Good Books

I’ve recently got back into reading, and I was curious about what kind of books people recommend. I hope others can post lists of some of their favorite books, and maybe we can all be a little more literate.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. Great sci-fi book about a gifted child who is taken into Battle School to learn to be a commander. Great writing, sometimes twisted and sometimes intriguing. Much better than typical sci-fi low brow stuff where half the book is the author just trying to explain in pseudo scientific terms how everything works. Also Ender’s Shadow is good (so far.)

The Ark by Ben Jeapes. Another decent sci-fi book. A delegation of ships is invited to an alien world.

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Okay, being forced to read this as a sophmore, my friends and I hated it. In retrospect, it is an awesome book about the human spirit and cheezy sounding stuff like that, but it is a classic and is very illuminating for one’s viewpoint on the poor and wretched.

Ghost Soldiers. True story of WWII soldiers in a Japanese prison camp and the men who came to rescue them. Vivid and gritty, although sometimes slow and sometimes seems contradictory.

The Octopus and the Orangutan. Repetitive and redundant, but worth the read if you skip over the authors philosophy. Interesting tales of animal intelligence and ingenuity.

And, of course, the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

P.S. Has anyone read/have an opinion on the other Tolkien works (Unfinished Tales, History of Middle Earth books, Silmarillion(??)etc)?

Watership Down. LOTR. Harry Potter. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. A Series of Unfortunate Events. Sherlock Holmes. The Blender manual ;).


I kinda like teh Redwall Series.

Halo Series

Ender’s Game & Series

Tom Clancy Books

Sphere, by Michael Chricton…

Papillon by Henri Charriere

Oooo good one Daniel.

I like non-fiction myself.

Songlines - Bruce Chatwin

In Cold Blood - Truman Capote

Both are musts I think :slight_smile:

Ayn Rand books rock. Her philosophy helped shape my view of my future and give me an insight that I could have never had alone. Check out “Atlas Shrugged” and “The Fountainhead” for sure.

“The Da Vinci Code” is an interesting book that tries to unwind secret society conspiracies and the warping of Christianity over time within a nail-biting mystery/adventure. It’s sold huge and most avid readers have read it.

This is cheesy, but “The Chronicles of Narnia” were books that I really liked as a child and still read from time to time. C.S. Lewis did a lot to shape my imagination early on.

Also, any of my college books. I love to learn, no matter what subject.

If you get a chance, seriously consider reading Ayn Rand books, they’re absolutely huge but well worth it, IMO. “Atlas Shrugged” goes into a lot of detail about how the world is set up to stifle and punish people who do well.

Wheel of time Series
Enders game
Amulet of Samarkand
Dragons of pern series
Deception Point
Digital Fortress
The Theif
Queen of Attolia
The giver
The black gryphon (and the others)

And lots more, if only I could think of them, and if I felt like listing more :stuck_out_tongue:

The Dark Tower series by Stephen King

Alchemist by Peter James (read this 2 or 3 times hehe)

The Fist of God by Frederick Forsythe (sp?)

The Battletech series (about 60 novels, and most are great. The book covers tend to look a bit naff, but it is a huge storyline, lots of politics, battle, manipulation etc. Truly great work)

I’m currently reading the translation of “Inferno” by Dante. It is actually a poem but it is a classic, a real work of art that I am enjoying very much (and I don’t know anything about poetry hehe). Basically, it is about a man being led through the 9 circles of hell by a spirit guide. Each circle has certain punishments for certain crimes, the further in, the worse it gets. I’m currently about to get to the 9th circle.

The Art of War by Sun Tzu (well, translated by someone else- James Clavell did the translation I read). Very insightful, it was originally written for warfare (over a thousand years ago I think) but can actually be applied in many other situations. Strongly recommended

I think my parents read The Da Vinci Code, I’ll have to get round to it.

LOTR trilogy, any Tom clancy book

And Vimy Ridge by Pierre Berton
Its about the Canadians and their attack on Vimy Ridge in 1917, it follows then from recruitment all the way till the end of the battle it shows how the Canadians became their own country and not a colony of the British; It details how the Canadians did what the french and british could not do. And it shows how Canadian battle planners paved the way to modern combat.
An excelent read for anyone no matter where you are from it really opens up your mind.
Its a true story btw the author was born right after ww1.

One of my favorite books is “A Journey to the Centre of the Earth” by Jules Verne. It’s a relatively short book, though.

Theropod isn’t that the guy who thinks people live in the center of the earth? and he wants to take a ship down there because there is a big opening somewhere near the northern equater if not then its some other crazy bugger.

Saucer by Stephen Coombs (i think :expressionless: )
and Dinotopia was reallly good when i was a kid

Not long ago I read Dune and really enjoyed that. During summer vacation I read a book called The Time Ships, by Stephen Baxter, which was all right. I couldn’t put it down, but it didn’t have a fantastic, intricate writing style like Dune or LOTR. (picky, picky.) It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad either. Check it out if yiou want an exciting, frolicking romp through time but don’t care if the author seems to be fishing for movie rights. Right now I’m reading a novel called Airborne by Kenneth Oppel. It’s a pretty good book, but the fact that the author has invented several elements for use in the book is driving me nuts. The airship in the story is lifted by a gas called Hydrium, which is not only lighter than air, but lighter than Hydrogen! I don’t know how that works. %|

Also, Understanding Comics is a great read, if you can put up with the fact that it’s written as a comic book. I caught on very quickly, readers of graphic novels should have no trouble at all.

