The LPSG Book Club

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by snoozan, Jun 13, 2007.

  1. snoozan

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    We have an entire section devoted to celebs, a few music threads, some movie ones... but what about books? I'm sure there are a ton of avid readers here, so let's exchange some titles.

    What are your favorite books? What are you reading right now? What was bloody awful? Who is your favorite author?

    Right now I'm reading Spook by Mary Roach. She's a writer for Salon.com who wrote this book about the history of scientific study of the afterlife. I am quite underwhelmed by it.

    Before that I read a mystery novel called The Dante Club. It reinvogorated my interest in Dante and also painted a very interesting portrait of the most famous writers of Harvard in that era.

    One of my favorite books is John Irving's The Cider House Rules. I really like John Irving in general, but this is one of my favorites of his.

    Sula. I love Toni Morrison, but this is the one novel of hers that I'd pick to read again right now.

    Chaos by James Gleick. Good book on Chaos theory and its history. I really like Science writing.

    An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jameson. Probably one of the best accounts of mental illness that I've read.

    There are a ton more but I'm drawing a complete blank.
     
  2. crescendo69

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    A new one is coming out that I heard about on NPR - Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar...; or something like that. I plan to pick it up in July. A humourous look at different philosophies.
     
  3. vince

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    Hey, this is a great idea. I am always looking for new titles. I share a few of my favorites that come to mind.

    Senor Vivo and the Coca Lord by Louis De Bernieres. Hilarious!

    One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and anything else by him.

    The Long Summer: How Climate Changed Civilization by Brian M. Fagan. For anyone interested in the coming apocalypse.

    As a kid, my favorite book was The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico.

    Ok, that's all I'll list now, more later.
     
  4. Blocko

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    I'll read anything once, twice if it's good.

    I'll agree with Vince on Senor Vivo and all the books in that series.

    The Doubter's Companion: A Dictionary of Aggressive Common Sense
    and
    Voltaire's Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West by John Ralston Saul are fantastic books.
     
  5. biguy2738

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    Great idea, Snoozan!

    I'm into the whole forensics/detective type genre.
    My favourite authors are: Kathy Reich, Jeffrey Deaver, Karin Slaughter
    and Patricia Cornwell.

    I think that A Million Little Pieces is a book that everyone should read. It is written by James Frye and is an autobiography of a drug addict that has no option but to go into rehab.

    My most favourite book of all time, is written by a South African author called Dalene Matthee, the book is called Fiela's Child (it is translated from the original Afrikaans). The amazing thing about this book, is though it challenged apartheid, (and during those years everything was censored), this book ended up being one of the prescribed set works for Afrikaans literature in High School. It is the beautiful account of how a non-white woman wakes up in the middle of the night to the sound of a two year old white boy crying on her doorstep. How she raises him as her own, yet at the age of twelve he is removed from her because of her race. It's a book crammed with emotion and depth, that challenges one to examine one's own prejudices or sense of being superior.

    I will end here for now. Thanks once again, Snoozan...this is such a good idea!
     
  6. whatireallywant

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    I'll have to look up that book Fiela's Child myself - it sounds like my kind of thing!

    I mostly read science fiction, fantasy, and mystery. I recently read The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman - it's a "children's" book, but actually rather deep. It got into religious philosophy, some stuff about other worlds/dimensions that sounded like some of what I have read about string theory, etc.

    I like science writing too.
     
  7. ManlyBanisters

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    Good thread - I haven't read half the titles listed so far, I shall take note.

    My all time favourite book is Catch 22 (Joseph Heller) and, for those few who havn't read it, I can't recommend it highly enough. Witty, sharp, funny, melancholy and poigniant - and so very well written (it's a shame none of his later work lived up to its standards, they're OK and all, I enjoyed Picture This)

    I've recently finished O-Zone (Paul Theroux, the Mosquito Coast guy) and I very much enjoyed that.

    I'm currently reading 2 books:
    Papillon by Henri Charriére in the original - I'd read the translation before but now I have enough French to read comfortably I thought I'd try it again. You've probably all seen the movie (those of you over 25 anyway), but the book is even better.
    Berlin, the Downfall 1945 by Antony Beevor - whether you seek out military history or not I recommend Beevor's history books, he and his team are amazing researchers - he presents the history so well, with personal accounts and overviews and military documents combining to give a compelling and very readable account of a brutal and difficult subject.
     
  8. Onslow

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  9. Big Dreamer

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    To add some contemporary flavor, these are relatively recent offerings that I enjoyed.

    The Fuck-Up - Arthur Nersesian
    The Contortionist's Handbook - Craig Clevenger
    The Losers' Club - Richard Perez
    Sellevision - Augusten Burroughs
    Exquisite Corpse - Poppy Brite

    I don't recommend Exquisite Corpse to anyone who faints at the sight of blood, or takes issue with really descriptive and explicit gay sex passages. Many people HATED this book, but for some reason it hooked me.
     
