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What ar your top 5 favorite books of all time?
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Magpie
Immortal


Jun 21 2013, 4:31pm

Post #26 of 54 (216 views)
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it might be you just haven't stumbled upon the specific niche of non-fiction that interests you [In reply to] Can't Post

or perhaps the right author. Some non-fiction works can be quite dry. I want to know about the large picture but I also want to have some personal accounts or stories, too.

But maybe you never will. I was talking books with a woman I admire very much. She wouldn't touch LOTR with a 10 foot pole. Partly because she's really not into fantasy at all. But she's also not into fiction of any kind. She doesn't read mysteries or suspense or romance novels either. She reads, almost exclusively, self-help and therapy type of books.

That's why it's hard for me to hear Tolkien fans say that people who don't like Tolkien are flawed or missing out on something. People who don't like Tolkien just like different things. :-)


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Eleniel
Tol Eressea


Jun 21 2013, 4:49pm

Post #27 of 54 (220 views)
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My top five... [In reply to] Can't Post

Rather an eclectic mix!


1. Lord of the Rings
2. Lorna Doone (R D Blackmore)
3. Mordant's Need (Stephen Donaldson)
4. Beauty (Sheri S Tepper)
5. Pillars of the Earth/World Without End (Ken Follet)


"Choosing Trust over Doubt gets me burned once in a while, but I'd rather be singed than hardened."
Į Victoria Monfort


(This post was edited by Eleniel on Jun 21 2013, 4:52pm)


bborchar
Rohan


Jun 21 2013, 4:57pm

Post #28 of 54 (201 views)
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True... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
or perhaps the right author. Some non-fiction works can be quite dry. I want to know about the large picture but I also want to have some personal accounts or stories, too.

But maybe you never will. I was talking books with a woman I admire very much. She wouldn't touch LOTR with a 10 foot pole. Partly because she's really not into fantasy at all. But she's also not into fiction of any kind. She doesn't read mysteries or suspense or romance novels either. She reads, almost exclusively, self-help and therapy type of books.

That's why it's hard for me to hear Tolkien fans say that people who don't like Tolkien are flawed or missing out on something. People who don't like Tolkien just like different things. :-)


I love historical fiction...I guess I just get too close to the characters to like non-fiction, because I always know how it's going to end XD I do like Tolkien, but he would be more to the middle of my list of books I like...but only LotR and The Hobbit (ugh, TS). I hope that's not heresy here, lol. But I don't have as much enjoyment reading LotR as I do for, say, Jane Austen, Conan Doyle or Terry Pratchett, which I can't put down until I'm done. But as you say, people like different things, and I love that. My husband and I have a few interests that overlap, but we like many different things. I love languages, and he loves science- and we have fun teaching each other about the other.


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Old Toby
Grey Havens


Jun 21 2013, 5:32pm

Post #29 of 54 (207 views)
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Wow, this is a hard one [In reply to] Can't Post

And my list probably changes a bit over time. But for now, here's my list, in no particular order of preference:

1. The Lord of the Rings (duh!)
2. Dead and Gone - one of the books in the Sookie Stackhouse Southern vampire series by Charlaine Harris. The series is finished as of this year, but it's been a fabulous ride!
3. Changes - one of the Dresden files books, and the series is still ongoing, but this is one of my favorites. That Harry Dresden - a wizard's work is never done!
4. Hamlet - by you know who. I'm amazed I can finally somewhat understand the writing, thanks to the No-Fear-Shakespeare series which has the original writing on the left side pages and a modern English 'translation' on the right. I adore Hamlet.
5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

"Age is always advancing and I'm fairly sure it's up to no good." Harry Dresden (Jim Butcher)

(This post was edited by Old Toby on Jun 21 2013, 5:39pm)


dormouse
Half-elven


Jun 21 2013, 5:39pm

Post #30 of 54 (199 views)
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Hard, very hard.... [In reply to] Can't Post

But I'd say...

1. Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion (can't separate them so I'm binding them in one volume)

2. A.S. Byatt's Possession

3. Alan Garner The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and The Moon of Gomrath

4. Helen Clare Merlin's Magic

5. Wade Davis Into the Silence

With honourable mentions for The Hobbit and Kipling's Kim; The Wind in the Willows, Marcus Zusak's The Book Thief, C.J. Sansom Heartstone; the Harry Potter books and the Green Knowe books and Joy Chant's Red Moon and Black Mountain because any of them could have been numbers 2 to 5 just as well as the ones I've listed there.


BoromirOfWinterfell
Rohan


Jun 21 2013, 5:54pm

Post #31 of 54 (205 views)
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And the dithering bouts of indecision continue... [In reply to] Can't Post

The first is a definite, but the rest are quite mixed because I'll spend the entire night deciding Wink

1. The Lord of the Rings (Specifically The Two Towers, but LOTR can be considered a unity. Leaf By Niggle is my favourite story)
2. Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card.
3. Frankenstein - Mary Shelley/ The Road - Cormac McCarthy
4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams/Guards! Guards! - Terry Pratchett (I consider these two to be equally funny and amazing. The Dresden Files are definitely making their way there)
5. Beowulf - Anonymous.

I love literature from almost all genres.
Some honorable mentions: Don Quixote, The Stand, The Pit and The Pendulum, A Song of Ice and Fire, Chronicles of Narnia, The Dark Tower Series, The Divine Comedy, Silence of the Lambs, The Lord of the Flies, Paradise Lost and lots of others. Smile


"Eala Earendel engla beorhtast
ofer middangeard monnum sended."

"There is nothing so absurd but some philosopher has said it." - Cicero

(This post was edited by BoromirOfWinterfell on Jun 21 2013, 5:55pm)


bborchar
Rohan


Jun 21 2013, 6:02pm

Post #32 of 54 (188 views)
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Reading that! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
The first is a definite, but the rest are quite mixed because I'll spend the entire night deciding Wink

1. The Lord of the Rings (Specifically The Two Towers, but LOTR can be considered a unity. Leaf By Niggle is my favourite story)
2. Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card.
3. Frankenstein - Mary Shelley/ The Road - Cormac McCarthy
4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams/Guards! Guards! - Terry Pratchett (I consider these two to be equally funny and amazing. The Dresden Files are definitely making their way there)
5. Beowulf - Anonymous.

I love literature from almost all genres.
Some honorable mentions: Don Quixote, The Stand, The Pit and The Pendulum, A Song of Ice and Fire, Chronicles of Narnia, The Dark Tower Series, The Divine Comedy, Silence of the Lambs, The Lord of the Flies, Paradise Lost and lots of others. Smile


I'm finally reading Frankenstein right now, and I just love it so far :D It's just so soul crushing, lol. I've read ASoIaF, too, although not in order at all.


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malickfan
Gondor


Jun 21 2013, 6:22pm

Post #33 of 54 (190 views)
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Hmm, really hard to narrow it down [In reply to] Can't Post

And I haven't read Huge amount of books, But I'd say the following would almost always make the list

1) The Lord of The Rings-*that surprised no one*
2)The Forever War (Joe Halderman)
3)The Stand By Stephen King (only read the expanded version though)
4)The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
5)The Gaunts Ghosts series by Dan Abnett

Honourable mentions-Everything else by Tolkien, The Road, Watchmen, Eisenhorn trilogy by Dan Abnett, Many of the works of Charles Dickens, With the Old Breed at Peleliu and Okinawa (perhaps the best war biography I have ever read). I love reading, but I can't honestly say I have read an awlful lot of new material recently.

This is not a very interesting signature is it?


