Daily GUIDE-ance:

Saturday, February 9, 2008

71 of my favorite books

Just for the devil of it, I started making a list of my favorite books of all time at work while I was waiting for Pro-E to regenerate. Then, just for the devil of it again, I found myself trying to put them in order of favoriteness. That was harder. This morning I found myself on the floor of my library with my list printed out and a pair of scissors, snipping and reordering titles.

I do like to read, but a good book can be hard to find, there being so many mediocre books out there.
What else is good? I would very much like to hear about everyone else's favorite books!

So here is the official 2008 JCS fanclub reccommened reading list:

1 The Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglas
Author:Frederick Douglas
Genre: Nonfiction, autobiography of a runaway slave
Age group: Adult

2 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Author: Mark Twain
Genre: Fiction

Age group: Young Adult

3 JK Rowlings' Harry Potter Series
Genre: Fantasy
Age group: Young Adult/children

4 The Hobbit
Author:JRR Tolkein
Genre: Fantasy

Age group: Young Adult

5 James Herriot's
-All creatures Great and Small
-All Things Wise and Wonderful
-All Things Bright and Beautiful
-The Lord God made them all
Genre: Nonfiction, autobiographical stories from an English vet. Fun!
Age group: Adult


6 Stephanie Meyer's Vampire Trilogy
-Twilight
-Eclipse
-New Moon
Genre: Fantasy/Teen Romance
Age group: Young Adult


7 Contact
Author: Carl Sagan
Genre: Sci-Fi
Age group: Adult

8 A Night in the Lonesome October
Author:Roger Zelazney
Genre: Fantasy
Age group: Young Adult


9 Last of the breed
Author: Louis Lamour
Genre: Adventure. A native American Pilot escapes capture in Cold War Russia
Age group: Adult


10 Centennial
Author:James Michner
Genre: Historical Fiction/ Western
Age group: Adult


11 A Christmas Carol
Author:Charles Dickens
Genre: Fantasy

Age group: Young Adult

12 John Fitzgerald's The Great Brain series
-The Great Brain
-The Great Brain at the academy
-The Great Brain is back
-The Great Brain does it again
-The Great Brain reforms
-More Adventures of The Great Brain
-Me and my little Brain
-The Return of the Great Brain
Genre: Funny stories about growning up in post civil war Utah
Age group: Children/Young Adult



13 CS Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia
-The Lion the witch and The Wardrobe
-Prince Caspian
-The voyage of The dawn Treader
-The Silver Chair
-A Horse and His Boy
-The Magician's Nephew
-The Last Battle
Genre: Fantasy
Age group: Children/Young Adult


14 Douglas Adam's Dirk Gently
-The Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul
-Dirk Gently’s Holistic Dectective Agency
Genre: Sci-Fi humour
Age group: Young Adult


15 Barbara Hambly’s Vampire stuff
-Those who hunt the night
-Traveling with the dead
Genre: Fantasy
Age group: Young Adult/Adult


16 Fred Saberhagen's Dracula
-The Dracula Tape
-The Holmes Dracula Files
-A Matter of Taste
-A Sharpness on the Neck
-A Question of Time
-A Coldness in the Blood
-An old friend of the Family
-Thorn
-Dominion
-Séance for a Vampire
Genre: Fantasy
Age group: Adult


17 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Author: Mark Twain
Genre: Fiction
Age group: Young Adult


18 Jungle Book
-Jungle Book 1
-Jungle Book 2
Author: Rudyard Kipling
Genre: Fiction
Age group: Young Adult


19 Madeline Lengle's Time "Trilogy"
-A Wrinkle in Time
-A Wind in the Door
-A Swiftly Tilting Planet
-Many Waters
Genre: Fantasy
Age group: Young Adult


20 The Dragons Of Eden
Author: Carl Sagan
Genre: NF-Science-the evolution of human intelligence
Age group: Adult


21The Guide-Douglas Adams
-The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
-The Restraunt at the End of the Universe
-Life, The Universe, and Everything
Genre: Sci-Fi humour
Age group: Young Adult

22 Pale Blue Dot
Author: Carl Sagan
Genre: NF-Science-Astronomy

Age group: Adult

23 Cosmos
Author: Carl Sagan
Genre: NF-Science-Astronomy
Age group: Adult


24 JRRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings
-The Fellowship of the Ring
-The Two Towers
-The Return of The king
Author:JRR Tolkein
Genre: Fantasy
Age group: Young Adult


25 Dracula
Author: Bram Stoker
Genre: Fantasy/Horror
Age group: Adult


26 Harry Harrison- The Hammer and the Cross*
-The Hammer and The Cross
-One King’s Way
-King and Emporer
Genre: Fantasy/Alternative History
Age group: Adult

* This last series is the only one of this lot that I cannot unconditionally reccomend to anyone. Its a violent, sometimes graphic set of books. I like em, but I would feel guilty if I did not forwarn you.

