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Subject: "Which book should every adult read before they die?" rss

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Paul Sommer
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librarians around the country were asked the question, "Which book should every adult read before they die?"

The list in full

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Bible------2 books in one!!
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien------landmark work
1984 by George Orwell------- a warning
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
All Quite on the Western Front by E M Remarque----obligatory
His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman
Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Lord of the Flies by William Golding------disagree
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
Tess of the D'urbevilles by Thomas Hardy
Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne-------super
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
The Prophet by Khalil Gibran------classic
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho---------splendid
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov-----brilliant
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Middlemarch by George Eliot
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess----- a difficult read
A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzenhitsyn----an eyeopener
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TiNYTimIDFluffYBunnY wrote:
The Lord of the Flies by William Golding------disagree


Why?
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Bill Galloway
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"How to avoid dying", by Wilma Liffend.
Oh no wait, that's what to read right before you die.

I would recommend one of those books that really explains in detail how various parts of the world work. I'm not specific about which part - I just think it's good to pick one part and see how deep and complex each part is. For example:

"Fast Food Nation", by Eric Schlosser.

"Connections", by James Burke.

"Guns, Germs and Steel", by Jared Diamond.

Or something by Noam Chomsky or James Gleick or Bill Bryson.



Or for fiction, what I recommend is the should-never-be-disputed absolute best use of and for the English Language: the works of P.G. Wodehouse.

Wodehouse plus hammock plus lemonade plus Lake Huron shoreline July weather equals paradise.
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Melissa
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Interesting list.

I score 14. (and I consider myself reasonably widely read - guess not so much). Technically, 13.25 because Lord of the Flies - ugh.

I'm tempted to read my way through the rest of the list.
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Paul Sommer
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PLEASE note the librarians were english which is reflected in the list...

I think we can do better than this ...



submit some books why don't you .....I will later today

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robin goblin
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I'll start with

The Devils (also translated as The Possessed) by F. Dostoyevski

Germinal by Zola

more to follow I think....

Robin
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Oooh, I love projects like this. Even when I disagree I think it is interesting.

I'd want Catch-22, Moby Dick, and A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick, The Snapper by Roddy Doyle, Way Station by Cliff Simak, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Dhalgren by Samual Delany and the Awakening by Kate Chopin.

I'm sure if I think about it I'd come up with more, but that's it off the top of my head. Some of that stuff I would maybe change if I read it today, but in my memory that's how things stack up.
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CHAPEL
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I score 13 (and a some % of the bible). Interesting list, and you're right very "british".

I'd Like to add

Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter.

and

Grendal by John Gardner
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Stephen Harkleroad
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Any list that doesn't include Ulysses is a good list.

Man, what a worthless, worthless book.

I remember when the modern library association made their Top 100 English Language Fiction of the 20th Century list. I decided that to become more well-read I would read all the books on the list I hadn't read. And, I had decided that I would start from the top down. The #1 book was, of course, Ulysses. I thought to myself, "This is supposed to be the best book of the 20th century?" I never finished the book, or the list. What a waste.

Since then, I have been...skeptical of book lists. I figure a good book is a good book.

That said, I'm somewhat nonplussed. I've read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. I guess it's a good book--it didn't do much for me--but I'd hardly consider it a classic. I guess it's reasonably new, but still.

I'd second Catch-22. I'd also add Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (actually, I'd rather recommend We the Living, which is a much better book, but it doesn't have the content that makes Ayn Rand Ayn Rand.) All the King's Men (Robert Penn Warren) is also required reading, at least for any democracy. I'd also add Dune (Frank Herbert) and Brave New World (Aldous Huxley). Also, the collected stories of Sherlock Holmes. Plus, I would add the Complete Calvin and Hobbes, though I imagine that won't make it to any list.

Nonfiction (not that you asked), I'd meekly suggest Parliament of Whores (P.J. O'Rourke). He perhaps may be too libertarian for some (especially if you just got done reading Atlas Shrugged), but it's an excellent and humorous description of democracy in general, not just conservatives or liberals. Should be required reading for any democracy.

And I'm not really going to recommend this goes to any kind of Best Evar! list, but Charlie Wilson's War (George Crile) is just a suggestion. It's an excellent story about 1) How amazing people can fare so poorly in their personal lives; 2) you have to do a lot of unfortunate and morally suspect actions in a world under attack; and 3) how far one can dance along the edge of morality before you become as bad as your enemy. It's a very illustrative look at one tiny sliver of the Cold War, and it doesn't take much to magnify that several times to realize how everything went in those days.
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Paul Sommer
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Coase wrote:
Any list that doesn't include Ulysses is a good list.

Man, what a worthless, worthless book.

I remember when the modern library association made their Top 100 English Language Fiction of the 20th Century list. I decided that to become more well-read I would read all the books on the list I hadn't read. And, I had decided that I would start from the top down. The #1 book was, of course, Ulysses. I thought to myself, "This is supposed to be the best book of the 20th century?" I never finished the book, or the list. What a waste.

Since then, I have been...skeptical of book lists. I figure a good book is a good book..


Ah ha But this list will OUR list ...the true list ...the geek book list to end all book lists

devil
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robin goblin
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Well, no list of great books would be complete without Ulysses.

Robin

ps though I didn't manage to finish it either!

pps Still *anything's* better than Ayn Rand and P.J. O'Rourke!! gulp

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TiNYTimIDFluffYBunnY wrote:
The Bible------2 books in one!!

My inner-pedant insists that I correct this mild mistake. It is actually 66 books in one.
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Sir Cumference
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I second the idea that something by P.G. Wodehouse should definitely be on the list. Also some version of Tao Te Ching (Lao Tzu). The Tale of Genji probably belongs there, as does Boswell's Life of Johnson. Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine has moments of true beauty and greatness. I would also nominate Ursula LeGuin's The Dispossessed.
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I would suggest adding the following four books to the BGG version of the must-read list:

-Foundation (Asimov)

-Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)

-Dune (Herbert)

-Matilda (Dahl)
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Clinton Smith
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The Diary of Anne Frank.
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Les Miserables by Victor Hugo is suprisingly missing.

And how did His Dark Materials get on there. I loved the first two, but the third was the most disappointing close to a trilogy I have ever read hands down.
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goo I could go on forever on this, but as a start...

Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges

The Western Lands by William S. Burroughs

Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller

The Autumn of the Patriarch by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez

The Trial by Franz Kafka

On the Road by Jack Kerouac

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man By James Joyce

The works of Homer, Shakespeare, and Poe goo
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Death Comes for the Archbishop (Willa Cather)
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Robin
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Quote:
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man By James Joyce

The works of Homer, Shakespeare, and Poe goo


I strongly agree and having giving this much thought, I'd also like to add

Lady Chatterley's Love by DH Lawrence
Mrs. Dalloway by Virgina Woolf

I agree with many of you! Many have suggested some great books also, that are now on a list to evidently read.
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Paul Sommer
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Bunny realises its his job to collate all this and resubmit for more comments

GRrrrrr bark snarl..





Grendal ----YES!!
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Paul Sommer
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To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Bible-----many books in one!!
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien------landmark work
1984 by George Orwell------- a warning
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
All Quite on the Western Front by E M Remarque----obligatory
His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman
Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Lord of the Flies by William Golding------disagree
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
Tess of the D'urbevilles by Thomas Hardy
Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne-------super
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
The Prophet by Khalil Gibran------classic
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho---------splendid
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov-----brilliant
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Middlemarch by George Eliot
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess----- a difficult read
A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzenhitsyn----an eyeopener

ITALICS ARE FROM BUNNY PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ADD , OR VOTE OUT BOOKS ...USE ITALICS


OUR LIST ADDED


Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser.
Connections by James Burke.
Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond.
something by Noam Chomsky
something by James Gleick
something by Bill Bryson
The Devils (also translated as The Possessed) by F. Dostoyevski
Germinal by Zola
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick,
The Snapper by Roddy Doyle
Way Station by Cliff Simak
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Dhalgren by Samual Delany
the Awakening by Kate Chopin.
Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter.
Grendal by John Gardner
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
Dune by Frank Herbert
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
The collected stories of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Complete Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Paterson
something by P.G. Wodehouse
Tao Te Ching (Lao Tzu)
The Tale of Genji
Life of Johnson by Boswell's
Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
The Dispossessed by Ursula LeGuin
Foundation By Issac Asimov
Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
Matilda by Roald Dahl
The Diary of Anne Frank.
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges
The Western Lands by William S. Burroughs
Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
The Autumn of the Patriarch by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez
The Trial by Franz Kafka
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man By James Joyce
The works of Homer-both?
Shakespeare------which one??
Edgar Allen Poe------which one??
For Whom The Bell Tolls - Hemmingway
The Snow Leopard - Matthiessen
The Stars My Destination - Bester
Don Quiote - Cervantes
Tortilla Flat series by Steinbeck
Gormenghast Trilogy by Peake
The Hobbit by Tolkien
one Conan Book - R.E Howard---------which one??
Perfume – Suskind
Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
Lady Chatterley's Love by DH Lawrence
Mrs. Dalloway by Virgina Woolf


A hint ----any Indian , african , more german , italian , more french book suggestions
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Robin
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Quote:
A hint ----any Indian , african , more german , italian , more french book suggestions


African- Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
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I scored 10 on the original list which is just OK I guess, although quite a few are already on my "must read" list.

My additions:

Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching should certainly be on this list. For such a small work, I found it to have significant impact.

I also haven't seen Aldous Huxley: Brave New World or Ray Bradbury: Fahrenheit 451 mentioned, which I found to be excellent reads and very thought provoking.

Lastly, Alexandre Dumas: The Three Musketeers I found to be a much more fun and exciting bit of literature than the more often suggested Count of Monte Cristo (which I thought to be just "OK"). TM is my first suggestion to people who are giving thought to reading some of the classics but are used to more mainstrean fiction. The Three Musketeers is a good "hook" My SoC or TtR of classic literature.


My favorite of the original list: David Copperfield. Loved it, I completely agree that it is a must read, it's position is well deserved. Quite possibly the only book I'd rate a 10 out of what I've read thus far in my life.



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Paul Sommer
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Check out this list of best 100 from modern library ...hmmmmm much better

http://www.geocities.com/~spiritwalk/books100bestnovels.htm

My list... MINE you hear MINE!!!! muahaha

An Area of Darkness by V S Naipaul
The Guide by R.K Narayan
A prayer for owen meany by John Irving
The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Unreliable Memoirs By Clive James
Slowly Down The Ganges by Eric Newby
The complete Saki by H.H Munroe
I , Claudius By robert Graves
Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
The complete works of Aristophanes
Hocus Pocus By Kurt Vonnegut
The tin Drum by Gunter grass
The cancer Ward By Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
The songlines By Bruce Chatwin








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pronoblem baalberith
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Books that I do not see on the combined list that I would certainly add:

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass
You Can't Win by Jack Black (not the hollywood JB)
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Jurgen by James Branch Cabel
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Lord of the Flies by William Golding

and many more... I'll add to this later.

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