Brethil
Half-elven


Jun 21 2013, 6:33pm

Post #34 of 54 (178 views)
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And somehow I didn't list Dune. (doh) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Darkstone
Immortal


Jun 21 2013, 7:07pm

Post #35 of 54 (196 views)
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Hmmm..... [In reply to] Can't Post

The Bible
The Collapse of the Third Republic
Watership Down
The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody
1632

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Ataahua
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jun 21 2013, 8:25pm

Post #36 of 54 (190 views)
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No. 5 is so, so sad. [In reply to] Can't Post

But it's the best story on cloning that I've read - and I've read a few. (The short story A Rag of Bone and a Hank of Hair sticks in my mind from my teenage years.)

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


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Magpie
Immortal


Jun 21 2013, 8:43pm

Post #37 of 54 (173 views)
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I think you meant to say #4 ... [In reply to] Can't Post

is the one about cloning. Just in case someone who hadn't read either

#4 - Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang
#5 - Dragonflight

got confused. :-)

It's been a long time since I read Wilhelm's book (probably soon after it came out). I should reread it. She was just one of those authors I liked enough to just search out any book by her. Not all her books are science fiction. Other books by her that stand out in my memory: The Year of the Cloud, Juniper Time, and Oh, Susannah!


LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
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RachellovesLOTR
Rivendell

Jun 21 2013, 9:04pm

Post #38 of 54 (166 views)
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Of course I love all three volumes of The Lord of the Rings as a whole, [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
The first is a definite, but the rest are quite mixed because I'll spend the entire night deciding Wink

1. The Lord of the Rings (Specifically The Two Towers, but LOTR can be considered a unity. Leaf By Niggle is my favourite story)
2. Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card.
3. Frankenstein - Mary Shelley/ The Road - Cormac McCarthy
4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams/Guards! Guards! - Terry Pratchett (I consider these two to be equally funny and amazing. The Dresden Files are definitely making their way there)
5. Beowulf - Anonymous.

I love literature from almost all genres.
Some honorable mentions: Don Quixote, The Stand, The Pit and The Pendulum, A Song of Ice and Fire, Chronicles of Narnia, The Dark Tower Series, The Divine Comedy, Silence of the Lambs, The Lord of the Flies, Paradise Lost and lots of others. Smile

But I'd say my most favorite one is The Return of the King. There's a lot of action and some of my favorite moments just like in the movie.


Nira
Lorien


Jun 21 2013, 9:23pm

Post #39 of 54 (161 views)
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hmmm [In reply to] Can't Post

1. Night - Wiesel
2. Hobbit/LOTR - Tolkien
3. Any Sherlock Holmes - Doyle
4. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Twain
5. Canterbury Tales - Chaucer

"Why, to think of it, we're in the same tale still! It's going on. Don't the great tales never end?" -Samwise


BoromirOfWinterfell
Rohan


Jun 21 2013, 9:38pm

Post #40 of 54 (157 views)
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The only problem with Frankenstein is that it's so harrowing. [In reply to] Can't Post

But other than that, it was great. Smile

"Eala Earendel engla beorhtast
ofer middangeard monnum sended."

"There is nothing so absurd but some philosopher has said it." - Cicero


bborchar
Rohan


Jun 21 2013, 9:44pm

Post #41 of 54 (157 views)
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That's what I'm loving about it... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
But other than that, it was great. Smile


It completely pulls you out of your comfort zone...and just when you think you know the characters, they do something completely unexpected.


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Nunilo
Bree


Jun 22 2013, 12:14am

Post #42 of 54 (140 views)
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It's a fascinating read! [In reply to] Can't Post

I read it after watching the movie Outbreak. Completely opened my eyes to the world of infectious diseases.


Ataahua
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jun 22 2013, 12:39am

Post #43 of 54 (143 views)
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Ha - yes you're right. [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the correction!

