Recommended books

A place for everyone to have discussions about literature, classical and contemporary.

Moderator: Forum Administrators

User avatar
Saaropean
Posts: 8808
Joined: 2002-06-21, 10:24
Real Name: Rolf S.
Gender: male
Location: Montréal
Country: CA Canada (Canada)

Recommended books

Postby Saaropean » 2012-02-14, 6:27

I often read What are you currently reading? for inspiration on good books. But not all the books we're reading are good. And the other thread is not structured enough for my taste (call me German :lol:). So I propose a thread with good books you can recommend reading. Please name title, author, genre(s) and why you recommend the book.

And now some recommendations by myself. I'm trying to restrict myself to a few books per genre.

Funny science-fiction or alternate history:
  • The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross. Horror and fantasy mixed with Douglas Adams humor, and satire on office work. It's the kind of book any IT professional will love.
  • Making History by Stephen Fry. Switches between the funnily narrated tale of a British student and the horrors of fascism.
  • Regarding Ducks and Universes by Neve Maslaković. A funny book about two parallel universes.
  • Everything by Douglas Adams
  • Everything by Terry Pratchett

Other funny books:
  • Die schärfsten Gerichte der tatarischen Küche (English: "The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine") by Alina Bronsky. It's about the life of a Tatar woman from her birth in 1978 or '79 until ca. 2007, told by her self-centered, bossy, know-it-all grandmother.
  • Skippy Dies by Paul Murray. About teenagers in an Irish boarding school and their problems.
  • Die Nachhut by Hans Waal. Old nazis come out of a bunker after 60 years. No one takes them seriously.
  • Glennkill (English: "Three Bags Full") by Leonie Swann. Shows you how sheep think, and how they can solve a murder while thinking about food 90% of the time.

Serious science-fiction or alternate history:
  • The City & The City by China Miéville. It's a detective story set in a city that is divided in two in a weird way: The same street can have a Besź and an Ul Qoman name because some of its buildings belong to Besźel and some to Ul Qoma. But when you're in Besźel, you are not allowed to see and hear the Ul Qoman people, cars and houses. If you fail to "unsee" and "unhear" them, you commit "breach," the most serious crime in the twin cities...
  • The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson. The history of a world in which Europe does not play a major role.
  • The 1632 series by Eric Flint. A 21st-century American small town that suddenly finds itself in 17th-century Germany. Continued by an on-line community.
  • Ein König für Deutschland by Andreas Eschbach. How voting machines can destroy democracy.

Serious stuff set in the real world:
  • Room by Emma Donoghue. A thrilling novel with a horrible subject, told by an innocent child. The novel is quite emotional, causing fear and compassion for little Jack and his Ma who has been abducted years ago.
  • Four Years from Home by Larry Enright. Sometimes funny, sometimes mystery, family portrait. About two brothers who are quite different and who are treated differently by their parents.
  • Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson. An amnesiac forgets everything as soon as she falls asleep. She keeps a diary to help her remember not to trust her husband.

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 22118
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Recommended books

Postby linguoboy » 2012-02-14, 20:55

Saaropean wrote:I often read What are you currently reading? for inspiration on good books. But not all the books we're reading are good. And the other thread is not structured enough for my taste (call me German :lol:). So I propose a thread with good books you can recommend reading. Please name title, author, genre(s) and why you recommend the book.

I think that's just too open-ended a topic. I'm sure I'm not the only one here who's read hundreds of books and it's hard for me to single a few out without some kind of parameters. What kind of reading, serious or light? What length? What style? What other authors have you read that you've liked? Which ones would you never read again? All of that and more would inform my selection of titles to recommend to someone.

Here's a question for you, Saaropean: What books have you read by Deutsche mit Migrationshintergrund that you would recommend?
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

User avatar
Saaropean
Posts: 8808
Joined: 2002-06-21, 10:24
Real Name: Rolf S.
Gender: male
Location: Montréal
Country: CA Canada (Canada)

Re: Recommended books

Postby Saaropean » 2012-02-15, 5:33

linguoboy wrote:I think that's just too open-ended a topic. I'm sure I'm not the only one here who's read hundreds of books and it's hard for me to single a few out without some kind of parameters. What kind of reading, serious or light? What length? What style? What other authors have you read that you've liked? Which ones would you never read again? All of that and more would inform my selection of titles to recommend to someone.