Note: I did not mention The Bible or the Book of Mormon, because that's cheating, picking the Bible as your favorite book- But I will mention them both now. The Bible has shaped today' culture so deeply and subtly, as no other book has. No one with out some knowledge of it can, in my mind, consider themselves educated, and if you wish to be well educated you should read the whole thing lid to lid at least once. As for the Book of Mormon, the whole of the LDS religion is either true or false with The Book of Mormon and the only way to determine its truthfulness or lack thereof is to read it.

21 comments:

timpani76 said...

Some of my favorites:

1.The Outlaw of Torn by Edgar Rice Burroughs (which I told you to read years ago, and is a book that definitely has "John will like this" written all over it in big flashy manly colored letters)

2. Pretty much everything by Jane Austen (Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, Northanger Abbey, and Emma)

3.Darkover novels, The Firebrand, and The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. You wouldn't like them, they're too feminist.

4.The Screwtape Letters and Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

5.The Snow Queen and the Summer Queen by Joan D. Vinge (you may like these, not sure)

6. Darwath "trilogy" by Barbara Hambly (there are like five books in the series, though). Did you read these?

7. Memoirs of a Warsaw Ghetto Fighter by Kazik (Simha Rotem). This was one of the best Holocaust memoirs I read (and I read about 40-50 of them).

8. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (love this book!)

9. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett (still love this book!)

10.The Stand by Stephen King (read for the first time when I was 14, read every year since)


Of your stuff I read Huckleberry Finn, Harry Potter, Narnia, Barbara Hambly, the Saberhagen stuff, the James Herriot stuff (plus more), Contact (Carl Sagan), Last of the Breed, A Christmas Carol, Madeline L'Engle (your forgot Many Waters in this series, it was about the twins Sandy and Denny), Douglas Adams stuff, and the Tolkien stuff (except the Hobbit).

Madeline L'Engle and James Herriot make it to my top list, as well as Contact by Carl Sagan.

Anonymous said...

Hey John-

Have you ever read anything by Isaac Asimov? The author that wrote I, Robot, and the Foundation series? I think you'd really like him.

VIRGINIA

Anonymous said...

Timpani you read 40-50 holocaust books?!?! That is many. I cant compete with that. I will try out the book you mentioned- i have been wanting to get smarter on WW2.

I'll dig up the Outlaws of Torn.

I did read Asimov somewhat. I have not read all of the Foundation stuff, but what I read I liked, mainly. He has alot of goofy social baggage that he just cant seem to keep out of his books, but other than that I liked his books.I liked the science alot.

Speaking of baggage, yeah, Timpani, you are right I pretty much hate authors with a feminist axe to grind. and you didnt read the Hobbit but you read LoR? thats wierd! LoR is hard reading! The Hobbit is easy. (I dont tend to like books that are hard to read, and alot-most of my picks are based on being easily engaging.)

I doubt I will ever read a Jane Austen book. I watched Pride and Predjudice (movie) with Liz once and it was SOOOOO WIERD. like it was a translation from some other culture. I think you have to be a girl.

-hey I did so include Many Waters!-

I think I read some of the Darwath stuff... but it didnt take really.

J

timpani76 said...

Sorry, I missed the Many Waters.

And it is Outlaw (singular) not Outlaws (plural). There is only one Outlaw of Torn! Totally cool book in the hardboiled style of writing reminiscent of Louis Lamour (sp?).

Yeah, you know some of the Holocaust books I read were REALLY obscure (and small). After Holocaust survivors moved to Israel (when the state was formed) there was a big movement to get everyone to write down their experiences in memoirs. Some of these books have only 1-2 copies left in the world (and I got to read them through inter-library loan at SIUE, isn't that cool!). I also got to read some rare diaries from the Kovno Ghetto (Lithuania). The Kovno Ghetto was the subject of my Bachelor's thesis for my history major.

Kazik was a good writer, but he put things very plainly and did not meander from past to future the way some authors did. He was also an interesting person, overall. The Warsaw Ghetto uprising is one of the most inspiring things that came out of the Holocaust. The Warsaw Ghetto fighters held off the Nazis longer than the entire Polish Army. And the 30-40 warriors that survived, went on to fight with the Polish resistance fighters in the woods and helped take back Poland.

