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Old 05-16-2013, 04:07 PM
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
13,505 posts, read 8,332,660 times
Reputation: 17565


I ran a thread like this a few months ago. Let's suppose that you were fated to spend a long time in isolation, somewhere, and were permitted to choose only a few books to take with you.

I limited the books to five, previously, and I'm going to up it to eight, this time around. I'm also going to specify, as before that one core religious or philosophical "anchor" -- Bible, Quaran, I Ching -- won't be counted toward the eight.

My five, last time around.

Blue Highways - William Least Heat Moon
East of Eden - John Steinbeck
Go Down Moses - William Faulkner
The Power of One -- Brice Courtenay
Testimony of Two Men - Taylor Caldwell

the newbies

The Jungle -- Upton Sinclair I'm a conservative in orientation; but no other work depicts more realistically what can happen when a society undergoing rapid change gets out of balance.

The Cincinnati Kid -- Richard Jessup Far more psychology in this work than those not familiar with it realize. I'm amazed that nobody's picked up on it given the poker upsurge in recent years.(But the KId played nothing more uncomplicated than five-card stud; rather than Texas hold'em).

and The Autobiography of Malcolm X, simply because it represents a view of contemporary society from far outside the mainstream. There are serious flaws -- the author's total dismissal of scientific reasoning for example. But Malcom Little (choice of Christian name deliberate painted a picture of a very different niche of life.
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Old 05-17-2013, 06:22 AM
Location: Texas
15,894 posts, read 15,933,182 times
Reputation: 62679
The Unit by Ninni Holmqvest. A good novel that touches on all emotions.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. It's my favorite book of all time.

The Wall by Marlen Haushofer. Food for thought.

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. This one touches me deeply

QBVII by Leon Uris. I simply like this one as Uris is my favorite author

Something of Value by Robert Ruark. A history of the Mau Mau "uprising" in Africa. Good book.

Exodus by Leon Uris. The first book that I loved.

Trinity by Leon Uris. A story about the "troubles" in Ireland.
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:50 AM
Location: Colorado
4,308 posts, read 12,193,718 times
Reputation: 4435
Battle Cry by Leon Uris
My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:06 AM
199 posts, read 258,220 times
Reputation: 447
The Bible

Coming Home by Rosemund Pilcher

Winter Solstice by Rosemund Pilcher

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Bull Halsey by EB Potter (or actually his own autobiography)

Band of Brothers by Steven Ambrose

Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon and the Journey of a Generation by Sheila Weller

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
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Old 05-20-2013, 11:57 AM
11,002 posts, read 9,240,191 times
Reputation: 20240
"The Complete Works of William Shakespeare" and "The Oxford Book of English Verse" would have to be in there.

How isolated are we supposed to be? Are we to be completely self-reliant? Is food and shelter included, or must we find and provide it for ourselves? Do we need books on wilderness survival, open fire cookery, hunting, wildcrafting, shelter construction, medicinal herbs? The answers to these questions will determine my remaining books.
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:09 PM
13,510 posts, read 15,230,784 times
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If it's 8 I've already read, and know I like:

1. Tale of Gengi, Lady Murasaki
2. The Crock of Gold, James Stephens
3. The Rings of Saturn, W.G. Sebald
4. Thérèse, François Mauriac
5. The Forsythe Saga, John Galsworthy
6. The Land Where the Blues Began, Alan Lomax
7. Travels in Arabia Deserta, Charles M. Doughty
8. Staying Put, Scott Russell Sanders

Moon in a Dewdrop, (a few translations from Dogen's Shobogenzo)
If I was taking a chance on books I hadn't read, or only glanced at

1. On the Natural History of Destruction, W.G. Sebald
2. A Walk on the Wild Side, Nelson Algren
3. Gumbo Ya-Ya, a collection of Louisiana folk tales
4. Doctor Copernicus, John Banville
5. By the Walls of Old Kyoto, Harold Stewart
6. Going By Water, Michael Coady
7. North, Celine
8. The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis, Saramago

Coffinman, The Journal of a Buddhist Mortician, Shinmon Aoki
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:49 AM
533 posts, read 431,774 times
Reputation: 483
The Complete Poems by Blake
Collected Fictions by Borges
The Sagas of Icelanders (Penguin)
The Count of Monte Cristo by Dumas
Something by Dickens, prob. either Nicholas Nickleby or Great Expectations
Complete Works of Saki
An American Childhood by Dillard
Annals of the Former World by McPhee
Core "anchor": The Night Country by Eiseley, if that's philosophical enough to count
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:01 AM
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
17,336 posts, read 28,427,028 times
Reputation: 28712
Originally Posted by kevxu View Post
5. The Forsythe Saga, John Galsworthy
I keep meaning to read The Forsyte Saga (and I, too, always put the "h" in when I write it, say it, or think it ). It's on my Kindle but it's so long that I always think, "Eh. There'll be a better time for it, like when I don't have a 'to read' list that's a mile long." But it's always a mile long, so...
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Old 06-09-2013, 04:52 AM
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
13,505 posts, read 8,332,660 times
Reputation: 17565
To update the thread, no anticipation of isolation from other human contact or basic sustenance was suggested; the idea here was simply that the reader would have only a limited amount of printed matter and would have to take the maximum amount of intellectual stimulation and challenge from that finite supply; also, that the spiritual values in which the individual was grounded would be brought with him/her.

Please lead on.
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:06 AM
Location: Victoria TX
42,661 posts, read 77,209,393 times
Reputation: 36265
I'm not sure I'd just want books I've already read. and I suppose anybody's list would do, for books I haven't read yet.

But just to play the game, if I had to re-read things:

"Anna Karenina", by Leo Tolstoy

"Kristin Lavransdotter", by Sigrid Undset (original translation, since I can't read Norwegian. It's been re-translated so it reads like Ken Follett, and none of the literature remains, only the story line.)

"Let Us Now Praise Famous Men", by James Agee.

"Three Men in a Boat", by Jerome K. Jerome.

"The Seven Pillars of Wisdom", by T. E. Lawrence (of Arabia).

"The Collected Works of Pogo", by Walt Kelly.

"Samuel Pepys' Diary", unabridged.

Last edited by jtur88; 06-09-2013 at 08:14 AM..
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