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Old 02-02-2009, 04:14 PM
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Book club

I love a good book, classics, contemporary fiction, popular science, philosophy, sci fi, crime novels, satire, all sorts.

So how about a thread where we can recommend favourite books, or chat about ones we love?

This is inspired by nands asking me for a book recommendation and me typing out an essay in a visitor message, recommending about a year's worth of books!

So, i'll get the ball rolling, with my favourite atheist author for fiction; Iain Banks (both with and without the middle "m").

Writes fantasticly dark and twisted fiction (as Iain Banks), and amazing sci fi (as Iain M Banks)...

Quite often tackles big stuff, 9/11 and the "war on terror" (Dead Air), death and atheism (The Crow Road), religion and cults (Whit)...

With his sci fi stuff he invented the secular and decidedly socialist future society of The Culture... If we could get to that kind of a future there's hope for us yet...

Anyone else a fan? I thoroughly suggest checking out his stuff.

Any other recommendations?
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Old 02-02-2009, 04:18 PM
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give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime; give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish
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Old 02-02-2009, 04:23 PM
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It's a good quote that one eh! Thought seeing as i only post in this forum there's less chance of me offending anyone overly religious...

i kinda like its symbolism too - to me it kinda also means that the bottom line is that things are in your own hands - and that we can help eachother - but if you want "god" to sort them out you'll be waiting a while!
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Old 02-02-2009, 04:26 PM
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That would make a great bumper sticker. Have you ever been to *****?

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Old 02-02-2009, 04:26 PM
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I like James Baldwin, Thomas Hardy, Kate Chopin, Austen, Dickens... lets see who else? Out of contempary stuff I like that guy, forget his name, the author of Atonement. I'll tell you who I'm NOT a fan of-James Joyce, Faulkner, Woolf, Thomas Pynchon

I like reading stuff by Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn, Ronald takaki. The Rape of Nanking is a good book.
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Old 02-02-2009, 04:27 PM
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I am sort of a book freak. Right now I am reading a lot of recovery books so I could go on and on about those but since this seems like a non-recovery book recommendation you are seeking I am going to go with:

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts which really is just one of the best books recently written

And some technically non-recovery books that I have read/re-read recently that might be helpful to recovery in a way:

Ralph Waldo Emerson - Self-Reliance or his other essays
Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Paul Tillich - The Courage To Be
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Old 02-02-2009, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Eroica View Post
I like James Baldwin, Thomas Hardy, Kate Chopin, Austen, Dickens... lets see who else? Out of contempary stuff I like that guy, forget his name, the author of Atonement. I'll tell you who I'm NOT a fan of-James Joyce, Faulkner, Woolf, Thomas Pynchon

I like reading stuff by Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn, Ronald takaki. The Rape of Nanking is a good book.
yeah i've tried reading pynchon, could not get into it!

I also love chomsky, last one i read of his was "hegemony or survival"

not read any of the others... Atonement is... By Ian someone i think?
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Old 02-02-2009, 06:20 PM
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I highly recommend "Dry" by Augusten Burroughs. It's a memoir about his dealing with his alcoholism and recovery. Reading this book, one paragraph I would be relating to what I was reading and crying and in the next I would be laughing out loud.

Here are a few excerpts that hit me hard:

"I go to the bed and sit on the edge, sinking into the plush down comforter and the featherbed below. I feel a pr*ck of good fortune, an awareness that I am lucky to have such a nice bed to sit on during my anxiety attack. Why am I so anxious? And the it hits me. I'm not anxious, I'm lonely. And I'm lonely in some horribly deep way and for a flash of an instant, I can see just how lonely, and how deep this feeling runs. And it scares the sh*t out of me to be so lonely because it seems catastrophic--seeing the car just as it hits you. But then all of a sudden, that feeling is gone and I'm blank. So it's like a door quickly opened, just a crack, to show me what a mess I was inside. But not enough to really stare for long and absorb all the details...

...A bell rings. I think of my apartment. It's my deepest, darkest secret. The fact that I drink is not a secret. The fact that I'm usually already drunk when I meet Jim for drinks is not a secret.

My apartment is my secret. It's filled with empty liquor bottles. Not five or six. More like three hundred. Three hundred one-liter bottles of scotch, occupying all the floor space not already occupied by a bed or a chair. Sometimes I myself am stunned by the visual presentation. And the truly odd part is that I really don't know how they got there. You'd think I'd have taken each bottle down to the trash room when it was empty. But I let two collect. And because two is nothing, I let three collect. And on it went....

