AMF Favorite Books 2020 Edition Recommendations Thread

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AMF Favorite Books 2020 Edition Recommendations Thread

Post by BleuPanda » Thu May 07, 2020 5:08 pm

Figured this would be good to reference for the next few months.

Here's my current top 25 (which is constantly changing because I've read a pathetic amount of books in my life until this last year); my top 2 didn't even make the top 100 last time, so I hope people will give them a chance! I'm bolding each book which did not make the previous top 100.

1. White Noise by Don DeLillo
2. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
3. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevesky
4. His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman
5. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
6. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
7. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
8. Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov
9. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
10. Watership Down by Richard Adams
11. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin (do I need to list this as part of the Hain series? This and The Dispossessed below tend to be held up by themselves but share the same universe, and I'm likely to never bother with the earlier entries, so I would never actually recommend the series as a cohesive unit)
12. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
13. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
14. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
15. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
16. A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin (I actually like the first and third book a fair bit more than the others)
17. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
18. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
19. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
20. 1984 by George Orwell
21. Macbeth by William Shakespeare
22. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
23. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
24. The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
25. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

So a lot of those that were missing are genre fiction, but I hope that interests at least some of you

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Re: AMF Favorite Books 2020 Edition Recommendations Thread

Post by ordinaryperson » Fri May 08, 2020 1:45 am

I don't think I'll participate in the voting for the poll but I'll post a couple of books I really enjoyed here, even if some of them are very well known:

VALIS by Phillip K. Dick
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
The Shining by Stephen King
Burning Secret by Stefan Zweig
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Don't Open Your Eyes You Won't Like What You See. The Devils of Truth Steal the Souls of the Free.
I Went Numb When I Learned to See.

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Re: AMF Favorite Books 2020 Edition Recommendations Thread

Post by Nick » Fri May 08, 2020 2:50 am

This was my ballot when we ran the poll 3 years ago:

1. David Foster Wallace- Infinite Jest
2. Joseph Heller- Catch-22
3. Miguel de Cervantes- Don Quixote
4. Kurt Vonnegut- Slaughterhouse-Five
5. Roberto Bolaño- 2666
6. Jorge Luis Borges- Labyrinths (Short Story Collection)
7. David Foster Wallace- The Pale King
8. Roberto Bolaño- The Savage Detectives
9. Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons- Watchmen
10. J.R.R. Tolkien- The Lord of the Rings
11. Neal Stephenson- Snow Crash
12. George Orwell- 1984
13. James Joyce- Ulysses
14. Neal Stephenson- Cryptonomicon
15. Ralph Ellison- Invisible Man
16. Stephen King- It
17. Don DeLillo- Underworld
18. J.K. Rowling- The Harry Potter Series
19. Mark Twain- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
20. Philip Roth- American Pastoral
21. Herman Melville- Moby-Dick
22. Homer- The Iliad
23. Thomas Pynchon- Mason & Dixon
24. Cormac McCarthy- Blood Meridian or the Evening Redness in the West
25. Homer- The Odyssey
26. Franz Kafka- The Metamorphosis
27. Bret Easton Ellis- American Psycho
28. Jack Kerouac- On the Road
29. Sylvia Plath- The Bell Jar
30. F. Scott Fitzgerald- The Great Gatsby
31. Aldous Huxley- Brave New World
32. Hunter S. Thompson- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
33. Douglas Adams- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Series
34. Haruki Murakami- Norwegian Wood
35. Ernest Hemingway- The Old Man and the Sea
36. Thomas Pynchon- Gravity’s Rainbow
37. Stephen King- 11/22/63
38. Jane Austen- Pride and Prejudice
39. Don DeLillo- White Noise
40. Raymond Carver- What We Talk About When We Talk About Love (Short Story Collection)
41. Cormac McCarthy- The Road
42. David Foster Wallace- Oblivion (Short Story Collection)
43. Nicholson Baker- The Mezzanine
44. John Steinbeck- The Grapes of Wrath
45. Philip K. Dick- Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
46. Vladimir Nabokov- Lolita
47. George Orwell- Animal Farm
48. J.D. Salinger- The Catcher in the Rye
49. Oscar Wilde- The Picture of Dorian Gray
50. Kurt Vonnegut- Cat’s Cradle

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Re: AMF Favorite Books 2020 Edition Recommendations Thread

Post by Listyguy » Fri May 08, 2020 12:26 pm

BleuPanda wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 5:08 pm
12. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
I'd be shocked if this one didn't make the top 100 this time around, given its newfound popularity.