My answer is simple: whatever you like.

linguoboy wrote:Here's a question for you, Saaropean: What books have you read by Deutsche mit Migrationshintergrund that you would recommend?

Not enough to be able to recommend something.

User avatar
Guillem
Posts: 2771
Joined: 2003-11-10, 13:25
Real Name: Guillem
Gender: male
Location: New Cross, London
Country: GB United Kingdom (United Kingdom)

Re: Recommended books

Postby Guillem » 2012-02-22, 13:43

Saaropean wrote:
linguoboy wrote:I think that's just too open-ended a topic. I'm sure I'm not the only one here who's read hundreds of books and it's hard for me to single a few out without some kind of parameters. What kind of reading, serious or light? What length? What style? What other authors have you read that you've liked? Which ones would you never read again? All of that and more would inform my selection of titles to recommend to someone.

My answer is simple: whatever you like.

linguoboy wrote:Here's a question for you, Saaropean: What books have you read by Deutsche mit Migrationshintergrund that you would recommend?

Not enough to be able to recommend something.

In German class we read stories by Aras Ören and Feridun Zaimoğlu, the latter more to comment on his particular use of language rather than because of his literary worth of which no one was very sure...

User avatar
Set
Posts: 844
Joined: 2010-08-25, 13:26
Real Name: Alex
Gender: male
Country: DE Germany (Deutschland)

Re: Recommended books

Postby Set » 2012-03-08, 23:33

Guillem wrote:
Saaropean wrote:
linguoboy wrote:I think that's just too open-ended a topic. I'm sure I'm not the only one here who's read hundreds of books and it's hard for me to single a few out without some kind of parameters. What kind of reading, serious or light? What length? What style? What other authors have you read that you've liked? Which ones would you never read again? All of that and more would inform my selection of titles to recommend to someone.

My answer is simple: whatever you like.

linguoboy wrote:Here's a question for you, Saaropean: What books have you read by Deutsche mit Migrationshintergrund that you would recommend?

Not enough to be able to recommend something.

In German class we read stories by Aras Ören and Feridun Zaimoğlu, the latter more to comment on his particular use of language rather than because of his literary worth of which no one was very sure...

I'm doing a course on Germany and Islam, the two main writer's we've looked at are Zaimoglu and Navid Kermani who has an Iranian background. We read 'Leyla' which was alright, but I'm not a massive fan of Zaimoglu and I don't see the point of 'Kanak Sprak'. By Kermani we read 'Kurzmitteilung' and a few essays and I have to say I much prefer him, he seems to know what he's talking about a lot more - after all he is a specialist in Islamwissenschaft.

If you're interested in that topic, then I would recommend both 'Leyla' and 'Kurzmitteilung', also 'Fremde Haut', but that's a film.
Native:[flag=]en[/flag] Good:[flag=]de[/flag][flag=]ca[/flag] Focusing on:[flag=]fa[/flag][flag=]ku[/flag][flag=]ps[/flag] Interested in:[flag=]zza[/flag][flag=]tr[/flag][flag=]sw[/flag]

User avatar
JackFrost
Forum Administrator
Posts: 16209
Joined: 2004-11-08, 21:00
Real Name: Jack Frost
Gender: male
Location: Montréal
Country: CA Canada (Canada)

Re: Recommended books

Postby JackFrost » 2012-04-06, 1:39

Bryon wrote:
JackFrost wrote:Also, it's for the gay crowd usually, although it's not sexually explicit. Let me know if you need some more LGBT-themed books in French. :p

I want them all, please. :mrgreen:

