Phx Recommended Reading List

Discussion in 'SouthWest Region Discussion' started by kreleia, Dec 19, 2001.

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  1. Professor Moriarty Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 1999
    star 5
    All 56 short stories and 4 novels in the Sherlock Holmes canon by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
  2. Professor Moriarty Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 1999
    star 5
    Now I'm really starting to wonder, what non-fiction books do you guys recommend? Other than Steven Hawking.
  3. Idiots Array Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2000
    star 5
    On War by Carl von Clausewitz

    Buddhism Plain and Simple by Stephen Hagan.

    That's the short list; I'll have to check my book shelves when I get home.

    India Alpha
  4. skywalkersound Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 16, 2001
    star 3
    Some of these books have been posted, but this is my list of my fav books.

    1984- orwell
    Johnny got his gun
    Theories of Modern ART; Chipp
    The Art Spirit; Henri
    Catcher in the Rye
    Kiss the Girls- James Patterson
    Jack and Jill- James Patterson
    Brave New World- Aldous Huxley
    The Canturberry Tales- Chaucer
    Beowulf
    The Hobbit
    Lord of the Rings (trilogy)
    Paradise Lost
    Animal Farm- Orwell
    The Case for Christ- Lee Strobel
    Who wrote the Bible?- Eliot Freedman
    The God Makers
    Night- elie wesiel
    The 12th planet
    Anything by Edgar Allen Poe
  5. Gavin Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 1, 2001
    Most Anne Rice books are good reads, especially the Vampire Chronicles and the books involving the Mayfair witches.

    I don't recall if anyone mentioned Shadows of the Empire but I enjoyed that too. I thought it was a good bridge between TESB and ROTJ.
  6. dustchick Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2000
    star 1
    Non-fiction? I have a few recommendations off the top of my head:

    "Demon-haunted World - Science as a Candle in the Dark" - Carl Sagan

    "Black Holes and Time Warps" - Kip Thorne (first part is difficult, but is a nice mix of anecdotes and history as well as science)

    Any of the books on medieval history by Frances and Joseph Gies

    "The Twelve Caesars" - Suetonius - the major source for "I, Claudius"

    "On Writing" - Stephen King
  7. Emperor_Dan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 1999
    star 4
    Anyone else read the "His Dark Materials" trilogy by Phillip Pullman?
  8. kreleia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 5
    Non-fiction books? Uhhh... er..... umm..... ?[face_plain] **stares silently at bookshelf for a loooooong time**

    Well, I suppose these will work:

    The Search For Life In The Universe - my old college Astronomy textbook. Lots of cool stuff in there.

    Couplehood - by Paul Reiser (yes, the actor/comedian) Hilarious and truthful look at being in a marriage.

    Mythologies - by Roland Barthes - this guy is twisted. It's a series of essays based on his observances of society. Very very interesting. (also from college)

    Man's Search For Meaning - by Viktor E. Frankl One of the best, most interesting looks at surviving the Holocaust (he was a psychiatrist who was imprisoned at Auschwitz).

    I'm sure there are others, but I can't think of them right at the moment.

    kreleia ^.^

    EDIT: And of course, now that I'm thinking about it, here's three more:

    I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings - by Maya Angelou (her autobiography)

    Woe Is I - The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English In Plain English - by Patricia T. O'Conner - this one had me in stitches; but remember, I majored in English.

    Words Fail Me - What Everyone Who Writes Should Know About Writing - by Patricia T. O'Conner (again) - Laughed through this one too. It's great stuff!
  9. dustchick Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2000
    star 1
    About "His Dark Materials", I've read the first and liked it quite a bit. I've heard conflicting opinions of the other two in the trilogy.

    Kreleia, you might be interested in the poetry of Paul Lawrence Dunbar. His poem "Sympathy" contains the line "I know why the caged bird sings". He was an early African-American poet, and "Sympathy" is an amazing poem.
  10. kreleia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 5
    Cool! I didn't know that! Actually, I probably did, but wasn't paying much attention during the lecture (I originally read the book in college too, but have re-read it since and really love it).

    Thanks for the info dustchick- I'll have to check out his work! :)

    kreleia ^.^
  11. EmprsHandMick Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2001
    star 4
    I second the Sherlock Holmes recommendation. As far as nonfiction though, Sun Tzu's "Art of War", Richard Preston "Hot Zone" (this one's some scary ****!), and hmm... I had another one in mind, but I lost it. I'll let you know when I remember it again.
  12. Emperor_Dan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 1999
    star 4
    Well, if you've read the first, I'd suggest reading the others. They take the story in a different direction, but there's so much better IMO. If you're really religious, just read the books with an open mind.
  13. Lord_Erly Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2001
    star 1
    kreleia, I love your choice of books there.

    Reading Wheel of Time Book III (The Dragon Reborn) at the moment, and it's awesome.

    If only it wasn't 700 pages strong... I'm such a slow reader. :)
  14. Bria Manager Emeritus, -MNFF Council

    Member Since:
    May 15, 1999
    star 7
    I don't think it's been mentioned, but I'd highly recommend Han Solo fans to read the Han Solo trilogy by A.C. Crispin. :) That's probably not too surprising coming from me. :D Seriously though, Brian Daley's Han Solo Adventures are great, but they, unlike the Han Solo trilogy lack depth, IMHO at least. ;)

    ~*~Bria
  15. aztrooper0013 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2002
    star 2
    Sci-Fi:

    Pretty much any SW book is fine...With a few exceptions.

    Farienheit 451 - Ray Bradbury

    I, Robot - Issac Asimov

    Michael Criton's "Dinos get wacky and eat people"

    The X Chronicles - Cannot remember the author, but I read it in the eighth grade, and it was a kickass book.

    Robotech: The novels are really great.

    Fantasy - I really don't read much of this, but:

    Bad Omens - Satan's son is misplaced at birth, and everyone's looking for the wicked little lad. The four bikers of the Apocolypse pretty much steal the whole book in my opinion.

    Red Branch - Morrigan Lywellyn
    Lion of Ireland - Morrigan Lywellyn
    and the one about Finn MacCool. Same author.

    Fiction:

    Tom Clancy books rule.

    Icemen - Can't remember the author's name, but this is a "military action" novel about my old Squadron in the Navy, VXE-6. Absolutely hilarious book.....If you actually served in that particular squadron.

    The Adventures of Tom Sawer - Mark Twain

    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain

    Non-Fiction:
    The way it is - Rush Limbaugh
    See, I told you so - Rush Limbaugh

    Just damn entertaining books:

    Calvin & Hobbes: Scientific Progress goes Boink.

    Calvin & Hobbes: Yukon Ho! (Not to be confused with "Van Buren Ho!" which is a *totally* different book altogether.)

    Far Side - Any of them.


  16. kreleia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 5
    Wait 'til you get to books 4 and 5, Lord_Erly. :) They're both 900+ pages. I just finished 5 the other night (for the second time)... **whew**

    Ah, yes, gotta love The Far Side. :D There's something about cows with rim-horned glasses that's just hilarious.

    Forgot a book in my general Fiction category:

    Their Eyes Were Watching God - by Zora Neale Hurston. Read it in high school first, then a few times in college. Well worth every re-read, too. Very very good. :)

    kreleia ^.^
  17. EmprsHandMick Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 7, 2001
    star 4
    Ditto the Limbaugh books! :)
    Also, a good book for encouraging general awareness of your surroundings, "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin de Becker. Just ignore the anti-gun ramblings. :)
  18. sideshow212 Former RSA

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2002
    star 4
    "where did you dig up that old fossil?" hehe had to resurrect an old thread to put my two cents in...

    #1 gotta give it up to the RJ and the wheel of time, hands down my favorite books!(i have the lion of andor tatooed on my back! how big of a fan am i!) :p

    #2 david eddings has some awesome book series' too, a close second...like the belgariad, mallorean, elenium, and tamuli

    #3 stephen king's dark tower series; gunslinger, drawing of the three, wastelands, wizard and glass; and the stand; absolutely brilliant!

    #4 also gotta love hitchikers guide...classic stuff, love it!
    (BTW, douglas adams passed away recently.... he will be missed.... :( :_| )

    #5 "villains by necessity" by eve forward... a VERY hard-to-find book, but the funniest fantasy novel i have ever read!!!

    and some others too, prolly way to many to list here!
  19. Anwelei Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 26, 2001
    star 3
    Duuude, I want to see that tattoo, sideshow. That sounds really cool!

    Hm, my number one book of all time is Wuthering Heights. If you like freaky Victorian novels that go on forever about ghost and gypsies for no apparent reason, this one takes the cake.

    Oh, Things Fall Apart and Cry, the Beloved Country are really great novels about clashing African and European civilization. I cried through both.
  20. jupitertronic Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 10, 2002
    star 3
    Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror/Fiction/etc.

    The Giver... Lois Lowry
    technically a kids book but you probably would never guess. i haven't read this in years but it's really stuck with me. it was one of those books i could just envision perfectly.

    A Clockwork Orange... Anthony Burgess
    if for no other reason than to figure out all the slang terms (yarbles, droogs, malenky, pletchoes, razrez, viddy), read this. if you're impressionable, prepare to start thinking violent thoughts.

    The Collected Short Stories of Philip K. Dick (Volume 1)... Philip K. Dick ;p
    ooh he's cool. the interesting thing about him is i read the first story in there and was just kind of confused, thinking i'd missed part of the story because it didn't really make sense. well he's a tricky writer, turns out that's just how he is. his stories all end pretty ambiguously or kind of make you chuckle at how nutty they are, but wow they're good.

    Dune Messiah... Frank Herbert
    ack what's not to like? there's angst, prescience, gholas, death, disfigurement... this book is great.

    Interview with the Vampire... Anne Rice
    read this. no, don't think about it. just read it. and then rent the movie, because it's great.

    The Vampire Lestat... Anne Rice
    great book. got some weird themes in it, but it's great. and the end will make you run to the bookstore to buy queen of the damned, which follows it. then you'll be disappointed with that one a few pages in, hehe (i've never finished queen of the damned).

    Pandora... Anne Rice
    this is about the vampire pandora who was born and raised in rome, fell in love with marius (who created armand, if you follow these stories) as a young girl had to flee to antioch. or maybe it was from antioch to rome, i forget. good book though, and a quick read.

    and no i'm not really an "anne rice fan," even though i do like her stuff, so don't write me off. ;)

    The Thief of Always... Clive Barker
    ah i love this book. little harvey swick is bored with life ("eaten by the great grey beast february") and gets a visit from a guy named rictus who comes through his window one day. he tells harvey he knows a place where he can go on vacation, mr. hood's holiday house, and he decides he'll go. and he enjoys it there, but there's a catch...mwa ha ha. :D

    Weaveworld... Clive Barker
    really awesome but admittedly boring at parts, longer than it should be and it takes a while to get to the good parts. but it's a good book. a girl in the story has this power called the menstruum, where this silvery liquid comes from her..hmm and she can make it do things, sort of. it sounds more disgusting than it is lol. and it works very well in the book.

    Memoirs of a Geisha... William Golden
    wow this book is good. i cried. and then i cried more. and more. and actually it was a happy ending. it's just...touching. a girly book i guess, but it was recommended to me by a guy so it's not impossible for guys to enjoy it. it's the only book i've read that i immediately wanted to read again once i finished it.

    david and lisa/jordi/little ralphie and the creature... Theodore Isaac Rubin, M.D.
    there was an oprah winfrey tv movie with brittany murphy and lukas haas (two great actors) based on david and lisa (which is a short story). i bought this book for that story but actually was really captivated with this other story, little ralphie and the creature. a 16 year old boy goes catatonic, refuses to eat, speak, do much of anything. he'd separated his mind from his body, thinking they were two different things, always fighting for control. you find out at the end why he became this way... it's just a scary, interesting idea of how this kid is. and what's really scary is that this is based on a kid the writer worked with.

    Slaughter-House Five... Kurt Vonnegut
    aww, i liked this book. maybe because it was so short. i liked the tralfamado
  21. kreleia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 5
    Wow! Good list jt... well, except for Slaughterhouse 5. ;)

    Just thought I'd throw in a couple of books that I do NOT recommend. In fact, stay away from these at all costs.

    Summer of Our Discontent - by John Steinbeck. Yes, *that* Steinbeck. Even the critics hated this book. I had to read it and write a big ol' paper on it in high school. It SUCKED!! (But I got an A on the paper...)

    The Odyssey - by Homer. No, not Homer Simpson. :D (although it probably should be) No offense to anyone who likes this book, but of the 7 times I had to read it in college, I *NEVER* made it all the way through. BOOOORRRRRRING!! **snore**

    Paradise Lost - by John Milton. Unless you're really into 17th century writers, and just can't get enough of Adam and Eve's fall from grace, this is one to save for those nights when you can't sleep. Trust me, it's the absolute best cure for insomnia. Blah.

    Heart of Darkness - by Joseph Conrad. A man goes into the jungle and comes out. And Conrad managed to stretch that into 93 pages. [face_plain]

    And, here's the "It's not too bad, but don't read it unless you have to" list:

    The Celestine Prophecy - by James Redfield. This book has it's own cult now, and the ideas discussed in it are really quite interesting. The problem with it? The guy can't write - or else his editor did a massive hack job on the manuscript. I couldn't stand the the jerky lack-of-flow style of writing, and never managed to finish it.

    The Last Man - by Mary Shelley. Yes, the same Mary Shelley that wrote Frankenstein. The book actually has a lot of themes that are very poignant to our current society, but it takes her so damn long to get anywhere with the story! You're half-way through before things start getting interesting. But, if you can make it that far, the rest is worth reading.

    Okay, I really need to go to bed. Tomorrow, no caffiene after 7:00 p.m. **wired**

    kreleia ^.^
  22. VoidDancer Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2002
    star 5
    Well I don't read alot of non-fiction outside of tech manuals...and believe it or not the Pratt and Whitney F-100 afterburning turbofan is REALLY an interesting piece of machinery.....

    Ok, I'll get on with it. It's pretty much all fantasy/sci-fi.

    Dragonlance-About 100 books in the series and like anything else it's got its good, bad, and ugly. But it's a wonderful series with a living world.

    BattleTech-International feudal politics on a galactic scale with plenty of 40ft war machines. They've got over 50 books and a good crop of writers

    David and Leigh Eddings-They cowrote (but only David was credited) the Belgariad and the Mallorean (and a couple other series too, but this is what I read.) Great fantasy series with minimal fantasy elements overall. You can see where he tried to tie it in with our own world...such as the Tolnedren people being romans, the Alorns being norse, and whatnot. The second series, The Mallorean, dragged on a bit, but was still pretty good. He has a wide array of character types along with honest character development for almost all of them. And above all a GREAT sense of humor all throughout the books. It's not a period specific sense of humor either, and they stay away from "contemporary" jokes and cliches.

    Legend of the Five Rings-Okay, it started as a collectable card game with a background story. Every series they have a world wide series of tournaments and let the results determine where the story goes. They turned it into a great role playing game, and then novelized it. The setting is a Feudal Japanese-type world dominated by the clans of Samurai and their emperor. Wonderful example of a society very different from our own and you don't have to make any effort so suspend your disbelief with it, it's so cohesive of a story.

    Slay and Rescue-The true adventures of Prince Charming and how he survived them. John Moore took cinderella, snow white, and sleeping beauty and turned it into one twisted tale of comedy. Charming is a normal 17 year old prince with a good heart. But being a 17 year old he REALLY would like a bit more than a kiss on the cheek from rescuing all these maidens. Along with Mandelbaum, the court wizard who knows how sweet a government job is and is determined to enjoy it, and his squire...he goes out to keep saving the imperiled people of the land

    Dilbert-Patron saint of Engineers. The Dilbert Principle was the single most cynical book I had ever read. Until the next one, Dogbert's Managment Guide, came out. Followed soon by the Dilbert Future and The Joy of work. These actual novels, dare I say documents as they are Dilbert, are and insightful read into corporate america as well as Scott Adams opinions on things. The series of collected comics are also a laugh riot, for the most part, if you have an interest in that theme of humor.

    Calvin and Hobbes-I saw that it was mentioned above. Let's jsut say that it's a more universal humor and can speak well for itself...go grab a collection book.

    Foxtrot-Another all around humor starring Jason Fox...8 year old computer wiz and sci-fi fan that hasn't built his own x-wing because he can't afford the parts. It also speaks for itself and I highly suggest grabbing a collected book of it.

    Dune-Probably the most advanced fiction reading I've done outside of school. I've only gone through the first two books, but something good if you want developed sci-fi that will keep you thinking about what the story is really saying.

    and that's about all I can come up with for now.

    -Void
  23. Emperor_Dan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 1999
    star 4
    Hey, I LIKE the Odyssesy! Okay, there are parts that could have been left out, but it still was a good book!
  24. kreleia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2000
    star 5
    That's okay Emperor_Dan. :) Remember, that list is purely based on my own opinion. From what I remember, the really old 40's/50's movie version of the Odyssey gets rid of the fluff and actually tells a pretty darn good story - it's the old greek epic writing style that I just don't do well with. Never have. Although I do fine with Shakespeare, which is even more difficult. **shrug**

    I also noticed that skywalkersound mentioned Paradise Lost in his list of favorites. [face_blush] I really didn't mean to step on any toes, those just happen to be the books that I personally dislike.

    kreleia ^.^

    P.S. More recommended general fiction:

    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - by Mark Twain

    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - by Mark Twain

    Loved 'em both. :)
  25. Idiots Array Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2000
    star 5
    Speaking of Mark Twain, kreleia, I really liked

    A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

    -> IA
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