OtherGround Forums What's your favorite book?

Edited: 2/7/07 3:01 PM
Posts: 1017
List three if you can't choose. Mine is 'The Master and Margarita' by Bulgakov. I've read it every two years since I was 15, and every time I learn something new about myself. I've never had another book speak to me as much as this one. A runner up is Gabriel Garcia Marques's '100 Years of Solitude'. I'm now reading 'Gates of Fire'. I know it's not profound classical literature, but I can't remember the last time I was so enthralled by a book. I just can't put it down.
Edited: 2/7/07 12:00 AM
Posts: 13157
I'm thinking about giving Gates of Fire another shot. I got bored with it after about 200 pages and stopped reading it even though I'm a homer for Thermopoylae stuff. On a side note, it took me 4 times before I finally finished reading William Gibson's Neuromancer and I consider it one of my favorite books.
Edited: 2/7/07 12:00 AM
Posts: 6678
Good question. This will take some thought.
Edited: 2/7/07 12:00 AM
Posts: 1098
Of all time or lately?
Edited: 2/7/07 12:00 AM
Posts: 1047
I'd say of all time. I'm looking to read some things that I normaly would't that others have enjoyed. You don't have to pick one book, but how about the top 3?
Edited: 2/7/07 12:00 AM
Posts: 7537
James Joyce's "Ulysses" -- tough slogging, but not anything like the impossible reputation it has. Flann O'Brien's "The Dalkey Archive" -- another Irish guy and a contemporary of Joyce, but anyway this book is strange and so funny I sometimes just had to throw it across the room and laugh. Michael Ondaatje's "In the Skin of a Lion" -- I tried not to like this one, not being a big fan of most "pretty writing", but it was good enough to defeat me. An easier read than the above two. YMMV, of course, and besides the Joyce, the other books will vary according to day and mood. Also, sticking with novels. Some of my favorite books are non-fiction, too...
Edited: 2/9/07 12:00 AM
Posts: 3019
My too-long, chronological list of "favorite books": 1. (tie) "Call Of The Wild", "White Fang" -- My undisputed (except amongst each other?) grade school favorites. Forget keen observations on the duel kind / cruel nature of human beings and the redemptive power of love, when library day rolled around it was time for Buck to go feral and for White Fang to fuck some shit up! 2. "The Stand" -- Stephen King seems like such a polarizing figure amongst readers that at times I'm almost afraid to mention this book (almost). After I'd "out grown" comic books (funny I'm starting to dabble in that genre again), King seemed like the only game in town, and for me, "The Stand" has got to be his magnum opus. I read this during a summer when I was in my teens and it just blew me away -- the sweeping, multi-character narrative; the precise portraits of society simply falling apart. King's use of description and interior monologue drew me into a story's world and its characters in a way I hadn't known was possible. People say you can't read shit like this and then go on to appreciate "literature". Bullshit. This book kickstarted my love of literary technique and my appreciation of character development. Yeah, King isn't Cormac McCarthy, but he IS a place to start. And if you stay there, then that's just fine, King is a master in his own right, IMO. 3. "The Catcher In The Rye" -- Come on, you went through this phase, too. All introverted, "cynical" (read: socially inept) bookworms do. 4. "1984" -- Everything that needs to be said about this novel has already been said by people much smarter and more educated than I am. A dystopian fantasy that will stomp you back into reality -- every single time you read it. Perhaps the only book truly capable of completing the old cliche, "If you could only read one book, then read . . ." 5. "Flowers For Algernon" -- Wow. If you haven't read it, read it. Now. There is far too little praise on the genius of this little book (no pun intended). 6. "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" -- I might be one of the few people on this planet who happened to read the book before watching the film. This novel is like the metaphorical Gospel According To Chief "Broom", with Randle Patrick McMurphy as a modern day, bar brawling, womanizing Jesus. The arc of the prose is "Flowers"-like in that its clarity mirrors the arc of the narrator's character development, and even if you know the story's ending beforehand, its effect will refuse to be dulled. 7. "Gulliver's Travels" -- The greatest satire ever written. Okay, I know I'll never have time to read EVERY satire ever written, but what's a "Yahoo" to do? 8. "Blood Meridian" -- Whoa. Wow. Prose and symbolism and violence of truly Biblical proportions. Probably a good bit of readers, like a good bit of The Glanton Gang, won't make it to the end of this one. And what a shame, because the payoff may be the most haunting since any book written since . . . well, this one (and maybe even before it?).
Edited: 2/10/07 12:00 AM
Posts: 4335
"A Knight Of The Cumberland" - John Fox Jr. Historical fiction. "Grapes Of Wrath" - Steinbeck "Bloodletting In Appalachia" - Howard Lee The "Big Stone Gap" series. Really just giving them a plug since they are based on events that happened in my little hometown and written by an old friend, Adriana "Adri" Trigiani.
Edited: 2/12/07 12:00 AM
Posts: 277
1. Brothers Karamazov 2. War and Peace 3. The Sea Wolf
Edited: 2/14/07 9:57 AM
Posts: 26626
Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake - Hysterical, brilliant, gothic, and filled with the most memorable characters ever written.

