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NFT: Your favorite books

Dave in PA : 7/9/2019 8:26 am
Iím looking to compile as large a list that I can of books that you think are among the best youíve ever read. Can be fiction or non-fiction, any topic will do. I have more recently been reading historical non-fiction (including Skeletons on the Zahara, Endurance, In the Heart of the Sea, Undaunted Courage, Unbroken). I thought these were all excellent.
PEEJ will have some good suggestions  
Rocky369 : 7/9/2019 8:28 am : link
.
For historical nonfiction  
Coach Red Beaulieu : 7/9/2019 8:55 am : link
McPherson Battle Cry of Freedom. Using magic or something he made descriptions of sundry economic data like tons of harvested corn and railroad mileage a pageturner.

Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War. Boyd was the godfather of the F15, F16, F18, and A10. Without him the USAF is back to making crap fighters like the F35.
My all time favorites were the 3 volumes of The Lord Of The Rings.  
Ira : 7/9/2019 9:10 am : link
Next was Tom Wolfe's The Right Stuff. If you want something light and entertaining - anything by Louis L'Amour.
I do not read often  
johnnyb : 7/9/2019 9:15 am : link
but when I do I enjoy Brad Thor novels.
Boys in the Boat  
BillT : 7/9/2019 9:23 am : link
Great story beautifully written.

Gilead. Brilliant Pulitzer Prize winning novel.
Of my recent reads:  
Randy_Lahey : 7/9/2019 9:25 am : link
Civilwarland in Bad Decline by George Saunders is a great short story collection. Very funny, humor can be pretty dark. His other short story collections are great too but I find his first to be his funniest. A lot of these stories are available online somewhere so you can get a sense of if you like before buying.

From what you describe you've read...I  
rebel yell : 7/9/2019 9:27 am : link
think you might like these: Krakauer's "Into Thin Air," Sebastian Junger's "War" as well as "The Perfect Storm." The book is so much better than the movie! James Bradley's "Flags of our Fathers" and "Flyboys." Finally, "Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors," by James Hornfischer and "In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis," by Doug Stanton. Every American should know that story of survival and sacrifice! Lots of Navy--but I'm a USN guy. Can't help myself.
Some of my favorite fiction  
John in Loudoun : 7/9/2019 9:28 am : link
Lonesome Dove - Larry McMurtry
A Thousand Spendid Suns - (Khaled Hosseini)
Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
All the Pretty Horses - Cormac McCarthy
The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
All the Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr



Two of my favorites  
PEEJ : 7/9/2019 9:33 am : link
The Alienest and Shutter Island
My favorite  
pjcas18 : 7/9/2019 9:34 am : link
historical non-fiction books are:

Angel in the Whirlwind. the best book I've read on the American Revolution.

Only book I've ever read twice.

And

Seal of Honor: Operation Red Wings and the Life of Lt. Michael P. Murphy

IMV from what I've read Murphy is the real hero of Lone Survivor, though Luttrell was the survivor.

RE: Boys in the Boat  
Steve in ATL : 7/9/2019 9:36 am : link
In comment 14494969 BillT said:
Quote:
Great story beautifully written.

Gilead. Brilliant Pulitzer Prize winning novel.


that was a great book.
Sapiens  
Gmen88 : 7/9/2019 9:36 am : link
is the best book I've ever read.
some of the favorites that come to mind  
Steve in ATL : 7/9/2019 9:37 am : link
A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
The World According to Garp - John Irving
The Stand - Stephen King
The Dark Tower (series) - Stephen King
Tai-Pan - James Clavell
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco - Bryan Burrough & John Helyar
The Lord of the Rings (series) - Tolkien
The Speaker of the Dead (series) - Orsen Scott Card
Trinity (historical fiction) - Leon Uris

Since you've read Hillenbrand's "Unbroken"  
Jeever : 7/9/2019 9:40 am : link
I suggest another of her works that reads just as well, "Seabiscuit."
Not exhaustive  
Russ in Queens, NYC : 7/9/2019 9:43 am : link
Nonfiction

Touched with Fire: The Land War in the South Pacific -- Eric Bergerud
The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won -- Victor Davis Hanson
The Face of Battle: A Study of Agincourt, Waterloo, and the Somme -- John Keegan
Why We Lost: A General's Inside Account of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars -- Daniel Bolger
The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 -- Lawrence Wright
Neptune's Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal -- James D. Hornfischer
The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success -- Rodney Stark
Snow and Steel: The Battle of the Bulge, 1944-45 -- Peter Caddick-Adams
The Western Way of War: Infantry Battle in Classical Greece -- Victor Davis Hanson

Fiction

Anything by Dickens
Anything by Austen

George Garrett's Elizabethan trilogy: Death of the Fox, The Succession, and Entered from the Sun

I'm a spy, thriller, and crime novel junkie, so anything by the following: John Le Carre, Alan Furst, Mick Herron, Olen Steinauer, Charles Cumming, Philip Kerr, Robert C. Wilson, Ted Lewis
Gates of Fire...  
BamaBlue : 7/9/2019 10:08 am : link
Stephen Pressfield (also loved his "Killing Rommel" and "The Lion's Gate).

Mere Christianity -- C.S. Lewis (also loved his "Screw Tape letters")

I am Pilgrim -- Terry Hayes
The Bible.  
BrettNYG10 : 7/9/2019 10:08 am : link
.
Anything by Guy Gavriel Kay, Noah Gordon, Bernard Cornwell  
Kevin_in_Pgh : 7/9/2019 10:12 am : link
Especially Under Heaven, The Physician, and The Saxon Stories (respectively). Other favorites include:
- Pillars of Earth (Follet)
- The Night Circus (Morgenstern)
- Starship Troopers/Time Enough for Love (Heinlein)
- Killer Angels (Shaara)
.  
Gene : 7/9/2019 10:12 am : link
Quote:
I'm a spy, thriller, and crime novel junkie, so anything by the following: John Le Carre, Alan Furst, Mick Herron, Olen Steinauer, Charles Cumming, Philip Kerr, Robert C. Wilson, Ted Lewis


I've read the first three installments of Furst's "Night Soldiers" and the first six of Kerr's Bernie Gunther books; all fantastic reads.

David Downing's "Station" (John Russell) novels are a good read and I also have enjoyed the first three installments of Volker Kutcher's, Gereon Rath books.
.  
Mike in Long Beach : 7/9/2019 10:15 am : link
Thinking: Fast and Slow - Daniel Kahneman (Non-Fiction)
Shantaram - Gregory David Roberts (Fiction, mostly)
Communion: A True Story - Whitley Strieber (Alleged Non-Fiction)
Another Bullshit Night in Suck City - Nick Flynn (Memoir)
A Gentleman in Moscow was great. People either love it or hate it,  
yatqb : 7/9/2019 10:25 am : link
though.

Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned by Walter Mosley is another book I loved.
RE: .  
Russ in Queens, NYC : 7/9/2019 10:28 am : link
In comment 14495015 Gene said:
Quote:


Quote:

I've read the first three installments of Furst's "Night Soldiers" and the first six of Kerr's Bernie Gunther books; all fantastic reads.

David Downing's "Station" (John Russell) novels are a good read and I also have enjoyed the first three installments of Volker Kutcher's, Gereon Rath books.


Furst and Kerr are terrific. I've been meaning to read Downing. If you like the interwar Germany setting, I highly recommend Jonathan Raab's Nikolai Hoffner trilogy: Rosa, Shadow and Light, and The Second Son.
If you like historical fiction  
pjcas18 : 7/9/2019 10:30 am : link
someone mentioned Cornwell.

He is a treasure trove of historical fiction that someone on BBI recommended to me (Bill2?) and it was one of the best recommendations I've had on here.

My favorites by him:

Redcoat: a single book story about American revolution, but a love story

The Saxon Tales/Last Kingdom. Series (still going - 12th book coming out this year) about the Viking/Saxon/English relationship and battles. Uhtred of Bebbanburg is my favorite protaginist in any story/series I've read.

The Warlord Chronicles. Series (3 stories) about Arthurian Britain - including Merlin, Arthur, Lancelot, Guinnivere, and his own protagonist Derfel Cadarn. Great series.

I'm looking to work through more of his stuff, but not a bad book yet out of any of them
Witching Hour...  
x meadowlander : 7/9/2019 10:30 am : link
...Anne Rice.

ALL VONNEGUT.
RE: Anything by Guy Gavriel Kay, Noah Gordon, Bernard Cornwell  
Bill L : 7/9/2019 10:32 am : link
In comment 14495014 Kevin_in_Pgh said:
Quote:
Especially Under Heaven, The Physician, and The Saxon Stories (respectively). Other favorites include:
- Pillars of Earth (Follet)
- The Night Circus (Morgenstern)
- Starship Troopers/Time Enough for Love (Heinlein)
- Killer Angels (Shaara)

Kay is my favorite author. I've read everything he's written (I think), including the Silmarillion (edited, not written). Just started A Brightness Long Ago.

I like Dickens. I love Terry Pratchett. I like Terry Brooks. Liked David Eddings before I loathed him. Like most of Tom Clancy. Grisham is great for an airplane or a beach.
RE: If you like historical fiction  
Russ in Queens, NYC : 7/9/2019 10:40 am : link
In comment 14495036 pjcas18 said:
Quote:
someone mentioned Cornwell.


Cornwell is just a lot of fun to read. The last of his I read was [url=https://www.amazon.com/Fort-Novel-Revolutionary-War/dp/006196963X/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Cornwell+The+Fort&qid=1562682916&s=gateway&sr=8-1]The Fort[/url], a Revolutionary War tale set on the coast of Maine. (Note: the Brits are the good guys in this one.)

His medieval stuff is great too. If you're interested in a good fictionalized treatment of the Wars of the Roses, try Sharon Kay Penman's [url=https://www.amazon.com/Sunne-Splendour-Sharon-Kay-Penman/dp/003061368X/ref=sr_1_10?keywords=Sharon+Kay+Penman&qid=1562683040&s=gateway&sr=8-10]The Sunne in Splendour[/url]. Sympathetic to Richard III, but well done in my opinion.
Whoops  
Russ in Queens, NYC : 7/9/2019 10:41 am : link
Buggered up those links. Apologies.

RE: RE: Boys in the Boat  
rebel yell : 7/9/2019 10:58 am : link
In comment 14494980 Steve in ATL said:
Quote:
In comment 14494969 BillT said:


Quote:


Great story beautifully written.

Gilead. Brilliant Pulitzer Prize winning novel.



that was a great book.

Second (or third) that one too. Wonderful writing.
Straight Man (Richard Russo)  
JerseyCityJoe : 7/9/2019 11:29 am : link
Most enjoyable read and super funny.

The Great Santini (Pat Conroy)
I thought the movie was outstanding but they left out some characters that are worth your time to investigate.
Thanks all  
Dave in PA : 7/9/2019 11:48 am : link
Good stuff so far! To the recommendation of Into Thin Air, that is easily one of my favorite books. Havenít read that in over 15 years though so Iím due for a re-read. I also recently read Born To Run, which was a quick and entertaining book that I was able to take some life lessons from (not the running part, but dietary). My only Vonnegut experience has been SH5, which was obviously great. What other Vonnegut works are considered to be his best?
Catch 22  
MM_in_NYC : 7/9/2019 11:49 am : link
it's a classic for a very good reason
RE: Straight Man (Richard Russo)  
Jay in Toronto : 7/9/2019 12:17 pm : link
In comment 14495114 JerseyCityJoe said:
Quote:
Most enjoyable read and super funny.

Agreed. Have you ever read Jonathan Tropper. Lots of similarities. If you start with one, I would recommend The Book of Joe.

The Great Santini (Pat Conroy)
I thought the movie was outstanding but they left out some characters that are worth your time to investigate.


Love hime. Prince of Tides is on my all-time top 10
No More Mr. Nice Guy  
Karl Hungus : 7/9/2019 12:22 pm : link
The Way of the Superior Man
Of books I've read in the last couple of years:  
Jay in Toronto : 7/9/2019 12:25 pm : link
Let The Great World Spin by Colum McCann

Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis by Andre Alexis

The Unwinding, By George Packer (nonfiction)

Moonglow, by Michael Chabon

Washington Black, by Esi Edugyan
RE: RE: If you like historical fiction  
pjcas18 : 7/9/2019 12:26 pm : link
In comment 14495048 Russ in Queens, NYC said:
Quote:
In comment 14495036 pjcas18 said:


Quote:


someone mentioned Cornwell.



Cornwell is just a lot of fun to read. The last of his I read was [url=https://www.amazon.com/Fort-Novel-Revolutionary-War/dp/006196963X/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Cornwell+The+Fort&qid=1562682916&s=gateway&sr=8-1]The Fort[/url], a Revolutionary War tale set on the coast of Maine. (Note: the Brits are the good guys in this one.)

His medieval stuff is great too. If you're interested in a good fictionalized treatment of the Wars of the Roses, try Sharon Kay Penman's [url=https://www.amazon.com/Sunne-Splendour-Sharon-Kay-Penman/dp/003061368X/ref=sr_1_10?keywords=Sharon+Kay+Penman&qid=1562683040&s=gateway&sr=8-10]The Sunne in Splendour[/url]. Sympathetic to Richard III, but well done in my opinion.


thanks Russ, I just ordered The Fort. I loved Redcoat and all his other stuff, I'm sure I'll love this.

Plus, I've gone white water rafting on the Penobscott river in Maine, so geographically I can relate to an extent.

Thanks for the recommendation.
I've enjoyed these somewhat recently, some new some old  
Mellowmood92 : 7/9/2019 12:34 pm : link
The Naked and the Dead - Norman Mailer
American Pastoral & The Plot Against America - Philip Roth
Infinite Jest & The Pale King - David Foster Wallace
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - Junot Diaz
Kitchen Confidential - Anthony Bordain
Shantaram - Gregory David Roberts

If you were a GOT fan, the books are worth the read. SO much more detail.
the 3 that pop up immediately  
santacruzom : 7/9/2019 12:39 pm : link
King: The Dead Zone
Tim O'Brien: Going After Cacciato and The Things They Carried
The Book of Ash  
BlueinRoch : 7/9/2019 12:45 pm : link
by John McCaffrey
"How to make Cheffy Scrambled Eggs"  
smshmth8690 : 7/9/2019 12:46 pm : link
by Gordon Ramsey.
For fiction  
Coach Red Beaulieu : 7/9/2019 1:18 pm : link
Dostoyevsky was the greatest writer of the 19th century, so his four towering tome Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, Demons, and Brothers Karamazov. Notes From Underground is equally great, but a more accessible novella.

Greatest 20th century writer was Phillip K Dick, his "classic" period was Man in the High Castle, Palmer Eldritch, and Ubik. He wrote straight up anti or metal novels later on, not because he was some pretentious pseudo intellectual, he was just straight up bat shit cray cray.
Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five  
Section331 : 7/9/2019 2:21 pm : link
As I Lay Dying - Faulkner
Being There - Kosinski
Gore Vidal's Lincoln
The Civil War - Shelby Foote
Some non-fiction  
RobCarpenter : 7/9/2019 2:54 pm : link
Michael Lewis:
Blind Side
Moneyball
Big Short

John Carreyrou:
Bad Blood
I am a really big fan  
Scott in Montreal : 7/9/2019 3:03 pm : link
of James Rollins. I have read most of his books.

The Sigma series is particularly enjoyable. As were three of his individual stories . Deep Fathom, Amazonia and Ice Hunt.

I also enjoy the Meg Series by Steve Alten. The books are much more enjoyable than last years movie. His other books that I have read have been good as well. The Loch and it's sequel Vostok.


James Rollins Sigma - ( New Window )
Another fiction author came to mind.  
Russ in Queens, NYC : 7/9/2019 3:52 pm : link
Pretty much anything by James Ellroy, though some find him to be something of an acquired taste.
RE: I am a really big fan  
Gene : 7/9/2019 5:03 pm : link
In comment 14495331 Scott in Montreal said:
Quote:
of James Rollins. I have read most of his books.

The Sigma series is particularly enjoyable. As were three of his individual stories . Deep Fathom, Amazonia and Ice Hunt.

I also enjoy the Meg Series by Steve Alten. The books are much more enjoyable than last years movie. His other books that I have read have been good as well. The Loch and it's sequel Vostok.
James Rollins Sigma - ( New Window )


Wow, thanks for the tip on James Rollins. I looked him up on Goodreads and his work looks to be right in my wheelhouse. I put "Sandstorm" & "Amazonia" on my to be read list.

Animal Farm  
rnargi : 7/9/2019 7:58 pm : link
1984, Atlas Shrugged, The Shining, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Godfather (better than the movie), Life on the Mississippi, To Kill a Mockingbird, Profiles in Courage, just off the top of my head
I read  
Amtoft : 7/9/2019 8:04 pm : link
a lot of books... so many good ones to list, but my favorite or one of my favorites I am reading again is Ready Player One... Don't care I like it.
Favorite nonfiction...  
giantsfaninphilly : 7/9/2019 9:05 pm : link
The most memorable book I've read in the last 10 years is called "Apollo - The Race to the Moon" by Charles Murray & Catherine Bly Cox. It's the history of the engineering and organizational development of the Apollo program. Not so much the individual space missions, although the aftermath of Apollo 1 and the details of how NASA worked through the Apollo 13 issues are covered in detail. Has a great deal of biographical info on the major players in the NASA organization leading up to and briefly after the Apollo program ended. It's absolutely gripping, if you're into that kind of thing.
Of spy books, I loved Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and that whole  
yatqb : 7/9/2019 9:26 pm : link
series; the Len Deighton books; Kerr, who's already been mentioned; and some Graham Greene stuff.
RE: Catch 22  
Zeke's Alibi : 7/9/2019 9:50 pm : link
In comment 14495131 MM_in_NYC said:
Quote:
it's a classic for a very good reason


Never read it and never saw the movie, but recently saw the mini series and wow as a vet it really spoke to me. Apparently they really SJWed the miniseries up, but it was good regardless. Wish I carried a copy of that around when I was deployed lol.

