Books worth reading

By Spike · 38 replies
May 7, 2006
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  1. No, I haven't suddenly turned into a librarian or taken up some other stereotypically boring profession.

    What with this fast paced computer age, every now and then I like to pick up the odd book and chill out. Anything by Terry Pratchett suits me fine, and I used to be partial to a little Anne Rice.

    Well, just of late, I've been considering getting a satire on the 20th century, by The Onion - "Our Dumb Century" - Purely because I read one quote that appealed to my sense of humor and think it might be worth a look...

    The story underneath described how the telegram that brought the news read:
    Sooo, is there anything that the rest of you guys are partial to reading, or would like to read, and why?

    Ok, this thread may not generate the most interest in the world, but what the heck. I don't post new threads in here all that often :D
  2. Masque

    Masque TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,058

    Mainly a fantasy reader here. When I want to "truly" escape, I want it to NOT resemble reality in any way, shape or form. Anything by Brooks, Feist, Weis and Hickman, et al. Have even been checking out some more obscure authors of late. Check out the first effort by an gentleman named Brandon's an excellent read.
  3. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    Niven, Pournelle, Flynn: Fallen Angels
    Katherine Kerr: Dweomer series (Daggerspell)
    Anne McCaffrey: Dragon Riders series
    Isac Asimov: Foundation Series
    F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby
    Conan Doyle: Sherlock Holmes series
    Anything by Niven, Clarke, Pratchett, Shakespeare, Turtledove.

    Currently reading:
    Ray Bradbury: Fahrenheit 451 (I like the movie better so far)
    Jan Gullberg: Mathematics; From the Birth of Numbers
    Rober Lous Stevenson: Kidnapped
    Oscar Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Grey

    I recently started reading the classics, and must say that a lot of the old masters really do deserve their status.
  4. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

  5. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Anything by Andy McNab.


    Bravo Two Zero (1993)
    Immediate Action (1995)

    These are non fiction, about the SAS written by an X-SAS soldier.

    Regards Howard :)
  6. bradthegreat

    bradthegreat TS Enthusiast Posts: 104

    I'd have to go with JRR Tolkien's masterpieces. I know that the LOTR movies are very good, but nothing beats immersing yourself in the far more detailed world of Middle Earth in the books.

    I am also partial towards any Alistair McClain books. They are pretty well written and I could probably read them in one sitting if given the chance!
  7. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    Non-Fiction Technical:
    Robert Shapiro: Origins (a look at the mathimatical probability of DNA forming randomly on Earth)
    John Gibbons: In search of series: Shrodinger's Cat and the Big Bang are very good reads on quantum physics introduction and our limits to complete the theory. The Big Bang...origin of the universe stuff.
    My all time favourite: Cambridge University Prof and the current post holder of the Sir Issac Newton Chair, Roger Penrose's: The Emperor's New Mind. (a stunning look into and well plotted arguement against artifical intelligence. He takes the reader on a journey thru number theory, computable and non-computable rational, irrational and transidental numbers, infinite set theory, the theory of logic, Turnings machine and fundementals of programming. It's a huge read and everyone who finishes it and understands it all should get some honourary degree.)

    Robert Mitchel's: Space (fictional historical story from the V2 rocket program to the landing on the moon and the Apollo series)
    Anne Rice
    Isaac Asimov
    Tom Clancy
  8. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    Wow - people the actually READ! I'm impressed. After serving for three years on Army recruiting duty....I began to think youth were incapable of reading anymore!
  9. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    do you really have to spoil every thread with your silly remarks?
    You're getting on my (and many others') nerves with your cheap sarcasm.
  10. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,406

    The Unbearable Lightness of Being is still one of my all time favorites. Not an important piece of literature by any means, but it was the first book I ever read that made me realize how amazing reading books can be. It just grabbed me the right way.

    Since then read all kinds of books. From Tolkien to Autobiographies, bring it on.

    Currently reading: The Sufis by Idies Shah

    Favorite part so far (paraphrasing), There is something behind our smiles that shakes our teeth. Smiles are used, and are of necessity only a small fraction of something else.
  11. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    I can't believe no one mentionned Terry Pratchett.
  12. Akio

    Akio TS Rookie Posts: 249

    Well as far as War Novels go, I recommend Band of Brothers and D-Day by Stephen E. Ambrose, along with Fallen Angels; a fictitious Vietnam War novel, by Walter Dean Myers (if you’re into that kind of stuff). Finally, a fantasy series I enjoyed was the Incarnations of Immortality series by Piers Anthony. :grinthumb
  13. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    I prefer relaxing books with a bit of adventure/detective/spy stuff in them, such as those written by Tom Clancy (on his own), Robert Ludlum, Clive Cussler, Minette Walters, Kathie Reich, Wilbur Smith.
    Don't fancy any (auto-)biographies, history, war or 'classical' literature.
    I used to devour Sci-Fi, Frank Herbert, Asimov and the likes, but have given up on that.
    Currently I'm killing what little spare time I have with Sudoku puzzles.
    All our books have been packed away already.
  14. paranoid guy

    paranoid guy TS Rookie Posts: 420

    The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy books (ignore the film, what were they thinking)
    Most John Grisham books
    Someone will shake their head in disappointment at this next one but: the Dan Brown books.
  15. Bruff