I've always meant to read "The Master and Margarita" and "Ulysses". For the latter, I already read "Finnagan's Wake", which is completely impenetrable, but what I've seen of "Ulysses" looks much easier.
Edited: 2/14/07 12:00 AM
Posts: 1617
The Road Less Traveled - M Scott Peck Leisure the Basis of Culture - Josef Pieper Man's Search for Meaning - Victor Frankl
Edited: 2/15/07 12:00 AM
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Edited: 2/21/07 12:00 AM
Posts: 319
Great Gatsby The Underground Catcher in the Rye
Edited: 2/21/07 12:00 AM
Posts: 848
The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien The Crock of Gold by, James Stephan. Better than Joyce, IMHO. Gods and Heroes as well as Cuhulain of Muirtheme by, Lady Gregory The Jorkens books by Dunsany. What can I say, I like Irish writers.
Edited: 2/22/07 12:00 AM
Posts: 18581
" Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake - Hysterical, brilliant, gothic, and filled with the most memorable characters ever written." Man, I've tried so many times over the past 20 years or so to read those books and I don't think I've ever made it past the first 100 pages or so. Or maybe I finished the first book once, I don't even remember. I've always liked the idea and first became interested when I saw Alan Lee's depictions of Gormenghast in one of his art books, but just could not get into the books at all. Mine: Winter's Tale - Mark Helprin A Soldier of the Great War - Mark Helprin -- this and Winter's Tale are basically a dead tie for first Refiner's Fire - Mark Helprin The Once & Future King - T.H. White Book of the New Sun - Gene Wolfe
Edited: 3/19/07 12:00 AM
Posts: 1358
Hamlet, Lord of the Flies, Count of Monte Cristo, Huck Finn, Of Mice and Men... and so many more.
Edited: 3/25/07 12:00 AM
Posts: 4600
The Hobbit Ive read it a shit ton of times since I was a small child
Edited: 3/30/07 12:00 AM
Posts: 3301
The Bible of course. But not counting the Bible my top three would be. 1. IT by Stephen King. A classic that people will still be reading three hundered years from now. 2. The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy. It was a great book, the movie didnt do it justice at all. 3. Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky was awesome. To be honest it is probably the only classic I ever really enjoyed. I liked Call of the Wild, but could never finish White Fang. I also didnt finish Gates of Fire, but Im going to get around to it one of these days. I almost nominated the Martian Chronicles by Bradbury but I think nostalgia may be tinting my memory of the book, and would have to read it again now that Im an adult to know for sure.
Edited: 4/7/07 12:00 AM
Posts: 46864
1. Cosmos, Carl Sagan. Should be required reading. 2. LOTR series (I'm cheating but they were written as one book, so there) 3. Plutarch's 'Lives'.
Edited: 5/6/07 12:00 AM
Posts: 2390
The Mainspring of Human Progress - Weaver It's basically a history of human society from the earliest times throughout history and how man mastered hunger, disease, and the elements of nature.
Edited: 5/19/07 12:00 AM
Posts: 2344
Catch-22 Catcher in the Rye Huck Finn Fuck I need to read more fiction
Edited: 5/23/07 12:00 AM
Posts: 27422
The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien - ocianain

AWESOME CHOICE!! God, he kills me. I also love "At Swim Two Birds".
Edited: 5/23/07 12:00 AM
Posts: 4532
Invisible Prey by John Sandford.
Edited: 9/23/07 12:00 AM
Posts: 633
Edited: 10/24/07 7:14 PM
Posts: 1475
Willybone, If there was any justice in the world he'd (along with Gregory and Stephens) would have a Nobel, however, I think the number of already honored Irish writers works against them though. Maybe, I'll dig him out and have a re-read again. I'll check out your reommendation too.