have read that you have really read every book he has ever written. And from the nowadays technical point of view it is amazingly outdated. Talk about the early days of the internet.

    Kenneth R. Fearing: The Big Clock. The best, and one of the few classics, that I have ever read. Also an acceptable proof that pulp and soft porno writers can crank out good novels. Greatly adapted for the silver screen as No Way Out in 1987, the best novel adaption that I have ever seen.
     
  16. littledickboy111

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    I love Al Franken's book "Why Not Me?"

    It's about how he runs for President and only focuses on one issue: ATM Fees. And he wins. And then implodes and resigns about a month into his reign.

    You can read the book and substitute "Obama" for "Franken" and "Hope" or "Change" for "ATM Fees" and it reads like a book being written in the present.
     
  17. B_becominghorse

    B_becominghorse New Member

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    Yes, definitely, plus the Pelleprat Cookbooks. Also the Sopranos Family Cookbook.

    Anything by Joan Didion, Norman Mailer, Don DeLillo. Also 'Fanny Hill' for Big Dick Fucking.
     
  18. psidom

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    owning your own shadow-jung
    the elements of the qabalah-will parfitt
    777- aleister crowley
    anima animus-emma jung
    mission of art-alex grey

    that was hard.
    :smile:
     
  19. NCbear

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    Five more:

    (1) The Bible. The King James version, regal and stately in its language, beautiful in its cadences. One of the most majestic works in English.

    (2) The Robe. By Lloyd C. Douglas. The story of the Roman centurion who gambles for and wins Christ's robe during the Crucifixion, this amazing historical novel traces one man's growth into Christianity as a redemptive act. Some parts are a little hackneyed--it was written in the 1940s--but as a whole, it works rather well.

    (3) Saratoga Trunk. Not quite the quintessential Southern novel--Gone With the Wind and To Kill a Mockingbird vie for that title--but pretty damned close. The best lines? Perhaps when Clio Dulaine says most people spend less time planning their lives than they do planning their next meal. Perhaps when she leaves a horse race in Saratoga, saying that she knows one horse can run faster than another. Or perhaps when she says she admires women who are stoic in the face of adversity, but she herself laughs when she's happy, cries when she's sad, and shouts when she's angry, because it's simpler.

    (4) David Weber's Honor Harrington series. Anyone want to read a story about a model-tall, Eurasian spaceship captain (now admiral) with a six-limbed, telepathic/telempathic "treecat" companion? No? With an interesting mix of political and economic theory, long-standing but dynamic military traditions, and a war that throws those elements into stark relief against the backdrop of an interstellar human civilization several millennia in the future? Every time I re-read any of the books in this series, I go to other sources to read more on the issues Weber raises. He really makes me think.

    (5) Friday. By Robert Heinlein. Yes, his warm championing of bisexuality tends to be focused on pretty young women doing things to each other while he watches and/or joins in; yes, his notion of equality of the sexes really is pre-feminist; and yes, his heroes and heroines always have enough money and education (and not enough moral restrictions) to do whatever they want to do, whether in- or outside of the law. But the relationship of this particular novel's main character, a genetically engineered superwoman, to her society seems to have multiple parallels with the relationship that today's gay and lesbian people have with our society here in North America.

    NCbear (who continues to enjoy the responses)
     
  20. naughty

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    Workin' up a good pot of mad!
    Great! Now I can go make my second list! :biggrin1:
     
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