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xenolith

QUEEN: But look where sadly the poor wretch comes reading.

Do you like books?

Have you written a book?

Read in your spare time?

Fantasize about fictional characters?

Get inspired by stories?

If you answered yes to any (or all) of these questions, then you've come to the right place. Welcome to The Reading Room!

Here you can discuss books that inspire you, authors you love (or hate), and drop or pick up recommendations. Feel free to rant, pose a question, nominate something for a communal monthly reading, or even write a review.

I'd like to ask a question, since I'm here.

What is your favourite book of all time? And why is it your favourite?

(You can have a top two, or three, if like me you find it hard to choose!)

10/27/2010 #1
Tawny Owl

If I can have a whole trilogy I'd go for The First Law by Joe Abercrombie. I haven't been that excited about a fantasy for years, and years, and years (you get the idea). I loved it becasue it took most of stock fanatsy characters and made them so real it was uncomfortable to watch at times. There were some great twists at the end as well. Just not enough girl characters, I'm afraid. I tend to be kind of sexist like that.

10/27/2010 #2
thewhimsicalbard

My single favorite book of all time is Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Game." I love it simply because I love Ender, the main character. He's incredibly well contrived, and he was the first character in what I would call "real" literature with whom I really, truly empathized. He opened the door to a much wider view of the world of literature for me, including the book that had the greatest effect on me: 1984.

How about the rest of y'alls?

10/27/2010 #3
lookingwest

What is your favourite book of all time? And why is it your favourite?

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I would say Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban because it inspired me to start writing, but The Book Thief is so fantastically written and is such a beautiful blend of poetry and prose that its become something I've taken heavy inspiration from in my recent writing. I'd of course, definitley recommend it.

Gosh though, there are so many good books out there -_-'' it's really hard to just choose one, XD

10/27/2010 . Edited 10/27/2010 #4
xenolith

Interesting choices! XD

I'm a bit boring, my favourite book is The Lord of the Rings, er, as a collective. Though if I had to choose it'd be Return of the King just because it was the most exciting. Those books are my favourites because I was such a huge LOTR fan when the movies came out, I read them after I saw FOTR and I just lived for them. I like the songs, and the myths, it really made this world seem real, somewhere I wanted to live. And the noble characters and the epic scope and Aragorn and Faramir and Merry and Pippin... aw, yay.

The Catcher in the Rye is a close second, sometimes first equal depending on which one I've read recently! I love this book because of Holden, I thought he was great. His indecision is easy to relate to. And the repitition makes me laugh. I'm crazy, he says, I really am. And then half a page later: I swear, I'm crazy. I also liked how he'd just meet some girl, they'd say something winning and then he'd be convinced he's in love with them. Oh and how he remembers that girl he actually was in love with, so nostalgic and sweet. And how he doesn't want anything to change. I think that was me at sixteen, when I first read it :D

10/27/2010 #5
xenolith

My single favorite book of all time is Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Game."

Have not read that before. I might check it out at the library.

Also, @Emily: I tried reading The Book Thief but I couldn't get into it, think I was distracted by something. I'll give it another go... soon lol

10/27/2010 #6
sophiesix

Haven't read enders game either. maybe it should be a book club book thing?

I hated the first page of the book thief, the tone really bugged me, but upon Emily's exhortations i managed a third. it was good, and i see what you mean about the writing, makes me jealous with his poeticness. but then its started getting close to the second world war and you KNOW that's not going to turn out well, especially given the character set. (the dad was so sweet). i had to put it down to give teh characters a break before WWII rips up their lives : /

cor blimey... favourite book? thats just too incredibley hard. i have a squillion. ok: first tyhree that pop to mind:

Haroun and the sea of stories: normals Salmam rushdies style grates a little bit with me, but the pure imaginative element of this one hooked me totally and swallowed me up. plus, its about a writer with writers block, so of course it gets your attention right there. and then, you read teh bit at teh end about all teh hindi words that have been scattered through out, like Kattam Shud (be quiet or shut up), the name of the city of mute people :)

Prodigal summer: the poisonwood bible was good but kinda epic. meh. but kingsolver's prodigal summer i could read endlessly. something about mixing biological facts with good writing that just leaves me helpless with worship. plus all teh characters are so... i dunno... interesting and 3D, like the butterfly pheromone researcher who's mother was arabic and who's father was jewish, goes to live in a tiny little backwater and has to try and make this crazy olf farm work. and the young guy with hair cut short like a panther's pelt, a coyote hunter, who falls in love with a mature aged park ranger badass environmentalist. *happy sigh*

ok so now i'm in a rut and the next that pops to mind is The Moon by Whale Light, Diane Ackermann. probably for teh same reasons (natural history), only there's less sucking-in plot and more achingly beautiful writing

Oh! oh! and Pat Barkers Regeneration trilogy... wonderfully sparse writing that captures psychological depths effortlessly... ok don't get me started, i'll go on all day and i've got a plane to catch ;)

10/27/2010 #7
lookingwest

I hated the first page of the book thief, the tone really bugged me, but upon Emily's exhortations i managed a third. it was good, and i see what you mean about the writing, makes me jealous with his poeticness. but then its started getting close to the second world war and you KNOW that's not going to turn out well, especially given the character set. (the dad was so sweet). i had to put it down to give teh characters a break before WWII rips up their lives : /

:( Well I thought it put a spin on the WWII stories you never see. For instance, it was about the German civilians, not the concentration camps.

My favorite book is a bookfail! XD

This isn't holding up well.

Maybe I should change it to Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Johnathan Safran Foer...? :D?

10/27/2010 . Edited 10/27/2010 #8
lookingwest

@Sophie: I have heard of none of those books, D: I'll have to check them out!

@Xen: Yeah! I liked Catcher In The Rye and LOTR ^^

10/27/2010 #9
xenolith

Woah Sophie never heard of any of those books either, but they sure sound interesting. And I second Enders Game for bookclub!

10/27/2010 #10
lookingwest

Oh yeah, I'll third Ender's Game--I've always wanted to read it but I've never had time and just always kept putting it off. Also I almost read it once when I was younger but I thought the cover of it at the library was really dumb looking because it was a boy floating in space with a silver jumpsuit on, XD I used to judge books hardcore by their covers when I was younger, XDXD

@Bard: have you ever read Neuromancer by William Gibson? *asks this question to any person who shows remote interest in sci-fi* XD

10/27/2010 #11
thewhimsicalbard

@Em- I've had Gibson recommended to me by several people. What else has he written?

10/27/2010 #12
lookingwest

@Em- I've had Gibson recommended to me by several people. What else has he written?

Ummm...hmm. Nothing quite as famous as Neuromancer. He's credited with creating the term "cyber-space" in that one, I think.

His most famous short story is "Johnny Mnemoic" which was turned into a really shitty 90's movie with Keanu Reeves *eyeroll* But the short story is really cool:

http://project.cyberpunk.ru/lib/johnny_mnemonic/

If you wanted to get a taste of his writing, he does cyberpunk, and I really love that short story but that version of it has quite a few typos that happened when they were transcribing it onto the site, heh.

And then I believe his second other famous novel was Mona Lisa Overdrive, but I actually haven't read that one. All three of them also have a character named Molly in them who has razors under her fingernails, it's effing awesome. And I wrote my criticism literature paper on her role in Neuromancer, XD

Gooooood stuff. If you have time, at least definitley check out that short story!

10/27/2010 #13
lookingwest

ps. that short story has a crack addicted dolphin in it. or maybe it was heroin... hmm...well anyway. can't get as cool as that, XD

10/27/2010 #14
xenolith

OMG I've actually read that! I have the book of short stories it's in. I love the atmosphere in Johnny Mneumonic, the rain the neon the weirdness.

The other one I liked was Burning Chrome. These two guys hack into a computer system which is kinda personified as the woman who owns it... nutty, but vivid.

10/27/2010 #15
xenolith

It's almost November...

BOOKCLUB reading noms? Anyone want to suggest something else and we'll have a vote? Or we all cool for Orson Scott Card?

10/29/2010 #16
berley

What is your favourite book of all time? And why is it your favourite?

My favourite books change all of the time, but right now I have two that have made it to the top of my list. Requiem for a Dream by Hubert Selby Jr. and American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. I wrote reviews for both of them at The Review Game, and I could honestly go on for hours about how much I love those two books. I've read them both about a million times and I never get sick of them. They are just...guh...amazing. I became a huge fan of Hubert Selby Jr. after reading Requiem, and I can't get over how well he can tell a story, and the fact that he had no formal training or background in writing. He had bed ridden because of health problems, so he bought a type writer and just started writing because he wanted to do something with his life.

11/1/2010 . Edited 11/1/2010 #17
berley

BOOKCLUB reading noms? Anyone want to suggest something else and we'll have a vote? Or we all cool for Orson Scott Card?

I have tons of books I could nominate, I am just not sure they would be books that everyone would want to read. haha.

11/1/2010 #18
xenolith

I've been trying to get a hold of American Psycho for ages now! And I didn't even know Requiem for a Dream was a book. That's a great story about the author :p

11/1/2010 #19
thewhimsicalbard

It's November, everybody! What are we doing?

11/2/2010 #20
xenolith

ENDER'S GAME!!!!!!!!!1

11/2/2010 #21
berley

As long as they sell the book at the used book store across the street from my apartment, I am good to go!

11/2/2010 #22
thewhimsicalbard

Ender's Game it is then! I'm really excited for this!!

11/3/2010 #23
lookingwest

sure thing, Ender's Game it is!

11/3/2010 #24
xenolith

Has anybody ever been in a bookclub? What are we supposed to do? Like, should we have a week to get the book, then read a chapter or something a day?

I have no freakin idea. XD

11/3/2010 #25
C. Tattiana H-H

How did I not get an alert for this thread? I was wondering when it'd be created. -_-"

Lame, FP. Mega lame.

And, I'm in for Ender's Game. I think we should er, hmm... "meet up" once a week (specific day?) and discuss the book so far or something? I've never been in a book club so I wouldn't know.

11/6/2010 #26
thewhimsicalbard

Thursday nights are always good for me. The only night I can't do it is on Wednesday.

Everyone? How do we feel?

11/6/2010 #27
C. Tattiana H-H

Thursday works for me. Any day, really.

11/6/2010 #28
xenolith

Sounds good to me :)

11/7/2010 #29
sophiesix

meh, I'll pop in when I can, so whenever...

ooh, i found it online, so if i can't get it at the bookshop tomorrow i'm ordering :D

11/7/2010 #30
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