  10. SpoiledPrincess

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    When I was younger I would blood mindedly stick to reading a book once I'd started it, now I'm older I find life's too short so I often abandon a book only a few pages in if it isn't gripping me completely.

    To me the main purpose of a book is to entertain, some people want to be challenged, some want to be educated, I want to find myself immersed in a life that isn't my own.

    My favourite book of all time (although it's actually two trilogies) is The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen Donaldson, I think of it as a sort of grown up Lord of the Rings, I also love The Last Gladiator by Richard Ben Sapir, both of these books have at their centre the examination of the morality of someone placed in a world outside their experience.

    I adore The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer's personality seems to be imprinted on each page - witty, educated, a little spiteful but humorous. I also like a lot of medieval poetry, I find that because of the sexual oppressions of that time it's often slyly dirty-anyone who's conversant with Donne will know this.

    I hate anything in the style of Jackie Collins - painting by numbers smut doesn't do anything for me.
     
  11. monstro

    monstro New Member

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    I've read Spook, Snoozan, and I thought it was pretty underwhelming too.

    I usually read two or three books a week. I just finished Esalen:America and the Religion of No Religion by Jeffrey J. Kripal--an interesting history of the famous Big Sur retreat.

    Currently I'm reading The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family by Mary S. Lovell. I've been on a Mitford sisters kick this year. This is the third or fourth book I've read this year either by or about these fascinating women!

    Big Dreamer, I love Exquisite Corpse too. Poppy's a friend of mine and I know she put a lot of heart and soul into that work.
     
  12. Industrialsize

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    I tend to read only NON-fiction books......I yearn for knowledge!:wink:
     
  13. rob_just_rob

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    The last few books I have read...

    Freakanomics
    The Autobiography of Malcolm X
    Nicholas and Alexandra
    The Progress Paradox
     
  14. B_Think_Kink

    B_Think_Kink New Member

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    I love reading!
    I haven't had much time, but I'm currently reading a erotica called Cowboy, and the text book Human Sexuality.
     
  15. D_Bob_Crotchitch

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    A good read that pokes holes in racism is, "The Color Of Water" by James McBride.
     
  16. Kassokilleri2ff

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    Once the last harry potter book comes out i wont stop reading till its done lol. Other than that, i like stephen king alot. I am currently reading salems lot, and i plan on finishing the dark tower series. I mostly like fantasy and science fiction, Ive read an ungodly amount of books, (thats what happens when your an ugly nerd with no friends) so its hard to say what is my favorite, since there are so many good ones. But i guess ill say Dune, harry potter, pretty much anything stephen king writes, and anne rice's whole vampire series. Good stuff :)
     
  17. Matthew

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    LOVE that one too, Snooze! I try to read it once a year like seeing an old friend. To me, Beloved is her crowning jewel, though. And have you read the last two? I found Paradise and Love to be powerful and tremendously entertaining.
     
  18. SpeedoGuy

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    All excellent choices, Manly. I've read all four and immensely enjoyed them.

    I'd add:

    Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
    Ernest Gann's Fate is the Hunter
    Andrew Gordon's The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command
    Bruce Catton's Civil War: 3 Volumes
    Ken Kesey's Sometimes a Great Notion
    Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August
    Art Spiegelman's Maus : A Survivor's Tale
     
  19. SpeedoGuy

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    Duplicate. See above.
     
  20. IntoxicatingToxin

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    I have several books that I've enjoyed over the years. I'll share three right now...

    I'm currently reading White_Oleander by Janet Fitch. It's the story of a young girl who gets thrown into the Foster Care system, and about her trials and tribulations. I recently saw the movie, and I must say, the movie was a complete bomb. Did the book NO justice whatsoever, and I was incredibly disappointed.

    The book I most recently finished is The_Celestine_Prophecy by James Redfield. I stole the synopsis from Wikipedia - The book discusses various psychological and spiritual ideas which are often regarded as New Age themes. Many ideas are explored, including the practice of vegetarianism helping an individual to establish a connection with the Divine. The main character of the novel undertakes a journey to find and understand a series of nine spiritual insights on an ancient manuscript in Peru. The book is a first-person narrative of spiritual awakening. The narrator is in a transitional period of his life, and begins to notice instances of synchronicity, which is the realization that coincidences are sometimes no accident, and have deeper meaning.

    My favorite book of all time is Conversations_With_God by Neale Donald Walsh. The title is pretty much explains what the book is about. A guys conversations with God. I call it my "Bible". I know that's probably blasphemous, but oh well. That's what it is to me. It's incredibly inspiring. It doesn't preach religion, it doesn't force things down your throat. It's just... a different view, and you can choose whether or not you believe it. It's very simple, and everything makes sense. No contradictions. Really an amazing book.
     
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