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Jae Onasi
03-22-2007, 01:13 AM
Half-inspired by the European salons (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salon_(gathering)) of the 18th century and half-inspired by Oprah's book club....

Someone had made a suggestion along these lines the other night about this on the chatbox, and I asked again tonight if anyone would be interested in something like a book-of-the-month club. Several people seemed interested, so I thought I'd bring it to the community. Is there enough interest to do something like this? And if so, what kinds of things would you want in a book club? Literary? Not literary? Best-sellers? Sci-fi/fantasy? Something else?

If there's enough interest, we can go from there. :)

CountVerilucus
03-22-2007, 01:22 AM
can't say I'll be that commited to it, but I'll drop by and chat if it's a book ive read. Maybe even read the ones you guys pick.

Pavlos
03-22-2007, 12:12 PM
I'd be interested in experiencing other people's views on books I've read and reading books others recommend.

JediMaster12
03-22-2007, 12:24 PM
I find it to be interesting and a good idea Jae. Maybe it would inpire others who form their arguments not to rely on Wikipedia too much. I also see it as a means to expand my reading library though I'm sure my mother would say otherwise :D

I say go for it.

Samuel Dravis
03-22-2007, 03:00 PM
I read a lot. I think I could handle an extra book a month, just as long as I'm not expected to read romance novels. XD

SilentScope001
03-22-2007, 07:28 PM
I am currently reading some Nietchzhe's works (Beyond Good and Evil, Twilight of the Idols, Genology of Morals), though with schoolwork, I don't think I'll handle reading a seperate book. But I'll tune into the disucssions. :)

Fish.Stapler
03-22-2007, 07:31 PM
Oh man, I love to read anything and everything in all languages, minus romance novels. I'd love something monthly, it would function as a "Reccommend book, discuss that book for the month, then make a new thread for the next one" right?

Achilles
03-22-2007, 08:00 PM
I'd gladly take a look at recommendations, but I don't know if I have the bandwidth to commit to a book club right now. Maybe in a few months when I've finished my masters thesis.

Emperor Devon
03-22-2007, 08:12 PM
I'm up to my knees in books about the Russian Revolution right now, but I could fit in another. Seeing a lot of people's insights about one book can be very interesting.

Something academic would be nice - I like it when books offer philosophical/historical knowledge. Unless it's something as good as Dune or LotR, I'd rule out sci-fi or fantasy. Those books don't tend to be very educational.

Jae Onasi
03-22-2007, 11:48 PM
You'd be surprised at some of the things that show up in sci-fi/fantasy novels. C J Cherryh has some very interesting stories that are anything but superficial.

Emperor Devon
03-23-2007, 12:41 AM
You'd be surprised at some of the things that show up in sci-fi/fantasy novels.

I know. Dune's a shining example of that.

Most tend not to be very educational IMO. But the ones that are tend to be excellent reads.

Fish.Stapler
03-23-2007, 01:33 AM
I know. Dune's a shining example of that.

Most tend not to be very educational IMO. But the ones that are tend to be excellent reads.

Doesn't need to be educational to be entertaining and thought/discussion provoking. Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow and the sequels are prime examples of this (in the sci-fi genre) ;).

Samuel Dravis
03-23-2007, 01:40 AM
Doesn't need to be educational to be entertaining and thought/discussion provoking. Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow and the sequels are prime examples of this (in the sci-fi genre) ;).I agree. The problem is everyone's read those already! :D

An interesting book on self-determination is Orson Scott Card's A Planet Called Treason, aka Treason. I got it because I really like his other books, but this one's quite fun by itself and few people are likely to have read it here. I suggest we (well, you guys, I just reread it the other day) read that one! It's not very big, but it's kinda trippy at sections and that makes for great fun - and like I said, the main theme is the importance of self-determination, so it's full of philosophy too! :)

I would not really suggest it for younger readers though. It is teen+ I'm thinking.

Jae Onasi
03-23-2007, 02:20 AM
Yeah, we probably ought to make the proviso that we need to keep it in the PG-13 framework, which will probably limit the options some, but there are plenty of great books that meet that criteria.

Of course, this completely rules out any of the bodice-ripper romance novels _I_ read, but, oh, well.

Emperor Devon
03-23-2007, 02:59 AM
Doesn't need to be educational to be entertaining and thought/discussion provoking.

I would consider something that makes you think educational. ;)

And I would suggest Atlas Shrugged for this month's book. I need some time to finish my Russian ones. :D

Bee Hoon
03-23-2007, 12:18 PM
Any books that make a good read. I tend towards comtemporary fiction, some fantasy and humourous sci-fi. What's Atlas Shrugged?=p

Pavlos
03-23-2007, 12:26 PM
I would consider something that makes you think educational. ;)

And I would suggest Atlas Shrugged for this month's book. I need some time to finish my Russian ones. :D

If you can recommend that then I can recommend Hamlet :P. Which, though it isn't a book, is a great work.

igyman
03-23-2007, 02:33 PM
I've been thinking of starting a book recommendation thread in Ahto, but I see you're way ahead of me Jae. I'm currently reading the Dark Elf trilogy by R.A. Salvatore and am quite enjoying it, but I'll leave the more detailed commenting for the actual book club thread. :)

Darth InSidious
03-26-2007, 06:17 PM
Currently reading the four canonical gospels. I'm on Mark at the moment. Once I've finished the gospels (hopefully before Easter), I intend to move on to Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco.

