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Your favourite novels

agrah upadhyay
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Joined: Sep 01, 2005
Posts: 579
Recently i finished Atlas Shrugged.Its my favourite reading so far.
I liked The Fountainhead,The Alchemist as well intersting.Illusions rather disappointed me.Now i am reading Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance.
What about you?
Pradeep bhatt
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Joined: Feb 27, 2002
Posts: 8919

I dont read novels.


Groovy
Chetan Parekh
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Joined: Sep 16, 2004
Posts: 3636
Nowadays I am reading "Satya Na Prayogo", which is auobiography of Gandhi in Gujarati.
[ February 20, 2007: Message edited by: Chetan Parekh ]

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Srikanth Raghavan
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Joined: Oct 31, 2005
Posts: 389
I am reading Blink by Malcom Gladwell. At first it was interesting but later I got bored so I am planning to stop reading it. Now I am planning to read "Tipping Point" by the same author.

-- Srikanth
R K Singh
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Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5371
Originally posted by Chetan Parekh:
Nowadays I am reading "Satya Na Prayogo", which is auobiography of Gandhi in Gujarati.


Have you read "Satyagraha in South Africa" ??

This book changed my views about M. Gandhi ji, now I respect him more than I used to do.

I heard that "The Making of the Mahatma" by Shayam Benegal is based on the mention novel.


"Thanks to Indian media who has over the period of time swiped out intellectual taste from mass Indian population." - Chetan Parekh
R K Singh
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Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5371
Originally posted by agrah upadhyay:
Recently i finished Atlas Shrugged.Its my favourite reading so far.


I liked Fountainhead better than Atlas ..

I think, She saw world is in black & white. She forgot to see/mention grey areas.
Satish Chilukuri
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Joined: Jun 23, 2005
Posts: 266
Contact by Carl Sagan. Science fiction at its best.
Frank Silbermann
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Joined: Jun 06, 2002
Posts: 1387
_Unintended Consequences_, by John Ross. If you like Ayn Rand, you'll probably like this one.
[ February 20, 2007: Message edited by: Frank Silbermann ]
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20572
    ∞

Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead are probably the best two books I've ever read. I cannot decide which is my favorite.

I never finished Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I thought the first third of the books was fantastic. I thought the pages that followed were a mix of "way over my head" and "yak yak yak" boring. I quit reading about 3/4 of the way through.

As for the black and white of "Atlas": I think that was part of the genius art of the book. Kinda like a massive detailed painting 20 stories high - all black and white. No gray. No color. Plus, imagine if she had used gray or color: the book would have to be 20 times larger!!! By limiting the book to black and white, Rand was able to pack a powerful, rich message into one (large) book.

Rand may be the greatest artistic genius of all time.

As for other books: The Harry Potter series is exceptionally well written. So digestable. So colorful. It is amazing how you crave the arrival of the next book. Although the books have been getting so dark ....

If you like to have a good laugh, get books by Carl Hiaasen. Maybe start with "Native Tongue" or "Sick Puppy."

I'm sure everybody here has read everything written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?

Gregory MacDonald's Fletch series is a fun read.


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marc weber
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Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

House of Leaves* by Mark Z. Danielewski.

Warning: Post-modern "art" novel with unconventional formatting.


* The "Remastered Full-Color Edition" has all strikethrough text in red. Otherwise, it looks the same to me.

[
[ February
[ February 20,
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[ February 20, 2007: Message
[ February 20, 2007: Message edited
[ February 20, 2007: Message edited by:
[ February 20, 2007: Message edited by: marc
[ February 20, 2007: Message edited by: marc weber
[ February 20, 2007: Message edited by: marc weber ]

"We're kind of on the level of crossword puzzle writers... And no one ever goes to them and gives them an award." ~Joe Strummer
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Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
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Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Ok, I kept my mouth shut long enough. I can't do it forever! My apologies in advance.

I tried to read "Atlas Shrugged". Twice. I gave up after a few pages on the first try, because I thought the writing is pathetic. I made myself to read it again, because so many people I respect love it, so I wanted to understand what it is that make them love the book. I worked really hard, but I still gave up after few more pages. I just couldn't make myself to read it.

I think, this woman has no writing talent whatsoever. She suffered through severe recurrent episodes of graphomania. A decent high school freshman would kick her ass.

Can somebody tell me what I am missing?


