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Your top 10 books

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Your top 10 books

Post  Chamberlain on Sun Sep 28, 2008 11:59 pm

Arrrr! Books time! No wait... do pirates read books? I don't think so. Oh, right... we are learned and refined knights. Phew! List here your favourite ones and even if the thread is called "top 10", feel free to list as many as you like.

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Re: Your top 10 books

Post  Leoric on Mon Sep 29, 2008 8:46 am

Well this is going to be harder than movies but for the opposite reasons Sad. So again i will try and remember 10 books i can call my favorites and list them here. In no particular order:

The Green Mile
Treasure Island
The Thousand Orcs
The Lone Drow
The Two Swords
The Hobbit
King of Torts
Interview with a Vampire
Harry Potter
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Re: Your top 10 books

Post  Maaike on Mon Sep 29, 2008 10:04 am

Mmm, that's irritating, I read a lot, but only in Dutch so my suggestions are a bit useless here. ;-)
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Re: Your top 10 books

Post  Blackseagull on Mon Sep 29, 2008 10:09 am

Maaike, I'm sure all your favourites are in English as well. It's easy to find the English title on the Internet. Wink

I'm thinking about my list too. But uh oh, just got it narrowed to around 25 Razz lol
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Re: Your top 10 books

Post  Leoric on Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:11 am

Razz Rub it in i had trouble coming up with this many. I can't remember books i have read since i don't have much time to read on my own anymore. Most of mine i read 6+ years ago.
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Re: Your top 10 books

Post  Maaike on Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:22 am

Blackseagull wrote:Maaike, I'm sure all your favourites are in English as well. It's easy to find the English title on the Internet. Wink

I shall try to make a list, but only 10 books is very difficult. ;-) But I will try and make a list.
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Re: Your top 10 books

Post  Pishkirlin on Mon Sep 29, 2008 12:34 pm

Let's start my list with the book that influenced me the most. Not only me... actually we all (unless you belong to Eastern civilizations) live our lives under the moral influence of this book even if we haven't read it all or at all. It's the Bible, of course. I'm undecided whether list it or not among my books because of its special status. I thought I should mention it anyway especially because within its books, there are some that I particularly love, such as: Genesis, Psalms, Proverbs, Canticle of Canticles, Gospel According to John, Revelation. I shall admit I haven't read entirely the Bible (which is a shame), but those books I have listed intrigued me.
I am sorry that I haven't read yet many other religious texts, such as the Q'ran or the Vedas. It's a very big gap in my knowledge.
So, excluding the book of books, this is how my list should look like:

1. Moby Dick (Melville, 1851)

The voyage on a whaling ship as the symbol of a quest for something great, mysterious and deadly dangerous and metaphysic. Shall I say more? A masterpiece.

2. Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Nietzsche, 1885)

Nietzsche wrote:Man is a rope stretched between the animal and the Superman--a rope over an abyss.
A dangerous crossing, a dangerous wayfaring, a dangerous looking-back, a dangerous trembling and halting.
What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal: what is lovable in man is that he is an OVER-GOING and a DOWN-GOING.
I love those that know not how to live except as down-goers, for they are the over-goers.
I've chosen this quote to explain why I love this book. I hope it's eloquent enough.

3. The Flowers of Evil (Baudelaire, 1857)
Pure poetry. The one that very few poets really achieved. Rarely also a collection of poems is that complete. I can't describe the impact that it had on me... I still remember the day when I bought it as a paperback, in Italian from a bookstall (I was 19). I wanted to read it in French as well and I think I have it several editions and translations.

-----

Here we draw a line. I'm not really sure of how to sort what follow.

4. Crime and Punishment (Dostoevski, 1866)

I can see a link between this book and the ones I've already listed (all of them!), can't you? Or even with my favourite movies? * hint Clockwork Orange

5. Divine Comedy (Dante, 1321)

Pure poetry again. And another quest for... God. All is linked in my list.

6. The Little Prince (Saint-Exupéry, 1941)
7. The Catcher in the Rye (Salinger, 1951)

These two are about another topic I like: the loss of innocence (incidentally this can be found also in Genesis).

8. The Tartar Steppe (Buzzati, 1940)

Wikipedia wrote: The novel tells the story of a young officer, Giovanni Drogo, and his life spent guarding the Bastiani Fortress, an old, unmaintained border fortress. The central plot of the novel focuses on Drogo's lifelong wait for a great war in which his life and the existence of the fort can prove its usefulness. [...] The story is fundamentally about a person's search for a meaning in life, and the ultimate dissolution of the hope that life has any meaning at all.

9. This place doesn’t go to a book in particular, but rather to a literary movement (actually two): the French and Russian novels of the XIX century. The ones I love the most:
Les Liaisons dangereuses (Laclos, 1782); The Red and the Black (Stendhal, 1830); La Charteuse de Parme (Stendhal, 1839); Dead Souls (Gogol’, 1842); Fathers and Sons (Turgenev, 1872); Sentimental Education (Flaubert, 1869); La dame aux camélias (Dumas jr., 1848), Bel Ami (Maupassant, 1885); The idiot (Doestoevsky, 1868).

