We all seem to have a love/hate relationship with lists, so let’s admit it. I will create one list a week, some just for fun, others with the intention of starting other conversations, that hopefully a majority of posters will contribute to. Some topics will be simple and straight-forward (such as this) or they may be more creative and focused. Just something to exercise our listing reflexes. To start off, simply list your 10 Favorite Books (and if you like, feel free to let us know why). Myself, in no weighted order:
Alexander Hamilton - by Ron ChernowComplete Poems - by Hart CraneDon Quixote - by Miguel de CervantesEssays - by Ralph Waldo EmersonGreat Expectations - by Charles DickensThe Great Gatsby - by F. Scott FitzgeraldThe History of the Siege of Lisbon - by José SaramagoInvisible Cities - by Italo CalvinoSabbath’s Theater - by Philip RothTom Jones - by Henry Fielding
This was actually harder than theauteurs Sight & Sound poll. Remember, let’s see your favorites, not arguments for what’s best.
1. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
2. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
3. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
4. The Stand by Stephen King
5. The Complete Works of Michael Crichton (if I picked one I would just be lieing)
6. The Shining by Stephen King
I am just going to put 6 due to my number 5 choice and the fact that these are the ones that really stand out. I am really embarrassed with the lack of great literature I have read. It is just hard because when I read while reading another book for school I often mix up the character names and then do bad on my tests. Right now in English we are reading Romeo and Juliet in class which gives me a chance to read other books. Once I finish up the Stanley Kubrick Interviews book I am going to start The Magic Lantern (Bergman’s biography) and then hopefully I will have time to read Lolita before i have to start summer reading.
I love the concept of this thread, but I’m afraid I can’t imagine any way for me to participate.
I can’t even pick ten favorite films, and that’s with only 100 years of history to the art form. Just one of my all-time favorite books, off the top of my head, is the Shahnameh, which was first published around 1,000 AD. I just can’t narrow a selection spanning thousands of years down to ten.
Yeah yeah, we’ve all read a lot. Just ask, “If I were to reread 10 books today, what would they be?” These things change, obviously.
No, no, I’m not trying to brag. I’m actually saying that it’s mentally impossible for me to do this. As in, it would drive me insane.
Brothers Karamazov – Fyodor Dostoevsky (for me it all starts with Dostoevsky)
Taras Bulba – Nikolai Gogol
The Death of Ivan Illych – Lev Tolstoy
The Ways of White Folks – Langston Hughes
The Waves – Virginia Woolf
Suttree – Cormac McCarthy
Ozu: His Life and Films – Donald Ritchie (It’s a book, and he is my favourite filmmaker: leave me alone)
Metamorphasis – Franz Kafka
The Cathcer in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
On the Road – Jack Keruoac
Nothing surprising, sorry. I know nothing about anything.
Ill just mention one:
Windup Bird Chronicle – Haruki Murakami
That’s a great list, Dax… don’t knock yourself. I think that if you’re even aware of Nikolai Gogol, it automatically places you above most American citizens in terms of literacy.
As I mentioned earlier I am often short on time when it comes to reading. I am curious….does anyone have any suggestions for a book that is short enough to read in about a week but is still amazing?
Invisible Cities by Italo CalvinoThe Kingdom of this World by Alejo CarpentierNotes from Underground by Fyodor DostoyevskyAs I Lay Dying by William FaulknerSeize the Day by Saul BellowFicciones by Jorge Luis BorgesThe Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas PynchonPortnoy’s Complaint by Philip RothFragments by HeraclitusThe Great Crash of 1929 by John Kenneth Galbraith
Hope you find something you like.
Thank you I will make sure to check those out.
A la recherche du temps perdu by Marcel Proust
The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil
Sheeper by Irving Rosenthal
Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bowles
Concerning the Eccentricities of Cardinal Pirelli by Ronald Firbank
The Recognitions by Willim Gaddis
The Wings of the Dove by Henry James
Au Bonheur des Dames by Emile Zola
Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany
Crash by J.G. Ballard
Check out The Death of Ivan Illych by Tolstoy. (Kurosawa’s Ikiru is based on it, I believe.) It’s short – about 100 pages – and really great.
randomly ordered…i can’t give them numbers yet….
Metamorphasis – Franz Kafka
Cosmos – Carl Sagan
Thus Spake Zarathustra – Friedrich Nietzsche
Our Films, Their Films – Satyajit Ray
Brothers Karamazov – Fyodor Dostoevsky
Interpretation of Dreams – Sigmund Freud
Adventures of Feluda – Satyajit Ray
Guide – R.K.Narayan
We the people – Ayn Rand
Cinema and I – Ritwik Ghatak
Haven’t read any Balzac or Gogol….
