T Nation

The dopest books you've ever read

Its been a while since we had a book thread, sos I’ma gonna start a thread 'bout book that wes thinks is good. Here’s my tope 10 (as of right now…this could change in ten minutes).

  1. Ulysses - Joyce
  2. Underworld - Delillo
  3. The Dharma Bums - Kerouac
  4. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Marquez
  5. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - Joyce
  6. Libra - Delillo
  7. The Sun Also Rises - Hemingway
  8. The Shining - King
  9. Coming Through Slaughter - Ondaatje
  10. Midnight’s Children - Rushdie
  1. lolita (nabakov)
  2. ulysses (joyce)
  3. catcher in the rye (salinger)
  4. one flew over the cuckoo’s nest (?)
  5. pale fire (nabakov)
  6. a wrinkle in time (l’engle)
  7. slaughterhouse v (vonnegut)
  8. portrait of an artist (joyce)
  9. absalom! absalom! (faulkner)
  10. wayside school is falling down (sachar)

ah, fuck me. my choices changed. whatever.

Here’s a motley bunch that were good:

The Things They Carried (O’Brien) [Freaky]

Bee Season (Goldberg) [Absorbing]

The Case for Christ/Faith (Strobel) [A must read]

Frankenstein (Shelley) [An oldie, but a goodie]

Night (Weisel) [Painful; definitive Holocaust]

Here’s one that blows hard:

I and Thou (Buber) [I’m not much on philosophy, especially that of Religion ;)]

Hmm. I do have a few. But right now, the first books that popped in my head were these:

“The Giving Tree”
“Where the Wild Things Are”

Seriously :-))

Just one to add for now. Mere Christianity by C.S.Lewis. And all though it is not a book I think a must read is the poem Ulysses by Alfred Tennyson…“I am a part of all that I have met; Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’/Gleams that untravell’d world whose margin fades/For ever and for ever when I move.” and one more line…“To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield”…the way of a T-Man, aye?

The Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson
Blue Latitudes - Tony Horwitz
The Descent - Jeff Long

Only books I can remember that I read, and this was recently was…Lord Of The rings and The Hobbit all by J.R.R. Tolkein.

For my money, Thucydides’ History of the Pelopenesian War is the finest book/s ever writen. I’m also fond of Gibbons’ History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Those are my top 13 books (by volumes). I have nerdy tastes though.

lets think a second…

Hamlet (if you count a play)
Amor en los tiempos de cholera (Marquez)
The Outsider (Camus)
the wind in the willows
to name a few…

Anything by Shakespeare, I know the language used is not similiar to todays vernacular but if you can get past it you are priveledged to read the best works of literature mankind has ever been privy too.

Also Tim O’brien is the best modern day writer. Read the Things They Carried, Norther LIghts, GOing after Cacciato. He mainly deals with the Vietnam war, phenomenal writings.

I’m gonna have to side with Patricia:

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak is brilliant.

The Lorax and The Sneeches by Dr Seuss

The Three Musketeers - Dumas Pere

Much Ado About Nothing - Shakespeare

The Lords of Discipline - Pat Conroy

Magician - Raymond Feist

Healer - F Paul Wilson

Dancing on my Grave - Gelsey Kirkland

[Off the top of my sadly lacking memory]

this is a list of brain screwers-espescially if you grew up in a religious background. none of them are hardcore anti-christian (or any other group)but give a really frilled up viewpoint that will have you questioning your (and the authors) sanity?
Stranger in a Strange Land-Robert Heinlein(this is one of this best selling scifi’s of all time
Memnoch the Devil-Anne Rice(even if you are not into vampires this rocks, god and the devil walk into a bar…)
To Reign in Hell-Steven Brust(before creation heaven is split into 5 kingdoms, governed by 5 different rulers, reallity goes piff!)
Good Omens-Neil Gaimen and Terry Pratchett (the anti-christ is a twelve year old boy who does not know that he is because he was accidentaly switched at birth, heaven and hell have been trying to manipulate the wrong kid for over a decade, once again reallity goes PIFF!)
Hustler-talk about changing your perspective-oops wrong list

The Art of War by Sun Tzu

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

The Illiad and The Odyssey by Homer

Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

for pure escapism and entertainment, anything by Louis L’Amour

This will be off the top of my head also. I agree with Mr. McKee about Thucydides. Along that line, Herodotus’ original History is great. Also, “The Twelve Caesars” by Suetonious and Procopius’ “The Secret History” are great.

Among the more modern works I have enjoyed that aren’t histories or biographies: “Lolita” by Nabokov; “Huck Finn” by Twain; “The Sun Also Rises” by Hemmingway; and “The Road to Serfdom” by Hayek (which anyone impressed by Marx should read twice).

For fun, anything by Christopher Buckeley (particularly “Wry Martinis,” his collection of essays), anything by P.J. O’Rourke, or something like a Clacy book.

Oh, and I need to add that the absolute worst book I have ever had the displeasure of reading was “To the Lighthouse” by Virginia Woolf – no other author I have read manages to pack so many elongated phrases together and still say nothing.

Fiction (in no particular order):

Catch 22 - Heller
100 Years of Solitude - Marquez
Pale Fire - Nabokov
Moby Dick - Melville
Lolita - Nabokov
The Castle - Kafka
The Complete Stories - Kafka
The Blue Octavo Notebooks - Kafka (sensing a pattern here?)
The Complete Works of O. Henry - uhh, O. Henry :wink:
The Things They Carried - O’Brien
The Crying of Lot 49 - Pynchon
Arrow of God - Achebe
The King Must Die - Renault


Godel, Escher, Bach - Hofstader
Literary Theory - Eagleton
The Professor and the Madman - Winchester


I was reading “The Giving Tree” to my little girl, and I started to cry.

I know, I’m a wuss.

Thucydides kicks ass. (More later)

 Whoda thunk ghetto readed bookes to?

The Bourne Identity
The Bourne Supremacay
The Bourne Ultimatum

by Robert Ludlum