Pete's picture
Pete from Detroit is reading Red Dragon April 18, 2013 - 11:06am

SP - I am agreeing with you...

Strange Photon's picture
Strange Photon from Fort Wayne, IN is reading Laurie Anderson lyrics April 18, 2013 - 11:56am

Ah... ok, Pete. Guess I was reading your last comment incorrectly. Thanks for clearing that up.

Avery, it's awesome to see someone take a more anthropological approach to religions. You're absolutely right about all of them being glimpses into human nature, even snapshots of social history at a particular time and place.

Cherry Coke for me, please. Oh, wait, you weren't offering. It's ok, I brought my own.

awesomehotdogs's picture
awesomehotdogs from Denver, CO April 18, 2013 - 1:28pm

I wish more had read "Go" by John Clellon Holmes. Especially all the kids I graduated school with who were bent on writing their thesis about Beat Lit because they never read anything past On The Road or Howl

R.Moon's picture
R.Moon from The City of Champions is reading The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion; Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schimdt PH.D; Creating Characters by the editors of Writer's Digest April 18, 2013 - 3:14pm

I see a lot talk about the Bible and Qu'ran and other religious texts, which is cool, and I think everyone should read those no matter your beliefs. Now, you could say that the flip side would be evolution and science.  But what about the complete other side of the coin? I've read Anton LaVey's The Satanic Bible. I don't agree with everything said in the book, but I also feel the same about the Bible. However, a lot of it does make more sense than the Bible. The one thing LaVey said that stuck with me is: "Without Satan the Catholic Church would be out of business."  The reason I bring this up is because if you recommend people read all the religious texts, no matter their beliefs, then I think it's important to read The Satanic Bible. When it comes to anything religious or spiritual I like to get both sides of the coin, and there is no other side as completely opposite from the Bible than the satanic bible. 

And you could also make the point of reading Dianetics, but that's whole different bird to roast. 

Thought I'd throw this out there, see if anybody has any comments, or beliefs, on any of this. 

My damn phone only refreshed up to Avery's post about the Bible and getting a Coke, so if this conversation has run its course, I apologize. 

Renfield's picture
Renfield from Hell is reading 20th Century Ghosts April 18, 2013 - 4:14pm

I'm not sure if reading comprehension is the strongsuit of religious zealots anyway. As much as I like them for their aesthetics, I've always thought that there were plenty of other books written by drug-addicts and pederasts that were better than bibles of any sort. For some moralistic ramblings Freud or Hakim Bey are pretty fun and at times have some language just as good as any of those testaments. Reading religious texts to gain some cultural foundation is probably pretty smart, but then you'd also have to recommend all those other literary classics they throw at you in Humanities classes, and personally I could never be bothered to hit all that Victor Hugo when there's still these awesome Michael Chrichton books I haven't read yet. And at least Jurassic Park doesn't have the added pressure that you're supposed to read it as if it were extra special Ikea instructions for divine salvation. Well, maybe Jurassic Park isn't the best example there. . .

pinkcellphone's picture
pinkcellphone from Philly is reading A Feast For Crows April 19, 2013 - 11:04am

The Truth Machine

Gordon Highland's picture
Gordon Highland from Kansas City is reading Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore April 21, 2013 - 10:19am

A dictionary.

Hell, even a thesaurus (within moderation).

Covewriter's picture
Covewriter from Nashville, Tennessee is reading & Sons April 22, 2013 - 6:11pm

Let the Great World Spin by Collum McCann is the book I push on everyone I know. Try it and let me know what you think. 

@ Photon, I think you are right . If it is a word it would be "gladdening." My iPad corrects it to gladening for some strange reason.

 

Andrez Bergen's picture
Andrez Bergen from Melbourne, Australia + Tokyo, Japan is reading 'The Spirit' by Will Eisner May 27, 2013 - 10:20pm

^ I'm with Gordon.

Franz III's picture
Franz III from Colorado is reading Perdido Street Station by China Miéville June 4, 2013 - 11:10am

A Canticle for Liebowitz by Walter Miller Jr.

