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No. of Recommendations: 1
would you hope to have with you if you were stranded on a desert island and why?
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No. of Recommendations: 3

1. Ulysses by James Joyce, because it is the truest and most universal book of life
2. Social Systems (non-fiction) by Niklas Luhmann: food for thought without end
3. Thomas Pynchon's “Gravity's Rainbow” to get lost in its complexity
4. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (for substantiation visit “Shakespeare's Portfolio”)
http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?mid=15221448&bid=112933
5. D.H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover, because its main theme is passion
6. Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time to get a glimpse of the universe
7. Margaret Atwood: The Handmaid's Tale, because of the dark and impressive story
8. Joseph Conrad: Heart of Darkness, because it attempts to find meaning within ourselves and because of the dense atmosphere
9. Tex Rubinowitz' Cartoons: And For People Who Can't Read At All, the Cigarette is Cancelled - to entertain me during blue moods and because it was a present of someone very dear to me
10. Don DeLillo's Underworld because I've only started it recently and it sounds interesting.

What about you, euphoriant?

francessa

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I would take:

(1) Huckleberry Finn. I think this is the "Great American Novel."
(2) Moby Dick. Because it is very dense (i.e., you can occupy a lot of time reading it and figuring it out).
(3) Paradise Lost. Got to have some poetry in there.
(4) The Fairie Queen by Edmund Spensor (sp?). More poetry.
(5) The Lord of the Rings. I never get tired of it.
(6) The New Testament, King James version (I would include the Dead Sea Scrolls, if they are available and translated).

Okay now it is getting harder
(7) The Mill on the Floss by George Elliot. Got to have one heartbreakingly-sad book.
(8) The Way of Zen by Alan Watts.
(9) King Arthur/Knights of the Round Table by the original author, whose name escapes me.
(10) The Jungle Book, by Rudyard Kipling (need something from childhood in there) unless I can include the collected works of Dr. Suess.

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1. The complete Hitchhiker's Guide series, by Douglas Adams -- to cheer myself up and reflect that some people are worse off than me.
2. Unweaving the Rainbow by Richard Dawkins -- to remind myself of the fundamental beauty of the universe, and that there's no need to fall into superstition to appreciate it.
3. Godel Escher Bach, by Douglas Hofstadter -- because it contains great reading on every subject that's important, and you can never read it enough times.
4. Lightning, by Dean Koontz -- because I've read it a bunch of times and it's still good.
5. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett -- because I have to have something by Ken Follett, and that's the longest one I can think of.
6. David and Tom Gardner's "You Have More Than You Think" -- because it'll keep me upbeat, and I can think about my plans for what to do after I get off the island.
7. "The Lady or the Tiger? And Other Logic Puzzles", by Raymond Smullyan -- because I've never been able to solve all those puzzles near the end of the book, and I would have a lot of time to work them out.
8. History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell -- because I've been meaning to read it someday, and it would probably keep me occupied for a long time.
9. The Tinkertoy Computer and Other MacHinations -- haven't read it, but maybe it would give me an idea how to build a computer out of sticks or something, and then I'd have a project to pass the time.
10. An issue of Playboy, because my wife wouldn't be around and... well, I'd get bored.
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No. of Recommendations: 2
I would take:

(1) "Skinny Legs And All" by Tom Robbins
It is my favorite book of all time and I've only read it twice so far

(2) "Finnegan's Wake" by James Joyce
I've never had the time or courage to try it, yet

(3) "Robinson Crusoe"
Hey, I'm on a desert island

(4) "U.S. Army Field Survival Manual"
Hey, I'm on a desert island

(5) "Stranger in a Strange Land" by Robert Heinlein,
I've been meaning to reread it for about the last 15 years and I haven't gotten to it yet.

You're right, it does get harder
(6) "Tao, the Watercourse Way" by Alan Watts and ?
It was the right book at the right time years ago, I got to keep it around

(7) "Desolation Angels" by Jack Kerouac
One of those books that either sings to you or you want to toss out the window. It sang to me the one time I read it.

(8) "War and Peace" or "Moby Dick" just because they are big fat books that would take a long time to read.

(9) "The Complete Sherlock Holmes" by A. Conan Doyle
The only mystery stories that are worth re-reading

(10) A Complete Unabridged Dictionary
It's got all the other books in it if you read it in the right order
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I'm glad to see some action on this Board. I've been giving the question some thought since it was first Posted, but either I can't come up with ten that are worthy of each other's company, or I can't limit myself to ten even by cheating, (ie: counting Durant's "History of Civilization" as one).

I'm trying.
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I like your list, Kazim.

I thought about Dean Koontz since I've read and enjoyed all of his books, but they are such crappy little page turners. I couldn't see rereading any of them very often.

