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Reading All Time Favorites
Old 12-15-2009, 03:35 PM   #1
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Reading All Time Favorites

I loved reading the recent thread on "What are you reading NOW??". But now I'd like to know your All Time Favorite recommendations!

As for me: My fiction favorites are "A Town Like Alice" by Nevil Shute; "The Daughter of Time" by Josephine Tey.

Non-fiction: Although they are both actually considered historical novels, "In Cold Blood" Truman Capote is incredibly gripping, as is Pulitzer Prize winner "The Killer Angels" by Shaara. "Death by Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandries" by Neil DeGrasse Tyson is thrilling.

And my new all-time favorites come from re-reading literature from childhood. Read them so long ago, "Oh, sure I remember that", but forgot the feeling that comes with them. But reading "Winnie the Pooh" and "House at Pooh Corner" Milne was such a treat. For the adult reader there is so much wit and irony that a child wouldn't see. And the closing scenes of both books are winsome and heart-wrenching!

Tell me, what else should I be reading
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Old 12-15-2009, 03:57 PM   #2
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Wow, I'm surprised that a non-Australian has read "A Town Like Alice". We lived there for a few years and it was interesting to re-read it as a resident and identify places suggested by the book. BTW did you ever see the movie? Have to say I do think the book is good and the movie was great as well.

Probably the best fiction book I have ever read is Moloka'i by Alan Brennert. He told the story so well, and the characters really sucked me in.

I have tried to read a lot of the classics that were shoved down our throats at school, but have to say I didn't enjoy most of them and can't really even see why they are classics.
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Old 12-15-2009, 04:10 PM   #3
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I currently read mostly non-fiction these days. My favorite works of fiction are period pieces that take you to another place and time but have a universal appeal that makes the characters contemporary in any age: Anything by Jane Austen and the Brontes(Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre), War and Peace and Anna Karenina(Tolstoy), Vanity Fair(Thackeray), Of Human Bondage(Maugham), East of Eden and The Grapes of Wrath(Steinbeck), The Sound and the Fury(Faulkner), The Yearling(Rawlings) and many more of the classics.
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Old 12-15-2009, 05:33 PM   #4
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My reading has changed so much over the years . It tends to mimic my life at the time . If my life is turmoil I'm reading about dysfunctional families . If life is smooth I may be reading mysteries or chick lit . So to pick out a favorite would be impossible . I have hundreds of favorites . Tracy Belden and Nancy Drew as a child . War & Remembrance later on , Deep end of the ocean years ago ,The Glass Castle a year ago and all of Stephen King's before he got too weird . Mauve Benchy , Michael Connelly , John Grisham , Sue Grafton , etc., etc., etc,. My favorites probably way outweigh my non favorites.
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Old 12-15-2009, 05:39 PM   #5
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Moe, if you get in the mood for dysfunctional families, Tolstoy's Anna Karenina is a classic...the first line is even something like "Happy families are all alike but unhappy families are unhappy in their own way" or something to that effect. It is hard for me to believe that Tolstoy could write Anna then become such a crazy hard headed religious zealot in his old age.
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Old 12-15-2009, 05:46 PM   #6
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I guess I don't have much imagination as I only enjoy fiction in the form of movies and stage plays. By choice I haven't read any fiction in about 35 years, since I had to in college. So the books that have had the most profound impact on me wouldn't be most people's cup of tea. It's a long list, but here's a highly condensed version in no particular order:
  • The Four Pillars of Investing - Bernstein
  • Your Money or Your Life - Dominguez & Robin
  • The Millionaire Next Door - Stanley/Danko
  • Walden - Thoreau
  • How to Retire Happy, Wild & Free - Zelinski
  • Free to Choose - Friedman
  • Body for Life - Phillips
  • dozens of books on dogs, sailing & foodie stuff (personal interests)
I'll be interested in seeing other replies as well, thanks for starting the thread and good reading.
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Old 12-15-2009, 05:54 PM   #7
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The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck has lots of lessons for me, I first read it about age 9 and reread for the 4th time last year.
The Millionaire Next Door is almost always on a table and picked up for a few pages ever week.
I love garage sales and Salvation Army Store to buy my reading material. It used to annoy me when I forgot to take reading material to travel and bought at the airport and finished before reaching my destination. There went 7 to 9 bucks down the drain!
For light reading I grab a cookbook or two and enjoy mental gymnastics of new cooking ideas which I incorporate at the appropriate occasion.
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Old 12-15-2009, 06:47 PM   #8
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Fiction

As a child: Swallows and Amazons series - Arthur Ransome
As a teenager: Robert Heinlen (Stranger in a Strange Land etc), Frank Herbert (Dune) and Agatha Christie
As an adult: no particular favourites, but I did enjoy Kate Mosse's Labyrinth and Sepulchre

Non-Fiction

The Millionaire Next Door - Stanley & Danko (the section on economic out patient care for adult children is hugely valuable)
The Origin of Wealth - Eric Bienhocker (a bit heavy, but the best rationalisation of instability in economic systems I have read)
Ari - Peter Evans (not sure why, but of all the biographies I have read, this is the one I keep coming back to)
The Four Pillars of Investing - William Bernstein
Against the Gods - Peter Bernstein

I'm still waiting for someone to start a thread on the worst books they have read.
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Old 12-15-2009, 07:21 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by crazy connie View Post
.
I love garage sales and Salvation Army Store to buy my reading material. It used to annoy me when I forgot to take reading material to travel and bought at the airport and finished before reaching my destination. There went 7 to 9 bucks down the drain!