Samuel Dravis
03-26-2007, 10:51 PM
...I intend to move on to Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco.Ouch. I bought that book because I thought it would be interesting, but it turned out to be just a way for the author to go "oooh look how obscure this tidbit of history is and how cleverly I fit it into my book's puzzles!" This resulted in that I didn't care about the characters at all at the end of the book. While the story was sometimes interesting, to me it certainly didn't justify the pain of wading through the rest of it. Eco is unlikely to get another chance from me. :p

Jae Onasi
03-26-2007, 11:38 PM
Foucault's Pendulum is not nearly as interesting as The Name of the Rose. I was rather disappointed in it.
I like Luke's gospel best. He seemed to understand women better and mention them more, I imagine being a physician had something to do with it.


Well, how about book suggestions then? Shakespeare plays, poetry collections (e.g. Poe or Keats or the Brownings), books (including just plain enjoyable books, no seriousness totally necessary), the Great Books list, all are fair game.

Only stipulation is that it can't be rated M/adult, or porn, or anything out of lines with forum rules. It also has to be something someone can reasonably find in a library or bookstore. And it has to be something we can all read within a month with the assumption that we all have lives, so 1000 page tomes are not the best choice. :D

Emperor Devon
03-26-2007, 11:49 PM
When are we getting onto the book of the month? :p

Darth InSidious
03-27-2007, 09:02 AM
Foucault's Pendulum is not nearly as interesting as The Name of the Rose. I was rather disappointed in it.
I like Luke's gospel best. He seemed to understand women better and mention them more, I imagine being a physician had something to do with it.
Possibly. Personally, I prefer Mark. I think Jesus' humanity is much easier to see, and the frustration and difficulty of life for Him...

Well, how about book suggestions then? Shakespeare plays, poetry collections (e.g. Poe or Keats or the Brownings), books (including just plain enjoyable books, no seriousness totally necessary), the Great Books list, all are fair game.

Only stipulation is that it can't be rated M/adult, or porn, or anything out of lines with forum rules. It also has to be something someone can reasonably find in a library or bookstore. And it has to be something we can all read within a month with the assumption that we all have lives, so 1000 page tomes are not the best choice. :D
Ethel The Aadvark Goes Quantity Surveying?
:xp:

I'd recommend anything by Wodehouse. He's undoubtedly one of, if not the best writer of the 20th Century, IMO...

Pavlos
03-27-2007, 11:50 AM
so 1000 page tomes are not the best choice. :D

Damn...


I'd recommend anything by Wodehouse. He's undoubtedly one of, if not the best writer of the 20th Century, IMO...

I disagree. While I think Wodehouse was a talented writer... I believe George Orwell has the one up on him.

JediMaster12
03-27-2007, 12:16 PM
I have had a chance to read a personal favorite of mine called To Kill A Mockingbird. I find it to be a sad little truth about the deep South. Set in the Depression era, the narrator of the story is little Jean Louis 'Scout' Finch who speaks of the strong racism and the circumstances of the people within the town Maycomb. A nice insight into the injustices of society revealing the good, the bad and the ugly. A good read if you like the symbolism.

Another good set that I like is historic fiction and this is one that will send me runnignto the nearest couch to read it. The North and South trilogy by John Jakes is one of the best I have seen in historic fiction. The trilogy carries on about two familes from different parts of the country, one from the idustries of Pennyslvania and the other from the rice plantations of South Carolina. Set in the decade before the Civil War, it passes through the tensions leading up to seccession, war and Reconstruction. Love, pain, hatred are put at its extremes as two familes struggle to keep a lasting friendship and eventually into one family. Again if you like histroic fiction, this is a good series.

Darth InSidious
03-27-2007, 12:34 PM
I disagree. While I think Wodehouse was a talented writer... I believe George Orwell has the one up on him.
Orwell is undoubtedly a great storyteller, a great intelligence, and a talented writer, but his use of language is simply not in the same league as Wodehouse - the use of metaphor, simile, and other parabole is where Wodehouse reigns supreme, and reigns alone, IMO.

igyman
03-27-2007, 01:32 PM
It also has to be something someone can reasonably find in a library or bookstore.
Keep in mind Jae that not all of us live in the US. You can't possibly expect of me to know what of the things I've read can be found in your local library. ;)

:D I know. I meant to suggest that people pick out books that are fairly well known, not obscure titles. --Jae

Anyway, I have just finished reading R.A. Salvatore's Dark Elf Trilogy and have started reading the first book of the Icewind Dale trilogy. For those that didn't already guess, the genre of the books is fantasy, now, the Dark Elf Trilogy consists of three (:D) books - Homeland, Exile and Sojourn. The main character is a non-typical Dark Elf called Drizzt Do'Urden, who's fighting against the ideals widely accepted by the rest of his people. The books tell of an inner conflict within Drizzt and also of his attempts to find a place where he would be accepted for who he really is, a place he could truly call home. I found these three books a very exciting, interesting and enjoyable read and would recommend that everyone else who decides to read them and likes them also continue with the Icewind Dale trilogy as I have, because the Dark Elf trilogy is not the end of Drizzt's story, it's only the beginning.

Achilles
03-27-2007, 02:00 PM
Here's one of the books I'm currently in the middle of reading:
Beyond Oil: The View from Hubbert's Peak (http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Oil-View-Hubberts-Peak/dp/0809029561)
It can be purchased online, so no worries about availability. It's definitely not at risk of violating any PG-13 restrictions. Also, it has an international audience :)

Fish.Stapler
03-27-2007, 03:42 PM
Devon, I've read Atlas Shrugged, and I have to say...Ayn Rand is undoubtedly the worst writer of the 20th century. Good idea for a story, absoloutely terrible execution and story-telling. I have all her other books but I'm pretty sure I'd rather remove my eyes with a sharp instrument than read another one of her books.

I'm ready to start with whatever you guys reccommend, I'm currently reading The Fall of Constantinope, very interesting but it's in Greek which I imagine the majority of forumites don't understand. I'm going to put it aside as soon as we get a (decent/non Ayn Rand) reccommendation for the book.

Aurora Starfire
03-27-2007, 04:27 PM
Hey guys! I had a couple of thoughts, since I started a summer book club, which is now in its fourth or fifth year. The way we choose books is we send out to everyone interested a list of books to choose from, and then the interested parties return to us their top 10 or so books that they'd like to read, and then I compile a list of the books with the most votes, that we'll read this summer. We usually end up with quite a variety of selections, from science fiction to biographies.

Perhaps something like this could work here, as well? Now, since it's over the summer, we do it weekly, or bi-weekly, but here we could vote for the top twelve books for the year, and assign one to each month.

mur'phon
03-28-2007, 04:41 AM
Great idea, but I'm not sure I can get the books where I live.
My sugestions for books are: Animal farm, the corporation and 1984.

Bee Hoon
03-28-2007, 09:32 AM
@JM12 To Kill A Mockingbird is a great book: definitely on my list of favourites. Read it a couple of years back. It really is thought-provoking, in an oblique sort of way=p

@igyman, I read that ages ago! It was pretty enjoyable... Not often do you see a drow behaving like his lighter brethren.

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy is a riveting read... It deals with many things. A pair of twins that were separated since they were children, the story of their parents, especially that of their mother... I can't do it justice. Just read it;)

JediMaster12
03-28-2007, 01:04 PM
@ mur'phon: Animal Farm is a great book that I read in ninth grade and I love Orwell's take on using the animals to reiterate the rise of Stalin, that kind of thing. My favorite of Orwell's is 1984. I often use it to refer to the Patriot Act enacted here in the state with the whole Big Brother is Watching You. My favorite line is when Winston writes 'Freedom is the ability to say that two plus two equals fives. If that is granted then all else follows.'

Another good classic that ties in with the themes exhibited by 1984 and Animal Farm is The Handmaiden's Tale by Margaret Atwood. This is a tale that actually uses the Christian evangelical form as a means of imprisonment. It is told through the eyes of one woman who lives in this Christian community that forbids reading and is ranked by their usefulness. No offense to the Christian peoples there but this is one strange tale but probably not improbable.

Jae Onasi
03-28-2007, 02:08 PM
In no particular order.....I'm looking through www.greatbooks.org for inspiration, and am looking at the list and saying "oh, yeah, read that one and liked it...."
Dante's Inferno
The Prince
The Art of War
Jane Eyre
Anything by Poe
Any poetry by the Brownings, Keats, Shelley, other Romanticists
Much Ado About Nothing and Julius Ceasar (or other Shakespeare)
The Social Contract (Rousseau)
Letter from Birmingham Jail (King)
The American Constitution
Canterbury Tales
The City of God (St. Augustine)
Pilgrim's Progress
The Republic (Plato)
Dracula
The Color Purple
Cuckoo's Egg (Cherryh)
Sherlock Holmes
Murder on the Orient Express (or a Miss Marple story)

Just for fun
The Dragonriders of Pern series
Those Who Hunt the Night
The Stainless Steel Rat
The Cat Who...

There's a start of a list, anyway. :)

Pavlos
03-28-2007, 02:36 PM
The Color Purple

Is it possible to like that book? It is good but (maybe because I'm a man...) I can't bring myself to like it. I'm not sure if I'm making sense here.

JediMaster12
03-28-2007, 03:08 PM
There are some things that I don't like but I read it because it is for the class and is used as an example of certain themes. I didn't particularly like Their Eyes Were Watching God but I found it interesting and Zora Neal Hurston is a talented writer.

Emperor Devon
03-28-2007, 07:10 PM
Devon, I've read Atlas Shrugged, and I have to say...Ayn Rand is undoubtedly the worst writer of the 20th century. Good idea for a story, absoloutely terrible execution and story-telling.

Personal taste I guess. I found Ayn Rand's writing style and the philosophies she presented to be very interesting and very different from what I usually read. Not at all like Marx.

{a list}

Nice ideas. Some of those Id really like to read but haven't yet gotten around to.

I say we stay away from Dracula and most of the poetry, tho. Doesn't quite fit with the topics usually discussed at Kavar's Corner.

Jae Onasi
03-29-2007, 02:55 AM
I disagree--the Romantic poets and Dracula reflect a lot about the culture of the time. You can determine what they consider important enough to mention, how social conventions went, what they were trying to say to the reader, etc.

Dracula would make a great Halloween-time read. There's so much vampire lore in our culture that come directly from this book.

