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(Short List)   14 daunting books that every man should read. Subby has read less than zero of these   (shortlist.com) divider line 303
    More: Scary, Manic Street Preachers, Moby Dick, bookshelf  
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20908 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 27 Apr 2012 at 10:43 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-04-27 12:30:13 PM

WhyteRaven74: Proust is wroth it, even if Remembrance of Things past is very long, it's well worth it even with the shifting around in time, shifting of characters it's always easy to follow and even if it is seemingly unending actually reads well without much you find yourself thinking of as filler or dull, which if you think about it is quite the achievement.


i163.photobucket.com
 
2012-04-27 12:30:15 PM

Embden.Meyerhof: I was hoping that Cormac McCarthy's The Road would be on there; the story of how to be a father in the most difficult of times.


I do not know if I learned anything about being a father but when I finished reading each night I had to check in on my 1 year old boy just to whisper that I loved him.
 
2012-04-27 12:31:13 PM
Read: 4
Started and never finished: 3

Don Quixote is brilliant. For a ~400 year old book it is surprisingly funny. Best of the list IMHO.
Foccault's Pendulum should come w/ a tin foil hat due to conspiracy overload but I found it an entertaining read.
Moby Dick is a great and a well-deserving classic
Crime and Punishment is a slog to get through but is another great read.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Could never get through it. Pretentious pseudo-philosophy.
Ulysses. Mind-numbingly boring gave up after the first hundred pages
War and Peace. I was actually intrigued by the story, but wasn't persistent enough to push on. Put the book aside for too long and then never got around to pick it up again.
 
2012-04-27 12:31:24 PM

Dear Jerk: There's nothing essential, or particularly useful there.


Don Quixote is generally considered rather essential. And plenty of people will make a case for Remembrance of Things Past as one of the best novels of not just its time but of all time.
 
2012-04-27 12:31:37 PM
I've read Foucault's Pendulum, it wasn't actually that hard to read, and I went through it pretty speedily, same with The Name of the Rose.

Neil Stephenson's work since Cryptonomicon have been in the 1000+ page range ever since, It can be daunting, especially The Baroque Cycle, but they are all still very, very readable.

upload.wikimedia.orgupload.wikimedia.orgupload.wikimedia.orgupload.wikimedia.orgupload.wikimedia.orgupload.wikimedia.org

/still need to get around to finishing The System of the World and to start on Reamde. Also, The Mongoliad when it comes out.
 
2012-04-27 12:32:45 PM

k4mi: I agree, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was terrible. I don't know why it gets so much attention.


As I said, it was mind-blowing in 1974. It's not 1974 any more.
 
2012-04-27 12:34:56 PM
only one I've read was "Zen and the art..." I really dug it. Made notes in the pages.

tried reading "A Brief History of Time." and bored the crap out of me.

555-FILK: A bit off subject from the list of books but I recently tried reading Trainspotting and it was simply unreadable with the Scottish dialect used in the book. Stopped reading after about 60 pages.


I read trainspotting (and a bunch of other Irvine Welsh) in college with me mates(sic). We ended up speaking Glaswegian for a period of 6 months, despite living in Baltimore and all being born in the States.
 
2012-04-27 12:36:18 PM
So, women aren't allowed to read them?
 
2012-04-27 12:36:30 PM
upload.wikimedia.org
 
2012-04-27 12:37:34 PM
Oh as for a book to add to the list, Bocaccio's Decameron. Which has the benefits of being ten people telling ten short stories each over the course of ten days, so it's easy to read in small chunks and then there's the sex. Oh yes, there are a few stories that you find yourself stunned don't start with "Dear Penthouse, I never thought it would happen to me..." until you remember Penthouse Letters didn't exist back then.

And if you want non-fiction, since today is the author's birthday, Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Yes it's long, yes it's ungodly dense in parts, yes Gibbon does beg a few questions and it's not history done the way we're used to it, but it reads like an awesomely written novel and it is never, ever, boring. And the footnotes at times are more entertaining than most history books.
 
2012-04-27 12:37:42 PM

ClintonKun: It can be daunting, especially The Baroque Cycle, but they are all still very, very readable.


