AMF Books Poll: Recommendations

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Listyguy
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AMF Books Poll: Recommendations

Post by Listyguy » Sat Dec 24, 2016 6:30 pm

Post your favorites and your recommendations here! The full voting thread will open up after Christmas (once I have time to write it up). In the meantime, you can make reading suggestions to others!

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Re: AMF Books Poll: Recommendations

Post by whuntva » Sun Dec 25, 2016 4:46 am

Time Trap by Greg Farshtey (yes, a BIONICLE book will make my Top 10. This has mystery, suspense, a cliffhanger, everything a good book should.)

Shadow over Innsmouth/At the Mountains of Madness (Two of Lovecraft's greatest works in one package. Also great is the "Call of Cthulhu" short story)

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (Just finished. Moved me to tears.)
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Re: AMF Books Poll: Recommendations

Post by Listyguy » Tue Dec 27, 2016 9:16 pm

Here's my current top 10:

1 1984 George Orwell
2 The Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger
3 The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald
4 Animal Farm George Orwell
5 Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury
6 Brave New World Aldous Huxley
7 To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee
8 Catch-22 Joseph Heller
9 Lolita Vladimir Nabokov
10 One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Number one shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, given my avatar. Nothing that crazy in my top 10, with Fahrenheit 451 being probably the only somewhat less acclaimed of the bunch.

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notbrianeno
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Re: AMF Books Poll: Recommendations

Post by notbrianeno » Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:46 am

Writer and critic Jonathan Russell Clark lists every book he's read for the last eleven years--some excellent things I've read on here as well as some things i've been meaning to read. Feel free to explore titles that catch your attention.

http://www.readitforward.com/essay/arti ... d-my-life/
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Re: AMF Books Poll: Recommendations

Post by Jeff » Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:12 pm

When I was younger, I was a voracious reader of fiction. It's funny that until I participated in the forum polls here, I had never ranked my favorite albums or songs before; however, I did once come up with a list of my favorite novels with a friend of mine the summer before I started graduate school. I knew that I was about about to stop reading fiction since I was mostly reading stuff in my field and had other interests (as do most college students), a trend that would only be exacerbated when I started graduate study. I mentioned this to my friend back home and he suggested that we each come up with a list of our 50 favorite literary works as a sort of time capsule to mark when I stopped reading fiction, and then get together to discuss them. I remember my father joined in too and it was the first time I felt like an adult. Okay, enough of me over sharing.

To the point, after a bit of digging around my parent's house, I managed to find my old list. The thing is, with a few exceptions (Diaz, Vollman), I really have barely read any fiction the past decade plus, so the list probably wouldn't be all that different. I did parse through it and removed some stuff that I'm pretty sure I would no longer be able to stomach as a 30-something and replaced them with some other works I remember liking. Originally, we limited ourselves to one work per author, so I should have a decent shot at expanding it to a top 100 list by June. The fact that plays are eligible should help.

My tentative list:
Albert Camus - The Plague (1947)
Chinua Achebe - Things Fall Apart (1958)
Cormac McCarthy - Blood Meridian (1965)
David Foster Wallace - Infinite Jest (1995)
Don DeLillo - Underworld (1997)
Edgar Allan Poe - Collected Short Stories (1832-49)
Edith Wharton - The House of Mirth (1905)
Emily Bronte - Wuthering Heights (1847)
Ernest Hemingway - A Farewell to Arms (1929)
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov (1868)
George Eliot - Middlemarch (1872)
Gertrude Stein - The Making of Americans (1925)
Giovanni Boccaccio - Decameron (1353)
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird (1960)
Haruki Murakami - Kafka on the Shore (2002)
Herman Melville - Moby Dick (1851)
Homer - The Odyssey (8th cent. BCE)
J.G. Ballard - Vermilion Sands (1971)
James Agee - A Death in the Family (1957)
James Baldwin - Go Tell It on the Mountain (1953)
James Joyce - Ulysses (1922)
Jane Austen - Emma (1815)
Jane Bowles - Two Serious Ladies (1943)
Joan Didion - Play It As It Lays (1970)
Jonathan Franzen - The Corrections (2001)
Jonathan Safran Foer - Everything is Illuminated (2002)
Jorge Luis Borges - Ficciones (1944)
Junot Diaz - The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007)
Kate Chopin - The Awakening (1899)
Laurence Sterne - The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1759)
Margaret Atwood - The Handmaid's Tale (1985)
Mark Twain - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885)
Mary Shelley - Frankenstein (1818)
Nikolai Gogol - Dead Souls (1842)
Philip Roth - American Pastoral (1997)
Ralph Ellison - Invisible Man (1952)
Richard Wright - Native Son (1940)
Sandra Cisneros - Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories (1991)
Saul Bellow - Herzog (1964)
Sherman Alexie - The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (1993)
Thomas Pynchon - Gravity's Rainbow (1973)
Toni Morrison - Beloved (1986)
Virginia Woolf - To the Lighthouse (1927)
Vladimir Nabokov - Pale Fire (1962)
Voltaire - Candide (1759)
William Burroughs - Naked Lunch (1959)
William Faulkner - Absalom, Absalom! (1936)
William Gibson - Neuromancer (1984)
William Vollman - Europe Central (2005)
Zora Neal Hurston - Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937)