GEB was a great choice. I know there is a lot more to it than I got the one time I read it. I might swap this one into my list.
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I kind of like seaofglup's List. Maybe we could have a contest and vote on Favorite List?

Also, it occures to me that we "older" readers may be disadvantaged both by having read more works to choose between, and by having forgotten so many of them.
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I thought about Dean Koontz since I've read and enjoyed all of his books, but they are such crappy little page turners. I couldn't see rereading any of them very often.

Well, you might need at least one crappy page turner. Mostly I agree with you, though; there's other mainstream fiction that I liked, but very few that I'd bother to read more than once. Most Koontz books would be in that category.
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No. of Recommendations: 6
Re voting on favorite list, that will kill the thread for sure. Readers are an Eclectic (sp?) bunch and don't like having their favs dissed.

How about we each write about our Number 1 pick?

I'll start:

My favorite is "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain. I consider it the greatest novel ever written by an American.

The book has come under attack at times, mostly due to its references to the "N" word. It has been made unavailable to read in a very few schools, which I consider a terrible mistake.

One has to read the book in context. At the time, the word in question was not unusual. In fact, for decades later the word was not unusual, and society did not frown upon it.

I consider this novel great for many reasons. First, there is the author's decision to place it on one of the great rivers of the world. A perfect setting for a (I forget the word for a novel where people go on a trip?) novel. Through this greatest of American rivers, he gives us the best and worst of America at his time.

Second, I think his choice of a white boy and black man as travel companions was, according to the mores of the time, very daring. I challenge anyone to find another popular novel written during this period that featured a black man or woman as a major character (okay, other than "Uncle Toms Cabin").

Third, the book is just plain fun. It is a rip-roaring read, it funny, it is full of action and colorful characters.

But, most of all, I love the book for the way it made me love the characters. Huck Finn loved Jim, and so do I. Jim loved Huck Finn, and so do I. They love each other despite tremendous societal constraints, and they will do anything for each other. I watch Huck grow up and become a man, and am glad of it.

The author suffered many, many disappointments and heartbreaks in life, and may have died a disillusioned and, possibly (though I don't believe it), bitter man. But there was a time in his life when he created a work that will endure for all time, a work filled with hope.

And I think that is what makes him the Great American Author. More than anyone else, he gave us a vision of what America should be, what we can aspire to, what we can achieve.
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No. of Recommendations: 2
Greetings,

My first draft reads:

(in no particular order)

1) Ender's War --- Orson Scott Card
2) Mordant's Need -- Stephen R. Donaldson
3) The Belgariad -- David Eddings
4) The Lord of the Rings -- JRR Tolkien
5) The World at War series (4 books) -- Harry Turtledove
6) Midnight at the Well of Souls -- Jack Chalker
7) Harry Potter set -- J.K Rowling
8) Code of the Lifemaker -- James P. Hogan
9) HitchHikers Guide --- Douglas Adams
10) Chronicles of Amber -- Roger Zelasny

I've about 50 books in my librairie database that I've coded as possible desert island candidates, but I could live with these in a crunch.

My entry #2 might need some introduction: it is a lesser known work by Donaldson, but it's a rarety in Fantasy: a 2 volume story! The appeal is the very, very complex plot, some real nice character development. It even has (gasp!) a few four letter words in a fantasy setting, a traditionally very prissy genre of books.

The forward to the Code of the Lifemaker still makes me ROTFLMAO, even after reading it 3 or 4 times. If you can get your hands on a copy for just 5 minutes, read the forward. It's worth it.


Cheers!
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Nothing by Ian Fleming, Mr. Bond? I guess you don't enjoy autobiographical material.
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1) Ender's War --- Orson Scott Card
2) Mordant's Need -- Stephen R. Donaldson
3) The Belgariad -- David Eddings
4) The Lord of the Rings -- JRR Tolkien
5) The World at War series (4 books) -- Harry Turtledove
6) Midnight at the Well of Souls -- Jack Chalker
7) Harry Potter set -- J.K Rowling
8) Code of the Lifemaker -- James P. Hogan
9) HitchHikers Guide --- Douglas Adams
10) Chronicles of Amber -- Roger Zelasny

I've about 50 books in my librairie database that I've coded as possible desert island candidates, but I could live with these in a crunch.


Depending on how many books in some of these series you are planning to take, it looks like you are close to 50 books in this list.
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RE: "voting on favorite list, that will kill the thread for sure"....

...and Threads on this Board sure don't seem to lack for killing.
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Greetings!

Seaofglup,

Well, I have a one tome version of Ender's war, TLOR. Sadly the others are all multivolume books. But The Belgariad, Chronicles, WW set and HP could all be ordered using one book code at the science fiction book club: they are one long story and could be purchase as one item.

