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Best book you ever read.

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richlmo 14 Sep 00 - 09:50 PM
Rick Fielding 14 Sep 00 - 09:56 PM
GUEST,Indigo 14 Sep 00 - 09:57 PM
GUEST,Gizz 14 Sep 00 - 10:00 PM
Mbo 14 Sep 00 - 10:10 PM
catspaw49 14 Sep 00 - 10:11 PM
CarolC 14 Sep 00 - 10:13 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 14 Sep 00 - 10:21 PM
Lepus Rex 14 Sep 00 - 10:31 PM
death by whisky 14 Sep 00 - 10:33 PM
Little Neophyte 14 Sep 00 - 10:37 PM
Little Neophyte 14 Sep 00 - 10:39 PM
richlmo 14 Sep 00 - 10:52 PM
death by whisky 14 Sep 00 - 10:52 PM
catspaw49 14 Sep 00 - 11:00 PM
Fortunato 14 Sep 00 - 11:03 PM
Mbo 14 Sep 00 - 11:06 PM
death by whisky 14 Sep 00 - 11:06 PM
Branwen23 14 Sep 00 - 11:14 PM
Mbo 14 Sep 00 - 11:16 PM
Branwen23 14 Sep 00 - 11:21 PM
GUEST,Chris 14 Sep 00 - 11:21 PM
MsMoon 14 Sep 00 - 11:22 PM
Bill D 14 Sep 00 - 11:26 PM
Bugsy 14 Sep 00 - 11:27 PM
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Jim Dixon 14 Sep 00 - 11:44 PM
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Rick Fielding 14 Sep 00 - 11:57 PM
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Metchosin 15 Sep 00 - 12:16 AM
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Subject: Best book you ever read.
From: richlmo
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 09:50 PM

As a new Mudcatter and avid reader, I am amazed and thoroughly entertained by the diverse personalities we are dealing with here. Just wondering , What is the best book ( or 2 or 3 ) you have ever read?


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 09:56 PM

Ball Four by Jim Bouton.

The Diary of Samuel Pepys

The Naked Civil Servant by Quentin Crisp

Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott.

Moby Dick by Jos. Conrad

L'etranger by Albert Camus

The Glory of Their Times by...damn, a senior moment! Who wrote it?

Rick


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: GUEST,Indigo
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 09:57 PM

The bible is always spellbinding. 'There is A River' by Tom Sugrue, and 'Croiset, The Clairvoyant' are very interesting reading. Indigo


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: GUEST,Gizz
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 10:00 PM

The Bible by God; To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (the only novel she wrote); Any Dictionary; Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Suess (Not necessarily in this order. (Except no. 1)


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: Mbo
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 10:10 PM

The Lord Of The Rings--Tolkien
The Hobbit--Tolkien
The Silmarillion--Tolkien
Les Miserables --Victor Hugo
The Pickwick Papers -- Charles Dickens
The Three Musketeers --Dumas, pere
Twenty Years After --Dumas, pere
Peter The Great: His Life & His World--Michael K. Massey
Hamlet --Shakespeare (plays count...right?)
Treasury of Irish Folklore --edited by Padraic Colum
Red Branch --Morgan Llewellyn
Lion of Ireland --Morgan Llewellyn


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 10:11 PM

Either/Or.....Soren Kierkegaard.........No that's just a joke................

To Kill A Mockingbird.....Harper Lee. Hands down.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: CarolC
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 10:13 PM

I would say welcome to the Mudcat, richlmo, but it looks to me like you've been here almost as long as I have.

Can't really name specific books, but the following authors:

John Steinbeck
John Irving
Graham Greene

I'll probably think of some more after I jumpstart my brain.


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 10:21 PM

Rick, I think you had another, unacknowledged senior moment above when you attributed Moby Dick to Conrad.

For me it's a toss-up between Catch-22 and Cat's Cradle, by Joseph Heller and Kurt Vonnegut respectively. Oh, and Huckleberry Finn by some guy named Clemmins. Best book in the last few years, Angela's Ashes.

