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Your Personal Top Ten... : Book Discussion • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Your Personal Top Ten...

Read a good book lately? Want to discuss it with others? Share what you're reading and find out what should be on your bookshelf.
krelian877
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Your Personal Top Ten...

Postby krelian877 » Wed Jun 05, 2013 7:23 pm

...Plus, what are you reading now?

It's always fun to know what people like to read and what they are reading. There is always a wonderful mix of genres and tastes. Some authors get mentioned that someone else can't stand, and those same authors that get mentioned, some people might love. So, I thought this would be a good idea. My top ten is quite a mix, in my opinion...

1. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (literature) - Holden Caulfield might be one of my favorite literary characters ever!
2. The Stand by Stephen King (Horror/Fantasy) - Probably the best post-apocalyptic stories ever written, in my opinion. Great character studies on all accounts, just a plain kick-arse novel.
3. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (Dystopian Fantasy) - Just a surprisingly fantastic read.
4. It by Stephen King (Horror/Fantasy) - Again, another great character study by the master of horror.
5. Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (Y.A. Fantasy) - The best in the series in my opinion due to the background on Voldemort's character. Great job here, even though the whole series is just simply fantastic.
6. Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (Y.A. Fantasy) - The conclusion is just as good. More plot and action oriented which was different from HBP, but, a great conclusion nonetheless.
7. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (Mystery/Suspense) - Her characters remind me of Kinsey Millhone a bit, but I love an antihero protagonist. It's done here with great wit, dialogue, and prose, not to mention, a very good mystery within.
8. 'Salem's Lot by Stephen King (Horror/Fantasy) - Just an old-fashioned vampire novel with King's usual flair. Great story, great read.
9. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey (Literature) - McMurphy is one of the best characters in all of fiction. Nurse Ratched is probably one of the best villains. Given my love for character development, this list wouldn't be complete without this novel.
10. The Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx (Biography/Memoir) - If you have any interest in music, and the dark places a person can go, this is a great read, and a quick one at that. It's not for conservative readers as it delves pretty deep into somebody's real darkness, but, it's really an awesome read.

Honorable Mentions:

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, Macbeth by William Shakespeare, Angels & Demons by Dan Brown, Firestarter by Stephen King, Night by Elie Weasel (sp?), In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Carrie by Stephen King, Bag of Bones by Stephen King, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Next Five Books I Plan to Read:

Ender's Game, Divergent, The Passage, Under the Dome, and 11/22/63.

What I'd love for you guys to do is also suggest three books for the person above to read using their list as an example. Let's have some fun, and share some great books!
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Re: Your Personal Top Ten...

Postby mfarraday » Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:54 am

- Searching for Caleb (Anne Tyler)
- Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant (Anne Tyler)
- Jude the Obscure (Thomas Hardy)
- Tess of the d'Ubervilles (Thomas Hardy)
- Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
- Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
- Light a Penny Candle (Maeve Binchy)

I also like Stephen King, JK Rowling, George RR Martin and Jodi Piccoult, but not sure I would rate their books in my top ten.

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Re: Your Personal Top Ten...

Postby allz28 » Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:48 pm

Krelian, I too am a Gillian Flynn fan. Although if one of her novels was to make my top ten list, it would be Gone Girl.

1. Stand On It by Stroker Ace
2. Where the Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rawls
3. One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, Ken Kesey
4. gods in Alabama, by Joshilynn Jackson
5. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Twain
6. The Old Man and the Sea, by Hemingway
7. The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
8. The Frontiersman (non-fiction), by Allan Eckert
10. Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry
9. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (non-fiction), by Tom Wolfe

At the moment, I'm reading Cesar's Way by Cesar Milan.

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Re: Your Personal Top Ten...

Postby tinachris » Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:07 pm

A great idea, Krelian, to start this. I may be the only one who is not a S.King fan, but then I am not into horror. I read non-fiction especially and these are some of my recommendations:
Adam Hochschild - Bury the Chains
Simon Winchester - Professor and the Madman
and - Krakatora
Susan Orlean - The Orchid Thief
Joe Schlesinger - Time Zones
Michael Ignatieff - Blood and Belonging
and Fiction:
Michael Frayn - The Trick of It
Barbara Kingsolver - Poisonwood Bible
plus Mystery: John Grisham, Ian Rankin ........

And many of the books already mentioned in this discussion. I could go on and on, but I have already hit the 10.

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Re: Your Personal Top Ten...

Postby updog » Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:56 pm

"Is it weird in here, or is it just me?" ~ Steven Wright



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Re: Your Personal Top Ten...

Postby louiseh87 » Sat Jun 08, 2013 5:12 pm

Top Ten, a mix of my favourite books when growing up and newer reads:

The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier (aka Escape from Warsaw in the US I believe)
The Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. le Guin
Polgara the Sorceress by David & Leigh Eddings
Among Others by Jo Walton
Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb
The Fatal Strand by Robin Jarvis
The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier
The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

As a kid I also liked E. Nesbit, Enid Blyton, Alan Garner, Philip Pulman and Robin Jarvis, and I read all the Laura Ingles Wilder and What Katy Did books, and will happy re-read any of those. Nowadays I will read anything written by Robin Hobb or Ursula K. le Guin. And Charles Dickens and War & Peace.

Right now I'm reading City of Dragons by Robin Hobb and Black Powder War by Naomi Novik. I also have Great North Road by Peter F. Hamilton and The City and The City by China Mieville out of the library.
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Re: Your Personal Top Ten...

Postby TNE » Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:06 am

Sorry to hear that updog. Well I hope it picks up for ya soon. Okay and no offense krelian but Catcher in the Rye is on my all time loath list that with Great Gatsby and Great Expectations. Huh, I'm beginning to wonder if there's a pattern here.
But I agree with ya on Half-blood Prince though the movie was probably the worst out of all the other films.

Anyways my favorites tend to be the first book I read out of a series.
1. Pearls of Lutra-Brian Jacques First actual chapter book I ever read and the fact cause there's animal warriors.
2. Harry Potter-Prisoner of Azkaban. Probably helped to the fact that I was a little excited bout the upcoming movie that year.
3. Night-angel trilogy by Brent Weeks. His writing blew away with the scope of world building but at times some of his characters actions were a little predictable
4. Darth Bane: Path of Destruction-Drew Karpyshin. He's not your average Darth Vader. The way he developed the MC's descent to the Sith was truly fascinating which I have to say I enjoyed reading more than the way J.K. Rowling did Voldemort's.
5.The Amulet of Samarkand-Jonathon Stroud. Loved Bartimaeus and how Stroud showcased his writer's witty side. Though it sagged a little during Nathaniel's earlier chapters. But he finally prevailed and balanced both of the characters with an excellent ending.
6. The Strange Case of Origami Yoda-Tom Angleberger. To me it was like Diary of a Wimpy Kid mixed with Star Wars. Just a good fun read.
7. Eon-Alison Goodman. Really liked the MC and how the writer made such a strong female character.
8. Wereworld: Rise of the Wolf-Curtis Jobling. Another series I was suckered into cause of animal-like warriors are on the cover. But Gods Almighty when I was reading it, I'd joke to myself what would happen at times and bammo I nailed the target. Warning: If you haven't seen Star Wars Episode V, this one's a doozie and at times a little unnecessary like hiding one character's identity.
9. Orcs-Stan Nicholls. I have to admit some of the parts are really gory or just straight up nasty but I really enjoyed it mainly because the author painted Orcs as characters and not as just mindless cannon fodder.
10. The Dark Portal-Robin Jarvis. Mainly just for scaring the living daylights out of me. Warning do not read at night. I read it once and will never forget it.

Currently I'm reading The Golems Eye by Jonathon Stroud and Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck. Now Tiger's Curse is the first actual epic fantasy with romance woven into it. I gotta say I'm loving it. And am seriously considering moving it to the top of my list.

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Re: Your Personal Top Ten...

Postby Beth Rodgers » Mon Jul 29, 2013 5:55 pm

The first few on my list are definitely my top 3, but the rest of them don't really fall into any particular order. They're just books that I have loved to read.

