Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Hocus Pocus

Five books you think everyone should read

Recommended Posts

These aren't crazy life changing books or anything but just ones i can always enjoy and find something new with each read.

Vurt - Jeff Noon

Perdido Street Station - China Melville

Enders Game - Orson Scott Card

Wraethu - Storm Constantine

Tales of HP Lovecraft - Joyce Carol Oates

I really liked these and would reccomed em to anybody, but i wouldn't necessarily read again and again..

Life of Pi

Kite Runner

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really? Keagan is the only person who enjoys russian literature or thinks others should read it? I thought more people here would enjoy it. Good call on the joyce "portrait" though above. Just curious, what is the connection between murakami and sufu? The percentage of sufuers who read it is a lot higher than others so i was wondering.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vurt - Jeff Noon

that's an AMAZING book, I read through it in a daze because the prose was so flowing and it felt like i'd dreamt the whole thing after finishing it. I'm going to check out a few of the others you mentioned which I haven't heard of now purely for that namedrop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Really? Keagan is the only person who enjoys russian literature or thinks others should read it? I thought more people here would enjoy it. Good call on the joyce "portrait" though above. Just curious, what is the connection between murakami and sufu? The percentage of sufuers who read it is a lot higher than others so i was wondering.

think about it. as far as russian lit goes, i'd recommend the master and margarita and fathers and sons, but i would also recommend johnno, scoop, voss, the great gatsby, atomised, the big sleep and everything salinger wrote that was not catcher in the rye, and i only had space for five. murakami made it because wind-up was was one of the first books i thought of.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the new york trilogy - auster

windup bird chronicle - murakami

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - Junot Diaz

Small is Beautiful - E.F. Schumacher

The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Kundera

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone read any Pynchon? He was recommeneded to me, so I picked up Gravity's Rainbow and The Crying of Lot 49 a few weeks ago, but I havne't had time to really dig in because of school..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i tried to read gravity's rainbow last semester and made exactly zero headway. i'd wait for the holidays. shit be deennnnnnsse, at least, if memory serves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just curious, what is the connection between murakami and sufu? The percentage of sufuers who read it is a lot higher than others so i was wondering.

it's because because Murakami is hipster literature lolololol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Filth - Irwine Welsh

The Dirt

Less Than Zero - Brett Easton Ellis

De Kellner en de Levenden - S. Vestdijk

Jitterbug Perfume - Tom Robbins

Or maybe "Another Roadside Attraction" or anything else by Tom Robbins.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Papillon - Henri Charriere

2. Pars vite et reviens tard - Fred Vargas

The two best I've read the last few months :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Has anyone read any Pynchon? He was recommeneded to me, so I picked up Gravity's Rainbow and The Crying of Lot 49 a few weeks ago, but I havne't had time to really dig in because of school..

i'm reading GR now and i really enjoy it, but be warned, its incredibly difficult.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
it's because because Murakami is hipster literature lolololol

I thought it had more to do with sufu having a lot of asians :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the fountainhead by ayn rand

falling leaves by adeline yen mah

the five people you meet in heaven by mitch albom

ender's game by orson scott card

the odyssey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Negrepping people for saying they don't read. Negrepping for AWFUL taste.

the five people you meet in heaven by mitch albom

HOLY SHIT THE BLUE NIGGA WAS DRIVING THE CAR.

Mitch Albom has defined the meaning of life for a group of boring, living room seminar holding, female dregs of society who's entire perspective on everything comes from shit literature a black woman of humorously variable weight decides they should read. They mention James Frey if you bring up drugs, or Elie Weisel if you mention the Holocaust, it's a tragic call and answer game.

**please note, Prof. Weisel is still mad dope.

Has anyone read any Pynchon? He was recommeneded to me, so I picked up Gravity's Rainbow and The Crying of Lot 49 a few weeks ago, but I havne't had time to really dig in because of school..

Read The Crying first. It's much lighter. If you've read Joyce I'd frame it by saying that Crying is denser than the last third of Portrait of the Artist, but less Dense than Ullysses, while Gravity's Rainbow is a modern Ulysses.

If you read it easily, you didn't do it right.

Or if you did, there's probably a PHD in it for you somewhere.

