AR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 4924 posts, RR: 27 Posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3324 times:
I love to read. Almost all genres, except for poetry. So I thought that given how international this forum is, it would be a good idea to post your three favorite novels of all time, so we can all increase our literary knowledge with interesting literature from around the world. You can also feel free to comment why they are your favorites. Mine are:
1. Mrs. Flor and her two husbands, Jorge Amado
2. The Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follet
3. No longer at Ease, Chinua Achebe
hka098 From United States of America, joined Oct 2010, 556 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 3305 times:
I don't as to what the 'best' work would be, but here are some of my recent favorites.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
1984 by George Orwell
Confessions of an Economic Hitman by John Perkins
The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder by Vincent Bugliosi
comorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4721 posts, RR: 17 Reply 3, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 3288 times:
My top three favorites are:
3. The Shining, by Stephen King - nobody writes like Stephen King, except:
2. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John Le Carre - Great English Writer. But the outstanding book is:
1. A Winters Tale by Mark Halprin - a magical tale set in a mythical early New York.
I like them all because they create beautifully crafted, wondrous worlds of imagination that take me far away. Their command of language and craft do not overtake a story they want to tell. Oops. I forgot "The Life of Pi" - what an amazing book.
I would also like to put in a plug for my favorite author Tom Wolfe who has written many brilliant books that shaped my outlook on the world. Each one is brilliant gem. Another brilliant writer is Joan Didion, who is a literary Miles Davis - very cool and Californian.
My favorite Genre is Travel Writing, so the best of the best are:
1. Paul Theroux - The Happy Isles of Oceania, The Great Railway Bazaar
2. William Dalrymple - [i]The City of Djinns
3. Alexander Frater - Beyond the Blue Horizon, Chasing the Monsoon
I have also tried to get into books with a South Asian backdrop, and the following are amazing:
1. Rohinton Mistry - A Fine Balance - the definitive, heart-rending, Dickensian book on India's poor.
2. Salman Rushdie - Shalimar the Clown, Midnight's Children - Kashmir setting, with filigree precision
3. William Dalrymple - The Last Moghul Masterly work and riveting account of Empire.
I consider all the above as simply amazing literature.
I grew up reading Blyton, W.E. Johns and Bunter, graduating to Hardy, Du Maurier and Wodehouse.
So I don't 'get' a lot of contemporary literature:
1. Neverland - Huh? Most boring book ever.
2. White Light - Don De Lillo
3. Corrections - Jon Franzen
4. Anything by VS Naipaul
5. The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy - annoying book.
TheCol From Canada, joined Jan 2007, 2012 posts, RR: 6 Reply 4, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 3278 times:
Here's my top 5:
Shake Hands With the Devil - LGen. Roméo Dallaire (a must read for every Canadian)
My War - Andy Rooney
The Bright Blue Sky - Max Hennessy
The Challenging Heights - Max Hennessy
Once More the Hawks - Max Hennessy
No matter how random things may appear, there's always a plan.
fridgmus From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 1383 posts, RR: 11 Reply 7, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 3245 times:
Let me see, I do have quite a few but here's a good Top Three
1. Armageddon by Leon Uris
2. Winds of War and War & Remembrance (two parter) by Herman Wouk
3. The Hope & The Glory (another two parter) by Herman Wouk
I also encourage all of you who have children to read to them every chance you get, it will bring you closer to your child (hopefully) and in this age of smartphones, computers and iPods etc, give them a love of books. It was the greatest gift my Father ever gave to me.
Have a great weekend all, Thanksgiving or not!
The Lockheed Super Constellation, the REAL Queen of the Skies!
If you love Dickens, I recommend a book called "Mr Pip". Can't remember the author but it has a great story that centres around the telling of a Dickens novel to a classful of eager students in a small town in Papua New Guinea
WarRI1 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 6548 posts, RR: 8 Reply 9, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3150 times:
My all time favorite is A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. A story that I find has a lesson in life that applies today, about how not to treat people and the possible consquence for those who do. The great lesson, The French Revolution.
