Author Topic: If you could recommend one book  (Read 16170 times)

APK

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Re: If you could recommend one book
« Reply #40 on: October 31, 2008, 01:26:26 PM »
But the task is understood ...
if still impossible.
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mgriffin

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Re: If you could recommend one book
« Reply #41 on: October 31, 2008, 01:31:39 PM »
Actually, about 20 years ago, one of my friends "B" admitted to me and one of our other friends "J", that he (B) had never read a book since high school. 

J and I  teased B for quite a while and he finally agreed that he should read a book, and he said that if we could agree on one book to recommend to him, he would read it.  We settled on Dune and even bought him a copy.  He said he was serious that he would read it, but months later, he had only made it to page 3, and never picked it up again.  At that time, he had only been out of high school for five years but in the 20 years since he has still not read a novel, and I'm pretty sure he will never read another novel in his life.
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Bill Binkelman

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Re: If you could recommend one book
« Reply #42 on: October 31, 2008, 01:32:24 PM »
Well, then, my original first book stands. The single one only solitary numero uno big cheese book I would recommend to someone is STILL Travels With Charley by Steinbeck...and to get some of you slackers to read it, you should know that if you consider yourself a dog lover OR a vagabond and you HAVEN'T read it yet, you're missing out big time. And yeah, I misspelled "Charley" the first time I posted it. I suck, huh? ;D


MPECK

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Re: If you could recommend one book
« Reply #43 on: October 31, 2008, 01:34:00 PM »
"Infinte Jest" David Foster-Wallace.

APK

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Re: If you could recommend one book
« Reply #44 on: October 31, 2008, 01:34:57 PM »
The Steinbeck is indeed a fine read, Bill ... and you have reminded me to get my wife to read it. She will certainly appreciate it.
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APK

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Re: If you could recommend one book
« Reply #45 on: October 31, 2008, 01:38:29 PM »
Actually, about 20 years ago, one of my friends "B" admitted to me and one of our other friends "J", that he (B) had never read a book since high school. 

J and I  teased B for quite a while and he finally agreed that he should read a book, and he said that if we could agree on one book to recommend to him, he would read it.  We settled on Dune and even bought him a copy.  He said he was serious that he would read it, but months later, he had only made it to page 3, and never picked it up again.  At that time, he had only been out of high school for five years but in the 20 years since he has still not read a novel, and I'm pretty sure he will never read another novel in his life.

Ah, your post has the ingredients of an interesting short story !

But why Dune?  why not a a shorter work that might more immediately grab. And why sci-fi ... which is a bit left field ?
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mgriffin

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Re: If you could recommend one book
« Reply #46 on: October 31, 2008, 01:40:45 PM »
We tried to get a sense from him of what kind of book he would be most likely to read, and we had just recently watched the Dune film and "B" enjoyed it.  In fact, we even told him that if he could just read the first half of the book, and really didn't enjoy it, that we'd be satisfied.  But giving up after 3 pages... lame!
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Joe R

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Re: If you could recommend one book
« Reply #47 on: October 31, 2008, 01:41:15 PM »
Travels With Charley is one of the few Steinbeck books I haven't read, and I think you guys have talked me into buying it.

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Re: If you could recommend one book
« Reply #48 on: October 31, 2008, 01:47:55 PM »
 

J and I  teased B for quite a while and he finally agreed that he should read a book, and he said that if we could agree on one book to recommend to him, he would read it.  We settled on Dune

That's odd. Married friends of mine once insisted that I simply HAD to read Dune. They said it was the best book they'd ever read, and were SURE I'd like it, despite the fact that I didn't care for science fiction. They bought me a copy also, but I don't think I got past page 50.

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Re: If you could recommend one book
« Reply #49 on: October 31, 2008, 01:50:45 PM »
The Steinbeck is indeed a fine read, Bill ... and you have reminded me to get my wife to read it. She will certainly appreciate it.


Glad to hear it, Anthony.

The only problem with reading TWC is how much it makes me want to hit the open road every single time I read it. Of course, it helps that Steinbeck fell in love with my home state of Wisconsin when he drove through it in the autumn, of which he wrote:

"There was a penetration of light into solid substance so that I seemed to see into things, deep in, and Ive seen that kind of light elsewhere only in Greece. I remembered now that I had been told that Wisconsin is a lovely state, but the telling had not prepared me. It was a magic day. The land dripped with richness, the fat cows and pigs gleaming against green, and, in the smaller holdings, corn standing in little tents as corn should, and pumpkins all about.

(Below...Washburn County, northwestern Wisconsin)

APK

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Re: If you could recommend one book
« Reply #50 on: October 31, 2008, 01:51:48 PM »
 

J and I  teased B for quite a while and he finally agreed that he should read a book, and he said that if we could agree on one book to recommend to him, he would read it.  We settled on Dune

That's odd. Married friends of mine once insisted that I simply HAD to read Dune. They said it was the best book they'd ever read, and were SURE I'd like it, despite the fact that I didn't care for science fiction. They bought me a copy also, but I don't think I got past page 50.

