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Post Reply Books you MUST read
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Posted 8/11/12 , edited 8/11/12
The Bible
Battle Royal-Takami
Oryx and Crake- Atwood
Grendel- Gardner
The Ramayana
Memoirs of Geisha
One of Starwars, One of Doom-Abbot (Short Story)
Idlewild- Sagan
Eden Born- Sagan
Everfree- Sagan
Abhorsen series- Garth Nix
The Butcher Boy- McCabe

I included a bit of variety here. Obviously I have more suggestions but these are ones I've read at least three times or more. (Except the Bible that one as well as the Koran are something people should read at least once regardless of religious preferences.)

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Posted 8/12/12
Okay, I am just curious: Why are there a lot of people suggesting that I need to read The Bible before I die? What is so remarkable about it? I've read the entire Bible through more than once and in different text translations and aside from them being nice stories, I don't see anything remotely remarkable about this tome of stories (historical or allegorical) which suggests that it is a 'top book'.

I like the suggestions that some have given of non-Christian religious texts or works by Grecian philosophers/academics, but I guess I am just missing something incredible every time I slog through The Bible.

My suggestions are thus:

Fiction:

Lord of the Flies - William Golding
Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut
Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
The Phantom of the Opera - Gaston Leroux

Non-fiction:

Pretty much anything in this category is okay as long as it's not 'crackpot' literature. And by that, I mean nothing about UFOs, conspiracy theories, ghosts, or non-tangible things.

It's not there is anything wrong with the above mentioned things, but one has difficulty validating any of the information in those types of books because often, it's based on personal experience/beliefs and not facts or real-time observation.

I strongly suggest reading books about science (Brian Wilson is a good author) or about observations on religion (like the book "What Went Wrong"). Of course, books about places, photographers, artists, etc. are also nice to read. So are reading the personal accounts of individuals who lived through trying times or witnessed war. Sometimes, reading the non-fiction books is more interesting than reading the fun fluff of fiction.

The book Silent Spring by Rachel Carson is a bit outdated, but still relevant for those that are interested in ecology or how the modern farming industry has greatly affected not only the environment, but us as humans.
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Posted 8/12/12

CanesGalactica wrote:

Okay, I am just curious: Why are there a lot of people suggesting that I need to read The Bible before I die? What is so remarkable about it? I've read the entire Bible through more than once and in different text translations and aside from them being nice stories, I don't see anything remotely remarkable about this tome of stories (historical or allegorical) which suggests that it is a 'top book'.




Because from a purely literary standpoint it's quite remarkable. Dozens of Books by different authors, written at different times, yet somehow put together in such a way that it reads as a chronologically bound narrative. Also Psalms and the Song of Solomon hold great examples of poetic imagery.

The Bible, like other religious cannons are not just a book of "nice stories". Religious cannons are top books because they have inspired the actions of man and shaped the world we live in today. Whether those actions be creative like Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel or Da Vinci's Last Supper or historically altering like The Crusades, The Spanish Inquisition, or the formation of Islam. If the Bible, the Koran, Daozang, and other cannons were never written or put together how different would the world be? If you see the value in works like The Iliad, The Odyssey, and Metaphysics yet can't see the value in a several centuries old religious cannon perhaps you should broaden your horizons. I'm not Christian but I also don't limit myself to text that aren't religiously affiliated. Books that question religion or argue against it wouldn't even exist if not for religious text.

Books are like windows, with every window you get to see another side of the world, and the more windows you have the more open your world becomes which allows you to better understand and relate to the people around you. That's why you should at least attempt to read anything you get your hands on even if that means reading "crack pot" non-fiction or a religious book of "nice stories."
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Posted 8/12/12
American Gods - Neil Gaiman
Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card
Einstein's Dreams - Alan Lightman
The City & The City - China Miéville
Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
The Stand - Stephen King
1984 - George Orwell
What Has Government Done To Our Money? - Murray Rothbard
No Treason - The Constitution of No Authority - Lysander Spooner
The Law - Frédéric Bastiat
Liberalism - Ludwig von Mises
Getting Things Done - David Allen
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Posted 8/12/12 , edited 8/12/12
Yes I'm gonna say it....

