Book recommendation thread for the Holidays (political or otherwise)...

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by blackfox, Dec 5, 2004.

  1. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #1
    So, I figured since it is fast approaching the Holiday/ Gift-giving time and in recognition of the general smarty-pants nature of the contributors here, that I would start a book recommendation thread.

    I think perhaps it would be interesting to see what people are reading, and perhaps it will allow people and excuse to buy a good book for themselves or loved ones. It many also get some people to read more, which is always a good thing.

    I am currently reading MEDITERRANEAN WINTER: THE PLEASURES OF HISTORY AND LANDSCAPE IN TUNISIA, SICILY, DALMATIA AND GREECE by Robert D Kaplan.

    Kaplan is one of my favorite authors, a long time contributer to Atlantic Monthly, and the writer of several Travel/Foreign Policy Books covering the Balkans, the Caucasus, the ME, North America, Africa, Europe and Asia.

    This current book describes his traveling experiences as a youth and how they helped mold his opinions and methodologies in viewing and experiencing the world. Heavy on beautiful encapsulation of the scenery of the Region and sprinkled with ancient Literary references.

    I have more recommendations, but what about the rest of you?
     
  2. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #2
    Flags of our Fathers - James Bradley
    The story of Iwo Jima written by the son of one of the flag raisers


    Non-recommendation:
    The DaVinci Code
    Yuk, what a total waste of my time
     
  3. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #3
    Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson

    i heard his Baroque Cycle series is good, but i've not read them. the first one is on my amazon wish list.

    i also like just about everything by Tom Robbins. Skinny Legs and All, Jitterbug Perfume, and Another Roadside Attraction are my favorites there.

    and the book i've never been able to finish: Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow makes a fun gift.

    others i've read and liked (i'm tired of grabbing URLs, sorry :)
    - the serpent and the rainbow
    - naked lunch
    - trainspotting
    - A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY
    - any of the bill bryson books
     
  4. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #4
    at the moment i haven't got much time for reading but i can full heartly recommend Umberto Eco's "Baudolino" for anybody...very fluid to read for anbody interested (with back ground knowledge) in history and perhaps some religions...seriously i was sitting there laughing tears ...(compared to my complete confusion about his "foucault's pendulum" conpiracy masterpiece ;) )...
     
  5. trebblekicked macrumors 6502a

    trebblekicked

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    #5
  6. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #6
    I have it, but haven't read it yet.
    Its pretty intimidating, so I haven't committed the time to it yet.

    Woof, Woof - Dawg
     
  7. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #7
    Pilgrim at Tinker Creek - Annie Dillard


    Woof, Woof - Dawg
     
  8. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    Jul 4, 2004
    #8
    Just finished:
    Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (fab)

    Have just ordered:
    Cosa Nostra: A History of the Sicilian Mafia
    by John Dickie
    for a friend but want to borrow it from him after he's read it
    :)
     
  9. stubeeef macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

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    #9
    Nothing new here, but if you haven't read The Stand By Stephen King, it is a good, but long, read! Classic good vs evil with biblical overtones.

    The book Contact by Carl Sagan, as this review states
    It amplifies a lot of our discussions!
     
  10. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #10
    "The Queen of the South" by Arturo Perez Reverte

    Just finished, "Goodbye to Berlin" and "Mr. Norris Changes Trains" by Christopher Isherwood, two excellent books about pre-war Berlin.
     
  11. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #11
    It's been awhile since I read it but I remember it as a stream of consciousnes kind of book that was rather hard to follow. It turned me off of her writings until I read "The Living" and the book about her childhood in Baltimore.

    What do you think of it?
     
  12. Thanatoast macrumors 6502a

    Thanatoast

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    #12
    My favorite book is probably The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Quite an eye-opener. Made me think about how things may have gone different, had he lived. I've also started Master of the Senate, a biography of Lyndon Johnson. A surprisingly engaging read, I think.