I still have about 40-50 more Holocaust books I want to read (Elie Wiesel, and a few women whose names I can't recall). So much good stuff!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...I think I'll read The Stand. I tried to watch the movie when I was a teenager, but it was a little much for me (all the dead rotting corpses in their cars). Maybe as an adult, I will be better able to handle stuff like that, plus, I can skip over the extra icky stuff. Has anyone read I Am Legend by Richard Matheson? I saw the movie a little while ago, and I didn't love the movie (though some of the shots of an empty, overgrown Manhattan were unbelievably believable and shocking.), but I hear that it deviated too much from the book. I'll probably read that, too. I meant to get it last time I went to the library, but forgot.

MC

timpani76 said...

I read "I Am Legend" about ten years ago? I think. Depressing! Creepy! Not too bad. Some people REALLY like it, but those are people who really like horror.

I just finished "Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortenson and loved it! What an inspiring book about one man's desire to build schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. In the process, he also builds bridges between Christians and Muslims and educates thousands of girls who would never be able to get an education otherwise.

It kind of reminded me of this book on tape I listened too called "Understanding Islam from an LDS Perspective" not because the books are actually alike, but because it opened my eyes to a lot of things in similar ways.

Anonymous said...

There was a time when The Stand would have been at the top of my list. I was into alot of Stephen King for a while, and the Stand was my fav of his. But I became disenchanted with him about the same time as I got religon- (I think there was a cause-effect relationship on some level there).

J

Anonymous said...

Oh a couple honorable mentions-

Micheal Crichton has written alot of books that I like quite a bit but none that really rate as topgrade. The Great Train Robbery comes close though.

Fatu Hiva is an obscurer book By Thor Heyerdahl about the time he and his first wife lived technology free for about a year on a tropical island called Fatu Hiva. I liked it.

J

Anonymous said...

OH for VA and anyone else who likes Asimov-
theres always Authur C. Clarkes:
2001
2010
2061
and
3001

I liked them also.

J

Anonymous said...

Farenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
J

timpani76 said...

Ooh! I forgot the Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffery!

Did you read those?

Anonymous said...

Tried.
Its been a while though.

"Catherine called Birdy" by Karen Cushman. A 14 year old girl in the middle ages finds interesting ways of fending off suitors. This is a funny one. MC you would like this one. So would anybody.

J

Anonymous said...

Just started CS Lewis's Mere Christianity. It begins well. Made me laugh.

J

timpani76 said...

I already read your "Catherine Called Birdy". It was pretty good, but I read too many historical fiction books about that time era, and I guess it felt like I had already read that book before.

Tell me what you think of the "Pride" chapter of Mere Christianity when you get to that part.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I recollect you reading it Timpani.

Not up to the pride chapter yet, but its definately keeping me going. Some very smart stuff in there so far and several laughs too.

J

Anonymous said...

Any of the Terry Goodkind "Sword of Truth" series. Skip parts that are "yucky." I started reading these because of a single quote- and I cannot find it verbatim, so I paraphrase,- "You are like mice arguing with owls. You think their ways are wrong. They think that you are lunch." The novels are full of great stuff about moral relativism and why it's okay to fight a war.

Thieves' World novels- all 15!

The Black Company novels by Glen Cook

Any R A Salvatore books

And anything on my wife's list that you think that I would have read, except the Stand. I can never get through that one. ;)

Big E

Anonymous said...

The mice and owls thing is funny.

Who wrote Thieves' World?

I think Liz's Carl is into Terry Goodkind. Maybe I will give him a 2nd chance.

I just finished something by Bill Bryson called "A short History of nearly everything" - The history of science, that I found very interesting.

Also just listned to "An Inconvient Book" Boring.

Anybody read Kevin J. Anderson? Sci-Fi. I am going to check him out because Neil Peart of Rush reccomended him.

I also want to read Richard Dawkins' The Blind Watchmaker because Douglas Adams said that book changed his life. Dawkins is an out-spoken Atheist.

J

Anonymous said...

Note to self: Men From Earth by Buzz Aldrin

Anonymous said...

I just finished Isaac Asimov’s “Robots and Empire” and I have to give it major props. The best Asimov I’ve read I think. I will probably have to read the rest of em. And no really absurd sex-with-an-alien scences!!

J

Anonymous said...

Einstein himself wrote a book on Relativity that is supposed to be pretty comprehensible.

J

Anonymous said...

Das Mars Projeckt? Werner von braun.

I need to add a new page for this "gonna read someday" stuff.

J