If you like just-so-stories with Marty Stus on every page with Stephenson's personal crank-yanking, then sure. Cryptonimicon was fine, the System of the World blew goats, and Anathem was an exercise in Socratic leading-question whatthefarkery. I haven't read REAMDE, I'm done with Stephenson.
 
2012-04-27 12:37:59 PM
They wouldn't qualify as a top ten books everyone should read, but I've been working my way through these two the last week or so and enjoying them greatly:

Cathedral - Raymond Carver

The Moviegoer - Walker Percy
 
2012-04-27 12:39:54 PM
batting .357.

started ulysses with the self-agreement that i wouldn't fixate on understanding every little thing. took six months to read one day. enjoyed it thoroughly and still think about it a lot.

others were eco, delillo, pirsig and hawking.

want to read don quixote and have started it a couple times, but failed. never heard of 2666 but it sounds great.

saw it mentioned up thread, the magus is my favorite book. 600 pages of non-stop trolling.
 
2012-04-27 12:40:18 PM

ZiegZeon: As odd as it may sound, I would never actually recommend my favorite book as I realize it is very possibly full of itself, but I loved House of Leaves.


I got that as a wedding present; completely un-explained, and un-hyped. Loved the crap out of it.
 
2012-04-27 12:40:21 PM
A daunting read:

upload.wikimedia.org

/because it's horrible
 
2012-04-27 12:40:33 PM

reverend maynard: War & Peace is the only book I ever read that had a glossary list of all the characters in the book. Still couldn't keep track of them. Some 5 years later still haven't finished it.


Then stay far away from The Red Wheel.

proteus_b: i'm hardly a feminazi but are women just not meant to read at all, or just to focus on the jane austen works?


You're right, no one has ever put together a list of must-read books for women.
 
2012-04-27 12:43:18 PM
Oh and as a bonus, you can get the Decameron for free online, legally. Project Gutenberg has two different translations available, and there's other sources as well. And Gutenberg also has Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
 
2012-04-27 12:46:04 PM
Everytime I start Moby Dick, I just end up putting the book down and watching The Wrath of Khan instead.
/prefers non-fiction books
 
2012-04-27 12:46:43 PM

keylock71:
The Moviegoer - Walker Percy


Heh - I'm currently sitting two blocks from the theatre where he wrote some of the first draft. Good book, glad it hasn't been forgotten.

graphics8.nytimes.com

That's him in the middle with his leg outstretched.
 
2012-04-27 12:47:01 PM
Why is the novelization of Caddyshack not on this list?
 
2012-04-27 12:48:37 PM

likefunbutnot: I've read eight of those titles. Don Quixote is by far my favorite among them.

Dickens is god awful and his work, along with Hardy, Austen and anyone named Bronte should be collected on to a rocket and hurled toward the sun.

Gravity's Rainbow has been anchoring the bottom of the stack of books I'm meaning to get to since 1996. At least it makes a solid base.


While I tend toward agreement THOMAS HARDY IS AWESOME. I had been warned and warned about how terrible he was, then somehow ended up reading "Jude the Obscure". That book is farking amazing. I really, really encourage everyone to read that one novel.

//In the introduction, Hardy argues that he is "not a pessimist".
///LOL.
 
2012-04-27 12:48:56 PM
ecx.images-amazon.com

www.unlimitedmagazine.com
 
2012-04-27 12:49:00 PM
All joking aside, Moby Dick is a wonderful read. It has a fart joke within the first 10 pages, I mean, come on.
 
2012-04-27 12:49:56 PM

washington: All joking aside, Moby Dick is a wonderful read. It has a fart joke within the first 10 pages, I mean, come on.


"Catcher in the Rye" beats that by four pages.

/damn near blew the roof off
 
2012-04-27 12:50:35 PM

keylock71: They wouldn't qualify as a top ten books everyone should read, but I've been working my way through these two the last week or so and enjoying them greatly:

Cathedral - Raymond Carver

The Moviegoer - Walker Percy


walker percy is fantastic. the moviegoer and love in the ruins both are excellent. the gf calls me binx due to my tendency to wander the streets and watch the world go by.
 
2012-04-27 12:51:13 PM

amindtat: /because it's horrible


Good God, was it ever. Such a shiatty, shiatty book.
 
2012-04-27 12:53:23 PM

theorellior: amindtat: /because it's horrible

Good God, was it ever. Such a shiatty, shiatty book.


Agreed. I'm almost embarrassed that I read it.
 
2012-04-27 12:55:04 PM

ZiegZeon: Now I just want to make fatty porn where Ahab obsesses with "spearing" the White Whale.


To the last, I will grapple with thee. For hates sake I blow my last load at thee.

too funny
 
2012-04-27 12:56:22 PM

ModernLuddite: THOMAS HARDY IS AWESOME


He is. As for Dickens the thing to keep in mind is, his novels weren't for the most part written as single books, they were serialized, appearing a chapter or two at a time month after month in a magazine. And Dickens wrote each installment on the fly. And he wasn't the only one either, a lot of 19th century novels actually appeared first in the same format and their authors also just wrote it on the fly without an outline or even coherent idea of where they were going next.
 
2012-04-27 12:58:10 PM

luyseyal: Bah, I hated Ulysses. What a bunch of self-aggrandizing CRAP. The whole thing smacks of "look how brilliant I am putting that bit there and this bit here".

I would take a clearly written book over literary masturbation any day of the week and would recommend "Every Man" do likewise.

/not trolling, I promise.


As a Creative Writing major, I feel that the only literature worth reading is the kind that shows off an authors brilliance. I want to feel the pages stick together from their massive deposits inspired by their own work. If you can't appreciate that, go back to your Dan Brown and James Patterson.

Oh, and did you want that coffee with room for cream?
 
2012-04-27 12:59:05 PM
ecx.images-amazon.com
 
2012-04-27 12:59:31 PM

amindtat: A daunting read:

[upload.wikimedia.org image 222x350]

/because it's horrible


But it made a great Broadway show.
 
2012-04-27 01:00:23 PM
I read Foccault's Pendulum when it first came out. I remember loving the book until the ending and the ending was hugely disappointing. Don't remember anything else about it though. I may have to give it a re-read.
 
2012-04-27 01:02:22 PM
OK Farkers, what is the best version of Don Quixote to read?
 
2012-04-27 01:06:19 PM
www.corfus.com

cd.pbsstatic.com

img2.imagesbn.com
 
2012-04-27 01:07:42 PM

OldManDownDRoad: Heh - I'm currently sitting two blocks from the theatre where he wrote some of the first draft. Good book, glad it hasn't been forgotten.


My wife bought The Moviegoer for me... I'm ashamed to say I had never heard of him before that. Thoroughly enjoying the read, though. Can't wait to read more by him!

johnny queso: walker percy is fantastic. the moviegoer and love in the ruins both are excellent. the gf calls me binx due to my tendency to wander the streets and watch the world go by.


Heh... One of the reasons my wife got it for me. She said, "You'll like it. The main character wanders around aimlessly like you do."
 
2012-04-27 01:10:55 PM

ModernLuddite: likefunbutnot: I've read eight of those titles. Don Quixote is by far my favorite among them.

Dickens is god awful and his work, along with Hardy, Austen and anyone named Bronte should be collected on to a rocket and hurled toward the sun.

Gravity's Rainbow has been anchoring the bottom of the stack of books I'm meaning to get to since 1996. At least it makes a solid base.

While I tend toward agreement THOMAS HARDY IS AWESOME. I had been warned and warned about how terrible he was, then somehow ended up reading "Jude the Obscure". That book is farking amazing. I really, really encourage everyone to read that one novel.

//In the introduction, Hardy argues that he is "not a pessimist".
///LOL.


Hardy is grossly under rated.

Then again, I really like George Elliot. That was a woman after my own heart though...
 
2012-04-27 01:11:46 PM

Xythero: Agreed. I'm almost embarrassed that I read it.


I was facepalming with the descriptions of Turtlehead the Winkie and the talking animals/Jews and the armless Witch of the East and the totalitarian Wizard but I just lost my shiat with the orgy involving a tiger, a dwarf and a clockwork automaton.

