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chopkinsca

Book suggestions

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I recently decided to expand my mind and on impulse I bought Nineteen Eighty Four. I enjoyed reading it more than I thought I would. I want to read more, but I have no idea what kind of books I'd like. I liked the through provoking aspects of 1984. I plan on picking up Brave New World when it's available at the library.

So, what are some other good thought provoking books?

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Here are some suggestions for books:

  • The Great Gatsby (1925)
  • One of Ours (1923)
  • Hatching Magic (2003)
  • The Classic Goosebumps Books
That's all I got.

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My favorite 3 books probably (nonfiction):

The Selfish Gene by Dawkins: Really eye opening at explaining the root essence of life as replicators, including coining the idea of meme.

A New Kind of Science by Wolfram: Also really eye opening with tons of holy shit pics, like a sea shell with a fractal on it due to the lifeform creating it one 'row' at a time like a cellular automat, and simulating fluid using simple rules and a provoking theory about the origin of the universe. The text itself is often really dry/robotic/not poetically written like dawkins often is, but still rams home with very interesting concepts imo.

The Pattern on the Stone by Hillis: A simple short book for people like me who are derp at computers, but explains their true nature at the bottommost level, even showing how a mechanical/lever computer would work (like a 'not' gate could be a push turned into a pull with a lever or something).

Lately I've found some nice stuff on:
http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Main_Page

Really don't read much lately because it seems everything in the world is turning to profit motivated soulless spam shit, including books. Even search tools to FIND new books I'd like based on past books I've liked are dying, like amazon reviews being a bunch of paid off shill lies, and google resulting in crap targeted for the masses. Seriously, go to a library book sale and a book written decades ago will probably be much better quality than modern ones (like I got some old 'time life' (i think) book series, one on birds, one on deserts etc, that were nice).

I can't be bothered reading fiction because I don't want to sift through tons of crap to find any needles in the haystack, and no fiction has really impressed me so far. I sure as hell don't want to wait for plot to be slowly developed for 50 pages. Fiction books evolved as an economic unit so 'uh this many pages' is worth uh 7 bucks or something, so everyone makes long books. With my attention span, a fictional book should just get to the damn point as fast as possible trying to saturate the least amount of words with the most interesting stuff. Even a really short interesting phrase like "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." is interesting/thought provoking but that's not a sellable 'book'.

For 1984 type political shit, I watch alex jones and stefbot videos on youtube. Singularity summit videos are also quite interesting.

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Anything by Asimov, Bukowski, Heinlein and Michael Ende.

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I enjoyed:

  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Jules Verne)
  • The Old Man and the Sea (Hemingway) *favorite!
  • Ender's Game (Orson Card)
  • World War Z (Max Brooks)
  • The Hobbit (Tolkien)
  • Anything by Roald Dahl

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I vote:

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Fight Club by Chuck Pahaluniuk
Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis

I think you'll like most of these if you like 1984

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I'll have to second Catch 22.

Read something by Kurt Vonnegut (particularly Breakfast of Champions
and Slaughterhouse 5).

Anything by Ray Bradbury (especially The Martian Chronicles or the Illustrated Man).

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Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace is about as good as fiction gets.

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Stuff I've read recently/love to death includes:

  • Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami (great book with themes revolving around the conscious and unconscious mind)
  • Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut (any of his stuff is great, but this is probably the best starting-point)
  • Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (good all around)
  • High Fidelity by Nick Hornby (not so much thought-provoking as well-written and observational views on relationships with a good sense of wit)
  • The Great Shark Hunt by Hunter S. Thompson (though it might not be the best introduction to his work)
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (because it deserves to be part of my "favorite books" list)

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The Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle (one of the best books I red)
Hard Wired by Walter Jon Williams (Another one of my favorite books)
The Tenth Planet by Edmund Cooper (Reminds me that I want to read more of his books)
Sleepy Head by Mark Billingham

If you like historical Fiction James A. Michener books are a must (if you can stand the length of them)

I have more but these are the ones I thought of off the top of my head.

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Animal Farm by George Orwell

I also heard that 1Q84 was really touching, but what do I know?

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Iain M. Banks' Culture novels
Pretty much anything by Arthur C. Clarke

Or if you want old stuff, H.G. Wells' "The Time Machine" and "War of the Worlds." Or Frankenstein. Proto-sci-fi if there ever was such a thing, and damn depressing.

