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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 9:53 pm 
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What is your opinion of the best book ever? I'll read all the replies and decide for myself based on your opinions.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 10:43 pm 
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It depends on what you're into. I have so many. One that has moved me incredibly was when I read " ANDORRA" by Max Frisch in high school. I'm not sure if they have the English version of it. It's a play. I love reading plays. It has to do with peoples falsity and there is a mystery to it in the end.

Another fun play to read is by Moliere called " The Misanthrope". Which if you look at it simply is about being blunt and speaking the truth. The read is really fast, as the whole play rhymes. It's so much fun to read.

Those would be my two recommendations. Go more for the Misanthrope, more fun and easier.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2004 2:31 pm 
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i've just finished The Da Vinci Code and i think it is the most thrilling book i have ever read :P strongly recomend Dan Brown to anyone looking for a page turner, everytime the story seems smooth and understandable it dips and takes an unexpected turn, a fascinating and absorbing read!

livy

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 8:48 pm 
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That is hard I read so much but here are a few that really stick out within my mind

I would have to agree that the Da Vinci Code was pretty good and captivating

The Magus was just an amazing book I thought.

The Red Tent was heart wenching and gripping

Catcher in the Rye I just always loved

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genuis it is kind of like Catcher in the Rye, I really liked it

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 Post subject: the best book???
PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2004 1:01 pm 
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You have asked the impossible question. Even with further refinement of your question, it would still be a highly subjective question. You could ask the question in other ways....which was the most influential book? the most well-written, the most moving, the most important, the most memorable, etc... Even then, the answer depends upon the respondent. The Bible may be the most influential in the western world, but may not have had as much of an impact on you as an individual. I'd have to say the best book would have to be the one that you HAVE to have on your shelf, the one you return to again and again when you need comfort or inspiration or wisdom. The book that gives you more on the second reading than it did on the first and offers the possibility of even more the 3rd time. I enjoyed reading The DaVinci Code, but it wouldn't make it to the best book of all time category in my mind. Perhaps, and I offer this tentatively, the book that matches the criteria I just set out might be "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran. But I wouldn't say that is the last word on the subject.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2005 7:03 pm 
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Although the term "best" is subjective, I have a few suggestions:

Crime and Punishment by Feodor Dostoevsky
The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare (this is a play)
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

And for contemporary reading, I find Orhan Pamuk's Snow to be exceptional.

Of all of these, I find that Crime and Punishment is the best. The book has complex social interactions, a captivating theme, and philosophical underpinnings that make it a classic of literature.


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 Post subject: Some of my favorites
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2005 10:54 pm 
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I am not saying these books are "the best ever" or that I am in a position to even rank the numerous written works throughout history, but here are a few books I have enjoyed reading.

The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
I love Steinbeck's works and even though it is filled with depressing moments, I couldn't put it down.

The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings Trilogy - J.R.R. Tolkien
In my mind there is no argument that Tolkien is the greatest fantasy writer of all time. He has created a world that has influenced all writers and adds deep meaning into his heroic tales.

To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
A wonderful classic that everyone should read at least once.

I'll add some more if I think of them, but that's all for now...

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 3:29 am 
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As already established, there is no one real answer to the question. But these are some of my favorites.

Brave new world: Aldous Huxley
An interesting book about the control of power and what difference a single person can make in a world full of assimilation.

Beowulf: Seamus Heaney
One of a few "epic poems" I spent a great time of English literature classes analyzing and re-reading just to get as much out of it as i possibly could... in some versions it shows the original old english wordings.

Shadow of the Hegemon:Orson Scott card
one of the Ender series I find that the life of Bean was much more interesting and what he masterminded in this was sheer brilliance mixed with classic adventure

The great Gatsby: F. Scott Fitzgerald
An incredible book about love and jealousy, and the secret lives of the people we meet everyday in the mid 20's backdrop

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 5:15 pm 
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I enjoyed War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy but The Palace of Dreams by Ismail Kadare is great, especially in the original Albanian.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2005 2:10 pm 
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well, I like very much THE DA VINCI CODE, THE THREE MUSKETEERS, ROMEO AND JULIET, RIMAS Y LEYENDAS of BÉCQUER, THE MUMMY OR RAMSÉS THE DAMNED of Anne Rice, and DUMAS'S CLUB od Artro Perez Reverte


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 8:35 pm 
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club dumas is very good, but i find angels and demons better than da vinci code, and i suppose you like the three musketeers after reading club dumas

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 4:49 am 
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I enjoy reading James Patterson's thrillers. The best book I've read of his would have to be "Suzanne's diary for Nicholas". A break from his normal kind of writings. More of a love story, that breaks your heart but really makes you think about how powerful a mother's love for her child can be.

Also Anne Sexton's poetry really inspire's me. She always wrote about true pain and feelings. A woman who shared her hardships and nightmare's through her writing, and was never afraid to let anyone know. Robert Frost is also one of my favorite's. Some of his writings are a little hard to understand, because of some of his wording, but his work is beautifully detailed.

Jean Auel's "Clan of the cave bears" series. Loooong books, about the cave man period. Wonderful reading, sometimes I found myself putting the book down because some of it was a little hard to take. But all around awesome books.

I try to expand my readings, but find that if I don't get sucked in on the first page, then I won't read it, lol. I like to be drawn in right away, always end up reading the same author.


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 Post subject: The Best Books
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 8:17 pm 
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I would have to say LOTR, all three of them, by JRR Tolkein. If you aren't into fantasy, these books are still very good, they can appeal to all kinds of tastes. Some people pigeon hole them as fantasy but they are much more complex than good vs. evil, although that is a prominent theme. If you read them carefully you can pick up on good advice, and good morals. You can feel the pain and the happieness of the characters through out the book. People say that Tolkein is too descriptive, but if you skip the prologue, it goes very fast, there are no dull moments. Just try them, you'll see.[/quote]

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 7:08 pm 
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the lord of the rings are good but they pale in comparison to the classics

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 8:44 pm 
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Mach, I agree absolutely with that (and your quote is one of my favorites, which I try to think of every time someone tries to discourage me from swimming against the tide). This may be central to a discussion of the 'greatness' of a book. 'Best' may be better used to describe the subjective elements such as how one related to the charachters or enjoyed the story, 'skillfully written' could be more for the artistic atributes; but perhaps 'greatest' suggests an impact on societies which comes from a prolonged exposure which popular works -irrespective of their other attributes-causes them to influence many if not all subsequent works.
There could never be a new Iliad because it would be measured against previous works and not on its own merits. There could never be another Shakespeare because no matter how artistically they wrote they would be be compared unfavorably to previous works. One example: I have heard LOR et al refered to as the modern Oddessey. Of course (?) LOR will most likely not be used as the standard of literature three thousand years from now, regardless of its inherent value or popularity, but the Oddessey very likely still will.
How much of this is intrinsic value and how much is a mythology which grows around a work creating a bias is a good subject for discussion. I.e.-Shakespeare often made up words for the sake of flow, and his writings are not 'English' by modern standards due to changes in spelling and meaning over the past four hundred years, and the themes, if not actual stories, were often taken from earlier works. His plays were 'great' in the sense of influence (many students in Asia read these works and try to use bitsin their writing and have to be told that what they are using isn't a word anymore or because of changes in meaning their sentence doesn't say anything), but often not original or technically well written (or accurate about details of the world i.e. chimming clocks in Julius Caesar or his geographical errors in Merchant of Venice).
I love classic literature and believe that very little of the past century has any real 'shelf life' or 'greatness'. This is not to condemn anyone else's choices or views on greatness or say that a recent work might not actually be superior, just shorter lived.


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