Sunday, December 21, 2008

The most recommended books of 2008

47 Most recommended books of 2008

1984 by George Orwell (4 recommendations) :

Godel, Escher, Bach by Douglas R. Hofstadter (4 recommendations) :

The Bible by multiple authors (4 recommendations)
yes, the language is good. but gets tiresome at times with all the begats.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (3 recommendations) :
I tried to read this.. couldnt !

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway (3 recommendations)
I saw the movie

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (3 recommendations) :

On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin (3 recommendations) :

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (3 recommendations) :
One of my most frequently read books, and one of the most beloved.

The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli (3 recommendations) :

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig (3 recommendations) :
yes .. serious reading..

Animal Liberation by Peter Singer (2 recommendations)

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (2 recommendations) :
oh yes, influenced me tremendously.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (2 recommendations)

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (2 recommendations)
oh yes.. its a an old master

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (2 recommendations)
wo.. of course, a fab book

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (2 reccos)
This I can try

Foundation by Isaac Asimov (2 recommendations)
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (2 recommendations)
Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes (2 recommendations)
Lord of the Flies by William Golding (2 recommendations)
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (2 recommendations)
yes I did read..

Paradise Lost by John Milton (2 recommendations)

bits of it.. very strong prose..

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (2 recommendations)

of course, a slim book. very hippie. anyone who was living in the 70s will remember the pics of a resplendent and bare breasted Simi Garewal

The Art Of War by Sun Tzu (2 recommendations)

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (2 recommendations)
Yes, read

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri (2 recommendations)
no, alas

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand (2 recommendations)
oh yes. i liked atlas shrugged better

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (2 recommendations)

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (2 recommendations)
oh yes yes yes.. whatta a romance

The Histories by Herodotus (2 recommendations)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (2 recommendations)
Not to be missed. A must read by any human who plans to hitchhike through the galaxy in near future.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (2 recommendations)
A prequel to the Lord of the Rings, and very wonderful, warmer than LOTR

The Iliad and Odyssey by Homer (2 recommendations)
in bits n pieces.. again.. when an ancient master recites, you can but listen in awe.

The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett (2 recommendations)

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (2 recommendations)
The Republic by Plato (2 recommendations)
The Rights of Man by Thomas Paine (2 recommendations)
The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins (2 recommendations)
The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (2 recommendations)
x ( i read candide though)
The Stranger by Albert Camus (2 recommendations)
I wish to.. I wish to

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell (2 recommendations)
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (2 recommendations)
I think I did

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (2 recommendations)
Oh.. absolutely. The books is like a bible.

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (2 recommendations)
yes, a boys adventure

Ulysses by James Joyce (2 recommendations)
noo, has anyone tried stream of conciousness literature?

Walden by Henry David Thoreau (2 recommendations)
no but i can try.. seeing its thoreau

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (2 recommendations)
oh yes.. absolutely the best book ever, second only to Anna Karenina

Thanks to Smita for forwarding me this list. Any of my readers are welcome to make their additions and leave a link please. or discuss in the comments section - anytime.. even if the post is years late.


Smita said...

wow u have read quite a many...

I have just read Fountainhead & Copperfield...

Am not well read booohooo!!!!!

avdi said...

If you liked the Fountainhead, do read Atlas Shrugged. And dont say you have not read To Kill a Mockingbird. Pick it up pronto, girl.

Smita said...

I have Atlas Shrugged yet to read it though and yes haven't read Mockingbird...will read it soon :)

Smita said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bedazzled said...

lots more to read for me from that list .. i am planning to read hitchhikers guide to the galaxy next .. actly been tryiing to read that book for a year , but somehow havent managed to cross the 10 page ..others that i have read are the ayn rand ones, to kill a mockingbird, catch 22 , zen and art of motocycle maintenance, frankenstein,art of war , treasure island. My fav s among all these wud be Fountainhead and atlas shrugged

Angel's Flight said...

Love the influenced me a lot too...gotta read it again soon

avdi said...

haha everyone loves Ayn Rand. I liked her a lot at one point in time, not so much later.

thanks bedazzled n angel

avdi said...

bedazzled.. do try to see the movie hitchhikers guide to the galaxy.. its quite zany..

Bedazzled said...

saw the movie once ..wasnt too impressed ... guess i shud have read the book before c ing the movie !!

avdi said...

haha.. it is quite a cookie book.. n movie too..

Tarun Goel said...

Oh yes Ayn Rand is great.
The virtue of Selfishness and a lot more.
Atlas Shrugged is good,Fountainhead is damn good.
Uncle Dostoevsky is cooool.
Thanks for sharing the list, need to read few books mentioned :)
Life is beautiful

verbivorehere said...

wantd to know your opinion on "one hundred years of solitude"..i love th author, his short this one left me puzzled...

avdi said...

Thanks Tarun.. I like those I hve read.

Verb .. Same here. I hvae read 100 years and love in the times of cholera. interesting is what I call em..

Ashwin Baindur said...

What does the x mean? "Not read" or "It sucks"?

I assume you would have read JD Salinger's Catcher in the rye too.

Of mice & men?

Umberto Eco's historical romance 'In the Name of the Rose'. To be esavoured word by word and plunge deep into medieval Christian politics, a backhanded commentary on religion. Made into a film too with Sean Connery.

War films - best one ever? Saving Private Ryan.

Sci Fi - action thriller 'A fall of moondust' by Arthur C Clarke.

BTW The Foundation is a sci fi series and to be considered collectively.

Ashwin Baindur said...

oops re Catcher in the Rye.

avdi said...

Ashwin - x means not read.

Yes, I have read Catcher in the Rye.

I lovvvve Umberto Eco. I have read The name of the Rose and was captivated by it. I wish to see the movie some day.

Havent seen Saving Private Ryan. You know, you being a fauji can describe a real battle better (so I think). What did you think of Enemy at the Gates? I havent seen it through but like it a lot.

Havent read Arthur C Clarke much. I saw 2001 when it came out and was too little to understand it.

I think someone fiddled with the list, or it should be 50 or 100 or 20 or something. 47 is an odd number. Anyhow, I feel there should be more current books really, if they are to say things like 'most recommended books of..' and then pack it with ancient masters.

Ashwin Baindur said...

Enemy at the Gates is a stylised version of a military history book about the bloody and tragic battle of Stalingrad. The duel between the snipers is one of the few 'human interest' stories contained therein blown out of proprtion in cinematic license.

The movie is very well made but the director has not been able to do adequate justice to the German side as he did to the Russian, because the German sniper is the only character he has fleshed out.

Stalingrad was a German tragedy also, not just a Russian one.

The shots of the Volga crossing, handing of weapon to one recruit but only a magazine to another for use with the first one's weapon when he is kiled, shooting own retreating soldiers, etc leave a person more horrified with the Russians than the Wehrmacht.

Ashwin Baindur said...

Sci Fi, like fantasy (I note you are a Tolkien fan & from another review), is a different kind of literary drink.

Sci Fi is a mirror image of all literature with one of the postulates changed. The future has happened and technology has provided new experiences. Sci Fi, in this panorama, has its own genres - horror (remember Event Horizon movie), romance (Solaris movie), fantasy (AI, again a movie), social commentary, adventure, detective stories, space operas etc etc.

Most literasts (is that a usable word, I wanted it sounding slightly sleazy like pederast) disdain from this class. But its a fascinating world of its own. There is tremendouscraft here. The comics and special graphics art add visual colour. Technomusic can give you an aural experience.

Sci Fi can also, as a mirror image, expose the absurdities of life today. Like the endian problem of Brobdingnag. Which end should anegg rest on in a cup - the large or the small.

Do journey in this new dimension. If you enjoyed Douglas Adams you have already peeked into the door. Thats classic satire iin Sci Fi disguise.

avdi said...

Thanks for the comments on Enemy at the Gates. It surely is the 'human' angle that provides most interest to the viewer. The almost reluctant but capable russian sniper - Jude Law. Cold German one - Richard Harris.

There are people who want to benefit from the war - the officer who is 'promoting' Jude Law.

I guess its these factors that make the movie interesting. I havent seen it to the end, but hope to.

avdi said...

Arent some Mills and Boon stories fantasy fiction too? I mean where else but in fantasies does a rich handsome stranger turn up and pay you undivided attention? hehe.

That apart, science/fantasy fiction or movie can be successful only if the imagination is really powerful. (Though I think that statment goes for the entire literature).

Take my favorite - Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe. In the end its just a satire on humankind. The aliens have 'human characteristics'. Is that because our imagination is deficient? WE are so wired to 'think human' that we cant 'think alien'?

I love Hitchhikers because it takes a swipe at our human pomposity, thinking that man is the ultimate in intelligence, which is not the truth.

avdi said...

I ran into Neil Gaiman when I doing a bit of literary research, he is linked on one of my posts. I liked his stuff. I am thinking of getting a book of his.

And then there is this UK based writer JEff Noon. I read Nymphomation a while back and have Vurt with me. He is another good one.

Why dont you do a post on your favorite books or something, that way it can give the rest of us some reading tips.

Ashwin Baindur said...

Oh, my literary pretensions being just that, I would be embarassed to propound a list of books.

But every few months I review a nature writer. Sally Carrighar and EH Aitkens have been done to date.

Ruskin Bond, Gerald Durrell, James Herriot and Jim Corbett are following in due course.

avdi said...

Ah Ashwin, I am sure your book list will be interesting. I am a fan of Ruskin Bond. And also Gerald Durrell. I feel his book, My family and other Animals should be on the essential reading list of all people. He manages to combine funny with some interesting nature facts so well.

evanescentthoughts said...

I love these two from your list:
The Lord of the Rings
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Tell me honestly, is Atlas Shrugged worth reading? I have been trying to read it from god-knows-how many years.. I read a chapter or two then get bored and leave it.. I am still stuck in the first few chapters.. Does it get interesting later on?

avdi said...

Evanescent !


Frankly I dont like Ayn Rand anymore and cant re-read her either. At one time she was the rage ! And I had liked this book. Why two of her books are on this list I dont know. I have a feeling this list was tweaked by users along the way.

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