I do not know how I will go about ranking them. Certainly I can't revisit all of them. How does everyone else plan on doing this? Moby Dick is probably my favorite of the lot, though. Faulkner is my favorite author, so I expect at minimum two more his works on my final list.

Sorry that it's a bit canon and English-language heavy. The result of my education, I suppose. I also hate that there aren't that many women, but hopefully I can address this somewhat before the deadline now that I have the time and inclination to actually read fiction again.

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Re: AMF Books Poll: Recommendations

Post by bonnielaurel » Wed Dec 28, 2016 6:04 pm

Here's a mixture of standard works and personal favorites arranged by country.

U.S.A.
**** Edgar Allan Poe - Collected Short Stories
1851 Herman Melville - Moby Dick
1852 Nathaniel Hawthorne - The Scarlet Letter
1852 Harriet Beecher Stowe - Uncle Tom’s Cabin
1876 Mark Twain - The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
1884 Mark Twain - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
1881 Henry James - The Portrait of a Lady
1898 Henry James - The Turn of the Screw
1905 Edith Wharton - The House of Mirth
1925 Francis Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
1929 Ernest Hemingway - A Farewell to Arms
1930 Dashiell Hammett - The Maltese Falcon
1934 James M. Cain - The Postman Always Rings Twice
1936 Margaret Mitchell - Gone with the Wind
1937 John Steinbeck - Of Mice and Men
1937 Zora Neale Hurston - Their Eyes Were Watching God
1939 John Steinbeck - The Grapes of Wrath
1939 Raymond Chandler - The Big Sleep
1940 Richard Wright - Native Son
1947 Tennessee Williams - A Streetcar Named Desire [play]
1951 J. D. Salinger - The Catcher in the Rye
1951 James Jones - From Here to Eternity
1952 John Steinbeck - East of Eden
1952 Ernest Hemingway - The Old Man and the Sea
1955 Vladimir Nabokov - Lolita
1960 Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
1966 Truman Capote - In Cold Blood
1969 Mario Puzo - The Godfather

Canada
2001 Yann Martel - Life of Pi

U.K.
1597 William Shakespeare - Romeo and Juliet [play]
1602 William Shakespeare - Hamlet [play]
1719 Daniel Defoe - Robinson Crusoe
1725 Jonathan Swift - Gulliver’s Travels
1811 Jane Austen - Sense and Sensibility
1813 Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice
1818 Mary Shelley - Frankenstein
1819 Walter Scott - Ivanhoe
1839 Charles Dickens - Oliver Twist
1847 Emily Brontë - Wuthering Heights
1847 Charlotte Brontë - Jane Eyre
1850 Charles Dickens - David Copperfield
1859 Charles Dickens - A Tale of Two Cities
1861 Charles Dickens - Great Expectations
1883 Robert Louis Stevenson - Treasure Island
1891 Thomas Hardy - Tess of the d’Urbervilles
1892 Arthur Conan Doyle - The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
1895 H. G. Wells - The Time Machine
1902 Arthur Conan Doyle - The Hound of the Baskervilles
1915 W. Somerset Maugham - Of Human Bondage
1926 Agatha Christie - The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
1926 Dorothy L. Sayers - Clouds of Witness
1928 D. H. Lawrence - Lady Chatterley’s Lover
1932 Aldous Huxley - Brave New World
1934 Agatha Christie - Murder on the Orient Express
1937 Agatha Christie - Death on the Nile
1938 Graham Greene - Brighton Rock
1939 Agatha Christie - And Then There Were None
1948 George Orwell - Nineteen Eighty-Four
1953 Roald Dahl - Someone Like You [short stories]
1955 Graham Greene - The Quiet American
1962 Doris Lessing - The Golden Notebook
1963 John Le Carré - The Spy Who Came In from the Cold
1968 Barry Hines - A Kestrel for a Knave
1977 Ruth Rendell - A Judgement in Stone
2000 Michel Faber - Under the Skin
2003 Mark Haddon - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
2004 David Mitchell - Cloud Atlas