Emperor Devon
03-29-2007, 03:40 AM
Kavar's Corner is forum for mainly current issues. Not quite the topics present in those. And in any case you'll get more of an education reading a book that directly talks about a culture rather than indirectly, IMO.

igyman
03-29-2007, 03:43 AM
For those who like a good action SF, I recommend Prey by Michael Crichton. The book is written in a way that while you read it you can picture every scene in your head, like watching a great movie.

Darth InSidious
03-29-2007, 10:03 AM
Another great sci-fi book worth reading is The City and the Stars by Arthur C. Clarke, unless someone's already mentioned it...

Jae Onasi
03-29-2007, 10:22 AM
Oh, and Foundation by Asimov.

igyman
03-29-2007, 12:25 PM
Well, I've got (that is my father's got) a fairly big collection of SF novels, so I could go on and on with SF recommendations, but right now I'm just going to mention Wargames by David Bischoff. The lesson of this book would probably be something along the lines of ''don't stick your nose where it doesn't belong.''

Samuel Dravis
03-29-2007, 01:19 PM
Any poetry by the Brownings, Keats, Shelley, other RomanticistsI'd read Shelley!

Much Ado About Nothing and Julius Ceasar (or other Shakespeare)I'd do that.
Pilgrim's ProgressSorry, no can do. That book is so transparent it's uninteresting. :p

The Dragonriders of Pern seriesSeconded, though its educational value is somewhat nil. :D

Another novelette by Arthur C. Clarke, Childhood's End. Super depressing but rather philosophical.

Just for fun books - Piers Anthony's Xanth series. :D
However, another of his books, On a Pale Horse, is quite good on its own (and the only one of that series really worth reading IMO). It also deals with how people react to death, so I guess it's sorta philosophical too. :)

Emperor Devon
03-29-2007, 07:22 PM
Oh, and Foundation by Asimov.

The whole series while you're at it (Foundation & Empire, Second Foundation). All three are excellent books. Foundation's Edge is worth reading if you really want another sequel, but the way it turned out disappointed me. Foundation and Earth was fairly well-written too but didn't have a very good ending. The last two books just got too far away from the feel of the original three IMO. (Though Foundation's Edge did introduce some interesting new details on the second Foundation)

While we're on the subject of science fiction, I'd recommend Frank Herbert's Dune and the five sequels to it. He's one of the few authors I know of who can write that many sequels to a novel and actually make each one better than the last. All six are nothing short of superb - definitely my favorite science fiction books. I also like the pacing the books have, too. The story takes places over the course of 15,000 or so years.

His son Brian Herbert wrote some pretty decent prequels I enjoyed, but they're not quite as good as his father's. And on a less positive note he wrote a sequel to the original Dune series, which was terrific up until the end where he shamelessly borrowed something from the prequels he'd written and thus butchered any possibility of the eight Dune book being more interesting than a piece of preteen fan fiction.

The Doctor
03-29-2007, 09:02 PM
Frank Peretti.

Pavlos
03-30-2007, 03:47 AM
While we're on the subject of science fiction, I'd recommend Frank Herbert's Dune and the five sequels to it. He's one of the few authors I know of who can write that many sequels to a novel and actually make each one better than the last. All six are nothing short of superb - definitely my favorite science fiction books. I also like the pacing the books have, too. The story takes places over the course of 15,000 or so years.

Please, no! Maybe I have subhuman intelligence but I'm fairly sure that Dune is not written in normal English. Every time I sat down to read the blasted thing I had to adjust my understanding of the language.

igyman
03-30-2007, 08:31 AM
While we're on the subject of science fiction, I'd recommend Frank Herbert's Dune and the five sequels to it. He's one of the few authors I know of who can write that many sequels to a novel and actually make each one better than the last. All six are nothing short of superb - definitely my favorite science fiction books. I also like the pacing the books have, too. The story takes places over the course of 15,000 or so years.
I second this recommendation, Frank Herbert's Dune is definitely the best SF novel ever written (and by saying Dune I mean the sequels too). It's a must for any fan of science fiction because it's a classic, a story that will never cease to be interesting and popular.
When it comes to prequels, I have read House Atreides, but House Harkonnen and House Corrino haven't been published here yet as far as I know. As for the new sequels, they, that is the one that was published, also still hasn't been published here, so I'll have to wait a while to read that.

Emperor Devon
03-30-2007, 08:02 PM
Please, no! Maybe I have subhuman intelligence but I'm fairly sure that Dune is not written in normal English.

Weird, that happened when I got a friend of mine to read it too. :D Seems only half the people who pick up Dune can finish it.

When it comes to prequels, I have read House Atreides, but House Harkonnen and House Corrino haven't been published here yet as far as I know. As for the new sequels, they, that is the one that was published, also still hasn't been published here, so I'll have to wait a while to read that.

The Legends of Dune series (The Butlerian Jihad, the Machine Crusade and The Battle of Corrin) are more well-known as the prequels. They might be published in Serbia. They've been out for a while now.

Hunters of Dune was a fantastic book up until the ending. The authors butchered it right there.

Rogue Nine
03-30-2007, 09:30 PM
Given the recent interest in vampires and stuff (thanks stoffe xD), I'd recommend Twilight and its sequel New Moon, written by Stephenie Meyer. They're both excellent reads about a family of vampires trying to survive in the modern day world. As they are, both books are love stories, though Twilight has the heavier emphasis on romance while New Moon is more action-oriented. They both have that quality that just seems to draw you into reading, or at least they did for me, as I finished each one within a day of starting it.

