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Thread: Best Books

  1. #1
    Shoe Diva
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    Best Books

    Toni's resolution to read the Bible in 2007 made me start thinking about what books would make my nightstand's greatest hits for this year...

    What are your favorite three books and why should someone read it? I'll start...

    My favs all seem to have the same theme: fiction that promotes letting your freak flag fly & for me that's so awesome...

    The Catcher in the Rye - the best book EVER in my opinion... anyone who struggled with the concept of youth is wasted on the young will love this book... be warned, however, that it is a bit racy for some... (For those who don't like the classics ~ Prep is a decent substitute for Catcher)

    The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand is a bit special, but I love this story's message of be true to yourself in all things and don't be afraid to be an individual in times of madness...

    The Lipstick Jungle - One should never get personal insight from Candice Bushnell or what my husband calls "chick lit", but this book did a great job of forcing me to come to terms with certain aspects of my ambition, my non-traditional family set-up and desire to be my own person first vs. someone's wife & mother.

    Honorable Mentions:
    War & Peace - read during my "intellectual phase" at college
    The Lord of the Rings triology - so much fun...
    Harry Potter series - at least until 7 comes out & I can move on with my life
    Anything Ann Rice - she's so weird & entertaining...

    What about you??

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    OK, so I am pretending that the world is coming to an end and the only thing that will by left of civilization is my own personal library.

    The all-time number one best-selling secular book (the number two most published overall, after the Bible) and the one from which civilization has the greatest chance of rebuilding itself is...The Elements by Euclid. The jewel in the crown of human intellectual achievement, this work completely transformed the character of mathematical thought and continues twenty centuries later to provide the model for logical reasoning that can only be envied in vain by the empirical sciences today.

    In fiction, I think I would agree with War and Peace. Tolstoy remains without peer or rival in presenting the full vision of life.

    #3 Hmm. Maybe I'll go with Moby Dick. Puny man raging against the uncaring universe. Although Don Quixote and David Copperfield are right up there.

    Favorite 20th century American books. Grapes of Wrath, Gone with the Wind, To Kill a Mockingbird.

    Your list is interesting, Kwanford. Do you think that Catcher in the Rye is better than Huckleberry Finn?

    I haven't read The Lipstick Jungle, but The Fountainhead (like all the works of of Ayn Rand (Alisa Rosenbaum)) is, well, as you say, a bit "special." She exhalts the heroic individual at the expense of compassion for those who fall short of heroism.

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    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Hmmmmmmmm I liked "Murder in the White City" though it's used as a textbook in most history classes... it doesn't read like one...

    Right now I'm reading The UnOfficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2007 and that's pretty good (sad thing is, it's thicker than my Bible!)

    If you want to blow a night of 'intellectual reading' and read a kids book, the War With Grandpa is still my favorite chapter book I read it in 3rd grade and it changed my life *tear* lol

    I haven't really been in to reading a lot of big thinker books... I used to in Jr. High... but with all that I had to read for high school and now college I don't read a book if I'm not really interested in... so that normally means an easy read.

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    Mathman,

    Very impressive list... and all books that I'd add to a reader's time capsule for future generations...

    And yes, I do think Catcher is greater than Huck Finn... I do understand the social & historical importance of Huck but in terms of personal relevance, I prefer Holden Caulfield to Huckaberry Finn in terms of someone I'd like to hang out with ... Catcher was given to me during my teenage years when I couldn't figure out what the hell was wrong with everyone around me... because it wasn't me, it was the phoneys of the world... I am Holden Caulfield - which is my definition of a great book...

    As for The Fountainhead - I think the most important lesson from it is that all have the capacitiy to be heroic in their everyday lives, but we'd rather watch others do great things & then criticize their results vs. doing something great ourselves... (kinda like spending my workday on skating board chatting about great athletes - oh, the irony...) or deciding that Brittney Spears is a bad person because Fox News says so without looking at her in an objective light... (I was probably much worse at 25...I just didn't have 100 million at my disposal to party with) OR even worse, being like my friend, an intellegent & logical person, who swears that Angelina Jolie is her personal hero... why? because she's rich, beautiful and gave a great interview to Anderson Cooper? Please. The Fountainhead is more about being your own hero, being true to yourself & giving 'em hell.

