• Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 04, 2008 4:18 PM GMT
    Any readers out there? What kind of books do you recommend? I'm looking for a new book to read. Anything goes! All books have their validity!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 04, 2008 9:56 PM GMT
    1066: the hidden history of the Bayeux Tapestry, by Andrew Bridgeford

    The Unfolding of Language: an evolutionary tour of mankind's greatest invention, by Guy Deutscher

    Letter Perfect: unraveling the mystery of the alphabet from A to Z, by David Sacks

    1491: new revelations of the Americas before Columbus, by Charles C. Mann

    Inventing America: Jefferson's Declaration of Indepedence, by Garry Wills

    Explaining America: The Federalist, by Garry Wills

    The First Emancipator: the forgotten story of Robert Carter, the founder father who freed his slave, by Andrew Levy

    Washington's Crossing, by David Hackett Fischer

    Noah's Curse: the biblical justification of american slavery, by Stephen R. Haynes

    Battle Cry of Freedom: the civil war era, by James McPherson

    Lincoln at Gettysburg: the words that remade America, by Garry Wills

    Who Wrote the Bible, by Richard Elliott Friedman

    Misquoting Jesus: the story behind who changed the Bible and why, by Bart D. Ehrman

    The Political Teachings of Jesus, by Tod Lindberg

    The Man Jesus Loved: homoerotic narrative from the New Testament, by Theodore W. Jennings, Jr.

    No God but God: the origins, evolution, and future of Islam, by Reza Aslan

    Paris 1919: six months that changed the world, by Margaret MacMillian

    Beowulf: a new translation for oral delivery, by Dick Ringler

    Beowulf: a new verse translation, by Seamus Heaney

    Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: a new verse translation, by Simon Armitage

    The Power of Art, by Simon Schama

    Working with Style: traditional and modern approaches to layout and typography

    A History of Graphic Design, by Philip B. Meggs

    The Elements of Typographic Style, by Robert Bringhurst
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 04, 2008 10:06 PM GMT
    Have you read much Steinbeck? He's my favorite author, and I would recommend most of his books. My favorite of his, and my favorite book of all time, is East of Eden. It's an excellent read.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 04, 2008 11:30 PM GMT
    I'm on the second book of seven in Stephen King's Dark Tower series. So far it's kind of part western, part sci-fi, part urban mystery.

    I LOVE Clive Barker though. My favorites would be The Great And Secret Show, Sacrament, Weaveworld and Imajica. On a side note: has anyone read Mister B Gone? I did....let's talk or email sometime.

    Also fond of Anne Rice and her vampire books. Memnock the Devil is fantastic.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 05, 2008 1:24 AM GMT
    My Pet Goat. No, really, I couldn't put it down.
  • irishboxers

    Posts: 357

    Jan 05, 2008 2:00 AM GMT
    I'm with Chewey. Steinbeck is a great, accessable read. I would start with his novellas -- The Red Pony, Tortilla Flat, Cannery Row, or Of Mice and Men -- and work your way up to East of Eden. The novellas are quick reads of about 100 pages or so, relatively cheap ($8-14 depending on the printing) and give you instant gratification of reading a classic without dedicating your life to a monster (i.e. War & Peace).

    East of Eden is my favorite book, but it gets a little complicated in places...and that's why I love it. Save Grapes of Wrath for some other time; it's extremely dense because of the jargon and dialect (just my opinion). It's one of the few times I would recommend renting the movie instead of reading the book. Grapes and I don't have a good relationship, but the movie is good (it's a John Huston film, for chrissakes).

    One of his least known books, The Moon is Down, earned him the Nobel Prize for Literature because it helped defeat the Nazis in Norway during WWII. As a bonus, it's also a great read.

    Can you tell he's my favorite author? icon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 05, 2008 7:40 AM GMT

    It's interesting that you say that Grapes of Wrath is a denser and harder to read book. Perhaps it's because I've read so much Steinbeck, but I actually found it to be easy to read, in many ways more easy that East of Eden. I've actually not seen either of the movies for those two novels, but I hear they're actually quite good. The movie version of East of Eden won an Oscar, if I remember correctly.

    Also, I do have to disagree with you on one point. I actually think Tortilla Flat is one of Steinbecks less than stellar works. I didn't find it all that well written or interesting. I'd throw in The Wayward Bus instead.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 06, 2008 1:12 AM GMT
    The best book I've read recently is Jarhead, by Anthony Swofford. It presents an enlisted Marine's eye view of the first Gulf War and is the best military story I've ever read from the soldier's perspective.

    As for the classics, you can't beat The Epic of Gilgamesh, which is actually the earliest known work of literature (it's like 5000 years old). It's an amazing book (and only about 100 pages long) that asks some very basic questions about the human condition that are still asked by just about everyone today - and gives some of the best answers to those questions I've heard. I recommend the Penguin Classics prose translation, mostly because there are no verse translations that are very readable.

    And back to more modern times, I'd suggest a guy at your stage in life get acquainted with Jack Kerouac. His short novella The Subterraneans, about a failed love affair, is one of my all time favorites but you might appreciate it a lot more if you first read his classic On The Road, about a couple guys bumming around America in the late 40s - early 50s. And if you like those two, you'll probably also like Big Sur. All of his novels are autobiographical. He was the guy who brought the Beatnik culture of the 50s to America's attention, and he lived right down in the thick of it. Originally from Lowell, Mass, so maybe you'll feel a common bond?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 06, 2008 1:19 AM GMT
    One more thing - can't help responding to a couple of the other posters.

    Chewey - you haven't seen East of Eden? Why in God's name has any gay man on the planet not seen James Dean's greatest work????

    Irishboxers - Grapes of Wrath was a John Ford film, not a John Huston film. Huge difference.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 07, 2008 5:41 AM GMT

    I know, I know; it's really a folly of mine. But after reading and loving the book so much--it being my favorite of all time, after all--I am just so hesitant to watch the movie, regardless of the glory that is James Dean.

    I share the same folly, but in reverse, with the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's--also my favorite movie of all time. I love the movie so much that I'm afraid that reading Capote's original work will ruin it all for me.