K. :p

Grandir - Philippe Besson (FR)
L'amant russe - Gilles Leroy (FR)
Son frère - Gilles Leroy (FR) - This one is not sexually explicit. Just about brother who's going to die.
L'âme frère - Gilles Jobidon (QC) - Based on 17th-century New France.
Que vais-je devenir jusqu'à ce que je meure? - Robert Lalonde (QC) - Also not explicit. Actually, it's rather ambiguous about person's sexuality apart from getting kissed and held by a friend. Up to your imaginations.
Un papillon dans la peau - Virginie Lou (FR) - Adolescent book. Just for light reading.
Tous les garçon et les filles - Jérôme Lambert (FR) - Same as above. Also ambiguous.
Les Jérémiades - Simon Boulerice (QC) - This one is very fucked up. Be warned...
Deux sans barreurs - Dirk Kurbjuweit (DE) - Originally in German. Also ambiguous.
Max et Sven - Tim Bouden (NL) - Originally in Dutch. It's a comic actually.

If I have to pick a personal favourite out of the list, then L'amant russe then. I'm just a sucker for stories from the old Soviet days. Basically, it's about between a French teenager tourist and a Komsomol. :P
Neferuj paħujkij!

User avatar
Bryon
Posts: 3755
Joined: 2005-09-22, 20:52
Gender: male
Country: FI Finland (Suomi)
Contact:

Re: Recommended books

Postby Bryon » 2012-04-06, 4:04

Thanks! I've been looking for some good gay literature, and it's even better in French. :mrgreen:
Main: [flag]fi[/flag] [flag]fr-qc[/flag] [flag]ru[/flag] [flag]es-mx[/flag]
Ole ystävällinen ja korjaa virheeni!

User avatar
Veqq
Posts: 179
Joined: 2009-09-09, 3:57
Real Name: Alexander
Gender: male
Country: US United States (United States)
Contact:

Re: Recommended books

Postby Veqq » 2012-04-06, 5:51

Die Verwandlungen des Abu Seid von Serug I've read it like 6 times. :P On my last read through, I understood like 2/3s. The problem is having to look up soooooooo many words, so then I get lazy and just read and listen to the beauty of how it sounds while understanding the general idea :P

Canticle for Leibowitz plays magic with history. But honestly I couldn't read through the 3rd section, it was horrible, but the first 2 parts more than make of for that.

The Sketchbok of Geofory Crayon. Love.

Stiftlers (I think stiftler...) Briefe... Beautiful. <3 So much wonderful thought expressed so beautifully, like what Goethe's supposed to do, but he's better. :P
Skype me: Veqqio
Ich lern Deutsch. я учу русский.

CarlGarnica
Posts: 1
Joined: 2012-04-11, 9:21
Real Name: Carl Garnica
Gender: male
Location: London
Country: GB United Kingdom (United Kingdom)
Contact:

Re: Recommended books

Postby CarlGarnica » 2012-04-11, 13:47

There were many books that became available to many countries around the world and those books became influential and made an impact not just to the literature of the countries where the particular books originated, but the books also influenced the literature and society of other countries.

Regards

tinnitusmiraclehq
Posts: 1
Joined: 2012-04-20, 8:09
Real Name: Morris Rich
Gender: male
Location: Nairobi,Kenya
Country: KE Kenya (Kenya)

Re: Recommended books

Postby tinnitusmiraclehq » 2012-04-20, 8:33

Top 5 of My favorite funny Books

1. English Passengers by Matthew Kneale

This isn't your typical funny novel. In fact, it's probably best classed as historical fiction. But there are aspects of it which are incredibly witty.

2. The Ginger Man by J.P. Donleavy

Ask me to name the funniest story I'd ever read and I would not hesitate to name this one. First published in Paris in 1955, the book was banned in Ireland -- where it is set -- and the USA for obscenity.

3. A Far Cry from Kensington by Muriel Spark

I suspect I could have chosen any of the late Muriel Spark's novels to be included in this list, but I've gone for this one purely because I remember enjoying it so much when I read it last year.

4. Scoop by Evelyn Waugh

First published in 1938, Scoop is billed as one of the funniest novel ever written about journalism. It follows the escapades of William Boot, who is mistaken for an eminent writer, and is sent off to the African Republic of Ishmaelia to report on a little known war for the Daily Beast.

