Book Recommendations? Anyone?


My post is pretty much summed up in the title. Does anyone have any sort of recommendations for books I should check out?

I have been buying books like crazy the last couple of weeks, but a lot of them have been sort of "impulse" buys. The books themselves are all things I'm interested in, but I saw the book, grabbed the book, bought the book... you know? So I figure it would be a good idea to get recommendations on what books I should really look into. There are plenty of books that I want to buy/read that I haven't even bothered to add to my Wishlist.

I guess I'm just interested in what the collective of this website would recommend for someone that is interested in wanting to own a small library. :-p

My favorite book is The Little Prince by Antoine Saint-Exupéry since forever.
The Catcher in the Rye by Jerome David Salinger is an easy read and almost everyone favorite.

You can take a look at my Top 200.
Do you have a favorite genre?

The Catcher in The Rye is a good book, I had to read that in school and really enjoyed it.

I don't really have a favorite genre... I don't think I would be interested in any romance novels, or westerns... :-p As long as the book is interesting I'll read it.

I really seem to enjoy utopian & dystopian literature, fantasy books, and a good short story every now and then.

But to be honest with you though, I don't really know what I like... :S

Your Top 200 is a nice little list. There are a couple of books on there that I completely forgot about.

Also, at least when I was still in school, I seemed to like books we had to read that others didn't (such as Fahrenheit 451 and well The Catcher in The Rye) and didn't like books other people did (such as Of Mice and Men...)

Me too I didn't have a genre. I'm very versatile.

I didn't read a lot of fantasy/sci-fi novels, my favorites are Dune series (I read the 3 first) and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series (more surrealist than fantasy in my opinion). My favorite short story is The Lady or the Tiger? by Frank Richard Stockton (you can read it at Wikisource).

The reason why I know almost all the book I've read/have is that I've create a sort of database. I've done that because I have so much books (a thousand) and I was afraid to buy a book two times.

For books, it's all about the taste (like everything). Sometimes, I'm deceived by classics.

Handmaid's Tale, The Wanderground, and Women on the Edge of Time might be of interest to you

Alright, thanks for the replies. Nance, you've recommended books/stories that I either already like or have been interested in looking into for a while (The Catcher in The Rye, The Lady or The Tiger (great short story), etc...).

I dunno, I agree, it is all a matter of taste. I've always kind of enjoyed books which contain a good collection of short stories in them. I had a book like that once (a collection of short stories in one book that is) that was printed in 1942. There was a page saying it was government certified and that it was made in such a way as to preserve paper. Pretty neat, but I didn't hang on to it though. It had several shorts I enjoyed, but the only one I can really remember of the top of my head is Tobermory.

I am hardly a bookworm, if I compare with other Listologists here. I love to read though, and my personal recommendations would be -

  • The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
  • Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
  • Ayn Rand is easily the most difficult to read author. It requires a lot of reception, as in you can't throw your hands in the air and say,"What the hell does she think of herself?!". She is not a master of plots or thrills, her books are philosophical fiction. Her philosophy is single handedly THE most profound in it's impact, for me at least. Almost all of my friends who have read Atlas Shrugged fail to complete it. Of course, at 1000+ pages, and a 58+ page long 'monologue' (I won't divulge too much in case you haven't read it yet) it's a long and tiring book. But it is worth the effort, definitely. I don't recommend you reading these books if you are just reading for 'relaxing' or 'fun'. They are serious, subjective and demand a lot of effort. As for me, I like love her.

  • Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  • This book just goes on and on and on with it's witticism and cynicism. It doesn't even let you breathe. A masterpiece.

  • Doctors by Erich Segal
  • The Class by Erich Segal
  • Man, Woman And Child (short story, but a novel) by Erich Segal
  • Prizes by Erich Segal
  • Lemme tell ya, I'm a sucker for Erich Segal style books. His books display the normal, the daily human beings and the emotions associated with our lives, with brilliant clarity. For anyone who thinks that they are objective and can't get too emotional about anything, his books will make you cry. And how. And boy, has he got a sense of humour! My rant is simply not enough to explain my love for his books. He is a kind of author I wish I knew as a friend (c.f. The Catcher In The Rye).

    If you like action\thriller (not really 'intellectual', so to speak, but the kind of books that give you a rush - like action films) novels, The Bourne Trilogy by Robert Ludlum rules the roost any day. (There was a fourth one later, but it wasn't by Ludlum). Also, do check out The Godfather by Mario Puzo. The book is any day better than the movie.

    My Experiments With Truth by Mahatma Gandhi gives a wonderful, touching insight into the world and life of Mahatama Gandhi. Not on my all time favourites though, it is incredibly dull at times, literally putting me to sleep.

    Of course, I do hope you've read some of Harry Potter, if only to see what the hulabulloo is all about. The series was a part of my childhood and teenage years (The Philospher's Stone was realsed when I was 12, the same age as Potter in that book. So yeah, I am as old as Potter ought to be right now... which he isn't. *cringes*).

    Thanks Merlin. I don't think I've heard of Rand or Segal, but I have heard positive things about Catch-22.

    I'm not sure if I would like Atlas Shrugged... I had to stop reading Tolkien's Book of Lost Tales 1 because of how boring it got at times... sort of like reading about someone watching paint dry.

    The Bourne Trilogy, well, the first two movies anyway... are completely awesome in my opinion, and I have been thinking of picking up the books because I've enjoyed the movies a lot so far. I have read a Robert Ludlum book before... I think the book was called The Cassandra Compact. I remember reading that and enjoying it quite a bit.

    No problem. =)

    Boy if you're looking for good Ludlum stuff, you certainly want to check out The Matrese Circle. This is the book airport stands are made for. And you certainly want to stay away from it's half quarter baked sequel, The Matrese Countdown.

    Good luck with the library. I hope you will post a list of all the books there once it's built.

    On a different note - what do you look for in a book while reading it?

    The movie of Atlas Shrugged is out in 08, might be worth watching...

    Yes, I've seen that. It may also be coming out as a trilogy from what I hear in certain forums. Or maybe just Kill Bill types volumes.
    I duno though, how much Angelina 'I-got-woodden-faces-to act' Jolie can do justice to the intensely demanding role of Dagny Traggart and how they are going to manage Galt's stupendously large speech at the end of the novel without doing injustice to it. Or how the hell Bradd Pitt is going to be Hank Rearden or John Galt. Hell.

    I've been recommending The Stranger for almost a year, now. I let you borrow it and you spilled coffee on it.
    So here I am, recommending it again.

    Thanks for the endorsement =).

    Your welcome.

    Anyway, as I am sure you can imagine, I don't plan on actually building a library (though I would like to one day start up a little book/coffee shop), just owning a rather large collection for one person. :-p

    As of right now, my Book List is currently an accurate and up-to-date list of all the books I currently own. I'll be adding another book in the next couple of days whenever UPS decides to ship my book I ordered earlier this week (though as of last night it is currently heading to my city after bouncing from Nevada and Kentucky, it is finally in Michigan :-)).

    If you enjoyed The Catcher in The Rye, then I would certainly recommend The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton as a quick and easy read, but brilliantly written (read the reviews), compared by some to the Salinger classic, and a great favourite of mine. Then, if you enjoy the book of The Outsiders, then I can also recommend the great movie of the book, which includes the most amazing cast imaginable.

    If you're "wanting to own a small library", as I did, then you may wish to include some quality hardbacks and classics in your collection. Ebay is a great source of these at some incredibly reasonable prices.

    For example, at the time of writing, this Folio society copy of Wuthering Heights is amazingly bid-priced at £3.99, although the price and availability of this link will change in the next 6 hours. Try a search on ebay of 'Folio Society' books, who publish quality literature in good quality bindings which includes a box cover (slipcase).

    Here is another example of an ebay bargain: an odd set of Readers Digest books at £0.99:

    Complete Works - Joseph Conrad
    Selected Tales - Edgar Allan Poe
    Wessex Tales - Thomas Hardy
    The Europeans - Henry James
    The Age of Louis XIV - Voltaire
    Heavy Weather/Service with a Smile - P.G. Woodhouse

    You may wish to avoid the Readers Digest 'condensed books' (four books in one binding).

    On ebay I have picked up a reasonably-priced, good qaulity (Heron) hard-back set of Churchill's complete series 'The Second world War', plus complete sets of Shakespeare / Agatha Christie / Charles Dickens hard-backs (try a search on 'Heron').

    Other good sources are Book Fairs and car-boot sales.