I read this over a year ago and still think about it at least a few times a week. It's the most emotionally powerful and cogent battle between Religion and Science that I've read. It's apparent just how torn Miller Jr. was on these topics; that he wrote this book in great part to examine his own beliefs.

Plus, it's Sci-fi, and post-apocalyptic, and has radioactive mutants, monks, and war.

But the best part is that it's not preachy and definitive about the whole religion v. science debacle. I can't stand when an author takes me through 300+ pages of this beautifully unredeemable conflict and then falls on one side of the line. Perhaps that just mirrors my own belief, but I think a study of the topic is far more interesting than an answer.

Pete's picture
Pete from Detroit is reading Red Dragon June 4, 2013 - 1:31pm

They Don't Dance Much by James Ross...

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal December 9, 2013 - 9:10pm

My first thought: Animal Farm.

Atlas Shrugged as well.

Then Gordon mentions dictionary, and I think, hell, he nailed it.

KarenRunge's picture
KarenRunge from South Africa is reading Blindness December 10, 2013 - 8:29am

'The Exorcist', by William Peter Blatty.

People say, 'What?  That's a book??'

Yes.  Yes, it's a book.  And it's actually, seriously, pretty darn good.

 

KarenRunge's picture
KarenRunge from South Africa is reading Blindness December 10, 2013 - 8:39am

While I'm on it, how about Robert Bloch's Psycho?  There are a bazillion-plus people who talk about 'Hitchock's Psycho', and Bloch gets shoved out of the spotlight completely.

I wish more people would read it.  There are details in the novel that just couldn't make it to film in Hitchock's day....

Pete's picture
Pete from Detroit is reading Red Dragon December 10, 2013 - 9:03am

KarenRunge said: 'The Exorcist', by William Peter Blatty.

People say, 'What?  That's a book??'

Yes.  Yes, it's a book.  And it's actually, seriously, pretty darn good.

And it was a Book Club selection last year. ;)

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated December 12, 2013 - 1:43am

Pretty much anything by Matthew Woodring Strover.

Vonnegut Check's picture
Vonnegut Check from Baltimore July 22, 2014 - 7:40am

The author/poet, Mike Young, I believe he writes music too, has some of the most ecstatic and manic prose I've read since Lolita. I came across his work a couple years ago and thought I'd share him here for others to admire. Or hate, if awesome isn't your thing.

Here's an excerpt from his novel: You in User.

Thoughts?

justwords's picture
justwords from suburb of Birmingham, AL is reading The Tomb, F. Paul Wilson; A Long Way Down, Nick Hornby July 22, 2014 - 11:54pm

^I'd love to add song lyrics. I'm not familiar w/Mike Young, but I'll look him up now. Thanks.

Delete Me's picture
Delete Me August 28, 2014 - 9:29pm

Ask the Dust - John Fante

Don't watch the movie. The film writer completely changed the ending to make it more...romantic. Ugh!

Josh Zancan's picture
Josh Zancan from Crofton, MD is reading East of Eden by John Steinbeck August 29, 2014 - 12:23pm

Love the answers so far.  I came here to write The Unbearable Lightness of Being as well.  Also, What Dreams May Come was mentioned, but for Matheson, I feel like people should go pick up I Am Legend (especially those who only know of it as that trainwreck of a Will Smith movie).

Others are:

Psycho - Robert Bloch.  Source material for Hitchcock's film.  In the interest of full disclosure, I stopped caring so much for the movie, so if you love it, you've been warned.  The book is excellent, and Norman Bates is nothing like in the film.

How to Talk to a Widower - Jonathan Tropper. I picked this up at a supermarket of all places.  A reviewer on the front cover compared him to an American Nick Hornby (I'm sure put there by the publisher with the intent to get people like me to impulse buy it), and damn can this guy fucking write.  Not only did he balance humor amongst tragedy, but he did each so damn well. I've never read a book that made me laugh, cry, then laugh again within the span of a couple scenes.  I'm currently doing a run of classic works I haven't gotten around to, but once I'm through that, I think I'll pick this one up again.

