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10 to read before the apocalypse?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,639 ✭✭✭ paddy no 11


    Nothing going to add 10 but havent seen the following mentioned

    Ironweed by William kennedy
    Shackelton by Roland Huntford
    Born to run by Christopher Mcdougall


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,292 ✭✭✭ lizzylad84


    The woman in white - collins
    Dracula - stoker
    Day of the jackal - forsyth
    Shout - Beatles biography
    Da vince code - browne (ok so this may divide opinion but I like it)
    Being a cycling fan I'd have to recommend pedalare pedalare - a history of Italian cycling


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,372 LorMal


    Sophie's Choice - William Styron
    To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
    Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
    The Kite Runner -Khaleh Hosseini
    If Not Now, When - Primo Levi
    Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
    Sherlock Holmes (Complete Works) - Arthur Conan Doyle
    The Shipping News - E.Annie Prolux
    Captain Correllis Mandolin -Louis de Bernieres
    The Godfather - Mario Puzo

    All are books I wish I could read again for the first time. Most of them have been mentioned by others here - but I really recommend Sophie's Choice and If not now, when (Primo Levi) - if you like great writing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 28 ✭✭✭ isntlee


    You might as well just hope you're right and read the bible


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,023 Donal55


    The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy.
    Valley of the Squinting Windows by Brinsley McNamara
    The Ragged Trousered Philantrophists by Robert Tressell.
    The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
    The Poetry of Walt Whitman.
    The Gulag Archipelago by Solzhenitsyn.
    Two years before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana.
    In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick.
    A Tale of Two Cities by Dickens.
    Strumpet City by James Plunkett.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,463 ✭✭✭ marienbad


    As others have said 10 is just too short a list , and it will keep changing over a life time . So with that in mind my list is confined to books I have read in the last year or so and in no particular order of merit .

    1 A Country Road , A Tree - Jo Baker . A fictionalised account of the WW2 experience of Samuel Beckett .

    2 The Divine Comedy - Dante Alighieri . I read it every year and have done for 40 years .Simply the greatest poem ever written and the only work to rival Shakespeare . It is a huge mistake to confine oneself to The Inferno - it must be read in its entirety at least once to comprehend any one part .

    3 HHhH - Laurent Binet a re-imagining of the assassination of Heydrich . The fact that you know what happens makes it even more terrifying.

    4 I Will Bear Witness & To The Bitter End - Victor Klemperer . Diaries covering the whole Nazi perion in Germany right up to the Liberation . Tells you more of what it was like under the jackboot than 100 history books .

    5 An Arrow's Flight - Mark Merlis A retelling of Sophocles's Philoctetes updated to modern LGBT USA - just quite brilliant.

    6 Plays Vol 1 - Brian Friel . Includes Philadelphia and Faith Healer . Brings back so many great memories of seeing the plays . Vol 2 coming up shortly

    7 Say Something Back - Denise Riley . A book of poetry suffused with the loss of her adult son through some sort of heart problem . Magnificent- I never though a poet would explain what an AFIB is in four lines better than a dozen consultants !

    8 Iron Gustav - Hans Fallada . It is easy to see why Fallada was one of the most translated German writers between the wars . How he fell into decline is amazing - and I am now enjoying his renaissance to the full .

    9 The Supreme Court - Ruadhan Mac Cormaic . A history of our Supreme Court from the foundation of the state to the present . Great to see such books on Irish subjects coming out in the last ten years in an ever increasing number . A history of the Irish Times from last year is also a good read .

    10 A Game Of Mirrors - Andrea Camilieri/Earthly Remains - Donna Leon . You can't beat a good detective novel to keep a bit of balance


  • Registered Users Posts: 1 Allowisheus


    1. Ulysses (James Joyce) - epic detailing the lives of three Dubliners over the course of a single day. Interior monologue used to devastating and unprecedented effect. Improves on every re-read.
    2. Finnegans Wake (James Joyce) - a book that defies classification. Joyce uses garbled polylinguistic neologisms to evoke nightspeech. Not a sytlistic experiment for it's own sake, the unique language arose through necessity in order to accurately describe the confusion of night, of dreams.
    3. Infinite Jest (David Foster Wallace) - Long, rambling, epic of a young man's life in a tennis academy. Beautifully written, uses the present tense flawlessly, provides insight on mental illness and on the role of technology in our lives.
    4. In Search of Lost Time (Marcel Proust) - Epic of involuntary memory. Some of the most beautiful and eloquent prose you will ever read. A masterpiece of reflection and description.
    5. A Moveable Feast (Ernest Hemingway) - Hemingway's Parisian memoirs. Evokes beautiful scenes of his life in Paris in the 1920s, the poverty, the cold, the writing. His struggles with partners and his aspirations to become a great writer.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,035 ✭✭✭ CWF


    Anybody got anything else to add?


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,690 ✭✭✭ sporina


    The Doctors Sword by Bob Jackson - it will stay with me for ever.. exquisite read


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 537 Niles Crane


    CWF wrote: »
    Anybody got anything else to add?


    Here's ten top class novels.

    Not necessarily my absolute favourite 10 and they're in no partiular order

    The Book Thief by Markus Suzak
    11.22.63 by Stephen King
    The Dry by Jane Harper
    Get Shorty by Elmore Leonard
    The Odessa File by Federick Forsyth
    The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
    Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
    The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
    Norweigan Wood by Haruki Murakami
    A Drink Before the War by Dennis Lehane (first of the Kenzie and Gennaro series)


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,997 ✭✭✭ Ipso


    CWF wrote: »
    Anybody got anything else to add?

    American Tabloid, LA Confidential (along with The Big Nowhere and White Jazz), 2001: A Space Odyssey, Rendezvous with Rama, The Prestige, On the Beach, Lonesome Dove, East of Eden.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,319 ✭✭✭ Day Lewin


    Moby Dick: by Herman Melville: its not just about whaling, its about everything
    Ulysses as above
    Catch-22, as above
    Lord of the Rings, beautifully written
    Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
    The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, by Lawrence Sterne
    Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
    To Kill a Mockingbird, perfect.

    That's only eight. I have thousands of books. I'm saving my last two. :-)


  • Registered Users Posts: 242 ✭✭ Ian OB


    "Elvis, Jesus & Coca Cola" Kinky Friedman
    The "Thursday Next" & "Nursery Crimes" series by Jasper Forde (And if he ever gets around to finishing it, his "Shades of Grey" trilogy)


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,140 ✭✭✭ megadodge


    megadodge wrote: »
    The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
    A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini
    Life of Pi - Yann Martel
    1984 – George Orwell
    Perfume - Patrick Suskind
    Secret Scripture – Sebastian Barry
    Star of The Sea – Joe O'Connor
    The Sicilian – Mario Puza
    Seabiscuit – Laura Hillenbrand
    Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha – Roddy Doyle


    A number of honourable mentions (there's loads more I just can't think of right now):

    Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – Robert M. Pirsig
    A Star Called Henry – Roddy Doyle
    Alone in Berlin – Hans Falada
    Five Star Billionaire – Tash Aw
    The World According to Garp - John Irving



    Having just finished 'Lonesome Dove' by Larry McMurtry this morning my first thought was "That's the best book I ever read".

    So, up it goes to my No. 1.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,690 ✭✭✭ sporina


    megadodge wrote: »
    Having just finished 'Lonesome Dove' by Larry McMurtry this morning my first thought was "That's the best book I ever read".

    So, up it goes to my No. 1.

    sounds really good - but whats a "tetralogy'?


  • Moderators, Arts Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 71,458 Mod ✭✭✭✭ New Home


    4 books.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 73 ✭✭✭ Mick McGraw


    megadodge wrote: »
    Having just finished 'Lonesome Dove' by Larry McMurtry this morning my first thought was "That's the best book I ever read".

    So, up it goes to my No. 1.