Ireland
1890 Oscar Wilde - The Picture of Dorian Grey
1895 Oscar Wilde - The Importance of Being Earnest [play]
1897 Bram Stoke - Dracula
1914 James Joyce - Dubliners [short stories]
1922 James Joyce - Ulysses

Russia
1833 Alexander Pushkin - Eugene Onegin [verse novel]
1842 Nikolai Gogol - Dead Souls
1859 Ivan Goncharov - Oblomov
1859 Ivan Turgenev - Home of the Gentry
1866 Fyodor Dostoyevsky - Crime and Punishment
1869 Leo Tolstoy - War and Peace
1878 Leo Tolstoy - Anna Karenina
1880 Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
**** Anton Chekhov - Collected Short Stories
1957 Boris Pasternak - Doctor Zhivago
1962 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn - One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
1967 Mikhail Bulgakov - The Master and Margarita

France
1668 Molière - L’Avare [The Miser, play]
1830 Stendhal - Le Rouge et le Noir [The Red and the Black]
1831 Victor Hugo - Notre-Dame de Paris [The Hunchback of Notre-Dame]
1845 Alexandre Dumas - Le Comte de Monte Cristo [The Count of Monte Cristo]
1857 Gustave Flaubert - Madame Bovary
1862 Victor Hugo - Les Misérables
1867 Emile Zola - Thérèse Raquin
1870 Jules Verne - Vingt Mille Lieues sous les Mers [Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea]
1927 Marcel Proust - À la recherche du temps perdu [In Search of Lost Time]
1932 Céline - Voyage au bout de la nuit [Journey to the End of the Night]
1942 Albert Camus - L’Étranger [The Stranger]
1954 Françoise Sagan - Bonjour Tristesse

Germany
1922 Hermann Hesse - Siddharta
1924 Thomas Mann - Der Zauberberg [The Magic Mountain]
1925 Thomas Mann - Der Tod in Venedig [Death in Venice]
1927 Hermann Hesse - Der Steppenwolf [Steppenwolf]
1985 Patrick Süskind - Das Parfum [Perfume]

Spain
1605 Miguel de Cervantes - Don Quixote

Sweden
1973 Astrid Lindgren - The Brothers Lionheart
2003 Camilla Läckberg - The Ice Princess
2007 Stieg Larsson - Millennium

Belgium
1953 Louis Paul Boon - De Kapellekensbaan [Chapel Road]
1955 Georges Simenon - Maigret et le corps sans tête [Maigret and the Headless Corpse]
1983 Hugo Claus - Het Verdriet van België [The Sorrow of Belgium]

Netherlands
1992 Harry Mulisch - De Ontdekking van de Hemel [The Discovery of Heaven]

Norway
1890 Knut Hamsun - Hunger

Czech Republic
1915 Franz Kafka - Die Verwandlung [The Metamorphosis]
1925 Franz Kafka - Der Process [The Trial]
1984 Milan Kundera - The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Greece
8th c. BC Homer - The Odyssey [epic poem]

Turkey
2002 Orhan Pamuk - Kar [Snow]

Argentina
1944 Jorge Luís Borges - Ficciones [short stories]

Colombia
1981 Gabriel García Márquez - Crónica de una muerte anunciada [Chronicle of a Death Foretold]

Chile
1982 Isabel Allende - La casa de los espíritus [The House of the Spirits]

Nigeria
2007 Chimamanga Ngozi Adichie - Half of a Yellow Sun

Henry
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Re: AMF Books Poll: Recommendations

Post by Henry » Wed Dec 28, 2016 6:14 pm

Some suggestions include:

William Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet
Kurt Vonnegut The Sirens of Titan
William Shakespeare Othello
John Steinbeck Of Mice and Men
Kurt Vonnegut Slaughterhouse-Five
William Shakespeare Macbeth
James Joyce Ulysses
William Shakespeare Hamlet
Vladimir Nabokov Lolita
Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice
Emily Bronte Wuthering Heights
Ernest Hemingway For Whom the Bell Tolls
Mark Twain The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
C.S. Lewis The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
Leo Tolstoy War and Peace

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Re: AMF Books Poll: Recommendations

Post by DaveC » Thu Dec 29, 2016 3:01 am

I made a quick list of contenders for top 100. I think I have forgotten quite a few that should be listed, but they will come back. The hardest thing will be ranking older reads vs. recent reads.