10. The tenth(?) goes to a writer: Herman Hesse. Narcissus and Goldmund (1930), The Steppenwolf (1927) and Siddharta (1922). Three masterpieces.

I need to list another couple of guys/books.
11. Les poètes maudits. Baudelaire is already in the top 10, but I can’t omit Rimbaud, Lautréamont (and Villon as well!). I’m not particularly fond of Verlaine, though.

12. The Dialogues (Plato, 4th century BC).

13. Robert Graves, with two books:
The Greek Myths (1955)
Wikipedia wrote:a mythography, a compendium of Greek mythology, by the poet and writer Robert Graves
The White Goddess (1948)
Wikipedia wrote: The White Goddess is an essay upon the nature of poetic myth-making. It represents an approach to the study of mythology from a decidedly creative yet idiosyncratic perspective.

14. The Art of War (Sun Tzu, 6th century BC) along with The Prince (Machiavelli, 1513).

Unfortunately when I moved to Romania I have left all my books in my parents' house, so I might have forgot some (I'm quite sure I have). I could edit this list in the future if I remember those I have omitted.
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Re: Your top 10 books

Post  Blackseagull on Tue Sep 30, 2008 12:35 pm

Sometimes a book comes to you when the time is just perfect, and it touches you in such a powerful way that it marks your life forever. My list consists mainly of books that I loved and had a huge impact on my life:

- White Fang (Jack London) – This book has a special place in my heart and will be among my favourites forever. It was one of the first “long books” I read as a child; and so it marked me deeply. First book that made me cry, and trapped me in its lines so deeply that I couldn’t stop reading until it was over. The wonderful journey of this wolf made a huge impression on me; it’s definitely one of the books that introduced me deeply into the literary world and made me become an avid reader.

- The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry) – Wonderful book that definitely marked my life. As a child you read it and just think of it as the fantastic story of a little boy. But then you read it again, and you find more meanings to everything. Then you discover its real depth. The essence of this wonderful book lies within something the Fox tells the Little Prince: “One cannot see well except with the heart, the essential is invisible to the eyes” – That line has stayed with me forever.

- Siddhartha / Steppenwolf (Herman Hesse) – Real masterpieces that marked my adolescence. These wonderful books deal with spiritual journeys, discoveries and crisis; they are so deep, full of meaning and well written that I absolutely loved them. From Wikipedia: “The word Siddhartha is made up of two words in the Sanskrit language, siddha (gotten) + artha (meaning or wealth). The two words together mean "one who has found meaning" (of existence)…” That says it all. They had a huge impact on my life.

- This place goes to 6 amazing writers, who were a constant companion of countless days and nights when I was young and couldn’t stop reading their wonderful books.
Charles Dickens (With all of his wonderful and sad stories like David Copperfield or Oliver Twist); Jules Verne (With all of his amazing adventures that made me travel with my imagination); Emilio Salgari (With his incredible collection of books about pirates and corsairs like Sandokan); Mark Twain (With his wonderful adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn); Agatha Christie (With her amazing mystery/crime stories, that allowed me to join Hercule Poirot in his fascinating investigations); Herman Melville (With his absolutely incredible Moby Dick).

- This place goes to two wonderful writers with amazing collections of short stories that to this day are among my favourites: Edgar Allan Poe and Julio Cortázar. Incredible stories that surprised me, scared me, amazed me, moved me, etc… and gave me wonderful food for thought. Outstanding.

- The Metamorphosis (Franz Kafka) – Amazing story of a man who wakes up one day and finds himself transformed into a disgusting bug. Wonderfully written and full of meaning, this incredible story quickly got a special place among my favourites.

- Jonathan Livingston Seagull (Richard Bach) – The wonderful story of a seagull, who feels the need to defy conventions, follow his heart and seek a higher level of existence. Beautiful book that touched me deeply. In case you were wondering… it’s not a coincidence and it’s part of the reason for my pirate name (the black part is another story lol). Beautiful, deep and touching. This beautiful story has a special place among my favourites.

- Crime and Punishment (F. Dostoievsky) / The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger) – These amazing and powerful books go together in my mind. One about mental anguish and moral dilemmas, the other about teenage struggle… both had a huge impact on me and are definitely among my favourites.

- The Chronicles of Narnia (C.S. Lewis) – Wonderful and magical, this collection of 7 books became easily my favourite when I was a child. I have read them all again as an adult and still find them fascinating, though now I “read” the symbols in a different way and find more meanings to everything. Narnia… wonderful fantasy world which to this day still has a special place in my heart. I still have my 7 precious books (the same ones I read as a child) in my library.

- The Hobbit / The Lord of the Rings (J.R.R Tolkien) – Beautifully written and described, this collection of books marked my life at a young age. The Hobbit, being much simpler, was a wonderful and fun introduction to the amazing fantasy world of Middle Earth. The Lord of the Rings, much more complex, added details and wonderful characters along with a great plot to the incredible Middle Earth. Definitely among my favourite books of all times.