I finished it just because I wanted to be able to appreciate it's complete and total horribleness.
 
2012-04-27 01:11:55 PM

under a mountain: OK Farkers, what is the best version of Don Quixote to read?


Edith Grossman's
 
2012-04-27 01:12:08 PM
Not really a book, but something I wish more people read. It's tough, requires a lot of thought, and is usually eclipsed by lesser works written by the same man:

Letter from the Birmingham Jail

Seeing the recommendations above for Thomas Paine and James Madison gave me the warm fuzzies, thinking that there are a few people left in this country who have read the essential works.

/or maybe it's Friday and I just feel good
 
2012-04-27 01:13:09 PM

adamgreeney: As a Creative Writing major, I feel that the only literature worth reading is the kind that shows off an authors brilliance. I want to feel the pages stick together from their massive deposits inspired by their own work. If you can't appreciate that, go back to your Dan Brown and James Patterson.

Oh, and did you want that coffee with room for cream?


Heh... Did you ever see Adventureland?

One of the characters tells a girl he's on a date with after she asks him what he studied in college:

"Russian literature and Slavic languages, which qualifies me for a job as a cabbie, hot dog vendor, or marijuana delivery guy."

I was a Communications Major so I'm in no position to ridicule Creative Writing Majors... (I did go back and get a degree in Graphic Design when I was in my 30s, though).
 
2012-04-27 01:13:10 PM

hasty ambush: ooops


Jesus, check out this douchebag.
 
2012-04-27 01:16:48 PM

under a mountain: OK Farkers, what is the best version of Don Quixote to read?


I liked the latest translation by Edith Grossman, but I'm no Cervantes scholar.
 
2012-04-27 01:17:25 PM
Worst booka I ever read other than the first 400 pp of Twilight (I was really drunk mmkay, I didn't finish the book because I ran out of rum) were:


Candy by Terry Southern - I honestly couldn't get into it
Each Man's Son by Hugh MacLennan - Fark him. I farking hated that book. I fail as a Canadian and a Bluenoser, since I don't support local hacks
The Robber Bride and The Handmaid's Tale both by Margaret Atwood - yes, as I pointed out before, I fail as a woman and as a Canadian
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory - The stupid bint thinks her poorly written harlequin romance wannabe trashy novel is actual historical fact. Fark her. I'm especially upset about her writings since I'm a history dork (BA and all), and it's piss poor research. She's also too farking obsessed with incest in all of her books apparently.
Beloved and Sula by Toni Morrison - I hated the characters, and felt that some crassness really took away from the plots
 
2012-04-27 01:17:39 PM

under a mountain: OK Farkers, what is the best version of Don Quixote to read?


The George Guidell audiobook. Seriously. It's freaking amazing.
 
2012-04-27 01:20:43 PM

keylock71:
I was a Communications Major so I'm in no position to ridicule Creative Writing Majors... (I did go back and get a degree in Graphic Design when I was in my 30s, though).


I was a double major in English/History. When I realized that would be slow starvation, I shifted in my senior year to Journalism. That department at my uni is now "Communications" since journalism jobs started drying up about 15 years into my career, and includes PR and electronic media - including design.

Taught myself web development. I assume those jobs will start drying up soon, but hopefully not before I can retire. Or win the lottery.

Anyway, the so-called liberal arts curricula at least teach you how to read, process, think, and arrive at new knowledge. Whether that's learning new skills or proving in a Fark thread on books that not all Farkers are sub-liberate morons blaming everything on Rethuglicans or Muslim Socialists, rational thinking is a skill worth every hour spent at the library.

/or so I keep telling myself
 
2012-04-27 01:27:47 PM
I really enjoyed 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance'.

Caveat - read it as a mopey teen, which is really prime time for pseudo-philosophy. For me, at the time, the revelation that the function of a device was fundamentally to increase my happiness, as opposed to whatever narrowly defined task it was designed for, was a big deal.

My first answering machine, for example - it enraged me when I tried to use it to actually record messages, but it filled me with joy when I properly used it as a device to be thrown out the window as a warning to all of the other appliances. I know that is trite - but honestly the idea of making my own happiness a goal went a long way towards becoming something other than a bystander in my own life.

So the book was good for that, at least. Possibly redundant for anyone with an emotional age greater than 14, but I certainly couldn't say.

Oh - and I'd add the Heaney translation of 'Beowulf' with John Gardner's 'Grendel' as a companion piece.
 
2012-04-27 01:29:06 PM
I have read three from the list. All the heavy reading I had to do in college ruined me for anything over 3 or 4 pages now.
 
2012-04-27 01:29:12 PM

Saiga410: Saiga410: BohemianGraham: especially ACO, since Kubrick adapted the American version which lops off the last chapter and thus ruins the symbolism Burgess had going.

I thought it was the other way. The american version added that abismal ending, something about the publisher thinking that american audiences were not smart enough to enjoy a book without a happy ending. That book was worse for the happy ending.

not sure which version is which now

Just checked I am wrong. The american publisher thought that the american audience would not like the happy ending.

/prototypical american


I'm Canadian so I got the British ending. It's pretty bad, much like the epilogue of Deathly Hallows, but at the same time, Burgess had the whole age of consent symbolism going on with that, and the film kinda farked it up. It's a form of censorship to have even cut out the last chapter for US release IMHO.

555-FILK: BohemianGraham: 555-FILK: mr_a: Total read: 5
Total enjoyed: 0

Did you (or anyone reading this thread) ever read Pillars of the Earth?

A bit off subject from the list of books but I recently tried reading Trainspotting and it was simply unreadable with the Scottish dialect used in the book. Stopped reading after about 60 pages.

It's not that off topic, as it is a "daunting" read in a sense.

Reading Trainspotting was a lot like reading A Clockwork Orange. You have no idea what the fark you're reading at first, but then you begin to pick up on the language and it's easy as fark to read. I thought the accents and the slang in both books really worked, and they were far superior to their film counterparts, especially ACO, since Kubrick adapted the American version which lops off the last chapter and thus ruins the symbolism Burgess had going.

I actually missed the accent when I tried to read the sequel to Trainspotting, Porno.

I enjoy reading a lot but I just coudln't get past the difficulty I was having with Trainspotting. I just heard it was really good book and movie and I had just finished Requiem for a Dream. That book hit me in a way like no other book ever has. I want to see the movie but it sounds more "brutal" than the book and from some of the stuff I saw on You Tube the book doesn't seem as harsh as the movie. Not sure I can stomach the movie but love the characters in the book and how I rooted for them to kick their habits. I never connected with those characters than I did in RFAD. There was no happy ending and their hopes and dreams failed them all. Very sad and I think it's more non-fiction than it's meant to be.

One book I read at a rather bad time in my life after my divorce was Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. Excellent book, IMO, and makes what I was going through pail in comparission to what Frankl went through in a concentration camp during WWII. Actually helped me get through that rough patch with a more optomistic app ...


I'm also a huge reader, and Trainspotting really interested me, because I had just recently watched the film (I was also 16 or so), and since I was able to slough through ACO (read the book before I watched the film actually, grabbed the book off the school library shelf because I knew it was a Kubrick film. I'm a horrible person, as most of my personal library came from my high school, and they never missed the books because no one had checked any of them out since the 1980s, and we still had paper and pencil checkouts, no electronic shiat), I didn't mind Trainspotting at all and actually found it a bit easier to read. Of course, I was apparently one of the few teens in the world who actually likeas Great Expectations, and read it for fun. Ditto for The Great Gatsby. My parents gave me Edgar Allan Poe to read at the tender age of 6, and my mother made me read Roots at age 11, and then we sat down and had an adult discussion about it.
 
2012-04-27 01:30:00 PM
I forgot that I checked out Infinite Jest. I should read that but it's probably expired by now. However, I don't care about specific books. Just read some farking books other than Twilight and you're good with me.

ModernLuddite: While I tend toward agreement THOMAS HARDY IS AWESOME. I had been warned and warned about how terrible he was, then somehow ended up reading "Jude the Obscure". That book is farking amazing. I really, really encourage everyone to read that one novel.


Someone else likes Thomas Hardy? I am besides myself. I love Jude the Obscure and everyone else hates it.
 
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