Really? Keagan is the only person who enjoys russian literature or thinks others should read it? I thought more people here would enjoy it. Good call on the joyce "portrait" though above. Just curious, what is the connection between murakami and sufu? The percentage of sufuers who read it is a lot higher than others so i was wondering.

Russian Lit is mad good. I'd start with the highlights, Dostoevsky, hit up Crime and P, and The Idiot, unless you like it super dense stay away from the Brother Karmizyzyaysysyaasss. Then do some Gogol (dead souls) and maybe Turgenyev (Fathers and Sons).

Also be sure to do the Chekov short stories. In my opinion, the best who ever wrote the form.

Just be aware that russian novels are prone to excess in prose that would make other nations critics froth in anger. It's normal for ridiculous philosophical arguments with no concrete ties to any character to go on for pages at a time.

It's all worth it though.

Also be sure to check into the background of a lot of the novelists and determine their motivations in writing these books. Russians are very personal writers (the famous ones anyway) and this information adds more perspective than it generally would.

As for Sufu and Murakami, I think it's been proven time and time again that outside of clothing, Sufu has rather awful taste.

The same way a literature forum waywt would be a futile exercise.

edit: Chrono, I know you done read it, I was directing that at anyone who hadn't. Wasn't clear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ouch, no love for murakami?

he's the damn reason i started studying japanese 4 years ago. i thought you were a fan yourself? i can understand how some people simply read him because they hear about it endlessly on this forum but that doesn't mean you should discredit his works.

damn. either way, thanks for the pynchon recommendations. been attempting to start "crying of lot 49" but i always end up studying or doing something else instead.

shit speaking of russian literature i remember my mom was pushing me to read books like "the gulag archipelago" at the age of 14. you can imagine how well that went. aside from russian literature i was able to understand kafka, though i'm sure i missed out on a lot of things.

alright rambling's gone on for too long at this point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

shit speaking of russian literature i remember my mom was pushing me to read books like "the gulag archipelago" at the age of 14. you can imagine how well that went. aside from russian literature i was able to understand kafka, though i'm sure i missed out on a lot of things.

Yeah, that's a pretty rough introduction to Solzhenitsyn. My father had me read "One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich" at about the same age. It worked on a lot of levels, it was a way for him to show me the life of a russian prisoner (my grandfather was held in russian prison camps until three years after the war ended) and served as a gradual entry point to Solzhenitsyn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah, that's a pretty rough introduction to Solzhenitsyn. My father had me read "One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich" at about the same age. It worked on a lot of levels, it was a way for him to show me the life of a russian prisoner (my grandfather was held in russian prison camps until three years after the war ended) and served as a gradual entry point to Solzhenitsyn.

wow, that's interesting, much respect for your grandfather. i'd be lying if i told you i finished the book though. once i get back to the states i'll try "one day in the life of ivan denisovich," and see where that leads me. i'm not entirely sure what happened to one of my grandfather's but apparently he was picked up by the secret police or something in romania for "political crimes." at least that's the story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always found Solzhenitsyn slightly overrated, although i really enjoyed the 9th circle, but even that reads more like a text book than prose. I feel the fact he was a political prisoner in a very tense time helped him get the noble prize. The last year or so i've been rebelling against translated lit in general, although i can't avoid it altogether, nor do i want to, i just know i'll never be able to get the authors full scope and this upsets me.

right now i'm just focusing on post-modern english lit. gaddis, pynchon, wallace, etc. Love it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

zomfg gais i herd murakami got hypebeast'd :(

The first piece of Russian literature I really got into was The Master and Margherita by Mikhail Bulgakov, a seriously fucking epic and surreal novel. Then I moved onto stuff like Chekhov, Gogol, Pushkin, Turgenev, Doestoyevsky and Tolstoy. Solzhenitsyn didn't much captivate me in a literary with a Day in the Life... but in fairness it did elicit huge amounts of sympathy for the guys who had to live in those places. I might check out the Gulag Archipelago soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haven't looked at other lists:

Diamond Age - Neal Stephenson

Bill of Wrongs - Molly Ivins

The Eyre Affair - Jasper Fforde

Lord Valentine's Castle - Robert Silverberg

The Master and Margarita - Red covered translation specifically

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah, that's a pretty rough introduction to Solzhenitsyn. My father had me read "One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich" at about the same age. It worked on a lot of levels, it was a way for him to show me the life of a russian prisoner (my grandfather was held in russian prison camps until three years after the war ended) and served as a gradual entry point to Solzhenitsyn.

i was thinking of starting out on solzhenitsyn with either this or cancer ward. which one do you reckon i should go with?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally i wouldn't recommend starting out with a 500+ page novel by an author you're not too sure about. Go with day in a life and take it from there. His syntax can be rough to navigate and if you're not a fan already, you may not want to be if you start with a monumental work.

