I really recommend you these 25 amazing books (with ratings, out of ****)

  • East of Eden (Steinbeck) ****
  • The Lord of the Rings (Tolkien) ****
  • Jugend ohne Gott (Ödön von Horváth)(Read in German) **** (Youth without a God)
  • Misery (Stephen King) ****
  • The Shining (Stephen King) ****
  • Dracula (Bram Stoker) ***1/2
  • The Father of a Murderer (Alfred Andersch) ***1/2
  • Desperation (Stephen King) ***1/2
  • Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury) ***1/2
  • Andorra (Max Frisch, play) ***1/2
  • Collected Satires (Ephraim Kishon) ***1/2
  • The Old Man and the Sea (Ernest Hemingway) (Read in German) ***1/2
  • Ich zog mit Hannibal (Hans Baumann) (Read in German) ***1/2 (English title?)
  • The Hobbit (J.R.R. Tolkien) ***1/2
  • The Fall (Albert Camus) (Read in French) ***
  • Regulators (Richard Bachman) ***
  • The Giver (Lois Lowry) (Read in French) ***
  • Zadig (Voltaire) (Read in French) ***
  • The Perfume (Patrick Süskind) ***
  • Antigone (Jean Anouilh, play) ***
  • The Outsider (Albert Camus) (Read in French) ***
  • The Quiet American (Graham Greene) ***
  • Biedermann und die Brandstifter (Max Frisch, play) (Read in German) *** (English Title?)
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde) **1/2
  • Educating Rita (Willy Russell) **1/2
  • I plan to read 'Gormenghaste' next? Has anyone read it?
Author Comments: 

How many of these books have you read? What do you think of them? Do you know any other great works by these authors?

The Picture of Dorian Gray is a great favourite of mine (5 out of 5).
The Lord of the Rings is terrific, of course (5 out of 5).
I was disappointed with The Outsider (which I read in English) (2 out of 5).

I can recommend Hermann Hesse novels 'Gertrude' and 'Rosshalde', both of which I read in English, but were written in German
I believe (both 5 out of 5). Hesse is one of my favourite authors, and a Nobel prize winner to boot.

Have you read Hesse's "Beneath the Wheel"?

Yes I have, but under the alternative title 'The Prodigy' (why do they do that?). It is excellent (5 out of 5) and highly recommended.

My five favourite Hesse books (in order), all highly recommended, all 5 out of 5, are:

1. Gertrude
2. Rosshalde
3. The Prodigy
4. Peter Camezind
5. Narziss and Goldmund

I've also read, in approximate order of enjoyment:

Strange News from Another Star and Other Tales
Journey To The East
The Glass Bead Game

Here is a good guide (not by me).

Frankly, I do not really like Hesse. There are a lot of other German writers that I prefer. Here a list of great German writers (you'll probably like them, too):
Alfred Andersch
Patrick Süskind (Have you read: "Perfume"?)
Max Frisch (Above all: "Andorra")
Hans Baumann
Ödön von Horváth ("Jugend ohne Gott" is my favourite German book, but I don't know the English title. I'll look it up.)
Friedrich Schiller
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (his poems are great!)

I have found the English title:
"Youth without a God" (Horváth)
Trust me. This novel is excellent.
P.S.: I have read that Hermann Hesse loved this book, too, and that it was a sort of inspiration to him.

Do you know of an English translation ?
Unfortunately my German is non-existant (typically English of me).
I checked both Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com plus Abebooks but could not locate a translation.

As soon as I have found an English translation on the Internet, I'll let you know.

I've also read:

The Hobbitt - v. good (***).
Lord of the Rings - not easy to read, but captivating nevertheless (****).
The Outsider (Camus - read in English) - disappointing (**).
The Pearl (Steinbeck) - (**).
Carrie (Stephen King) - (***).
Thinner (Stephen King) - (**).

I have on my bookshelf to read:

Of Mice and Men (Steinbeck)
The Grapes of Wrath (Steinbeck)
The Stand (Stephen King)

1. You didn't like 'The Outsider'? I enjoyed the book very much.
2. At the moment I am reading 'Of Mice and Men'.
3. I think 'The Stand' is rather disappointing.