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Old 12-07-2013, 09:51 PM   #1
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My top ten favorite books which I read ever (so far)

This is the thread in which we list our top ten favorite books.

***

The title of the present thread together with the above statement seems self-explanatory. If you feel that you do not follow them you may read the following rules:

1. Publish here the list of your top ten favorite books. If you cannot name ten books then list less books than ten. If you cannot close the list at ten books name a few more.

2. You do not have to sort the books from the best one to the worst one because it may be difficult to sort a few books that way. In such a case simply do not number the books on your list. You may sort them according to the alphabetical order.

3. Do not publish here any “Top 100” lists found in Internet. There are the other threads for these purposes on our forum. You may publish here the list of top ten or so favorite books made by someone else. In such a case reveal who is the author of this particular list.

4. Do not comment here the other forum members’ tastes. They like the other books and you like the other ones. That is good. To condemn someone because of his or her taste is not good at all. To praise someone’s taste seems purposeless.

5. It does not matter whether the books from your list are accessible now in some electronic format or in English translation. If they are not available now they may be accessible in the future.

This thread has two purposes. First: you may publish here your own list of books to show your taste to the other people. Second: someone else can read your list – if he or she finds that he or she likes five books from your list and does not know the other five books which you named he or she may assume that these books may be interesting for him or her as well.

***

The following updated rule was added December 10, 2013 and was inspired by speakingtohe and kennyc:

6. If you feel that you love to the same extent much more books than ten (let us say one hundred or one thousand) you may list them all here. “Love” has a lot of the meanings. Someone loves just one person (himself or herself) while someone else loves the whole humankind.

The following updated rule was added December 13, 2013 and was inspired by Pablo and spellbanisher:

7. Some people read different literary genres – such as non-fiction and fiction or prose, poetry, and drama – and they have the favorites in the range of each of them. If you are such a person simply put into the same post or in a few consecutive ones your top ten lists for each literary genre which you like.

The following updated rule was added December 16, 2013 and was inspired by carpetmojo:

8. After you choose ten books you may continue the challenge choosing just one and only one book to keep it with you when all the other books disappear. That may be a book from your main list or some other one.

Last edited by w1k0; 12-15-2013 at 11:47 PM. Reason: Rules: #6, #7, and #8
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:55 PM   #2
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My top ten favorite books (so far):

● Samuel Beckett, Watt
● Alfred Bester, The Stars My Destination (aka Tiger, Tiger)
● Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita
● Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote
● Philip K. Dick, Ubik
● Neil Gaiman, American Gods
● William Gibson, Neuromancer
● Joseph Heller, Catch-22
● Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Breakfast of Champions, or Goodbye Blue Monday
● Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., The Sirens of Titan

The following books do not fit my top ten list but they are very important for me so I decided to add them to my basic list:

● Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles
● Ladislav Fuks, The Cremator
● Daniel Keyes, Flowers for Algernon
● Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude
● Venedikt Yerofeyev, Moscow-Petushki

All above books except for Flowers for Algernon I read in Polish translations (three of them in two or three alternative translations) – the novel by Daniel Keyes I read in English because it was not translated into Polish so far.

***

On the fourth page of this thread carpetmojo told about the British TV format “Desert Island Disc”. The people have to choose ten discs to stay with them on the desert. After they finish that task they are asked about one disc which they would like to save after the cataclysm on the desert.

I met this challenge. Here is my only one book which I would like to save after the disaster (it is not a book from the above lists):

● James Joyce, Finnegans Wake

Last edited by w1k0; 12-15-2013 at 11:31 PM. Reason: alternative translations; one book
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Old 12-08-2013, 12:16 AM   #3
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Vikram Seth - A Suitable Boy
Rohinton Mistry - A Fine Balance
Catherynne M. Valente - The Orphan's Tales
John Steinbeck - Cannery Row
James Dickey - Deliverance
Roddy Doyle - The Barryton Trilogy
Douglas Adams - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Douglas Coupland - Generation X
Annie Proulx - The Shipping News
Ray Bradbury - R is for Rocket

Probably wrong on many counts, but definitely some of my favourite reads over the years.
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Old 12-08-2013, 01:44 AM   #4
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This is very difficult for me. My favorite books shift over the years and depending on my mood. But I'll give it a go --

Robert Pirsig - Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Douglas Hofstadter - Godel, Esher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
Neal Stephenson - Snowcrash (and his Baroque trilogy)
Tim Powers - The Drawing of the Dark
Charles Stross - Singularity Sky (or possibly Glasshouse)
Roger Zelazny - Lord of Light (or possibly his Amber series)
Iain M. Banks - Consider Phlebas (his whole Culture series)
Michael Connelly - Angels Flight (his whole Harry Bosch series)
Robert Ludlum - The Bourne Identity
Joseph Campbell - The Power of Myth

I suppose I am going to go over the limit because I'll also pick
Frederik Forsythe - The Odessa File (I don't think FF gets enough credit these days)

Damn, not enough room for John le Carre or ...
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Old 12-08-2013, 03:00 AM   #5
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Can't do it. Get caught in an infinite loop going "that one, and that one, no, no, not that one". Intervention was required, and I am sure I will be doing this in my dreams

I could possibly do a best remembered, which isn't necessarily liked, or an anything by list.

Helen
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Old 12-08-2013, 07:04 AM   #6
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Stephen King - Under the Dome
Stephen King - the stand
Andrew Davidson - The Gargoyle
Suzanne Collins - Hunger Games
Suzanne Collins - Catching Fire
Suzanne Collins - Mockingjay
Stephanie Meyer - Twilight
Stephanie Meyer - Eclipse
Stephanie Meyer - New Moon
Stephanie Meyer - Breaking dawn


I also love and reread the Kelley Armstrong series (13 of them )
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Old 12-08-2013, 08:00 AM   #7
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Wow. That's difficult. It's very difficult to compare across genres. Even just counting the books I have read and have in calibre (which is only my last dozen years of reading), I need to pick just 1 in 200. Since I don't have time to do a book-by-book comparison, I'll just have to pick those that come most readily to mind.

Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice
Clifford D. Simak: Way Station
James Hilton: Good-bye, Mr. Chips
Lawrence Watt-Evans: The Misenchanted Sword
Rudyard Kipling: Kim
Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman: Good Omens
J R R Tolkien: The Hobbit
Lois McMaster Bujold: The Spirit Ring
Robert Louis Stevenson: Kidnapped
Diane Duane: So You Want To Be A Wizard?

I've re-read all of these at least once. That probably biases my list against recent books, since I won't have re-read any of them yet.

Last edited by pdurrant; 12-08-2013 at 08:05 AM.
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Old 12-08-2013, 08:01 AM   #8
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Fiction:
1. Merchanter's Luck [The Company Wars], C. J. Cherryh
2. Cugel's Saga [The Dying Earth], Jack Vance
3. Grass [The Arbai Trilogy], Sheri S. Tepper
4. Shadow of the Torturer [The Book of the New Sun], Gene Wolfe
5. Neuromancer [The Sprawl], William Gibson
6. Axiomatic, Greg Egan

Non-fiction:
1. Animal Liberation, Peter Singer
2. Gödel, Escher, Bach; Douglas Hofstadter
3. Proofs and Refutations, Imre Lakatos
4. Rain Without Thunder, Gary L. Francione

I had to limit myself to one book per author, otherwise C. J. Cherryh alone would occupy most of my top ten: The Company Wars, Cyteen, The Chronicles of Morgaine, Faery Moon, Rusulka, The Paladin, Fortress in the Eye of Time; the woman is just brilliant.
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Old 12-08-2013, 08:04 AM   #9
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Legend - David Gemmell
Midnight Falcon - David Gemmell
Kings of the Morning - Paul Kearney
Captain's Fury - Jim Butcher
Centurion - Simon Scarrow
Sharpe's Waterloo - Bernard Cornwell
Sabbat Martyr - Dan Abnett
Enemy of God - Bernard Cornwell
Wounds of Honour - Anthony Riches
The Hero of Ages - Brandon Sanderson
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Old 12-08-2013, 08:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speakingtohe View Post
Can't do it. Get caught in an infinite loop going "that one, and that one, no, no, not that one".
Same here. However, I can maybe do a "Top Ten books right at this moment", with the provisio that a) I get to include whole series and that b) the selection will likely be slightly different in a couple of hours and significantly so by tomorrow.

J.R.R. Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky: The Brothers Karamasov
Steven Erikson: Malazan Book of the Fallen
Alexandre Dumas père: The Three Musketeers & The Count of Monte Cristo
Steven pressfield: Gates of Fire
Joseph Conrad: Nostromo
Mary Gentle: Ash
Jonathan Swift: Gulliver's Travels
Kenneth Grahame: The Wind in the Willows
Stephen Donaldson: The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever
Umberto Eco: The Name of the Rose & Focault's Pendulum
Ernest Hemingway: For Whom the Bell Tolls & The Old Man and the Sea
Guy Gavriel Kay: pretty much everything
Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol: Dead Souls
Iain M. Banks: every Culture novel and most others
Charles Dickens: pretty much everything
Michael Moorcock: every Eternal Champion novel
Miguel de Cervantes: Don Quixote
Ken Kesey: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

OK, so I couldn't keep it down to ten after all. The order is arbitrary and has no bearing on preference, except in the case of The Lord of the Rings, which will likely remain my favourite book for as long as I continue to breathe.
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Old 12-08-2013, 09:09 AM   #11
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We've done this a few times..I see you are new here - Welcome!......I'm not going to follow your overly specific "rules'.....always good to update though...

Here's my favorite novels list:


The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck
Dhalgren - Samuel R. Delany
Foundation Trilogy - Issac Asimov
Dune - Frank Herbert
Breathing Lessons - Anne Tyler
Lord of the Rings - J R R Tolkien
City - Clifford D. Simak
Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert A. Heinlein
Prince of Tides - Pat Conroy
A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
The Road - Cormac McCarthy


Top 10 SF:
In no particular order after the first two.

Dhalgren - Samuel R. Delany
Foundation Trilogy - Issac Asimov
Dune - Frank Herbert
City - Clifford D. Simak
Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert A. Heinlein
The Road - Cormac McCarthy
Ringworld - Larry Niven
The Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury
Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula K. LeGuin
The Handmaids Tale - Margaret Atwood

My favorite Short Story Collections

"You Must Read This"
"The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction: 50 North American Stories Since 1970"


And since you said books, not just fiction

The Immense Journey - Loren Eiseley
The Demon Haunted World - Carl Sagan
The Lives of a Cell - Lewis Thomas

My Favorite Essays
(can be found in various books and collections)
Many in:
Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction
Or -
In Fact: The Best of Creative Nonfiction

The Brown Wasps - Lauren Eiseley
The Dream Animal - Lauren Eiseley
The Slit - Lauren Eiseley
The Judgment of the Birds - Lauren Eiseley
The Star Thrower - Lauren Eiseley
Lives of a Cell - Lewis Thomas
Suspended - Joy Harjo
The Deck - Yusef Komunyakaa
The Fourth State of Matter - Jo Ann Beard
Three Spheres - Lauren Slater
The White Album - Joan Didion
Moving Water, Tucson - Peggy Shumaker
Heaven and Nature - Edward Hoagland
Embalming Mom - Janet Burroway
Visitor - Michael W. Cox
Leap - Brian Doyle
Small Rooms in Time - Ted Kooser
Enough Jam for a Lifetime - Maxine Kumin
Remembering I was not there - Anne Panning
Fury and Grace - Pattiann Rogers
The Indian Dog - N. Scott Momaday
Dogged - Barrie Jean Borich
Work - Kim Barnes

and my current short story list (sort of in favorite order)
available in various collections, anthologies or single author books:


The Prophet from Jupiter - Tony Earley
The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas - Ursala K LeGuin (Incredible Story)
The Story of Your Life - Ted Chiang (also Hell is the Absence of God...and others he is an excellent short story writer)
Wild Horses - Rick Bass
Frost and Fire - Ray Bradbury
The Jilting of Granny Weatherall - Katherine Anne Porter
Rescue Party - Arthur C Clarke
The Star - Issac Asimov
A Rose for Ecclesiastes - Roger Zelazny
A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
Cathedral - Raymond Carver
Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes.
The Lottery - Shirley Jackson
The Fall of the House of Usher, The Cask of Amontillado, The Tell-Tale Heart - Edgar Allen Poe
A Boy and His Dog - Harlan Ellison
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge - Ambrose Bierce
The Hills Like White Elephants - Ernest Hemingway
The End of Something - Ernest Hemingway
A Clean Well Lighted Place - Hemingway
A Rose for Emily - Faulkner
Chicxulub - T.C. Boyle
Bullet in the Brain - Tobias Wolff
Where Have you Been, Where are you Going - Joyce Carol Oates
The Ceiling - Kevin Brockmeier

Last edited by kennyc; 12-08-2013 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 12-08-2013, 09:11 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speakingtohe View Post
Can't do it. Get caught in an infinite loop going "that one, and that one, no, no, not that one". Intervention was required, and I am sure I will be doing this in my dreams

I could possibly do a best remembered, which isn't necessarily liked, or an anything by list.

Helen
Oh come on, go for it!

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Old 12-08-2013, 09:45 AM   #13
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I can't possibly give a "definitive" list of my top-10, but amongst them would certainly be:

"Bleak House" - Charles Dickens.
"Great Expectations" - Charles Dickens.
"Pride and Prejudice" - Jane Austen.
"King Solomon's Mines" - Sir Henry Rider Haggard.
"The Count of Monte Cristo" - Alexander Dumas.
"The Lord of the Rings" - J.R.R. Tolkien.
"Magician" - Raymond Feist.
"The Belgariad" - David Eddings.
"The Hound of the Baskervilles" - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
"A Thousand Miles Up the Nile" - Amelia Edwards.
"The Odyssey" - Homer.
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Old 12-08-2013, 09:47 AM   #14
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Little Women Louisa May Alcott

Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen

The Count of Monte Cristo Alexandre Dumas

And Then There Were None Agatha Christie

The Hobbit J.R.R. Tolkien

The Thorn Birds Colleen McCullough

The Book Thief Markus Zusak

Blood Song Anthony Ryan

Percy Jackson and the Olympians Rick Riordan

His Dark Materials Philip Pullman

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption Laura Hillenbrand
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Old 12-08-2013, 10:41 AM   #15
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"A Thousand Miles Up the Nile" - Amelia Edwards.
Just a small FYI for readers new to that book: it's an impossible listen as an audiobook. Proper nouns that need to be seen to comprehend. Until I switched to a visual read, I was floundering. Like no other audiobook experience.
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