    Ayn Rand's "specialness" doesn't affect me too much because while her message is one of the individual above all else, I look at it in terms of if I say I have intergrity and the capacity for greatness, then everyday is another opportunity to show that... from unleashing my ambition at work, to ensuring my son has clean socks for soccer practice - because to him that's heroic and great... But then, I'm a simple person.

    Ok. I'm off my soapbox now...

  5. #5
    Shoe Diva
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    [QUOTE=Tonichelle;219118]
    If you want to blow a night of 'intellectual reading' and read a kids book, the War With Grandpa is still my favorite chapter book I read it in 3rd grade and it changed my life *tear* lol

    QUOTE]

    I'm feeling you on the kids book thing... I've been known to re-read Judy Blume when life is getting too crazy... Are You There God? Its Me Margaret & Deenie are the perfect cure for all that ails ya... as it a good night of Dr. Seuss...

    Toni, I have a question: when you say reading the Bible in chrono order vs. book by book, what does that mean? I've never heard it described that way...

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    MY TVC 1 5 SeaniBu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    Right now I'm reading The UnOfficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2007 and that's pretty good (sad thing is, it's thicker than my Bible!)
    The last book I was in was "Classic Mickey vol 1," and before that "Rules of the game" - checking on changes to sports since the 70s. So If Manga and Comics count, Infinite Crises was 'sposed to be a pretty good series and if I can find some more issues of the Cherry Project I will read those.

    As for the Bible being smaller than the Diz book, I would look at that as being a good thing. TO ME that would say there is more of what the original writers intended for someone to read other than what a religion has put in there to perpetuate their ideals - but that is just my take wrong or right to others I still respect their opinions too. I don't think the Bible - which I did read a few times in the course of my life - was writing in a interpretive manner if it didn't intend on someone thinking while reading. Opposed to being told what a religion thinks it should mean. But that is just my take, never realy trusted what some people from the middle ages or beyond translated / added to the original text. I guess I don't trust the "hand of man" as much as the spirit that God will guild me with. But even with the short time I felt as though I was an atheist, I still enjoyed the bible immensely. The greatest stories ever told IMO. And the truth came out and gave me a new understanding.

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    I am an avid reader and have read so many books over the years, but could not honestly tell you which books are the best. I can only say which books I enjoyed better than others. Sometimes I would enjoy a particular book because it is a change from what I have been reading the previous weeks. Here are some of the books that come to mind which I have loved reading recently.


    Travels With My Trombone - Henry Shukman
    A young British man travels through the Caribbean and South America playing his Trombone is local bands. The book is an actual account of his experiences both good and bad including the island of my birth Trinidad.

    Water - Bapsi Sidhwa
    The book was written after the movie came out and stays very close to the original movie. I enjoyed both movie and book. About Chuyia, a young widow in 1930s India. Very moving and lovely book.

    Graceland - Chris Albani
    About a yound Nigerian boy named Elvis who dreams of escaping the terrible reality of life in the ghettos of Lagos Nigeria.

    Futebol The Brazilian way of life - Alex Bellos
    need no explaination. hehehe

    The Bourne Identity - Robert Ludlum
    What can I say? I have images of Matt Damond flying through my head while I read this thing. LOL

    The Winter Queen - Boris Akunin
    A friend turned me on to his books and loved it. Not sure why, perhaps because I so rarely read such simple and easy to understand mysteries.

    Darcy's Story - Janet Alymer
    What can I say, I loved both the A&E as well as the Keira Knightley versions of the movie so I just had to read this and loved it.

    Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith - Matthew Woodring
    Totally loved the book! Although I am not a fan of Expanded Universe books.