Autobiography by John Cowper Powys
Magister Ludi: The Glass Bead Game by Herman Hesse
Sansho the Bailiff by Mori Ogai
Think on These Things by Jiddu Krishnamurti
The Flight of the Falcon by Daphne du Maurier
The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Uncle Peretz Takes Off by Yaakov Shabtai (collection of short stories)
L’Etranger by Albert Camus
Remise de peine by Patrick Modiano
The Little Prince by Saint-Exupéry
The Summer of the Beautiful White Horse by William Saroyan
These are short, except for the first two but my absolute favorite is the first one.
Drew – Definitely The Death of Ivan Illych. Flemmon’s absolutely right. Anytime I go anyplace in which I know I’m going to have to wait for 20 minutes or more (doctor, pickup a friend from work, jury duty, etc…) I bring Tolstoy’s little masterpiece with me. I’ll normally bring something else if I find I’m not in the mood, or in case things run long (jury duty I’m looking at you), but I can read the entire thing in about two hours time. Maybe some essays, too (if you happen to just be waiting around). I’m always bringing stuff I printed from film websites like Senses of Cinema along with me (I must look like a crazy person).
I feel bad > many many writers I’m leaving off the ark, here
10 books I love, 10 books that changed me
Jorge Luis Borges, LabyrinthsMargaret Atwood, SurfacingAlbert Camus, L’Exil et Le RoyaumeWilliam S Burroughs, Cities of the Red NightElias Canetti, Crowds and Power Angela Carter, Black VenusEugene O’Neill, The Iceman Cometh — OK it’s a play, but it stands equal to any novelDalton Trumbo, Johnny Got His GunRobert Graves, The White GoddessIstván Mészáros, Alienation
sheesh, I guess I’m leaving Kafka to drown, along with Paul Auster and Haruki Murakami…
This was impossibly hard RUS …but a great idea.
All these books hammered themselves into my brain like rusty nails
I’m admittedly weak in the literary category, but of the novels I have read I have had a strong connection to the following:
All the Pretty Horses – Cormac McCarthy
- Both the meandering story structure and rather languid characters provided a glimpse of the western removed from the cowboys/bandits and the western cliches. The way the novel moves from one event to the next without lingering too long on one part, and how the novel is basically plotless, allowed me to take stock of the characters more so than the conflicts/actions/events of the book.
Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
- While I found the characters outside of the narrator to be somewhat forgettable, the method in which this novel perfectly evokes memories and childhood helped me to look past its flaws. The sci-fi angle of the novel is largely a backdrop for much greater ideas, and it seemed more a chronicling of an individual’s life than a morality tale. This one might eventually fall out of favor with me, but for now the memory of its memories is splendid.
The Accidental President of Brazil – Fernando Cardoso
- Both the story of the development of a nation and one man’s rise to the presidency, this book tells the tale of a man ousted from his home country after totalitarianism takes control, only to regain it back by playing the political game. Poignant and surprisingly funny – my favorite parts are Cardoso’s recalling of the French college-student reactionaries of the 60s, and a former Brazilian president arguing with his mother over whether it is safer to be on land or on a boat at sea during an earthquake.
The Only Meaning of the Oil-Wet Water – Dave Eggers
- I am by no means a fan of Eggers and consider this a fluke that I enjoyed it as much as I did. That being said, I love the feel this short story evokes of both the beach and hot days in a beautiful tropical vacation. But I guess if you were to set the story in any other place I wouldn’t have enjoyed it nearly as much, so this is just a temporary favorite.
Memories of My Melancholy Whores – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
- I love this novella’s portrayal of lust in old age, how sex with prostitutes becomes a lifelong and life-affirming activity. Never before have a I found whores to be as divine as they are when lovingly reflected upon by Marquez.
At the moment I’m reading Nabokov’s Lolita which I am loving, and hoping to finish up Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and McCarthy’s Blood Meridian. I also still have to get to A Confederacy of Dunces and a book I received for Christmas about Singapore’s rise in the world market, so I have a lot. I have the feeling Lolita may be come my favorite book, I love the prose and the forbidden lust it displays, and because I’m a sick fuck. Oh, and i recently bought a Murakami novel – Norwegian Wood – should be a full summer.
Nice to see all that classic Russian Lit
Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Brothers Karamazov – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
An American Tragedy – Theodore Dreiser
The Stranger – Albert Camus
Anna Karenin – Leo Tolstoy
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – Robert Pirsig
The Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
anything by Raymond Chandler
anything by Jim Thompson
anything by Robert E. Howard
i would also recommend for short reads,
Notes from Underground – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Diary of a Madman and other Short Stories – Nikolai Gogol
this would all change by tomorrow
Thanks. Love seeing other people’s favs/recommendations.
Okay, here is my crack at it…
Nobody need feel bad about not having read many novels, I asked for favorite books, not novels. So feel free to list whatever is closest to you.
Nallan, have read Underworld by DeLillo?
Shit I want to replace the Mészáros on my list with that.
Damn fine book.
@T.252.AM – I was pawing ‘Underworld’ in the bookstore just recently…definitely high on my to-read list. Thx!
