QuickTopic free message boards logo
Skip to Messages


Book Recommendations

^     All messages            24-39 of 39  8-23 >>
03:18 PM ET (US)
Narcissus and Goldmund, by Herman Hesse. It will have you in fits while standing in some line somewhere surrounded by people who haven't a clue of the treasure you hold in your hands. Its really one of the greatest books of all time and it draws a real and powerful face on the ultimate theme in human juxtoposition: the artist and the intellectual. Read it!!!
10:13 PM ET (US)
i've been finding paul auster to be the sort of comfortable read i'd only previously experienced with john irving.

i picked up my fourth by him at a coffee shop today and it's steadily holding my interest. to be honest i don't know why other than to reference the ease (not simple, just comfortable) of the prose.

richard powers, murakami, yoshimoto, bowles, and cortázar all came before the austen and all were enjoyed.
11:08 PM ET (US)
anything by anne lamott! and let me know what you think! :)
esta en fuego
02:44 AM ET (US)
read choke by chuck palahniuk. i may sound like a trendy fuckin tool for tis, but it is really a greta book and it keeps you glued to your seat. granted i'm not yet finished, but i'm also studying for the MCAT. choke is about a sexaholic who pretends to choke on food in order to recieve affection and pay his demented mother's hospital bills. its a good time...read it.
09:02 AM ET (US)
I love sacreligious humor. Read "Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal" by Christopher Moore and laugh your ass off.

If you would rather not tempt fate, I'll recommend "Catch 22" by Joseph Heller or "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues" by Tom Robbins. Both are hilarious.

For semi-dark humor, "The Virgin Suicides" by Jeffrey Eugenides is pretty awesome.

For an "experience", check out "House of Leaves" by Poe's bro, Mark Danielewski. Some parts will make you roll your eyes and say "aw, come on!", but most of the book will probably leave you frightened to turn off the light. Creeped the fuck out of me, that's for sure.

Anyway, there you go.
Rex Karz
02:34 AM ET (US)
The Origin Of Consciousness and the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, by Julian Jaynes.
03:26 PM ET (US)
I recommend nearly anything by Rick Bass, particularly his collections of enigmatic short stories. In my opinion he's the best naturalist/writer since Thoreau--his writing is imbued with a keen awareness of the interaction between his characters with the world they inhabit. For the most part he avoids overt environmental proselytizing (with the exception of the short, strange novella "Fiber"), writing instead so lovingly and knowledgeably about nature that he inspires a reverence for its beauty and fragility. And his characters are so quirky and authentically human that they seem like someone you almost remember knowing. He's a master of telling enough of a story to flesh out the characters and set the scene, yet leaving enough to the imagination that your mind carries the tale forward for days after finishing it. At his best, he's breathtaking.
Edited 06-02-2003 03:45 PM
11:17 AM ET (US)
A good quick throw-away book is "A Kiss of Shadows" by Laurel K Hamilton. Well paced, well written and something easy to get into and out of.

And if you liked that, theres always the sequel!
03:14 PM ET (US)
_Free Fall_ by William Golding and _The Violent Bear it Away_ by Flannery O'Connor are two of my favorite books.

If you ever get a chance to read any of Roald Dahl's grown-up stories, they're wonderfull twisted. Wendy Brenner also writes good short stories; she has two books: _Large Animals in Everyday Life_ and _Phone Calls from the Dead_. Another story collection I like is _Someone to Watch Over Me_ by Richard Bausch. "Glass Meadow" is my favorite story in that collection.
02:47 PM ET (US)
Anything by Jonathan Lethem, but mostly Motherless Brooklyn or Girl in Landscape. Motherless is the story of a driver turned detective suffering from Tourettes. Girl is about a family's move to an untamed and mostly ungoverned colonial planet. Both of them are, as Lethem's books seem to all be, wild and absurd rides through very human personalities.

I'm eagerly awaiting his new book Fortress of Solitude,.

Also, China Mieville's two New Crobuzon books: Perdido Street Station and The Scar. Mieville's prose makes me shiver.

One more: Sameul Delany's Babel-17 / Empire Star. It's two books in one. The first, Babel-17 is about a language virus. The second, Empire Star (which is read by flipping the book over and starting from the other side) is a swashbuckling space serial written by one of the characters from Babel-17.
Edited 05-21-2003 02:48 PM
02:49 PM ET (US)
"Tomcat in Love" by Tim O'Brien

With his Viet Nam epic "The Things They Carried," O'Brien has become required reading in high schools accross America, and let me say: I couldn't be happier. O'Brien is a profoundly sensitive story teller with a dirth of funny, sad, and above all /true/ things to say about America. Tomcat in Love is a a love story, a tragedy, a character study, but most of all, it's very, very funny.

"Vox" by Nicholson Baker

Baker is in possesion of a fantastically dirty mind which he uses to great advantage in this erotic novel. Like most of Baker's fiction, this book takes place in a very short period of time and is packed full of astute observations about casual human interaction. Unlike most of Baker's fiction, this book is comprised entirely of dialog. Definately fits the bill for light summer reading, but perhaps would be more appropraite stashed under a pillow as an entry in a matched set of guilty, slightly shameful pleasures.

"The Clown" by Heinrich Boll

An achingly beautiful, tragically romantic book by one of three Germans to recieve the Nobel Prize in the past century. (Boll kicks the booty of the other two, Mann and Grass)

"The Atom Station" by Halldor Laxness

A little tricky to locate but worth the effort, this book is by turns funny, somber, poetic and all-in-all very well put together. Written by the foremost literary figure in modern Iceland-- also a Nobel Lauriate-- I should adittionally warn that the other two books written by this man and currently available in english are not what I consider light (or even entertaining) reading.

"Park City" by Ann Beattie

There was a frightening time in the late 70's when it appeared that short fiction had evolved in its self-satisfied way beyond the fine art of good old fashioned story telling. Writers of all stripes were hard at work denying the value of the narrative, tossing linear time from high windows and basically writing a lot of very dull "stories" without any discernable plot or characters. Ann Beatie and Raymond Carver thankfully proved them all wrong by demonstrating that classical realism does have a place in modern fiction after all. Beatie's short stories are great fun, inventive, revealing, and a little dense; but always entertaining. Her short fiction (and short fiction in general) makes great subway reading, being dolled out as it is in bite-sized, train-ride-length morsels.
Edited 05-19-2003 02:50 PM
11:51 AM ET (US)
American Pastoral by Philip Roth

A true contemporary classic. Roth writes passages which are relentless, you can't stop, even though inevitability is a constant in this story. He ties the history of American so seamlessely into the lives of this family as it mirrors their relationships and the specific events throughout.
wonderful. frightening. powerful. get it. read it. thanks

11:45 AM ET (US)
A History of Reading by Alberto Manguel

great book about books, meaning, interpretation, and perspectives

from some reviewer at amazon:
"It is wonderful to read about a subject that you value so much written by someone who feels the same way. The value for me, however, was the prism Manguel offers through which reading is separated into a variety of dazzling colors. I enjoyed the history, the anecdotes, his personal experiences, and his ability to carry a thread from our earliest ancestors desire to understand the written word to the present. His references caused me to visit the library and bookstores once again and enjoy authors that I had either forgotten or with whom I was not yet familiar. It is a book I will recommend frequently to anyone I know who loves reading."
06:10 AM ET (US)
'hard boiled wonderland and the end of the world' by haruki murakami.
a truly inspiring read,it juxtaposes a dual narrative that is utterly inventive and compelling. the sort of book you read then pass to your friends so that you can judge by their reaction,whether they should be your friends anymore:)just great.
Christoper Robin
12:22 AM ET (US)
ps--'Naked' by Sedaris is amazing, though perhaps (if you can imagine such a thing!) darker than his other books...it includes 'A Plague of Tics', which is the most amazing first person account of compulsive disorders I have ever read...it's very sad, really.
Christoper Robin
12:19 AM ET (US)
Some excellent choices below!! 'American Gods' is very moving...'Neverwhere' was quite involving and 'Stardust' was a lovely read (all by N. Gaiman). Anything by Tim Powers is virtually guaranteed to be an entertaining and rewarding read...I'd suggest for starters 'The Anubis Gates', or 'Expiration Date'. And on a much lighter side, the cartton compilation 'Get Fuzzy', by Darby Conley...kind of a cross between Bloom County and Calvin and Hobbes. Very funny stuff!! Hope this helps Brittney!
^     All messages            24-39 of 39  8-23 >>

Print | RSS Views: 1549 (Unique: 1007 ) / Subscribers: 1 | What's this?