    Winds of War & War And Rememberance - Herman Wouk
    Totally was into these books despite their awesome size and the fact that the character of Natalie is the dumb chick ever created!

    Vassily Grossman - A writer at war
    A collection of the writer's thoughts and observations while acting as a reporter during WW2. A surprisingly honest point of view, rare for a USSR reporter.


    There are more that comes to mind but i will leave the list at that for now. I am always willing to do my part for the promotion of reading as a past time.
    Last edited by Buzzz; 01-04-2007 at 05:47 PM.

  8. #8
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Re: Bible Books vs going in Chronological order...

    The way the Bible is arranged it doesn't go from start to finish in teh way things happened. Because many of the books speak on either the same event from more than one author's perspective (good example is in the New Testament where you have 4 authors writing about the Life of Christ... 4 somewhat different accounts [in emotion, writing style, etc] and some parts one did not witness while another did)

    The Old Testament is the one that is the most convoluted because it's organized by types of writing. The first five books are the 'books of law' and they span a whole lot of history... other books like Job take place somewhere in the same time span (as do a few others) but because they aren't about God's law they are placed later.

    Most people, when they decide they're going to read the whole bible in a year they read from cover to cover. Which is great, and fine, and what I've done in the past... but it can be more confusing that way because you're going back and forth in time. This helps get rid of that.



    As for translation, non-religious historians also use the actual text to figure out different points of history. The translation is sound. You can read the Bible without getting a Religious person's opinion mixed in.

    The Bible vs the 'Bible to Disney World' that I'm reading was just a tongue in cheek thing... personally the people who wrote it have way too much time and money on their hands because they study this thing like some study the sciences... it's insane...

  9. #9
    MY TVC 1 5 SeaniBu's Avatar
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    Continuing conversation about one of the best, if not thee

    This is Bible talk so Ignore it if you wish but some might find it interesting to hear a differnt view - or the same per-chance - of the most popular books ever.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    As for translation, non-religious historians also use the actual text to figure out different points of history. The translation is sound. You can read the Bible without getting a Religious person's opinion mixed in.
    Not that it matters as much as I respect your opinion to believe whatever, but that is found as being false enough times to be known as fact by many. For exple, Ancient Hebrew and Greek did not have a word "fornication" that has been put in "some" (yes only some) of the translations we find today - yep the new ones too. Sex outside of marriage is adultery period. To place the meaning of what we know as "fornication" in the bible is to interpret meaning and transcend said belief. Catholics have books that Christians don't etc...

    It is weird anytime I have this conversation for I come across as anti bible, quite the contrary, I am anti trust in the persons over the course of history that have manipulated text to support their cause and still do. It is proven, there have been manipulations and it is up to the reader to believe what they feel EITHER way. IMO that is why it is written the way it is, to expand your faith, not give answers (as in concordances or the like) but make you find them via the spirit in you as God intended. JMO - but most of the above is proven fact and we continue to find more. That is why the question of "do you believe in God?", is almost always followed by the question what religion someone is. There will be a difference even though it is supposed to be the same bible.

    The chronological thing is great to bring to attention and glad you clarified that. The people who are under the belief that it is in chronological order are the ones who have not read all of it or even put together the factor of placement of the book of Job. How that made it to where it is, is a mystery to most. A majority of the Old Testament is in "order" where as there is the "overviews" through out the New T. John is a great example, there is no way to keep that in order with the other books unless you place more books of John all throughout the New Testament. Good point and good plan.

    Toni, please realize I don't disagree with you. In my life the course of doubt AND blind faith have lead me to the road I am on now, exposed truths and falsities. And I know for fact that the differences in religions bibles are clear indicators that there are signs the "Hand of man" made decisions for what will be published. Be that good AND bad IMO.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    The Bible vs the 'Bible to Disney World' that I'm reading was just a tongue in cheek thing... personally the people who wrote it have way too much time and money on their hands because they study this thing like some study the sciences... it's insane...
    Yah it took it that way but saw the opportunity to talk about the second largest book I ever read, only book I read more then twice, most influential book I have ever read, most manipulated (be that good or bad is opinion only) book ever published that I am aware of, most used for justification of "actions" throughout history, and the most misinterpreted (IMO) book ever read. - well and the most published book, even thought that statistic is based on different versions that do use different words in the same target language or don't share ALL of the same canonized books within.

