On the Reading of Books

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AuthorTopic: On the Reading of Books
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Of those of you that read, what do you read? What genres or authors do you prefer, and why do you believe you prefer them? Feel free to delve as deeply as you wish into your psyches to answer this one.

In another vein, what are your opinions on Classic novels? Are they deserving of their vaunted status, or do you find many of them to be overrated, outdated, or just plain lousy?

I'll post my opinions at a later point; I'm far too tired at the moment .

"Let a man find himself, in distinction from others, on top of two wheels with a chain- at least in a poor country like Russia- and his vanity begins to swell out like his tires. In America it takes an automobile to produce this effect."- Leon Trotsky
Posts: 1798 | Registered: Sunday, October 5 2003 07:00
Master Jeweller
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1.Fantasy, in particular Lackey and Card lately.
2.Depends on which novel, really. Some are deserving of respect on grounds of
being groundbreaking (or, if you will, 'novel' ). Some are indeed just plain
lousy. I tend not to bother with most of them anyway but that's a matter of taste.

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Posts: 798 | Registered: Monday, December 17 2001 08:00
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I read mainly historical fiction, with fantasy and sci-fi thrown in. Another topic like this introduced me to Terry Pratchett, but, sadly, with all the books I have to read for English this year, I don't have much time for that.

I think that most Classic novels are overrated, lousy, etc. Sure, maybe the idea is interesting, but when I have to mentally translate "thou" to "you" and "hither" to "here", it kind of takes the fun out of reading. Frankenstein was an interesting concept, sure, but it's hard to concentrate on concepts when you're falling asleep... anyway, not all classics are bad, not at all, but they are a bit overrated.

And though the musicians would die, the music would live on in the imaginations of all who heard it.
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Posts: 3351 | Registered: Saturday, April 6 2002 08:00
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1. Well, I like very many kinds of literature. As for genres, I mostly read horror and fantasy, but there are some detective novels I like, as well as historical novels. Of course, most books I read cannot really be put into any genre, but they range from quasi-philosophical texts (The Alchemist, for example) to classics (like The never-ending story. I'm not talking of Dostojevskij when I say "classic", as you may have noticed )

Tove Jansson is one of the best authors ever. Anyone familiar with the Moomin books?

Recently I've also been attracted by well-painted cartoons, such as Valhalla, Prince Valiant and League of Extra-ordinary Gentlemen.

2. Some are good (Anton Tjehov), some are hopelessly boring (Hemingway). It's just a matter of taste, as it is with any other books.

PS. I like books with words like "hither" and "ye". My english was greatly improved by reading some of M.R.James's short short stories, and I learned many words that even my teachers don't know of in the process. Thank you, James!
Posts: 756 | Registered: Monday, August 4 2003 07:00
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1. Terry Pratchet; Hilarious fantasy
Tom Clancy; Thrillers with a lot of info packed in
J.K Rowling; Harry Potter (but I am not a "Fan")
J.R.R Tolkien; If you dont know, you are retarded fools!
Various other fantasy, science fiction and thrillers. Not so many "cozy" books.

2. I dont know if you consider "The Hobbit" a classic, but some of them are great, like Jules Vernes. Shakespearand stuff is really not in my line, and norwegian writers like Ibsen and Amalie Skram, if you know them, is plain boring.

Note: Sorry if my writing is screwed up, but my PC is at the repair shop, and my mac aint got a word list to translate.

Another note: The reason I seem kinda paranoid when I talk about Harry Potter, is that my classmates say I look like him, and that leads to them saying that I am him.


Posts: 662 | Registered: Friday, September 13 2002 07:00
Shock Trooper
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1. Science fiction and fantasy, for the most part. There are a few authors who I'd buy on sight: Michelle West, Timothy Zahn, Patricia McKillip.

2. Depends entirely on each individual classic. I've read a few and have more lined up on my 'to read' list. Some I like, some I don't. A word of advice: don't read any Australian 'prize-winning literary' book written by a woman about the outback. They're more Freudian than Freud.