A.S. Byatt | Possession
Abraham Verghese | Cutting for Stone
Alan Hollinghurst | The Line of Beauty
Aldous Huxley | Brave New World
Alexander Solzhenitsyn | One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Ali Smith | There but for the
Andrea Levy | Small Island
Andrea Levy | The Long Song
Aravind Adiga | The White Tiger
Boris Pasternak | Doctor Zhivago
Carlos Ruiz Zafón | The Shadow of The Wind
Celeste Ng | Everything I Never Told You
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie | Half of a Yellow Sun
Cixin Liu | The Three Body Problem/The Dark Forest/Death's End
David Mitchell | The Bone Clocks
Deborah Levy | Swimming Home
Donna Tartt | The Goldfinch
Douglas Adams | The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy
Eleanor Catton | The Luminaries
Frank Herbert | Dune
Franz Kafka | The Trial
Fyodor Dostoevsky | Crime & Punishment
Fyodor Dostoevsky | The Brothers Karamazov
Fyodor Dostoevsky | The Idiot
Gabriel García Márquez | Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Gabriel García Márquez | One Hundred Years of Solitude
Gabriel García Márquez | The Autumn of the Patriarch
George Eliot | Daniel Deronda
George Eliot | Middlemarch
George R.R. Martin | A Song of Ice and Fire (Series)
Helen Simonson | Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
Herman Hesse | Siddhartha
Herman Hesse | Steppenwolf
Herman Hesse | The Glass Bead Game
HG Wells | The Time Machine
Ian McEwan | Atonement
Ian McEwan | The Children Act
Isabel Allende | The House of the Spirits
Jhumpa Lahiri | The Lowland
JK Rowling | Harry Potter series
John Steinbeck | East of Eden
John Steinbeck | Of Mice and Men
John Steinbeck | The Grapes of Wrath
John Steinbeck | The Pearl
John Williams | Stoner
John Wyndham | The Midwich Cuckoos
Joseph Heller | Catch-22
JRR Tolkien | The Lord of the Rings
Julian Barnes | The Sense of an Ending
Kate Atkinson | A God In Ruins
Kate Atkinson | Life After Life
Kazuo Ishiguro | Never Let Me Go
Kazuo Ishiguro | The Remains of The Day
Khaled Hosseini | A Thousand Splendid Suns
Khaled Hosseini | The Kite Runner
Kurt Vonnegut | Slaughterhouse-Five
Kurt Vonnegut | Cat's Cradle
L.M. Montgomery | Anne of Green Gables
Leo Tolstoy | Anna Karenina
Leo Tolstoy | War and Peace
Margaret Atwood | The Handmaid’s Tale
Mark Haddon | The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Mary Doria Russell | The Sparrow
Milan Kundera | The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Neal Stephenson | Cryptonomicon
Neal Stephenson | Seveneves
Neal Stephenson | Snow Crash
Neal Stephenson | The Diamond Age
Neal Stephenson | Anathem
Orson Scott Card | Ender's Game
Philip Roth | Portnoy's Complaint
Richard Flanagan | The Narrow Road To The Deep North
Robert Louis Stevenson | Treasure Island
Ruth Ozeki | A Tale for the Time Being
Salman Rushdie | Midnight's Children
Salman Rushdie | The Moor's Last Sigh
Salman Rushdie | The Ground Beneath Her Feet
Stephen Baxter | The Xeelee Sequence (series)
Steve Toltz | A Fraction of the Whole
Terry Pratchett | Discworld series
Thomas Hardy | Jude the Obscure
Thomas Hardy | Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Tim Winton | Dirt Music
Tom Rachman | The Imperfectionists
Umberto Eco | The Name of the Rose
Vincent Lam | The Headmaster's Wager
Virginia Woolf | To The Lighthouse
Walter M. Miller Jr. | A Canticle For Leibowitz
William Gibson | Neuromancer

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Re: AMF Books Poll: Recommendations

Post by Nick » Thu Dec 29, 2016 4:53 am

Here's a provisional top 50. No plays. Nothing too obscure here, but a good look at what I like to read fiction-wise.

