Favourite books, what are yours?

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Katey

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I loved reading, read a lot of the classics while in college but can't recall all of them now. I'd have to get out my Literature book and go through it to jog my memory, but here are some that I treasured and haven't forgotten. I'm sure there are more to come. But to start:
**********************************
"Cannery Row: Steinbeck
"Wuthering Heights" Emily Bronte
"Barn Burning" William Faulkner (short story)
"Anna Karenina" Tolstoy
EVERY one of Daphne Du Maurier books. "Rebecca" "Jamaica Inn" "The Glass Blowers" and probably some I'm forgetting
The Andy Warhol Diaries "himself"
"Edie: American Girl" Jean Stein, George Plimpton
"Season the the Witch" James Leo Herlihy
"Bartleby the Scrivener" Herman Melville
 

Joopes

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Hi,

The books by Haruki Murakami are really very much worth reading, e.g. "The WInd-up Bird Chronicle" and "Dance Dance Dance".

best wishes
 

Mrs Parker

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I loved reading, read a lot of the classics while in college but can't recall all of them now. I'd have to get out my Literature book and go through it to jog my memory, but here are some that I treasured and haven't forgotten. I'm sure there are more to come. But to start:
**********************************
"Cannery Row: Steinbeck
"Wuthering Heights" Emily Bronte
"Barn Burning" William Faulkner (short story)
"Anna Karenina" Tolstoy
EVERY one of Daphne Du Maurier books. "Rebecca" "Jamaica Inn" "The Glass Blowers" and probably some I'm forgetting
The Andy Warhol Diaries "himself"
"Edie: American Girl" Jean Stein, George Plimpton
"Season the the Witch" James Leo Herlihy
"Bartleby the Scrivener" Herman Melville

Oh, I am on a huge (HUGE I tell ya!) Faulkner binge right now!!! I read Sanctuary about a year ago (because the pre-code movie The Story Of Temple Drake
with Miriam Hopkins was based on it...) and I just felt kind of meh about it. Then, about a month ago I read a quote that was online that said words
to the effect of 'one doesn't read Faulkner, one re-reads Faulkner' and a light bulb went on! I needed to read him knowing in the back of my mind that
I would be re-reading it soon so I was less hung up on trying to 1) follow what the hell he was talking about 2) follow the family genealogy 3) figure
out who he was talking about 4) figure out what time period in these people's lives he's talking about etc. etc. I was able to sit back, relax and take
in what I was capable of without struggling and feeling anguish at not being able to answer all the questions I had right away and once I chilled out,
his language and the way he expresses things took my breath away!

Now, I've binged through As I Lay Dying, Flags in The Dust (an extended version of Sartoris), Light In August and I'm almost done with Absalom Absalom
and I've got The Sound and The Fury all lined up to go next! Should I lay hands on Barn Burning next??

I love Steinbeck and Tolstoy and Bronte! As a Comparative Lit. major this stuff is like manna for me!! Totally life sustaining!! :)
 

Katey

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Oh, I am on a huge (HUGE I tell ya!) Faulkner binge right now!!! I read Sanctuary about a year ago (because the pre-code movie The Story Of Temple Drake
with Miriam Hopkins was based on it...) and I just felt kind of meh about it. Then, about a month ago I read a quote that was online that said words
to the effect of 'one doesn't read Faulkner, one re-reads Faulkner' and a light bulb went on! I needed to read him knowing in the back of my mind that
I would be re-reading it soon so I was less hung up on trying to 1) follow what the hell he was talking about 2) follow the family genealogy 3) figure
out who he was talking about 4) figure out what time period in these people's lives he's talking about etc. etc. I was able to sit back, relax and take
in what I was capable of without struggling and feeling anguish at not being able to answer all the questions I had right away and once I chilled out,
his language and the way he expresses things took my breath away!

Now, I've binged through As I Lay Dying, Flags in The Dust (an extended version of Sartoris), Light In August and I'm almost done with Absalom Absalom
and I've got The Sound and The Fury all lined up to go next! Should I lay hands on Barn Burning next??

I love Steinbeck and Tolstoy and Bronte! As a Comparative Lit. major this stuff is like manna for me!! Totally life sustaining!! :)

I know there are much more, I read book after book since I was around 14 or so until my 1st child was around 4 or 5. Then, I haven't been able to finish a book to save my life! I tried to read all the classics, mostly due to my love for literature and trying for my degree in English/Lit.