The Jungle Books - Rudyard Kipling.  I love the whole concept behind this, and while I don't love it nearly as much as I do other things, I feel like people should experience the source.

High Fidelity - Nick Hornby (which holds my record for most-read book) I related to this as a teenager, which should have been at least my first clue that something was very wrong.  It's just so damn funny, and the characters are excellent. 

Steinbeck.  Go read all of Steinbeck (I, admittedly, have not done this, but I'm working on it).  I just finished The Great Gatsby, and now I'm on Grapes of Wrath, which was a much needed remedy.  I don't know how Fitzgerald can make parties so dull and Steinbeck can make a turtle crossing a street so interesting. (Perhaps Fitzgerald wanted us to feel Nick's disinterest?  That's the only credit I can give him.)

And you know what, even though I already mentioned him, go read all of Matheson, too.  Probably before Steinbeck (maybe).

 

Fluff's picture
Fluff from Sweden is reading Road Dogs September 24, 2014 - 1:16pm

Egalia's daughters; a satire of the sexes. A funny and heartfelt novel that opened my eyes to gender equality. 

neverbeen's picture
neverbeen is reading If You Could See Me Now by Peter Straub September 24, 2014 - 3:20pm

Invisible Monsters by Palahniuk. I popped my transgressive cherry on this one. Haven't looked back since.

The Epic of Gilgamesh. Old as the Sands of Time, but will still rock your face with its awesomeness.

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault September 24, 2014 - 7:35pm

Lullaby by Palahniuk. I actually think it's my favorite Chuck book. Haunted, also.

Faraway Places by Tom Spanbauer. Or Now is the Hour by Spanbauer. Really powerful stories.

Someone said Dermaphoria, and I totally agree. That shit's something else.

 

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal September 24, 2014 - 9:12pm

^

dude! i loved lullaby! sooo unnoticed! finally someone else out there!

haunted, meh, it was okay.

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault September 24, 2014 - 10:44pm

Haunted still holds a special place in my heart, it was really the first Palahniuk book I discovered. When I got to Guts, it just changed everything. I'd never read anything so...bold. And something about the book as a whole stuck in my mind, there's something unknowable about it, something off, and it weirded me out in this amazing way. And I think the last story in there, Obsolete, is just incredible.

And dude hell yeah! I've read all except Tell-All, and I maintain that Lullaby was my favorite. I don't even know why. All I know's that scene at the end in the hospital room totally punched me in the stomach. And I thought the ending was perfect, I don't understand why some people bitch about it. 

Ronzermonster's picture
Ronzermonster from Portland, OR is reading Forture Smiles September 29, 2014 - 5:21pm

A Visit From The Good Sqad - Jennifer Egan (ESPECIALLY if you're a musician)

Frankenstein - Mary Shelley (How many of you have actually READ it? It truly is an amazing book in terms of theme, structure and writing. Also, if your down with this shizz, then I'd highly recommend reading her husband, and one of my favorite poets, Percy Shelley)

Blood Meridian - Cormac McCarthy (you've probably read The Road and Now Country For Old Men cause of the moveis, and they are amazing, but I will argue that this is his masterpiece)

A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole (just read it.)

Sometimes A Great Notion - Ken Kesey (This one's hard to get through, but it's worth it. A lot of people read Cuckoo's Nest, but there's a lot more to get out of this one. Definitely a challenge, but worth it.)

Rasselas - Samuel Johnson (short and sweet, very powerful)

The Orphan Master's Son - Adam Johnson (one the pulitzer recently. That's why I read it. Fucking epic!)

A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess (a lot of you have seen the movie, but if you haven't read the book, you should!)

The Screwtape Letters - C.S. Lewis (childhood favorite of mine. don't know why more people haven't read it)

Pete's picture
Pete from Detroit is reading Red Dragon September 30, 2014 - 5:50am

^5 for Sometimes a Great Notion

Kacie Cunningham's picture
Kacie Cunningham from Indiana is reading too much to keep this updated September 30, 2014 - 7:33am

Alas, Babylon -- by Pat Frank 

I think it should be required reading for every American. 

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault October 2, 2014 - 8:17pm

The Ice at the Bottom at the World by Mark Richard. I always forget about that one, only read it once but he's great.

Gordon Highland's picture
Gordon Highland from Kansas City is reading Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore October 3, 2014 - 5:24am

Did you know he's a writer and producer for Hell on Wheels? (AMC, Saturday nights) Some of the episodes are excellent (the ones he pens), and some are meh.

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. October 3, 2014 - 9:47am

I'm reading Gustav Hasford.  Amazing writer.  His books Short-Timers and The Phantom Blooper (to a much lesser extent) are the stories behind Full Metal Jacket.  He writes about war like Tim O'Brien did in The Things They Carried.  All the books are out of print and it's a pain in the ass to find them, but if you get one, you are fucking golden.  The online text of The Short-Timers can be found here.

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. October 3, 2014 - 9:52am

I know it's mega famous, but the other one is Lolita, by Nabakov.  I can't get any of my friends to read it because the subject matter is pretty taboo.  But it's an amazing book that really shows you what an unreliable narrator can do to twist a story to his own purposes.

Also, all of Bukowski.  His novels really turned me on to writing in a new way.  As did Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.  

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault October 27, 2014 - 5:52pm

I really wanna check out Bukowski. Would you recommend Fear and Loathing as a good first to read?

Pete's picture
Pete from Detroit is reading Red Dragon October 28, 2014 - 5:10am

Fear and Loathing is by Hunter Thompson - I'd still recommend it.

As for Bukowski - my favorite is Women.

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault October 28, 2014 - 7:47am

Oh wait, I think I knew that...oops. Anyways, Fear and Loathing would be a good one by Thompson? I did want to check out Bukowski too.

I need to make a list. So many things to read.

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. October 28, 2014 - 9:13am

I second  Women.  It really captures his ideas and tone the best.  All of his books are great.  If you're looking at his poetry, then grab Pleasures of the Damned, his uber-collection of poetry.  My favorite book of poems by him is You Get So Alone at Times That It Just Makes Sense.

I've never been a fan of poetry.  I love Bukowski so much that I'd dig up his corpse and lick his asshole if that's what he wanted.  The man is pure genius.

 

But read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, too.  It's brilliant.  Talk about an unreliable narrator with amazing insights into the 60s and 70s culture.  It's a real trip.

Pete's picture
Pete from Detroit is reading Red Dragon October 28, 2014 - 10:24am

As crazy as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is, my favorite of Thompson's writing was just his short pieces for Rolling Stone and other places (found in various collections by him). If I were to recommend a longer narrative, I'd probably go with Hell's Angels. But still, Fear and Loathing is great and you really can't go wrong with it.

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault October 28, 2014 - 1:09pm

So I'll start with Women by Bukowski, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Thompson. I'll branch out from there. You know, I've always been a little...hesitant about reading poetry. Not that there's no poetry I like, but in my experience a lot of poetry is just so, I don't know, glittery? If that makes sense. Granted there's a whole ocean of poems I've never checked out, but I guess I'm just a little biased. With narratives, especially fictional ones, I'm usually blown away by the scope of a lot of stories. How the author needed to structure (or unstructure) it and build up characters and develop a certain psychology to make something bigger than itself. But I'll check out his stuff. Cool name, You Get So Alone at Times That It Just Makes Sense.

Still...I've gotta read Blood on the Forge by William Attaway for my English class, finish Now is The Hour, and Wired for Story before I can grab those Bukowski and Thompson books from the library.

Redd Tramp's picture
Redd Tramp from Los Angeles, CA is reading Mongrels by SGJ; Sacred and Immoral: On the Writings of Chuck Palahniuk; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault October 29, 2014 - 8:02am

I always forget about this book, but I wish more people would read Feed by M.T. Anderson. A wonderful, moving dystopian satire, that's kind of scary because it might not be a satire.

Tony McMillen's picture
Tony McMillen from Mostly glorious Tucson Arizona but now I live near Boston. is reading Not, I'm writing November 4, 2014 - 9:38am

@missesdash I remember really liking Manson's autobiography as well. 

As for other books I wish had got more readers I'll go with Knockemstiff by Donald Ray Pollock and Ubik by PhIlip K. Dick. Oh, and Basal Ganglia by Matthew Revert.  

Josh Zancan's picture
Josh Zancan from Crofton, MD is reading East of Eden by John Steinbeck November 11, 2014 - 5:36pm

The Ice Harvest by Scott Phillips. Even though my favorite scene in the movie (which I watched first), wasn't in the book, this dude can write.

Matt Oddfield's picture
Matt Oddfield from nowhere in particular is reading Embassytown November 13, 2014 - 11:57am

"Mind Fuck" by Manna Francis. Can't speak for the entire series it starts off as I haven't read the whole thing yet, but it's worth the money simply for an unconventional role a sociopath gets in it--namely, not the antagonist or a psycho killer (Sherlock doesn't count because he really isn't a sociopath, not according to psychiatry, anyway). Oh, yeah, and the sci-fi mystery plot topped with dystopia is awesome.

Admittedly, this novel might not be everyone's cup of tea, and not because of gay sex. I've heard people say it's difficult to connect with because no-one from the good guys is actually any good. Still, I love the book, and therefore I wish more people read it. So it was easier to find in bookstores, for chrissakes.

Keiri LaPrade's picture
Keiri LaPrade from Virginia is reading Beowulf November 13, 2014 - 10:02pm

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Walt Whitman.  (Its one of those stories that we all know, or are pretty sure we know, but it's a great read.  There's so much more to it just a picture in an attic that's ageing.)

 

Narrative of a Revolutionary Soldier  by Joseph Plumb Martin.  (It gives a really different view of the Revolutionary War.)

nathaniel parker's picture
nathaniel parker from Cincinnati is reading The Dark Tower ~ King November 20, 2014 - 4:29pm

Do you mean Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde?

Also, I just finished a great one called The People's History of the American Revolution where Martin shows up quite a bit in it. Great book.

Anyways, I'll pimp this book out til my dying breath, Forbidden Knowledge: From Prometheus to Pornography.

First half of the book is examinging the topic throughout literature, the second half does the same with actual case histories. By far, my favorite non-fiction book I've ever read.

And since I can't seem to work out the link function, here: http://www.amazon.com/Forbidden-Knowledge-From-Prometheus-Pornography/dp/0156005514

Liana's picture
Liana from Romania and Texas is reading Naked Lunch November 23, 2014 - 2:42pm

Hard Boiled Wanderland and the End of the World, by Haruki Murakami. The most interesting idea of how to reach immortality that I've ever read.

Tucson's picture
Tucson from Belgium is reading Late Essays - J.M. Coetzee March 23, 2015 - 1:37am

Stiller by Max Frisch. It's probably the best book I've ever read.

Jose F. Diaz's picture
Jose F. Diaz from Boston is reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel March 23, 2015 - 2:20am

Top 15......

1) The Republic, Plato

2) The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir

3-5) Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Anti-Christ, & Beyond Good and Evil, Friederich Nietzsche

6) The Wretched of this Earth, Franz Fanon

7) Cathedral, Raymond Carver

8) The Moral Landscape, Sam Harris

9) Arguably, Christopher Hitchens

10) The Portrait of a Lady, Henry James

11) A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce

12) Hopscotch, Julio Cortazar

13) The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe, Douglas Adams

14) Blood Meridian or the Redness in the West, Cormac McCarthy

15) The Non-Existent Knight & The Cloven Visount, Italo Calvino

Brian Ingham's picture
Brian Ingham from Stillwater Oklahoma is reading There is No Year by. Blake Butler April 12, 2015 - 4:36pm

Pardigm Shift by Harry S. Franklin

The Prey Series by John Sandford
John Dies at the End by David Wong
The End of Alice by AM Holmes
 

 

Amy Marie Blanchette's picture
Amy Marie Blanchette from Fall River, Massachusetts is reading The Journals of Sylvia Plath September 7, 2015 - 1:09pm

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath