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Jiminez's avatar

What is the best book (of any kind) that you've read and why did you like it so much?

Asked by Jiminez (1245 points ) March 24th, 2009
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61 Answers

Staalesen's avatar

I belive it is either Starship Troopers or Stranger in a strange land, both by Robert a Heinlein.
Starship Troopers because I recognize myself in the narrator and his opinions.
SISL because it challenges what de define as reason and humanity

JellyB's avatar

Wow….i honestly can’t name only 1 book…..so i’ll just name the authors: Stephen King and Dean Koontz – i enjoy most of their book a lot! :)
I also have several other non-fiction, spiritual related books that i liked, like Ramtha for example, that i can remember now….

JellyB's avatar

And oh….how did you get this question in my “Questions for you” thingy??

Staalesen's avatar

@JellyB IF it maches, by tags, your interest, or other Q you have answered it will be suggested for you :)

syz's avatar

Have you tried the search bar yet?

JellyB's avatar

@Staalesen Oooh!! So it’s an automatic sharing then? Mhmm…. :)

Staalesen's avatar

@JellyB I belive it is yes :D

Staalesen's avatar

@JellyB Have you read te dark tower ?

JellyB's avatar

@Staalesen No….i have yet to read any of them…..

However! I want to…i got one from the library the other day, but it wasn’t part one….i thought i could read them in bits and pieces like that, but i’d rather begin from book one, which they didn’t have available at that time.

I really enjoyed Christine, Cujo and Last Stand (although i never finished this last one….i want to read it over again….) :)

Jiminez's avatar

@Staalesen I’ve read the entire series. Loved every word of it. I’m sure I’ll read it all over again someday, too. It’s about the journey after all, right? :)

vulcanjedi's avatar

Something wicked this way comes by Ray Bradbury.
What those boys went through was a parallel of my life growing up.
And strangely enough it is now mimicking my life from the other side of the story growing older.

Jack_Haas's avatar

Ike Eisenhower’s autobiography. I read it when I was in my early teens and the wisdom I got from it has been a major influence.

OpryLeigh's avatar

My favourite bok of all time is The Hunchbac of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo. I think the story is beautiful and the last few pages brak my heart.

Mamradpivo's avatar

Naive Super by Erlend Loe. It’s about a guy who wants to just drop out of the modern society because life seems so futile.
It’s short and Ive probably read it five times now. If anyone else has read this book, drop me a line.

Bluefreedom's avatar

I have a favorite series of books that I’ve always loved because they are so well written, interesting, and they follow a timeline through several generations. The author is James Clavell.

Shogun
Tai-Pan
Gai-Jin
Noble House
Whirlwind

Dutchess12's avatar

Sacajawea. AND I liked it so much because it’s true….and the strength of that woman continues to be an inspiration for me, and hooray for you!!! You asked an open ended question!!!.....But….don’t you feel a tiny bit guilty?!

JellyB's avatar

@DutchCat LOL! Guilty? Hehehe!

Dutchess12's avatar

Hey….Jelly….where’s the Q roughdays asked?

JellyB's avatar

@DutchCat I saw in another thread that apparently it’s been deleted….

Dutchess12's avatar

Son of a bitch. That just sucks. Well, I’m getting ready to post a Q that probably won’t be appreciated, but that’s just too freakin’ bad.

JellyB's avatar

@DutchCat Yeah, they didn’t even give him a chance… :/

Jiminez's avatar

@DutchCat Dude, take it easy. Respect their community, will you? This is seriously getting old. It’s not “cute”.

Dutchess12's avatar

Well, apparently there are those who feel this site is too good for the likes of roughdays, and that sucks.

Staalesen's avatar

@Jiminez Sure is, reading the last book now, one of my fave series of all time I think :)

Jiminez's avatar

Who cares? Just let it go. It wasn’t “this site”; it was one person. I’m sure he’s welcome here.

Jiminez's avatar

@Staalesen Come back to this thread after you’re done. You might have a different perspective of it then.

nebule's avatar

Nick Harkaway – The Gone-Away World

Futuristic Geniuuuuuuus

vulcanjedi's avatar

By the way, I had a psychologist recommend I read The Moon is a Harsh Mistress when I was 16. I don’t remember why she recommended it just that it would help me with some things I was dealing with.
That is my favorite Heinlein book even to this day.

Staalesen's avatar

@vulcanjedi Yes, Heinlein is a damned goodwriter, and philosopher

Michale's avatar

For fiction, I suppose that would be Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5367.The_Great_Book_of_Amber_The_Complete_Amber_Chronicles_1_10

VzzBzz's avatar

The book I choose has more to do with the time in my life I read it and how it shaped my thinking and helped me to get through many tough times that came after.
“The Autobiography of Malcolm X”
I read it as a very angry private school kid thrust into public school where I was like an alien dropped with no instructions and I was not endearing like E.T. Malcolm X kind of reiterated ideas my own family was familiar with, about going beyond organized religions and seeing into humans a possibility of being interconnected in a kind of spiritual way but beyond our secular definitions.

tabbycat's avatar

Mrs. Dalloway—or The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer.