YES, absolutely read Faulkner (maybe the short stories), Tolstoy has a lot of "shorts" as does (of course) a lot of the classics. I must admit the more Elizabethan language in some of the books were pretty difficult to get through, and if I wanted to read on of those now? phfaaa! No, I couldn't do it. I have a College Lit book that I STILL read out of, with stories, shorts, plays, poems (Keats!) and some of the shorts like "Bartleby the Scrivener" by Melville, just had me turning the pages. Anyone knowing what the actual storyline is about would NEVER read it, but it's the way in, you know what I mean because your love & knowledge of reading, the wording is magic and ties up so neatly. I can't really explain but I know you know what I mean. It could be about a trash collector and some of these great novelists can make it incredibly fascinating.

If you haven't read Daphne Du Maurier, I would highly recommend. Most of Hitchcock's films are based on her stories. Absolutely beautiful writing. I could lend you my book if you want to read some of the short stories in there or whatever you want to read. Let me know

Oh! How could I forget Tennessee Williams??? LOVE his as well.
 

notcharlotte

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@clc_caroline, i'm not a big fan of southern lit, but the sound and the fury is stellar. "caddy smells like trees.". but i always told students that if the beginning is too bizarre, skip over the first section and then go back to it.

@Katey, anthologies are the way to go. some authors are better in short doses, as said by everyone trying to get through a victorian novel course. you can pick and choose, and mix up poetry with fiction.

p.s. i love rebecca. have you seen the old movie? super creepy.
 
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Katey

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Yes, it's one of the best. I think (Hitchcock) he's used most of her books, into screenplays for most of his movies. (Daphne Du Maurier). She writes so eloquently.
 

Mrs Parker

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I know there are much more, I read book after book since I was around 14 or so until my 1st child was around 4 or 5. Then, I haven't been able to finish a book to save my life! I tried to read all the classics, mostly due to my love for literature and trying for my degree in English/Lit.

YES, absolutely read Faulkner (maybe the short stories), Tolstoy has a lot of "shorts" as does (of course) a lot of the classics. I must admit the more Elizabethan language in some of the books were pretty difficult to get through, and if I wanted to read on of those now? phfaaa! No, I couldn't do it. I have a College Lit book that I STILL read out of, with stories, shorts, plays, poems (Keats!) and some of the shorts like "Bartleby the Scrivener" by Melville, just had me turning the pages. Anyone knowing what the actual storyline is about would NEVER read it, but it's the way in, you know what I mean because your love & knowledge of reading, the wording is magic and ties up so neatly. I can't really explain but I know you know what I mean. It could be about a trash collector and some of these great novelists can make it incredibly fascinating.

If you haven't read Daphne Du Maurier, I would highly recommend. Most of Hitchcock's films are based on her stories. Absolutely beautiful writing. I could lend you my book if you want to read some of the short stories in there or whatever you want to read. Let me know

Oh! How could I forget Tennessee Williams??? LOVE his as well.

Daphne Du Maurier is ringing a very big bell for me but a quick glance through the names of her works didn't bring anything to mind
of hers that I've read. Dang lack of memory! I remember hearing great things about her and a recommendation from you is as good
as gold so I'll check her out! :)

Ah, Tenacity Williams!! He's a great love of mine!! As is Capote but for different reasons. :) Give me Southern Gothic any day of the week
and I'll be a happy girl! Carson McCullers is a jewel too!

My best friend IRL is a giant Melville fan. He has read Moby Dick more than a dozen times and says he always comes away from it with something
new. Being able to do that and, as you said, being able to make any subject compelling is a tremendous gift. Louise Erdrich is like that for me.
I've read all of her works many, many times and I always come away with something new.

Thank you for the tip for The Sound And The Fury, @notcharlotte! I actually started it before I started Absalom but put it down in favor of Absolom
because the beginning was weird. I figured I was more ready for the crazy genealogy and roundabout time structure of Absolom than I was 'Caddy
smells like trees'. ;) Have you (or anyone is welcome to chime in...) ever found any good screen adaptations of Faulkner's works?
 