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Re: AMF Favorite Books 2020 Edition Recommendations Thread

Post by BleuPanda » Fri May 08, 2020 12:39 pm

The fun thing is, I was going to watch both Game of Thrones and The Handmaid's Tale but decided to check out the books first, which is what kicked off me suddenly reading like crazy. Still haven't seen either show past the first episode! So my ASOIAF rank is also after spending a decade being kind of annoyed by the show's obsessive fanbase - though I'm still annoyed at the fanbase because it feels like the series gets discussed for all the wrong reasons (people really overemphasize the "anyone can die" bit...)

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Re: AMF Favorite Books 2020 Edition Recommendations Thread

Post by Cold Butterfly » Fri May 08, 2020 3:09 pm

Three books from the 2010s I’d like to recommend - The Underground Railroad and The Nickel Boys, both by Colson Whitehead and Red Clocks by Leni Zumas. All three will be appearing high up on my list.
Last edited by Cold Butterfly on Tue May 12, 2020 10:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: AMF Favorite Books 2020 Edition Recommendations Thread

Post by Schüttelbirne » Mon May 11, 2020 1:46 pm

I have quickly compiled a list of 100 works. It is very heavy on old German books.
I don't know if I forgot something or if I will add something later (I tend to read a lot).
I tried finding the English title for most of the German books, but I couldn't find one for all of them.

I've boldened the ones that I think are worth checking out.
I've included one graphic novel (on 86).

1. Thomas Mann: Der Zauberberg (The Magic Mountain) (1924)
2. Johann Karl Wezel: Belphegor (1776)
3. Stephen King: It (1986)
4. Wolfram von Eschenbach: Parzival (~1200)
5. Leo Tolstoy: Anna Karenina (1877)
6. Friedrich Schiller: Don Karlos (1787)
7. Miguel de Cervantes: El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha (1605-15)
8. George Orwell: Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949)
9. Johann Wolfgang Goethe: Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre [Wilhelm Meister‘s Apprenticeship] (1795)
10. Theodor Storm: Immensee (1850)
11. Edward Albee: Who‘s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962)
12. Johann Wolfgang Goethe: Torquato Tasso (1790)
13. Robert Musil: Die Verwirrungen des Zöglings Törleß [The Confusions of Young Törless] (1906)
14. Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen: Der abentheuerliche Simplicissimus Teutsch [Simplicius Simplicissimus] (1668)
15. Johann Wolfgang Goethe: Faust (1808-32)
16. William Shakespeare: Othello (1603)
17. Heinrich Mann: Der Untertan [Man of Straw] (1914)
18. Chuck Palahniuk: Fight Club (1996)
19. Gotthold Ephraim Lessing: Nathan der Weise [Nathan the Wise] (1779)
20. Vladimir Nabokov: Lolita (1955)
21. Nikolaus Lenau: Die Albigenser (1842)
22. Joseph von Eichendorff: Ahnung und Gegenwart (1815)
23. Thomas Mann: Buddenbrooks (1901)
24. F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby (1925)
25. William Shakespeare: The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (1602)
26. Günter Grass: Die Blechtrommel [The Tin Drum] (1959)
27. Michael Ende: Die unendliche Geschichte [The Neverending Story] (1979)
28. Alfred Döblin: Berlin Alexanderplatz (1929)
29. Edward Bond: Early Morning (1965-67)
30. Johann Karl Wezel: Herrmann und Ulrike (1780)
31. Samuel Beckett: Waiting for Godot (1953)
32. Gottfried von Straßburg: Tristan (~1210)
33. Heinrich Mann: Professor Unrat [The Blue Angel] (1905)
34. Heinrich von Kleist: Die Marquise von O… [The Marquise of O] (1808)
35. Harper Lee: To Kill a Mockingbird (1960)
