Author Topic: Favorite book of all time  (Read 5554 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

guihong

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6519
Re: Favorite book of all time
« Reply #30 on: October 21, 2012, 06:22:27 PM »
Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury, taking a break from science fiction  :D.  It is the story of Douglas Spaulding, a twelve year old boy, and one eventful summer. 



Tashigi

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 648
Re: Favorite book of all time
« Reply #31 on: October 22, 2012, 01:00:02 AM »
Mine would be Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Its a screamingly funny satire about the Apocalypse and Armageddon.

I can't name my favorite quote because there are just too many of them, but one of them is "[Humans] were born into a world that was against them in a thousand little ways, and then devoted most of their energies to making it worse... Just when you'd think they were more malignant than ever Hell could be, they could occasionally show more grace than Heaven ever dreamed of. Often the same individual was involved. It was this freewill thing, of course. It was a bugger."

My favorite quote from Good Omens - which is an absolutely wonderful book that all should read - is about the protagonist's father. For those who haven't read it, the basic plot is that Armageddon is coming because the Anti-Christ has finally been born. He will be raised by a carefully chosen family in order to come into his full power and evilness and thus eventually cause the end of the world.

Only, there's a mix-up at the hospital and by accident he's given to a normal family, the Youngs. The Young raise him as best they can, so the boy we end up reading about is what happens when someone with the potential to be evil incarnate is raised by decent, caring people. It's all about the freewill thing, as Two Ravens said.

Anyway, my quote, about Adam's father, probably the greatest influence on the boy born to bring hell and damnation into the world:

"Archimedes said that with a long enough lever and a solid enough place to stand, he could move the world.

He could have stood on Mr. Young."

That's who I want raising the spawn of Satan. That man there.

You both just almost turned me from the choice that came to my mind immediately. Because Good Omens is not just solid humor from cover to cover (Nearly ever scene with Madame Tracy cracks me up), but is one of the most profound books I've ever read about human existence.

But I'm still sticking to Matilda by Roald Dahl. Unrepentantly snarky, with a few jokes that only sink in when you get older, but so very well-suited for children without being condescending to them at all. It's also absolutely affirming for smart girls, including an absolutely excellent scathing criticism of only cultivating your looks to marry a rich man. And it touches beautifully on how you make your own family.

zyrs

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1977
  • spiffily male.
Re: Favorite book of all time
« Reply #32 on: October 22, 2012, 04:52:29 AM »
Is a collection of short stories cheating?

"The People" were created by Zenna Henderson and I spent a long time trying to find the stories in anthologies.  Then they put out the book 'Ingathering' which is all the people stories in one place.

iridaceae

  • Boring in real life as well
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3843
Re: Favorite book of all time
« Reply #33 on: October 22, 2012, 06:38:20 AM »
Hunters of the Red Moon!  I read that during my "read all of MZB's books" phase years ago.

My favorite book is probably ...well I'll pick one. Turnabout by Thorne Smith. A husband and wife -always bickering- wake up one day in each other's body.

oz diva

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1139
  • The Classics are SO last Century
Re: Favorite book of all time
« Reply #34 on: October 22, 2012, 07:03:03 AM »
I think I'd nominate a recent book, Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner. It's so beautiful, the story of two couples who meet during the depression and their relationship over the next 50 or so years. It's like a poem. I can't recommend it highly enough.

I also found The Road haunting, it's not actually enjoyable, but it is compelling.

Victoria

scotcat60

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 455
Re: Favorite book of all time
« Reply #35 on: October 22, 2012, 09:34:23 AM »
All Creatures Great and Small

Long before James Herriot, a lady vet called Mary Brancker wrote her memoirs and called them "All Creatures Great and Small"

My favourite is actually a trilogy "The Crystal Cave" "The  Hollow Hills" and "The Last Enchantment" by Mary Stewart. They are about Merlin and King Arthur. "The Hollow Hills" is my favourite, I suppose because I read it first.

HermioneGranger

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2490
Re: Favorite book of all time
« Reply #36 on: October 22, 2012, 09:50:48 AM »
Alice in Wonderland.  I still catch something new every time I read it. 

lowspark

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3965
Re: Favorite book of all time
« Reply #37 on: October 22, 2012, 10:27:25 AM »
Catcher in the Rye. I just love that book.

MariaE

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4602
  • So many books, so little time
Re: Favorite book of all time
« Reply #38 on: October 22, 2012, 10:34:08 AM »
Threads like these really goes to show that one man's trash is another man's treasure (and vice versa). Some of the books here I've loved - others are on the "Worst book I've ever read" short-list ;)

Limiting myself to just one book is pretty much impossible, so the following is just a favourite book of all time, and not the favourite book of all time. That said, I think I'd have to go with Diana Gabaldon's Outlander (a.k.a. Cross-Stitch in the UK) - it's certainly one of the books I've read and reread the most. On her second honeymoon with her husband, Clare is accidentally transported 200 years back in time - back to Scotland in the 1740s. She now has to learn how to get by there, without being burned on the stake as a witch for her weird ways, and hopefully eventually find her way back to the present and her husband.

Love that book :)
 
Dane by birth, Kiwi by choice

sourwolf

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 347
Re: Favorite book of all time
« Reply #39 on: October 22, 2012, 10:38:11 AM »
Ha, you guys have cool stuff. Mine has to be "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn." The themes, the characters, the descriptions were incredibly rich and satisfying.

Boo!  You said mine already!  Written by Betty Smith.

More synopsis.  It is a coming-of-age story of a girl from (guessing here) about 8 to 18 or so during Depression-era Brooklyn.  As Finecabernet says, the descriptions of the characters and the place are amazing.  So many little vignettes are linked together to form a story that captures a time and a place but at the same time it is the story of a unique person and family.  I've probably read it 10-15 times.

Other favorites (yes, cheating here):  To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. 

Betty Smith's other books are pretty good too.

All three of these books have had a profound influence upon me.

This is one of my favorite too, but you were off on the dates a little bit. It's actually the ten years or so prior WW1, with one of the last scene's being Francie's reaction to the newspaper announcing the war.

Oops!

Sorry, I hope that didn't come off as being nit picky, I just reread it over the summer and that last bit really stuck with me.


Like PeterM I have too many favorites to choose just one, so I'll go with the favorite that I'm rereading right now, American Gods by Neil Gaiman.  Really interesting conceit - all of the Gods are real as long as they have believers.  There are a number of interwoven stories but the main plot follows a guy named Shadow.  It's hard to give too much of a summary without revealing some plot points, but it's really a great read.

GraceSullivan

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 358
Re: Favorite book of all time
« Reply #40 on: October 22, 2012, 11:06:31 AM »
I'm going to go with my 'feel good' favorite book, Watchers, by Dean Koontz.

But thanks for the reading suggestions!  Some of the ones mentioned I quite enjoyed, some I slogged through and wouldn't read again, some I hadn't heard of and can't wait to read.  :)

bopper

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12337
Re: Favorite book of all time
« Reply #41 on: October 22, 2012, 01:34:13 PM »
Threads like these really goes to show that one man's trash is another man's treasure (and vice versa). Some of the books here I've loved - others are on the "Worst book I've ever read" short-list ;)

Limiting myself to just one book is pretty much impossible, so the following is just a favourite book of all time, and not the favourite book of all time. That said, I think I'd have to go with Diana Gabaldon's Outlander (a.k.a. Cross-Stitch in the UK) - it's certainly one of the books I've read and reread the most. On her second honeymoon with her husband, Clare is accidentally transported 200 years back in time - back to Scotland in the 1740s. She now has to learn how to get by there, without being burned on the stake as a witch for her weird ways, and hopefully eventually find her way back to the present and her husband.

Love that book :)

Just got it out of the library to re-read!

JenJay

  • I'm a nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6045
Re: Favorite book of all time
« Reply #42 on: October 22, 2012, 11:59:09 PM »
There's only one book I've read three times AND was the first thing I bought for my kindle AND was the first non-children's book I recommended to my kids. That'd be Ender's Game.

Kaora

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1167
  • I'm just a singer in a rock and roll band
Re: Favorite book of all time
« Reply #43 on: October 23, 2012, 12:05:12 AM »
Key Out Of Time by Andre Norton.  It's in the middle of a series, but I love the imagery and how she plays around with the ideas of the divine in a Science Fiction / Alternative History (of another planet) book.  It's a real close call to the book after it, but I go with that one.

It's part of the Time Wars series, if anyone's interested.  It's really underrated... :)

Slartibartfast

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11702
    • Nerdy Necklaces - my Etsy shop!
Re: Favorite book of all time
« Reply #44 on: October 23, 2012, 01:35:32 AM »
Well I was going to say Enchantment by Orson Scott Card, but then someone said Ender's Game, and someone said Good Omens, and someone said Matilda, and I'm torn now  :P

Enchantment is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty (kind of) - the Amazon review says

"Enchantment is the story of a Ukraine-born, American grad student who finds himself transported to the ninth century to play the prince in a Russian version of Sleeping Beauty. Early in the story, he muses that in a French or English retelling of the tale, the prince and princess would live happily ever after. But "only a fool would want to live through the Russian version of any fairy tale." 

I love it because Orson Scott Card writes such fantastic characters (in all his books, but particularly in this one) and he does so much research you really feel like you're a part of the world.  It's a sweet story but funny in the right places and the characters' actions and emotions all make sense.