--seed


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 10:31 PM

Hard question... My favourites seem to change from year to year as my mind rots away and forgets what I've read.

I guess... Well, I hate to say that a translated novel is my fave, as I'm ashamed that I don't know the original language, but the English translation of 'Independent People' by Halldór Laxness has always been my favourite book.

Growing up, I read a lot of Robert E. Howard stories, and my favourite one has always been 'Black Colossus.' The images that I imagined while reading that story have always stuck with me, for some reason. :)
Oh, wait. He didn't say only fiction, did he? I really like 'The Hundred Thousand Fools of God' by Ted Levin, about Central Asian music. A eally good book that comes with an excellent cd (which contains, like, the only Karakalpak song I've got in my cd collection).

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: death by whisky
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 10:33 PM

Not much of a reader.....

Jonathan Livingstone Seagull....Whatsisname

About to start.

Round Ireland with a fridge...Tony Hawks


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 10:37 PM

I loved The Chose by Chaim Potok
Recently I read Shackleton's Legendary Antartic Expedition by Caroline Alexander. That was a really good book too.
There are lots of 'best' books for me though.

As in most important book I have ever read, I would have to say it was The Course Of Miracles. That book had a major impact on me.

Bonnie


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 10:39 PM

Oh you are so right death by whiskey, Jonathan Livingstone Seagull by 'Whatsisname' was another very important book for me too.

BB


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: richlmo
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 10:52 PM

Maybe I'm not a real new Mudcatter, but I'm just getting the hang ! Spend more time reading what you folks have to say than I need to.


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: death by whisky
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 10:52 PM

iTS 4 AM .iCANT THINK OF HIS NAME.....


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 11:00 PM

"whatshisname" being Richard Bach.............I wish he'd never written the book. I LOVE seagulls and watching them fly.......they know more about the wind than other birds. They fascinate me. HOWEVER, everytime I try to talk about that someone brings up JLS.............I was watching and thinking about and envying gulls long before he wrote it, but everybody thinks I must have gotten it from him.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: Fortunato
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 11:03 PM

Lord of the Rings.

Stranger in a Strange Land, Heinlein.

Horton hears a Who Dr suess

Great Expectations, dickens

The Old man and the boy, Bradford.


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: Mbo
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 11:06 PM

Oops, forgot Killer Angles, by Michael Shaara. And all the Edwin P. Hoyt books about the Pacific Theater of WWII. I love those books.


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: death by whisky
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 11:06 PM

Thanks Spaw.I ca go to bed now...maybe


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: Branwen23
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 11:14 PM

The Three Musketeers, Alexandre Dumas,

Oh, The Places You'll Go, Dr. Seuss,

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee,

Phantom, Susan Kay,

The Phantom of the Opera, Gaston Leroux.


-Branwen, who just knows someone's got a wisecrack about the Phantom....


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: Mbo
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 11:16 PM

Bran, I LOVE The Phantom of The Opera, both the book & the musical. Good choice. All the folks who don't like it can go sit in Box 5.


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: Branwen23
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 11:21 PM

Then you should definitely read the other one I listed, Phantom, by Susan Kay.... it's a great take on the Leroux tale. Goes more in depth about Erik's background... his childhood, his passion for music, his life before the Paris opera.

Wonderful book.... my copy is ragged from being read and re-read....


-Branwen-


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: GUEST,Chris
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 11:21 PM

Watership Down, by Richard Adams

Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: MsMoon
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 11:22 PM

H'm...so far I'm not overly inspired...how about a few things that WEREN'T on the high school summer reading list?

Like, A Soldier of the Great War, by Mark Helprin. Epic.

Or Possession, by AS Byatt.

Catch-22, though, I must agree. A work of genius!

duplicate postings deleted


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: Bill D
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 11:26 PM

...no one said it had to be fiction...so...

"Gödel, Escher, Bach"

but the most fun was "The Mote in God's Eye"..(sci-fi)


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: Bugsy
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 11:27 PM

A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens.

My dad used to read it to us at Christmas when we were kids.

I never tire of reading it.

