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Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Mjark, Dec 23, 2016.
a useful companion to Dawkins is David Bentley Hart's The Experience of God
The Fool's Progress - Edward Abbey
Time Enough for Love - Robert Heinlein
They seem to resonate more to me as time passes.
I don't know why it didn't occur to me earlier, but Dickens' A Christmas Carol. It's not like I read it every year at this time, but I do return to this one as well. I also watch movie versions of this classic most every year. I think my favorite rendition is the one with George C. Scott as Scrooge.
He's not everyone's cup of tea; kind of a cross between Tolkien and Douglas Adams. He's written maybe forty books, but my recommendation would be Guards! Guards! to start.
From the 19th century:
Moby Dick - Herman Melville
Little Dorrit, Bleak House - Charles Dickens
From the 20th century:
The Lord Of The Rings - JRR Tolkien
Howards End - EM Forster
The Nine Tailors, Have His Carcase, Gaudy Night - Dorothy L Sayers
From the 21st century:
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell -- Susanna Clarke
I love to read, but usually read a book only once. The exception is The Bible, which I view as more of a text book, to be referred to continually.
I'd be willing to read that. It may help me understand folks who are a mystery to me.
Sailing alone around the World, Joshua Slocum.
His memoirs about the first singlehanded solo circumnavigation on a sailing vessel in 1900.
It was a very long time before the feat was accomplished again.
I like all the books about all the spiritualities of all the different cultures. It's amazing how many parallels there are that were created for all the same reasons. Separated by thousands of miles and thousands of years the similarities are amazing!
No titles...I've seen what happened to Dawkins..
Hmm. I'll have to look into it. Thanks for the suggestion.
Dawkins writes really good science fiction with some good science sprinkled throughout. I actually enjoy his stuff. Helps me to better understand pseudo-intellectualism and closed mindedness in science. Too bad that millions take him literally. Sigh.
What happened to Dawkins? He writes excellent science fiction. I don't recall anyone bashing him. Just make sure you don't base your worldview on his work, and you'll still be down with science in all of it's awesomeness. William Ockham will thank you for it.
My reference was more directed at the general topic of spirituality which really has nothing to do with science. Spirituality can be derived from any culture and rarely has anything in common with science as a study. I would consider Dawkins to be someone who attempts to apply scientific theory to disprove something that needs not be disproved.
Mythology and spirituality are linked in history. No need to separate them or define them as if someone will be changed by the information. Spirituality is something that is necessary to some individuals and societies in varying degrees. The study of this is interesting....I think.
Dark Tower series.
Hitchhikers Guide. All of em.
H. P. Lovecraft. All of it over and over.
Brian Lumley the Necroscope Series. Over and over.
Agreed. That's why it's fun to keep an open mind and read about it. Unfortunately, Dawkins and many of his compatriots have an agenda and base their work on personal assumptions rather than science. It is entertaining to read though. They often do a great job of creating hypotheses that are as pie in the sky as the work they try so desperately to disprove. That's why their work is best approached as science fiction rather than fact.
Ditto on this list.
Well, where to start...
I first discovered Pratchett when I was looking for something new. I love quirky stuff like Douglas Adams, the Red Dwarf TV shows and the like. What sparked my imagination was the introduction of a character named Carrot. He's described as a 6'2" dwarf. Well, he wasn't technically a dwarf, but he was raised as one. That caught my imagination and never let it go.
The Discworld series takes place on a planet that's a disc, it rides through the universe balanced on the back of four elephants, who are in turn riding a giant turtle. The characters are a mix of humans, dwarves, trolls, golems, werewolves, undead, wizards, witches, and just about every mythical being you can imagine. The stories are thoughtful and intelligent. They're funny without being insulting. Most of them are written for adults, but don't have a lot of 'adult content' in them, I wouldn't hesitate to hand any of his books to a child.
Most of all, Pratchett can turn a phrase like no other author. He's just clever and engaging. And, did I mention funny?