T.252.AM – I have a friend literally obsessed with Joyce at the moment. I wanted to include Ulysses, but I thought a pre-requisite was that I had to understand the novel. Haven’t tackled Finnegan’s Wake yet, too highbrow for me.
Contortionist Handbook by Craig Clevenger
Kiss Me, Judas by Will Christopher Baer
The Stranger by Albert Camus
Fay by Larry Brown
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoeyevsky
Joe by Larry Brown
Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
Confessions of a Mask by Yukio Mishima
The Ruined Map by Kobo Abe
This is pretty tough and would probably change daily but here’s what comes to mind:
J.G. Ballard – Crash
Charles Bukowski – Pulp
Kurt Vonnegut – Hocus Pocus
Vladimir Nabokov – Lolita
Cormac McCarthy – Suttree (or Outer Dark..)
Hermann Hesse – Narcissus and Goldmund
Neal Stephenson – Snow Crash (or Cryptonimicon..)
William S. Burroughs – Cities of the Red Night
Nicolas Christopher – Veronica
Andre Breton – Nadja
Marguerite Duras – The Lover (or The Malady of Death.. hmm)
Yeah.. this isn’t going to work.. that’s 11..maybe I need 20? :P
Tommy – Joe and Fay are my favorite by Larry Brown as well..
..and then there’s all those great film books..
I’m with some of the others in that I haven’t read extensively but here’s my list for what it’s worth.
Chronicles Volume One – Bob Dylan
The Tao of Jeet Kune Do – Bruce Lee
A Briefer History of Time – Stephen Hawking
Rebel Without a Crew – Robert Rodriguez
Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation – Jeff Chang
The Selfish Gene – Richard Dawkins
Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans – Ronald Takaki
Ishi in Two Worlds: Biography of the Last Wild Indian in North America – Theodora Kroeber
Education for Extinction: American Indians and the Boarding School Experience – David Wallace Adams
Lakota Woman – Mary Crow Dog
Most things I read nowadays are film articles/theories and textbooks for my classes. Aside from that, I tend to read up on books covering native americans.
…i’m that guy with alot of books who doesn’t read NEARLY enough. so, here’s a short, and very incomplete, list of books i truly loved:
(in no particular order)
Still Life With Woodpecker by Tom Robbins
Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski
Ask The Dusk by John Fante
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Existentialsim by Jean-Paul Satre
Wait Untili Spring, Bandini by Fante
Post Office by Bukowski
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
Dubliners by James Joyce
The Stranger by Albert Camus
Rotten: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs by John Lydon (with Kent and Kieth Zimmerman)
i know that’s 11, and here’s a book that might possibly make the list:
Bambi VS. Godzilla: On the Nature, Purpose, and Practice of the Movie Business by David Mamet—so far, this is a very intriguing, hilarious, and insightful look into what it really takes to make a movie, and what you’re up against whilst making it. so far, very funny and very good.
In random order and off the top of my head:
The Tartar Steppe- Dino Buzzati
Catch-22- Joseph Heller
The Red and the Black- Stendhal
Ask the Dust- John Fante
Ubik- Philip K Dick
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch- Philip K Dick
The Abyss- Marguerite Yourcenar
The Idiot- Fyodor Dostoyevksy
Krapp’s Last Tape- Samuel Beckett (I’ve only read it, never seen it performed, so to me it’s only a book, not yet a play)
Nine Stories- JD Salinger
Animal Farm- George Orwell
Racing Cars- Rand McNally Press
Gordon Matta-Clark- Phaidon Press
History of Philosophy- Frederick Copleston
Aircraft- Le Corbusier
The Chomsky-Foucault Debate
The Man Without Qualities- Robert Musil
and some others
So, RUS, i see you’ve decided to take control of the whole lists issue. Well, i don’t have a love-hate relationship with lists, or at least decent informed lists like the ones above that give new ideas and recommendations. Lists have broadened my horizons and enhanced my pleasures no end. I approve of this thread, in fact I would have done this same thread already,
The Wind in the Willows- Grahame
Love in the Time of Cholera- Marquez
The Little Prince- St Exupéry
House of the Spirits- Allende
Tom Jones- Fielding
The Wind up Bird Chronicle- Murakami
Nature Diary- Opal Whiteley
Cutting it Short- Hrabal
Jacques le Fataliste- Diderot
The Pillow Book- Sei Shonagon
I am a Cat- Sosseki
Manon Lescaut- Prévost
The Garden of Forking Paths (short)- Borges
Anna Karenina- Tolstoy
Crime and Punishment-Dostoevsky
Infinite Tropics:an Alfred Russel Wallace anthology.
(Wallace was the shamefully neglected official co-originator of the theory of evolution by natural selection, “father of biogeography”, a good modest man, he covered a wide range, including quite challenging politics, and- unfortunately- an intererest in spiritualism.)
good to see Mr King picking Narcissus and Goldmund- i read it in my teens and my memories are vague but there was a marvellous vivid scene in a meadow that stayed with me. Perhaps i shall read it again, or would that spell be lost?