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Lexilogio

Top 10 Books

Might as well echo the film thread...

1. The Bible (kind of has to be)
2. The Oxford English Dictionary (the several volume versions are fascinating)
3. Sophie's World - Josteinn Garder
4. Miss Smillla's Feeling for Snow - Peter Hoeg
5. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
6. A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter J Miller
7. Uncle Vanya - Chekov
8. Cider House Rules - John Irving
9. The Bridge - Ian Banks
10. The Sparrow - Mary Doria Russell
Shaker

Given how many books I've got this is almost impossible.

However ...

I will say - at the risk of coming across as a poncy and pretentious pseud - that my favourite work of fiction really is James Joyce's Ulysses. I read it first when I was about 22, 23, or something like that, and - I'm sorry, it has to be said - I thought then, and still think now, it's the greatest novel ever written. I can't say what an exhilarating, life-affirming read it is. I also think its difficulties are vastly exaggerated. I admit that it gives no quarter: you really do have to stay on track with it to get it, but presumably it helped that I had an annotated edition with so many footnotes explaining everything that it made an already long book twice as long. You probably couldn't read it to any profit without some sort of reader's guide such as this. It worked though: I 'got' it, and in spades. It's not deliberately difficult and obscure for the sake of it as I would say the genuinely almost entirely unreadable Finnegans Wake is.

It may not be the book for everyone, but surely it deserves a fair chance rather than being tossed aside after twenty pages as I'm sure most people do who attempt it. I've read many books and I hope to read many more in the time left to me, but I've never yet come across anything with quite the same unique magic about it, and frankly I doubt if I ever shall.
david_geoffrey

A la Desert Island Disks, I will take the Bible and Shakespeare are a given.
So in no particular order - and I could write out another 10 just as easily
1) Anna Karenin (Stunning sweep of characters and a love story to die for, well...)
2) Great Expectations (Dickens at his best, I fell in love with Estella)
3) Nicholas Nickleby (OK Dickens at his equal best, still funny and exciting and sad)
4) For Esme with Love and Squalor (Not Salinger's most famous but the title story is brilliant)
5) Jeeves in the Morning (but could be any of several dozen)
6) 100 Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (You either love Magic Realism or hate it but I love it...and this is so memorable)
7) A Time of Gifts (Travel book by Patrick Leigh Fermor - the sequel Between the Woods and the Water is equally good)
8 ) The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat. (Oliver Sack's masterpiece collection of neurological studies.)
9) The Oxford book of Verse (sort of desert island choice as it means i would have some poetry to read)
10) King Ottaker's Sceptre (Tintin - again could be almost any of the others. There are few duffs)
gone

Since my husband's illness I find it hard to concentrate long enough to read a novel, which is a shame. The book that I read daily is the Bible!
Shaker

Quote:
6) 100 Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (You either love Magic Realism or hate it but I love it...and this is so memorable)

Not so fast Mr Bond! Not necessarily - I hated One Hundred Years of Solitude but absolutely loved The Satanic Verses.
Lexilogio

For a poetry book it wouldn't be the Oxford version - too many dry poems. It would have to be "Staying Alive:Unreal poems for unreal times" edited by Neil Astley, by far the best anthology ever published.
LornaDoone40

My current top 10 fiction (and this is not the classics list, which has to be separate...), and in no particular order:

Snow Falling On Cedars - David Guterson
A Spot of Bother - Mark Haddon
The Tenderness of Wolves - Stef Penney
A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
Alias Grace - Margaret Attwood
The Outcast - Sadie Jones
March - Geraldine Brooks
Girl With a Pearl Earring - Tracey Chevalier
The Poisenwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver
The Resurrectionist - James Bradley
LornaDoone40

... and the classics:

Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austin
Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austin
David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
Little Women - Louisa May Allcot
Jude The Obscure - Thomas Hardy
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
Northanger Abbey - Jane Austin
The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Graham
Lexilogio

I have to admit, both Jane Eyre and Great Expectations were strong considerations for my top 10.

For me, Jane Eyre has the best concluding line in a book, and Great Expectations has one of the best opening chapters.
northernstar

Lorna, not Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore?! I must admit to being a philistine where "classics" are concerned, I like to switch off by reading thrillers, mainly Lee Child, Jonathan and Faye Kellerman, Michael Connelly, Robert K. Tanenbaum and Jack Higgins. I've not voluntarily read a classic since school, a very long time ago!
LornaDoone40

steve455 wrote:
Lorna, not Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore?!


Yup!     (It was that or Jane Eyre - but Lorna Doone is much more tragic....  :lol: )
Lexilogio

I've been racking my brain for the title of a book I meant to put in my top 10. It's the best work of fiction I've read in about 10 years - The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.
david_geoffrey

Lexilogio wrote:
I've been racking my brain for the title of a book I meant to put in my top 10. It's the best work of fiction I've read in about 10 years - The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.
I read that recently, and thought it was a brilliant concept but could have been trimmed by about a third and would have been even better.

But were you struck by some big spiritual questions, predestination for one?
BevIsHopeful

The Bible
Les Miserables  -  Victor Hugo
Moby Dick  -  Herman Melville (the most underlined book I own, next to the Bible)
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austin
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte  
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
Love in the Time of Cholera  -  Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Scarlet Letter  -  Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Plague -  Albert Camus
To Kill a Mockingbird  -  Harper Lee
LornaDoone40

Quote:
To Kill a Mockingbird  -  Harper Lee


Wonderful, wonderful book...  ah me...
BevIsHopeful

Lexilogio wrote:
I have to admit, both Jane Eyre and Great Expectations were strong considerations for my top 10.

For me, Jane Eyre has the best concluding line in a book, and Great Expectations has one of the best opening chapters.


Yes two very good ones, Lexi.  

I just realized, John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath.  Stunning ending.  But, I would still more likely re read the ten I listed, so I suppose it would be eleven.  
Lexilogio

david_geoffrey wrote:
Lexilogio wrote:
I've been racking my brain for the title of a book I meant to put in my top 10. It's the best work of fiction I've read in about 10 years - The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.
I read that recently, and thought it was a brilliant concept but could have been trimmed by about a third and would have been even better.

But were you struck by some big spiritual questions, predestination for one?


Are you related to Miles by any chance?

I guess since I love science fiction anyway, the spiritual questions didn't strike me particularly - although there was the rather obvious idea of everything being predestined - but the book does make pains to suggest that something may occur to upset the predestined way.
Paul

A Tale of Two Cities
Pride and Prejudice
Don Quixiote
Histories
The Old Curiosity Shop
The Idiot
Gulliver's Travels
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Jesus of Nazareth
Confessions
david_geoffrey

Lexilogio wrote:
david_geoffrey wrote:
Lexilogio wrote:
I've been racking my brain for the title of a book I meant to put in my top 10. It's the best work of fiction I've read in about 10 years - The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.
I read that recently, and thought it was a brilliant concept but could have been trimmed by about a third and would have been even better.

But were you struck by some big spiritual questions, predestination for one?


Are you related to Miles by any chance?

I guess since I love science fiction anyway, the spiritual questions didn't strike me particularly - although there was the rather obvious idea of everything being predestined - but the book does make pains to suggest that something may occur to upset the predestined way.
No, no relation to Miles    

It didn't overshadow the book for me - it was just the bit about free will and preD (although not mentioned as such), and how when they went driving Clare switched the lights off because she knew she would not be killed because she knew her future to some extent, therefore did she have free will etc etc.
bigfrankus

hi

years ago read a few John Grisham

in recent times read The Aquariums of Pyongyang - about a guy who managed 2 get out of North Korea - he got sent 2 jail and he was only about 10 - great account of fighting against injustice - great read - thoroughly recommended

recently read a few about Russia

Blowing Up Russia by Alexander Litvinenko and Yuri Felshstinsky
great account of how the KGB deliberately murdered their own people 2 start a war against Chechnya - they blamed it on the Chechens - nothing 2 do with them of course - all done 2 drum up support 4 Putin who no one knew at the time

read other books about the oligarchs in Russia and how they stole the natural resources of Russia for themselves

also a few books by Anna Politkovskaya - she got tore into Putin and was a fierce critic of him - they killed her - u should read them - great books

also read a book called Complicity with evil : the United Nations in the age of Modern Genocide - great book

all about how the UN which was set up 2 prevent these bad things from happening - Darfur - Srebrenica - Rwanda

about how those muppet politicians in New York stood by and did nothing 2 help poor people from being killed b cos they were so obsessed with remaining impartial - what a bunch of muppets!!

in Rwanda the General in charge could have stopped it  - he knew where the stash of knives and machetes were - but those muppets in NY did not allow him 2 retrieve them

it was the same in Srebrenica

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