I usually go to the library but when I buy books I resell them on Amazon and recoup some money .
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Old 12-15-2009, 08:19 PM   #10
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I read very few books over and most of my books come from the library. But I actually own this in paperback and have reread it: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John Le Carre. The first and best book in a trilogy. If you read this then you might want to also watch the PBS series starring Alec Guiness from 1980 by that name (you can get it at Netflix and I've just requested it again ). This TV miniseries was very true to the book.
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Old 12-15-2009, 09:52 PM   #11
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Starry Night....I love the Daughter of Time. It is one of my absolute favorites.

I also really like the Millionaire Next Door.

From my childhood I loved Girl of the Limberlost a book that I heard of from my grandmother who read it when it first came out.

I really love reading and over the years have had many favorites and different genres I've enjoyed.

The past several years I've gone more sci fi and urban fantasy. There are so many. I really really love the Vorkosigan series by Lois McMasters Bujold. I also like a lot of David Weber, particularly the Honor Harrington series.
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Old 12-16-2009, 01:50 AM   #12
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Fiction:
Anything by Steinbeck
Slaughterhouse Five
The Sotweed Factor (John Barth)
One Flew Over the Cukcoo's Nest

Non-Fiction:
A Brief History of Time
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Old 12-16-2009, 06:19 AM   #13
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I have to admit that I never re-read anything and I can only mention authors, and I have many favourites: Grisham, Block, Sandford, Pelecanos, McBain, Wambaugh, Susan Isaacs, Connelly,.... Any one of them, among other authors has written something I have liked a lot. And the opposite...
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Old 12-21-2009, 09:32 PM   #14
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anything by floridian John D. MacDonald

the Travis McGee stuff is easy reading

the other stuff is heavier, but not much
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Old 12-22-2009, 04:38 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by crazy connie View Post
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck has lots of lessons for me, I first read it about age 9 and reread for the 4th time last year.
The Millionaire Next Door is almost always on a table and picked up for a few pages ever week.
I love garage sales and Salvation Army Store to buy my reading material. It used to annoy me when I forgot to take reading material to travel and bought at the airport and finished before reaching my destination. There went 7 to 9 bucks down the drain!
For light reading I grab a cookbook or two and enjoy mental gymnastics of new cooking ideas which I incorporate at the appropriate occasion.
Oh Pearl S Buck is amazing and The Good Earth is great. It was dedicated to her father....there was another book, which was more autobiographical in nature and was dedicated to her mother. It talked about her and her family's life as missionaries in China.

There are so many good books - 'Killer Angels' is awesome, Richard Morgan's first Sci-Fi book (don't remember the title), Sue Grafton, John Le Carre, P.G. Wodehouse, Jane Austen, oh my gosh, I can't remember all of the authors...the author of Cadfael series.

And then of course, The Millionaire Next Door, Your Money or Your life, You Don't Need a Million to Retire, Work Less, Live More....
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Old 12-22-2009, 07:22 AM   #16
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if you want something truely bizarre, books written by Robert Monroe, the radio & TV entrepreneur and engineer who in the 1950s started having out of body experiences and who established a research institute to document these experiences and teach.

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Old 12-22-2009, 07:33 AM   #17
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Almost anything written by Terry Pratchett. His books are hilarious, literate, clever and approachable, albeit with some Britishisms.

Another author I have followed is Walter J. Williams.

For literature, I think my all-time favorite is The Good Soldier Svejk, by Hasek.
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Old 12-22-2009, 08:00 AM   #18
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For me, there is nothing like the childhood favorites when your imagination is still running so wild. The Winnie the Poo stories. Wind in the Willows. Boxcar Children. Bobbsey Twins. Nancy Drew. The black stallion novels. Wrinkle in Time. Call of the Wild. Many Asimov novels, especially the Foundation series. Heinlein novels, starting with the juveniles (my favorite was Tunnel in the Sky). My introduction to serious novels came when I was 12 and read Les Misérables and War and Peace. But nothing kept my attention like sci fi. Slaughterhouse Five is probably my all time favorite. Others include Ender's Game, Ringworld, The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed, Dune, and on an on. At some point I dropped sci fi until recently and now am finding new good authors. My favorite recent sci fi novel is Snow Crash, recommended by someone here.

As I sit and try to remember some other novels come to mind not in the scifi category. Catch-22 really stands out and I still quote from that book in all sorts of situations. The White Hotel also was significant, but it probably was the circumstances when I read it.

Otherwise, for a number of years I have devoured mystery novels and spy novels. Few are great but many are good. Some of my favorite authors in mystery are Lawrence Block, John Dunning, Carol O'Connell, James Lee Burke, Tony Hillerman. For spy fiction the lead has to be John Le Carre. Other authors I like are Ken Follet, Frederick Forsyth, and more recently, Dan Silva. Not a lot of good post cold war spy fiction.
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Old 12-22-2009, 08:23 AM   #19
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Fiction:
One Flew Over the Cukcoo's Nest
One of my favorites which I am reading right now is Kesey's other great novel, Sometimes a Great Notion. An excellent book, and absolutely faithful to our Pacific Coastal logging life before the Spotted Owl.

Ha
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