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Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?

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Peter T. 19 Oct 03 - 04:09 PM
mg 19 Oct 03 - 04:12 PM
pixieofdoom 19 Oct 03 - 07:01 PM
Blowzabella 19 Oct 03 - 07:40 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Oct 03 - 07:57 PM
mack/misophist 19 Oct 03 - 10:51 PM
Wilfried Schaum 20 Oct 03 - 03:04 AM
alanabit 20 Oct 03 - 04:30 AM
MBSLynne 20 Oct 03 - 06:35 AM
sian, west wales 20 Oct 03 - 07:08 AM
GUEST 20 Oct 03 - 07:44 AM
Peter T. 20 Oct 03 - 08:09 AM
GUEST 20 Oct 03 - 08:26 AM
Rapparee 20 Oct 03 - 08:27 AM
mack/misophist 20 Oct 03 - 09:27 AM
GUEST 20 Oct 03 - 09:38 AM
GUEST,Kim C no cookie 20 Oct 03 - 10:10 AM
Peter T. 20 Oct 03 - 10:55 AM
Menolly 20 Oct 03 - 03:02 PM
GUEST,Kim C no cookie 20 Oct 03 - 03:05 PM
MBSLynne 20 Oct 03 - 03:24 PM
Peter T. 20 Oct 03 - 03:58 PM
LilyFestre 20 Oct 03 - 07:55 PM
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Subject: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: Peter T.
Date: 19 Oct 03 - 04:09 PM

This is the list from the BBC of the favourite 21 books (they had to push the other Harry Potter books down the list, I am told). The names after the authors are people who I guess are going to be discussing the books in the rampup to the big no.1 finish. Looking at the list, the one obvious thing is that most of them are probably schoolbooks that people read then, and never read anything else! Anyone know anything about "His Dark Materials"? The only one I have never heard of.

yours, Peter T.

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks (William Hague MP)
Captain Correlli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernières (Clare Short MP)
Catch-22 by Joseph L Heller (John Sergeant)
The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger (Ruby Wax)
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (Arabella Weir)
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (David Dimbleby)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling (Fay Ripley)
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman (Benedict Allen)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (Sanjeev
                      Bhaskar)
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (Lorraine Kelly)
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis (Ronni Ancona)
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (Sandi Toksvig)
The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien (Ray Mears)
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell (Jo Brand)
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (Meera Syal)
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (Alan Titchmarsh)
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (John Humphrys)
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (Simon Schama)
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (Bill Oddie)
Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne (Phill Jupitus)
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (Alistair McGowan)


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: mg
Date: 19 Oct 03 - 04:12 PM

Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington....contains prescriptions for us all to follow...should be the cornerstone of all educational endeavors. mg


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: pixieofdoom
Date: 19 Oct 03 - 07:01 PM

The Dark Materials trilogy are another set of books aimed at children and read by adults. Well worth reading though, I enjoyed them very much. The first one's called 'Northern Lights'


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: Blowzabella
Date: 19 Oct 03 - 07:40 PM

I've always loved Susan Cooper's 'The Dark is Rising' series - first read it when I was about 14 and now read it every winter, on the run up to Christmas - it has become a bit of a ritual


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Oct 03 - 07:57 PM

I hate the whole idea of competitive lists, where they keep whittling the number down with the idea of coming up with "Britain's Favourite Book"

I don't have "a favourite book" any more than I have "a favourite song". It all depends.

Rather like the question "which is your favourite colour" all depends on whether you are talking about the sky or the grass or a portion of chips.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: mack/misophist
Date: 19 Oct 03 - 10:51 PM

I tend to agree with McGrath but, just to play the game, the few that come to mind straight-away are:

Through The Looking Glass
The Prince gy Macchiavelli
Lives of the Twelve Noble Emperors by Suetonius
anything by CS Lewis, especially The Screwtape Letters
anything by Charles Williams, especially All Hallows Eve
most of Farley Mowat, especially The Dog Who Wouldn't Be
all of Gerrald Durrell's books, especially the autobiographical ones
Forty Days of Musa Dagh by Franz Werfel
Monkey by A Whaley
Dee Goong An by van Gulik
and bunches of others


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 20 Oct 03 - 03:04 AM

1066 and all that by [have to look it up, 2 profs]
Good bye to all that
I Claudius, and Claudius the God
Declarations of War
The Hitchhikers Guide through the Galaxy, and the other four volumes of the trilogy [!]
Evelyn Waugh's trilogy about World War II
All of Tom Sharpe
A Good Man in Africa, and Stars and Bars
Kim
Treasure Island
Scouting for Boys
Starship Troopers
[list not ranked]
A note about Kim and Treasure Island: I think they are wrongly judged as books for young people; the older I get the more poetry and insight I find in them.