    Lonesome Dove is probably my favourite of all time, it's an incredibly enjoyable book that has a bit of everything.I'm looking forward to reading the 3 prequels at some stage.

    If you like Lonesome Dove you should read All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy it's a western as well and it's probably my favorite along with Lonesome Dove.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12 Bilbo65


    I read Lonesome Dove following recommendations here and I really enjoyed it. So here is my 10 best reads over many years. When I start reading an author new to me I often read all I can find of that author. Hence double selections for Sebastian Barry, William Boyd and John Fowles.

    Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert Pirsig. A road trip tale in the first person with pre-Socratic philosophy thrown in for good measure.
    The Narrow Road to the Deep North, by Richard Flanagan. A critically acclaimed novel based on the experiences of Australian troops forced to build the Burma Death Railroad during World War 2.
    A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush, by Eric Newby. An Englishman and his friend undertake an incredible expedition to climb Mir Samir (8609m) in Northeast Afganistan. An amusing take on mountaineering from the perspective of a complete novice climber.
    And Quiet Flows the Don, by Mikail Sholokhov. A story about the Don Cossacks from before WW1 through the Russian Revolution.
    Sebastian Barry, Days without End & A Thousand Moons
    William Boyd, Brazzaville Beach & Restless
    John Fowles, The French Lieutenant’s Woman & The Magus (both editions, each with different endings)


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,257 ✭✭✭ Comic Book Guy


    I was going to get Lonesome Dove on my kindle having read the last few posts but was just wondering should I read the prequels first or read the series in the publication order?

    Thanks


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,641 ✭✭✭✭ keane2097


    I was going to get Lonesome Dove on my kindle having read the last few posts but was just wondering should I read the prequels first or read the series in the publication order?

    Thanks

    It stands alone perfectly well anyway.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,982 ✭✭✭ two wheels good


    Thanks for all the suggestions. Some I should probably give a second chance.

    Lonesome Dove now ordered. ( Must get JP Dunleavy too.)
    Another western I'll suggest in response. The Son by Philip Meyer.

    My recommendations, not really a top 10.
    Fiction:
    Milkman
    Homeland No, not that one. The ETA terrorism one.
    Conrad. Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim. Enjoyed HoD again recently but on audiobook - from the library
    JG Farrell: Troubles, Siege of Krishnapur
    Germinal by Zola

    Non fiction:
    Sapiens by Y. Harari. Should be included in the curriculum.
    Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein.

    Biog:
    The Black Count. Biog of Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, father and grand-father to the famous authors. A general in French revolution, mother was a Haitian slave, colleague of Napoleon's.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,004 ✭✭✭ Paddy Samurai


    Lonesome Dove is probably my favourite of all time, it's an incredibly enjoyable book that has a bit of everything.I'm looking forward to reading the 3 prequels at some stage.

    If you like Lonesome Dove you should read All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy it's a western as well and it's probably my favorite along with Lonesome Dove.

    Loved Lonesome Dove.If you like westerns I would recommend Apacheria by William Alimari and In the Rogue Blood by James Carlos Blake.
    These books are poles apart in style and content but I love them both for different reasons.
    In the rogue blood is quite graphic violence wise while Apacheria is a old style western beautifully written from the point of view of a young girl



  • Registered Users Posts: 382 ✭✭ Lefty2Guns


    Anybody here read Musashi: An Epic Novel of the Samurai Era.

    I loved Shogun by James Clavell and someone recommended this. My only problem is the actual price of the book. €35 euro is the cheapest I can find. I don't use a Kindle or anything similar and prefer the real thing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 95 ✭✭ Slightly Kwackers


    Seen the movie, its more of a womans book so i was told.

    Maybe you could elaborate more on the books by giving a brief description so we know before we try.


    Well said!


    This forum is just an endless list of titles with no description or opinion attached.


