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Author Topic: Classic modern books - does anybody still read?
Southside Red
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posted 02 August 2003 09:14 PM      Profile for Southside Red   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My most prized possession is my library card (even though here they charge $12 year to have one). I read 5 or 6 books a week, but only own a few that I've read so many times they're almost worn out. The ones I own are To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee), I Know This Much Is True and She's Come Undone (Wally Lamb), The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields), Angela's Ashes and 'Tis (Frank McCourt), Sophie's Choice (William Styron), The Prince of Tides, and a few others.

I'm asking because I'm always looking for great books to read, so if anybody has any favorites, let me know.


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Finn Again
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posted 02 August 2003 09:55 PM      Profile for Finn Again        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Kick it up a notch and try Cormac MacCarthy; especially 'Blood Meridian.' Harold Bloom says it's a modern day classic right up there with Melville's 'Moby Dick.'
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clersal
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posted 02 August 2003 10:53 PM      Profile for clersal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
This Much Is True and She's Come Undone (Wally Lamb), The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields), Angela's Ashes and 'Tis (Frank McCourt),

The Midwives (Chris Bohjalian), A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry). All excellent.
Light funny, Janet Evanovich. She is a giggler.
Suzanne North. Both mystery writers.
Just to add I did read Cormac McCarthy's (All the pretty horses). I didn't realize it was part I of a trilogy. Good book.

[ 02 August 2003: Message edited by: clersal ]


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Michelle
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posted 04 August 2003 10:54 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I really, really enjoyed The Prince of Tides (the book much more than the movie), but I was disappointed with the main character's decision in the end. Those of you who read the book or saw the movie know what I mean. I think I threw the book at the wall after I read the ending for the first time about, what, a decade ago? I was peeved for the rest of the day.

But I still loved the book. I re-read it many times. I wish I still had it. I wouldn't mind re-reading it again. I find my perspective on stories like that change over the years.


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nonsuch
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posted 05 August 2003 02:05 AM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I felt the same way about
quote:
The Horse Whisperer
- book and movie. Stupid, stupid ending! Stupid, stupid people!

Small, permanent collection? The Thirteen Clocks, The Ghost in the Machine, The Dissertation, One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Book of the Dun Cow, Smal Gods, Good Omens, Island ...
There should be a thread in bable archives with a hundred or two excellent titles.


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rob.leblanc
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posted 05 August 2003 02:59 AM      Profile for rob.leblanc     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, right now I am reading Herbert Asbury's "Gangs of New York". Incredibly interesting read.

And I'm also reading Koushun Takami's controversial book "Battle Royale" In which through a government act, 42 students are sent to an island and have to kill eachother until one remains. Can be a tad graphic at times but captures the emotions in wonderful detail


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Amy
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posted 11 August 2003 05:49 AM      Profile for Amy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
most of my dogeared books are for kids and/or assigned reading in highschool...
The Day of the Triffids, The Chrysalids, Brave New World, Sophie's World (I sent copies of these 2 to my sister when she was 16 cos that's when i read them), His Dark Materials tilogy, (The Golden Compass is the most well known of the three, and the best, IMO).

I found this book the other day called WE by Yevgeny Zamyatin... I had never heard of it prior to finding it in a used bookshop, and neither had the guy I was with at the time... he's prolly read more books than anyone I know. It has very good reviews, and it is said to be the precursor to 1984 and Brave New World. I'm starting it tonight.


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April Follies
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posted 11 August 2003 12:31 PM      Profile for April Follies   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'll second "Small Gods" (Pratchett) and "Good Omens" (Pratchett and Gaiman) as modern classics. I'd also add "Bridge of Birds" by Barry Hughart.

There's an Irish novel called "Why Should You DOubt Me Now?" that I'd very strongly recommend - hilarious, yet with some sharp edges buried in the laughs.


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Trinitty
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posted 11 August 2003 01:50 PM      Profile for Trinitty     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I just finished reading "Out of the Silent Planet" by C.S. Lewis. One of his sci-fi short stories, about 200 pages. Very well written, good story.

I'm starting Gullivers Travels tonight.

I've been reading history text books lately.... stranger than fiction.