Aldous Huxley- Brave New World
Anthony Burgess- A Clockwork Orange
Bret Easton Ellis- American Psycho
Cormac McCarthy- Blood Meridian or the Evening Redness in the West
Cormac McCarthy- The Road
David Foster Wallace- Infinite Jest
David Foster Wallace- Oblivion
David Foster Wallace- The Pale King
Don DeLillo- Underworld
Don DeLillo- White Noise
Douglas Adams- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Series
Ernest Hemingway- The Old Man and the Sea
F. Scott Fitzgerald- The Great Gatsby
Franz Kafka- The Metamorphosis
George Orwell- 1984
Haruki Murakami- Norwegian Wood
Herman Melville- Moby-Dick
Homer- The Iliad
Homer- The Odyssey
Hunter S. Thompson- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
J.D. Salinger- The Catcher in the Rye
J.K. Rowling- The Harry Potter Series
J.R.R. Tolkien- The Lord of the Rings
Jack Kerouac- On the Road
James Joyce- Ulysses
Jane Austen- Pride and Prejudice
John Steinbeck- The Grapes of Wrath
Jorge Luis Borges- Labyrinths
Joseph Heller- Catch-22
Kazuo Ishiguro- Never Let Me Go
Kurt Vonnegut- Cat’s Cradle
Kurt Vonnegut- Slaughterhouse-Five
Mark Twain- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Miguel de Cervantes- Don Quixote
Neal Stephenson- Cryptonomicon
Neal Stephenson- Snow Crash
Nicholson Baker- The Mezzanine
Oscar Wilde- The Picture of Dorian Gray
Philip K. Dick- Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Philip Roth- American Pastoral
Raymond Carver- Cathedral
Raymond Carver- What We Talk About When We Talk About Love
Roberto Bolaño- 2666
Roberto Bolaño- The Savage Detectives
Stephen King- 11/22/63
Stephen King- It
Sylvia Plath- The Bell Jar
Thomas Pynchon- Gravity’s Rainbow
Thomas Pynchon- Mason & Dixon
Vladimir Nabokov- Lolita

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Re: AMF Books Poll: Recommendations

Post by DocBrown » Fri Dec 30, 2016 8:49 pm

Here's a provisional list of 50.

Walter Miller Jr | A Canticle for Liebowitz
Ray Bradbury | Dandelion Wine
John Steinbeck | East of Eden
Jane Austen | Pride and Prejudice
David Foster Wallace | Infinite Jest
Jonathan Safran Foer | Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Joseph Wambaugh | The Onion Field
Dave Eggers | A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Neil Gaiman | Neverwhere
John Le Carre | Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Salmon Rushdie | Midnight's Children
Anthony Burgess | A Clockwork Orange
Harper Lee | To Kill a Mockingbird
Miriam Toews | A Complicated Kindness
CS Richardson | The End of the Alphabet
Tom Robbins | Still Life with Woodpecker
Mohammed Hanif | A Case of Exploding Mangoes
Herman Melville | Moby Dick
Kazuo Ishiguro | A Room With a View
William Gibson | Neuromancer
Gabriel Garcia Marquez | Love in the Time of Cholera
Michael Chabon | The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
Douglas Coupland | Generation X
Margaret Atwood | The Handmaid's Tale
Kurt Vonnegut | Mother Night
Kate Atkinson | Life After Life
Ken Kesey | One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Thomas King | Green Grass, Running Water
David Mitchell | Cloud Atlas
W.O. Mitchell | Who Has Seen the Wind
Alduous Huxley | Brave New World
Emily St. John Mandel | Station Eleven
Haruki Murakami | The Wind Up Bird Chronicles
Malcolm Lowry | Under the Volcano
Charles Dickinson | A Christmas Carol
Leo Tolstoy | Anna Karenina
Hugh McLennan | Two Solitudes
Ernest Hemingway | The Sun Also Rises
Erin Morgenstern | The Night Circus
Gautum Mulkani | Londonstani
Daniel Keyes | Flowers for Algernon
Philip Roth | Goodbye, Columbus
Richard Ford | The Sportswriter
John Updike | The Witches of Eastwick
Leonard Cohen | Beautiful Losers
Isaac Asimov | The Foundation trilogy
George Orwell | Animal Farm
J.D. Salinger | The Catcher in the Rye
Hugh Garner | Cabbagetown
Robert M. Pirsig | Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

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Re: AMF Books Poll: Recommendations

Post by notbrianeno » Sun Jan 01, 2017 6:24 am

Provisional top 25, will definitely be larger/different come my official vote.