If you want a good start, look for a book called Going Postal. That is fairly recent, and its follow-up, Making Money kind of stand alone. The Discworld mythology is well formed in these books, and you could pick them up and enjoy them without having read the rest of the Discworld books first. They follow the career of a con man named Moist Von Lipwig, a natural charmer who inds he can't charm his way out of everything.
Another series, actually written for younger readers is the Tiffany Aching novels, starting with the Wee Free Men. The Wee Free Men are a bunch of rowdy Pictsies known as the Nac Mac Feegle who fight, drink, steal, fight and steal, steal and drink, fight and drink. The have a lawyer who is a toad. The Feegle adopt Tiffany as their leader, and wreak havoc on the Fae. I love the Feegle. We'll nae be fooled again'!
There's another stand alone novel called Nation. It's an exploration of Darwinism, mixed with Tarzan. It's a nice story. If you like Dickens, take a look at Dodger, it has a very Oliver Twist feel to it.
Good Omens was a collaboration with Neil Gaimen, and is excellent. When you read that one you can see Gaimen's work in the complex plot, and Pratchett in the humor and the peculiarities of the characters.
Then, there's Discworld, starting with The Color of Magic onward. That series of books caught my imagination from the start, and was always engaging. I started reading these books at a time when Pratchett wasn't easily available in the US, and had to buy a lot of the books used and from England.
The Plague by Albert Camus
as it is helpful to me always to read the posts of intelligent and creative men like yourself
we are none of us omniscient
have a blessed holiday
Anything by Mark Leyner. The Tetherballs of Bougainville and My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist in particular.
Not a book, but I find myself rereading T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land" a few times a year.
I keep coming back to G.W.F. Hegel's The Phenomenology of Spirit but never making much headway through it. Someday.
Good grief... where to start...
- Tolkien - I've read The Ring trilogy and the hobbit about once / year since I was twelve or so.
- Douglas Adams - if you've not read The Meaning of Liff or Last Chance To See, you're missing out. But skip the sixth part of the Hitch-hiker 5-part trilogy - it suxx.
- Castaneda. Over the years I've bought the entire series three times over... but honestly it was more of a phase in my youth, haven't opened it for like fifteen years now...
- Gibson's Sprawl trilogy (Neuromancer, Count Zero, Mona Lisa Overdrive)
- Dune - the original trilogy
- Alastair Reynolds - the scope of Revelation Space -series is just breath-taking
- Go Rin No Sho by Miyamoto Musashi
- Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
- Snorri's Heimskringla (traded my Stephen King collection to a beautiful bound edition) and Prose Edda (and other sagas)
- Just about everything by Vonnegut
- Asprin's Myth and Myth Inc -series (too bad he lost interest)
- Pratchett's Discworld (@jackinjax, Terry's recommended reading order is at https://www.terrypratchettbooks.com/discworld-reading-order/. There's a few other suggestions, but I prefer his. Start with The Color of Magic and The Light Fantastic anyway, they're basically a diptych. Why? Read those and you'll find out )
- Herman Hesse. Quite a few of his published books are just like sketches that culminate in Glass Bead Game, Siddharta and Steppenwolf. But my absolute favorite is A Guest at The Spa - the grumpy old philosopher turns out to be quite a comedian when he's observing himself from the outside
- Brillat-Savarin's Physiology of Taste - one of the cornerstones of culinarism, and another effin' hilarious one
- Eco - The Name of The Rose and Foucault's Pendulum are dangerous, I just can't put them down...
Yeah, I'm an avid reader. Those were just from the top of my head... these are (among still several others) old friends to whom I return time and time again, because they always have something new to show
Forgot one very important: The Space Merchants. Cyril M. Kornbluth's vision souped up by Frederic Pohl's writing skills. I read it first time back in the heady days of the 80s, and thought it a recent one - nope, 1952. Have pushed it to a few friends since asking after they've read it when it was done. So far nobody's managed to date it closer than two and a half decades off
The second part (Merchants' War) was Pohl alone, and that actually was written -84. While he was a proficient and productive author himself, sadly Merchants' War doesn't reach even close to the sphere of The Space Merchants.
Props to @dsutton24 for Good Omens