As far as Pushkin goes, yes I read onegin and a rather large chunk of his other poetry and as i stated before, translated novels can suck, translated russian poetry is not permissible. There's a reason he's the most celebrated poet in Russia and comparatively unread elsewhere.

But i will say that Bulgakov's m&m was fantastic.

Gary Shteyngart is actually Gogol's great great great(?) Grandson and writes excellent russian style novels in, you guessed it, english. Either of his two novels are fairly easy to tackle and rewarding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As far as Pushkin goes, yes I read onegin and a rather large chunk of his other poetry and as i stated before, translated novels can suck, translated russian poetry is not permissible. There's a reason he's the most celebrated poet in Russia and comparatively unread elsewhere.

i could not shake this thought from my mind when i was reading onegin. it took forever because at the end of each stanza/sonnet i was like "you know what? fuck this, it's not what pushkin wrote! pushkin would never have written 'pussy is what the girls prefer'! DAMMIT GET BACK TO IT YOU CAN'T SPEAK RUSSIAN EVEN A LITTLE"

thanks for the solzhenitsynfo, i was leaning towards day in the life anyway because it's cheaper

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
i could not shake this thought from my mind when i was reading onegin. it took forever because at the end of each stanza/sonnet i was like "you know what? fuck this, it's not what pushkin wrote! pushkin would never have written 'pussy is what the girls prefer'! DAMMIT GET BACK TO IT YOU CAN'T SPEAK RUSSIAN EVEN A LITTLE"

thanks for the solzhenitsynfo, i was leaning towards day in the life anyway because it's cheaper

Yeah totally! like you can see what he was driving at but the sound isn't there and it gets destroyed because translators try and keep the onegin stanza, which is completely stupid. good luck with the solzhenitsyn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Girl Who Played Go

The Empress

The Conspirators

...

all by Shan Sa. I love this writer way too much!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But i will say that Bulgakov's m&m was fantastic.

Does anyone have any opinions on the various translations of this into english?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are five that have had a significant effect on my outlook on life.

Crime and Punishment

This book had a big effect on my own moral code and my understanding of morality. It convinced me of the existance of moral absolutes (eg don't kill people). Raskolnikov (the main character) wants to be Napoleon like and take important actions with no regard for their moral consequences. Instead he commits a pointless murder and is tormented by what he did. R's attempts to trancend morality sharply describe my own morally immature attitudes.

the Human Stain - Philip Roth

This book made me very angry about race. It has also got a lot of angry bits in it, in fact I'd say Roth is close to Homer when it comes to rage. A surprising plot correction contrasts the arbitraryness of racial classification with society's belief in the immutible nature of race. Plus a great rant about the Lewinsky saga, right at the beginning.

a dance to the music of time - anthony powell

12 volume novel charting the whole lives of a set of upper/middle class english men and women, seen from the perspective of one Nicholas Jenkins. Although beginning in the early 20th century, the similarities with my own life (beginning in the 80's) are remarkable. I'd say this is a very accurate picture of life in the upper parts of english society as it was and as it still is (remarkably).

the diary of samuel pepys

Through this very intimate insight into his life, Pepys has inspired me with his outlook and attitudes. Basically, he's keen on all areas of intellectual endeavour, as well as eating tasty food, shagging lots of birds and making lots of money. He's an example of how to lead a full life. He also gets plus points for making himself "issue" whist lying in a punt and thinking about the queen without using his hands.

it's not about the bike lance armstrong

Chosen not for its literary merits ("the night before brain surgery, I thought about death"), but because of its accurate picture of having cancer as a young man. It captures the ambiguity of feelings one has about having cancer. Quotes like "I'm prouder of being a cancer survivor than I am of winning the Tour de France" have a lot to say about the nature of cancer, and suffering in general.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Luisa via Roma (US)
    Brand - 125 x 125