Katey

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@clc_caroline and @notcharlotte - Thinking of literature, makes me think of a story my Eng/Lit Prof told us. I sat in the front row, in Algebra the back row. hahaa. Anyway, I love Keats and we were studying his poetry. Well, I know you two know the friendship Percy & Mary Shelley had with Lord Byron. The night where Mary told them the story of Frankenstein. Well, as you know back in those days, Keats was a commoner and his poetry was not received well, if at all. From what I remember of this story, Percy and Mary Shelley were with Lord Byron out on the sea one day. The three of them, along with other people of class and social standing would poke fun of Keats, and his poetry. My prof actually teared up, and a storm hit hard and the boat crashed and the three were later found. Now I hope one of you can remember which of two men it was, but one of the men, I want to say Lord Byron had a little copy of Keats' poetry, tucked inside his vest jacket. I teard up too, his passion touched me. I have not checked on the story, since we had no computers back then. I wanted to tell it as I remember it. If you do look it up, let me know what / if anything is said. Now? Keats has been compared to Shakespeare and is studied among, as he is one himself, of the great literary men (and women) of all time. Sad that Keats died depressed, known as a commoner and never would've dreamed his poetry and works would be where they are today.
 
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Mrs Parker

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@clc_caroline and @notcharlotte - Thinking of literature, makes me think of a story my Eng/Lit Prof told us. I sat in the front row, in Algebra the back row. hahaa. Anyway, I love Keats and we were studying his poetry. Well, I know you two know the friendship Percy & Mary Shelley had with Lord Byron. The night where Mary told them the story of Frankenstein. Well, as you know back in those days, Keats was a commoner and his poetry was not received well, if at all. From what I remember of this story, Percy and Mary Shelley were with Lord Byron out on the sea one day. The three of them, along with other people of class and social standing would poke fun of Keats, and his poetry. My prof actually teared up, and a storm hit hard and the boat crashed and the three were later found. Now I hope one of you can remember which of two men it was, but one of the men, I want to say Lord Byron had a little copy of Keats' poetry, tucked inside his vest jacket. I teard up too, his passion touched me. I have not checked on the story, since we had no computers back then. I wanted to tell it as I remember it. If you do look it up, let me know what / if anything is said. Now? Keats has been compared to Shakespeare and is studied among, as he is one himself, of the great literary men (and women) of all time. Sad that Keats died depressed, known as a commoner and never would've dreamed his poetry and works would be where they are today.

This story is wonderful, K!! I know that Byron died fighting against Turkey in Greece in the mid 1820's but if he had a volume of Keats
with him I wouldn't be the least bit surprised! The Shelley's I don't know as much about biography-wise- only their works and a basic sketch
of all of the friends together, writing, critiquing and sharing work etc.
::giggling:: I think, K, you and I would have been fighting for those front row seats in our lit classes if we had gone to the same university! :D

Keats really is amazing!! His letters and, of course, his poetry are just to die for!! ::sigh and smile::
I don't usually go in for bio-films too much (there's so much room for misinterpretation...) but if you haven't seen
the movie Bright Star about Keats and Fanny Brawne by Jane Campion (The Piano, Portrait Of A Lady, etc.) I do recommend it.

I love Byron's adventures when he went to Venice, Italy! Byron+Venice?!? It's two great tastes that taste great together. ;)

The fact of the matter is I was born in the wrong place at the wrong time!! :D
 

notcharlotte

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@Katey, mary shelley told the story one night when they were sitting around trying to scare each other : byron, shelley, john polidori, and another woman. shelley drowned at a different time, and as @clc_caroline said, byron died in greece. keats died of t.b., and i don't remember hearing the others made fun of him. byron was an aristocrat, and that was enough back then to justify differences. another cool thing: polidori told a story that night that he later published as "the vampyre.". it's supposed to be the first vampire story, predating stoker.

i got it online because it was free but it is slow going! stoker's story is much better.

you ladies have it over me, as i find the romantics a little tedious except for byron. i like my poetry more concrete.
 

Mrs Parker

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@Katey, mary shelley told the story one night when they were sitting around trying to scare each other : byron, shelley, john polidori, and another woman. shelley drowned at a different time, and as @clc_caroline said, byron died in greece. keats died of t.b., and i don't remember hearing the others made fun of him. byron was an aristocrat, and that was enough back then to justify differences. another cool thing: polidori told a story that night that he later published as "the vampyre.". it's supposed to be the first vampire story, predating stoker.

i got it online because it was free but it is slow going! stoker's story is much better.

you ladies have it over me, as i find the romantics a little tedious except for byron. i like my poetry more concrete.

