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Top Five Favorite All-Time Books

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Showing 1-25 of 1000 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 6, 2011 12:31:40 PM PDT
Darth Wader says:
What are your top five favorite all-time books? My favorites are:

1. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
2. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
3. The Great Santini by Pat Conroy
4. The Stand by Stephen King
5. The Thief Of Always by Clive Barker

Posted on Sep 6, 2011 12:41:10 PM PDT
No way I could restrict myself to 5...maybe I could manage top 100. I have fond memories of "The Outsiders", but having read it many times over the past 4 decades, I can see how it is dated, derivative and a bit awkward. Still, a seminal work that was very influential for its time. "To Kill a Mockingbird" holds up much better...I can envision it being read in the next century as eagerly as it was in the last. I enjoyed "The Stand" but wish that someone, somewhere, could put the reins on King's verbal diarrhea. He needs to edit himself, but as the 800-pound gorilla of publishing, no one will force him to do so.

Posted on Sep 6, 2011 12:52:36 PM PDT
Darth Wader says:
For me, the beauty of The Outsiders is that it was written by a 16 year old SE Hinton and I love the focus on the loss of innocence and the societal war. It is the story that always sticks out for me personally which is what great books too. I don't see it as dated (since it was written during a specific time) nor derivative (as there is no book similar to The Outsiders - it is an original). It should be required reading for schools, in my opinion. But that it the beauty of books is that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. The purpose of this discussion, though, is to name your 5 favorite books.

Posted on Sep 18, 2011 6:49:22 PM PDT
TD101 says:
1. Lonesome Dove - I'm not much into westerns, but several people recommended it and I finally gave in. Wish I had read it years earlier. Contains the best characters I have ever come across.
2. Blackhawk Down - I read the book when it first came out, a few years before the movie. Bowden's fast paced, gripping account of the battle had me mesmerized and I couldn't put it down.
3. Lord of the Rings - first read it when I was 12 and several times since.
4. A Thousand Splendid Suns - a powerful story set in Afghanistan during the past 30 years.
5. A Game of Thrones - even though I've lost interest in how the series will end, the original was still a masterpiece.

Posted on Sep 19, 2011 8:18:33 AM PDT
Darth Wader says:
Good list TD101! I have thought about reading Lonesome Dove, so I definitely will now!

Posted on Sep 19, 2011 8:35:23 AM PDT
TD101 says:
He ended up writing 4 books in the series and I loved them all.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 19, 2011 8:39:09 AM PDT
TD101 says:
I read Conroy's The Great Santini and Lords of Discipline 20 years ago. They were both good, but I liked LOD better. If I remember correctly, Santini was very similar to the movie, whereas Lords had a great deal of material that had been left out of the film.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 19, 2011 10:18:54 AM PDT
I loved both of those books at one point. I reread LOD again, but it didn't hang as tough as it once did with me. They are still great books.

My top 5

Edward Abbey- The Fool's Progress
Peter Matthiessen- At Play in the Fields of the Lord
Peter Matthiessen- Far Tortuga
Joseph Heller- Catch 22
Nathaniel Hawthorne- Scarlet Letter

I have read each of these books over and over again. They are my favorites.

Posted on Sep 19, 2011 1:06:52 PM PDT
Here are mine:

1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
2. The Stand by Stephen King
3. Captains and the Kings by Taylor Caldwell
4. Recent read - "ROOM" - forgot who wrote it, but two weeks later, it's still with me
5. Whatever best book I just read - today "The Help"

Posted on Sep 19, 2011 9:44:23 PM PDT
K. Cochran says:
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Empire Falls by Richard Russo
Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon

Posted on Sep 20, 2011 10:22:12 AM PDT
Retired Prof of Literature says:
While I have read and taught most of the 100 great novels I would personally select: Shakespeare's "King Lear" and "Hamlet" and Louis L'Amour's "The Walking Drum" and "Sitka" (I believe both these novels should be ranked among the top 100 as the finest and most influential I have read. Of course #1 is and always will be "The Holy Bible."

Posted on Sep 21, 2011 10:42:27 AM PDT
C. Murphy says:
Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
Containment by Christian Cantrell
Lights Out by David Crawford
The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens
Four Years From Home by Larry Enright
One Second After by William Forstchen
American Apocalypse Trilogy : The Beginning, Refuge and Migration by Nova
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Walden by Henry David Thoreau

Opps...I could keep going at least to 20 books just to get my all time favorites up here. LOL. Happy reading!!!

Posted on Sep 21, 2011 3:21:54 PM PDT
K. Burnup says:
It's hard to narrow it down to the Top 5. I'm happy to say that I have read mostly books I enjoyed, but I have also read to completion books that I regretted ever starting. Now, in the vein of "top 5", I can focus on 5 award-winners. Several books I read when I was younger turned out to be much more meaningful when I read them many years later. "1984," which I started at age 13 and then set aside at the end of Chapter 1, was a much better book when I was 18. For me at age 18, it was a real page-turner. During that same summer, I picked up Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World " (that and 1984 were on the suggested book list sent from the English Dept. of the local community college) and I lingered on and devoured every word. Some years later, an advocate of re-reading the classics reminded us that, when William Thackeray was 36 years old, he published "Vanity Fair" - - wouldn't it be nice, he suggested, to re-read that book when one was the same as Thackeray was when he finished writing it? At the time, I was 36, and picked it up again. When we read it in high school, I found it to be dull and plodding; but, at age 36, VF was one of the best-written tomes I read that year! I understood it! "Oliver Twist" by Dickens, was assigned to us in my junior year in high school. I didn't feel compelled to re-read it, because it moved me so emotionally when I read it age 16, that I feared it would move me to tears if I ever read it again. Later on came "Gone with the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell. I watched the movie when during one of my college years, and found it to be corny and sentimental. In my early 40s, I saw the movie again, and it wasn't as corny. Some of the special effects, for instance, were quite intriguing. When I was 44, I read the book, and it was clear that the movie was loosely based on the book that Mitchell wrote. When the movie ended during its premier in Atlanta in 1939, Ms Mitchell stood before the assembled crowd and said warm and noble things about the film; but I have always believed in my heart that she was quite disappointed that so much of the story and many of the book's characters were changed or omitted altogether by the producer David O Selznick; after all, he was so eager to get the film wrapped and ready for Academy Award nomination. To conclude: those five books moved me deeply, and I often paraphrase passages in those books in my everyday speech.

Posted on Nov 9, 2011 11:59:31 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 9, 2011 11:59:52 AM PST
1. It by Stephen King
2. 1984 by George Orwell
3. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
4. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
5. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Agatha Christie books and Ian Rankin books are also very favorite ones.

Posted on Nov 9, 2011 3:16:17 PM PST
Henry Fielding - Tom Jones
Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice
Joseph Heller - Catch 22
Pamela Aidan - Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman
Franz Kafka - Metamorphosis

Just did novels.

Posted on Nov 9, 2011 6:23:00 PM PST
HardyBoy64 says:
My favorite novels are:

1) David Copperfield by Dickens
2) The Return of the Native by T. Hardy (love all his novels, short stories and poetry!)
3) East of Eden by Steinbeck
4) Absalom! Absalom! by Faulkner
5) Fortunata y Jacinta by Benito Pérez Galdós

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2011 6:03:51 AM PST
vespasian says:
Andy, Youve good taste!!! vesp

Posted on Nov 10, 2011 6:08:18 AM PST
vespasian says:
, 1The Grapes of Wrath: Steinbeck 2 The twelve Caesars: Suetonius 3. Moby Dick, Melville, MacBeth; Shakespeare, DRacula; Bram Stoker....vesp

Posted on Nov 23, 2011 12:24:29 AM PST
MuddyGray says:
1. All quiet on the western front by Erich Maria Remarque
2. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
3. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
4. Shame by Salman Rushdie
5. The Blind Owl by Sadegh Hedayat

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 23, 2011 7:04:16 AM PST
vespasian says:
Muddy, A fine list. Ive enjoyed the first three books..ves

Posted on Nov 23, 2011 11:40:53 AM PST
It's so hard to narrow the field down to just five books...especially since the genres are so vastly different from each other.

1. "1984" by George Orwell
2. "Misummer Night's Dream" - William Shakespeare
3. "LOTR" - Tolkien
4. "Murder on the Orient Express" - Agatha Christie
5. "Travels with Charley" - Steinbeck

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 23, 2011 5:06:33 PM PST
vespasian says:
Andrea, Im a big fan of Travels w Charlie although it doesnt get the respect it deserves. Another book in that semivein is Hemmingways "Moveable Feast " ves

Posted on Nov 24, 2011 6:57:13 AM PST
I think these are two must read books to understanding the world of the US today:
"Life on the Color Line" Autobiograhical story of William Howard Williams growing up white until he was ten, and then finding his black roots in Munce, Indiana. The former head of the Ohio State Law school is a specail touch for both Indianans and Ohioans.

"You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train", by Howard Zinn. Should give you both insight into Howard Zinn, the Civil Rights movement of the sixties and today's Occupy Wall Street movement.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2011 1:55:33 PM PST
alleycat says:
Wow, you have a great variety.
1. Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand
2. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot
3. East of Eden, John Steinbeck
4. Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson
5. Drowning Ruth, Christina Schwarz

Posted on Nov 24, 2011 2:30:06 PM PST
1. Stranger in a Strange Land by Heinlein
2. Starship Troopers by Heinlein
3. Dark Tower series by King
4. John Carter Series by E.R. Burroughs
5. Tale of Two Cities by Dickens (greatest one liners in literature)best of times worst of times-------far better thing I do
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Initial post:  Sep 6, 2011
Latest post:  Jun 24, 2015

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