Uncontrolled vocabularies
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paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20572
    ∞

I thought her writing was really good. Especially since english is not her native language.

Her native language .... Map .... is Russian!
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
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Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11295
    
  16

I read The Fountainhead. I don't get it. I did not find the book entertaining at all.


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Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Paul: Her native language .... Map .... is Russian!

I know. And I tried to read her in both English and Russian translation -- didn't help.

I thought her writing was really good. Especially since english is not her native language.

I don't think it matters here. You can write something interesting even if your command of the language isn't that good. (Actually, sometimes it only makes you sound more interesting). Or you can write platitudes in a perfectly readable language.
[ February 20, 2007: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
marc weber
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Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
... I tried to read "Atlas Shrugged". Twice. I gave up after a few pages on the first try, because I thought the writing is pathetic. I made myself to read it again, because so many people I respect love it, so I wanted to understand what it is that make them love the book. I worked really hard, but I still gave up after few more pages. I just couldn't make myself to read it...

That's interesting, because I went through exactly the same thing trying to read William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch. Eventually, I found an audio CD of Burroughs reading some of his shorter works (Spare-Ass Annie and Other Tales). When I heard his delivery, I suddenly got it! I was reading his words, but completely missed the satiric deadpan driving it. Once I understood where he was coming from, everything changed, and Burroughs quickly became my favorite author.

Now, I have to admit that I haven't gotten to Rand yet, so I can't directly address her novels. But I am suggesting that certain works require a fresh approach on the part of the reader, and I'm glad I didn't give up on Burroughs.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61180
    
  66

OK, in contrast to the high-brows here, I'm a fan of Sci-Fi. Some of my old-time favorites off the top of my head:

Dune (Herbert)
The Mote in God's Eye (Niven,Pournelle)
The Gods Themselves (Asimov)
Hellstrom's Hive (Herbert)
Colossus (Jones)
The Humanoids (Williamson)
Childhood's End (Clarke)
Rendezvous with Rama (Clarke)
To Say Nothing of the Dog (Willis)


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Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
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Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24184
    
  34

This thread comes back every couple months, doesn't it?

Let's see: since the last time this came around, I was on a sci-fi jag again for a while. In the last couple of months I've read or re-read a bunch of Asimov's Robot Series: I, Robot; Robots of Dawn; and Robot Dreams, which is a story collection (well, so is "I, Robot", really.) I also read a big fat book that collects all the Douglas Adams "Hitchhiker" novels and stories. Right now I'm reading the new Amy Tan, "Saving Fishes from Drowning".


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Mapraputa Is
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Marc: When I heard his delivery, I suddenly got it! I was reading his words, but completely missed the satiric deadpan driving it. Once I understood where he was coming from, everything changed, and Burroughs quickly became my favorite author.

Ah, that's what I am asking for! For somebody to explain what part I am missing.

EFH: Right now I'm reading the new Amy Tan, "Saving Fishes from Drowning".

That's not fair - *I* was going to read it!
Chetan Parekh
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Joined: Sep 16, 2004
Posts: 3636
Originally posted by R K Singh:


Have you read "Satyagraha in South Africa" ??

This book changed my views about M. Gandhi ji, now I respect him more than I used to do.

I heard that "The Making of the Mahatma" by Shayam Benegal is based on the mention novel.


Thanks RK, I will have look at that book.
agrah upadhyay
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Joined: Sep 01, 2005
Posts: 579
Have you read "Satyagraha in South Africa" ??

i have read his 'Autobiography' as well as 'Satyagraha in South Africa' many years ago in Hindi.But those i do not consider as novels.They are classics
Dave Lenton
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Joined: Jan 20, 2005
Posts: 1241
Originally posted by Bear Bibeault:
.. I'm a fan of Sci-Fi. Some of my old-time favorites off the top of my head...
Nice list. Dune is probably my favourite there. Does anyone else find the prequels written by Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson to be pretty awful and suspect that their Dune sequels will be similarly bad? Given that Frank Herbert never properly finished the Dune series, I'm intrigued to see how it will all finish, but the prequels were so bad that I'm not sure I want to read their version of how it all ends. I'm betting that they bend the story to make their Omnius idea more important than whatever Frank Herbert actually had in mind.

Back to good Sci-Fi, among my favourites are:

* The Dispossessed - Ursula Le Guin
* Red Mars - Kim Stanley Robinson
* Iain Banks - Use Of Weapons

I've just finished reading the first four books in the Ender's Game series, which were also quite good, especially Xenocide.


There will be glitches in my transition from being a saloon bar sage to a world statesman. - Tony Banks
Jim Yingst
Wanderer
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Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 18671
[agrah]: But those i do not consider as novels.They are classics

It's possible for a novel to be a classic, and it's possible for an autobiography (or any biography) to be a classic. But novels and biographies are two different things.

Me, I'm another SF/F nut, but don't read so much any more, so most of my favorites are not that recent. I like much of Bear's and Dave's lists. (Sorry EFH - Asimov's kind of hit and miss for me, and the HHG books rate as merely good for me, not great.) Favorites already mentioned would include Dune, Childhood's End, the first two Ender books, and The Dispossessed. I'm very tempted to include Mote and Use of Weapons too, but I need to make some space for a few other things:

Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons
A Game of Thrones and sequels, by George R. R. Martin
Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein
Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny
The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge
Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress

Dave, I never read any of the posthumous Dune books myself. I have yet to hear anything good about them that would imply they have any real connection to Frank Herbert's actual work.

Currently I'm reading World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks. Not exactly a classic, but entertaining. I also recently started Triplanetary by E.E. Smith, a classic space opera. (Smith pretty much invented space opera.) Fun, but I got interrupted when the library got in the copy of WWZ which I'd put on hold. Minor scheduling conflict; will get back to it. And I recently finished The Killer Angels, a historical fiction account of the Battle of Gettysburg. Very well done. Hey, wait a minute - how'd a non-SF/F book get in there? Must be a mistake of some sort.
[ February 21, 2007: Message edited by: Jim Yingst ]

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Mani Ram
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Joined: Mar 11, 2002
Posts: 1140
I'm saving my copies of "The Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged". I will definitely need them when I construct the
invisible book shelves

I prefer non-fiction over fictional works and even among the fictions, I prefer short stories over novels. Some of my favorite novels (among the very few I have read)

  • Alice in wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  • I, Claudius by Robert Graves
  • Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  • Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
  • The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Dictionary of the Khazars by Milorad Pavich


  • [ February 22, 2007: Message edited by: Mani Ram ]

    Mani
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    Mark Spritzler
    ranger
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        6

    I am also in the same boat with Atlas Shrugged #1 then The Fountainhead #2.

    Mark


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    Dave Lenton
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    Joined: Jan 20, 2005
    Posts: 1241
    Originally posted by Jim Yingst:
    Dave, I never read any of the posthumous Dune books myself. I have yet to hear anything good about them that would imply they have any real connection to Frank Herbert's actual work.
    A few years back I borrowed another Kevin Anderson book from the library and it had almost exactly the same writing style as the Dune prequels (some nice ideas, but clich�d, simplistic and no character development) which makes me think that the Dune prequels are pretty much written by him. It seems he's just cashing in on the "Dune" name to make a bit of money.

    Having read some books by Christopher Tolkien and seen the effort he went to attempting to and give them the same feel as his father's books, the Dune prequals were a huge dissapointment. It would have been better if Brian Herbert had just published his father's notes rather then giving them to a second rate writer to plagarise.
    R K Singh
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    Joined: Oct 15, 2001
    Posts: 5371
    Originally posted by Paul Wheaton:

    Her native language .... Map .... is Russian!


    Oh .. I was thinking she was German ..
    R K Singh
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    Joined: Oct 15, 2001
    Posts: 5371
    Originally posted by agrah upadhyay:
    i have read his 'Autobiography' as well as 'Satyagraha in South Africa' many years ago in Hindi.


    FYI.. both were written originally in Gujrati
    [ February 22, 2007: Message edited by: R K Singh ]
    Mapraputa Is
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    Posts: 10065
    Mark: I am also in the same boat with Atlas Shrugged #1 then The Fountainhead #2.

    In which boat? There are two of them.

    Anyway, I asked my favorite language blogger about "Atlas Shrugged" and his response was:

    No, you are absolutely correct: she's a terrible writer.


    This means we won.

    His explanation of popularity of Rand's novels was that "her glorification of the Solitary Great Man" appeals to a certain part of the audience. I need to meditate on the meaning of this "glorification of the Solitary Great Man" thing...
    [ February 22, 2007: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
     
    I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
     
    subject: Your favourite novels