    Beware the cost of postage of ordering heavy books on the internet/ebay.
    I just spotted that you already have a set of Shakespeare.

    Thanks for the suggestion professor, I'll have to look through ebay and the like. :)

    Edit: I am looking at The Folio Society's main website, and it seems like there are some very good hardcovers available. So I'll definitely have to check some auction websites.

    If you're into comedy try Catch-22, it's a novel that satires war and the inhumanity surrounding it. Also I have just bought The Possessed which I saw on your wishlist. I think it looks really good, being a classic 19th century spy novel.

    It is difficult for us to narrow down things for you to read without mentioning any of your likes or dislikes of books, so refine your quarry.

    I've been thinking about Catch-22, thanks for the suggestion.

    The reason I don't really put down my likes or dislikes is because I want to be open for any and all suggestions.

    To be honest, I'm not interested in any Romance or Western novels ("little old lady books" :-P), but because I am not interested in them does not mean there are no good books in those two genres.

    I do fancy dystopian novels such as 1984, Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451... and I love me some Lord of The Rings. :-p

    If you like Lord of the Rings:

    The Night Land by William Hope Hodgson. &nbsp This I include on my list of all-time favourites, above LOTR. One commentator calls it "Appallingly written, Horrendously sentimental, Maddeningly repetitive, Grossly overlong - and still one of the most amazing works of fantasy fiction in the English language." These are all common criticisms of this masterpiece, but nevertheless many still agree that it is a masterpiece. 'Appallingly written' because it is a difficult read because of it's prose, but I would liken it's prose to Shakespeare or Chaucer, and equally 'difficult to read'. And how can a masterpriece be overlong? For me I wish it was longer. It is magnificent, and the story will never leave you.

    Ghormenghast by Mervyn Peake &nbsp A trilogy of fantasy books, the last of which can be missed - it seems to have been added as an afterthought / sequel and is not essential. The second book is the masterpiece, but the first is an essential (and excellent) prequel. The character Steerpike is one of the most memorable anti-heroes in all of literature, for me even more memorable than Holden Caulfield. The style is a cross between Tolkien and Dickens. This I also include above LOTR on my list of all-time favourites.

    You might want to try A Clockwork Orange in that case then. Animal Farm is also an interesting little classic by Orwell.

    Thank you very much for the endorsement :)
    Some recommendations

    George Orwell - Nineteen Eighty Four
    Mario Puzo - The Godfather
    David Pelser - A Child Called It

    All fantastic books, spanning a wide variety of different genres, hope you enjoy them (:

    Would also recommend Catcher In The Rye, one of my faves, The Picture Of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde and Puzo's The Godfather. My all time fave is Crime & Punishment by Dostoevsky. This book has it 'all' imho - plotting, murder, paranoia, intrigue...

    For some sort of pseudo-dystopian suggestions, if you haven't read them already, I'd suggest the Dark Tower series by Stephen King (starts with The Gunslinger - not gory or scary, just a dark fantasy & it's AWESOME!) or Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick.

    For some other lighter fiction to read in between all these heavier (both literally and in the "more difficult reading" sense) books, you might pick up Echoes of the Macabre by Daphne du Maurier, Kindred by Octavia Butler, and/or I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. These I've read recently and have been well-written, quick to read, but not fluffy.

    Hope you enjoy them (if you have time!! ;) ).

    Thanks for the suggestion Faustess.

    I have actually been looking into Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and actually picked up I Am Legend about a month or so ago.

    Right now I am reading through What Dreams May Come (also by Matheson)... and I think I might reread The Lord of The Rings for the umpteenth time again. :)

    I know this response is late, but if you're still looking for books to read:

    1. Never Let Me Go (Kazuo Ishiguro)
    2. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Foer)
    3. Perks of Being a Wallflower (Chbosky)
    4. All Quiet on the Western Front (Remarque)
    5. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (Eggers)
    6. What is the What (Eggers)
    7. Beasts of No Nation (Iweala)
    8. Snow Country (Kawabata)
    9. Jonathan Livingston Seagull (Bach)
    10. Not Quite What I Was Planning (collection of six-word memoirs from both the famous and ordinary... Think Hemingway's six-word story).

    I hope if you enjoy these if you ever get the chance to read them. Also, I have many more recommendations.

    Hey, thanks for the reply. :)