Great Books/Novels

I read it in the 9th grade and didn’t think much of the experience. I saw it on my shelf at age 21 and decided it must be famous for a reason. The 2nd reading was amazing. I thought I was Sydney Carton at the time…though I’m probably more Charles Darney now. I really enjoyed a lot of the stuff I read in high school, but I credit Tale of Two Cities for truly converting me to classic literature.


I’ve read The Lord of the Rings too many times to count now. I’m at the point where sometimes if I don’t want to commit to starting a new book I will just pick up one of the LOTR books and read favorite chapters or sections.

I love The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. They very fun, light-hearted, and entertaining books.

The Great Escape by Paul Brickhill is another favorite I have read many times. It’s one of my favorite non-fiction books of all time. If you like the movie, the book is even better.

The Odessa File by Frederick Forsyth is probably my favorite of all his books. It greatly outshines the movie. I have long hoped that someone would remake the movie and do the book justice.


And vice versa. I remember enjoying “Catcher in the Rye” when I read it in high school. Reading it again at 40, I absolutely despised Holden and thought he was nothing more than a selfish, whiny brat.


Not a kid you’d want to have over for dinner.

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I just finished reading a book about Greek mythology. This was in preparation for reading The Iliad. Wish me luck.

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“The Alchemist” -Anyone here read it?

I always found reading either Cliff Notes or Blue Notes along with the selected work to be helpful

Agreed. I used Cliffs Notes when I read the Divine Comedy. That was a long slog and the notes helped big time.

I’m going to try online Cliffs Notes and/or Spark Notes for the Iliad.

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I have too hard of a time picking favorite books. There are too many to choose from and they all mean something different.

I love East of eden.

The Inferno was great.

A Christmas Carol I read every year.

LOTR is special to me.

The Wheel of Time series made me pick up my favorite hobby of writing books.

So those are top five influential books.

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What a bunch of squares.

Penthouse - every issue from 7/1979 until 2/1997. Pure art!

Actually -
Grapes of Wrath (and pretty much all of Steinbeck)
Still Life with Woodpecker (and pretty much all of Tom Robbins)
The Sun Also Rises (Let’s get drunk, nail broads, and watch the bullfights)

One of my favorite novels ever is Jurassic Park by Crichton. Certainly not high art, but as entertaining as the movie, if not more so.


Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad


Anyone want to do “Great Books You Couldn’t Finish?”

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I once wrote a book report on Moby Dick by reading the Classic Comics version. Even the Cliff Notes were too much work.

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Yes is it interesting essay on the lesser–known works of George Orwell. It gave me a broader perspective on Orwell’s talent, and to see him as more than just the author of 1984 and Animal Farm.

I read both a couple times and I allways loved Animal Farm more. Thought it made a better point: Seems humans innately try to prove themselves a “truest believers” and then it all goes sideways.

Hatred is the most accessible and comprehensive of all the unifying agents. Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a god, but never without a belief in a devil.

                              - Eric Hoffer

Funny, I feel the same way about National Lampoon’s Vacation.

I missed this thread the first time around. It makes me think maybe it’s time to dust off the high school standards… I’m pretty sure Crime and Punishment was the one I skimmed the most. A little crime, mostly punishment (for the 17-year-old reader).

A book I read this summer that I could not put down is:

Boys in the Boat.

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I was on the fence about that one but on second view the blurbs are interesting. I put a hold on a library copy. Thanks.

Fantastic book. The audio version is great too, narrated by the late Edward Herrmann.

I’ll second “The Sun also Rises”, also “Old Man and the Sea”, "The Road"by Cormac McCarthy, “Count of Monte Cristo”