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Aliotroph? said:

Iain M. Banks' Culture novels
Pretty much anything by Arthur C. Clarke

Or if you want old stuff, H.G. Wells' "The Time Machine" and "War of the Worlds." Or Frankenstein. Proto-sci-fi if there ever was such a thing, and damn depressing.


Sadly, War of the Worlds and Frankenstein bored me to death...The Time Machine was fine though.

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lupinx-Kassman said:

Nobody has mentioned anything by Douglas Adams yet? =(

Oh go on then. Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, while clearly not of the same calibur that the OP is after, offers enough in the way of revelation, science fiction, and the quite interesting interconnectedness between seemingly unrelated series of events (concerning pizza, norse gods, and electric monks designed to believe things on behalf of bygone forerunners) to sate the imagination for a lifetime. Or fuel it into an everburning blaze.

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James McEwan, Saturday
Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale
Hervé Bazin, Viper in the Fist
Norman Spinrad, Bug Jack Baron

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Any of Stephen King's short story books, like Night Shift, Skeleton Crew, or Nightmares and Dreamscapes.

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The Lag said:

Embassytown


Yeah, I'll second this suggestion. I just read Embassytown a week or two ago (having never read any of Mieville's other books) and loved it. Probably the book I've enjoyed most over the last couple of years.

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Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Terra Nostra by Carlos Fuentes
Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons

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Just finished reading "A Wrinkle in Time" which is a children's story but has aspects that are related to 1984 and Brave New World. Of course LOTR comes at the top of my list of books to recommend. Another Children's book I loved that's a bit like A Wrinkle in time is "Momo" by the author of The Never Ending Story by Michael Ende.

I don't read enough. I can't think of any other books I really liked.

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I just read Wind in the Door (companion to A Wrinkle in Time) both books were 211 pages, which makes me think the reason both books felt rushed or a little underdveloped in their final acts was due to length constrains imposed by the publisher. :(

It seems Never Ending Story borrowed major themes from A Wind in the Door, namely the nothingness and the need to name key characters in the books. I thought that was kind of interesting.

Another classic worth reading is Catcher in the Rye.

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Mimsy Were the Borogoves by Henry Kuttner (under the alias Lewis Padgett) is one of the best and cleverest short sci-fi stories ever written. any novel by Phillip K. Dick is worth reading, although i'd recommend The Man in the High Castle, Ubik or A Scanner Darkly as particularly unsettling and thought provoking.

if you ever want to venture out of the sci-fi genre, you cannot go wrong with the big daddy of the post-modern literature of the 20th century, good ol' Umberto. aside from the notorious The Name of the Rose there's the must-read Foucault's Pendulum. if everyone read that one, we wouldn't need bombastic michael bays of literature like dan brown.

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* Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick
* Anything by Peter Benchley
* Almost Anything by Michael Crichton
* The Great Gatsby by (I think) F. Scott Fitzgerald
* 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur Clarke

try those out

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Of course I have to recommend Dracula by Bram Stoker, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and The Picture of Dorian Gray; most of them are the beginning of now over-used and over-parodied themes and stories, but if you can separate them from that they are fantastic reads. I'm currently working on Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness, and it is fantastic, so I recommend that as well.

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redhead said:

Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons

Illium and Olympos are also awesome.

Clonehunter said:

Anything by Peter Benchley

Literally 'anything' because they're all the same book! ZING


I second the recommendations for classic stuff like Jules Verne, HG Wells, and Robert Louis Stevenson. If people are still talking about the books 100 years later you know they were on to something.

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Fiction: Weaveworld by Clive Barker - Not one of the more popular Barker works but it made me a fan. It's long and will crawl in spots, yes, but I couldn't put it down.

Non-fiction: Alternate Realities by Dr. Lawrence Leshan - The author is a psychologist and in this work he delves into "sense of reality". This book helped me to be more comfortable with myself in human interactions and to better see through the eyes of others. I would like to revisit this as it has been almost thirty years since I've read it and I don't remember where the author stands on 'spirituality'. I now see, though, that he has written a handful of books on this.

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I just started reading Moby Dick. I like it so far. I suggest watching American Experience Into the Deep: America, Whaling & the World before reading Moby Dick.

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