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Give a Book Recommendation, Get a Book Recommendation

Last posted May 04, 2013 at 06:46PM EDT. Added Mar 30, 2013 at 09:54AM EDT
84 conversations with 49 participants

I checked for threads similar to this topic but only found one really old one that was locked. Anyway, I figured I would do something a little different with the standard book recommendation thread. How it should work is that in your post, you recommend a book (print, electronic, online, etc.) to the person above you. You can go into the why of it if you really want to. Then the person who posts next recommends a book to you.

I’ll go first to get things started: I really recommend All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque.

Last edited Mar 30, 2013 at 09:56AM EDT
Mar 30, 2013 at 09:54AM EDT
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I’m going to reccommned Fool by Christopher Moore. It’s Shakespeare’s King Lear written from the perspective of the king’s fool. Very funny.

Mar 30, 2013 at 02:58PM EDT

Well, since someone already said 1984, I’ll counter with Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. They’re the perfect companions for each other: As TV Tropes explains, “Nineteen Eighty-Four shows that what we fear controls us, while Brave New World shows that what we love controls us”. There will always be some part of you that thinks it represents not a dystopia, but a utopia, and that’s a big part of what makes the novel so disturbing and brilliant.

Mar 30, 2013 at 03:38PM EDT
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Wsxdas, The Last Kramabender wrote:

I’m going to reccommned Fool by Christopher Moore. It’s Shakespeare’s King Lear written from the perspective of the king’s fool. Very funny.

So, it’s similar to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead?

Mar 30, 2013 at 03:39PM EDT
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For anyone who is into A Song of Ice and Fire, I would suggest Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Luo Guangzhong. It has a similar plot of several kings fighting each other in order to gain supreme control, loads and loads of characters, and political scheming except with Three Kingdoms, its based off an actual time period during Dynastic China. The characters were even real people. Its described as being 70% fact and 30% fiction.

Mar 30, 2013 at 04:02PM EDT
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Fridge Logic wrote:

So, it’s similar to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead?

I don’t know what those are, but sure.

Mar 30, 2013 at 04:22PM EDT

Wsxdas, The Last Kramabender wrote:

I don’t know what those are, but sure.

Its a companion novel to Hamlet
as for another book:

Anything by her really

Mar 30, 2013 at 05:12PM EDT
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Sophie’s World.
It was a stroke of luck that I randomly chose this book on the library. It’s a novel about philosophy, and even if at first you think it’s boring to read a bunch of letters about the history of philosophy, there’s a point where the story takes a HUGE twist and they all make sense. This book taught me to think, and is the main reason I became an atheist. Even if the main characters were christians I think.

Mar 30, 2013 at 05:21PM EDT
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I’m starting to feel like this thread is becoming exclusively about dystopian books the userbase read in high school, which leads me to believe we’re not very well read.

Also, if you’re going to read something by Ayn Rand, read Atlas Shrugged or just play Bioshock, Anthem is terrible.

Mar 30, 2013 at 05:28PM EDT
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Fridge Logic wrote:

I’m starting to feel like this thread is becoming exclusively about dystopian books the userbase read in high school, which leads me to believe we’re not very well read.

Also, if you’re going to read something by Ayn Rand, read Atlas Shrugged or just play Bioshock, Anthem is terrible.

Well, if you want something that doesn’t fall under the dystopian label, I would definitely suggest Hell’s Angels by Hunter S. Thompson. It’s about the couple or so months that he hung out with the eponymous biker gang.

Also on the line of Thompson is the biography of him, Gonzo: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson. Its really interesting because its written in a way that it seems like people who knew him are talking about him like in a documentary.

Mar 30, 2013 at 05:44PM EDT
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Level 4, if you haven’t read it yet:



Looking for Alaska is a really compelling book, though the characters can be somewhat frustrating at times. John Green is a good one-and-done kind of author. Don’t cheapen your experience with him by reading more than one of his books.

Mar 30, 2013 at 06:29PM EDT
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If you haven’t read Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park, you shoud. It’s a milliom times better than the movie, it puts more focus on the science and the behaviour of the dinosaurs.

Mar 30, 2013 at 06:31PM EDT
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Fridge Logic wrote:

I’m starting to feel like this thread is becoming exclusively about dystopian books the userbase read in high school, which leads me to believe we’re not very well read.

Also, if you’re going to read something by Ayn Rand, read Atlas Shrugged or just play Bioshock, Anthem is terrible.

Actually, I read 1984 in the sixth grade and Brave New World in the seventh- the dystopian literature class at my school that has both of these novels as part if its curriculum is for juniors and seniors. Don’t make that sort of statement without actually knowing if it’s true, or you might end up insulting some people.