“Chung Kuo” series by david wingrove, # he also co-wrote the myst books with Rand Miller. (msyt reader;book of D’Ni etc etc)

“Hyperion” by Dan Simmons

Ohhh, books. Neal Stephensons ‘Cryptonimcron’ is one of the best books of the last ten years. In fact, all of Stephenson’s books, Snow Crash and The Diamond Years (among others) are well worth reading.

I certainly enjoyed Dan Browns ‘The Da Vinci Code’, and ‘Angels and Demons’. Both of these employ a lot of historical and pseudo-historical elements to add to the depth of otherwise shallow entertainment. But I would avoid ‘Deception Point’ and ‘Digital Fortress’ unless you have an afternoon that you seriously want to waste.

Since you liked ‘The Grapes of Wrath’, try Steinbecks ‘Cannery Row’, ‘Sweet Thursday’, ‘Tortilla Flat’, ‘East of Eden’, and ‘The Winter of Our Discontent’. There are scenes from those books that are just as sharp in memory as when I read them, fifteen, no twenty years ago.

A little lighter, but with wonderful characters, anything by Robert K. Tannenbaum. Legal thrillers that are worth reading and re-reading.

My real literary love is science fiction though. Try almost anything by James P. Hogan. Especially ‘Inherit the Stars’ and ‘The Code of the Lifemaker’.

And finally, the finest living science fiction author: Lois McMaster Bujold. If you haven’t read any of her works, start with ‘The Warrior’s Apprentice’, and if you are like me, you won’t stop until you have read every word she has ever published, and then you will start over again.

I could go on about books for hours, but I’ll stop now, no doubt to everyone’s relief.

I really like the books by Philip K. Dick, especially “A Scanner Darkly”, which is maybe the less “science-fictional” of his books. But all of his books and novels are great imho.

And for NQE1’s question about the other Tolkien works, I started to read the Silmarillion, and well… I could never finish it, it was too boring, and I know many persons how loved LOTR books and had the same reaction. The Silmarilion isn’t really a story, it’s more an enumeration of the middle earth legends.

Edit : Ouch, it seems the forum doesn’t like rude words… so it changes the name of the author… Replace the beginning of *ick by a “D” to get the real name. It’s not my fault if he was named like that, lol.

My favorites would have to be:

Anything by Philip Roth (especially The Counterlife, Operation Shylock, Sabbath’s Theater, The Human Stain, and Deception).

Guy De Maupassant’s short stories, as well as Anton Chekhov’s.

George Orwell.

Humboldt’s Gift, by Saul Bellow–one of my favorite books.

William Faulkner.



I noticed that too. It’s weird because you can say shit, bollocks, wanker, tit, weiner, bastard, dickhead (I don’t mean to swear but I’m making a point) but you can’t say dick (I mean d*ick)? I dunno.

Anyway, I don’t read books much any more. I get all my info from the internet. I prefer poetry because I have a bit of a short attention span - I like the works of Edgar Allen Poe.

When I was younger, I did read the entire Sherlock Holmes collection. Those stories were pretty good, though sometimes they seem a bit primitive - like Dr Watson and Lestrade were often too stupid to be believable.

I also used to read the Bible. That had to be one of the funniest things I ever read. The premise that it’s all supposed to be true helped that. It’s got it all: war, sex, infidelity, talking donkeys, resurrection, creation of the universe (which I personally think could have been elaborated on), murder, slavery, disease, famine, predictions for the end of the world, songs, wise sayings, miracles and probably some other stuff.

Non-fiction, I read some books on the quest for the theories of everything and one on Feynman’s Lost Lectures. He proved the movement of planets round the sun using simple geometry. Fascinating, really. I also studied some fractal theory.

These days it’s just films and the Blender manual I look at.

Science Fiction/Fantasy
The Lord of the Rings
The Hobbit
The Dune series (including the books written by Frank Herbert’s son)
The Dragonriders of Pern series
The Foundation series by Isaac Asimov
Bio of a Space Tyrant series by Piers Anthony
The Hitchhiker’s Guide series
everything by Jules Verne

The Harry Potter books (not just for kids)
Watership Down (not just for kids)

The Bourne series
everything by Frederick Forsyth
Shogun, Tai-Pan, Noble House, and Whirlwind by James Clavell
Covenant by James Michener
everything by Alexander Dumas (The Three Musketeers, etc.)
Ivanhoe (the most enjoyable ‘classic’ I’ve ever read)
Le Morte d’Arthur by Sir Thomas Mallory (THE King Arthur legend)
The original Conan the Barbarian series books
everything by Clive Cussler

All of James Herriot’s books
(All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Bright and Beautiful, etc.)

Legacy by James Michener (a book about the US Constitution with a bit of an Oliver North Iran/Contra tie-in)
Justice Incarnate by Regan Black (to be published April 2, 2005 – my wife’s first book)

I’ve always been disappointed by Michael Crichton’s books. He starts off with an excellent story then seems to reach a wall at the ending. It’s like his publisher gave him a deadline and he rushed to finish it. Andromeda Strain, Jurassic Park, Lost World, and Congo all seemed to be good for the the first 90% then a big letdown.

No, it’s about a German mineralogist who learns of an extinct volcano in Iceland that leads to the center of the earth. They don’t take a ship, they walk. They find a huge underground ocean with ancient creatures and plant life. Very cool story.