Cheers

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: Branwen23
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 11:32 PM

Hey, Timbrel, way to get the point across through repetition....


-Branwen-


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: MsMoon
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 11:39 PM

Oops....keyboard screwup, sorry!


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 11:44 PM

The Complete Sherlock Holmes stories, A C Doyle. I've read them maybe 3 times in my life. After about a 10-year interval, I find that I can't remember how each story ends, so it's just like reading them for the first time.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain. I read it 2 or 3 times as a kid. (Along with Tom Sawyer.) I didn't realize it then, but the edition I had was an edited, somewhat dumbed-down child's version. In spite of that, the book was wonderful. I remember feeling really depressed when I came to the end of the book, just because I didn't want it to end. I recently read the original version, and enjoyed it almost as much as I did as a kid. But this time I appreciated Twain's use of language a lot more. I've also read all of Mark Twain's short stories, essays and sketches, and a couple of his travel books.

Among modern novels, I recommend The Quincunx, by Charles Palliser, and Waterland, by Graham Swift.

In the realm of history, I loved the series called The Americans by Daniel Boorstin.

Various articles and essays by Robert Ingersoll. They helped me cut loose from that old time religion. A lot like The Age of Reason by Tom Paine, but by the time I read that, it was almost redundant.

Psychotherapy East and West, by Alan Watts. It tied together a bunch of ideas I had been gathering from other books by other writers, and put religion in a better perspective.

Any book by Idries Shah. I've read everything by him I can get my hands on, and I get more out of them each time I read them. I can't even tell you what they're about. They work on my unconscious mind. It's the closest thing I have to a religion right now.

I'll second Gödel, Escher, Bach. Can't say as it really changed my thinking about anything, though. It's more about the esthetics of complexity.


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: tradsteve
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 11:50 PM

"Where the Red Fern Grows" by Wilson Rawls, I believe. "Desolation Angels", by Jack Kerouac. "Their Eyes Were Watching God", Zora Neal Hurston. "Hard Times", Dickens. Too many to list.


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: KT
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 11:57 PM

I agree....."Where the Red Fern Grows" is wonderful!

I also love "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 14 Sep 00 - 11:57 PM

Dammit Seed, you got in there before I had a chance to come racing back and scream "Melville, I meant Melville"!

The Glory of their Times (like Ball Four) is about baseball (and so much more) and is by Lawrence Ritter.

But since I DID mention Conrad....I loved Lord Jim.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: Peter Kasin
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 12:06 AM

Rick -

Lawrence S. Ritter is your man. I love that book, too.

I read much more nonfiction than fiction. Back when I did read more fiction, Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men and Dreiser's An American Tragedy were my favorites. For nonfiction, With The Old Breed: At Peleliu And Okinawa by Eugene B. Sledge is a deeply moving book. It is an account by a Marine WWII veteran of Pacific island warfare, told from his perspective as an infantryman. What makes it so special is his humility and humanity in recounting the horrors of combat, going into the kind of detail history books don't normally go into - such as battlefield sanitation, the dehumanizing effects of battle on the participants, of fear and of soldiers mentally cracking under the constant strain. I felt emotionally drained after reading it, and no other book has had such an effect.


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: Metchosin
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 12:16 AM

Spaw I'm just coming to this thread and you already beat me to my selection. Possibly not the best books I ever read, but that ones that had the most impact on me when I was young, Simone de Bouvoir's The Second Sex and To Kill A Mocking.

I had to do an oral book report in a Junior Highschool class years ago, which due to my shyness was usually a painful experience. During the report, the usually restive class gradually became silent, to add to my embarrassment. When I finished, the English teacher looked at me sternly and in an accusitory tone said. "Susan! I don't believe you read that book!" as I started to crumble inside, he continued sofening his tone and added "You lived it."


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: Metchosin
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 12:31 AM

Re Seagulls, same here Spaw, when asked in a Grade 10 English class in 1962, what we would like to be if we could choose anything else, I got some pretty odd looks when I stuck up my hand and blurted out "A Seagull".