Others that deserve to be listed among my favourites:

- Dracula (Bram Stoker) – Wonderful and fascinating.
- Harry Potter (J.K. Rowling) – Loved this collection of 7 magical books.
- The Green Mile (Stephen King) – Amazing, beautiful, terrible. The film was a great adaptation of this wonderful book.
- Perfume, The Story of a Murderer (Patrick Süskind) – Outstanding novel, wonderfully written, amazing descriptions - fantastic, loved it.
- The Historian (Elizabeth Kostova) – Absolutely loved this wonderful novel. Beautifully written, wonderful descriptions, amazing journeys around Europe, unravelling secrets and history concerning the real Dracula, Vlad Tepes.

That's my list of favourites, though I probably left a lot out again lol. They are all special to me for different reasons and all have a place in my heart and library.

I love you


Last edited by Blackseagull on Tue Sep 30, 2008 6:26 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Your top 10 books

Post  Pishkirlin on Tue Sep 30, 2008 2:33 pm

Blackseagull wrote:Siddhartha / Steppenwolf (Herman Hesse)
What else have your read from him?

Blackseagull wrote:Edgar Allan Poe
Absolutely. I should have listed too, but I didn't know where. Another guy I should have mentioned is Jorge Luis Borges.
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Re: Your top 10 books

Post  Blackseagull on Tue Sep 30, 2008 6:23 pm

Pishkirlin wrote:What else have your read from him?
Demian and The Glass Bead Game. You recommend Narcissus and Goldmund?

Pishkirlin wrote:Another guy I should have mentioned is Jorge Luis Borges
Oh nice! Very nice!

I just remembered another book I loved... Edited my post to add "The Perfume" lol

Razz
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Re: Your top 10 books

Post  Pishkirlin on Tue Sep 30, 2008 11:30 pm

Blackseagull wrote:Demian and The Glass Bead Game. You recommend Narcissus and Goldmund?
I've read Demian too, along with a few other minor novels. But they intrigued me less than the three I have listed. I haven't read The Glass Bead Game, I know he won the Nobel prize for that. How is it? I heartily recommend Narcissus and Goldmund. Well, I love it mostly it about one of the topics I like the most: the struggle between nature and culture. Anyway, being your list so similar to mine, I suggest you to find The Tartar Steppe. You should like it.

Blackseagull wrote:The Perfume
I haven't read the book, I watched the movie deciding I won't ever read the book. I really dislike the topic. Art that talks about art is onanism... unless you are Baudelaire or Wilde - their onanism is divine.

Blackseagull wrote:Jonathan Livingston Seagull (Richard Bach)
I forgot to make a comment about this one. I love it too, but it's only good not great. I find it too naive, especially in the central and last parts. The Little Prince is naive too, but it doesn't want to "fly high" (in terms of its topic) like JLS does.
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Re: Your top 10 books

Post  Blackseagull on Wed Oct 01, 2008 10:20 am

Pishkirlin wrote:I've read Demian too, along with a few other minor novels. But they intrigued me less than the three I have listed.
Same here, that's why I didn't mention it.

I haven't read The Glass Bead Game, I know he won the Nobel prize for that. How is it?
It's a bit different from the others. It takes place centuries in the future. I read it too long ago and maybe I didn't read it at the right time, but I don't remember it getting to me as deeply (I should definitely read it again and see) so I don't think I can actually recommend it, but instead I suggest you read it and see for yourself. In any case, all of Hesse's books are very interesting anyway, so I don't think it would be a waste of time. I'll definitely read it again.

I heartily recommend Narcissus and Goldmund. Well, I love it mostly it about one of the topics I like the most: the struggle between nature and culture.
I'll definitely read it, thanks.

Anyway, being your list so similar to mine, I suggest you to find The Tartar Steppe. You should like it.
I will!

Ihaven't read the book, I watched the movie deciding I won't ever read the book. I really dislike the topic. Art that talks about art is onanism... unless you are Baudelaire or Wilde - their onanism is divine.

I didn't like the movie because it didn't capture the book's soul, instead it took parts of it and destroyed its essence. I read the book a long time before the movie and I loved it. Patrick Süskind's writing really amazed me.

I forgot to make a comment about this one. I love it too, but it's only good not great. I find it too naive, especially in the central and last parts. The Little Prince is naive too, but it doesn't want to "fly high" (in terms of its topic) like JLS does.
Maybe it's good and not great like you said... but its actual literary quality isn't really the point for me here. Even if it were awful it wouldn't matter lol. The point was that it had a huge impact on me, maybe because of the time when I read it. Sometimes timing is everything.

Books... I love you


Last edited by Blackseagull on Wed Oct 01, 2008 1:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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10 Favorite Books

Post  mmiimmii on Wed Oct 01, 2008 1:23 pm

okay number one

The Sword of Truth series starting with Wizards First Rule by Terry Goodkind

2, anything written by John Grisham

3. People series by Kathleen O'neal Gear and her husband W.Micheal Gear..about the first peoples in north america...wonderfully written with so much fact and truth

4. Lion of Ireland by Morgan Llywelyn a historical story dated in the tenth century

okay thats all i can think of right now
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