    I really take issue with Marry Mag not having more mention, her own book I believe, and the perpetuation throughout popular belief that she was a harlot / prostitute. I think that shows the male chauvinistic pigs were changing "biblical" aspect for certain over the course of history and some of that "sinful moronity" IMO still exists today.

    And I base NOTHING on the Divici Code

    For extended example I respect most Mormon's beliefs, but hardly believe a word of Joseph Smith. I leave the judging to God.

    BTW, Toni, each time you write "teh" is that to be taken with an accent? It is cute if it is.
    Last edited by SeaniBu; 01-04-2007 at 07:30 PM.

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    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    no... each time "the" is typed "teh" it's because my fingers have transposed the letters and I am either too lazy to fix it, or don't notice it...


    as for the falsity of the Bible... yes words are either used in place of, or put in for clarity... when that happens most Bibles make a note of it. I can't speak for every one of them, I have only read I think 6 translations... most Bibles italisize the word, and if nessecery there are footnotes explaining why it's there. Words like 'the' and 'is' etc are there so that it's easier to read in English...

    but I could just be 'brainwashed' by the religious men at large

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    "To Kill A Mockingbird" -- because as far as I'm concerned, everyone just HAS to. I don't know one person who has read this and NOT absolutely loved it. I re-read it myself this past year for the first time in [obscenely high number] years and was just once again blown away.

    "Paradise" by Toni Morrison. WOW. This is all I can say about it, really. WOW. I try to re-read it every year or so (strangely enough, usually during Nationals week cuz that's when I read it the first time) because there is just so much stuff in it I pick up on something new and major every time.

    "Vile Bodies" by Evelyn Waugh. You have got to love a book that about every page and a half, makes you put it down, say "OMG I cannot BELIEVE these people!!" and then pick it back up and resume reading.

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    MY TVC 1 5 SeaniBu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    no... each time "the" is typed "teh" it's because my fingers have transposed the letters and I am either too lazy to fix it, or don't notice it...


    as for the falsity of the Bible... yes words are either used in place of, or put in for clarity... when that happens most Bibles make a note of it. I can't speak for every one of them, I have only read I think 6 translations... most Bibles italisize the word, and if nessecery there are footnotes explaining why it's there. Words like 'the' and 'is' etc are there so that it's easier to read in English...

    but I could just be 'brainwashed' by the religious men at large
    I am so happy that didn't cause a issue. Yah.

    I didn't address the comment -
    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    As for translation, non-religious historians also use the actual text to figure out different points of history. The translation is sound. You can read the Bible without getting a Religious person's opinion mixed in.
    specifically. That is happening but not found as much as it could be IMO. There are some fair trans IMO out there, but they are often - not always - manipulated themselves after or not recognized by the churches for distribution because they are written by "non-believes." Those usually are used by scholars and historians, not distributed by churches. IOW, most of the copies we will find that were translated in that way and pure of "re-interpretation" or "suggestion that that is what it could mean (even some of the NIVs will differ in some spots) one would have to look for and buy intentionally. I received a Bible as a gift from my Mom's church that is "NIV" with the word "fornication" in it.

    Thanks again for not taking anything I said negatively. It is all just personal beliefs about a great book.
    Last edited by SeaniBu; 01-04-2007 at 08:11 PM.

  13. #13
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Catholics have books that Christians don't etc...
    Catholics are Christians. So are Mormons.

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    MY TVC 1 5 SeaniBu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Catholics are Christians. So are Mormons.
    Math you know what I am saying come on. It was a "denominational" comment again.

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    I rather think we seem to be treading into considerably more dangerous waters than this thread intended.....

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