No mention of just how BIG an island. ;o)

Kazim:

The Ian fleming books I read belong to my father, so technically, they aren't mine to take. He might want them for His island retreat.

Cheers!
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"(1) Ender's War --- Orson Scott Card
2) Mordant's Need -- Stephen R. Donaldson
3) The Belgariad -- David Eddings
4) The Lord of the Rings -- JRR Tolkien
5) The World at War series (4 books) -- Harry Turtledove
6) Midnight at the Well of Souls -- Jack Chalker
7) Harry Potter set -- J.K Rowling
8) Code of the Lifemaker -- James P. Hogan
9) HitchHikers Guide --- Douglas Adams
10) Chronicles of Amber -- Roger Zelasny"

I've read Ender's War, The Belgariad, LOTR, Hitchhikers, and the Amber series.

Noticed Robert Jordan isn't in there ... did you stop reading those, too?

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Greetings,

Gator 8387,

For better or worse, I admit, I've never read one line, page let alone one book by Robert Jordan.

I've nothing against him, just never got around to reading him.
(so many books, .... so little time....)


Feel free to sue me ;o)


Cheers!
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No. of Recommendations: 3
Second, I think [Mark Twain's} choice of a white boy and black man as travel companions was, according to the mores of the time, very daring. I challenge anyone to find another popular novel written during this period that featured a black man or woman as a major character (okay, other than "Uncle Toms Cabin").


Huckleberry Finn came under attack by a number of contemporary authors, including Emily Dickinson, who claimed it corrupted the youth of America. For some reason, I find this very funny.

I like this book. Jim, the escaped slave, was an extremely controversial character for the time. Mark Twain was born in the south prior to the Civil War (1835), yet Jim, despite appearing somewhat childlike to our eyes, was a strong, intelligent, independent black man who took his fate into his own hands. Yes, the N word was used and I am not justifying its use, but it was an accepted term at the time. Maybe it's just because I deal with history on a daily basis, but you can't judge most past attitudes on a modern scale.

Actually, Jim is a more modern character than Uncle Tom. While Uncle Tom said, "You may kill my body but you'll never claim my soul," he remained a loyal servant to the end. Jim said, in essence, "[Bleep] this, man, I'm outta here." Also, Jim never addressed Huck Finn as "master." They talked as equals.

I haven't posted my list because I just cannot decide on just ten books. Do sets count as one book like a six-pack counts as one item?

Uhura :o)
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No, I don't think you can count collections, that makes it too easy (otherwise "Collected Works of Shakespeare" would be on every list).

Though a SERIES I think should count (like Lord of the Rings) if the characters and subject matter are consistent throughout. Though that raises a problem re John McDonald and Travis McGee.

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My 10, in no particular order:

Madame Bovary
The Glass Bead Game
Hitchhiker's Guide Series
The Crying of Lot 49
Schismatrix (Bruce Sterling)
Huck Finn
Neuromancer (William Gibson)
Jude the Obscure
Hamlet
V


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Doesn't the choice of books tell more about the reader than about the book?

francessa
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Greetings,

Doesn't the choice of books tell more about the reader than about the book?

To a certain extent, yes.

I'm not a big reader of horror novels, so Stephen King's work doesn't make my list. The absence of SK is an indication of the reader.

Gator8387 was curious about the absence of Robert Jordan from my list. Again this is more an indication of the reader, not the book.

On the other hand,

I do read science-fiction. I've read many of Robert Heinlein; enjoyed some; hated others. None of them made my list. In this case, it is an indication of the book/author.

I've read many of Terry Pratchet's Discworld series, good light reads, but not enough to make the list. Ditto for Piers Anthony Xanth series, Blue Adept, Incarnations of Immortals series.

Cheers,



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I've read a lot of science fiction/fantasy, too, and agree with you. A lot of terrific books that I have enjoyed immensely, but very little that can be considered "great." I liked the ones you mention.

Anyone read the Harry Potter books? I went on a reading binge during the holidays and read the first three, they are very good (though they pretty much tell the same story over and over again).

Also if anyone is looking for some page/turning light reading, "The Descent" which is currently on the shelves is pretty good.
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My ten would be:

1. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
2. Owen Meaney - John Irving
3. Lord of the rings - Tolkien
4. Harry Potter series - J.K Rowling
5. God of small things - Arundhati Roy
6. Watership down - Richard Adams
7. A suitable boy - Vikram Seth
8. The Dandelion Clock - Guy Burt
9. The Slave - Isaac Bashevis Singer
10. Catcher in the rye - J.D Salinger



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Glad to meet another Harry Potter fan, when I tell my book-reading friends how good the series is, they look at me with a condescending expression, but they REALLY GOOD.

Can't wait for the next one to come out.
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