36. Tennessee Williams: A Streetcar Named Desire (1947)
37. Stephen King: The Stand (1978)
38. Theodor Fontane: Effi Briest (1894)
39. Gustave Flaubert: Madame Bovary (1857)
40. Annette von Droste-Hülshoff: Die Judenbuche (1842)
41. Heinrich Böll: Die verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum [The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum] (1974)
42. Arthur Schnitzler: Fräulein Else (1924)
43. Francois Rabelais: La vie de Gargantua et de Pantagruel [Gargantua and Pantagruel] (1532-64)
44. Aidan Chambers: The Toll Bridge (1992)
45. William Shakespeare: The Tragedy of Macbeth (1606)
46. J.D. Salinger: The Catcher in the Rye (1951)
47. Thomas Mann: Der Tod in Venedig [Death in Venice] (1912)
48. Wolfgang Borchert: Draußen vor der Tür [The Man Outside] (1947)
49. Gottfried Keller: Der grüne Heinrich [The Green Henry] (1855)
50. Alf layla wa-layla [1001 Nights]
51. E.T.A. Hoffmann: Nachtstücke (1817)
52. Max Frisch: Biedermann und die Brandstifter [The Fire Raisers] (1955)
53. Theodor Fontane: Frau Jenny Treibel (1892)
54. Wolfgang Bauer: Change (1969)
55. Adalbert Stifter: Brigitta (1844)
56. William Shakespeare: King Lear (1606)
57. Edward Bond: Saved (1964)
58. Arthur Schnitzler: Lieutenant Gustl (1900)
59. Nibelungenlied (~1200)
60. Friedrich Dürrenmatt: Die Physiker [The Physicists] (1962)
61. Stephen King: 11/22/63 (2011)
62. Franz Kafka: Das Urteil [The Judgment] (1913)
63. Franz Kafka: Die Verwandlung [The Metamorphosis] (1915)
64. William Shakespeare: The Most Lamentable Romaine Tragedie of Titus Andronicus (1594)
65. Stephen King: The Shining (1977)
66. Johann Wolfgang Goethe: Die Wahlverwandtschaften [The Chosen Relations] (1809)
67. Michael Ende: Momo (1973)
68. Georg Büchner: Woyzeck (1879 (publication date))
69. Christoph Martin Wieland: Geschichte des Agathon (1767)
70. Ludwig Tieck: Der blonde Eckbert (1797)
71. Johann Fischart: Affentheurlich Naupengeheurliche Geschichtklitterung (1575)
72. Georg Rollenhagen: Froschmeuseler (1595)
73. Stephen King: Different Seasons (1982)
74. Georg Büchner: Dantons Tod (1835)
75. Charles Dickens: The Adventures of Oliver Twist (1837)
76. Bertolt Brecht: Der gute Mensch von Sezuan [The Good Person of Szechwan] (1943)
77. Max Frisch: Andorra (1961)
78. Stephen Chbosky: The Perks of Being a Wallflower (1999)
79. Novalis: Heinrich von Ofterdingen (1802)
80. Max Frisch: Homo faber (1957)
81. Clemens Brentano: Die mehreren Wehmüller und ungarischen Nationalgesichter (1817)
82. Christoph Martin Wieland: Der Sieg der Natur über die Schwärmerei [Don Sylvio von Rosalva](1764)
83. William Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet (1597)
84. Apuleius: Metamorphoses [The Golden Ass] (~150)
85. Stephen King: The Green Mile (1996)
86. Wilhelm Busch: Max und Moritz [Max and Moritz] (1865)
87. Franz Kafka: In der Strafkolonie [In the Penal Colony] (1919)
88. Johann Anton Leisewitz: Julius von Tarent (1776)
89. Bettina von Arnim: Goethes Briefwechsel mit einem Kinde [Goethe‘s Correspondence with a Child] (1835)*
90. Eulenspiegel (1515)
91. Daniel Defoe: Robinson Crusoe (1719)
92. Eugène Ionesco: La Cantatrice chauve [The Bald Soprano] (1950)
93. Richard Van Camp: The Lesser Blessed (1996)
94. Henryk Sienkiewicz: Quo Vadis (1896)
95. Friedrich Schiller: Wallenstein (1800)
96. William Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night‘s Dream (1595)
97. Andreas Gryphius: Absurda Comica oder Herr Peter Squenz (1668)
98. Johann Wolfgang Goethe: Die Leiden des jungen Werthers [The Sorrows of Young Werther] (1774)
99. Gotthold Ephraim Lessing: Miss Sara Sampson (1755)
100. Gotthold Ephraim Lessing: Emilia Galotti (1772)