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Unnumbered and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant fins the slumbering green.
Posts: 356 | Registered: Saturday, August 23 2003 07:00
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Recently, I've been reading a lot of Sharon Penman. Historical novels, and very good ones (I don't know how they'd appeal to an American, though, but being English I find them very interesting.)

Before that, Patrick O'Brien, Isaac Asimov, Diannah Wynne Jones. All of whom are geniuses (should that be geneii?)


Let them eat cake!

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Posts: 2314 | Registered: Tuesday, January 15 2002 08:00
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quote:J.R.R Tolkien; If you dont know, you are retarded fools!Seems I am, who is this guy?

Also, I can't read.

- The Great Mister
Posts: 972 | Registered: Tuesday, October 28 2003 08:00
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Ok, i dont know if i am suposed to say sorry or not. But, J.R.R Tolkien was the one that created "Lord Of The Rings" ,"The Hobbit" and "Silmarilion". And i hope you know of at least one of them.


Posts: 662 | Registered: Friday, September 13 2002 07:00
Law Bringer
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TGM was joking. It's the way Spidweb members are, most of them can't take anything seriously. You, on the other hand, seem a little too gullible. You should have caught the hint once he said he can't read.

And if you think it's possible that he can't and was saying — no, typing! — the truth, then, well... *lol*

[ Saturday, December 06, 2003 09:40: Message edited by: Arancaytar ]

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Consigned themselves to downfall and decadence
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Laughing at your face now.


[ Thursday, December 04, 2003 09:53: Message edited by: The Legend of Ken Kaniff ]

- The Great Mister
Posts: 972 | Registered: Tuesday, October 28 2003 08:00
Shock Trooper
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TGM, you are generally evil!
I like Pratchett books, and I'm reading a Robert Rankin book at the moment.
I've also read Lord of the Rings and I'm the only one I know able to write in Elvish. (well, English with Elvish letters) But the book bored me somewhat. I was half-asleep at the time.
I quite like the Harry Potter books but quite frankly anything other than the books to do with Harry Potter just makes me sick.
I once read Frankenstein for a school project. It was an alright book really.
I like sometimes to use archaic language for no apparent reason. Like "hither and thither" instead of "here and there" (well, not much yet anyway...) or "whilst" instead of "while". Et cetera.


I want high-bit characters in my displayed name!!! :( :( :( (Or at least an exclamtion point!)

Eat pie!
Posts: 316 | Registered: Saturday, May 25 2002 07:00
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A lot of Shakespeare I don't like, but I loved Hamlet.
I am also one of the many Pratchett and Tolkien fans on the boards.
Anyone here read Robin Hobb? I liked her books.

And regarding classics, I enjoyed The Metamorphosis, The Iliad and The Odyssey, The Catcher in the Rye, 1984, and lots of others.

Posts: 508 | Registered: Thursday, May 29 2003 07:00
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Top 3 Authors:
1) J.R.R. Tolkien of course
2) Margaret Weir/Tracy Hickman(does some very good fantasy, have many books)
3) Ray Bradbury(for those of you who enjoy science fiction, this guy is great)
4) Tom Clancy(dunno why, but I own almost all of his books. I just like em)

Favorite Books:
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy--16 times
The Silmarillian--3 times
The Hobbit--15 times
The Dragon Lance Trilogy--2 times
Hunt for the Red October--4 times

There are many other books that I enjoy, but they are too many to list right here.

"Never think twice about something if the first time you thought about it you thought you were thinking about it twice when really it was just once, and never think about something once unless there's money involved."
--The Mad Hatter's Deceaced Wife
Posts: 59 | Registered: Wednesday, June 26 2002 07:00
Law Bringer
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Surprise! Another fantasy lover here. The usual list of authors applies, with a few more. C. S. Friedman is very good. Tad Williams is usually very good, although he varies a lot. Guy Gavriel Kay's books are good, although his tendency to write straight or nearly straight historical fiction and call it fantasy is bizarre. Call me crazy, but after reading a few of Zelazny's books I have trouble reading more because they all share the same themes and elements.

Authors who write in mass-produced universes are terrible nine times out of ten. I avoid them all on the basis of probability.

