Need book recommendations, please.

So, as it turns out, my computer is shit. As such, I’ve gotten myself a library card (which is where I am right now) and decided to catch up with, umm… the classics. Or something. So, assuming I haven’t read anything of value*, how about some recommendations? What are the absolute Must Reads? Thanks in advance and all that.

*To Kill a Mockingbird, 1984, and Animal Farm were all suggested by family/IRL friends, and I’ve read those. Otherwise I’ve lead a life of Dean Koontz and Stephen King.

The Color Of Magic, Terry Pratchett

Well, what do you like? Of the three classics you read, what appealed to you?

Sure, we could make an effort to be genuinely helpful – or we could just throw out titles totally randomly.

I vote that we take the latter approach.

The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton.

I’m going to just type what I see on my bookshelf.

Shakespeare – anything
The Great Gatsby
Alexander Dumas – Count of Monte Christo, Three Musketeers
John Steinbeck
George Meredith
Mark Twain – anything
Scaramouche (some don’t like it, but it was a favorite of mine)
Thomas Hardy
Jane Austen – anything

Then there is a whole shelf of compendium volumes from my time as an English Major. Just scanning these quickly, I’ll tell you that the following are good to read:

Oedipus the King (Sophocles)
Medea (by Euripides)
Lysistrata (very cool)
The Aeneid
Anything by Aristotle if you want to be bored silly
Beowulf (another favorite)
The Song of Roland (fun)
The Art of Courtly Love (also fun)
The Canturbury Tales

And much, much more. That’ll start you out though. Let me know if you want more.

Everything. Anything. I’m not real big on Sci-Fi, but I haven’t had a whole bunch of exposure to it so I could be and just not know it. I’ll read anything once and a lot of stuff twice. So if you have a favorite author, or a few favorite books, let me know. I love reading and I don’t know why I didn’t have a library card ages ago.

My time limit will be up soon, so I won’t be able to come back to this thread for a couple days. Thanks again.

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. If you like it there’s a whole lot more where that one came from and his books are nice and short too!

A “classic” that isn’t on a lot of people’s radar screens is Kenneth Roberts’ “Northwest Passage.” A gripping good historical tale set during colonial times.

I really liked “East of Eden” once I told myself it was okay to skim the endless descriptions of landscape.

“Candide” is a quick read, and funny.

**Medea ** by Euripides blew the top of my head off when I read it, lo, those many years ago. It’s really good.

Whenever I don’t know what to read next, I go to the volumes of collected short stories. There are anthologies in all sorts of genres, and that way you can sample lots of authors in a short period of time and decide which ones you like and want to pursue. If you want to get into science fiction at all, I heartily recommend the yearly anthologies edited by Gardner Dozois.

Plus, a well-done short story is an elegant and beautiful thing.

Favorite author and few favorite books? We can do that!

Let’s see:

Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens
About a Boy, by Nick Hornby
The Chronicles of Narnia, by CS Lewis (begin with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe)
The Caves of Steel, by Isaac Asimov (testing your SF aversion)
The Daughter of Time, by Josephine Tey
The Golden Compass, by Phillip Pullman
Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer
The Faerie Queene, by Edmund Spenser
The Iliad and The Odyssey, by Homer
The Dubliners, by James Joyce
Strong Poison, by Dorothy L. Sayers
“Macbeth” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” by Shakespeare
These aren’t necessarily my favorite works by these people, but they are good places to start.

If you’re going to go with Vonnegut, might I suggest starting with “Breakfast of Champions”? “Timequake” by same is also very good.

Also, “A Canticle for Leibowitz” by Walter Miller is good.

I’m reading another of his books, The Jailbird, now.

I’m a big Sinclair Lewis fan of late. Main Street and Babbitt are a great place to start.
I love Kerouac’s On the Road but many people seem to hate it, so read at your own risk.
Jane Austen is always great, I think. Plenty of choices there (Pride & Prejudice has already been mentioned.) Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, courtesy of the Bronte sisters, are favorites of mine as well.

Another vote for Candide by Voltair
Also, A Tale Of Tw Cities by Charles Dickens was a great story of people caught up in the terrible events up to and through the French Revolution. I really enjoyed that one.

My favorite of the uberclassics: The Count of Monte Cristo. Be warned that at first it may be slow going, as you accustom yourself to the verbosity of nineteenth-century writing; but once you get into it, the story is absolutely gripping.


The Scarlet Pimpernel!

Is that the Welsh version? :smiley:

I second Jane Eyre and anything by Vonnegut (though, he is a bit weird to read sometimes)

Mark Twain is a must. I’ve read them all, and suggest that Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Life on the Mississippi and Roughing It are good ones to start with. Of the many Dickens books, I enjoyed the previously mentioned Tale of Two Cities, plus Great Expectations and Oliver Twist. Some Steinbeck would be good: The Grapes of Wrath, Tortilla Flat, Cannery Row, Of Mice and Men are all good. Hemingway: any short story collection, The Old Man and the Sea, The Sun Also Rises, To Have and Have Not, A Farewell To Arms. I also enjoyed Green Hills of Africa, but I haven’t found anyone else who did. Have fun reading!

I love that book.

I have some sequels, too. None of them compare with the original, but I love them anyway.

For Science Fiction, since you seem to be willing to try it, I’ll suggest the Neaderthal Parallax by Robert J. Sawyer (Hominids, Humans and Hybrids). It’s probably different from what you think of SF, since it’s set in today’s world rather than the far future, and nobody keaves Earth (though they do find an alternate Earth to explore).

I’ll also suggest Gargantua and Pantagruel by Rabelais. Philosophy and potty humor–I can’t really say much beyond that.


And then read Jasper Fforde’s The Eyre Affair for a leetle humor.