Herman Melville | Moby Dick
Vladimir Nabokov | Pale Fire
William Faulkner | As I Lay Dying
Hermann Hesse | Steppenwolf
Virginia Woolf | To the Lighthouse
Vladimir Nabokov | Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle
Hubert Selby Jr. | Last Exit to Brooklyn
Milan Kundera | The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Chad Harbach | The Art of Fielding
Robert M. Pirsig | Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
J.R.R. Tolkein | The Lord of the Rings
Virginia Woolf | The Waves
Gabriel García Márquez | One Hundred Years of Solitude
Paul Auster | The New York Trilogy
Virginia Woolf | Orlando
Ralph Ellison | Invisible Man
William Shakespeare | Macbeth
Mary Shelley | Frankenstein
Ernest Hemingway | For Whom the Bell Tolls
C.S. Lewis | The Screwtape Letters
Alexandre Dumas | The Count of Monte Cristo
Ernest Hemingway | The Old Man and the Sea
James Joyce | Dubliners
F. Scott Fitzgerald | The Great Gatsby
George Orwell | 1984
Current AOTY 2019: Weyes Blood | Titanic Rising
Current SOTY 2019: Weyes Blood | "Movies"

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Re: AMF Books Poll: Recommendations

Post by luney6 » Sun Jan 01, 2017 2:17 pm

Here's some great books you guys oughta read, that I haven't seen on anyone's list yet:

- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
- Oxherding Tale & Middle Passage by Charles Johnson
- The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera, along with the Unbearable Lightness of Being (which is on some of the lists)
- The Albany Trilogy by William Kennedy
- I am Legend by Richard Matheson
- The Iceman Cometh & the Long Day's Journey into Night by Eugene O' Neill (along with some other plays as well)
- A lot of Irwin Shaw's short stories, despite his rather faded (I presume) reputation
- Books other than Moby Dick by Herman Melville, like Bartelby, for instance
- All the Strange Hours by Loren Eiseley, although it may not be deemed eligible, for while I'd say it's more like a memoir (sort of),it is usually considered an autobiography.

And for poems:
- Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
- The Bridge by Hart Crane
- The Dream Songs by John Berryman
- Self Portrait in a Convex Mirror by John Ashbery
And these are unpublished, but you can find parts online:
- The Skyline Poems & The 49 Gallery by Dan Schneider

There are various other great books, but these ones are the even riper pickings.
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Re: AMF Books Poll: Recommendations

Post by Listyguy » Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:04 pm

I finished reading Moby Dick last night. As it's appeared on many recommendation lists and is basically universally acclaimed, I'd like to hear what other members of the forum think of it. I certainly enjoyed it (I'd probably give it 4/5 stars), but I found that it was a little too bloated. I get that chapters explaining how to extract spermacetti from the whale or classifying various species of whale are meant to add humor to the novel, but I personally felt like they just made the work drag too much. What do you guys think?

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Re: AMF Books Poll: Recommendations

Post by Chambord » Wed Jan 18, 2017 2:49 pm

Listyguy wrote:I finished reading Moby Dick last night. As it's appeared on many recommendation lists and is basically universally acclaimed, I'd like to hear what other members of the forum think of it. I certainly enjoyed it (I'd probably give it 4/5 stars), but I found that it was a little too bloated. I get that chapters explaining how to extract spermacetti from the whale or classifying various species of whale are meant to add humor to the novel, but I personally felt like they just made the work drag too much. What do you guys think?

I don't usually write reviews on Goodreads for the books I read (and rate) but for this one I made an exception back then when I finished it. So, it must mean something.