*Not sure if this one is eligible. She wrote letters to Goethe and later compiled and released them. But she also added a lot of new material to them; also the letters really don't read like you would read non-fiction.

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Re: AMF Favorite Books 2020 Edition Recommendations Thread

Post by Nick » Mon May 11, 2020 5:27 pm

Here's an updated version of my list with 100 books. I'm really not all that knowledgeable about plays other than Shakespeare, and my knowledge of graphic novels and epics is lacking as well. Novels are more my thing.


1. The Divine Comedy- Dante Alighieri
2. The Iliad- Homer
3. The Odyssey- Homer


4. Hamlet- William Shakespeare
5. Macbeth- William Shakespeare
6. Othello- William Shakespeare
7. Romeo and Juliet- William Shakespeare

Short Story Collections:

8. Cathedral- Raymond Carver
9. Dubliners- James Joyce
10. Labyrinths- Jorge Luis Borges
11. Oblivion- David Foster Wallace
12. Pastoralia- George Saunders
13. The Street of Crocodiles- Bruno Schulz
14. What We Talk About When We Talk About Love- Raymond Carver

Graphic Novels:

15. The Adventures of Tintin (Series)- Hergé
16. Watchmen- Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons


17. 11/22/63- Stephen King
18. 1984- George Orwell
19. 2666- Roberto Bolaño
20. A Clockwork Orange- Anthony Burgess
21. A Confederacy of Dunces- John Kennedy Toole
22. A Naked Singularity- Sergio De La Pava
23. American Pastoral- Philip Roth
24. American Psycho- Bret Easton Ellis
25. Animal Farm- George Orwell
26. Anna Karenina- Leo Tolstoy
27. Battle Royale- Koushun Takami
28. Beloved- Toni Morrison
29. Blood Meridian or the Evening Redness in the West- Cormac McCarthy
30. Brave New World- Aldous Huxley
31. Cat’s Cradle- Kurt Vonnegut
32. Catch-22- Joseph Heller
33. Cloud Atlas- David Mitchell
34. Cryptonomicon- Neal Stephenson
35. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?- Philip K. Dick
36. Don Quixote- Miguel de Cervantes
37. Dune- Frank Herbert
38. Europe Central- William T. Vollmann
39. Fahrenheit 451- Ray Bradbury
40. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas- Hunter S. Thompson
41. For Whom the Bell Tolls- Ernest Hemingway
42. Frankenstein- Mary W. Shelley
43. From Here to Eternity- James Jones
44. Gravity’s Rainbow- Thomas Pynchon
45. Harry Potter (Series)- J.K. Rowling
46. House of Leaves- Mark Z. Danielewski
47. If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler- Italo Calvino
48. Infinite Jest- David Foster Wallace
49. Invisible Man- Ralph Ellison
50. Ironweed- William Kennedy
51. It- Stephen King
52. Kafka on the Shore- Haruki Murakami
53. Lolita- Vladimir Nabokov
54. Looking for Alaska- John Green
55. Mason & Dixon- Thomas Pynchon
56. Moby-Dick- Herman Melville
57. Never Let Me Go- Kazuo Ishiguro
58. Norwegian Wood- Haruki Murakami
59. On the Road- Jack Kerouac
60. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest- Ken Kesey
61. Pale Fire- Vladimir Nabokov
62. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer- Patrick Süskind
63. Pride and Prejudice- Jane Austen
64. Slaughterhouse- Five- Kurt Vonnegut
65. Snow Crash- Neal Stephenson
66. Stoner- John Williams
67. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn- Mark Twain
68. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer- Mark Twain
69. The Bell Jar- Sylvia Plath
70. The Brothers Karamazov- Fyodor Dostoyevsky
71. The Catcher in the Rye- J.D. Salinger
72. The Crying of Lot 49- Thomas Pynchon
73. The Grapes of Wrath- John Steinbeck
74. The Great Gatsby- F. Scott Fitzgerald
75. The Handmaid’s Tale- Margaret Atwood
76. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Series)- Douglas Adams
77. The Hobbit- J.R.R. Tolkien
78. The Hound of the Baskervilles- Arthur Conan Doyle
79. The Little Prince- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
80. The Lord of the Rings- J.R.R. Tolkien
81. The Metamorphosis- Franz Kafka
82. The Mezzanine- Nicholson Baker
83. The Old Man and the Sea- Ernest Hemingway
84. The Pale King- David Foster Wallace
85. The Picture of Dorian Gray- Oscar Wilde
86. The Remains of the Day- Kazuo Ishiguro
87. The Road- Cormac McCarthy
88. The Savage Detectives- Roberto Bolaño
89. The Sirens of Titan- Kurt Vonnegut
90. The Stand- Stephen King
91. The Sun Also Rises- Ernest Hemingway
92. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle- Haruki Murakami
93. Their Eyes Were Watching God- Zora Neale Hurston
94. Things Fall Apart- Chinua Achebe
95. Ulysses- James Joyce
96. Underworld- Don DeLillo
97. War and Peace- Leo Tolstoy
98. Watership Down- Richard Adams
99. White Noise- Don DeLillo
100. White Teeth- Zadie Smith

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Re: AMF Favorite Books 2020 Edition Recommendations Thread

Post by Nick » Mon May 11, 2020 5:35 pm

I don't usually focus on this sort of stuff too hard, but the fact that only 8 entries in my 100 entries are written by women (for a total of 14 books, as Rowling's entry counts for 7 books), may mean I ought to make a conscious effort to read a bit more by women in the coming years...

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Re: AMF Favorite Books 2020 Edition Recommendations Thread

Post by scoopog » Thu May 21, 2020 4:12 pm

I want to read this ones:

War and Peace. by Leo Tolstoy. ...
Song of Solomon. by Toni Morrison. ...
Ulysses. by James Joyce. ...
The Shadow of the Wind. by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. ...
The Lord of the Rings. by J.R.R. Tolkien. ...
The Satanic Verses. by Salman Rushdie. ...
Don Quixote. by Miguel de Cervantes. ...
The Golden Compass. by Philip Pullman.

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