Favourite Book(s)

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Favourite Book(s)

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Mar 27, 2007, 1:03 am

Simple enough, what is/are your favourite book(s), and why do you love them so?

2blockp First Message
Edited: Apr 1, 2007, 2:58 pm

The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King defiantly one of my favorite books wont start on why cause i wont stop but defiantly check them out

Mar 31, 2007, 3:12 pm

I haven't read them yet ask me when I'm 80

Mar 31, 2007, 4:04 pm

Without thinking too hard about it, these are the first few I thought of to post.

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, because it changed the way I think about altruism, obligation, charity and personal sacrifice, etc.

To Kill a Mockingbird, because Harper Lee's southern voice resonates with me to this day. It also helped me to be more mindful of prejudice and superficial first impressions. I identified with Scout and I think secretly I adopted Atticus Finch as a surrogate father.

Nickel Mountain by John Gardner. A brilliantly simple and quiet book that lingers emotionally. I read it over a decade ago and when I think of it, it still evokes the same feelings of quiet melancholy, of yearning to be accepted and to not feel alone and the feeling of finally being able to gracefully accept our own limitations.

Ishamael by Daniel Quinn. I had never before thought of the Homo Sapien hubris at assuming because we are the top of the food chain we are entitled to whatever we take and also the that we act in many ways as if evolution stops here.

The Hot Zone by Richard Preston, the scariest book I have ever read. Even more so that is was non-fiction.

Contact by Carl Sagan, again it changed some of my perspectives.

Apr 2, 2007, 7:55 am


Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, because it changed the way I think about altruism, obligation, charity and personal sacrifice, etc.

In what way did Atlas Shrugged change the way you think about these things?

Apr 2, 2007, 7:58 pm

In general, I am just more conscience of the subtle agendas within my actions and I am now much clearer in who I help and why I am helping them. I am a person who for years never said no and spread myself way too thin in doing favors for others. I thought that kind of self-sacrifice made me a good person and yet there were times I resented myself for saying yes and resented other people for asking for so much. After reading AS, I realized that ultimately giving of myself to others is a selfish act, because I did it in part to reaffirm what a good person I was. It was a way for me to pat myself on the back. I got pleasure and a sense of pride out of feeling my actions showed the world what a good person I was and so my "altruistic" acts weren't totally altruistic and possibly never could be with those sort of thought processes . Now I base things more from a place of trying to work on things that truly bother ME. I work with charities, organizations, people, etc. that I feel a personal need to help because helping them actually helps me hurt less for whatever the inequity is in the world.

Apr 3, 2007, 10:08 am

I'm glad to see it didn't completely poison you to the idea that to whom much is given much is expected. I've read the first two sections of Atlas Shrugged and had to put it down for a while. I hope to pick it up again, soon. As I've said elsewhere on this site, I think Ayn Rand herself, in trying to propound her objectivism wrote more against the excesses of communism in her native Russia than a tome on the value of selfishness. I think in many ways she hit the nail on the head as far as the evils of state control of industry went, although she confused the American labor movement in some ways with the communist labor movement. She could just as easily written how the government rewarded success that contributed to the general welfare, while penalizing failure brought on by bad business practices as this book, but I don't think she had the background for it. Hence she wrote an anti-communist diatribe in a country that didn't have a communist problem, reinforcing the political beliefs of people who gravitated to organizations like the John Birch Society, ultimately giving us our current political situation.

I have enjoyed what I've read of this book so far. Her speeches can be somewhat clunky, but for the most part I agree with what she says, it's just that her picture of society is incomplete. Two of the three protagonists were to the manner born, so to speak, while the third was a self made man. Outside of these characters the supporting cast is generally made up of cartoons representing one ideology or another. If Ms. Rand had had a better understanding of American life she might have written a very different book.

Sep 9, 2007, 10:51 am

one of my all-time favourites is The Stand by Stephen King, which I plan to re-read at the end of the month when I have a week off work. There's a bunch of us planning to read it together over at The Book Club Forum, so it should be fun to discuss it with others who are enjoying it at the same time.

I must have read it about a ten times over the last 15-or-so years, and it never ceases to grab me - there's always something fresh about it and it never really dates at all. It's hard to believe that next year sees the 30th anniversary of its first publication!

Sep 10, 2007, 11:05 pm

To Kill a Mockingbird I have read so many times and love it every time.

Pride and Prejudice, I read first in college and have read it probably every year since. My son is reading it now for high school english, and really surprised at how much he likes it. This after years of bugging me about it, and complaining about the BBC P&P mini series...

The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper...I first read it when I was a kid, and love them. They are actually on the TBR(again) pile...

I think for all of these they are compelling stories, interesting even though I know exactly what is going to happen. I also like stories written in other than modern American language, and about other cultures (I know Mockingbird is American, but it is Southern, and I am not...)

Sep 10, 2007, 11:29 pm

blockp: I used to love the Darktower Series. I spent years waiting for the next one to come out. However, the ending is terrible. To go through all of that for...that? Do you like the ending? How do you do it?

geneg: (and Atlaswinks)I liked reading your comments on Atlas Shrugged. I loved Ayn Rand when I was in high school. It was the first school of philosophic thought I was exposed to all wrapped up in this beautiful and romantic novel form. (I read the Fountainhead first, then Atlas Shrugged) However, later in life, her philosophy seemed to break down for me.

Not that it doesn't have it's merits, but in truth she thought that all men were self-made and responsible only to self. But there is no man that does not rely on the knowledge that was there before him, and have yet to meet the man who made his own earth, so he is forced to cooperate with others on the earth that was given to him.

Objectivism is a nice thought, but at the end of the day, we all have to share.:)
Rand was still fantastic at writing a great romantic novel, though. So she remains a favorite.

It's interesting to hear others' praises and criticisms of her.

Sep 11, 2007, 12:01 am

Middlemarch by George Eliot is my favorite book. I know that lots of people find it depressing, but i really don't see that. It's like life. Her characters are the most realistically complex and relatable that I've ever read.