And yes, the entire point of this post was, in fact, to brag about how smart I percieve myself as. I’d give you a reason to not hate me for it, but there are none.

Mar 30, 2013 at 08:35PM EDT
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0.9999...=1 wrote:

Actually, I read 1984 in the sixth grade and Brave New World in the seventh- the dystopian literature class at my school that has both of these novels as part if its curriculum is for juniors and seniors. Don’t make that sort of statement without actually knowing if it’s true, or you might end up insulting some people.

And yes, the entire point of this post was, in fact, to brag about how smart I percieve myself as. I’d give you a reason to not hate me for it, but there are none.

Well, excuse me. I’ll just fix my statement:

I’m starting to feel like this thread is becoming exclusively about dystopian books the userbase read in middle school,

Hope my little observation didn’t insult your intelligence, obviously you reading dystopian fiction earlier than most people insinuates a higher level of academic prowess which I simply must acknowledge.

Bravo, champ.

Mar 30, 2013 at 09:57PM EDT
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Actually, I somehow managed to not have to read 1984, Brave New World (although I am reading through that now), or Animal Farm back in high school. I did somehow have to read Ethan Frome twice. That book fills me with rage though so I don’t recommend it.

Anyway, one book I finished recently that I really liked was Fevre Dream by George R. R. Martin. Its kinda like if Mark Twain and his tales about the Mississippi River were mixed with Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot. I highly recommend it.

However, as a warning since it is written by the guy who wrote A Song of Ice and Fire, it does have some very disturbing passages in it

Last edited Mar 31, 2013 at 12:36AM EDT
Mar 31, 2013 at 12:35AM EDT
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Fridge Logic wrote:

Well, excuse me. I’ll just fix my statement:

I’m starting to feel like this thread is becoming exclusively about dystopian books the userbase read in middle school,

Hope my little observation didn’t insult your intelligence, obviously you reading dystopian fiction earlier than most people insinuates a higher level of academic prowess which I simply must acknowledge.

Bravo, champ.

The point of what I wrote wasn’t to stroke my ego, but to take a shot at myself for my often inflated ego. If that wasn’t clear enough and I came off as an arrogant dick, then I guess it’s my own fault. Looking at it now, it really was a fairly shitty post. As a matter of fact, why can’t us users get an allowence of, oh I don’t know, three post deletions past 30 minutes a month? That seems like…
No, I can’t totally derail this thread. So, another good recommendation would be the Uglies Trilogy by Scott Wes… fuck, that’s a dystopia. Well how about We, which… maybe The Giv
…I suck.

Mar 31, 2013 at 03:37AM EDT
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If you haven’t read them yet, I highly recommend the Hichhiker’s Guide books.

They don’t follow the other forms of media of Hitchhiker’s Guide exactly, and it goes off in its own diretion as of the third book. The same basic plot is still there, of course.

Mar 31, 2013 at 03:07PM EDT
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Tad Williams’s Otherland series:

I came across these on a small trip to the library about three years ago and they peaked my interest and held it
Good, solid books

Last edited Mar 31, 2013 at 03:16PM EDT
Mar 31, 2013 at 03:16PM EDT
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In terms of Science Fiction, I really liked Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds:

It leans very far to the “hard” side of science fiction but I really enjoyed it and its a very good read.

Mar 31, 2013 at 03:22PM EDT
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Level 4 again, eh?

Well, if you’ve yet to read it:


If you had this book ruined for you by having to read it in a group in class, I’m so, so sorry. If you hate this book because you think Holden is whiny and needs to get over himself, I suppose you’re entitled to that opinion.

But you’re wrong.

Mar 31, 2013 at 03:59PM EDT
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Mack TheUnoriginal wrote:

Level 4 again, eh?

Well, if you’ve yet to read it:


If you had this book ruined for you by having to read it in a group in class, I’m so, so sorry. If you hate this book because you think Holden is whiny and needs to get over himself, I suppose you’re entitled to that opinion.

But you’re wrong.

I did read it back in high school. I don’t have any extreme feelings toward Catcher in the Rye either way. I probably will give it another go at some point.

As for a recommendation, I highly suggest Candide by Voltaire

If you don’t know about it, its pretty much a novella that Voltaire wrote to eviscerate another philosopher’s optimistic views that “this is the best of all possible worlds.” However, it actually has a conclusion that is much less cynical than the plot leads you to believe.

Mar 31, 2013 at 04:26PM EDT
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I’ll break from this a bit, and leave the “classics” behind.

Non-fiction:
A Man on the Moon by Andrew Chaikin


Click image to go to Amazon page.

Even if you’re not a space/Apollo program fan, it’s an interesting read. Chaikin spent years gathering up interviews with the Apollo astronauts and senior officials to put together the book. If you managed to see From the Earth to the Moon back on HBO about fifteen years ago, it was all based around Chaikin’s work with this book. Probably one of my favorite reads.



Ficton:
The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan


Click image to go to Amazon page.

This book, and the thirteen sequels in the series (also one prequel) are all High Fantasy, and are some of the better magic-y books written. There are two slow books, but the rest are fairly good and move at a steady pace. If you like detail storms, Robert Jordan really goes into detail on certain things.

It starts off with the old standard “farm kids leave home” cookie-cutter style, but gathers itself up into its own story. Oh, and the real world references are fun to find (until you realize the Fridge Horror of the books’ plots technically taking place after a half-assed Apocalypse).

Last edited Apr 01, 2013 at 01:02AM EDT
Apr 01, 2013 at 01:00AM EDT
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If you like your books to give you the feeling that you’re tripping balls without actually having to do so, I’d have to say almost anything by my favorite science fiction (and overall) author Philip K. Dick. The main thing he liked to do in his plethora of novels and short stories is fuck with the concept of reality, showing how flimsy it is, largely due to the limitations and fragility of the brain. I’d say a nice place to start, at least with his major works, is here:

Apr 01, 2013 at 01:41AM EDT
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Fridge Logic wrote:

I’m starting to feel like this thread is becoming exclusively about dystopian books the userbase read in high school, which leads me to believe we’re not very well read.

Also, if you’re going to read something by Ayn Rand, read Atlas Shrugged or just play Bioshock, Anthem is terrible.

Guys…..
Did you ever realize?
BioShock‘s city of Rapture, which goes through massive social conflict and unrest,is based on Ayn Rand’s Objectivist philosophy……
She wrote a book called Atlas Shrugged that was about massive societal upheaval……..
And one of the main figures of societal upheaval in Rapture is named “Atlas.”

Apr 01, 2013 at 05:40PM EDT
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In terms of historical non-fiction reading, I definitely suggest The Crusades Through Arab Eyes by Amin Maalouf.

Its about exactly what it says: The crusades as experienced by the Arab population living in that area. It also discusses the ramifications of the events that took place, as well.

Apr 01, 2013 at 08:50PM EDT
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One of the finest examples of gothic fiction, about 200 years old

Apr 01, 2013 at 09:32PM EDT
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If you have wanted to understand the flaws of the American Industrial revolution, this is probably your best bet.

Apr 02, 2013 at 07:25PM EDT
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I have to say The Westing Game was a pretty good book.

If you need a good mystery, puzzle-type book, then this is a good, quick book for you.

Apr 02, 2013 at 10:32PM EDT
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level4outbreak wrote:

For anyone who is into A Song of Ice and Fire, I would suggest Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Luo Guangzhong. It has a similar plot of several kings fighting each other in order to gain supreme control, loads and loads of characters, and political scheming except with Three Kingdoms, its based off an actual time period during Dynastic China. The characters were even real people. Its described as being 70% fact and 30% fiction.

Dynasty Warriors FTW. Seems like it’s hard to find on my local book stores but I am very interested on reading it.

Apr 03, 2013 at 01:44PM EDT
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skully mann wrote:

Dynasty Warriors FTW. Seems like it’s hard to find on my local book stores but I am very interested on reading it.

Amazon definitely has it. The copy I’m going through currently is from my university’s library. I’m using it for a research paper for one of my classes and its a comparative between Three Kingdoms and A Song of Ice and Fire

As for an actual recommendation, I really liked The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo. I hear a lot of mixed opinions about Hugo with some saying that he was a literary genius and others saying that he wrote too many long passages about inconsequential details. Also, the book is significantly different than the Disney movie in a lot of ways.

Apr 03, 2013 at 05:23PM EDT
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Looking for Alaska is a really compelling book, though the characters can be somewhat frustrating at times. John Green is a good one-and-done kind of author. Don’t cheapen your experience with him by reading more than one of his books.



Yeah, I don’t get it. His books are pretty great, and he’s a genuinely thoughtful guy. What’s wrong with reading more than one of his books?