Q
03-30-2007, 11:45 PM
Devon, I've read Atlas Shrugged, and I have to say...Ayn Rand is undoubtedly the worst writer of the 20th century. Good idea for a story, absoloutely terrible execution and story-telling. I have all her other books but I'm pretty sure I'd rather remove my eyes with a sharp instrument than read another one of her books.
Hehehe...
Personal taste I guess. I found Ayn Rand's writing style and the philosophies she presented to be very interesting and very different from what I usually read. Not at all like Marx.
I would hope so. Rand was about as anti-Marxist as anyone could get. Her anti-socialist arguments as expressed in Atlas Shrugged are compelling, as well as correct, IMO.

I am however, sorry, EmpDev, but I have to agree with Fish.Stapler. Atlas Shrugged is a wonderful story that is absolutely ruined by Rand's out-of-control metaphorical meanderings. It's a truly excruciating read. Rand was undoubtedly brilliant, but it took her 100 words to say what Orwell could in 10. I'm on or around page 750 and can go no further for now. I'll finish it -someday.:)
Any poetry by the Brownings, Keats, Shelley, other Romanticists
Add Coleridge to that list. He's my favorite. Has anyone ever read The Rime of the Ancient Mariner or Christabel? I enthusiastically recommend both.:thumbsup:

Jae Onasi
03-31-2007, 12:30 AM
If you're talking adventure stories, then, add in any of Clancy's novels that involve Jack Ryan or Grisham's more adventure-based novels. His book "The Brethren" is just plain wicked. :D

Achilles
03-31-2007, 12:56 AM
Add Coleridge to that list. He's my favorite. Has anyone ever read The Rime of the Ancient Mariner or Christabel? I enthusiastically recommend both.:thumbsup: Ancient Mariner was required reading in HS. I agree that it is a very good read.

Speaking of required reading that worth reading again, how about Milton's Paradise Lost?

HK-42
03-31-2007, 03:59 PM
Douglas Adams The Hitchikers 5 book trilogy are great books.

1. The Hitchikers Guide to the galaxy.

2. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

3.Life, the Universe and Everything

4.So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

and 5. Mostly Harmless

Emperor Devon
03-31-2007, 11:43 PM
Her anti-socialist arguments as expressed in Atlas Shrugged are compelling, as well as correct, IMO.

Far from it. The economic anarchy she advocates would never work. You can't simply turn the gov't into nothing more than a police force and let corporations grab all the power they can get. Not to mention how disastrous having no public works at all would be.

The philosophical parts of Objectivism I disagree with just as much. Selfishness is not a virtue and kindness is not a sin. :)

Rand was undoubtedly brilliant, but it took her 100 words to say what Orwell could in 10.

Definitely. That was one of my favorite things about the book. :D

Douglas Adams The Hitchikers 5 book trilogy are great books.

Albeit very simple ones. I prefer more serious/educational/advanced books. :)

Q
04-01-2007, 02:01 AM
The philosophical parts of Objectivism I disagree with just as much.
I guess that I should have stated that while I agree with her anti-socialist views, I do not agree with her Objectivist philosophy, which seems to be the extreme opposite of socialism. My bad.:D
Selfishness is not a virtue and kindness is not a sin.
Agreed. One must be extremely careful with kindness, however, because it can be a real liability when dealing with unscrupulous types. This may sound harsh, but kindness should be reserved for those who deserve it, not those who exploit it.
Speaking of required reading that worth reading again, how about Milton's Paradise Lost?
Seconded!

Jae Onasi
04-01-2007, 02:09 AM
How do you guys feel about a Paradise Lost/Dante's Inferno compare and contrast thing? Obviously that would take us longer, but i think it might be an interesting discussion.

Emperor Devon
04-01-2007, 02:47 AM
I guess that I should have stated that while I agree with her anti-socialist views, I do not agree with her Objectivist philosophy, which seems to be the extreme opposite of socialism. My bad.:D

Ah, that's a relief. You had me worried you were a real Objectivist there for a second. :D

This may sound harsh, but kindness should be reserved for those who deserve it, not those who exploit it.

I agree. Exploiting kindness goes completely against the nature of it; in my opinion it's just as bed as petty thievery.

Ayn Rand, though, advocates thinking about yourself and yourself only. The idea of organized charities, financial support for those in need, or simply giving someone a helping hand goes completely against what Objectivism stands for.

How do you guys feel about a Paradise Lost/Dante's Inferno compare and contrast thing? Obviously that would take us longer, but i think it might be an interesting discussion.

Excellent idea. It's been a few years since I read Inferno, though I've not yet tried out Paradise Lost. It could make for some good discussion.

If anyone's interested, here's the complete text (http://etcweb.princeton.edu/dante/pdp/) of the Inferno. It's excellent stuff.

Pavlos
04-01-2007, 05:48 AM
How do you guys feel about a Paradise Lost/Dante's Inferno compare and contrast thing? Obviously that would take us longer, but i think it might be an interesting discussion.

Alright, I'm up for that.

Canderous_ordo1
04-01-2007, 06:59 AM
just done reading a great book Darth bane path of destruction it was a great story right up the the last page

Pavlos
04-01-2007, 03:00 PM
Albeit very simple ones. I prefer more serious/educational/advanced books. :)

You're limiting your reading experience by sticking to "advanced books," ED. Not all books exist to educate, or provide some sort of moral insight into the world. Pure entertainment is often an excellent reason to read a novel. Yes, I do derive pleasure from the thought that the author may have meant more than the literal with his use of metaphor or simile but I don't believe that is the only reason a person should read :).

I'm about to commit the ultimate sin for one looking to join an online book club but: I enjoy reading Harry Potter, travel books by Bill Bryson and so forth - unless I've missed something, I don't think Harry Potter has something to say about the state of society. It is entertainment; that is why it works.

Darth InSidious
04-01-2007, 03:16 PM
You're limiting your reading experience by sticking to "advanced books," ED. Not all books exist to educate, or provide some sort of moral insight into the world. Pure entertainment is often an excellent reason to read a novel. Yes, I do derive pleasure from the thought that the author may have meant more than the literal with his use of metaphor or simile but I don't believe that is the only reason a person should read :).

I'm about to commit the ultimate sin for one looking to join an online book club but: I enjoy reading Harry Potter, travel books by Bill Bryson and so forth - unless I've missed something, I don't think Harry Potter has something to say about the state of society. It is entertainment; that is why it works.
Even though I hate Those Books for their sickly-sweet icky saccharine innocence, QFT/E.

Emperor Devon
04-01-2007, 03:56 PM
You're limiting your reading experience by sticking to "advanced books," ED.

Perhaps I wasn't clear enough I used that term. By 'advanced' I meant something moreso than, say, a book meant for high schoolers (HGG in this case). Plot-wise, concept-wise and in pretty much all respects they're fairly simple.

Not all books exist to educate, or provide some sort of moral insight into the world. Pure entertainment is often an excellent reason to read a novel.

Education and moral insights are pure entertainment to me. :p

unless I've missed something, I don't think Harry Potter has something to say about the state of society. It is entertainment; that is why it works.

It has some messages if you look, (albeit simple ones) mainly being loyal to friends, standing up for yourself, not always going with the herd, etc. It's not very common to find a book that has no type of underlying idea or reasons for why that idea is a good one.

JediMaster12
04-04-2007, 12:31 PM
Education and moral insights are pure entertainment to me. Then where's your sense of adventure man?

Jae the idea with Infero and Paradise Lost is a good idea. I have read the Inferno and have taunted mach to name the quote, particularly the line about what is written over the gates of hell. The Inferno I thought was interesting in regards to the ranking of sin. It reflects on how we rank crime today if you think about it. The worst crime is usually murder and treason and in the modern world, we have the harshest punishment for capital murder and treason...death. I haven't read Paradise Lost so that is one more on my ever growing reading list.

On another note, I have been reading my research materials again since I will be presenting some time in May and I came across my book Tales of the Plumed Serpent. For those who like tales of other cultures then this is a good book. It has all the tales of Mesoamerica and the Peruvian Incas that have been recovered through oral tradition and codices, the picture books. My personal favorites are the Tales of the creation, especially The Fifth Sun and The Birth of Huitzilopochtli. The reason I could tell you these stories is because they relate to my research...Aztec Human sacrifice. yes these are Aztecan tales but the book also has Mayan, Olmec and Inca. Easy to read along with insights of specific culture things like the calendar round. Good book.

Darth InSidious
04-04-2007, 01:06 PM
@ED: That's the beauty of the Guide - it has no didactic undertones, no hidden messages, no further meanings. It's refreshingly simplistic, I find :)

In a similar vein, and @everyone, The Diary of a Nobody is well, well worth reading. I would in fact go so far as to say that it's absolutely brilliant, in fact.

David Rohl's A Test of Time is an interesting alternative timeline for those with an egyptological interest, though it should be brought into consideration that David's theories make a mess of Hittite history, and should not be taken as the whole truth.

Island of the Blessed by Harry Thurston is a fascinating look at the Egyptian oasis of Dakhla, and very easy to read.

Finally, I would recommend to all Christians, Catholics included, certainly, and to all interested in Christianity generall, Mere Catholicism by Fr. Ian Ker, who is, co-incidentally, the leading authority on John Henry Newman. This slim volume really is well worth reading.

SilentScope001
04-04-2007, 05:57 PM
@ED: That's the beauty of the Guide - it has no didactic undertones, no hidden messages, no further meanings. It's refreshingly simplistic, I find

Well, there was a lot of hidden messages within the Guide. The absurdity of it all made fun of real science fiction stories that have meaning behind it. It claims people read stories for fun, not to learn life's lesson, and it was a very damning critique of the seriousness of sci-fi stories.

That is a very hidden meaning, a secret message.

Jae Onasi
04-05-2007, 12:21 AM
Mere Christianity by CS Lewis is terrific. His Chronicles of Narnia are good books, too. :)

Seems like a number of us are interested in The Inferno and Paradise Lost. Anyone have an preferences on which one to do first? I figured we could do one at a time and discuss each seperately, and then have a bit of discussion on compare/contrast.

EnderWiggin
04-05-2007, 07:04 PM
I would very much enjoy the discussions we could have here. I also think that most, if not all, of the books mentioned here are valid ideas for future reading (or re-reading, as the case may be).