Wilfried


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: alanabit
Date: 20 Oct 03 - 04:30 AM

Maybe I should read Treasure Island again Wilfried. The same is certainly true of Huckleberry Finn. I think it also gets funnier as you grow older.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: MBSLynne
Date: 20 Oct 03 - 06:35 AM

I agree with McGrath too, but I do love discussing books I like with other people, so I'll join in. I'm very boring though, I'm afraid. I love "Lord of the Rings" and have read it now eight times. After that come most, though not all of Terry Pratchett's discworld books, A quartet of books by Diana Gabaldon, The Wind in the Willows, Both the Winnie the Poohs, all the Anne of Green Gables books and the Lymmond books by Dorothy Dunnett. I also love Susan Cooper's Dark is Rising sequence. Having enjoyed all these, I now enjoy them again by reading them to my children. We read "His Dark Materials" together too and my son loved them. I was less keen. I'm told the books by Lemony Snickett (not a real name surely?) are brilliant. Oh, and of course I forgot...I have to say it...The Harry Potter books. Actually, looking at my list, I think there are more 'children's' books than adult ones! What does that say about me I wonder?


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: sian, west wales
Date: 20 Oct 03 - 07:08 AM

This BBC project - The Big Read - is here. If you look at the Top 100 books, you'll see that many of the faves mentioned above are there, just not in the top 21. There was a rule that only one book by any one author could make it to the Top 21 hence, for example, only one Harry Potter.

sian


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Oct 03 - 07:44 AM

Anything by Virginia Woolf, especially To The Lighthouse. Fifth Business-Robertson Davies/ The Once And Future King-T.H. White, Testament of Youth-Vera Brittain, Silas Marner-George Eliot-On The Eve-Turgenev, Return of The Native-Thomas Hardy, The Stone Angel-Margaret Lawrence, A Distant Mirror-Barbara Tuchman, Down and Out In Paris and London-George Orwell.
   An interesting thread. Seems to be a lot of young adult stuff, any particular reason I wonder.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: Peter T.
Date: 20 Oct 03 - 08:09 AM

Like I said, assigned school books.

I agree about "Kim" -- it is one of the most underrated books ever. I marvel at how Kipling was able to portray the Tibetan lama: easily the best description of a saintly man in literature.   

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Oct 03 - 08:26 AM

I read the Lemony Snickett books and did not enjoy them but I did love the Phillip Pullman Books. I always enjoy knowing what other people read and I see lots of Good Suggestions here. I have never read "Kim" but will put it on my list for sure.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: Rapparee
Date: 20 Oct 03 - 08:27 AM

Oooooooooookay.... I'm a librarian, and this list is personal and subject to change at any moment. Moreover, it's not in any particular order, but the order MAY be peculiar.

Starship troopers, Heinlein.
Goodbye to all that, Graves.
The Things they carried, O'Brien.
Cowboy Curmudgeon, McRae.
A Brief history of time, Hawking.
The devouring fungus, (can't remember)
Up on the river, Madsen.
Breakup, Stabenow.
Anything with words in print, including (but not limited to) toilet paper wrappers, flour bags, outhouse walls, warning signs, and sewer lids.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: mack/misophist
Date: 20 Oct 03 - 09:27 AM

GUEST wondered about the high per centage of young adult books here. Perhaps I can answer that. (This thought actually came from a librarian.) If you want to read something that's upbeat, where the s/hero wins without being maimed or marred in the process, then you're pretty much limited to young adult fiction.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Oct 03 - 09:38 AM

An interesting expalantion, but I don't agree that this is the case. Still some vert good ya books on the list.Has anyone read Raiders Tide (YA0 bt Maggie Prince... a very good book.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: GUEST,Kim C no cookie
Date: 20 Oct 03 - 10:10 AM

I'm not a Brit - I hope it's all right for me to add my tuppence worth. I love books too!

The Black Flower
The Year of Jubilo
The Secret Life of Bees
Les Miserables
A Tale of Two Cities
Ivanhoe
A Wrinkle in Time
Misery
The Sackett novels by Louis L'Amour
Lonesome Dove
Gentle Tamers
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Follow the River
Killer Angels
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

I'm sure there are more. Some of these, I haven't read in many years, but remember how much I enjoyed them. For a time I only read non-fiction, but I've got back to reading some fiction again for fun.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: Peter T.
Date: 20 Oct 03 - 10:55 AM

I would have thought Harry Potter would be a solid refutation of a "not being maimed or marred" theory!

The original list is fiction, which I guess I should have said.

I wonder why Frankenstein isn't on the list. Maybe no one reads the book any more -- but it is far superior to any movie. The same is true of Dracula, a wonderful book.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: Menolly
Date: 20 Oct 03 - 03:02 PM

I have read 15 out of the 21. Of those I think my favourite must be Phillip Pullman, Dark Materials.
But my total favourite book, not too high brow The Dragon Singer by Anne MacCaffrey. Surprise! Surprise!