There are really too many to name, but those are at the top of the list.

MCBeat's avatar

“Cradle & All” by James Patterson. He’s not so great with dialogue, which is frustrating, but the plot of this book is just amazing. It’s about the two pregnant virgins, one is pregnant with Satan’s child, one with God’s child, but you don’t know which one til the very end.
“Paint it Black” and “White Oleander” by Janet Fitch. her writing is just beautiful.

resmc's avatar

The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia, by Ursula K. LeGuin. First off, stories tend to illustrate social philosophy way better than non-fiction, and it basically showing not just the social/political/economic philosophy that really resonates with me, but the social-historic forces that gave birth to them was awesome. But what pushed it over the top, really, was the way it allowed for there to be no end to the [hopeful] moral/social evolution of society (given the right conditions), rather a constant striving against the tendencies which corrupt human-built structures.

There was some dialog which unexpectedly hit a chord in me, said something i felt far better than i could’ve expressed. Am not one who is too picky about the technical-type qualities of books some are, but i connected with the main characters.

Oh, and there were some words coined in it that i found useful, even tho no one i know knows of them yet cough thus they can’t be used.

And the metaphysics-by-current-standards/abstract philosophy [that the main character pursued]... the stuff which can be fascinating, but for non-seekers (which anyone can be for just a period in their lives), doesn’t really affect their lives or the world they live in… was quite, well, fascinating.

YARNLADY's avatar

I have had many favorite books, and favorite authors, such Asimov, Heinlein, Bradbury, Poul Anderson, and many, many more. But by far the most valuable book I read was “The Intimate Enemy: How to Fight Fair in Love and Marriage” by George Robert Bach, Peter Wyden

It is normal to disagree sometimes. This book pointed out constructive ways to express one’s feelings and opinions without becoming destructive and hurtful in the process. And it describes in a very useful way how to structure conflict so it improves a relationship rather than hurts it.

lindelizery's avatar

I suggest The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran for anyone interested in poetry or spirituality. I am sure that regardless of a person’s views on religion, they could enjoy this book, though it does speak of “God” and “His message” – I wasn’t put off by their inclusion. The meaning behind the words, the fluid, graceful simplicity… would be appealing to anyone, I would think. It is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. It is also just long enough – concise, not overwhelming. An excellent gift, as well.

TheOptimisticPessimist's avatar

Probably…Any David Eddings book. The dry wit he employs and hid deceptively simple-seeming storylines keep me re-reading his literature.

James17555's avatar

There is no real ‘best’ book for me: Books are like persons, you can like one for some caracteristic or aspect of it, but they’re so individual that they can’t be compared directly to each other. Still, I’d say that Goethe’s Faust is an excellent book if I really had to chose… I love the way it’s written as well as the philosophical ideas!

Jiminez's avatar

@resmc I promise I’m going to read that as soon as I can. I agree that stories tend to illustrate social philosophy way better than non-fiction. I’ve a special place in my heard for fiction.

Jiminez's avatar

@lindelizery I don’t mind so much the word “God”. I understand, at least for me, that it’s just an abstract psychological concept. I can tolerate it for this reason.

VzzBzz's avatar

@James17555 I agree with Faust being a ‘best’, I just re read a few months back

resmc's avatar

Double post – deleted by self.

resmc's avatar

@Jiminez Okay :-) Considering i’ve yet to read that book i’m sending you – think i’ll just send it, with the amount of other reading that’s worked its way ahead of that on the fluid mental to-read list – to put too much pressure on yourself for anything beyond your desire to read it would be quite unfair.

Oh! Since i just finished it, & it’s terribly awesome (well written, but didn’t fall in love/deeply relate to the characters the way it was with the Dispossessed), would you like me to throw in Grapes of Wrath with it? It being fiction, and illustrating both very prevalent economic/political/social forces and the much more ethical philosophies that naturally grow as a reaction to them, it seems you’d quite enjoy it.

@VzzBzz For some reason, Tom Joad (jr.) didn’t do it for me, even tho he, Ma & somewhat the preacher were my favorite characters. Think it was because he, first of all [spoiler – DON’T READ if you plan to read the book] killed without regretting it at all – wasn’t damning for his character that, in the situations/anger, he did that, just his only reaction really was, ‘couldn’t help it, no bad feelings towards the drunk guy with a knife’. [/end spoilers] And secondly, as lovely & inspiring as his unsquelchable rebelliousness was, there wasn’t enough vulnerability or tenderness to him to really even develop more than the very slightest literary crushes on him.