I concur with the idea of a Dante/Milton read.
If this is was intended to start in April, then we should get started soon, hmm?

And if we want to be chronological, then Paradise Lost would seem to be the place to start.

I'll wait for the go-ahead.

_EW_

Jae Onasi
04-05-2007, 07:36 PM
Getting started on that is fine by me.
Other pairings I thought might be interesting after we finish these first 2 books:
Achilles' suggestion of Beyond Oil along with Gore's An Inconvenient Truth
Obama's The Audacity of Hope with O'Reilly's Culture Warrior

Achilles
04-05-2007, 08:20 PM
ugh...O'Reilly?! I'll do it, but you have to promise no Ann Coulter, ever (!!!).

Jae Onasi
04-05-2007, 08:26 PM
Ugh. Ann Coulter drives me up a wall. Only Rush is worse. I dislike ultra-conservative harpies just as much as ultra-liberal ones.

Q
04-05-2007, 10:54 PM
@Jae: I was going to reply to your Milton/Dante suggestion a couple of days ago, but I forgot.:D Anywho, I'm all for it. There are some sharp minds here and a fresh perspective or two would be welcome.
Ugh. Ann Coulter drives me up a wall. Only Rush is worse. I dislike ultra-conservative harpies just as much as ultra-liberal ones.
Not to mention the fact that she could use about three Big Macs a day, each with fries and a shake. I can't decide whether to call her "Right-Wing Barbie," or "Anorexic Barbie.":xp: The fact that she dresses provacatively doesn't help, either, as it only accentuates her gauntness. She really needs to eat something.

Jae Onasi
04-06-2007, 01:05 AM
I think she may have had cancer at one point and had chemo/radiation for it, which would explain her gaunt look. Even after treatments it can take awhile for someone to bounce back to a more normal weight.

Achilles
04-06-2007, 02:29 AM
I dislike ultra-conservative harpies just as much as ultra-liberal ones. Err...what do you consider O'Reilly then? Calling oneself fair and balanced does not make it true. :)

EnderWiggin
04-06-2007, 02:34 PM
Are we going to make a plan or a structure for reading?

I would very much dislike spoiling something for someone who is reading at a different pace, or on the same note, someone doing the same to me.

_EW_

Jae Onasi
04-06-2007, 08:56 PM
Err...what do you consider O'Reilly then? Calling oneself fair and balanced does not make it true. :)

He's conservative, just not nutsoid like Anne or Rush. I thought his conservatism would make an interesting counterpoint to Obama's liberal views (which I don't necessarily consider ultra-liberal, either.). I was hoping to find something somewhat less polarized than Hannity and Colmes. :D

If we wait a couple months, hopefully Obama's book will be out in paperback so it'll be less expensive if people want to buy it.

Dante's Inferno--there are any number of translations. Let me know if anyone has a particular version in mind, otherwise any version should be fine.

Jae Onasi
04-18-2007, 11:27 AM
Is the consensus to read Paradise Lost first, then? If so, how much time do you all need to read it before we start the discussion? I can read very quickly, but most people don't read as fast as I do, and I didn't want to make a due date too short. Does 3 weeks sound like adequate time or do some people need more time?

JediMaster12
04-18-2007, 12:35 PM
Sounds good. i have to head to the library to get it since I have no copy of my own.

For some food for thought, I recently starting rereading Stephen Jay Gould's The Mismeasure of Man. It delves into some of the justifications, albeit ridiculous ones, of race such as Broca's hypothesis that smart people's brains weigh more and are more convoluted. Another is on Sam Morton's measuring of the cranium cavity with buckshot. It goes into Yerkes and the so called IQ tests. Good read and certainly a lot of laughs at least on my part.

EnderWiggin
04-18-2007, 10:13 PM
Is the consensus to read Paradise Lost first, then? If so, how much time do you all need to read it before we start the discussion? I can read very quickly, but most people don't read as fast as I do, and I didn't want to make a due date too short. Does 3 weeks sound like adequate time or do some people need more time?

I think that that should be good, at least on my end.

Do you think that the members who are most definitely participating in this should post and actually commit? Because I think that if we get into this and then it is two or three of us it might get boring. Maybe make a tentative master list and say that anyone who is interested may join?

Dates are a little... iffy because of the time zones. Did we decide on May 9th? (EST)

_EW_

Pavlos
09-15-2007, 06:05 PM
I thought we should resurrect this thread - it's a nice idea and I don't think it ever really got off to a good start. Rather than starting with Paradise Lost and The Inferno - both of which, I feel, are a little extravagant for internet debate - why don't we have our first book as being something more approachable?

So we have to come to some sort of consensus as to what book we're going to pick to discuss. I recommend Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick - it's simply written but it leaves ideas and thoughts bouncing around the inside of your head (like a lot of K. Dick's stuff); I mean, what is human? Anyway, I think we should gather some preferences and then we can vote on them - listing them in preference so... an example might be:

1. Hamlet
2. Frankenstein
3. Great Expectations
4. The Life of Pi

We tally up the positions each book gets and the book with the lowest count (that has been placed near the top of the list the most) goes first, then the second lowest, and so on. Sound good?