As far as the thread, Foundation by Asimov and the Culture series by Ian M Banks. Culture is absolutely thought provoking and makes our current set up here in America look barbaric.

Curios what Apple's version of Foundation is going to look like, seems tough to pull off without a huge budget and have no idea how much money they threw at it. I think Apple is looking to make a bang so hopefully a lot.
RE: Favorite nonfiction...  
Dave in PA : 7/9/2019 10:05 pm : link
In comment 14495621 giantsfaninphilly said:
Quote:
The most memorable book I've read in the last 10 years is called "Apollo - The Race to the Moon" by Charles Murray & Catherine Bly Cox. It's the history of the engineering and organizational development of the Apollo program. Not so much the individual space missions, although the aftermath of Apollo 1 and the details of how NASA worked through the Apollo 13 issues are covered in detail. Has a great deal of biographical info on the major players in the NASA organization leading up to and briefly after the Apollo program ended. It's absolutely gripping, if you're into that kind of thing.
sounds great thanks
some of my favorite historical nonfiction  
TJ : 7/10/2019 1:29 am : link
Personal Memoires of US Grant. Gave me perspective on the civil war that I didn't get from any other book. The writing was much better than I expected. I suspect M Twain helped with it more than was acknowledged at the time.

"A Distant Mirror" Barbara Tuchman. You may have read her Guns of August this is at least as good. Talks about the 13th century in western europe, fighting between england and france, crusades, plague. Outstanding.

Two WWII books.
"Stalingrad" Antony Beevor. Really outstanding telling of maybe the most important turning point of the war. Fascinating narratives and well researched from both sides of the battle.
"An Army at Dawn" Rick Atkinson about the invasion of north africa and the earliest american actions in the war. I had previously known nothing about this campaign and loved this book.
A few more  
TJ : 7/10/2019 1:49 am : link
"1491" Charles Mann. Eye opening (for me) history of pre columbian America.

"Guns Germs and Steel" Jared Diamond. Didn't notice but probably already recommended by someone. An examination of how it was thatwestern european societies came to dominate most of the globe. I thought it was a compelling read.

"Parasite Rex" Carl Zimmer. Fascinating examination of parasites. My skin crawled a couple times but I couldn't put it down.

"I Contain Multitudes" Ed Yong. Microbes. All kinds but mostly bacteria. Focus on the microbiome. The microbiome has become sort of a faddish subject lately. This book though is the real deal without any of the dumbed down and oversold content found in most pop content on the subject.

Zimmer and Yong are long time science bloggers and writers of scientific articles for the layman and they both know how to be academically stringent but still interesting and accessible.
If you enjoyed Undaunted Courage  
steve in ky : 7/10/2019 2:10 am : link
you probably would also enjoy "Nothing Like It in the World" also by Ambrose.

Another book about history I really enjoyed was "Half Moon Henry Hudson and the Voyage That Redrew the Map of the New World" by Douglas Hunter

Obviously so many great books  
David in Belmont : 7/11/2019 7:45 am : link
My favorites:
(1) "Long Walk to Freedom - Autobiography of Nelson Mandela"
(2)Original 3 books in the Lisbeth Salander series by Steig Larsson, especially, the third book, "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest."
(3) "The Day we Found the Universe" by Marcia Bartusiak - story of the discoveries that the universe was much, much larger than previously thought and that it is expanding.
(4) Science fiction novels by James P. Hogan, especially 3 books called the "Giants Novels" (not those Giants) and "Voyage from Yesterday."
(5) A series of mystery novels set in Ancient Rome by Steven Saylor - set in the years just before and during the time of Julius Caesar.
(6) Pretty much any of the WWII books by Anthony Beevor or James Hall
(7) Two mystery series by Charles Todd that follow a nurse in the British Army in the First World War and a war-damaged Scotland Yard detective in the years right after WWI.
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