Back on topic, I’ve gotta recommend my favourite book of all time:

The Things They Carried

It’s a “war stories” novel without any real fighting. Set in Vietnam, it’s the kind of book with philosophical undercurrents running beneath flawless prose. It deals with themes like courage vs cowardice, the concept of fiction being as relevant and ‘true’ as fact, and the nature of perception. Ever read one of those “gut-punch” passages where after finishing it you thought “Holy fuck was that well-written.” ? That’s essentially what this book is made of. Here’s a couple of excerpts:

“A true war story is never moral. It does not instruct, nor encourage virtue, nor suggest models of proper human behavior, nor restrain men from doing the things men have always done. If a story seems moral, do not believe it. If at the end of a war story you feel uplifted, or if you feel that some small bit of rectitude has been salvaged from the larger waste, then you have been made the victim of a very old and terrible lie. There is no rectitude whatsoever. There is no virtue. As a first rule of thumb, therefore, you can tell a true war story by its absolute and uncompromising allegiance to obscenity and evil."

“It wasn’t a question of deceit. Just the opposite; he wanted to heat up the truth, to make it burn so hot that you would feel exactly what he felt.”

“Linda was nine then, as I was, but we were in love…it had all the shadings and complexities of mature adult love and maybe more, because there were not yet words for it, and because it was not yet fixed to comparisons or chronologies or the ways by which adults measure such things…I just loved her. Even then, at nine years old, I wanted to live inside her body. I wanted to melt into her bones -- that kind of love.”

Christ I need to read this book again.

Last edited Apr 04, 2013 at 02:24AM EDT
Apr 04, 2013 at 02:23AM EDT
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You all need to go out right now and read Helen DeWitt’s The Last Samurai (not related to the Tom Cruise movie).

It’s the most criminally underappreciated novel that I have ever read, and I bring it up whenever people ask me for book suggestions. It is almost perfectly brilliant.

Also, when you’re done that you should check out Gödel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter. It is one of my favourite non-fiction books.

Last edited Apr 05, 2013 at 07:17PM EDT
Apr 05, 2013 at 07:14PM EDT
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The monk the fool and looking for alaska seems like good books i dont know about why NOT to read MORE of his books though hmmm
Top books for me:

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
One of the few books that uses imagery without using pictures and keeps you entertained from what’s gonna happen next (via using colored text/long ass footnotes/changing front sizes etc)
The storyline is a bit “jumpy” at times. Different stories going on with the main. “Revolutions” did an overkill on it though.

Apr 05, 2013 at 08:16PM EDT
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(wanted to test image pop up…it did!)
Second book is:

VERY funny! One of the first times I laughed out loud to a book. Horror/comedy that I heard of on Cracked. I picked it up after hearing about it then seeing it at a store by chance and was happy of my decision… ( the movie was soso). Drugs, demons,one-armed chicks and jennifer lopez what more could you ask for!

Apr 05, 2013 at 08:25PM EDT
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Hopefully that worked. If not, I’m so very sorry.

I’m recommending Clockwork Angels, by Kevin J. Anderson. And Neil Peart. It’s a wonderful book with science fiction elements, and a story shrouded in philosophical ideas based off of Candide and A few of Aym Rand’s teachings. Plus, there’s a CD you can buy separately that the book is based off of (in fact, Neil Peart is the drummer of Rush, who are being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in a few days), and it fits really well!

Apr 05, 2013 at 08:36PM EDT
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Recommending The Stand by Stephen King.

Basically, new superflu virus from a military base sweeps across Earth and nearly kills off humanity. The survivors in the North American continent join two different camps, a democratic society in Boulder, Colorado and a tyrannical one in Las Vegas. The villain, Randall Flagg appears in a few other Stephen King Books. The Dark Tower, I think.

Apr 06, 2013 at 12:09AM EDT
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Fridge Logic wrote:

I’m starting to feel like this thread is becoming exclusively about dystopian books the userbase read in high school, which leads me to believe we’re not very well read.

Also, if you’re going to read something by Ayn Rand, read Atlas Shrugged or just play Bioshock, Anthem is terrible.

I find that it’s an okay read if you’ve got an hour or two to blow and you don’t feel like subjecting yourself to a novel that, among other things, features a speech by one character that takes six hours to read aloud. I liked that it sort of felt like something published in a pulp magazine.

Atlas Shrugged is a work that takes a whole lot of devotion and patience to read in its entirety, but it is better from what I have gathered. Of course, it’s also much more preachy about Objectivism (like The Fountainhead), which turns people off.

At the moment, I don’t have any personal reccomendations to give, but I will say that H. P. Lovecraft’s work make for some interesting reading. I’ve not read the entirety of House Of Leaves, either, but it’s definitely worth looking at – it’s probably the most visually-creative novel produced in the past couple of decades.

Apr 06, 2013 at 12:41AM EDT
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One of the best books I read in my fucking life

I’ve heard the English version is much better than the original in Spanish

Apr 06, 2013 at 02:13AM EDT
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Skeletor-sm

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