5. Towards the End of the Morning by Michael Frayn

Novels about journalism and newspapers are particular favourites of mine (see Scoop above), and this one, written in 1967, harks back to the days when Fleet Street began to experience terminal decline.

User avatar
Varislintu
Posts: 15324
Joined: 2004-02-09, 13:32
Real Name: M.
Gender: female
Location: Helsinki
Country: FI Finland (Suomi)

Re: Recommended books

Postby Varislintu » 2012-04-23, 12:01

For sci-fi fans I'd like to recommend The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi. It's written by a Finn but he wrote it in English, so English is the original language.

I'd classify it as hard science fiction. It's about a future some centuries ahead, when the digitalisation of people's minds has already been invented and achieved. This is a common theme, but this book paints the most realistic picture I've encountered yet of what it would be like if that was possible. The book isn't a dystopy, but the consequenses of this technological step are pretty horrible. Just think about it: endless copies can be made of you, you can be hacked, you can be modified, you can be stolen and pirated, your copies can be enslaved, your perception of time slowed down, you can be used as a pawn in a virtual experiment run by a tireless, mono-puropose A.I.s, etc. Memories can be shared, hiveminds created, and how to solve the problem of more and more immortal persons being around?

The story itself features a kind of "detective chasing a gentleman thief" theme. It's entertaining enough, but the real interesting parts lie in the world building. On a negative note, Rajaniemi could spend a bit more page space explaining the world better. On the other hand, it looks like he might be planning more volumes, so maybe he's saving some details for later books.
Det finns ingen
tröst. Därför
behöver du den inte
(Gösta Ågren)

User avatar
adventrue
Posts: 1402
Joined: 2005-09-23, 13:02
Real Name: adventrue
Gender: female
Location: a mi-chemin du point de non-retour
Country: NL The Netherlands (Nederland)
Contact:

Re: Recommended books

Postby adventrue » 2012-05-30, 12:37

Jack Frost - ce ne sont pas des livres LGBT, ce sont que des livres sur des hommes gays si je me trompe pas... !

Makinary
Posts: 4
Joined: 2012-07-23, 2:01
Gender: male
Country: BR Brazil (Brasil)

Re: Recommended books

Postby Makinary » 2012-07-23, 15:27

Some indications of non-fiction books:

The Art of Worldly Wisdom - Baltasar Gracián
Hiroshima – John Hersey
The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution - Richard Dawkins
Free Culture - Lawrence Lessig
The Story of The Wealth of Nations - Leo Huberman
All books of Carl Sagan
The Language Challenge: From Chaos to Common Sense - Claude Piron

I indicate that books because I think that it enhance the culture in who read it.
Sorry for my bad english.
Image

User avatar
md0
Posts: 7305
Joined: 2010-08-08, 19:56
Country: CY Cyprus (Κύπρος / Kıbrıs)

Re: Recommended books

Postby md0 » 2012-08-21, 8:08

^ nice suggestions

Me, I am looking for suggestions about magazines that are about books and writing. I spose there are magazines like this. (especially about F/SF which is kinda my domain).
"If you like your clause structure, you can keep your clause structure"
Cypriot Greek (el-cy) | ○Standard Modern Greek of Greece (el)Assorted Englishes (en) | ↓France French (fr) | ⊖Police Procedural J-Drama Japanese (ja)Standard Turkish (tr) | ↑German Standard German (de)

User avatar
Yasna
Posts: 1983
Joined: 2011-09-12, 1:17
Gender: male
Location: Boston
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Recommended books

Postby Yasna » 2012-08-21, 17:54

meidei wrote:^ nice suggestions

Me, I am looking for suggestions about magazines that are about books and writing. I spose there are magazines like this. (especially about F/SF which is kinda my domain).

I've heard good things about the SF magazine 科幻世界.
Ein Buch muß die Axt sein für das gefrorene Meer in uns. - Kafka

User avatar
Ciarán12
Posts: 3292
Joined: 2011-12-31, 15:23
Real Name: Ciarán
Gender: male
Location: Baile Átha Cliath (Dublin)
Country: IE Ireland (Éire / Ireland)

Re: Recommended books

Postby Ciarán12 » 2012-10-08, 12:42

I'm no literature buff; certainly, I don't read an awful lot of books. But I thought I would recommend some I thought were good anyway.

