10 books that should be in everyone's library

Discussion in 'Art & Culture' started by Plazma Inferno!, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

    I'll start with mine.

    Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut
    Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
    Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
    The Stranger by Albert Camus
    1984 by George Orwell
    The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
    The Trial by Franz Kafka
    A Song of Ice and Fire by George Martin (I count this as one)
    The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
    Collected works of Jorge Luis Borges
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  3. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    I've only read two of those: "1984" and "The Lord of the Rings." My ex-wife is an English major who loves the "Magic Realism" movement represented by Borges, Paulo Coelho, Gabriel García Márquez and host of others. I tried to read some of it but it just made my head hurt.

    I read primarily science fiction. I've read Martin but not that particular work; same for Vonnegut. Heinlein, Foster, Niven, Herbert... so many great writers in the genre. My favorite is James P. Hogan.

    It's been suggested that I never really grew up since I've read all of Brian Jacques and Diana Pharaoh Francis. But I can attribute that to my ex also. She took a class in children's literature and came away wondering if it might actually be better than what people write for adults.
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  5. spidergoat Turd Reich Valued Senior Member

    Crime and Punishment is a must-have, it makes a great door stop.
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  7. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    I have Slaughterhouse 5, Catch 22, The Stranger, 1984 and two editions of The Lord of the Rings. The only ones I would actually recommend are 1984 and The Lord of the Rings.

    Another recommendation that comes to mind is Watership Down by Richard Adams.
  8. spidergoat Turd Reich Valued Senior Member

    I love The Trial, especially the Orson Wells movie.
  9. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    I'd include Bleak House, Greene's Quiet American and something by Conrad - probably Heart of Darkness or Lord Jim. I would not include any Tolkein or the Catcher in the [sodding] Rye. But agree l'Etranger and 1984 would have to be contenders. For a bit of fun I might actually include Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
  10. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    I'd say that anything that people enjoy reading should be in their own libraries. Just because you enjoy those books, which are very good, you can't tell others what they should do or read. Suggesting those books is fine but making those books necessary to buy isn't the way to go. Just reading anything, to me, is the best thing for all people to do no matter what they are into.
  11. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    Meh, I'm only really into sci-fi & fantasy stuff... so my "must haves" are rather limited in genre...

    Dune (the first book if not the whole series) - Frank Herbert
    Ender's Game - Scott Card
    Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkein
    The Player of Games (or Use of Weapons... or both) - Iain M Banks
    When the Wind Blows - Raymond Briggs
    Narnia series - C. S. Lewis
    A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter Miller
    Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert Heinlein
    Legend - David Gemmell
    Hitchhiker's Guide series - Douglas Adams

    Any fan of both sci-fi and fantasy should surely have read all of these, imo.

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  12. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    I can grok that.
  13. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    The Odyssey
    The Tao Te Ching
    Aesop's Fables
    Le Morte d' Arthur
    The Complete Works of Shakespeare
    Huckleberry Finn
    Brave New World
    Bonus book: Walden
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2016
  14. geek Registered Member

    Ayn rand : The fountain head

    Ayn Rand: Atlas Shrugged
  15. birch Valued Senior Member

    There are too many good reads for only a top ten. But i would exclude most biographies, autobiographies, religion and romance novels.

    Some considered classics are not all that great, imo and just some had the say-so to label it such. For instance, i was not that impressed with'the great gatsby'. It was meh. Strangely, in many considered classics, the characters can be rather undeveloped, uninteresting, one-dimensional or shallow too.

    I tried to read les miserables but i fell asleep each and every time just as with bram stokers dracula trying to get through the endless letters but i think its a great work of social commentary etc.

    I loved the martian chronicles by ray bradbury though but honestly i think some of these are classics because it was groundbreaking, daring or had ideas social, political etc that were not expressed at the time or ahead of its time but there are many books much better than these after ive noticed that arent as touted as being so great.

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