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Unclepepsi's avatar

What are some must read books?

Asked by Unclepepsi (900points) March 30th, 2012

I am taking a reading challenge and need some book suggestions. What are you favorites, what blows your mind, which are thought provoking, or which are just plain fun. What do I have to read, what should I read. The challenge is 1oo books in a year. They don’t have to be short, can be any length,any genre, fiction or nonfiction, even for dummies books, as Buddhism for dummies is on my list. i don’t care about the length of the book, I want quality reads. Thanks, to all and sorry to have been away from Fluther for awhile.

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44 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

A short history of nearly everything by Bill Bryson.

Coloma's avatar

I’m captivated right now by a new book called ” Spontaneous Evolution” our positive future and how to get there from here, by Bruce H. Lipton PH.D & Steve Bhaerman. I am also looking forward to another I have in the archives called ” The Source Field Investigations” by David Wilcock. I love science, psychology, metaphysics and the combo plate of all. :-)

gambitking's avatar

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series

Qingu's avatar

Cat’s Cradle


kimmy1408's avatar

@Unclepepsi I have a young son so I have been reading alot of stuff that are easy reads finding stuff for him. Not sure what kind of reading you are looking for but if you enjoy any kind of fantasy stuff then I would try the following: The Hunger Game trilogy (probably heard of that one recently), 100 Cupboards is another good book, the 1st in a trilogy, The Harry Potter Books were great. I also enjoy reading Allison Brennen because she writes trilogies. I get into the characters so I enjoy when I can read more than one book about them. These are all “fluff” books, I figure I have enough in life to “think/worry” about I read for escape not for anything else.

muppetish's avatar

Tove Jansson’s Moomin series is one that I could not put down. It is lighthearted, but thoughtfully philosophical in a pleasant way. Stephen Krane is a poet I was recently introduced to and I cannot get enough of him. Pick up Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia for a wonderful play. And you cannot possibly go wrong with Neil Gaiman’s Sandman (which I have been meaning to get back into.)

TexasDude's avatar

The Gospel of Christian Atheism by Thomas J. J. Altizer. I’ll never look at Christianity or even religion as a whole the same way again.

KateTheGreat's avatar

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon – mindbending

Anything in the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett – fun! fun! fun!

Eros the Bittersweet by Anne Carson – a must read for any serious reader or writer

Fool by Christopher Moore – hilarious

The Complete Works of Shakespeare

The Republic by Plato – It’s all in there.

All of Edna St. Vincent Millay’s poetry – great!

janbb's avatar

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Unclepepsi's avatar

Thanks everyone keep em coming, Ill read almost anything.

augustlan's avatar

I second To Kill a Mockingbird, and add Steinbeck’s East of Eden.

King_Pariah's avatar

The works of Hermann Hesse especially:

Narcissus and Goldmund
The Glass Bead Game
The Seasons of the Soul

marinelife's avatar

1984 George Orwell
Catcher in the Rye JD Salinger
Invisible Man Ralph Ellison
Catch-22 Joseph Heller

flutherother's avatar

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
The World of Yesterday by Stefan Zweig
Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges
Moleskin Joe by Patrick MacGill
The Time Machine by H G Wells

lonelydragon's avatar

Ishmael—Daniel Quinn
The Diary of Anne Frank
The Poisonwood Bible and Homeland—Barbara Kingsolver
Animal Farm—George Orwell
The Picture of Dorian Gray—Oscar Wilde

ragingloli's avatar

The God Delusion – Professor Richard Dawkins, Ph.D., MA

JonnyCeltics's avatar

galapagos – kurt vonnegut (!!!!)

JonnyCeltics's avatar

in cold blood – truman capote (!!!!)

Bent's avatar

Perdido Street Station – China Mieville.

filmfann's avatar

The Hitchhikers Guide To the Galaxy series
The Hunger Games series
Harry Potter series
The Day of the Triffids by John Windham
The Stand by Stephen King
The Green Mile by Stephen King
Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
True Grit by Charles Portis

jerv's avatar

The Illuminatus Trilogy
Anything by Neal Stephenson (except for The Big U)
Neuromancer, Count Zero, and Mona Lisa Overdrive (a.k.a. The Sprawl Trilogy) by William Gibson
Look Me in the Eye by John Elder Robison

tranquilsea's avatar

Lullabies For Little Criminals by Heather O’Neill

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Game of Thrones (the whole series) by George R. R. Martin

Anne of Green Gables (the whole series) by L. M. Montgomery

I second (and third) the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Hunger Games trilogy, and any book in the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett (although I’m partial to Mort).

Unclepepsi's avatar

Thanks everyone, more, more, more. This is the most great questions Ive gotten on on Question I’m exited to start reading.

funkdaddy's avatar

Great lists above, some that I didn’t see mentioned directly that I keep going back to

The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway
Lost Horizon – James Hilton
A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle
Freakonomics – Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner

Michael_Huntington's avatar

>No Nietzsche
Oh and Paradise Lost

Only138's avatar

The Keep was and awesome book. Shitty movie, but an awesome book.

2davidc8's avatar

To the great suggestions above, I would add:

The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene
Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin Abbott (first came out in 1884, but it’ll blow your mind)
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Animal Farm by George Orwell
How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman
The Tipping Point, Outliers, Blink, and What the Dog Saw (4 books) by Malcolm Gladwell

I second Freakonomics, and now there’s a sequel: SuperFreakonomics.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

Guns, Germs, and Steel- Jared Diamond
The Philip K. Dick Collection- Philip K Dick
The Prince- Machiavelli

augustlan's avatar

The Bible is worth reading, too. Just as literature, if you’re not religious.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

^At a minimum the Book of Job.

Unclepepsi's avatar

Thanks again all of these will go on the reading list.. Does anyone know about the Star Trek or Star Wars Novels and where to start with them.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@Unclepepsi If you’re a Sci-fi fan, then my husband highly recommends
Rendevous With Rama by Arthur C. Clarke

JonnyCeltics's avatar

on that note…Talmud is great as well.

DaphneT's avatar

Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle, and anything of his.
Agatha Christie mysteries
Louis L’Amour, Zane Grey and Max Brand for pulp fiction westerns
George Lakoff
Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner
Regina Barreca

For Star Trek, start with the James Blish write up of the series scripts to put you in the frame and go from there.

Jeruba's avatar

I don’t mean to be argumentative, but I don’t think there’s any such thing as a must-read book. There are thousands, hundreds of thousands, of worthwhile reads, but there’s no list so definitive that everyone, or every well-read person, must have read what’s on it.

Once you’ve found some authors you like (perhaps with the help of some of the great suggestions above), you can read their other work, and they will lead you to other authors.

You might even want to find out which authors have influenced them.

•  Librarians can recommend “If you liked x, you might like y.”
•  Book reviews often suggest comparisons.
•  Amazon bases recommendations on what you’ve shown interest in.
•  Ask a specific question here.

ETpro's avatar

@Jeruba A great way to get “If you liked this” recommendations is to join and enter into it the books you have read, rating each on a 5-star rating system. Based on what you liked, the system can recommend a long list of additional titles. You can also browse the top rated titles by genre. I’ve just recently signed up and still have a ton of books to add and reviews to write. Here’s my page.

Jeruba's avatar

@ETpro, another option is LibraryThing. I tried Goodreads a couple of years ago and didn’t like it, but LibraryThing (despite its foolish-sounding name) has a lot of serious readers and a great many ways of looking at its considerable body of information. Membership is free if you list 200 titles or fewer, and a life membership is so inexpensive that I simply went for it straight off.

ETpro's avatar

@Jeruba Gah! Just what I need, more social media.

Fairylover78's avatar

Anything by Ken Follett, my favorite is Pillars of the Earth, its a bit long, but well worth it… Ishmael by Daniel Quinn is inspiring and a terrific thought provoking read, changed my outlook on many things. The follow up to that one is called The Story of B, which is also a very compelling story as well. The Outlander Series by Diane Gabaldon, I believe there are 8 books in all, its a fun and entertaining read as well.

tranquilsea's avatar

I’m currently reading 100 Years of Solitude and really enjoying it.

NanoNano's avatar


I would recommend “On The Plurality of Worlds” by David Lewis

Its a difficult book to get through. It takes a philosophical, semantics (as opposed to physics) view of the multiverse theory and your transworld identity.

If you can finish it, which is a challenge, trust me, it will change your view of the nature of reality as you know it.

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