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/6 ... iew_page=1

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Re: AMF Books Poll: Recommendations

Post by Nick » Thu Jan 19, 2017 1:53 am

Listyguy wrote:I finished reading Moby Dick last night. As it's appeared on many recommendation lists and is basically universally acclaimed, I'd like to hear what other members of the forum think of it. I certainly enjoyed it (I'd probably give it 4/5 stars), but I found that it was a little too bloated. I get that chapters explaining how to extract spermacetti from the whale or classifying various species of whale are meant to add humor to the novel, but I personally felt like they just made the work drag too much. What do you guys think?
I've often heard Moby-Dick described as the "first encyclopedic novel". That is to say, the first novel that tried to fit an entire textbook's worth of information in its structure. While some of this information does drag (like the infamous 30 page chapter detailing whale anatomy), I have to admire it for its absolute boldness. To me, there's something really compelling about a novel that tries to capture an entire worldview in its pages. Moby-Dick takes the subject of the whale and dissects every single component of that subject, from the physiology of the whale to its behavioral patterns to the commercial whaling industry to the various uses of the whale's body parts. Not only that, but it also serves as a method of immersion. At the novel's end I really felt like I knew literally all there was to know about the whale as of the 1850s (including the fact that despite Melville's encyclopedic knowledge of the animal that he still thought of them as a fish). To remove that "bloat" may streamline the novel, but it would also make the work lose the component that makes it the most fascinating to me.

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Re: AMF Books Poll: Recommendations

Post by Listyguy » Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:52 am

Thanks for the insights!

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Re: AMF Books Poll: Recommendations

Post by Nick » Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:45 am

As an aside Re: Moby-Dick, I think that all of the additional information really challenges the idea of what a story "should" be. Does a story have to be a straightforward retelling of events? Or can a story be a dense, fragmented work, with a narrative frequently interrupted by long diversions and bits and pieces of ephemera? Can a story act like a textbook as well as a narrative? Can a story try and encompass an entire worldview (as opposed to the view of just the narrator) within its pages? It's really fascinating stuff.

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Re: AMF Books Poll: Recommendations

Post by Gillingham » Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:03 pm

Some of my favourite writers include Cormac McCarthy (first and foremost), William Faulkner, JM Coetzee, Philip Roth, Flannery O'Connor and many others.

Just a couple of quick reccommendations that generally don't make the usual lists:
- John Williams | Butcher's Crossing
- Stanislaw Lem | Fiasco
- Hillary Mantel | Wolf Hall

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Re: AMF Books Poll: Recommendations

Post by bonnielaurel » Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:43 pm

My biggest recent discovery is Alfred Döblin's "Berlin Alexanderplatz".

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Re: AMF Books Poll: Recommendations

Post by antonius » Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:29 pm

Not eligible, because it's non-fiction: "In Europe" by Geert Mak. Highly recommended. The author has visited a string of European cities in 1999, talking to various characters living there and connects them all using 20th century European history, switching between past and present.

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Re: AMF Books Poll: Recommendations

Post by DocBrown » Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:56 am

I think Jonathan Safran Foer is my new favorite American author. Making my way through his latest novel Here I Am, and he reminds me of the great 1960s novels of Roth, Updike and Singer. Highly recommended.

Edit; also Here I Am is filled with pop music references. I.e
"Kanye West is not more culturally important than - "
"Yes he is."
" - than Philip Roth."
" First of all, I've never even heard of that person. Second, Kanye might not be valuable to you, but he's definitely more important to the world."
Last edited by DocBrown on Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: AMF Books Poll: Recommendations

Post by prosecutorgodot » Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:44 pm

Is it just me, or does Battle Royale improve on every element of And Then There Were None? Don't get me wrong, I see a lot of similarities between the two books, so much so that if Mr. Takami told me he was inspired to write after reading Ms. Christie's book, I wouldn't bat an eye. And also, I can respect Christie's work if it lay the foundations of the mystery novels that came afterwards. But Christie's book was not nearly as interesting as Battle Royale in every respect: characters, writing, setting, dialogue, action/violence, plot. I can also understand if someone read both books and say they were completely different, since they don't even fall under the same genre. But I see a lot of similarities (way more than say with Lord of the Flies or The Hunger Games).

Anyways, just me ranting; I see Christie's book very often on all-time lists, and I was quite underwhelmed. Don't get me wrong, Christie's book was a page turner, but it's probably just because by their very nature, mystery books make me want to read from start to finish without putting it down. If you liked And Then There Were None/Ten Little Indians, you'll like Battle Royale a lot more.

The reason why I picked it up was because a remake film of Murder on the Orient Express is coming out, and I am excited to watch a mystery film (without spoiling the novel for myself). I wanted to get a sense of what Christie's writing was like.

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