My fondness for Dragonflight is mostly nostalgia - I read it when I was about 13 and I lived and breathed Pern during my teenage years.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


cats16
Valinor

Jun 22 2013, 12:42am

Post #44 of 54 (152 views)
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Hmm...here's a tough one :) [In reply to] Can't Post

*drum rolls*

1. The Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit

-gasp, shocker there Wink

2. Moby Dick

-I read this over the course of a month during the summer once. I was mesmerized (and still am) by the level of detail the reader is given into the world of whaling in that time period, especially regarding all of the anatomical descriptions of whales. Melville's details for this is incredible. And I love the story, too.Tongue I'm pretty sure I was in tears after reading the last sentence of the book. It all came full circle to me, and I couldn't believe the scale of this tale. I'd very much like to read it again sometime, when I'm not trying to read all of Tolkien's major works over the summer. Cool

3. The Brothers Karamazov

-Dostoyevsky's philosophical debates in this work is astounding to me, and the level of thinking I underwent while reading this was exhausting.

4. Anna Karenina

-Another Russian novel that I love.

5. Harry Potter

-I'll say HP, as it really gave me another world of fantasy that I could jump into, besides Middle Earth.


A great thread, bborchar, as I've probably never actually created a list such as this before. I try not to rank other pieces of literature against each other, even subjectively. Now I'm reminded of some books that I need to return to one day. Thanks, I enjoyed this! Smile


bborchar
Rohan


Jun 22 2013, 1:02am

Post #45 of 54 (137 views)
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My pleasure :D [In reply to] Can't Post

I love reading and literature, and it was really hard for me to make my list, too XD I have at least 15 books I could put up in the top 5, but I tried to make mine the ones I thought impacted me the most. Being from the Southern states of the US, "Huckleberry Finn" and "To Kill a Mockingbird" are pretty close to my heart- but their messages definitely extend beyond just those states and even to this day. Same with "Small Gods"...I just loved the satire, but the message is very serious. And "Dracula" probably was my first "horror" book ever...it definitely got me into other horror stories. "Pride and Prejudice" was my gateway to British Literature, and it's been a love affair ever since. I've probably read more British Lit than anything else (although I'm a bit cold to Dickens). So, that's why I chose my 5. I love reading what other people have written, though, especially when it's a book or series I love.


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cats16
Valinor

Jun 22 2013, 1:07am

Post #46 of 54 (141 views)
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I really want to read more British Lit. [In reply to] Can't Post

Admittedly, I've read very few British novels. Even the classics. They are all on my list, but that's the problem with my list- it's too long!


bborchar
Rohan


Jun 22 2013, 1:11am

Post #47 of 54 (135 views)
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It was something I never thought I would like... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Admittedly, I've read very few British novels. Even the classics. They are all on my list, but that's the problem with my list- it's too long!


When I was younger. But when I finally did read it, I loved the style of humor that was prevalent in many of them. And I just adore British poetry...yes, I'm a dork XD


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cats16
Valinor

Jun 22 2013, 1:21am

Post #48 of 54 (130 views)
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I'm glad to hear you liked it! [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm always happy to hear that someone ended up liking something (a movie, book, musician) despite the fact that they thought they wouldn't like it beforehand.

*dorky high-five* Looks like we're at the right place, then! WinkSmile


Annael
Immortal


Jun 22 2013, 2:34am

Post #49 of 54 (119 views)
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I have friends like that [In reply to] Can't Post

they only read spiritual & self-help books. I was talking about LOTR to one of them and she said "I don't like books set in outer space."

I didn't even try.

The way we imagine our lives is the way we are going to go on living our lives.

- James Hillman, Healing Fiction

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NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967


Morthoron
Gondor


Jun 22 2013, 2:40am

Post #50 of 54 (131 views)
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In no particular order... [In reply to] Can't Post

because I hate to quantify greatness:

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (alternative would be The Silmarillion)
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (alternative would be Oliver Twist)
Notre Dame de Paris by Victor Hugo (alternative would be Les Miserables)
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (alternative would be Foucault's Pendulum)
The Once and Future King by T.H. White

Please visit my blog...The Dark Elf File...a slighty skewed journal of music and literary comment, fan-fiction and interminable essays.


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