—Alorael, who likes some great, classic literature. Not a whole lot of it, but some. The problem is that great advances get recognition, but great advances are no longer so edgy a century or two later.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
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I'm a fantasy/sci-fi lover. Authors I like are Tamora Pierce, Terry Pratchett, Tolkien and Matthew Reilly. I used to read K.A. Applegtate but I still have the books.

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Posts: 650 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
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Omelette: I've read some Penman, I found it a bit tedious. It just seemed like she could have shortened her writing a bit without taking out anything necessary. It was informative, though, and, of course, more interesting than a history book. And no, I think geniuses works =]

TGM: Good job, you almost killed me with laughter.

I think the best book I've read recently is Shogun by James Clavell (well, unless you count the LOTR series, which I've been rereading). It was a bit long, I suppose, but full of information, action, and whatever else makes historical fiction good.

And though the musicians would die, the music would live on in the imaginations of all who heard it.
-The Last Pendragon


Les forum de la chance.

In case of emergency, break glass.
Posts: 3351 | Registered: Saturday, April 6 2002 08:00
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I'm a big Michener fan. I also love Umberto Eco and Herman Hesse.

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Posts: 9436 | Registered: Wednesday, September 19 2001 07:00
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I read anything I can lay my hands on, but at the moment I'm going through a lot of Richard Laymon and Dean Koontz.

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Posts: 1277 | Registered: Sunday, December 9 2001 08:00
Senile Reptile
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Reading books by Feynman again, for the second ot third time. I like Ayn Rand, Ray Bradbury short stories, mindless detective/police/tomclancyesque novels. I haven't read a fantasy book in quite a while.

Posts: 1614 | Registered: Wednesday, January 23 2002 08:00
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I love horror. And I love Stephen King's books. But just Stephen King, so far, for horror. I enjoyed the LotR from Tolkien and HP.

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Posts: 1158 | Registered: Monday, December 31 2001 08:00
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Fantasy Novels. I read just about anything except for boring biographys and textbooks.

I liked the Dragonlance Series by Margret Weis and Tracy Hickman alot.
Although his books are in a rut, I like to read Brian Jaques sometimes.

Currently I am reading "A Call To Honor" by Cynthia Adair Coan, a book about a boy and the civil war. Very good and historically accurate, it also stresses what the war was really about. I like it alot even though it does take place in a Rebel view.

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Posts: 1233 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Shock Trooper
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I like authors that write literary fiction with a surprising twist at the end. Literary fiction is not like commercial fiction in the way that it wont let you "escape life" but will bring you in deeper to life and explain how things work, rather than performing magic tricks and leaving you to wonder how they did that. You dont ask what happens, but why things happened and how it relates to the story as a whole.



And since the stupid link won't work, I'll use this one:
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Posts: 203 | Registered: Saturday, July 19 2003 07:00
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I read until my eyes glaze over. I am an all around news junkie. I like the yahoo news server, cnn, and the junk news services especially www.snopes.com, and www.forteantimes.com.

I also read online comics a variety of them-- File 49, As Cybertron Turns, Black Tapestries, Secret of Mana Theater-- I especially like www.onlinecomics.net because I read very fast.

The Universe Never Did Make Sense; I Suspect It Was Built On A Government Contract- Robert Heinlein
Posts: 1084 | Registered: Thursday, November 7 2002 08:00
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I like some sci-fi, tolerate some fiction, and happen to enjoy alternate and real history, and consume both relatively vociferously.
Classic authors? Mark Twain, Ambrose Bierce, and so forth. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, too. One Hundred Years of Solitude is nothing short of astonishing.

I happen to be reading more of Turtledove's works lately. As I am just not up to waiting until mid-2004 for the sequel to the American Empire series without anything to read, I've picked up the second book in the Worldwar tetraology. It's decent -- basically, aliens invade in the middle of World War 2. As an Arena participant, I find this especially amusing.

[ Thursday, December 04, 2003 15:52: Message edited by: USA-se Xenerali-boariku CUSITURA ]

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Posts: 2367 | Registered: Friday, June 27 2003 07:00