"Trickle Down Tyranny" by Michael Savage.

Try reading the other side of the fence for a while....you might learn something.


As for fiction, I recommend the Love Hina manga or the redubbed Sailor Moon manga.
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Posted 8/12/12

crazyfirefly wrote:


CanesGalactica wrote:

Okay, I am just curious: Why are there a lot of people suggesting that I need to read The Bible before I die? What is so remarkable about it? I've read the entire Bible through more than once and in different text translations and aside from them being nice stories, I don't see anything remotely remarkable about this tome of stories (historical or allegorical) which suggests that it is a 'top book'.




Because from a purely literary standpoint it's quite remarkable. Dozens of Books by different authors, written at different times, yet somehow put together in such a way that it reads as a chronologically bound narrative. Also Psalms and the Song of Solomon hold great examples of poetic imagery.

The Bible, like other religious cannons are not just a book of "nice stories". Religious cannons are top books because they have inspired the actions of man and shaped the world we live in today. Whether those actions be creative like Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel or Da Vinci's Last Supper or historically altering like The Crusades, The Spanish Inquisition, or the formation of Islam. If the Bible, the Koran, Daozang, and other cannons were never written or put together how different would the world be? If you see the value in works like The Iliad, The Odyssey, and Metaphysics yet can't see the value in a several centuries old religious cannon perhaps you should broaden your horizons. I'm not Christian but I also don't limit myself to text that aren't religiously affiliated. Books that question religion or argue against it wouldn't even exist if not for religious text.

Books are like windows, with every window you get to see another side of the world, and the more windows you have the more open your world becomes which allows you to better understand and relate to the people around you. That's why you should at least attempt to read anything you get your hands on even if that means reading "crack pot" non-fiction or a religious book of "nice stories."


That's the better reason than most, although I consider 'top books' to be literary works that are so compelling that the entire collected work is worth reading. I don't find this to be the case with the Bible. I think some of the individual books are really interesting, but others are just really dry and I have no idea why they were included in the first place, given the remarkable number of books that were supposedly left out of the Bible for one reason or another.

But thank you for at least giving me a better answer than most would.

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Posted 8/12/12

CanesGalactica wrote:


crazyfirefly wrote:


CanesGalactica wrote:

Okay, I am just curious: Why are there a lot of people suggesting that I need to read The Bible before I die? What is so remarkable about it? I've read the entire Bible through more than once and in different text translations and aside from them being nice stories, I don't see anything remotely remarkable about this tome of stories (historical or allegorical) which suggests that it is a 'top book'.




Because from a purely literary standpoint it's quite remarkable. Dozens of Books by different authors, written at different times, yet somehow put together in such a way that it reads as a chronologically bound narrative. Also Psalms and the Song of Solomon hold great examples of poetic imagery.

The Bible, like other religious cannons are not just a book of "nice stories". Religious cannons are top books because they have inspired the actions of man and shaped the world we live in today. Whether those actions be creative like Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel or Da Vinci's Last Supper or historically altering like The Crusades, The Spanish Inquisition, or the formation of Islam. If the Bible, the Koran, Daozang, and other cannons were never written or put together how different would the world be? If you see the value in works like The Iliad, The Odyssey, and Metaphysics yet can't see the value in a several centuries old religious cannon perhaps you should broaden your horizons. I'm not Christian but I also don't limit myself to text that aren't religiously affiliated. Books that question religion or argue against it wouldn't even exist if not for religious text.

Books are like windows, with every window you get to see another side of the world, and the more windows you have the more open your world becomes which allows you to better understand and relate to the people around you. That's why you should at least attempt to read anything you get your hands on even if that means reading "crack pot" non-fiction or a religious book of "nice stories."


That's the better reason than most, although I consider 'top books' to be literary works that are so compelling that the entire collected work is worth reading. I don't find this to be the case with the Bible. I think some of the individual books are really interesting, but others are just really dry and I have no idea why they were included in the first place, given the remarkable number of books that were supposedly left out of the Bible for one reason or another.

