Recommend me a Book, Please!!

Yeah. I need a book. I’m utterly bored, and can’t seem to get into anything. Can you recommend a book that is definitely good?

The only catch is it has to be in my library because I don’t want to order it or go out to the bookstore…i just want something fast. There aren’t a huge number of books in the 'brary. You guys could just name lots of books and hopefully i’ll be able to find at least one. Please? And if all else fails, I guess I could reread something.

I’m counting on you guys. You especially, AuntiePam. :wink:

I have two to recommend. I’m not sure if you’ll find either, but they are:

  1. Gospel by Wilton Barnhardt - Kind of a Raiders of the Lost Ark kind of book. An ex-franciscan monk, now a college prof., trapse across 3 (maybe 4) continents looking for a lost book of the Bible. I can’t speak highly enough about this book.

  2. The Sparrow but I can’t remember who wrote this - We pick up radio transmissions from a nearby planet. A team led by a priest with a knack for languages is dispatched. They aren’t heard from again. When a rescue mission is launched, the priest is the only one found alive. His story is one of learning, friendship, and profound loss.

  3. Hi Opal!

I know that it sounds like “Oh, Tommy’s on a religious kick.” But, neither of these books, despite having a priest as the main character, is religious. Just great reads. If you have plenty of time, get Gospel, it is my favorite book of all time. If not, get The Sparrow, it’s a much shorter read, but still very good. can give you better summaries of both of these.

Good reading.

BTW - I’m hoping you meant the public library. If you meant your personal one, store these in your head for future reading.

But, Zoggie I had a vague idea you were a student somewhere, so there must be a good-ish library, no? I mean better than if you were in a village of 500 people. Come to think of it, I suppose you know your own library better than I.:slight_smile:

If you’re at a loss and don’t expect much from the library, just decide to read something that you might not normally. Even if it’s a tiny library, they will have books for the ones studying Eng. Lit., so you could get some unpopular classic and see if it is any good (even just for a laugh). You like fairly dark sort of books, don’t you? Hmm, Thomas Hardy is nicely gloomy with misery and woe in abundance. Or “Wuthering Heights” - one can always giggle at the over-the-top bits (or maybe that’s only me. : )

OK that was a (little) bit tongue in cheek, so thinking at random now. Anything by Salman Rushdie, or Anthony Burgess? Hey, would they have “The Bone People” by the New Zealander Keri Hulme? I really recommend that.

No, what small stash of inspiration I had is gone now. Good luck in the quest!

  1. Gospel - I neglected to include that the prof. is acompanied by his rather prudish assistant on the journey. Again, this is a GREAT book.

Memoirs of a geisha. Forgotten who worte it, but your library is sure to have it. Terrific escapist fiction.

So much of this comes down to personal taste. My favorite novel is still King Rat by James Clavell. Shogun is pretty great, too.

I’ll second Tommy’s recommendation of this book. It’s definitely a must-read. Also, if you can find it, try “Emma, Who Saved My Life” by the same author.

Oh my goodness. First I am mentioned specifically in the Sig admiration thread, now I have a moderator agreeing with me. I need to sit down, I’m feeling woozy.

Euty, if I may be so bold, have you read Show World? It wasn’t as good as Barnhardt’s first two, but I keep hoping for another Gospel.

It depends on what kind of genre you’re wanting, but some of my favorites are: “Armor” by John Steakley (also wrote “Vampire$”, much better than the movie), any collection of short stories by H. P. Lovecraft or Harlan Ellison, “Slaughterhouse 5” and “Breakfast of Champions” by Kurt Vonnegut, “LA Confidential” by James Ellroy (the movie just scratched the surface), and those are just a few suggestions. Looking up the books online could probably give you a better synopsis than I can…

1984 by George Orwell
And…some may laugh but so be it, the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.