My favorite concrete poet is probably Charles Bukowski. Who do you like, NotCharlotte?
 

88jymbo

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My favorite concrete poet is probably Charles Bukowski. Who do you like, NotCharlotte?

Bukowski is far and away my favorite poet as well. Drinking, cheap women, surviving day to day, playing the ponies, and living in cheap hotels. Pure Americana, and absolutely beautiful!

I like Keats as well, fell in love with his work after reading Madame la Belle Sans Merci. He would have loved this board as he died in severe pain and his Dr took him off of laudinum while he was on his death bed. Some things never change.
 
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Mrs Parker

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Bukowski is far and away my favorite poet as well. Drinking, cheap women, surviving day to day, playing the ponies, and living in cheap hotels. Pure Americana, and absolutely beautiful!

I like Keats as well, fell in love with his work after reading Madame la Belle Sans Merci. He would have loved this board as he died in severe pain and his Dr took him off of laudinum while he was on his death bed. Some things never change.

I didn't know that about Keats and the laudanum. Crazy world. :C

Good old Bukowski!! There will never be another "Henry Chinaski" in our lifetime I bet. I know I've told this story again and again
and poor @djrick has had to sit through it several times but I got to meet Bukowski at a book signing in San Pedro, CA. in
the mid 1980's. It was fantastic!! It was a small reading in an independent bookstore and then a book signing and meet and
greet at the end. I'd read his works like a fiend and I knew about Buke being a leg and flank man and preferring ladies in
high heels, stockings, and a skirt that was short but not too short and I delivered! lol!! When I stepped up to hand him my book
for him to sign he took a full top to bottom, long drink of water kinda look and he smiled at me huge and gave a good laugh.
He signed my book and quoted the name of one of his books, he said, "Love Is A Dog From Hell" and then laughed.

It was so fantastic! It's a memory I wouldn't trade for anything!! :) Where are all the modern day Chinaskis? Do they exist?
Where are they hiding?

Who else do you like, @88jymbo?
 
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dame

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As I Lay Dying is one of my all-time favorites! (I need to re-read that one.) Another is Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan. Spoon River Anthology is great. And I have to say Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I know a lot of people don't get into that one, and I get it, 'cause it gets dry in places; but I think it's a fascinating and emotionally complex book.

And @clc_caroline, what a kick-ass story! I love it. I can say with absolute certainty no poet speaks to me like Bukowski. If there are modern-day Hanks, they are probably not getting publishing contracts. I read Post Office at work when I had a terrible office job and I took this line to heart: “Any damn fool can beg up some kind of job; it takes a wise man to make it without working.” I quit shortly thereafter.

RIP...
buk.jpg
 

88jymbo

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@clc_caroline

Sorry for the delayed response.

That is awesome about meeting Bukowski, especially to have it be personal and not just another signature. When I was younger Wadsworth was probably my favorite poet before reading Keats and Bukowski. My dad read me The Wreck of the Hesperus when I was little and it stayed with me forever.

Kurt Vonnegut is probably my favorite author in that every book I have read by him was incredible. I randomly happened to pick up Slaughter House Five because somebody had left it on a bus I was riding. Didn't read it for a long time and when I decided to check into a rehab facility for my massive benzo and smack addiction brought it with me. After a week or two of being there I started reading it and it seemed to relate to a lot of things I was experiencing, to the point it felt like it was fate or destiny to have found it. Soon after my arrival another guy checked in and we became fast friends, when I finished reading it I told him about it. He smiled and pulled open his desk drawer to reveal 6 or 7 Vonnegut books, it assured me I was in the right place with the right people at the right time. After pouring over those books one after another I am of the opinion that he is one of Americas greatest authors. Armageddon in Retrospect is a fabulous collection of short stories, one of my favorites.

Tom Robbins is also one of my favorites, have not read anything of his I did not thoroughly enjoy; my favorite being Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates, Still Life With Woodpecker and Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas. All very funny strange.