But thank you for at least giving me a better answer than most would.



As an English major and a writer myself it's the least I can do.

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Posted 8/12/12
Guns Germs and Steel -- Jared Diamond
Emotional Intelligence -- Daniel Goleman
--
The God Delusion. -- Richard Dawkins
Religion Poisons Everything -- Christopher Hitchens
The Moral Landscape -- Sam Harris
--
A Farewell to Arms -- Ernest Hemingway
A Christmas Carol -- Charles Dickens
The Kingdom of God Is Within You -- Leo Tolstoy
Nineteen Eighty-Four -- George Orwell
--
Snow Crash -- Neil Stephenson
Foundation -- Isaac Asimov
The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide -- Douglas Adams
--
Rumi and Hafiz (a little poetry can't hurt)
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Posted 8/12/12
Alice in Wonderland, & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll just my two cents worth.
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Posted 8/12/12
Twilight
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Posted 8/12/12

CanesGalactica wrote:
Non-fiction:

Pretty much anything in this category is okay as long as it's not 'crackpot' literature. And by that, I mean nothing about UFOs, conspiracy theories, ghosts, or non-tangible things.


Crackpot literature is like a failure of metafiction. One where the authors keep forgetting to expose the fictional illusion.
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Posted 8/12/12
In my opinion I would say Great Expectations and the Pendragon series. Also, the The Pit Dragon Chronicles was a favorite back in Junior High.
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here's my list.

survivor - chuck palahniuk
trainspotting - irvine welsh
high fidelity - nick hornby
american gods - neil gaiman
memoirs of a geisha - arthur golden
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Posted 8/12/12

AshRandom wrote:


CanesGalactica wrote:
Non-fiction:

Pretty much anything in this category is okay as long as it's not 'crackpot' literature. And by that, I mean nothing about UFOs, conspiracy theories, ghosts, or non-tangible things.


Crackpot literature is like a failure of metafiction. One where the authors keep forgetting to expose the fictional illusion.


Yeah.. I'm reminded of when I sat down and read "Chariot of the Gods" and "The Bermuda Triangle". Both were written by the same author, I believe.. but reading them was like trying to read an acid trip gone wrong. The books never really said anything and was mostly babbling about supernatural phenomena and aliens.

Like me trying to watch an episode of Ancient Aliens.. I still haven't managed to get through an episode yet. :S

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Posted 8/12/12

CanesGalactica wrote:


AshRandom wrote:


CanesGalactica wrote:
Non-fiction:

Pretty much anything in this category is okay as long as it's not 'crackpot' literature. And by that, I mean nothing about UFOs, conspiracy theories, ghosts, or non-tangible things.


Crackpot literature is like a failure of metafiction. One where the authors keep forgetting to expose the fictional illusion.


Yeah.. I'm reminded of when I sat down and read "Chariot of the Gods" and "The Bermuda Triangle". Both were written by the same author, I believe.. but reading them was like trying to read an acid trip gone wrong. The books never really said anything and was mostly babbling about supernatural phenomena and aliens.

Like me trying to watch an episode of Ancient Aliens.. I still haven't managed to get through an episode yet. :S



I saw a youtube video of that show, one of my students sent it to me. There was this crackpot guy with giant hair, who claimed that the Pumapunku stone megaliths were made out of diorite -- when anyone who passed grade school geology can plainly see that they're sandstone.

I listened to it for a bit and then shook my head wistfully and went back to work... Those kinds of shows are made for people with absolutely no education, and too little cognitive competency to reason their way past the nonsense. Like the claim that the only way to carve a very hard stone is to use a diamond tipped drill... That should intuitively ring false to any thinking person, when it doesn't it's because the person is so ignorant of the real world they almost don't even have the right to live in it.... If you rub any stone against itself, you'll wear it down, you don't need a harder stone, you just need a chunk of the same exact stone you're working on. Gosh, I wonder where you'll find a chunk of the very same stone you're already working on. Aliens probably had to come down in space ships and use their technology to help you find one. Ugh...
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