...Every time I've removed the bottles from my apartment, promised myself it would never happen again, it always happens again. And when I used to drink beer instead of scotch, the beer bottles would collect. I counted the beer bottles once: on thousand, four hundred and fifty-two. You have not felt anxiety until you have carried a plastic trash bag stuffed with a few hundred beer bottles down the stairs in the middle of the night, trying not to make a sound."

When I read these paragraphs from the book, I felt naked, like someone had peeked into my life and wrote down the details that I've tried so hard to hide. But then I felt a strange comfort that I wasn't the only one.
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Old 02-03-2009, 03:34 AM
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"unknown man #89" by elmore leonard has a main character who's a recovering alcoholic, he writes so well and accurately about it i'm sure he must have some sort of personal experience of it - either him or someone close to him...
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Old 02-03-2009, 05:04 AM
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I think I must be a shallow person, I read a lot but I read for entertainment.

And occasionally for enlightenment, but I don't want to fill my life with nothing but recovery, lol

So most of the time I don't want to read about it or watch movies about it or even bloody think about it.

If a book is funny or moving or intelligent I will read it regardless of the subject, so my bookshelves hold some books relavant to recovery but that will never be my reason for choosing a book.

I really am shallow though I will always prefer a book that makes me laugh to one that makes me think.
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:36 AM
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I agree, reading about alcoholism or recovery and nothing else would do my head in too.

Although if you want to get all deep and meaningful about it, all books are essentially about the human condition in some form or another, and being sober to me is about getting to grips with that... But i'm being playful!
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:41 AM
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Some more of my favourite authors of contemporary fiction i recommend checking out:

Chris Brookmyre
Carl Hiassen
Nick Hornby
Tom Robbins
John O'Farrell
Philip Pullman
Chuck Palahniuk
Neil Gaiman
John Twelve Hawks
Will Self
Douglas Adams
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:51 AM
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Cormac McCarthy
Joe R. Lansdale
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Old 02-03-2009, 12:28 PM
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I love Harlan Coben. He writes really good drama/mystery books. I usually read them THE DAY they come out, all in one sitting. I literally can not put one of his books down once I start.

As for funny (mostly chick humor) reading goes, you can't beat Laurie Notaro. The Idiot Girl books are so funny you will have tears streaming down your face. I just got her newest book, an actual novel as opposed to a collection of stories based on her life, but I haven't read it yet. I have high hopes for it.

I'm also really into rock star/band autobiographies. So far I've read:
The Dirt - Motley Crue
Tommy Land - Tommy Lee
Heroin Diaries - Nikki Sixx
Scar Tissue - Anthony Kiedis
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Old 02-03-2009, 01:11 PM
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TSH - I hate chick lit lol.

I somehow find it difficult to get involved in the lives and problems of people who always seem to be attractive, have really cool jobs and fantastic one liners, but cant get a boyfriend.

Guess I'm bitter and jealous as well as shallow, there is no hope for me!!!!!
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Old 02-03-2009, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by spark42 View Post
Some more of my favourite authors of contemporary fiction i recommend checking out:

Chris Brookmyre
Carl Hiassen
Nick Hornby
Tom Robbins
John O'Farrell
Philip Pullman
Chuck Palahniuk
Neil Gaiman
John Twelve Hawks
Will Self
Douglas Adams
Yay! Another Tom Robbins fan. He has a new book coming out in April, ironically named "B is for Beer." I have mine already on pre-order.
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Old 02-03-2009, 01:48 PM
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I've read the entire Harry Potter series about 5 times, too. And the Twilight series (but that just once - LOL). I guess part of me is still 15.
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Old 02-03-2009, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by allport View Post
TSH - I hate chick lit lol.

I somehow find it difficult to get involved in the lives and problems of people who always seem to be attractive, have really cool jobs and fantastic one liners, but cant get a boyfriend.
Hey, I'm not saying it's high quality literature, it just makes me laugh. And just for the record, Laurie Notaro is married.

(I've read similar books by other chick authors and they have royally SUCKED, btw. The genre as a whole walks a very fine line. Notaro just manages to do it right.)
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Old 02-03-2009, 01:53 PM
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Tom Robbins, as in "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues"? And "Still Life with Woodpecker"? I loved those books.

I like Margaret Atwood and Marge Piercy. "Crake and Oryx" really twisted my head.

I like good Science Fiction too. A new guy has caught my eye, John Scalzi. His "Old Man's War" trilogy was fab. Harlan Ellison is another old favorite.

Thanks for the recommends. Let's have some more, please!

Love,

Lenina
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Old 02-03-2009, 01:53 PM
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I also read Harry Potter although I thought the last couple were very bloated.

My all time favourite author is Terry Pratchett, Im a wee bit obsessed, he collaborated on a book with Neil Gamain which is awesome, its called Good Omens and it makes the end of the world fun.
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