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Favorite books (Fiction)

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Since I am a big 007 fan, have put one (if not more) of those in. Among 007 novels, there are quite a few options but will go with On Her Majesty's Secret Service by Ian Fleming. Enjoyed the audiobook narrated by David Tennant. 

 

Ok, Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut's name just popped up in my mind as a beautifully written book .... it is great so will add it to the list 

 

Three so far (in no particular order):

 

  • Candide by Voltaire 
  • On Her Majesty's Secret Service by Ian Fleming
  • Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut 

 

Two to go :nervous:

 

 

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I don't own this book and read it a long time ago but it has stayed with me subconsciously. And I always feel like wanting to read this graphic novel again, so will give it a spot:

 

The Maus by Art Spiegelman 

 

The four in no particular order:

 

  • Candide by Voltaire 
  • On Her Majesty's Secret Service by Ian Fleming
  • Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut 
  • The Maus by Art Spiegelman 

 

One more to go .... which one will it be :om:

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22 minutes ago, cowboysfan said:

Catch 22

1984

Dune

Lolita

slaughterhouse-five

 

these are off the top of my head,i used to love reading but i have time now which is  a shame.

 

the list is supposed to be dynamic so it can change when you read a new book and if it is good enough to find a space in your top 5 

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2 hours ago, Vijy said:

yes, indeed. the same also for martin, although I reckon that even if he did write something it won't measure up to his first 3 ASOIAF books.

Readers and critics alike lambasted a feast for crows but I personally enjoyed it whether it be Cersie's intrigues to dominate the court politics or Jaime's riverlands campaign which saw his character arc take a significant leap from it's earlier villainous shadow. 

 

Pity that Martin entered into a permanent sorts of writer's block. A decent ending to the books would have given some closure to the fans who had been simmering with anger after witnessing the last year debacle of GOT. 

 

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17 hours ago, Stradlater said:

Readers and critics alike lambasted a feast for crows but I personally enjoyed it whether it be Cersie's intrigues to dominate the court politics or Jaime's riverlands campaign which saw his character arc take a significant leap from it's earlier villainous shadow. 

 

Pity that Martin entered into a permanent sorts of writer's block. A decent ending to the books would have given some closure to the fans who had been simmering with anger after witnessing the last year debacle of GOT. 

 

there were parts I liked from books 4 and 5 but the original trio were my favs. I agree with what you said regd writer's block, etc

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I used to read a lot. Sometimes, if the book were interesting, I would read till 4-5 in the morning and show up red eyed to work. Frederick Forsyth, Jeffrey Archer, Ken Follett, John Grisham, Dan Brown, Michael Connelly, Harlan Coben, James Siegel, Mario Puzo(Godfather. I thought the book was better than the movie) were some of the authors whose work I remember the most as having enjoyed reading.  Of late, I read about 8-10 books in the Jack Reacher series. Reacher is even more badass than our Bollywood heroes! He dispenses justice in his own style - eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. The most recent book I completed is The Power of the Dog by Don Winslow. The writing style is a bit quirky and might even seem annoying at first, but the material in the story is top notch. If you are interested in knowing how the war on drugs is played out, you will love the book. I can recommend the following as good reads -  The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons, The Odessa File, The Power of the Dog, The Client, Derailed, All we ever wanted was Everything. 

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7 minutes ago, nevada said:

I used to read a lot. Sometimes, if the book were interesting, I would read till 4-5 in the morning and show up red eyed to work. Frederick Forsyth, Jeffrey Archer, Ken Follett, John Grisham, Dan Brown, Michael Connelly, Harlan Coben, James Siegel, Mario Puzo(Godfather. I thought the book was better than the movie) were some of the authors whose work I remember the most as having enjoyed reading.  Of late, I read about 8-10 books in the Jack Reacher series. Reacher is even more badass than our Bollywood heroes! He dispenses justice in his own style - eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. The most recent book I completed is The Power of the Dog by Don Winslow. The writing style is a bit quirky and might even seem annoying at first, but the material in the story is top notch. If you are interested in knowing how the war on drugs is played out, you will love the book. I can recommend the following as good reads -  The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons, The Odessa File, The Power of the Dog, The Client, Derailed, All we ever wanted was Everything. 

I read Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons, a long time ago, and still remember those. We may see the 10th anniversary edition launched :dontknow: .... Many of the other books on your list, I read when I was in school/college .... yet to read Reacher 

 

So what are your favorite 5?

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4 minutes ago, zen said:

I read Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons, a long time ago, and still remember those. We may see the 10th anniversary edition launched :dontknow: .... Many of the other books on your list, I read when I was in school/college .... yet to read Reacher 

 

So what are your favorite 5?

Five is difficult, I will name fav 3 - Da Vinci Code, The Power of the Dog, The Odessa File.

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2 hours ago, Vijy said:

there were parts I liked from books 4 and 5 but the original trio were my favs. I agree with what you said regd writer's block, etc

IMO Storm of Swords is easily the greatest fantasy book ever written even surpassing the fellowship. It had everything from adventure to humor to mystery and suspense. 

I agree with your assertion that George peaked by that one. 

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8 minutes ago, Jimmy Cliff said:

Haven't read fiction in a long time but I remember liking Sacred Games quite a bit. It was a quite a dense and atmospheric read despite a tame ending. The web series did zero justice to it.

 

Btw any recommendations on books on Geopolitics?

If you are interested in the rise of Islamic radicalism starting from its initial days of Syyed Qutb's dream of ummah during his university days in the US and all the way to the attack on the twin towers, I would recommend A looming tower. 

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On 1/25/2020 at 4:58 PM, zen said:

I don't own this book and read it a long time ago but it has stayed with me subconsciously. And I always feel like wanting to read this graphic novel again, so will give it a spot:

 

The Maus by Art Spiegelman 

 

The four in no particular order:

 

  • Candide by Voltaire 
  • On Her Majesty's Secret Service by Ian Fleming
  • Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut 
  • The Maus by Art Spiegelman 

 

One more to go .... which one will it be :om:

 When I look at my list above, I see a pattern (in my current taste) where most of the books meet some of the combination below: 

  • They are novellas or relatively short novels  (around 300 pages or less) 
  • They touch upon serious topics in a light manner and/or are satirical 
  • These are books that I can read multiple times esp. Candide 

 

I still have to list one. Now there are books that I could list but I have reserved the spot for one book, which I am yet to read. Have ordered it and it is on its way: 

 

 

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Those who like books such as Da Vinci Code, there is The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco as well.  The book has been in my library for some time but I have started to read it.  Also just finished watching the TV series based on the book. 

 

With monks, a monastery in the mountains, history, etc., it reminds me of my own book as well :proud: 

 

 

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On 1/29/2020 at 6:57 PM, zen said:

Those who like books such as Da Vinci Code, there is The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco as well.  The book has been in my library for some time but I have started to read it.  Also just finished watching the TV series based on the book. 

 

With monks, a monastery in the mountains, history, etc., it reminds me of my own book as well :proud: 

 

 

umberto eco's writings are almost invariably good-to-excellent. bona fide intellectual IMO.

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50 minutes ago, Vijy said:

too many to name, and I don't have a clear top 5 either.

It can be difficult to pick 5 out of numerous great books .... I found that difficult too but to  address that I set some criteria, along with some preferences .... of course, my list is dynamic so it can change (and of course if the criteria change) 

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32 minutes ago, Mariyam said:

I prefer reading non fiction. On topic->

1984

Animal Farm

Point Counterpoint

Piccadilly Jim

Crime and Punishment

The Picture of Dorian Gray

 

@zen Strictly speaking 'Maus' isn't fiction. Its what Artie's dad lived through during the Holocaust. Its an allegorical representation of his struggle at survival.

Have You by any chance had the chance to read the Brothers Karamazov? 

An absolute must if you are into classics. 

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Quote

@zen Strictly speaking 'Maus' isn't fiction. Its what Artie's dad lived through during the Holocaust. Its an allegorical representation of his struggle at survival.

Yeah, the author had requested Time to move the book to non-fiction category but he also contradicted by suggesting it to be a work of fiction (maybe many parts of it), so I guess, it is a mix of both .... I read it a long time ago and also felt that it could have been a mix of both. Though a new reading of it could make me form a different opinion 

 

I would be happy to replace it on my list with another book. Since I am reading and like The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco , maybe it can take Maus's place! 

 

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17 minutes ago, Stradlater said:

Have You by any chance had the chance to read the Brothers Karamazov? 

An absolute must if you are into classics. 

I absolutely liked Brothers Karamazov. It does require some pre-reading on the trends in philosophy of the era and life of the Russian peasant and land owning class.

I was a part of a book appreciation club hosted by the marhoom Eunice D'Souza. She generally shared her expositions at the end of every discussion. We discussed the Russian classics for 8 of the 10 months that I could attend their sessions.

The authors we covered were: Dostoevsky, Asimov, Chekov, Nabokov and Tolstoy.

 

If philosophy is your thing, a must read is "the story of Philosophy" by Will Durant. I read this book after/during I read Brothers Karamazov.

 

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Updated lis:

 

  • Candide by Voltaire 
  • On Her Majesty's Secret Service by Ian Fleming
  • Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut 
  • The Maus by Art Spiegelman  The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco  (bullied by @Mariyam to classify Maus as non-fiction :((
  • In Parenthesis by David Jones (In the process of reading this unique book)
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1 hour ago, zen said:

Updated lis:

 

  • Candide by Voltaire 
  • On Her Majesty's Secret Service by Ian Fleming
  • Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut 
  • The Maus by Art Spiegelman  The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco  (bullied by @Mariyam to classify Maus as non-fiction :((
  • In Parenthesis by David Jones (In the process of reading this unique book)

PS one of my criteria is that the book can be read multiple times by me. Though it is a great book, not sure if The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco  will fall into that category (still reading it in conjunction with other books)

 

If required, I may replace it with one of the Corto Maltese books by Hugo Pratt - Link 

 

 

Le Monde's 100 Best - https://thegreatestbooks.org/lists/108  has The Ballad of the Salty Sea on it (#62) .... While the Name of the Rose is at #14 .... ICF's most popular book so far, 1984,  is at #22

 

 

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1 hour ago, Mariyam said:

I absolutely liked Brothers Karamazov. It does require some pre-reading on the trends in philosophy of the era and life of the Russian peasant and land owning class.

I was a part of a book appreciation club hosted by the marhoom Eunice D'Souza. She generally shared her expositions at the end of every discussion. We discussed the Russian classics for 8 of the 10 months that I could attend their sessions.

The authors we covered were: Dostoevsky, Asimov, Chekov, Nabokov and Tolstoy.

 

If philosophy is your thing, a must read is "the story of Philosophy" by Will Durant. I read this book after/during I read Brothers Karamazov.

 

Thanks. Would love to check it out in the future. These days I'm busy reading modern European and medieval Indian history. 

Speaking of Chekhov, I remember there used to be this serial on doordarshan that used to go by the name Chekhov ki duniya I think? Was based on his short stories. Superbly entertaining and funny in a sort of way. 

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1 hour ago, Mariyam said:

Would like to add the following the list of my favourite fiction books:

The Stranger by Camus. 

The Holy Quran         I kid I kid  

 

 

I found The stranger quite strange to tell you the truth. Had to re-read it in order to fully grasp the deeper message and I'm not sure I quite got it in the end lol. 

 

Also The Quran is quite bland. No offense. 

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4 minutes ago, Stradlater said:

Thanks. Would love to check it out in the future. These days I'm busy reading modern European and medieval Indian history. 

Speaking of Chekhov, I remember there used to be this serial on doordarshan that used to go by the name Chekhov ki duniya I think? Was based on his short stories. Superbly entertaining and funny in a sort of way. 

Chekov's : The Proposal and Dostoevsky's : The Idiot were enacted by Motley Crew (Nasiruddin Shah's stage venture) on various occasions across the nation. If you get the chance, you must watch these. *You* will love em.

 

I haven't seen the serial you mentioned. Shall take a look if its available on YT.

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40 minutes ago, Stradlater said:

I found The stranger quite strange to tell you the truth. Had to re-read it in order to fully grasp the deeper message and I'm not sure I quite got it in the end lol. 

Also The Quran is quite bland. No offense. 

I had to re-read parts of The Stranger too! Can we discuss book endings here? Might spoil the fun for the others who haven't read the book.

 

I was joking about the Holy Quran as favourite work of *fiction*. meh.

It can be slightly difficult to follow given that it is not in a chronological order and some verses abrogate previous verses, which because the book isn't in chronological order come after the latter verses. Can get very confusing. 

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Just now, Mariyam said:

I had to re-read parts of The Stranger too! Can we discuss book endings here? Might spoil the fun for the others who haven't read the book.

 

I was joking about the Holy Quran as favourite work of *fiction*. meh.

It can be slightly difficult to follow given that it is not in a chronological order and some verses abrogate previous verses, which because the book isn't in chronological order com after the later verses. Can get very confusing. 

Isn't there a spoiler tag for that sort of thing? 

The ending definitely seemed unconventional. 

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On 2/3/2020 at 5:29 AM, Stradlater said:

@Vijy Have you read The Witcher series? 

yes, I did. several yrs before witcher 3 and before the poor iteration of the tv series. they are lovely books - not masterpieces or "great" perhaps - but nice world-building, good prose, 3D characters who show growth, etc.

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