Right now I'm reading the War and Remembrance, which is the follow up novel to The Winds of War. They are both historical fiction and very good. On the topic of historical fiction there is a series called The Flashman Papers which are written by George MacDonald Frasier (who did the screenplay for Octopussy), they are about a dashing young Cavalry Officer in the glory days of the British Empire, his countrymen believe him to be a hero, only his is a womanizing coward who just has tons of luck and knows when to keep his mouth shut and when to run away. There is 1 movie they made from the books called The Royal Flash with Malcolm McDowell as Flashy, it is actually available for free on youtube and really a fun movie true to the books, though they remove a lot of the sex and lewd parts that are more prevalent in the books. Flashman is kind of my hero actually, he is the reason I joined the Army for a period.
 

notcharlotte

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My favorite concrete poet is probably Charles Bukowski. Who do you like, NotCharlotte?

i like auden a lot. i also enjoy some victorian poets, like matthew arnold. i'm more of a novel fan. too many emotions in poetry: i read to escape real life.
 

Mrs Parker

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As I Lay Dying is one of my all-time favorites! (I need to re-read that one.) Another is Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan. Spoon River Anthology is great. And I have to say Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I know a lot of people don't get into that one, and I get it, 'cause it gets dry in places; but I think it's a fascinating and emotionally complex book.

And @clc_caroline, what a kick-ass story! I love it. I can say with absolute certainty no poet speaks to me like Bukowski. If there are modern-day Hanks, they are probably not getting publishing contracts. I read Post Office at work when I had a terrible office job and I took this line to heart: “Any damn fool can beg up some kind of job; it takes a wise man to make it without working.” I quit shortly thereafter.

RIP...
View attachment 43072

It's been a very long time since I read Spoon River Anthology and I'm sure it's due a re-visit. And I've never read Trout Fishing- I'll add both to my list. Thank you!
I really like Zen And The Art! It really opened my eyes when I read it the first time in high school and it's more than due for a re-read.

What a wonderful quote about Post Office and relating it to your work situation! Ham On Rye was like that for me. It was the first thing of his that I ever read and a friend gave it to me with the words,
"So, you think you have it bad at home?!? Read this!" lol! I've never seen his grave marker before- thank you for posting it. :)
 

Mrs Parker

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@clc_caroline

Sorry for the delayed response.

That is awesome about meeting Bukowski, especially to have it be personal and not just another signature. When I was younger Wadsworth was probably my favorite poet before reading Keats and Bukowski. My dad read me The Wreck of the Hesperus when I was little and it stayed with me forever.

Kurt Vonnegut is probably my favorite author in that every book I have read by him was incredible. I randomly happened to pick up Slaughter House Five because somebody had left it on a bus I was riding. Didn't read it for a long time and when I decided to check into a rehab facility for my massive benzo and smack addiction brought it with me. After a week or two of being there I started reading it and it seemed to relate to a lot of things I was experiencing, to the point it felt like it was fate or destiny to have found it. Soon after my arrival another guy checked in and we became fast friends, when I finished reading it I told him about it. He smiled and pulled open his desk drawer to reveal 6 or 7 Vonnegut books, it assured me I was in the right place with the right people at the right time. After pouring over those books one after another I am of the opinion that he is one of Americas greatest authors. Armageddon in Retrospect is a fabulous collection of short stories, one of my favorites.

Tom Robbins is also one of my favorites, have not read anything of his I did not thoroughly enjoy; my favorite being Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates, Still Life With Woodpecker and Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas. All very funny strange.

Right now I'm reading the War and Remembrance, which is the follow up novel to The Winds of War. They are both historical fiction and very good. On the topic of historical fiction there is a series called The Flashman Papers which are written by George MacDonald Frasier (who did the screenplay for Octopussy), they are about a dashing young Cavalry Officer in the glory days of the British Empire, his countrymen believe him to be a hero, only his is a womanizing coward who just has tons of luck and knows when to keep his mouth shut and when to run away. There is 1 movie they made from the books called The Royal Flash with Malcolm McDowell as Flashy, it is actually available for free on youtube and really a fun movie true to the books, though they remove a lot of the sex and lewd parts that are more prevalent in the books. Flashman is kind of my hero actually, he is the reason I joined the Army for a period.

I think reading Vonnegut for the first time in rehab might have blown my mind right out of my head! Especially coming to it the way you did
and meeting another fan that way! Very, very cool!

I think any book that would have the strength to persuade someone into joining the army is worth a looksee! I'm not familiar with Frasier's work
but he sounds marvelous. Thank you for the recommendations. :)

@notcharlotte, oh, auden is heaven. He just is.

I love when my list of new books to read and old favorites to revisit gets unwieldy and long because of friends' recommendations! What a happy
problem! Thank you, everyone! :)
 
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