Joe is related to "B" !!!!!   8)
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mgriffin

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Re: If you could recommend one book
« Reply #51 on: October 31, 2008, 02:01:13 PM »
 

J and I  teased B for quite a while and he finally agreed that he should read a book, and he said that if we could agree on one book to recommend to him, he would read it.  We settled on Dune

That's odd. Married friends of mine once insisted that I simply HAD to read Dune. They said it was the best book they'd ever read, and were SURE I'd like it, despite the fact that I didn't care for science fiction. They bought me a copy also, but I don't think I got past page 50.

I probably wouldn't recommend a science fiction book to someone who doesn't like science fiction!
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APK

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Re: If you could recommend one book
« Reply #52 on: October 31, 2008, 02:05:55 PM »
I have a good friend out west in Alberta, and he doesn't read novels at all.
But he is actually an editor for a university press. Only reads "factual" works.

I nevertheless see it as a bit of a failing of the imagination.
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Joe R

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Re: If you could recommend one book
« Reply #53 on: October 31, 2008, 02:21:54 PM »


I probably wouldn't recommend a science fiction book to someone who doesn't like science fiction!

And I had warned them of that very fact.

I know quite a few people who don't read anything at all, except for a very occasional newspaper. And they're the types that don't know anything outside of their own tiny spheres of existence -and sadder yet, they don't even care. An absolute dearth of curiosity.

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Re: If you could recommend one book
« Reply #54 on: October 31, 2008, 06:34:22 PM »
Let's not forget Cannery Row either now gentlemen. Loved that since I was a wee lad.
I suppose I better throw in:
Nietzche's "Human, All to Human" and "The Real Frank Zappa Book" by FZ.

And to comment on Krackauer's (spelling-sorry) Into Thin Air is a wonderful account of the human spirit as well as his "Into the Wild"

Joe R

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Re: If you could recommend one book
« Reply #55 on: October 31, 2008, 07:59:14 PM »
Let's not forget Cannery Row either now gentlemen. Loved that since I was a wee lad.

Yes, I already listed Cannery Row earlier in this thread.

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Re: If you could recommend one book
« Reply #56 on: November 01, 2008, 08:52:21 AM »
The original Frank Herbert Dune works are probably the deepest researched and most thought out series of books in science fiction. Everything you need to know about the deeper layers of politics, religion, control, ecosphere, not to mention an amazingly rich and deep world more realistic than any other in literature, is contained in those six books. It's pretty damn entertaining too. I first read Dune while on a cross country cycling journey. I got the first Dune in west Texas, from a toothless, extremely aged straw cowboy hat wearing dude, whose face was shrivelled in on itself like an old pumpkin. He was sitting in a very low wood rocking chair, and when I offered to trade a book for the Dune book he had (the only sci-fi book amongst an entire shelf of Louis L'amour books) he said "I'll only do it for two, gotta trade two for one." So I did it, and found myself stopping in blasting desert heat of West Texas to steal a few more pages - just get to the end of this chapter, then I'll put it away. Then at night, tired and beat from the long straight road, I would hide in the sleeping bag like a little kid, with flashlight, poring over that amazing book. I finished it fast, and ended up trading it for the next Dune book, at another town in Texas. My whole ride across Texas brought me almost in completion of the series. I read the God Emperor of Dune in Austin, staying with a friend, and still remember how much I enjoyed that one, so different in the series, but so compelling. By the time I crossed the border in Louisiana, I had the last two of the series in my possession...

So what I'm saying is that I would definitely recommend Dune. But with a warning that the first book might be a bit tedious to get through, where the second one is more old school sci-fi with lots of action.


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Re: If you could recommend one book
« Reply #57 on: November 01, 2008, 09:27:21 AM »
For members of the Forum, I'd probably recommend Mervyn Peake's magnificently written and conceived Gormenghast series, a Gothic masterpiece which settings take place (mostly) within the confines of an ancient castle.  I've read nothing else like it. Personally, I prefer fine writers who deal with science and nature and I'd recommend one of the follow two in respect to this:  John McPhee's Annals of the Former World, a beautiful spin on rocks and geology, and David Quammen's The Song of the Dodo, a beautiful spin on biogeography in the age of extinction.  If banished to the hunk of rock orbiting us 250,000 miles heavenward and had to pick one novel, I'd take along (or recommend) Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow and wish myself (or you) a lot of luck.

Bill
« Last Edit: November 01, 2008, 09:32:31 AM by soma611 »

michael sandler

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Re: If you could recommend one book
« Reply #58 on: November 02, 2008, 05:08:10 PM »
If you could recommend just one book, not to one specific reader but to anyone/everyone interested in reading, what would it be?

Gyn/Ecology by Mary Daly.

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Re: If you could recommend one book
« Reply #59 on: November 03, 2008, 11:24:41 AM »
John McPhee's Annals of the Former World

Big fan of McPhee's collection "The Survival of the Bark Canoe."

McPhee's considered the godfather of creative non-fiction. Stunningly beautiful language in his work.
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