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Old 02-07-2014, 08:23 PM   #21
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I have read 49 of them. Only some would I rate as "books to read before you die".
I agree, and there are some notable omissions from the list. I guess all such lists have a large degree of subjectivity.
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:03 PM   #22
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I have read 49 of them. Only some would I rate as "books to read before you die".
Of the few that I've read, I'd only count "1984" and "Fahrenheit 451" as important to read. They just say so much about society.

As much as I liked "The Right Stuff", not everyone could connect with that, I think.

I'll have to see if I can get DW to review the list. She is always reading books. But I don't think they are the kind to make anyone's 'important' list.

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Old 02-07-2014, 09:14 PM   #23
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Of the few that I've read, I'd only count "1984" and "Fahrenheit 451" as important to read. They just say so much about society.

As much as I liked "The Right Stuff", not everyone could connect with that, I think.

I'll have to see if I can get DW to review the list. She is always reading books. But I don't think they are the kind to make anyone's 'important' list.

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This is my list of relatively modern books to read to help you understand yourself and the people around you. I'm sure there are many I'm forgetting, but this would be a good start.

Ernest Hemingway - The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms
William Faulkner – The Sound and the Fury, Light in August
Thorton Wilder -- The Bridge at San Luis Rey
James Michener -- The Bridges at Toko Ri
John O’Hara -- Appointment at Samarra
F. Scott Fitzgerald -- The Great Gatsby
James Jones -- From Here to Eternity, The Thin Red Line
Chinua Achebe -- Things Fall Apart
William Styron -- Confessions of Nat Turner, Lie Down in Darkness
Yukio Mishima -- The Temple of the Golden Pavilion
Harper Lee -- To Kill a Mockingbird
George Orwell -- 1984
Vladimir Nabokov -- Lolita
Paul Bowles -- The Sheltering Sky
Saul Bellow -- Seize the Day
William Golding -- Lord of the Flies
Elie Wiesel -- Night
John Knowles -- A Separate Peace
Upton Sinclair -- The Jungle
Tennessee Williams -- A Streetcar Named Desire
Marsha Norman -- ‘Night Mother
Arthur Miller -- The Crucible
Robert Bolt – A Man for All Seasons
John Updike -- Rabbit Run
Carson McCullers -- The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
John Hersey -- The Wall
Alice Walker -- The Color Purple
Bernard Malamud -- The Assistant
John Steinbeck -- The Grapes of Wrath
J.D. Salinger -- The Catcher in the Rye
Gabriel Garcia Marquez – One Hundred Years of Solitude
Marilynne Robinson – Gilead
Ray Bradbury – Fahrenheit 451
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:17 PM   #24
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Not really understanding Amazon's criteria in selection. Have read about 25 or so, very few of the books have stuck with me or really had much to recommend them beyond bathroom stall reading matter. OTOH, when I tried to read a Harry Potter book it was just beyond me - Dr. Seuss books felt like they were written from a more adult perspective and I had more respect for that author - so maybe I'm a really poor judge of good books..
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:22 PM   #25
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It's a strange list. Of the books on the list I have read, only some of them seemed worthwhile and a few I would have recommended friends never read, as I thought they were a complete waste of time. There are lots of books not listed that should probably replace many of these. I wonder how this list was compiled. I've read almost half, but given what I thought of those on the list I did read, I'm in no hurry to try the others. I'm sure some will be good, and some will be terrible. I expect no better or worse than many other lists.
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:25 PM   #26
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15 and I have no immediate plan to increase the number. 25 if I count movies I saw .
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100 Books - how are you doing?
Old 02-07-2014, 09:26 PM   #27
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100 Books - how are you doing?

The article said Amazon's editors came up with the list. They have a fiction editor, a young adult books editor, a children's book editor, etc., etc., so maybe equal slots were given to each editor. Charming as it is, I don't think most of us will be checking out The Very Hungry Caterpillar from the library, for example....
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:30 PM   #28
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I read an article about this yesterday and one of the quotes that stood out to me was by an editor at Amazon that said basically they made an effort not to make this a list of, to paraphrase her, books that feel like you are eating your veggies or doing homework. I remember reading "A Brief History of Time" many years ago and it certainly felt like that to me. It was a bit of a slog to get through but maybe I should dig it out and give it another try.
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:45 PM   #29
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If I exclude a few books I had to read (but might not have actually done so) in high school, I have read 2 of them, "Moneyball" and "World According to Garp," both in the last 18 months. The books on the list are not my kind of books. When I saw how big that Caro book about Bob Moses was, I found a smaller book (about 150 pages?) which summarized the Caro book, like a glorified Cliff Notes.

The only book on the list I have not read but might consider one day is "All the President's Men."
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:01 PM   #30
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Hmm... Nothing from Solzhenitsyn, Tolstoy, Victor Hugo, John le Carré, etc...
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:51 PM   #31
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Hmm... Nothing from Solzhenitsyn, Tolstoy, Victor Hugo, John le Carré, etc...
Nothing from Heaney, Years, Binchy, Shaw, Wilde....

We all bring our cultural context to our lists. The Amazon list is worthwhile reading, but it's predominantly Anglo-American. And there's nothing wrong with that, so long as we understand that this is an American company marketing to Americans.

http://www.cbc.ca/books/2014/02/amaz...-you-read.html

Below is a similar list from Ireland. I have read 33 of them. There is no overlap with Amazon's list.

http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/1...st_Irish_Books

My point is that a list is just a list. There are no "best books", only many thousands of great books.
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Old 02-08-2014, 05:36 AM   #32
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My point is that a list is just a list. There are no "best books", only many thousands of great books.
Right on the money.

Edit to add: And consider as well all the great books that were written in a language we don't understand and have never been translated into one we do.
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Old 02-08-2014, 05:55 AM   #33
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I enjoy these lists because they always give me good new candidates for my reading.
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Old 02-08-2014, 06:29 AM   #34
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I've read a few on the list but I'm more into history, technical or reference books.
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Old 02-08-2014, 06:38 AM   #35
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I like Gumby's list. There are a few I've read, more that I haven't, but the ones I have read I would agree are important works of fiction.
Like HFWR, I read a lot of non fiction, but it is good to stretch the muscles every now and again. DH is more of a fiction reader; I will share both lists with him.
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Old 02-08-2014, 07:39 AM   #36
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Good list, Gumby. Now I have more Kindle titles - I love that thing.
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Old 02-08-2014, 08:21 AM   #37
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Kind of a weird list and to some extent or another as subjective as all the other lists of "must read" or "best" books that people put together.
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:47 AM   #38
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I can't believe that one of the great authors of our time did not make the list...
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Old 02-08-2014, 10:41 AM   #39
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Here's a few that would definitely be on my list.

To Kill a Mockingbird ... H. Lee
Grapes of Wrath ... J. Steinbeck
Desert Solitaire ... E. Abbey
Pillars of the Earth ... K. Follett
Stars my Destination ... A. Bester
Endurance ... F A Worsley
Stranger in a Strange Land ... R. Heinlen
Foundation series ... I. Asimov
Touching the Void ... J Simpson
My First Summer in The Sierra ... J Muir
Garden of Rama ... A C Clarke
Into Thin Air ... J Krakauer
The Hobbit JRR Tolkein
Catcher in The Rye ... J R Salinger
The Worst Journey in The World ... A Cherry-Gerrard
Robinson Crusoe ... D Defoe
Ender's Game ... O S Card
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Old 02-08-2014, 11:22 AM   #40
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I think I've read 4 and those were many years ago for high school / college classes.
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