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: hesperis
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 12:38 AM

#1 ever: Women Who Run With The Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estes

anything at all ever written by Tolkien

'A Horseman Riding By' which is a trilogy by R.F. Delderfield. I have composed a brass quintet suite based on this. He's written some other good stuff, but I've forgotten the titles.

any discworld book at all by Terry Pratchett

That book by Josephine Tey about Richard the 3rd of England

A Thousand Words For Stranger, and the sequel; and Beholder's Eye, and the sequel; by Julie E. Czerneda. She is a local science fiction writer.

I tend to have favorite authors rather than favorite books.

non-fiction #1: Discipline That Works, by Dr. Thomas Gordon
#2 Feeling Good, by Dr. David Burns

the only Harlequin romance novel that has a permanent place on my favorite shelf is 'Not By Appointment', by Essie Summers

Shadow Magic, by Patricia C. Wrede. Fairly light writing, but some deep concepts can be found in it. Sci-fantasy.

~*sirepseh*~


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: The Beanster
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 12:49 AM

Some of my all time faves:

The Shining - Stephen King (scared the snot outta me)
Watership Down - Richard Adams
The Hot Zone - Richard Preston
And I Don't Want To Live This Life - Deborah Spungeon (mother of Nancy Spungeon of "Sid & Nancy" fame)
Communion - (the one about the aliens) spoooooky
The World According to Garp - John Irving
Lord of the Rings - Tolkien
The Psychopathic Mind - Reid Meloy
Gorillas in the Mist - Hayes?
Dragons of Eden - Carl Sagan
Animal Farm - Orwell
Papers on Object Relations - Various
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
Never Cry Wolf - ?
Lord of the Flies - ?

Damn, who wrote Lord of the Flies?? (mind like swiss cheese)


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: Metchosin
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 12:52 AM

Beanster, Never Cry Wolf was Farley Mowatt.....best line from it was "Good idea....." words to live by. BG


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: DougR
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 12:52 AM

I think the best novel I have read in recent years is, "Lonesome Dove," by Larry McMurtry. Harper Lee's, "To Kill a Mockingbird," is a classic and I love it.

I am currently reading, "Print the Legend," the biography of John Ford, and enjoying it very much.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: thosp
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 12:57 AM

lord of the flies was by william golding i believe

peace (Y) thosp


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 01:03 AM

To me Moby Dick is the greatest novel of all time.It is a parable,a poem,an adventure yarn,a study of the balance between Man,God,and Nature,and an examination of Life,Death,and Eternity.I take that voyage once in every ten years,and it strikes new chords in my soul every time.The first line..."Call me Ishmael" and the last line "It was the devious-sailing Rachel,that in her retracing search after her missing children,only found another orphan" are to me like the opening and closing of the door to a another, magical world.

Other novels I have experienced deeply are Crime and Punishment, a powerful work about man's basic nature, The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann,a micro-cosm in which characters representing nearly every religion and philosophy vie for the narrator's soul,The Once and Future King by T H White,the story of KIng Arthur and much more,The Age of Reason by a French Author (sorry),which anyone approaching 30 should read,and Kesey's Sometimes a Great Notion.

I plan to re-read Hesse's Steppenwolf this year.As I recall,it concerned the transcendent experience of a man who had reached his 50th year. Should resonate.


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: Marion
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 01:17 AM

Lord of the Rings by Tolkien.

Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck.

Till We Have Faces by C.S.Lewis.

The Gospel According to Luke by St. Luke.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene.

In the children's category: Anne of Green Gables by L.M Montgomery.

In the non-fiction category: By Little and By Little: an anthology of writings by Dorothy Day (founder of the Catholic Worker movement).

In the modern category: A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving.

In the humour category: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (the increasingly inaccurately named trilogy).


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: Metchosin
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 01:19 AM

LEJ did you ever read Hesse's Magister Ludi, that's one I have been promising myself I would reread.

A great many of the books listed I know I have read but for the life of me the impact and what they were about are dimming. I am in need of a lot more rereading, this time on ginko. Gee is that the stuff that improves your memory, I can't remember. Reminds me of a quote: "We are all of two minds, the little mind for remembering the little things and the big mind for forgetting the big things."