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lagatta
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posted 11 August 2003 02:11 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Has an English translation of Stefanie Zweig's two-volume autobiography come out? The recent film Nowhere in Africa was a not-very-faithful adaptation of the first book, Nirgwendo in Afrika. The second book is Irgendwo in Deutschland (Somewhere in Germany), detailing her family's postwar and post-Holocaust return to their native land. Both books have been translated into French and I've seen them here in Montreal. The first book is titled: Une enfance africaine (An African childhood), the second: Une jeunesse allemande (A German youth).

Here is a short article by Stefanie Zweig, from the Guardian: http://film.guardian.co.uk/Print/0,3858,4629338,00.html

If the link should not work for any reason (I'm typing it in) the title of the article is Strangers in a Strange Land - Stefanie Zweig, Friday March 21, 2003 The Guardian.


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Lima Bean
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posted 11 August 2003 03:07 PM      Profile for Lima Bean   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If you wanna talk modern day classics, you've got to check out Haruki Murakami.

His Wind Up Bird Chronicle is just about the most amazing book I've read in...well, ever. He gets so much into the pages, so many mysteries, so much magic and history and humanity, I can't think of another book that impressed me, and that I enjoyed nearly as much.

Really--go read it!


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'lance
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posted 11 August 2003 08:18 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I'll second "Small Gods" (Pratchett) and "Good Omens" (Pratchett and Gaiman) as modern classics.

I dunno about "classics," but they're brilliant in their way...

Pratchett has written (so far as I know) 26 Discworld novels. I've read 25 and am reading the 26th. (I've also read "Good Omens").

Whatever will I do then? It'll be like getting to the end of the puzzle in Myst, or something.


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clarabel
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posted 13 August 2003 04:44 PM      Profile for clarabel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Right now I'm reading "The Corrections" by Jonathan Franzen, and I'm quite enjoying it. I really, really liked "London Fields" by Martin Amis, which I read last year. I also read "Time's Arrow" by him too which was really quite interesting.
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'lance
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posted 13 August 2003 05:02 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I enjoyed "The Corrections" very much. Sharp satire, almost painful to read at points.

Some Don DeLillo novels -- "Libra," say, or "Underworld" -- I'd count as modern classics.


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rob.leblanc
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posted 13 August 2003 07:49 PM      Profile for rob.leblanc     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Alas, 'lance, I have only read 3 Discworld novels max! I feel ashamed at that. I have Masquerade just SITTING in my bookshelf and I haven't touched it yet. I'll probably get to it when I am done with my two books now (Gangs of New York and Battle Royale)

What I did read of Pratchett I loved. His wit in Discworld always makes me laugh. I used to be an addict to the internet roleplaying game they had (I've since forgotten how to get to it)

Have you seen the graphic books Pratchett came out with?


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badlydrawngirl
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posted 13 August 2003 09:26 PM      Profile for badlydrawngirl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
i don't have a tv, so internet and reading are it for me.

i'm less into fiction these days (but am working my way through the pratchett's discworld series). had to give up the robert jordan series as it's too long and the books are huge! having said that i'm reading 'bleak house' and just finished 'nicholas nickelby' by dickens.

i'm now reading a book on hieronymous bosch and will be starting 'the best democracy money can buy' by greg palast. in that vein, i recently finished 'fast food nation' (and he's got another one out called 'reefer madness' i'd like to get my hands on).

i'm strictly a library girl and think the library is one of the best things ever invented (although peeved at them as they're trying to charge me for a book i returned but they're trying to say i didn't return. will probably pay the fine anyways as they're so desperate for money).


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nonsuch
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posted 13 August 2003 09:41 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by 'lance:

Whatever will I do then? It'll be like getting to the end of the puzzle in Myst, or something.



Good news! I just finished Gaimen's American Gods and it's also brilliant - though not very funny - and it's long.
I haven't been too impressed with recent Pratchetts, except maybe the Fifth Elephant.
Oh, and we forgot Douglas Adams, Donald Westlake (notably 'Humans') William Gibson... For modern classics, Richard Adams (especially 'Shardik' and 'Mya')


(psst - Riven is better; i wasn't so crazy about the third one, the title of which i kept in a brain-cell that seems to have died, though it has some good puzzles too)

[ 13 August 2003: Message edited by: nonesuch ]


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'lance
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posted 13 August 2003 10:06 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Have you seen the graphic books Pratchett came out with?

I haven't. I'm actually of two minds about looking those up -- it's Pratchett's verbal wit I like the best. But perhaps I will.

quote:
Good news! I just finished Gaimen's American Gods and it's also brilliant - though not very funny - and it's long.

Something else to put on my list. Sigh. So many books, so little time...

quote:
Riven is better; i wasn't so crazy about the third one, the title of which i kept in a brain-cell that seems to have died, though it has some good puzzles too

I dunno, wasn't so crazy about Riven for some reason, though obviously it was miles ahead in complexity. The third one won't work on our computer without an upgrade of one kind or another.


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Ruzhyo
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posted 13 August 2003 11:06 PM      Profile for Ruzhyo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hmm.. Try some of Steinbeck's books.

Grapes of Wrath
In Dubious Battle

He has plenty just take your pick.


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nonsuch
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posted 14 August 2003 02:02 AM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Steinbeck is good. Not Grapes of Wrath, though - his short novels are better, and the King Arthur one is quite brilliant.

(Myst III - i got help. It's very pretty. The prettiest realm, where i most enjoying wondering around and around and around, has a lame resolution. Disappointing. I suppose, after Myst, the first time, everything is a denoument.)

edited to make up for more carnage among the brain-cells: The graphic Pratchett book is very funny; the pictures are great. We're giving it to our son (source of many enjoyable borrowed books, and our first contact with Pratchett) for his birthday.

[ 14 August 2003: Message edited by: nonesuch ]


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Tommy_Paine
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posted 14 August 2003 05:18 AM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
An often overlooked book by Douglas Adams is "Last Chance to See."

I'm going to finish a non-fiction book about the Punic Wars first, then it's off to Harry Potterville.


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Alix
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posted 14 August 2003 10:51 AM      Profile for Alix     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yes, read American Gods! I finished it last month and loved it.

Anyone ever figure out who the god was that Shadow couldn't ever remember what he said or what his name was? I've got a funny feeling that I know this, but I can't quite put my finger on it. Which, given the character, is rather apropos.

I'm a mythology nut, so reading this was a special pleasure.


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April Follies
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posted 14 August 2003 02:18 PM      Profile for April Follies   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ditto on mythology nutship. Seeing Egyptian gods as funerary workers was just too perfect.
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badlydrawngirl
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posted 14 August 2003 03:21 PM      Profile for badlydrawngirl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
An often overlooked book by Douglas Adams is "Last Chance to See."

i've read this and think of it every time i hear about species extinction.


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rob.leblanc
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posted 14 August 2003 04:17 PM      Profile for rob.leblanc     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I've gotten a hold of some old Billy Bunter books. I'm just browsing through them now and when I'm done my two books and the Pratchett book. I'll probably start on those.

it's amazing how much more I'm reading. Back when I was younger, I could go for long periods of time without reading. now I find it more enjoyable.


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nonsuch
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posted 14 August 2003 04:39 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Anyone ever figure out who the god was that Shadow couldn't ever remember what he said or what his name was?

I think it's Mammon. Not really a god in the strict sense - and, of course, we don't know which side he'd be on.

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West Coast Lefty
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posted 15 August 2003 02:22 AM      Profile for West Coast Lefty     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm in the middle of "For Whom the Bell Tolls" by Hemingway - just amazing stuff. One of the most powerful anti-war books ever. His sparse yet ultra-descriptive style really works for me.

Recent fiction that has blown me away: "The Secret History" by Donna Tartt (could NOT put it down, must read her new one soon); and "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay" by Michael Chabon. The scope of that book in terms of characters, eras and atmosphere is just incredible.

I'm generally a politics/history book addict, but a good novel just transports me like nothing else...

[ 15 August 2003: Message edited by: West Coast Lefty ]


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Trinitty
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posted 20 August 2003 03:02 PM      Profile for Trinitty     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Almost finished reading Contact by Carl Sagan.

Excellent!!!


From: Europa | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged

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