It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.
bookishaviator From Australia, joined Jun 2009, 233 posts, RR: 0 Reply 10, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3139 times:
Three novels that immediately spring to mind:
James Baldwin - Go Tell It on the Mountain
Thomas Hardy - Jude the Obscure
Mikhail Bulgakov - The Master and Margarita
There are many, many others that could be added to my favourites list. I think I'd find it impossible to whittle it down to a top three of 'all time'. Contributions from Jack Kerouac, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Evelyn Waugh and John Cheever would also appear on my list. And a bit of Stephen Fry and P. G. Wodehouse for some more lighthearted stuff. From the contemporary field: can't go past David Mitchell.
And so many authors/books that I'm yet to read!
When I die, when I die, I'll rot. But when I live, when I live, I'll give it all I've got.
texan From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 4206 posts, RR: 53 Reply 11, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3125 times:
Quoting fridgmus (Reply 7): I also encourage all of you who have children to read to them every chance you get, it will bring you closer to your child (hopefully) and in this age of smartphones, computers and iPods etc, give them a love of books. It was the greatest gift my Father ever gave to me.
Reading and writing are integral to every part of what we do. So since we do it so much we sure should enjoy it! Teach your children to love reading. I agree with Fridgmus -- my parents instilled that love of reading and writing in me and I thank them for it almost every day.
More books I forgot to add: Survivor by Chuck Pahlaniuk Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore Catch 22 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library."
Quokka From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 12, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3115 times:
Quoting kiwiinoz (Reply 8):
And another great, "The Book Thief" by some Aussie guy, can't remember his name
By Markus Zusak. Excellent.
I liked the Cairo Trilogy "Palace Walk", "Palace of Desire" and "Sugar Street" by Naguib Mahfouz, an epic covering the development modern Egypt from WW1.
Pramoedya Ananta Toer's quartet which included "This Earth of Mankind", "Child of All Nations", "Awakenings" and "House of Glass" are set against the background of colonialism in the Dutch East Indies. For a long time the books were banned and the author was exiled by the Indonesian authorities.
A book that looks at the way people respond under tyranny , drawing on the lives of characters in Nazi Germany and the Stalinist Soviet Union, is "Europe Central" by William T Vollmann.
My long time favorite writer is W.E.B.Griffin - I reread his series every few years. Right now I'm on The Corps Series Book IX. Under Fire. The first book in that series (Semper Fi) is probably the best book by Griffin to try.
These days I go into Barnes & Noble and pick up a few Bargain Books by writers I don't know, Anything I don't enjoy I drop off at the VA Clinic and it's taken on the shuttle bus to the VA hospital.
Which reminds me - you can write off donations of books to the VA Hospitals. The clinics generally have shuttle buses that will take them. Add a list with a return address and you can get a receipt. If it's a used book then put in the estimated value.
Besides books the Vets in the hospitals can really use some small toiletries.
And it's the Holidays. No matter where you live there are probably veterans hospitals and/or nursing homes. It doesn't cost a fortune to make some important lives in those facilities better.
End of Commercial. Thanks for any help you can provide to the vets hurting in your country.
RobertNL070 From Netherlands, joined Sep 2003, 4507 posts, RR: 10 Reply 14, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3021 times:
This is an impossible thread: there are so many good novels and novelists.
At the moment I am re-reading Catch-22.
A small selection of the many great works that I have read and enjoyed:
John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize winning The Grapes of Wrath
James Baldwin's Go Tell It On The Mountain
Harper Lee's only published novel To Kill a Mockingbird
Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms
It really is very difficult, but I think my favourite novel is Graham Greene's The Power And The Glory.
My two favourite Dutch-language novels are Harry Mulisch' De Ontdekking van de Hemel, translated title The Discovery of Heaven; and the Persian-Dutch author Kader Abdollah's excellent Het Huis van de Moskee, recently translated into English: The House of the Mosque
Aaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 7735 posts, RR: 27 Reply 19, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 2737 times:
A couple of selections for those in love with the English language:
Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov (you try writing prose like this in a second language) The Magus - John Fowles (a hodgepodge of psychobabble food for thought) Factotum - Charles Bukowski (a blissful ride through elegant vulgarity)
If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty