0001. Books I Love

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Tags: 
  • Lester Bangs - Pychotic Reactions and Carbourator Dung
  • The Bible (King James Version)
  • Confucius - Analects (tr. Whaley)
  • Fyodor Dostoevsky - Crime and Punishment
  • Will & Ariel Durant - Works
  • T.S. Eliot - Collected Poems
  • Epic of Gilgamesh (Danny P. Jackson translation)
  • Euripides - Dramas (tr: Paul Roche)
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez - One Hundred Years of Solitude
  • Homer - Iliad & Odyssey (Chapman translation)
  • Plato - The Republic (Cornford translation)
  • J. D. Sallinger - Catcher in the Rye
  • Virginia Woolf - To the Lighthouse
Author Comments: 

Still under construction...

I like the eclectic list--from the Bible to Bangs! I'd have to add Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, Dostoevsky's The Idiot, Flannery O'Connor's Wise Blood, and Cervante's Don Quixote. (jon)

Agree with all I've read (although I can't manage to get through Crime and Punishment). Have you read J.D. Salinger lately? I found I really loved what I remembered, but going back to Catcher in the Rye as a "grown-up" I didn't like it as much.

Ah, you assume I'm a grown-up, eh?

Actually, I never got around to Catcher until I was 22 or so. I enjoyed it greatly. I have heard some people claim to like it less and less as they grow older, but so far, that hasn't happened for me. Salinger creates an apt representation of a young person, and maybe distance from that age leads some further from the book. Maybe not. I think he nails the confusion and simmering frustration perfectly, and though I can not relate to it as closely as I once did, I can still enjoy it.

I have several books I need to add to this list; perhaps when I get a free moment, I'll enlarge it. I still haven't posted any Jane A. works yet, and Dickens is also absent. The critical trend is floating away from Charles, but I still like much of his work. Oh, I'm remembering more works and authors by the second!

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

If you like Dostoevsky, I must recommend Notes From the Underground. The only Marquez novel I've read is Love in the Time of Cholera, an amazing piece of fiction. Check them out if you have time, they are musts

I've started Notes and have greatly enjoyed what I have read of it. Unfortunately, life intruded, and I have yet to get back to the novel.

Love in the Time of Cholera is my second favorite Garcia Marquez novel, and while I didn't feel it quite scaled the massive heights of One Hundred Years, I still loved the novel, one of the better ones from the last 20 years or so.

Thanks for the comments. I'll have to make a point to finish Notes now!

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Wow, you read some "high-brow" stuff LOL
I loved One Hundred Years of Solitude too, but could not make it through To the Lighthouse

I'm a hopeless nerd!

Glad you enjoyed 100 Years. Easily one of the best novels of the last century.

To the Lighthouse is great, but it certainly requires close attention. An interest (willingness) to focus on character over plot might help as well.

Or maybe it just isn't for everybody! :)

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

My guess is To the Lighthouse is not really for anyone in high school ;) I was supposed to read it then but never quite made it through. I should probably try rereading it one of these yeas, but I just haven't been in a hurry.

Yeah, when you're ready, give it a shot. It is certainly a book that misses the flavor of our age, seeing as it doesn't really feed our plot addictions, instead slowly spinning out subtle layers of characterization. It deserves a slow, careful reading, but I swear it lushly rewards the effort.

Many of my favorite critics have confessed to not liking the book on a first reading and falling for it on a second or a third. It takes a lot to reread a book that disappointed on the first run through. So I wouldn't blame you for choosing not to. Woolf, however, in my opinion, is worth the revisit.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

I haven't made the time to reread much in the last few year (ever since I had enough income to feed my book-buying habits so I've always had a bunch of new books sitting around to be read) but I've been starting to think I should reread some things.

I actually sat down and reread a (short) book all the way through last night before loaning it to a friend. It was good. I actually hadn't remembered many details about the book, so rediscovered it entirely.

:) Enjoying a re-reading of a book you like is similar to visiting an old friend. Sometimes, it can be a bit disappointing, but most often, it increases remembered warmth. A true joy.

I have a very bad habit of reading a few favorites over and over. I would blush to tell you how many times I've read certain Greek works...

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

I'd probably blush back and say I hadn't read them ever... ah well.

And I'd probably blush telling you that you have read several hundred 20th century novels I haven't made it around to yet. So maybe we just ought to give our cheek pigmentation a rest, eh?

:)

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Wonderful. Have you read any Tolstoy? I'm looking for any stray recommendation.

Also, how comes the King James Version? Do you prefer the way the text reads?

I've only read a few short stories by Tolstoy; War and Peace and Anna Karenina are both on my to-read list, but I haven't made it to them yet. I've really enjoyed his stories I have read.

I've read several translations of The Bible, but only the KJV really reads as great literature, in my book. When I want an accurate rendition, I go with the NRSV. When I want to experience one of the world's finest works of literature as literature, I read the KJV aloud.

The poetry and powerful prose of the KJV especially highlights many of my favorite parts, such as the Psalms, Job, Ecclesiastes, Isaiah, the gospels, and Ruth.

Several other translations, of course, will do. I really hate the NIV, though. Not accurate OR aesthetically pleasing, so what's the point? It's 'easy'? I know of easy version that are much better...

Anyway, I shan't rant, but the KJV is one of the finest translations of any work that I know of. It is also a fine example of the English language at its most sublime and evocative.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

cool. that's a satisfactory answer for me.

T.S. Eliot is by far my favorite poet. I'm assuming The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock is in that collection. Otherwise, what's the point?

Hated The Iliad and The Odyssey. The Republic is not a book I'd go wild about, but it has grown on me.

Oh yeah, Prufrock is in the collection, as are all of his poems I am aware of. Eliot is amazing.

Sorry you don't dig Homer. Me, I'm a recovering addict. :)

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

re: One Hundred Years of Solitude

Have you read "House of the Spirits" yet? I just did and it's very similar and about 79% as good.

I haven't yet, but if it is anywhere near 79% as good as the Garcia Marquez novel, I should obviously get to crackin'!

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Soooo I had a dream last night that you made a list of the best short stories ever written. And now I think you should.

I'm rather convinced I'm quite unqualified to make that list. I could put up a list of my favorites or even under-rated short stories, but the genre, while one I enjoy, is not my favorite, and as a result, I'm not nearly as well-read in it as I probably should be...

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Fair enough. I thought it was strange enough that I was dreaming about Listology that I should try to make that happen, but my dreams have never been particularly prophetic. That's probably good news, since otherwise it would mean a brothel would open up in my high school cafeteria, among other things.

"Uh, no; I really just wanted the tuna..."

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Just don't order the crab dip. Yeesh...