Monday, August 08, 2005

Recommended Reading

Michael over at Pipedreams has been posting a few entries about books he's enjoyed recently.

I got me to thinking, if I had to recommend one book to someone, what would it be? Well, there's no real simple answer because I'm a very eclectic reader, so I read a very wide range of books, and obviously one book does not fit all. Anyhoo, I think if I had to suggest just one, based on a book that I think is very well written and that I think most people would enjoy, my pick would be Michael Chabon's wonderful novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. It's one of my favourite novels of all time, but I think more importantly it's so well written that I have no issue recommending it to others.

So, if you had to pick a book that you think most people would enjoy, what would it be?

Related links:


Bodhi said...

Hmmm, OK. Mine would be:

- Duncton Wood trilogy by William Horwood
- The Hobbit and complete Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkien
- Red Mars, Green Mars and Blue Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley

It does seem that I like my weighty escapist tomes, huh?

And on a more personal note:
- Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu.
There are literally dozens of translations of this Taoist Eastern classic. Its one of the first books I read that got me interested in Eastern philosophy.
- Awakening the Buddha Within by Lama Surya Das
Later I read this internationally best-selling book by an American born Tibetan Lama. It's single handedly the major book that first propelled me into Buddhism. So strongly did it resonate, that journey still continues.

Bodhi :-)
Sydney, Australia

The Other Andrew said...

I've read the Tolkein, Kim Stanley Robinson & Lama Surya Das books, but I haven't read the Duncton Wood trilogy or the Lao Tzu.

I agree, 'Awakening the Buddha Within' is a great book. Lama Surya Das is Dzogchen lineage if I remember rightly(?).

Bodhi said...

Now your testing me with questions like that about the lineage of Lama Surya Das, Andrew.

He is actually an authorised Lama in the Nyingmapa School of Tibetan Buddhism. He has indeed founded a number of Dzogchen Centre's throughout the United States.

Bodhi :-)
Sydney, Australia

PS - I may have cheated just a little there. Read more about him at his website:

Michael said...

I loved Kavalier and Clay, too, Andrew. Good choice.

As a book I'd feel comfortable recommending to anyone, I pick Leif Enger's "Peace Like A River". First, for those who need a lot going on, it's just a ripping yarn. And for those who love some beauty on each page, Frank McCourt blurbed that "there are passages so wondrous and wise you'll want to claw yourself with pleasure" and he's right.

Michael said...

OK, I was going to stop at one, but you know how I have impulse control issues, right?
Here are a few other things that I have loved in my life. They take very little effort considering the giddy tingly pay-off. I'm smiling just thinking about them:
"Good Omens" by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. If you don't laugh your ass off, I'm not sure I really know you. If you haven't read anything by Neil Gaiman, and you have even a passing interest in fantasy or whimsy, you are in for a treat. Pick up "Neverwhere", follow it up with "Stardust", and then give me the wet sloppy after. One more and I'll stop. Have you read any Christopher Moore? "Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal" is just plain funny.
Now I'm all aflutter.

The Other Andrew said...

I haven't heard of "Peace Like A River" but I'll check it out. I love the Frank McCourt quote!

I love, love, love "Good Omens". I did, indeed, laugh my ass off. I haven't read any other Gaiman, but I'll scope him out - even if just so I have an excuse to give you 'the wet sloppy afterwards'. I've never read any Christopher Moore either, sounds cool though?

Have you ever read any China Mievelle? 'Perdido St Station' et al. Very imaginative and cool.

Michael said...

I had never even heard of that, but checked it out and it looks really interesting. I'm wishlisting it. Thanks, TOA.

So who says Tee-Oh-Ay like me and who says Tow-uh, which is also kinda cool?

The Other Andrew said...

Michael, let me be your tow-uh of strength...

I get a bit of TOA (but no T & A), a bit of Other Andrew, lots of Andrew, and even the occasional Andy. Andrew is my real name, so you know, no surprises there!

It's a brimful of Andrew on the 45.

As to me old china, China Mieville, I really like the loose trilogy of books Perdido Street Station, The Scar & The Iron Council. Highly recommended,