“The Once and Future King” by T.H. White

You could give us a hint as to what kind of book you are looking for. Here are some great reads:

  1. Lonesome Dove - Larry McMurtry - awesome, epic read
  2. Damage - forget her name - short, erotic novel
  3. Dune - Frank Herbert - sci-fi, epic
  4. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - sci-fi, quirky
  5. Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve - short, great prose
  6. Memoirs of a Geisha - I second this nomination, engaging
  7. The Chronicles of Narnia series - short books, fantasy, great characters
  8. Clan of the Cave Bear series - epic, very detailed, pre-historic heroine falls in love and has lots of sex.
  9. Bridget Jones - light, airy
  10. Outlander - romantic, epic, great storytelling

Zoggie, does it have to be horror? If your library is typical, it’ll have King, Koontz and Rice. Maybe John Saul or V. C. Andrews. <shudder>

soccer hooligan is right on with his James Clavell suggestions – esp. Shogun. Every library has Clavell. Don’t be sidetracked to Michener – not the same, unless you’re judging solely by weight.

I think the soccer dude also mentioned Gary Jennings in another book thread. Aztec is a page-turner, if a bit bloody.

How about some Ken Follett? But not The Third Twin, or his newest. Anything else is fine. Have you read David Martin or Christopher Moore yet? I would have suggested Joe Lansdale and just left it at that, but your library probably doesn’t have him. Or George R. R. Martin.

Trevanian is tops too – esp. The Summer of Katya and Incident at Twenty-Mile.

I’m on a Theodore Sturgeon binge right now – see if your library has any of his short story collections. He’ll break your heart.

Pundit Lisa’s list is excellent, esp. Lonesome Dove and Memoirs. (I’d take a pass on Outlander though – and I really wanted to like that series.)

Come back and let us know what you found, okay?

Ah, thanks.

Okay…Celyn, I am a student. And yup I do like dark stuff. The library is good, just doesn’t have a huge fiction section. Then again, i could always try a biography…I’ve been meaning to actually. And if I’m really desperate I could try the Public Library. Though that’s kind of low on books, as its under construction and has moved temporarily to another location. It doesn’t have as many books as before though. They couldn’t move them all.

Let’s see. Memoirs of a Geisha is there. I read it last year. I could reread it though! i’ve probably forgotten most of the really important points.

Hmm. Yes, I could go for a so-called classic. See what all the hoopla is about. I’ll look into that. After all I can always return it if I don’t like it. It is the library.

Thanks for all the help guys.

I’m reading Shogun right now. I’m only on page 110 (10% of the book) but it’s really quite good. This coming from a Sci-Fi/fantasy reader. Clavell’s done quite a bit of research into the Japanese culture and the details he goes into, as well as the way the narrator seemlessly flows from one character’s viewpoint to another, are all excellent.

Of course, you can’t ask me what book I’d recommend without this suggestion popping out of my mouth: Ender’s Game. In case you didn’t hear that, it was ENDER’S GAME!


Nightfall by Silverberg and ?Asimov? About a planet with 7 suns.
I agree with Enderw24 except I would say everything by Orson Scott Card.
Thanks for the suggestions above, always looking for new authors.

I’d have to agree with Necronom on the Vonnegut books, although I’d have to expand it to include just about anything he’s written. He’s great to read if you just want to read something light and fluffy because his style is so entertaining. On the other hand, if you read it a little more deeply, he really has a lot to say.
I would also recommend anything by Herman Hesse. Siddhartha and Steppenwolf are his best known, and really the ones to start with, as the ideas are very fleshed out and complete, but he has quite a few more that are worth checking out. He actually won the Nobel prize for literature for The Glass Bead Game, and it’s the best in my opinion, but it’s pretty heavy. Demian and Narcissus and Goldmund are good, shorter reads.

Arrgh! Ya beat me to it!

If you’re in the mood for Sci-Fi, you might also want to check out some classic Robert Heinlein. In particular:

Starship Troopers and
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

I definitely agree with andyman on *Starship Troopers,*but I would preface that with “Don’t judge a book by it’s movie.” I don’t know who allowed the movie to be called by the same title, but they should be flogged. Heinlein’s original book was as much a political treatise as a sci-fi yarn. No less entertaining for that, though. Check it.