Favorite novels, please.

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Novenotes : One Thread

Favorite novels, please.--Al

-- Al Schroeder (al.schroeder@nashville.com), February 02, 2001


Well, in the more classic vein, you can't beat EAST OF EDEN and almost anything by Steinbeck, but EAST OF EDEN stands out. I remember reading it as a teenager for the "dirty parts," and reading it with greater appreciation as an adults for Steinbeck's powers of description. I am rarely struck by the sheer wonder of the *writing* the way I am with Steinbeck, though PRINCE OF TIDES had the same effect on me. Pat Conroy's work took my attention away from the scenic vistas of Oahu because I was so wrapped up in his *writing.* ("Is that Diamond Head? Nice, dear...now let me go back to my book...")

I would also add EARTH ABIDES by George Stewart (whose FIRE and STORM are equally enthralling). Perhaps I have a soft spot in my heart for that book becuase it was set in the SF Bay Area and I can picture it all, but it was a gripping tale.

I'm also not a huge fan of sci fi, but I do love the way David Gerrold uses words. Giggled my way through FLYING SORCERERS (written with Larry Niven) and enjoy finding the puns and double entendres in most of his stuff.

So many books...... (maybe I should write my own journal entry about books!)

-- Bev Sykes (basykes@dcn.davis.ca.us), February 02, 2001.

The Hobbit and the Ring Trilogy, although fantasy, turned reality into a dull story and became the living world for me. One of those storys I hated seeing come to an end. Tolkein constructed a whole world peopled with fantastic characters and made it all hang together. The best way I could describe The Lord Of The Rings is an adult fairy tale, and that in itself isn't as complimentary as I think it should be. I was forty four years of age when I began the journey in his world. There are so many others, Dickens works for one, Milagro Bean Field war and the other four of the trilogy by Nichol I think, Like Water For Chocolate. Oh heck, you know, if I had unlimited cash resources I would bring up Amazon on the screen and order one of each and filling in the gaps by ordering the pubs not sent by Amazon. But what man ould read all that ?

-- Denver doug (ionoi@webtv.net), February 03, 2001.

There are so many. I've spent most of my life preferring books over people. As a kid it was the Narnia books, Of Mice and Men, 1984, and Madeline L'Engle books. A Wrinkle in Time and it's sequels are worth several re-readings. Stories about nerds traveling through the galaxy with great adventures were right up my alley as a kid, and I still love them today.

-- AJ (joijoijoi@hotmail.com), February 03, 2001.

I must admit that I find the classics horribly boring. I agree with Stephen Donaldson that a good book should combine something familiar with something utterly strange. His own Chronicles of Thomas Covenant are among my favorites, particularly the first trilogy. I also love Brian Aldiss' Helliconia trilogy, about very human people who live and love and die on a very strange distant planet, over a span of a thousand years. Then there's the West of Eden books by Harry Harrison, about some quite human people living in a world ruled by smart dinosaurs... Finally I should mention a small book, "Through a glass, darkly" by Jostein Gaarder. It's about a terminally ill child and an angel - a small and theologically incorrect angel. Toward the end, I could not put it aside until I had finished it, and then I wept myself asleep. Uhm, I know that may not sound like an endorsement, but from a cold fish like me it is.

-- Magnus Itland (itlandm@netcom.no), February 03, 2001.

Some of my favourites are "To kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee, "The Harp in the South" by Ruth Park, "Rebecca" by Daphne Du Maurier and "Cleaning House" by Nancy Hayfield.

I've reread them many times and discovered something new each time.

Mamalade http://www.powerup.com.au/~mamalade

-- Mamalade (mamalade@powerup.com.au), February 05, 2001.

Well, I used to have a very definite answer to this. My favorite book was always "Grapes of Wrath" I guess it still is, though I have a hard time picking a favorite. I would say that I got a real appreciation and love for literature after reading that and it inspired me to read a lot more Steinbeck.

But in the last few years there have been some books that were so powerful that I will not soon forget them. After college I was completely burnt out on reading and it took a couple of years before I was able to start really reading again. So in the more modern scheme of things, I point to "She's come Undone" (Wally Lamb - when is your next book coming out?!?!) as well as his second book, "I Know This Much is True," the Harry Potter books, which have done a great job of getting me interested in reading fantasy (a genre I never got into - and an aside to the person who mentioned this, I am currently in the middle of "Lord Foul's Bane," the first of the Thomas Covenant books and I am lovng it), "Snow Falling on Cedars," which was a dense novel and one I had to start twice before finally falling into the richness and beauty and on the non-fiction side, "The Color of Water" which is a totally remarkable couple of stories.

There have been so many wonderful books in the last few years. I wish I had more hours in the day to read the ones in a stack in my bookcase.


-- ally (ally3223@aol.com), February 05, 2001.

"The God Of Small Things' by Arundhati Roy, which is gorgeous and brilliant in every possible way. (Close second: 'Cat's Eye' by Margaret Atwood)

-- Phenylalanine (spectre@fffan.com), February 12, 2001.

How can I possibly decide? :) I have 'the brothers karamazov' and a few others ones that you mentioned; also all Tibor Fischer novels (just read his latest "Don't read this book if you're stupid" and I highly recommend any of his four books that I know of); Greg Egan (very much into hard-core sciences), Amrita by Banana Yoshimoto (or anything by her:), Geek Love by Katherine Dunn; and I love what I've read of Devine Comedy by Dante; and although not a novel but is a book: Godel, Escher, Bach - en eternal golden braid by Douglas Hoestadter... and many many others.. (oh, Delai Lama's autobiography), but for the end, a book that not many people seem to know about although it received all the best reviews on amazon.com - I have got seven people to read it so far and they all absolutely loved it: "Discovery of Heaven" by Harry Mulisch :) hm, maybe I could say that that last one is my favourite :) Ok, one more ;) (how can I have enough) I'm currently catching up with Hermann Hesse, reading "The Glass bead game" which seems really good so far... ok, off to next forum question ;)

-- Ana Susanj (ana@myrrh.net), February 17, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