John Galt
09-15-2007, 09:38 PM
Read Aldous Huxley. Brave New World and Brave New World Revisited are excellent, and Island is good as well. His books of philosophy, like The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell, are awesome. Even his lesser known works, like After Many A Summer, are good. I haven't even got to read Point Counter Point, which is generally considered his best, yet.

I also recommend Orwell, though I haven't read his works nearly as extensively as I have Huxley's. As soon as I finish The Fountainhead and Ulyssess I'm going to read Politics and the English language, and try to hunt down a copy of Point Counter Point.

Atlas Shrugged and Anthem are also good, and like I said I'm reading the Fountainhead right now, which is good but just isn't up to par with Atlas Shrugged. I need to hunt down some of Rand's philosophy, like Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, or some Objectivist Epistomology.

In terms of philosophy, The Meditations by Marcus Aurelius are good and, depending on what translation you get, maybe great. My favorite one is subtitled "the emperor's handbook." There's also an interesting essay I read last year called "On Bull****" that describes how politicians making things up is more dangerous than them purposely lying. <=obvious simplification, interesting thoughts.

Jae Onasi
09-16-2007, 12:06 AM
Do Androids Dream would work fine for me, too as a starting point.

If Paradise Lost didn't make it off the ground, Atlas Shrugged will die by page 32. :)

How about Dracula? That and Frankenstein would work well at this time of year....

I've read Huxley and liked Brave New World. I liked Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm, and they're pretty quick reads.

I like Hamlet better than Shakespeare's other tragedies, and Much Ado about Nothing is a lot of fun. I read Great Expectations a long time ago but I wouldn't mind reading it again. Reading 'A Christmas Carol' at Christmas time would be fun. I've not read the Life of Pi so I'd be interested in seeing that.

Sun Tzu's Art of War might be interesting (especially given the Iraq war), and it's not a long book at all. All the previous suggestions I made still go.

If you're looking for plain old fiction, anything by Anne McCaffrey (esp. Dragonrider series) or Marion Zimmer Bradley (esp Darkover) works for me, as does Asimov or Heinlein. I love CJ Cherryh's Cuckoo's Egg too, and if you want pure entertainment, Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat books are hilarious, and Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy would be fun as would Robert Asperin's Myth series.


How about we pick a consensus of about 10-15 books? I can put up a poll that allows us to make multiple choices, and then we can vote--the book with the highest number of votes will be the first read, then second highest read after that, etc. We just need to make a list of our favorites. I'll look through the thread and make a list of the books already here--perhaps we can all pick from this master list then? Feel free to mention any books you might want to add--I'll wait a couple days before posting a list.

In the meantime, while we're waiting for that compilation and culling and voting, how about reading Do Androids Dream....?

Weave
09-16-2007, 01:01 AM
1984 and Animal Farm by Orwell are really good books (like Jae and John said)...

Hate Dracula... love Frankenstein.

Art of War by Sun Tzu? I read that a year ago and thought it was pretty good...

Just finished reading Ishmael, and My Ishmael by Daniel Quinn... amazing books that I highly recommend.

If your into politics (and this may rock the boat a bit but whatever) I highly recommend getting Emma Goldman's collected works... along with her two books, "My Disillusionment In Russia" and "My Further Disillusionment In Russia"... two great books that she wrote while in Russia during the Russian Revolution (Which she flat out called a failure before it even ended) ...
In addition, get Cherychevsky's 'What is to be done'... it's about Positive Political Nihilism and is very good in my opinion... and it's in a novel form of an adventure... similar to Ishmael.
Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Freidrich Engelsis is good too... even if your an avid supporter of the "free-market"... you'll want to know how to critique Communism and Socialism and Marxism correctly... (PS: Lenin sux.. don't get any of his books... :p)
And get the Che Guevara biography by Anderson (ONLY Anderson's is good... all other's suck)... it's staggeringly researched and incredibily well-written...

Tale Of Two Cities is really good as well...

Olive the Other Reindeer... XP

Empress Padme
09-16-2007, 01:02 AM
Great Expectations is a great choice , so is Hamlet.

Mirror,Mirror by Gregory Maguire
I've never read Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy but I have been wanting to and this would get me to read it
Can Star Wars books be included???

Pavlos
09-16-2007, 06:24 AM
I've been looking for an excuse to read Dracula, actually - so that one would be ideal as a choice, for me, at least.

Darth InSidious
09-16-2007, 12:54 PM
I've been intending to get my hands on a copy of Evelyn Waugh's Vile Bodies, if anyone is interested?

Rogue Nine
09-16-2007, 01:05 PM
I think we should all read Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. http://9.echonetwork.net/Crap/Oh_Internet/emot-downs.gif

Oh, and Watership Down by Richard Adams too. >_>

Pavlos
09-25-2007, 02:58 PM
Doesn't look like we're going to get many more book recommendations. Shall we compile the poll now or leave it for a little longer?

Edit: I just don't want this to fall apart again :).

Jae Onasi
09-25-2007, 03:12 PM
Doesn't look like we're going to get many more book recommendations. Shall we compile the poll now or leave it for a little longer?

Edit: I just don't want this to fall apart again :).

I'll try and get something posted today, probably will be a separate poll instead of on this thread so we can do more than one as the need dictates. :)

I think this would be fun, too, so I hope it goes well.

Point Man
09-29-2007, 11:06 AM
Wizard's First Rule, by Terry Goodkind. You'll thank me for recommending it.