Menolly


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: GUEST,Kim C no cookie
Date: 20 Oct 03 - 03:05 PM

I have read 10 of those 21 that Peter posted. And I agree about Frankenstein and Dracula.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: MBSLynne
Date: 20 Oct 03 - 03:24 PM

I don't think the young adult books are on because they were assigned books at school. Several of the ones I put are young adult or children's books and I wasn't assigned any of them at school. I wouldn't put Frankenstein or Dracula on my list, though I read and enjoyed both. You can't put on ALL the books you've enjoyed, it would take up too much space. As for them being superior to the films, aren't all books?

I once went through a phase of reading all the lovely old Gothic romances and "Mysteries of Udolpho" was brilliant.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: Peter T.
Date: 20 Oct 03 - 03:58 PM

Nah, the films of Lord of the Rings are far superior to the books. You don't have to wade through all that mediocre prose.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: LilyFestre
Date: 20 Oct 03 - 07:55 PM

Two books that currently top my list of favorites are:

Mrs. Mike by The Freedmans
and
Red Water by Judith Freedman

As a child, I think Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time and C.S. Lewis' The Lion, Witch and The Wardrobe are most memorable.

Michelle


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: LilyFestre
Date: 20 Oct 03 - 07:56 PM

er....make that Red Water by Judith Freeman.

Sorry 'bout that!

Michelle


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: AliUK
Date: 20 Oct 03 - 09:59 PM

First of all I think Peter T should burn in the fires of Orodruin for that remark...but my 21 faves of all time
The Lord of the Rings
The Dark is Rising Sequence( which I am about to re-read)
His Dark Materials
Moorcock´s Runestaff books
Wind in the Willows
Buchan´s Hannay Novels ( Greenmantle and Mr. Stand fast are far superior to the 39 steps)
Wilkie Collin´s Moonstone
Ivanhoe ( which I have Just re-read)
Anything by John D. MacDonald
Iain Banks Espedaire Street
Voice of the Fire by Alan Moore
Anything by Alan Garner ( but Esp. Red Shift and The Weirdstone of Brisingamen)
Foucault´s Pendulum by Umberto Eco ( much better than the name of the Rose)
Nostromo ( took me a while to read but well worth it)
Jubiaba by Jorge Amado
House of the Spirits Elizabeth Allende
The Alienist by Caleb CArr
The Oroborous Trilogy by E.R. Eddison
It Stephen King
Puck of Pook´s Hill Rudyard Kipling
and finally...
Lavondyss by Robert Holdstock ( a beautiful piece of writing).


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 21 Oct 03 - 02:53 AM

Here are my favorite books, fiction and nonfiction. I agree with McGrath that choosing one favorite is pretty fruitless, but I'm a sort of list person (alltime NFL and baseball team fantasy lists, etc.).

Not in any ranking:

Fiction:
Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
An American Tragedy, by Theodore Dreiser
The Old Country, by Sholem Aleichem
Puckoon, by Spike Milligan
Our Dumb Century, by the staff of The Onion
most TinTin books
Nineteen Nineteen, by John Dos Passos
Harry Potter books

Nonfiction:
With The Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa, by Eugene Sledge
Low Life, by Luc Sante
Sailortown, by Stan Hugill
as a matter of fact, anything by Stan Hugill
Parting The Waters: America In The King Years: 1954-63, by Taylor Branch
Local People: The Struggle For Civil Rights In Mississippi, by John Dittmer
Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, by Peter Biskind
Den Of Thieves, by James B. Stewart
High Times, Hard Times, by Anita O'Day
King Of The World, by David Remnick
Up In The Old Hotel, by Joseph Mitchell
The Glory Of Their Times, by Lawrence S. Ritter
Truman, by David McCullough
Interpreting Our Heritage, by Freeman Tilden
Storm Landings, by Joseph Alexander
Three Lives For Mississippi, by William Bradford Huie
Great Chefs of France, by Anthony Blake and Quentin Crewe
Heaven's Banquet, by Miriam Kasin Hospodar
Frank Meadow Sutcliffe, compiled by Michael Shaw
Walker Evans, by the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Walker Evans, by James R. Mellow (biography)


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: Hrothgar
Date: 21 Oct 03 - 03:12 AM

Nothing by Studs Terkel?


