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  #51  
Old 08-15-2007, 04:45 AM
Jeff W Jeff W is offline
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Default Re: A lifetime of must reads

Oops. I noticed that The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was mentioned as well.

P.S. Dover Thrift Editions are great (for English books, at least). Sometimes the translations are archaic, though.
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  #52  
Old 08-15-2007, 11:05 AM
Shakes Shakes is offline
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Default Re: A lifetime of must reads

I remember Hunger by Knut Hamsun being very good - didn't see it mentioned yet.
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  #53  
Old 08-15-2007, 11:35 AM
Jeff W Jeff W is offline
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Default Re: A lifetime of must reads

[ QUOTE ]
Also I'm really interested in Russian literature besides the classics Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Solzhenitsyn.

[/ QUOTE ]

Hero of Our Time (Lermontov)
Fathers and Sons (Turgenev)
Dead Souls (Gogol)
Short Stories (Gogol)
Eugene Onegin (Pushkin)
Short Stories (Chekhov)
The Master and the Margarita (Bulgakov)

Spend a little time on Amazon researching the best translations.

Nabokov is great, too. He is Russian, but he wrote his best novels (Pale Fire, Lolita) in English.
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  #54  
Old 08-15-2007, 11:38 AM
gurgeh gurgeh is offline
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Default Re: A lifetime of must reads

[ QUOTE ]
Things i would add that i absolutely loved:

Brave New World
Blink
Bringing Down the House
Anything by Hemingway
All Quiet on the Western Front

[/ QUOTE ]

I'm not a fan of a couple of books you mention, so I hesitate to give recommendations based on what I've liked. I do have a couple of general thoughts though, and they might help in your search:

This is potential several threads. Example: I recently got season two of Rome for review, and it made me want to find some good historical books on the Romans. But where to start? A request that specific could be a thread unto itself, as could every genre you mention in your original post. Also, if you broke them down by genre or other specficity, you could then give a few examples of what you liked in that category and why, making recommendations less of a stab in the dark.

Also, horror, fantasy, and science fiction are all woefully underrated and will not be represented well, if at all, in most lists of great literature. If you don't care for these books then okay, but I think that's a tragedy. There's a ton of crapola to represent these genres, but if you like good writing as well as good stories, then consider Robert Heinlein, Iain M. Banks, Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, J.R.R. Tolkien, Frank Herbert, J.K. Rowling, and many others. Yeah I know the Harry Potter books are supposedly for kids, but I think that she is critically underrated as an excellent writer.
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  #55  
Old 08-15-2007, 01:40 PM
L'ennemi. L'ennemi. is offline
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Default Re: A lifetime of must reads

It has already been mentionned but it has to be mentionned again and again...The Karamazov Brothers
A journey to the End of the night by Celine is up there too.
Snow by Pamuk, already mentionnned is amazing.
You definitely have to read Jorge Amado, I'll say Jubiaba and Mar Morto are my favorite.
Jean Giono, too. Unfortunately, I'm not sure what has been translated. Un roi sans divertissemnt, les grands chemins..
Proust is worth the read too.
Anything by Faulkner, and On the road by Kerouak.
For thrillers, James Ellroy until he totally gave up on sentences in The Cold Six Thousands.
Grisham is always really solid and writes better than most.
I enjoy Harlan Coben,(Myron Bolitar stories, though repetitive and badly written are aways a lot of fun.)
Killing Floor by Lee child.

I don't like to give advice philosphical works, but you have to read Pensees by PAscal at least once in your lifetime
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  #56  
Old 08-15-2007, 01:45 PM
L'ennemi. L'ennemi. is offline
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Default Re: A lifetime of must reads

How could I forgot Ficciones by Borges?
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  #57  
Old 08-15-2007, 10:34 PM
brianr brianr is offline
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Default Re: A lifetime of must reads

a thread from last yr. - some good ones in here -
http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/showfl...part=1&vc=1

I stand by what I wrote then:
Readable "literate" fiction (ignore all movies made out of these):
A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
Nobody's Fool - Richard Russo
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Michael Chabon
Lonesome Dove - Larry McMurtry
The Power of One - Bryce Courtenay
Ragtime - EL Doctorow
The Rabbit Novels - John Updike (4 in all, each written about 10 yrs apart from 1960-1990)
Life of Pi - Yann Martel
The Killer Angels - Michael Shaara (somewhat accurate historical fiction account of Gettysburg)
The Stand - Stephen King - unabridged version

worth the effort:
War and Peace
Grapes of Wrath

nonfiction - Barbarians at the Gate (story of RJR Nabisco LBO in 1980's)
The Great Bridge - McCullough - story of Brooklyn Bridge
The Big Test - Nicholas Lemann - story of SATs and impact on American society
anything by Kurt Eichenwald
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  #58  
Old 08-16-2007, 01:22 AM
shemp shemp is offline
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Default Re: A lifetime of must reads

A couple of relatively recently published books/authors (compared to so many of the "classics") that I like to recommend:

Second Jose Saramago, but not so much the earlier choice, I think I'd begin with "The History of the Siege of Lisbon" or "Balthusar and Blimunda," both masterpieces, imo.

I like Eco as well, but I think "The Island of the Day Before" is his best.

And I didn't see a Roth title-- I thought "American Pastoral" was a masterpiece.
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  #59  
Old 08-16-2007, 04:28 AM
stigmata stigmata is offline
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Default Re: A lifetime of must reads

[ QUOTE ]
Example: I recently got season two of Rome for review, and it made me want to find some good historical books on the Romans. But where to start?

[/ QUOTE ]

Such an awesome series, so dissapointing they cancelled it. It ends a bit poorly, purely because they were building up to series 3 and then it just ends suddenly. But everything else about it is top-notch.

I, Claudius by Robert Graves is a classic book and deserved a mention in this thread.
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  #60  
Old 08-16-2007, 07:48 AM
Jeff W Jeff W is offline
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Default Re: A lifetime of must reads

[ QUOTE ]
Example: I recently got season two of Rome for review, and it made me want to find some good historical books on the Romans. But where to start?

[/ QUOTE ]

Start with original sources... Plutarch, Livy, Seutonius, Tacitus, etc...
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