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22-09-2010, 06:07   #1
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Book recommendation: something that blew your mind

I'm looking for a book recommendation. Something different to the run of the mill. I'm asking here rather than the literature forum because I am looking for something different and excitng with new ideas.
It can be fiction/non fiction and be any genre, main thing is it had a huge effect on you when you read it.
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22-09-2010, 12:27   #2
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This is an easy one for me! I cannot recommend this lad enough: David Gemmel.

He writes fantasy novels, swords and sorcery stuff. What makes him stand out by a mile compared to other authors is his ability to explore the greyness of the human condition, the distinction between what is good and what is evil. You end up questioning your own decisions in life reading one of this books somehow!

What also makes him exceptional is that he researches everything completely. He knows weapons, swordplay, his battle descriptions are brilliant, and it goes right down to things like how they manages the horses and what characters eat and wear, it's all fantastically accurate.

He wrote about 20 books before he passed away. They're ridiculously easy to read so they only drawback of his books is that you'll fly through them all at nearly the rate of a book a day, because you'll not put the book down all day long. Read any of them, I recommend starting with Legend or Sword in the Storm.
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22-09-2010, 12:36   #3
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The Author which affected me the most is an New England American guy called Richard Russo.

His ability to capture the subtlety of the male mind and its extraordinary complexity in how it deals with relationships and exterior emotions is awe inspiring and led me to quite an amount of introspection.

Well worth reading, especially I found The Risk Pool and Empire Falls. But really every one of his books is a masterpiece in itself.

Genre is probably best described as contemporary American drama.
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23-09-2010, 07:32   #4
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Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything".
It covers pretty much the entire history of Science, the Universe, and the Earth. Fantastic read. It covers all the major discoveries, and the people who discovered them. What i loved most about it was, he goes into detail about who these people were, what they were like etc. Definatly worth reading
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23-09-2010, 07:52   #5
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Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell
American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis
The Road, Cormac McCarthy
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23-09-2010, 12:27   #6
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"This Book Will Save Your Life" by AM Homes. Don't worry it is not a self help book. Please read the review from the guardian by following the above link, it should peak your interest.
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23-09-2010, 12:44   #7
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For non fiction
Edward De Bono - The use of lateral thinking (The first intellectual book I volunteered to read)
Clyde W Burleson - The Jennifer Project (Because truth is weirder than fiction)
John Gribbin - Stardust (It was free with a magazine but I think it is a very interesting read)
Robert Charles Alexander - The inventer of stereo, The life and works of Alan Dower Blumlein (It's relevant to what I do and his story is amazing and sad to say, is unappreciated)

For fiction
Arthur C Clark - The Rama series. (I like science fiction)
Robert Ludlem - The Bourne Trilogy (The 1st 3 books were written by him, the rest in the series were ghost written and not as good. Also much better than the film, though I do like the films too. Any of the other novels he has written are enjoyable too)
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23-09-2010, 13:54   #8
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Bill Hicks -Love all the people
Henry Rollins - Black Coffee Blues trilogy.

life changing.
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23-09-2010, 20:16   #9
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"As the Future Catches You" by Juan Enriquez was a big eye opener for me. Very interesting and easy to read. It's not written like a regular book, its difficult to explain. Have a look at the first few pages here
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23-09-2010, 21:01   #10
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Times Arrow Martin Amis
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23-09-2010, 21:49   #11
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An experiment with time - J.W. Dunne .. mind boggling and brilliant

Ever wondered about the nature of time? Life after death? the meaning of dreams? then this is for you.. totally original thinking , and from an Irish author too.. might have to request it from your library though as it may prove hard to find

Last edited by 68508224; 23-09-2010 at 21:54.
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24-09-2010, 07:18   #12
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Thanks for all the recommendations to date. I suppose it's unfair for me to ask the question without giving my own favourites:

Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson (great read for tech buffs)
The Information - Martin Amis (to my mind the best of his novels)
The Untouchable - John Banville (beautiful, beautiful writing)

I enjoy maths/economics related themes, so really enjoyed -
The Origin of Wealth - E Beinhocker (the rejection of Traditional Economic theory, making the case for the role of Complexity Economics and Evolution in economic systems)
The Black Swan - NN Taleb (risk)
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27-09-2010, 23:36   #13
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The Millennium Trilogy, by Stieg Larsson
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28-09-2010, 22:06   #14
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Originally Posted by 68508224 View Post
An experiment with time - J.W. Dunne .. mind boggling and brilliant

Ever wondered about the nature of time? Life after death? the meaning of dreams? then this is for you.. totally original thinking , and from an Irish author too.. might have to request it from your library though as it may prove hard to find
It's a book that, once read, you must own.

Just as a matter of interest, how did you come by such a book?

Last edited by Selected; 28-09-2010 at 22:12. Reason: typo
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28-09-2010, 22:14   #15
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Animals People, set in India, brilliant story. Crossroad- Niccolo Aminiti- fantastic,gritty Italian story-fabulous characters and amazing descriptions. The Red Tent- Anita Diamond, biblical story(I'm not christianly religious but this is a beautiful story.)Clan of the cave bear-Jean M Auel,a wonderful, gripping tale, the sequels are a tad glossy for my liking but this is addictive. I truely hope you try some of these,fine reading in them.
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