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 22 Oct 03 - 12:27 AM

Hrothgar, I knew I'd miss thinking of a few favorites. "Hard Times," Stud Terkel's interviews with people who lived through the great depression in the USA.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: GUEST,Suzanne
Date: 22 Oct 03 - 04:01 AM

I can only think of a few favorite books, but a ton of
favorite authors -

favorite books, The Sparrow by Mary Russell, and Children of
God by her as well - books that combine music, theology and
science fiction, and wonderfully well written as well.


favorite authors,
Ray Bradbury,
Kurt Vonnegut,
John Brunner(especially for his Stand on Zanzibar and The Sheep Look Up)
Robin Hobbs,
Octavia Butler and
Sherri Tepper leap to mind,
and Terry Pratchett, because you cannot leave out an author
whose characters say things like "There is no doubt that being
human is incredibly difficult and cannot be mastered in one
lifetime." Also
Kipling for the Jungle Books and Stalky
and Co. among others, and
P.G. Wodehouse,
Larry McMurtry,
James Thurber,
Gerald Durrell,
Rex Stout (Nero Wolfe mysteries),
Arthur Upfield (Australian Napoleon Bonaparte mysteries),
H. R. F. Keating (Inspector Ghote mysteries),
Janet Evanovich (Stephanie Plum mysteries),

and my new favorite mystery author
Alexander McCall Smith who wrote The Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency, which is set in Botswana

Tim Cahill - travel writing
John McPhee
Anne Tyler
Lindsay Davis
Fay Weldon
Donald Westlake
Anne Proulx
Annie Lamott

As I child I liked Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons,
and E. Nesbit's Five Children and It - anybody remember those?


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: GUEST,Suzanne
Date: 22 Oct 03 - 04:28 AM

also Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: Hrothgar
Date: 22 Oct 03 - 05:28 AM

And, come to think of it, only one mention in the whole thread of John Steinbeck.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: Kaleea
Date: 22 Oct 03 - 06:24 AM

My all time fav author is the wonderful P. G. Wodehouse! They would be great for older kids! Alas, his books are difficult to find. I haven't read kids' books just for my sheer pleasure (as opposed to reading them to kids) since about 5th grade.
    Of all the literally thousands of books I have read in all my life, I don't think that I could I could narrow them down to a list of 21 favs. Wodehouse would have to be way up there on the list somewhere in a few places!
             BUT . . .
    In the "desert island" scenario, I would absolutely have to take my copy of "Light From Many Lamps" edited & with commentary by Lillian Eichler Watson. Because a marvelous man, Lewis Meyer (Lawyer turned Bookstore owner, author, speaker, leading citizen, etc.), who had his "Bookshelf" in Tulsa, Oklahoma, told me it was his favorite, & the book he kept on his nightstand & read from each night since 1951 or 52 or so, I bought it. Now it is on my nightstand, & I read from it most nights & sometimes even during the day, sometimes when I am speaking for various functions, sometimes at Bible study or prayer groups.
I was visiting in Tulsa a few years back, & on Sunday morning I happened to catch his weekly Sunday am TV book review show--which he was doing back when I was a kid in Tulsa! He reviewed a couple of books, & then took almost half of the 30 minute program for the next review.
He read several quotes from many writers, philosophers, great thinkers, statesmen (i.e., Abraham Lincoln), various scriptures of various religions. He said it was what he believed to be the most inspiring book he had ever found--other than a book of scriptures from any of the major religions--Mr. Meyer happened to be Jewish. Mr. Meyer passed away during the following week. Tulsans who had watched faithfully over the years could not recall him ever having given a review about "Light From Many Lamps." Some of his loyal customers said he would mention from time to time that "one of these days" he'd have to do a review of it on the show, since he always kept several copies in stock. The following week, his daughter had to order several hundred copies. On some level, he knew it was time.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: AliUK
Date: 22 Oct 03 - 09:34 AM

If anyone likes the Pirate genre and would like to find out what happened to Long John Silver after before and during his time with JimLad, should search out the novel of the same name it is wonderful, written by a swedish author whose name I have completely forgotten...damn!


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: GUEST,Kim C no cookie
Date: 22 Oct 03 - 10:22 AM

If any of you enjoy historical fiction, and beautiful writing, PLEASE read The Black Flower and The Year of Jubilo by my friend Howard Bahr.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: mack/misophist
Date: 23 Oct 03 - 02:34 AM

I'm saddened to see this thread is so short. Do so few read any more?


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: Peter T.
Date: 23 Oct 03 - 08:26 AM

Perhaps they are all out reading.

P.G. Wodehouse is easy to get as far as I can tell. Many are in Penguin, and there is a whole wall of them in my not very enterprising local shop. I am talking Canada here.

An interesting sub-theme for a new thread is what books do you reread?



yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: Gervase
Date: 24 Oct 03 - 08:28 AM

There does seem to be a correlation between folk music and fiction, which worries me. I went through a sci-fi phase in my early teens, but always assumed, like spots and frenzied self-abuse, that it was something rather embarrasing that one eventually grew out of.
Aside from Ballard, Lessing and maybe Atwood, is there any sci fi writer who can stand alongside the better mainstream fiction writers today? For my sins, I find Tolkien pretentious and Pratchet juvenile, so that will probably alienate half the posters here, but I'd genuinely like to find a sci-fi/fantasy writer who can transcend the genre in the way, say, Patrick O'Brian transcends the bloke-ish historical fiction genre. Any recommendations?


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: Peter T.
Date: 24 Oct 03 - 02:33 PM

In spite of the claims for it, sci-fi is still a pretty minor art form. Philip Dick is one I can think of whose books were genuinely innovative. Ursula Le Guin is a pretty good writer, but I wouldn't call her a great writer (except her children's books). A Canticle for Leibowitz is the only one I can think of that would qualify as a work of art.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 24 Oct 03 - 03:39 PM

A more likely explanation of the preponderance of juvenile(?) fiction is that the cheapest way to register a vote was on-line, thus adults would think of voting by phone (not quite high rate - premium lines, but not something to repeat) whereas children could vote cheaply & often online.
Yes, I realise adults have the same options, but not the same inclination.

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: AliUK
Date: 24 Oct 03 - 05:45 PM

Arthur Clarke
Issac Asimov
Ben Bova
I could go on and on


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: BanjoRay
Date: 24 Oct 03 - 06:58 PM

When Ian Banks puts an M in his name his science fiction is superb.
Ray


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: Burke
Date: 24 Oct 03 - 08:01 PM

Lois McMaster Bujold is a Science Fiction & Fantasy writer who is being devoured by half of the English Dept. where I work. Stong characters, strong plots, very little tech, they are hard to put down.

I like a lot of the Young Adult fiction being mentioned. I read almost all after I was 30 and very few in school. I think the coming of age story has a lot of appeal regardless of age. The good ones don't write down to their audience but are often not as pretentious as so called serious adult fiction.

Menolly, Dragon Singer is a special favorite for me too. I really like McCaffery's Pern books. I like some of her others as well, but several of the series have slipped a lot as they've go along. The Pern books almost all still have a spark.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 09:18 AM

The Once and Future King by T.H.White is a great book. I have read it many times. I guess it is a fantasy of sorts. I also love the Philip Pullman series, especially the first one ; The Golden Compass.
Of the recently Published Books I have read my favourites are;"Girl With a Pearl Ear Ring" by Tracy Chevalier and The Passion of Artemesia by D. Vreeland.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: AliUK
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 09:44 AM

Iain Banks is superb wether he puts the M in his name or not. Read a song of Stone and you will be reminded of John Christopher ( The Tripods, Death of Grass etc.)another great unsung British author.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: Claire M
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 02:57 PM

Hiya,

Few seem to read now. I do wonder what they do. Just cos it's Britain's fav book, song, colour etc. doesn't mean it is/will be mine. Any fantasy; historical fiction etc. I now spend ½ my time on the Disc & I'm glad I found out about it, but it doesn't have enough fantasy in for my liking. Now reading a book on how to contact my spirit guide.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 03:13 PM

Mansfield Park (Jane Austin)
The Virgin In The Ice (Ellis Peters)
The Nun's Story (Katherine Hulme)
All Famous Five and Noddy books, not to mention the Flower Fairies
Bleak House, The Cricket On The Hearth (Charles Dickens)
The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series(Alexander McCall Smith)


So... Fifty Shades of Shite not on anyone's list then?


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: Firecat
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 04:16 PM

Any Nicci French novel
Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale by Russell T Davies and Benjamin Cook
Any Doctor Who novel
Any Torchwood novel
Any Ben Elton novel
1984 by George Orwell
On The Edge by Richard Hammond
Anything Goes by John Barrowman
I Am What I Am by John Barrowman
Any Night World or Vampire Diaries novel by LJ Smith

They're the first ones that come to mind.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: Joe_F
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 06:21 PM

Formative books (roughly in order of first reading them): Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four, The Road to Wigan Pier; Dos Passos, U.S.A.; Koestler, Darkness at Noon, The Age of Longing; Vonnegut, Player Piano; Tolstoy, War and Peace; Warren, All the King's Men; Wiener, Cybernetics; Stewart, Earth Abides, Storm; Burdick, The Ninth Wave; Luce & Raiffa, Games and Decisions; Parkinson, Parkinson's Law; Kornbluth, Syndic; Huie, The Revolt of Mamie Stover; Agee, A Death in the Family; Skinner, Walden Two; Lovejoy & Boas, Primitivism and Related Ideas in Antiquity; Kipling, Captains Courageous.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: GUEST,eldergirl on another computer
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 08:04 PM

The Solace of Leaving Early, and The Used World, both by Haven Kimmel. Any of Catherine Fox's novels; alas, now out of print. T.Pratchett's MASKERADE; I laughed like a drain the first time I read that.Maybe cos I'm not a big Lloyd Webber fan!