    Amazon at least has a lot of coloured pictures and a few descriptive lines.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,639 ✭✭✭ paddy no 11


    Loved Lonesome Dove.If you like westerns I would recommend Apacheria by William Alimari and In the Rogue Blood by James Carlos Blake.
    These books are poles apart in style and content but I love them both for different reasons.
    In the rogue blood is quite graphic violence wise while Apacheria is a old style western beautifully written from the point of view of a young girl


    In the rogue blood is a nonsense of a book, up there with the worst I've ever read


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,328 ✭✭✭ HalloweenJack


    Cancer Ward by Solzhenitsyn. I love this story, you really empathise with the characters and there's lots to get your teeth into.

    The Shining by Stephen King. I know King isn't held in great esteem but this is a book that is a brilliant character study. There's so much going on and the tension is built nicely.

    Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo. More for the story than the writing but its a fascinating look at an intricate universe she's created and deals with issues that are not always touched upon.

    A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James. He's my favourite current author and this is typical of his style, probably the apex of what he initially did. There's dozens of characters, there's lots of violence but its a stunning insight into life in Jamaica and for Jamaicans.

    The Sea by John Banville. While the plot isn't anything entirely ground-breaking, this is literature as art. The writing borders on poetry. It is astounding.

    The Big Nowhere by James Ellroy. I'm a big fan of Ellroy and love the original LA Quartet. This is the best one for me as its setting out his preferred formula (multi-person narrative) but isn't as complicated as later books.

    Strumpet City by James Plunkett. Heartbreaking and bleak. A brilliant story of a fascinating time in Dublin's history and a great overview of class at the time.

    Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. A defining book in post-colonialism African literature. It lays bear how colonialism destroys societies in a flash with a very human cost while also removing the romance around traditions.

    God's Bits of Wood by Ousmane Sembene. Something of a blend of the last two, its about a strike by railway workers in colonial Senegal. Some of the writing is incredible and it also highlights the important role of women and addresses inequalities in their treatment.

    Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. This is the most satisfying Murakami book I've read and is him at his best in terms of plot and character development.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,493 ✭✭✭ growleaves


    I consider classics like Shakespeare, The Bible, Tolkien, Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky as going without saying!

    So here are a few less obvious recommendations:

    1. Journey to the End of the Night / Death on Credit by Louis Ferdinand Celine - these are two of the best novels ever written. Although the second, Death on Credit, takes a dive in quality after the first 300 pages imo. It's funniest when the narrator is with his dysfunctional family. His father is a hysterical failure who goes into fits.

    2. True Grit / Dog of the South by Charles Portis - great dialogue on practically every page of both of these books. The first is a Western, the second is a sort of cod about a guy who wants an adventure.

    3. Tropic of Cancer / Black Spring by Henry Miller. A lot of people don't like these because the author is ego-mad, sex-mad and politically incorrect so your mileage may vary. Very absorbing if you like the irreverent mood which I do.

    4. Eugenie Grandiet by Honore de Balzac. A lot of great books by this author. This is fairly short and one of his best, a sort of love story. A great devastating ending and it works even though you can guess exactly what's going to happen. Worth reading any well-regarded Balzac novel imo.

    5. Crock of Gold / The Charwoman's Daughter by James Stephens. These are Irish so you might know them. Worth reading. I've read Crock of Gold about four times. Will read again. It's a kind of cod fairytale.

    6. Post Office / Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski. Very plain spoken and straightforward honest books. Ham on Rye is very sad. Bukowski is an egotist but not so bad as to ruin these works.

    7. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy / The Honourable Schoolboy by John Le Carre. As much subtle examinations of office politics as they are spy novels. Very enjoyable.

    8. Platform by Michel Houellebecq. Great but shocking/provocative so not everyone will like it.

    9. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson. Great comic novel. This is notorious for having a druggy theme but is better written than almost any novel in English.

    10. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. I suppose this is well known. I've read it four times and look forward to reading it again. Some people will find the narrator annoying. I think its much deeper than it seems on the surface.



  • Registered Users Posts: 53 ✭✭ crantole


    "a womans book"? what exactly does that mean? is this implying that men should read "men's" books and women should read "women's" books?



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