ZOMG! – we should have a book-group-like discussion about it! (either now or eventually)

lindelizery's avatar

@Jiminez – That’s the ideal way to look at it, I think – I’m glad you have such an open mind, and I hope you do have the chance to read it :)

marauder76's avatar

Blindness by Jose Saramago. Steeped in wisdom.

Jiminez's avatar

@marauder76 Is that the same Blindness that was made into a movie? The movie was amazing.

caeliste's avatar

Man…there is no “best” book, but I do have a lot of favorites. I like them all for different reasons…I like books with beautiful language, books that make me laugh and books that make me cry. It’s best when they do all three.

Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers

Maus: A Survivor’s Tale (graphic novel) by Art Spiegelman

Persepolis (graphic novel) by Marjane Satrapi

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins

The Dark Tower series by Stephen King

nebule's avatar

@caeliste your book list sounds uncannily like my ex-partners… funny…it’s not you though… obviously!

caeliste's avatar

@lynneblundell – maybe it is me…in disguise…mwahahaha. No, really…that’s cool, I hope.

nebule's avatar

—lol… no he’s not that cool…and he wouldn’t be on Fluther and he didn’t like female authors…and he wouldn’t have said mwahahaha… but your list is great x

resmc's avatar

@lindelizery The Prophet is lovely! For some reason, tho both were awesome, Kahlil Gibran*‘s more obscure (at least, seeing as it was an old book at the library next to the much newer, and more mentioned other one) Thoughts and Meditations was awesome in a different way, and maybe it was my mood, or reading the Prophet more all at once without as much time to digest, but that awesome hit me more than that, if you’re craving more of his writing. Part of it may’ve been the message in the bits of that i read… it’s a compilation of all sorts of even different genres of writing… and how, despite being paragraph form, it was more like poetry than anything, but unlike poetry (sad to admit, not having put in the effort/time probably required to appreciate it the same way), it had much more of an impact the way good poetry’s supposed to.

* Was trying to figure out, b/c of the literary crushes thread, who the devil it was who was a dead writer i had a strong spiritual/psychological attraction to. Thanks for jogging my memory!!

simonPARASITE's avatar

looking for alaska by john green

Maldadpermanente's avatar

One hundred years of solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I’ve read it three times so far. An amazing tale which blends fantasy, drama and humour. The terrific story of the family Buendia in the fictitious town of Macondo (South America). An absolute must.

monkeygirl's avatar

I like my book the LAST CHANCE FOR PARIS that was awsome

Peinrikudo's avatar

Definitely Battle Royale by Koushun Takami. I’ve read it about 5 times, and I’ve seen the movie 23 times!

It’s amazing, and it’s my favorite book just because of the suspense and non-stop action, and maybe because of the “controversial” plot! Hahaha.

fenugreek's avatar

A Density of Souls, by Christopher Rice. I like Christopher Rice much more than his mother, who is in fact Anne Rice.

fenugreek's avatar

Oh, also: Breathing Underwater, by Lu Vickers.

Another thing is the Gargoyle, by Andrew Davidson. The narrator is horrible, I really hate his pretentious writing style. However, the story is beautiful and well-worth struggling through the first few chapters of “Why is this author such a jackass?” phases.

Anything by Susannah Kaysen as well, save The Camera My Mother Gave Me, which is all about how much her vagina hurts. That one wasn’t worth it.

NewZen's avatar

Being There. (Didn’t care for the movie as much).

Blind Date.

The Painted Bird.

Birdy.

The Hobbit.

(They are the soundtrack booktrack of my life. (And many others of course, but those are some of my faves – at various ages and stages in life.)

MrBr00ks's avatar

Bono: In Conversation with Michka Assayas is my favorite non-fiction book of all time. It is set up like a printed interview, and it lets you into the head of Bono, a truly remarkable individual. The entire Dark Tower Series by Stephen King kicks some serious booty, I think my favorite one out of the series is Wizard and Glass: book IV. There is not another writer like Stephen King who can immerse a reader into the world revealed in the pages of his story. It is an incredible read, with amazing character progression.

kalafatic's avatar

The Sci Fi genre seems to be leading the pack here (and I’m a fan), but I have to cast my vote for a Western.

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry is far and away the best book I have ever read. McMurtry has an unmatched gift for creating characters. If you like epic adventure stories, characters that leap off the page, Pulitzer Prize winning dialog and beautiful sparse prose this book is for you. The best part is it’s really long and there are three others in the series.

There is also an amazing miniseries they made of the book staring Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones, Danny Glover, Diane Lane and Chris Cooper. It won seven Emmys and Robert Duvall justly compared his role to playing Hamlet. It’s an epic piece of film-making; better than anything I have seen on TV, but the book is better.

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