    As for non-political, for the hard sci-fi fans out there, I would recommend the Honor Harrington series of books by David Weber, beginnng with On Basilisk Station. An incredibly detailed universe, very well thought out, lots of tactics, strategy, politics, and intrigue, with a cast of dozens over the course of (currently) twelve books.
     
  13. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #13
    Pilgrim isn't for everyone, but it made me consciously more aware of my surroundings. There is so much going on around us in the micro world as well as the macro world that we overlook because we think "our" world is all that there is.

    Woof, Woof - Dawg
     
  14. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

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    #14
    The Butlerian Jihad.

    Cause it explains a lot of what happened before the other books started.
     
  15. blackfox thread starter macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #15
    which "other books" are you referring to? Is it part of a series?
     
  16. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #16
    I've contemplated reading Ludlum's Bourne series... Bourne Identity, Bourne Supremacy, etc.

    Any recommendations pro or con for these??

    I haven't seen the movies either.

    Woof, Woof - Dawg
     
  17. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

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    #17
    Dune. Frank Herberts son is writing some of the unfinished novels from his fathers notes and recordings.

    There are 5 new ones so far I think.
     
  18. blackfox thread starter macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #18
    thankyou Xtremehkr.

    BTW, I also recommend NOSTROMO: A TALE OF THE SEABOARD by Joseph Conrad

    I just checked it out of the library for a re-read. i haven't read it in years...

    Probably Conrad's best book, but difficult to read, as it demands attention to detail. Or, it could be my natural ineptitude at that task.

    It is also relevant to an understanding of the human condition and subsequently a sure guide to Foreign Policy.

    Literature can get away with so much truth.

    oh, if anyone's up to it, I also recommend THE HISTORY OF THE RISE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE by Edward Gibbon (It is SIX volumes, however, although I found the three that covered Romes' zenith as a power to the dissolution of the Western Empire two Centuries later, the best)

    Good stuff.
     
  19. pdham macrumors member

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    #19
    I own it and haven't even been able to start it :)

    I also highly recomment White Noise by Don Delillo. It is a satire about American Society and how fear impacts our life. I know this crowd would love it.

    Also really liked My Year of Meats by Ruth L. Ozeki. Great read.

    Thats all for now.
    Ohh, also if you have to buy a gift for a kid 10-15 or so, anything by S.E. Hinton is fabulous. I remember reading all of his books when I was that age.

    Paul
     
  20. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #20
    Might want to check Hinton's bio.
    ;)
     
  21. pdham macrumors member

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    #21

    Ahh... I actually did know that Hinton is a woman... I apologize for the mistake in typing. I feel silly now. :eek:
     
  22. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #22
    No worries. Most people are pretty suprised to find out 'The Outsiders' was written by a girl.

    Stay gold. ;)
     
  23. stubeeef macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

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    #23
    For fantasy fans, my cousin who lives in Edinburgh is an award winning author of a Trilogy!

    The first book The Song in the Silence won a prestigous library award. :)
     
  24. zelmo macrumors 603

    zelmo

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    #24

    I really like Stephenson's work (Snow Crash and Diamond Age were both great). That being said, Cryptonomicon was one tough book to get through. Mentally exhausting, but well worth the effort. I liked it so much, I bought a copy for my boss for Christmas last year. He read it, but told me if I ever gave him another book he'd fire my a$$. I'm reading the first book in the Baroque series now, and have optimistically picked up the second one. So far (200 pages in), so good. Loads of info to overwhelm your mind with.
    Stephenson's books are so densely packed, not fluff like Grisham or Crichton (both of whom I also like).
    If you're just looking for an entertaining read, anything by Dan Brown is pretty good. The Davinci Code has been way hyped, but there's a reason - it's a darn good book. Angels and Demons is better, though.
     
  25. zelmo macrumors 603

    zelmo

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    #25
    Another fine book that no one has mentioned here yet:

    Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand
     

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