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: Allan C.
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 01:27 AM

Like many above, it is nearly impossible for me to speak of a single favorite.

anything by Mark Twain (Someone once said that if he had one wish it would be to be able "to read 'Life On the Mississippi' again for the first time." I feel that way about all of his works.)

A Reverence For Wood, by Eric Sloan

The Tracker, by Tom Brown, Jr.

Judas, My Brother, by Frank Yerby

Green Mansions, by W. H. Hudson

Now Hear This!, by Cmdr. Dan Gallery

...many others


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: The Beanster
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 01:37 AM

Yes, Yes--thanks Metchosin and thosp! Metchosin, please pass some of that ginko over here. I probably should bathe in it or something.

How could I have forgotten "Lonesome Dove?" (sigh). My sister told me I should read it but it was fiction (don't really read fiction anymore) and it was a "cowboy" story (yech!). But she hounded me mercilessly until I read it. Such a wonderful book!


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: GUEST,Luther
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 01:42 AM

Lonesome, wonderful choices -- The Age of Reason is Thomas Paine, written in France (he lived in France, England, and the US, depending on who had the most current death warrant out for him, he's buried in England).

Best stuff I've read in the past decade or so is Cormac McCarthy, I can't choose, The Crossing or Blood Meridian maybe. I was just looking for The Magic Mountain to re-read, apparently I've given it away.

Some of the stuff that has most influenced my view of Life, the Universe, and Everything -- the essays of Orwell, Huxley, Bertrand Russel -- and Paine, Voltaire. Ed Abbey, Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson.

I might have a look at Steppenwolf, I went through the obligatory Hesse thing as a teenager, and couldn't possible have had a clue what it was about then.

Speaking of things teen-age, I just read a couple of Vonneguts that I'd missed, "Deadeye Dick", one of his best, and "Timequake", the most truly awful thing I've ever read masquerading as a novel (loved it anyway, if you're a fan, you're a fan).


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: Metchosin
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 01:51 AM

The oral book report was on to Kill a Mockingbird re: my post above. Idiot! you should know by now to reread before sending. Bad dog!!!


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: GUEST, Banjo Johnny
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 01:58 AM

Yet another vote for Catch 22. == Johnny


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 02:14 AM

Wondering...anyone interested in a Mudcat Book of the Month Club? We could agree on some titles,and keep an ongoing thread discussion of each during the month.

Metchosin...I read The Glass Bead Game many years ago.I recall liking it,but have forgotten it.

Luther...not the Thomas Paine work. I'm thinking my Age of Reason was either Flaubert or Proust.The title in this case is an allusion to the end,at 30,of the age of complete irresponsibility and spontaneity,and the onset of the age of practicality and reserve.


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 04:23 AM

Hey, I thought Jonathan Livingston Seagull was by Neil Diamond. Wasn't Bach the name of that woman on "the Spy Who Loved Me" and "The Dukes of Hazzard," the one who married Ringo Starr? She was my One True Love after I lost interest in Julie Andrews.
No, huh? Wrong Bach, I guess.

Many of my favorite books and authors have already been listed. One that hasn't is Man's Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl, Frankl's explanation of how he learned of the beauty and meaning of life, while was living in a concentration camp.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Best book you ever read.
From: Naemanson
Date: 15 Sep 00 - 06:57 AM

Dammit! How on God's green Earth can anyone chose their favorite book, or even their favorite few dozen? I sit here surrounded by my favorite books and they break down into two categories, those I've read and those I haven't.

Still, I can list some of my recent favorites:

The Long Ships by Frans Bengtson (Hey! Scandinavian Mudcatters, what else did he write?)

Stand Firm Ye Boys From Maine

Patrick O'Brian's 20 book historical novel series of the Napoleonic war

To The Ends Of The Earth by Michael Talbot (Hey! Australian Mudcatters, did he ever write the sequel?)

Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton

Tales Told In The Kitchen by Kendall Morse

That's enough for now.


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Mudcat time: 13 April 4:08 AM EDT

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