The entire Ender's Game series: This series starts off with one book - Ender's Game, but splits into two paths, each with several sequels. All of the books are great reads. (Sci-Fi) (Orson Scott Card) I'm actually rereading these in Spanish right now.

The Homecoming Saga: a series of books by the same author as the Ender's Game series. Also very good, but I prefer the Ender's Game books. (Sci-Fi) (Orson Scott Card)

Shōgun: James Clavell's famous book. One of the best books I've read. I haven't read any of his other books, but I hear they're all worth a read too. (Historical FIction) (James Clavell)

Hokkaidō Highway Blues: a comedic travelogue written by a man who travels from the southernmost to the northernmost tip of Japan by hitchhiking. Light, funny, interesting and informative (to a certain extent). (Travelogue/comedy/non-fiction) (Will Ferguson)

and here's an odd one...

GTO (Great Teacher Onizuka): this is a Manga series with I thought was hilarious. I don't often like Japanese comedy, but this was good. I read it in English first and I own a good few of the volumes in Japanese (but I have yet to read them all). The translations are brilliant, which is all the more impressive because the original was in Japanese (I think translating Japanese humour into English is extremely difficult to do well). (Action/Comedy/Drama) (Manga) (Tōru Fujisawa)

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 22118
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Recommended books

Postby linguoboy » 2012-10-08, 16:21

Ciarán12 wrote:The entire Ender's Game series: This series starts off with one book - Ender's Game, but splits into two paths, each with several sequels. All of the books are great reads. (Sci-Fi) (Orson Scott Card) I'm actually rereading these in Spanish right now.

The Homecoming Saga: a series of books by the same author as the Ender's Game series. Also very good, but I prefer the Ender's Game books. (Sci-Fi) (Orson Scott Card)

I've heard good things about these books, too, but I just can't bring myself to read them knowing what I know about Orson Scott Card's odious political views.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

User avatar
Ciarán12
Posts: 3292
Joined: 2011-12-31, 15:23
Real Name: Ciarán
Gender: male
Location: Baile Átha Cliath (Dublin)
Country: IE Ireland (Éire / Ireland)

Re: Recommended books

Postby Ciarán12 » 2012-10-08, 16:35

linguoboy wrote:I've heard good things about these books, too, but I just can't bring myself to read them knowing what I know about Orson Scott Card's odious political views.


Yeah, I read them without knowing anything about the author. Then I found out he's a Mormon. Having a look at his Wikipedia page now, I can see what you mean. It's hard to believe someone with enough intellect to write those books I love could have such repulsive opinions.

User avatar
Antonym
Posts: 226
Joined: 2011-02-07, 9:52
Gender: female
Country: AT Austria (Österreich)
Contact:

Re: Recommended books

Postby Antonym » 2012-11-29, 14:19

I want to recommend The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, it's one of my favourites. Love how it's written. It's mostly the story about a girl called Liesel, it's set to Germany in the WWII-era and it is narrated by Death.

User avatar
Fox Saint-Just
Posts: 433
Joined: 2013-04-08, 17:59
Gender: male
Country: IT Italy (Italia)
Contact:

Re: Recommended books

Postby Fox Saint-Just » 2013-04-09, 9:55

I strongly recommend Ninety-Three by Victor Hugo. It's probably his most refined book, and also one of the quickest to read. Also, the character of Cimourdain is one of the best ever written.
Native: [flag=]it[/flag] [flag=]egl[/flag] B2: [flag=]en[/flag] Intermediate: [flag=]de[/flag] [flag=]fr[/flag] Curious about: [flag=]ru[/flag] [flag=]hy[/flag] [flag=]eu[/flag] [flag=]nah[/flag] [flag=]ga[/flag] [flag=]sr[/flag]
[flag=]art[/flag] Currently developing Ardlang: http://www.unilang.org/viewtopic.php?f=85&t=40076.


Return to “Literature”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest