good luck with that
Personal favs that won't take long:
A Man Without a Country - Vonnegut
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love - Carver
Mr. Nice - Marks
If you have more time:
Pihkal - Shulgin
Rest in peace, DFW. That man was a legend gone far too soon.
My recommendations for now are:
Fiction - 'Independence Day' by Richard Ford. This book has hardly flown under the radar (it won the Pulitzer Prize), but I keep running into people who haven't read it. It is one of the few flawless novels of the past twenty years.
Non-Fiction - 'Team of Rivals' by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Again, this one is a no-brainer. Still, it presents a complete picture of Lincoln and his cabinet. I've read it twice, and I'm still uncovering nuggets of insight into Civil War America.
Essay - 'The Myth of Sysephus' by Albert Camus. One of the great existentialist essays. It does not merely ask difficult questions, but provides answers for the modern man in his daily clash with the great force Camus calls 'the absurd'.
That's all for now.
Also one of the few flawless movies of the last 20 years. The book must be even better!
Have you read William C. Davis
Look Away!: A history of the Confederacy
Great book, made me a John C. Breckenridge fan
You can read it online at the link below
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy- Douglas Adams
Hot, Flat, & Crowded - Milton Freidman
America; The Book - Jon Stewart
I think you mean Hot, Flat & Crowded by Thomas Freidman. I have not read Thomas Freidman, but Milton Freidman was a great economist and author.
You are correct. How that one snuck by the mental filter is beyond me...
I'm reading a collection of Flannery O'Connor's short stories right now. It's too bad she died so young as she was really talented.
There was a thread on this a little while back, but Cormac McCarthy is awesome. Blood Meridian is one of the best books I've read if you can deal with all the blood. I'd definitely recommend it.
I have been waiting to rip into some Flannery for a while now. I am so backed up with my "to read" pile. Damn Modern Warfare 2...
I've been keeping a book of John Cheever's short stories in my bag with me. I can pull it out and work on it whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Depressing, but excellent prose.
True Crime - Try Jack Olsen (Very descriptive).
The Long Walk (True Story of a Trek to Freedom) - Slavomir Rawicz
The Sweet Season - Austin Murphy
The Jungle - Upton Sinclair
So many great books. You've reminded of a few that I need hunt down. Thanks.
In my esteemed opinion, On the Genealogy of Morals and Beyond Good and Evil are required reading for any serious Michigan fan who wants to understand our role as the ultimate nobility in college football.
One's understanding of the concepts and phenomena illustrated in these works will be enhanced by a reading of the ancient Indian epics Mahabharata (esp. the Bhagavad Gita) and Ramayana, as well as the Norse Poetic Edda, the Finnic Kalavela, and the epics of pre-classical Greece. Just to name a few.
For the number of books in the series, I am surprised at the quality of the tale; character developement is fantastic and the world itself is well put together. Actually I recommend books 1-5; I had to take a break from it, hehe.
While I liked the first four books of Wheel of Time, some friends who usually like epic fantasy dropped it. I thought that Jordan was seriously in need of Samurai Editor for the books that followed. Things finally are picking up, but I wonder if he could have finished before his passing. I haven't read the latest one yet, but I'm going to finish the series.
George RR Martin's series A Song of Ice & Fire, mentioned below, is far superior, I think.
I'm currently reading "The Magicians" by Lev Grossman, which is like Harry Potter on drugs. Literally.
Anything by Chuck Palahniuk. Well...almost anything. Not "Pygmy."
"Last Night of the Earth Poems" by Charles Bukowski.
I agree with anything but Pygmy by Palahniuk. I found myself re-reading almost everything in the first couple chapters, then stopped reading it.
Brian's reference to a Malcolm Gladwell essay turned me on to Gladwell. I've since read Outliers and could not put it down.
Another Doris Kearns Goodwin book that is excellent: No Ordinary Time, which is part biography, part history of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.
Another book in the same vein of being part history, part biography is Taylor Branch's Parting the Waters: America in the King Years. It's the first of a trilogy--I have not read the others, but that read like a novel.
Fiction-wise, I love anything by John Irving or Richard Russo. I recently finished E.L. Doctorow's Homer and Langely and wanted to kill myself after finishing it.
Oh how I adore Richard Russo's work. The only negative thing I can say is that at the end of every book, I'm peevish that there aren't another 1000 pages in it.
Anybody else enjoy Michael Connelly's books? I've read about a half dozen of them and for the most part I think they're all pretty good.
Just finished Frankenstein. Pretty big fan of the classics, Dracula, Frankenstein, The Three Musketeers, and Les Miserables. My favorite is probably The Count of Monte Cristo. There are many parallels one can derive from the story of Edmund Dantes and the creature in Frankenstein. Both were benevolent and kind creatures who became marked by revenge and vengeance in part due to circumstances out of their control.
Les Miserables is great - one of my favorite books ever due to the fact that I read insanely fast (which is a curse when it comes to reading for pleasure because books don't entertain me for as long as they should) and Les Miserables one of the few books that can stand up to my reading pace. It took me six weeks. For comparison's sake, Dune took me three days (though I had a lot more free time during those three days.)
But with Hugo - man - get the abridged version. Anyone who hasn't read Les Miserables and wants to, get the abridged version. I was a little peeved at missing out on some of the side trips Hugo likes to take in his books, but I'm working on The Hunchback of Notre Dame now, written by a much less mature Hugo, and man does it plod. I'm almost halfway through and the narrative hasn't quite gotten through 24 hours of time - the rest is flashbacks and history lectures.
The classics though - big thumbs up to them. After I get done with Hunchback I'm jumping into Nicholas Nickleby next. I love Dickens.
I haven't read Hunchback yet, but I don't think getting the abridged version of Les Miserables is necessary. All of the side treks, flashbacks and history lectures are part of what makes Hugo awesome, IMHE.
Yes, it was my favorite of all time and the movie did not even come close to doing it justice. Honestly, the movie needs to be really well done to do the book justice because of the serialized newspaper style that it was written in. There are so many subplots and too much dialouge to truly make it into a great movie IMO.
I also enjoyed 1984, very well done.
I'm rereading the Hobbit now, can't wait to see the movie.
Back in the day network TV would repeat certain movies. The Count of Monte Cristo with Richard Chamberlain was one I grew up with. I also read it many times, once in French (and I learned why the translation was abridged).
That was a very well written book; you'd think Charles Frazier lived back then, it reads so authentically. It's set in the American Civil War time period...
Finished The Stand by Stephen King over Christmas, great read
I read a lot of super-literary stuff, and I also read a lot of Stephen King. For my money, few writers are ever guaranteed to be as entertaining. When you open one of his novels, you know you're in for a good time.
His latest, Under the Dome, is very good. Maybe not quite on par with The Stand and Salem's Lot (my two all-time favorites) but close.
I haven't read Under the Dome yet (I got it for christmas, but don't have the time right now) but I agree that a lot of his recent stuff has been really great. Lisey's Story might be my favorite King book now.
The DT series is great. A little break from the norm for King, but very entertaining. I still need to finish the last one, but the lead up has been great. I'm a big King fan and agree that he is always entertaining. Roland Deschain, ass kicker.
The Stand is a fantastic book. I have read it a couple times and am about due to read it again. Too bad they never made a feature length movie or movies of it. The made for TV one was horrible.
...I have to put my 2 cents in re: Doris Kearns Goodwin, however. Don't read her. Admittedly, she writes very readable, largely accurate historical stuff, but she's kind of a hack. She had the whole plagiarism thing, and every time she opens her mouth to do quasi-political/historical commentary in real time she embarrasses herself. Again, just my 2 cents (maybe she annoys me in ways she wouldn't annoy most), but get your nonfiction elsewhere.
If anyone is a nerd into long, rambling, but really interesting books read "Goedel, Escher, Bach" by Hofstadter (I just finished it). For fiction, I recommend anything Vonnegut (Cat's Cradle and Sirens of Titan are my favorites).
+1 for that. Definitely my favorite author (and inspiration for my screen name). Of course Slaughterhouse V is a classic. I am partial to Galapagos and Mother Night as well. Mother Night is a huge downer on a lot of levels, but leaves you feeling like you just read a great book.
If you're like me, you love a good short story... Here are some my favorites:
Laurie Moore: Self Help
Charles D'Ambrosio: Dead Fish Museum
Denis Johnson: Jesus's Son
Stuart Dybeck: Childhood and other Stories
Aimee Bender: Girl in the Flammable Skirt
Dan Chaon: Among the Missing (Just finished this and wow!)
And of course, as homage to JD Salinger, everyone should read Franny and Zooey (not really short stories...).
I'm trying to get into reading more fiction books, but I have stacks of non-fiction books that I haven't read yet. I will have to look into books mentioned by other mgobloggers.
I just finished Super Freakonomics. It was good, but not great and a easy read, much like the first one.
Some of my favorites:
Milton Friedman - Free to Choose & Capitalism & Freedom
F.A. - Road to Serfdom
Michael Crighton - Prey & State of Fear
John U. Bacon - Bo's Lasting Lessons
Non-fiction. By Erik Larson. The story of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair -- the political and economic forces against the fair, the incredible scientific and cultural changes brought about by the fair...and the story of the mass-murderer who preyed on those who came to the fair.
This was the only time in my life I stayed up all night to finish a book.
...if I remember correctly, Mr. Holmes was a Michigan man!
Forgot all about that. I must have suppressed it.
I can't believe this thread has strayed "on topic."
Just bought this on the recommendation of a co-worker. The whole World's Fair thing is kind of crazy and surreal to me. Maybe that's what Detroit needs to start its comeback.
I don't read a ton of books, but every so often I get in the groove. To me at least, this book was so damn unique ... the weaving of the two stories/plot lines (?) together was just fascinating. I couldn't put it down. And what an amazing time in history, the Exposition! Very cool.
"Whoever Fights Monsters".....By Robert Ressler and Tim Shachtman is an excellent, excellent, read. Also, they have another book in which i've just started entitled, "I Have Lived in the Monster"...
Which is pretty good too.
I've really become interested in true crime lately. Have you read "Helter Skelter"? It's one of the classics, but I haven't tracked it down yet.
Ann Rule has some pretty good stuff as well, check out some of her books sometime. "Lust Killer" was pretty good, creepy as well. BTW, she's also from Lowell, MI.
I can recommend a couple:
Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger. I bought and read this book in the spring of 1991 while a senior in high school. I had just finished my H.S. football career here in SE Michigan and I could not believe how different things were in Texas as opposed to here.
Education of a Felon: A Memoir by Edward Bunker ("Mr Blue" in Reservoir Dogs). Fascinating autobiography about the life he spent in and out of prison.
Those are just two that stick out this minute. Having 3 kids under age 8 hasn't given me much time to read anything of note the last few years. I'm sure some of you on here can relate!
than most MGoBloggers, but I do recommend for anyone "Reagan's War" by Schweizer. It's an accounting of Ronald Reagan's nearly 40 year political career against communism starting from his Hollywood days extending into his presidency, and I think it's really well written and put together (along with sourcing).
For fiction, I'm a full-up Sherlockian, so I tear through any of the Sherlock Holmes related material. If you're looking for something in this vein, I can suggest the Mary Russell series of mystery books by Laurie King (start with Beekeeper's Apprentice), or Holmes on the Range by Steve Hockensmith. Both are excellent independent series of books that stay true to the spirit of Holmesian deduction.
Ugh, now back to my real world job of reading through mountains of foreign military journals and material science conference proceedings....
Also worth a look over is this thread from WAY back:
I dug it up in August much to several people's chagrin. Still, worth a looksie.
I like the following:
1. The James Bond novels by Ian Fleming
2. Anything by P.G. Wodehouse
3. "The Road to Serfdom" by F.A. Von Hayek
4. Any of Mark Frost's golf books
5. Michael Lewis ("Liar's Poker" and "Moneyball")
6. "Den of Theives" by James B. Stewart
7. "Freakonomics" by Dubner and Leavitt
8. Anything by Thomas Sowell
9. Graham Greene spy novels
10. Niall Ferguson "The Ascent of Money"
Is a really fascinating read as well. I'd recommend it to anyone who likes reading about WWII.
"The Nightmare Years" or "the Berlin Diaries" by Shirer as well.
I enjoyed "Ticket to the Fair" (a close look at a mid-'90s Illinois state fair) and "Shipping Out" (a cruise ship experience). Haven't gotten to "Infinite Jest." Big book.