also loved swallows and Amazons as a child. re-read them a couple of years ago and was pleased to find how good a writer Ransome was, whatever his flaws may have been as a person.
one good Young Adults' novel I found is The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean, brilliant story of obsessions and where they could lead you!
the Lord of the Rings I've loved and read quite a few times over the years. and if Menolly is still out there, can you play guitar even half as well as your namesake? I hope so! I'm rather fond of Pern, myself.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: GUEST,robk
Date: 09 Oct 13 - 12:13 AM

The Legend of Ivan, Justin Kemppainen ebook. Ok, so he's my son. It's still a good book and I've read it eight times.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Oct 13 - 11:35 AM

Trout Fishing in America - Richard Brautigan (whimsical and beautifully innocent encapsulation of the "hippie" experience)

A Separate Peace - John Knowles (a "Catcher In The Rye"-type book, but more nuanced and beautifully written)

The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald (if one points to an example of THE great American novel, this book is in that category)

Johnny Got His Gun - Dalton Trumbo (one of the greatest - if not the greatest - anti-war books ever written)

Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov (Nabokov turned a taboo relationship between an older man and a young girl into a work of art)

Tropic of Cancer/Capricorn, The Rosy Crucifixion - Henry Miller (Miller makes beautiful writing look effortless)


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: Becca72
Date: 09 Oct 13 - 12:13 PM

I've read several on that list but one I really loved was 'Rebecca' by Daphne du Maurier.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 09 Oct 13 - 12:28 PM

I've read all but the first three of the list in the OP, and I think it's a pretty good representative "popular easy reads" list; including incidentally War & Peace, which despite it's length is in fact a very easy going read.

My personal favourites are pretty much anything by Dostoyevsky, anything by Jane Austin and anything by Charles Dickens, oh and CS Lewis too.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 09 Oct 13 - 12:33 PM

Frick!!! Forgot my new favourite author: George RR Martin! Mr got me the 7 vol box set of his A Song of Ice and Fire (serialised on HBO as Game of Thrones) and I wish it had been twice the length. Desperately thirsty for vol 8 to come out in 2014, ugh so long to wait...


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Oct 13 - 12:59 PM

Why, Eliza, something in common indeed; Mansfield Park would top my list for sure. I often wonder, with lists like this, why it is somehow thought that only one work by any writer should figure; be that as it may, my next three would be Emma, Persuasion, Pride & Prejudice.

Great Expectations, Our Mutual Friend, Right on Jeeves, The Code of the Woosters, Snobs [Julian Fellowes], Huckleberry Finn, Middlemarch, Felix Holt, Silas Marner, The Secret Agent, Under Western Eyes, An American Tragedy, Sister Carrie, Alice in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass, Puck of Pooks Hill, Rewards & Fairies, The Way of All Flesh, Washington Square, Anna Karenina, Paradise Lost, the William books, the Flashman books, Damon Runyon's Broadway stories, Gaudy Night, Watership Down, Brideshead Revisited, A Handful of Dust, Vile Bodies, Put Out More Flags, The Loved One, I Claudius, The Return of the Native, The Woodlanders, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, The Hand of Ethelberta, Treasure Island, Mr Johnson, Lolita, Portnoy's Complaint...

Just for starters. Shall think in 5 minutes, oh how could I have missed out...?

No Tolkein; can never get to the end of three sentences. Likewise C.S. Lewis...

~M~


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Oct 13 - 01:12 PM

I knew it ~~ Richardson's Clarissa is imcomparable.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Oct 13 - 01:14 PM

Oh ~~ & Wuthering Heights


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 09 Oct 13 - 02:46 PM

Michael, I went through a long phase of absolutely adoring all Thomas Hardy's books, but curiously I suddenly found them infinitely depressing and fatalistic, although naturally his descriptions of rural life still delight me (especially in The Woodlanders). Jude The Obscure and Tess are enough to make one lose the will to live! But a great author nonetheless. (Studied him at Uni)
I read Jane Austin over and over again, why do we do that? I'm almost word perfect with Mansfield Park yet I go on and on reading it. The book is falling to pieces!
I have to add that many of Agatha Christie's whodunnits are very re-readable, but I suspect it's because they project one into a past age of 20th Century Britain. I have whole shelves of her, and do get stuck in frequently. I don't know what I should do without books, they're the love of my life!


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 09 Oct 13 - 04:10 PM

"why do we do that?" ~~~

Why, because the parsonage-bound Miss Austen happened to be one of the greatest of plotters, marvellous creator of character [Mrs Norris is quite a respectable upper class widow, and probably the most horrible villain in all literature - without actually doing anything, how she makes your flesh creep!], writer of some of the wittiest dialogue ~~ and an incomparable moralist. I once had a colleague who said Jane Austen didn't compare as a moralist with Dostoevsky; but admitted my point when I said that any fool [exaggerating a bit, as I admitted] could strike off great points of moral involvement at the agonies of a murderer trying to come to terms with his conscience over about 1000 pages; but it took real genius to make the reader really agonise with empathy at the moral dilemma of a young woman trying to decide which of two young men's gifts of gold chains she should wear to a ball; she somehow makes it a vital point which fills all one's ethical horizon.

No-one else could ever quite pull this effect off. But she did it again & again: oh, the moral agony of poor Emma (& of us, is the vital point), just because she has been a little bit rude to a poor-old-thing of a middle-aged woman who has fallen on hard times...

She is just incomparable.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 09 Oct 13 - 06:29 PM

I agree with all you say Michael, and I would add that it's also the sheer elegance of her prose which captivates. I find it such a pleasure to revel in her style, which is restrained yet powerful. It's heartening to hear that she's still extremely popular with today's generation of readers.
Regarding Dickens, I lived, ate and slept in his novels from the age of about ten. I studied them for my A Level and at Uni. I was quite a 'buff' with quotes and knew every book inside out. But like Hardy, his style very suddenly ceased to please. Do you suppose that as we mature and grow, our literary 'needs' change? And yet, as I posted above, I still read Enid blessed Blyton!! Maybe I haven't grown up much after all!


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 09 Oct 13 - 09:07 PM

Looking over the list in the opening post reminds me that it's time to reread Catch-22.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 04:40 AM

Oh yes, Eliza, one's tastes change. I didn't care for Dickens much when young, but now think him one of the greatest of novelists. I have read all his novels. And I had the same experience re Hardy, & have now read all his too. (I mentioned The Hand Of Ethelberta in my list ~~ not one of his famous titles, but I recommend it as being actually, & uncharacteristically, funny; not one to rob one of the will to live like Tess & Jude: and wonderfully plotted. There is a marvellous scene where the butler at the sideboard is the father of the chief lady guest, but they are the only people there who know. Try that one if you haven't before.)

Additions: David Lodge's novels, esp Small World & Nice Work. Oh, and Asimov's Robots are topp sf IMO. And having mistyped 'top' reminds me of Nigel Molesworth, the Curse of St Custard's: Down With Skool & How To Be Topp. Oh, & I'll have Catch-22 too.

Regards
~M~


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 04:49 AM

I seem to remember 'Fotherington-Thomas is wet and a weed'. Is that from How to be Topp?


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 04:53 AM

Drifting a bit about Jane Austen ~~ hope nobody minds; but I have never come across a proper defence of the common, but much mistaken, denunciation that the Napoleonic Wars were going on all around, but they quite pass her by. Not true. She didn't say "There was a war going on", because she was writing about her own time for contemporary readers, so they knew that, thank you. & as the events are all viewed thru the consciousnesses of female characters, they are not directly involved. They were, in short, not what she was writing about. But they are always there: a lot of the plots still turn on the fact of this war happening. Why is there a militia regiment [equivalent of our TA], called up to arms & billeted at Meryton to play havoc with all the young women of the district, before moving to Brighton Camp, the main HQ as Aldershot & Catterick are now, mentioned in The Girl I Left Behind Me. Why was the militia of Mr Western's county 'embodied', convenient for him so join as a young man? How did Admiral Croft & Captain Wentworth get so rich on 'prize money', before 'this new peace' brought them conveniently ashore for the Admiral to rent Sir Walter Elliot's house?

Just a few instances; but the wars are a sort of running background leitmotiv throughout...

~M~
~M~


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 07:18 AM

Why just Brits? Do you think we Yanks can't write?


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 09:24 AM

Being big a fan of Fantasy I must put Tolkiens works on my list and also agree with CS on George RR Martins epic. Another favourite is David Gemmel. I think his fist published work was 'Legend' and still find that hard to top. The absolute must have author for me though is Terry Pratchett.

Before I give the impression that I am exclusively into Fantasy I must add that most of my recent reads have been Historical fiction and a lot of Bernard Cornwell's works have pride of place on my bookshelves. In my younger days it was Adventure with the likes of H Ryder Haggard (currently re-reading the Quartermain stories), CS Forester, and Arthur Conan Doyle.

I have just discovered eBooks and am like a kid in a sweet shop :-)

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 10:07 AM

Guest 2 back: What mean, "just Brits"? On my list you will find Dreiser, Mark Twain, Henry James, Damon Runyon, Nabokov [if he counts as American], Philip Roth, Heller ~~ & I now add Anita Loos.

So stop moaning, eh?