    Bruff TS Rookie Posts: 37

    Mostly fiction reader here. Terry Brooks, Issac Asimov, Eddings, Feist, Goodkind, Jordan (pretty much given up on him though), Stephen King and so on. I'm one of those addicts that needs to read before bed each night or it will take me two hours to fall asleep. Have read some some non-fiction but, as has been posted, I too like to escape from the real world.

    And about Pratchett? Do you have to be European or English to get the humor there? I've read two of his books and mostly found them a chore to finish. I'm trying to figure out what I'm missing or if it's a case of "If I have to explain it, you wouldn't understand."
  16. Finchy

    Finchy TS Rookie Posts: 353

    I'd recommend the Inheritance Trilogy by Christopher Paolini, third book's in production, they are called
    Empire (code name for third)
    Easy to spot as each has a massive picture of a dragon on the front.
    FIlm of the first is currently being made too.
  17. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    By this you mean: Dickens, Hemingway, Tolstoy, Melville...etc.?
    You know I've never actually read any of these authors. I've always assumed they would be overrated and verbose. Maybe it's high time I sat down with A Tale of Two Cities and a cup of tea.
  18. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,168

    Shakespear is about as classical as i gets, and unless you can understand Ye Olde Englishe of the Elizabethan era, it's VERY verbose.
    But the more classical classics, such as Dickins, are not verbose at all. The books are great.

    That's why "a christmas carol" has survived the TV and film industries so long - because the book it was based on was great. lol
  19. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,495

    HWÆT, WE GAR-DEna in geardagum

    That is old english. That is a classic as it gets. (thats beowulf BTW)

    Angleas Ashes-read it awhile back, and the diction is a bit odd, but its a good story. Not much of a pick me up, but still good.

    I just got done The Kite Runner. Good.

    I love Tom Clancy as well.
  20. Akio

    Akio TS Rookie Posts: 249

    Classical book, eh? I’d go with Dante's Inferno.... one of thee greatest books I've ever read. It was probably among the few books that we were forced into reading Junior Year of High School that I actually liked.
  21. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    I don't really like Dickens though. His style of writing is very good, and he's a master at portraying characters, but I'm not too fond of the characters he's portraying. The last book I read of him was "Great Expectations", but gave up after one third. Pip had just become too much of a pompous wannabe for me to continue. Maybe I'll finish it in the future, as the book is superbly written.
    One book that I really enjoyed by him is his "Ghost Stories", which are mostly written by others, though he has one short story in it. The one that struck me the most was the one which ended with the sentence "Your place was kept". Sorry, can't remember the name, and it's 6000 miles/10000km away from where I am.

    As for Shakespear, he isn't bad at all. But it depends on which edition you are reading. I usually try to get close to the original language, but the cheap books (wordsworth, penguin, etc.) are usually more up to date. Either way makes for a good read :)

    Dante's Inferno is on my list, but I doubt I'll get through it this year. Haven't found a cheap edition in Singapore, and then I'll wait until I get home, where my father has it.

    As for whom to include in the list of masters... Well, I found this list to be rater decent, though I'm not sure if I'd include Ayn Rand. And Hemingway and others are conspicuously absent... But it's way better than what you get from!
  22. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,168

    Ayn Rand is what I'd call "Highly intelligent reading", and I consider the phrase to be an accurate slur on a writer, if you see what I mean.

    Said that, I have a habit of not knowing when I'm being obscure sometimes, so basically I'm saying that it's a pig to follow, but says some interesting and intellectual things. You know - the sort of thing that can drive you crazy.
  23. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    Ok, maybe I should clarify.
    I am not saying Ayn Rand is a bad writer, only that I'm not sure if I'd include her in the classics yet.
    It's just that with Hemingway and Shakespeare, amongst others, missing I'm not sure I'd put Ayn Rand there before them... But that could just be me.
  24. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,168

    no, you're quite right.

    I wouldn't call Ayn Rand a bad writer either. It's just that the writing can be difficult to follow due to the nature of its subject - especially if you don't naturally tend towards the philosophical.

    That's just my view though.
  25. Peddant

    Peddant TS Rookie Posts: 1,446

    Shakespeare ? Dickens ? Dante ? No,Bill Bryson.Inorder to redress the
    lack of comic novels in this thread,I nominate Bryson`s "Notes from a Big country"
    (OK,not really a novel,but definitely comic)Essential reading for both Americans and Europeans.

    It`s not doing too bad though,Spike :)

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