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - I still reference this when asked what my favorite book is. It's just so beautifully put together. Everything is wrapped up. All questions are answered. Or at least all the ones that I had, and I am one to keep track of everything I want to know the answers to so I'm sure to have closure. I've read it twice and will surely read it again before long.
2. The Godfather - I've read this one three times. Part of the reason is that I'm scared to watch the movie version without having read the book. The plot is followed almost perfectly from the book version, so it makes it easy to know when to turn away if something gruesome is going to happen (like someone getting shot).
3. What My Mother Doesn't Know - Sonya Sones is an awesome young adult novelist. This is one of many of her novels-in-verse, and it so perfectly captures teenage life that I can't help but love it.
4. Little Women - This is one of the first books I remember calling my favorite. I was in the seventh grade, and I read it for a reading class I was taking. My mom made me promise to finish the whole thing before she would take me to see the movie that was coming out that year with Susan Sarandon, Winona Ryder, Claire Danes, and Kirsten Dunst. By the time I finished the book, I had to wait for it to come to video because it was already out of theaters.
5. The Phantom Tollbooth - I don't know that I read this as a kid, but I read it in college during my sophomore year fantasy literature class. I loved it. I had already seen the movie version as a kid, but so many of the puns and other creative ideas in the book took on new meanings for me as an adult.
6. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - I've loved this book ever since I read it when I was a junior in high school. I still love the movie and think that Jack Nicholson did an absolutely fantastic job as R.P. McMurphy. I even convinced my friends to go see the play version of it with Gary Sinise when we went to New York City for spring break our senior year of high school.
7. Night - Elie Wiesel is a fabulous memoir writer. I feel bad for liking this book so much because it's about the Holocaust, and I have family who lived through that. But I've read it twice over the years, and I think it's wonderfully written and something that we all have to remember so that history doesn't repeat itself.
8. The Great Gatsby - Another book that I read for the first time my junior year of high school, I became fascinated with the characters and their interrelationships. I haven't seen the movie version yet, but I definitely plan to do that soon.
9. A Farewell to Arms - I've read this one twice as well. Junior year of high school and then freshmen year of college in a freshmen seminar all about the works of Ernest Hemingway. I love Ernest Hemingway's style of writing.
10. The Catcher in the Rye - I didn't read this one till I started my student teaching senior of college. I read it and then made up extensive lesson plans for the sophomore honors English classes that I was teaching. Since then, I've read it at least once more, and I love the symbolism present throughout Salinger's writing.

Right now, I'm reading Blackbird Lake by Jill Gregory. She's a great historical and contemporary romance novelist, and she also writes thrillers and some other types of writing. I stuck with more of the classics for my top ten, but she's definitely up there as well.
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Re: Your Personal Top Ten...

Postby KerriFF » Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:43 am

This is a bit like choosing a favorite child, isn't it?

In no particular oder, because that's just way too much pressure:

Anna Karenina
The Hours
House of Leaves
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Cosmopolis
Invisible Monsters
Wuthering Heights
The Awakening
Let the Great World Spin
Lolita
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Re: Your Personal Top Ten...

Postby JJenks3838 » Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:35 am

Awesome idea for a thread. I'm probably missing some here, but here you go:

1. The Gospel of John- The Apostle John (Even if you're not a Christian you should read this from a literary standpoint)
2. The Sun Also Rises- Hemingway (I could read this everyday if I had time)
3. The Stranger- Camus
4. The Giver- Lowry (This book changed my life when I read it in 6th grade, if you have kids make sure they read it)
5. Farewell to Arms- Hemingway (I'm a grown man, and the end of this book made me cry on an Amtrak train)
6. The Catcher in the Rye- Salinger (For all of the debate and controversy surrounding this book, one thing that can't be argued is that most people who pick it up finish it and that is a testament to how good it really is)
7. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe- Lewis
8. The Old Man and the Sea- Hemingway
9. Harrison Bergeron- Vonnegut (Not a book, sorry. Short story, but one that everyone should read)

I'm stopping at 9 because I can't think of another book that belongs on this list that I have read. I am currently reading Catch-22, so when I finish that we'll see if it can round out this list. I'll let you know.

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