~M~

& somehow I forgot CS Forester; how could I? I have read every one, even The General & Brown On Resolution.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: kendall
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 02:01 PM

I wasn't referring to the books, I read it that only Brits should post. I don't moan.I kick ass.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: Claire M
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 02:33 PM

Hiya,

Nothing wrong w/ being exclusively into fantasy – I mostly am --, but our tastes do – & will -- change. I had cds when young that I never want nor need to hear again due to them being played so much, or perhaps they just weren't that good in the 1st place, but I just *thought* they were ??

I suppose it's the same w/ books. I tend to borrow books off friends w/ similar tastes, only buying if/when I've no other way to get them; I'll never re-read them so don't see any point paying.

I love [i]Wintersmith,[/i] love it. TP & I seem to have same fav band, & you can just tell songs inspire him. Even knew another folkie who was a dead ringer for him; when I told said man his response was that he didn't like fantasy stuff @ all. I was a bit disappointed.

Ook ??


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: kendall
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 04:22 PM

I'll add a few. Not in order of importance.
Silver lock John Myers Myers
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
Moby Dick
The Odyssey
The Count of Monte Cristo
Tale of two cities
Les Miserables
All of C S Foresters books.
Beowulf
Doctor Zhivago
Lonesome Dove
A Biography of Winston Churchill by Lord Moran.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: Elmore
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 06:47 PM

The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields, Middlemarch by George Eliot, The Big Rock Candy Mountain by Wallace Stegner, Hard Times by Dickens, Chronicles of Barsetshire by Trollope, A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny, Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence, Creole Belle by James Lee Burke, The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje, The Stand by Stephen King.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 01:24 AM

Thanks for reminder ~~ Trollope another writer I didn't care for until comparatively recently ~~ maybe 20 years ago in my 60s; but now admire greatly & have read all the works of. Would nominate The Way We Live Now as probably the greatest of them.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 02:28 AM

Why "just Brits"? Because this is a list of the favourite books of a selection of well-known British figures for the BBC. It's a list compiled by 'Brits' for 'Brits'. I don't think the OP was referencing who he wanted to post, just the context of the list.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: GUEST,Spleen Cringe
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 08:57 AM

In no particular order and with many grave ommissions...

Harry Crews - A Feast of Snakes
Michael Malone - Handling Sin
Carson McCullers - the Heart is a Lonely Hunter
Haruki Murakami - The Wind Up Bird Chronicle
William Wharton - Frankie Furbo
John Kennedy Toole - A Confederacy of Dunces
Ed Sanders - Tales of Beatnik Glory
William Boyd - Any Human Heart
T. C. Boyle - Drop City
Walter Tevis - Mockingbird
China Mieville - The City and the City
Rohinton Mistry - A Fine Balance
John Steinbeck - The Grapes of Wrath
Jeanette Winterson - Oranges are not the Only Fruit
Carlos Ruiz Zafón - The Shadow of the Wind
Pat Barker - Regeneration


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: Elmore
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 09:46 AM

Thread drift. In high school the used to assign us books to read which we hadn't the life experience to begin to understand. I suppose getting to know the names of the great authors was of some use.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 10:39 AM

Quite agree, Elmore. I ploughed through John Milton with nary a flicker of interest. Even Shakespeare is difficult to present to pupils too young to get anything from it. That way, you can put people off for life!


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 10:45 AM

It's not easy to communicate in writing here without some misunderstanding.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 10:46 AM

That Guest was me.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 03:11 PM

Somerset Maugham was, at one point, the world's best selling author, but he's gone out of fashion.
He once described himself as being top of the second division of great writers!
I am very fond of his "The Razor's Edge".
The 40s film version of the book is worth seeing can be viewed on Youtube.


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: Airymouse
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 06:57 PM

I'm not allowed to list, but I think it's permissible to post a question: Are there any Brits (=Britons?) who like something written by Beatrix Potter, Mark Twain, Joseph Conrad or Henry James?


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 11:00 PM

Yes indeed, Airy: you will find works by all of these (Huck Finn, Secret Agent*, Washington Sq) except Ms Potter on my lists above; but only because she slipped my mind [perhaps due to my having eaten too many soporific lettuces?], so add her now. Esp Tailor of Glos & 2 Bad Mice -- apart form the obvious Peter & Benjamin, of course!

~M~

*Drift but perhaps relevant, brought to mind by rereading an old Hitchcock thread. Hitchcock's film Secret Agent was based on Somerset Maugham's Ashenden stories. When he filmed an adaptation of Conrad's The Secret Agent, he called it Sabotage. Perverse or what!


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Subject: RE: Brits 21 Favourite Books -- Yours?
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 11:50 PM

Again, anyone is invited to list their faves Airymouse! The OP is just reproducing a list *by* well-known British folk for the BBC and not a prescription on who can respond to it here at MC.


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