Forums > Off-Topic Discussion > Your favorite book(s)

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Axioma

Posts: 6793

Gent, East Flanders, Belgium

I'm curious smile - what (kind of) books are your favorite?

! Please add a little description, or explain why you picked it out, or mention some of the ingredients that made it so exceptional in your opinion!

Jan 03 13 07:01 am Link

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Anna Adrielle

Posts: 18763

Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium

all the harry potter books.
lame, I know. maybe it's because I grew up with them (literally... been reading them since I was 11), but I still re-read them every now and then, and they still me bring to tears (from joy or other emotions)

"The Shadow of the Wind" from Carloz Ruiz Zafon was the last book I read, 6 months ago, that I thought was amazing (I've read plenty of other books, but they were all merely okay). I didn't read it, I devoured it. Finished it in one read. It's incredibly beautifully written too, but not in a way that makes it slow or difficult to read (a personal writers I have with a lot of writers, often scandinavian)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shadow_of_the_Wind

I'm also quite fond of those bouquetnovels big_smile. They're not exactly literature, and they're all basically the same and they tell the same story, and they are SO cheesy, but I find them amazing, and I see a weird beauty in their cheesiness.

http://www.worldoflongmire.com/features/romance_novels/mcmullet.jpg

I buy them for 50 cents or so in secondhandstores, read them on the train and leave them there (and then imagine someone else finding them and reading them too, so the books develop a story of their own of all the people who've read them. I like the idea of travelling books, and when I find a book on the train I'll always read it.


I also (still) like fairytales and mythological stories. a lot smile.

basically I read everything. I it's wellwritten I'll give it a go. The only type of books that I haven't had a connection with (not for lack of trying...) are of scandinavian writers. I just find them to be "slow" somehow, can't explain it. I tried reading "50 shades of grey", but now I'd rather eat dirt than ever read that book again. With all the great, "erotic", bondage inspired books out there, I have no idea why this one became such a hit...

Jan 03 13 07:05 am Link

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immateria

Posts: 15446

Brooklyn, New York, US

My literary tastes cycle. Right now, I'm re-reading The Lord of the Rings, while muddling through The Silmarilion, and I think they are the best books ever/

Jan 03 13 07:42 am Link

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Alixx Rose

Posts: 225

Atlanta, Georgia, US

Paint It Black    by Janet Finch
Beautiful book with loads of emotional imagery. Good for a cry or a long serious brood if you're in the mood for it. Something to read when the world lets you down.

The Alchemist    by Paulo Coelho
To reassure you that all is well and meant to be. Gives confidence and excitement, encourages you to follow your dreams.

Both these books made a huge impact on me, and still do everytime I re-read them

Jan 03 13 11:40 am Link

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cinema photography

Posts: 4418

Mission Viejo, California, US

The Red Lion by Maria Szepes. It's a fantastic book in every way. Unique and original and it blends real history within its story that often has you wondering.

Originally published in 1946 in Hungary, this ambitious and relentlessly arcane novel reshapes the stuff of legend into a compelling, if ponderous, philosophical melodrama. Subtitled ``The Elixir of Eternal Life,'' it recounts the harrowing adventures endured, over a span of four centuries, by Hans Burgner, a 16th-century alchemist's apprentice who murders his master in order to possess a potion rumored to confer the gift of immortality. Having drunk this elixir, Burgner is condemned to be repeatedly reborn, century after century, as a cursed visionary who sees, but is powerless to prevent, the injustices and cruelties that lie in wait for his fellowmen.

Alamut by Vladimir Bartol.

Jan 03 13 11:45 am Link

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Motordrive Photography

Posts: 3075

Lodi, California, US

most every Spring I read "Ball Four" (and Ball Five) by Jim Bouton

the 250 year saga "The River God" (and sequels) by Wilbur Smith

when I feel like I'm getting nowhere "The Alchemist"

several from Chuck Palahniuk including "Fight Club" "Choke" and "Survivor"

and all the Jack Reacher books

Jan 03 13 12:12 pm Link

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Tony-S

Posts: 1440

Fort Collins, Colorado, US

Currently reading Spillover by David Quammen.

http://seattletimes.com/ABPub/2012/09/26/2019265503.gif

http://seattletimes.com/html/books/2019 … lover.html

It's about viruses that circulate in animals that get into humans and cause disease. Ebolaviruses, Nipha virus, etc.

Jan 03 13 05:01 pm Link

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BorderlineBunny

Posts: 2201

Tulsa, Oklahoma, US

If anyone's not read The Talisman by Stephen King...highly recommended for hours and hours of entertainment. Fantastic fantasy fiction adventure. I love it with all my heart.

Jan 03 13 05:03 pm Link

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scrymettet

Posts: 32244

Quebec, Quebec, Canada

immateria wrote:
My literary tastes cycle. Right now, I'm re-reading The Lord of the Rings, while muddling through The Silmarilion, and I think they are the best books ever/

+ Stranger in a strange land and Dune

Jan 03 13 05:03 pm Link

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Jules NYC

Posts: 16229

New York, New York, US

BorderlineBunny wrote:
If anyone's not read The Talisman by Stephen King...highly recommended for hours and hours of entertainment. Fantastic fantasy fiction adventure. I love it with all my heart.

I am a huge Stephen King fan

Jan 03 13 05:09 pm Link

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Peach Jones

Posts: 6386

Champaign, Illinois, US

Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis.
--Lewis said that this was the most difficult book that he wrote. He actually mentally put himself in the role of Satan in an effort to tempt a young individual.
http://www.amazon.com/The-Screwtape-Let … s=cs+lewis

Till we have Faces by C.S. Lewis
--this book has taught me more about God and the human condition and why we think we have been "gipped" in life more than any other book. It is fiction, but very educational
http://www.amazon.com/Till-We-Have-Face … s=cs+lewis

Jan 03 13 05:25 pm Link

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LizzyB

Posts: 2194

Rochester, New York, US

Harry Potter- just incredibly well thought out

historical fiction by Philippa Gregory (The Other Boleyn Girl) and Alison Weir- i love Tudor England

currently reading Game of Thrones



favorite book as child: A Wrinkle in Time

Jan 03 13 06:31 pm Link

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David Born

Posts: 1158

Salt Lake City, Utah, US

A friend recently got me into Terry Pratchett. Otherwise I'm reading a book on stepparenting. My favorites are beat prose, Kerouac, Thompson, and some old fashion Emerson, Poe, etc etc..

Jan 04 13 11:00 am Link

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Shon D.- Homme

Posts: 3207

Virginia Beach, Virginia, US

Axioma wrote:
I'm curious smile - what (kind of) books are your favorite?

! Please add a little description, or explain why you picked it out, or mention some of the ingredients that made it so exceptional in your opinion!

ANYTHING by bell hooks or Audre Lorde.

Jan 04 13 11:02 am Link

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Eclectic Vision

Posts: 8214

Toledo, Ohio, US

I read fantasy books. I love magic.

My favorite series is The Incarnations of Immortality series by Piers Anthony. It is so fantastic. I have read most of them repeatedly.

The book I have read the most times is If I Pay Thee Not In Gold
by Mercedes Lackey and Piers Anthony

Also a big fan of the 500 kingdoms novels and the Valdemar series both by Mercedes Lackey.

Jan 04 13 11:07 am Link

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Piscis Noctis

Posts: 11013

Santa Clara, California, US

Axioma wrote:
I'm curious smile - what (kind of) books are your favorite?

! Please add a little description, or explain why you picked it out, or mention some of the ingredients that made it so exceptional in your opinion!

It really depends on my mood.
I usually have a heavy bias towards F&SF.
But often times veer into straight out contemporary and historical fiction.

What do the books I like share in common?
IMHO: Good writing and/or Good storytelling. Good universes don't do it for me most of the time (there are obviously exceptions to this rule tongue )
Most of the time one or the other.

Say, Harry Potter I -> Good story telling, shitty history, so so writing, but told in such a compelling manner that it just grabs you. I want Rowling to be my aunt and tell me stories on the campfire.

Say One Hundred Years of Solitude -> Good writing, so so storytelling. Yet the writing is so nice and slick it can skate uphill.

Say Neverwhere -> Good writing, good storytelling. I want Gaiman to be my uncle and teach me how to write in school the stories he told me on the campfire.

This is just my opinion. Please don't hurt me, I'm delicate and wimpy.

Jan 04 13 11:10 am Link

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V Laroche

Posts: 2746

New Orleans, Louisiana, US

I'm reading Ginsberg & Burrough's Yage Letters and the memoir of Marie, Grand Duchess of Russia. I am also reading All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy. And also Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man by Susan Faludi (who wrote Backlash). But right now I am on the road so I just brought a paperback, Russell Hoban's The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz which is like a weird magical realist novel.

Jan 04 13 09:46 pm Link

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Gerry OHalloran Photo

Posts: 556

Wayne, Pennsylvania, US

Kandelman's Krim by J. L. Synge. The characters, the Orc, the Kea, the Unicorn, the Bottle-Nosed Plumber and the sky-blue Goddess have traits that match many of us here on Model Mayhem.  Published for 15 shillings in 1957 it now commands a high price as a used book on Amazon.

Jan 04 13 10:17 pm Link

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Digital Photo PLUS

Posts: 5503

Lorton, Virginia, US

I like spy novels by Alan Furst and WW II Berlin noir detective novel series by Phillip Kerr with the tough but likable kommisar Bernie Gunther.

I like popular science books, especially about physics and cosmology.

Currently reading Joe Abercrombie's Red Country. Fantastic book but very violent. Similar to Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian.

I like many books, too many to list.

Jan 04 13 10:53 pm Link

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Snowmonkey Design

Posts: 4633

London, England, United Kingdom

hmm must confess I don't read much these days..use to be Wild Swans..so I will plumb now for Lorraine Pascale ( ex supermodel now sensational and amazing chef) Baking made easy and her other book but the title escapes me. smile

Jan 04 13 11:03 pm Link

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Lela Jesse

Posts: 1148

Arcata, California, US

I adore reading!
My favorite book of all time is called Skylight Confessions by Alice Hoffman. All of her books have this sweet light touch of magical fantasy, although this book deals heavily in serious subject matter , and I normally cry when I read it. Which is very often.

I love fantasy novels, and read all of the Mortal Instrument series. Great books, despite being very teen oriented.

I've read all Lord of the Rings books, the Hobbit, and the Silmarillion and they are absolutely magical. Some of my favorites.

I adored Gone with the Wind, and Scarlet. Even with the books having been written with different authors, I adored when Scarlet ended the story.

I love dystopian novels, and loved reading the Hunger games, as well as Anthem, Brave New World and 1984. And more that I can't remember the name of. The overall idea that they give off is so interesting to me.

I like Dean Koontz, and read a ton of his novels. One of my favorites was Life Expectancy. It had such a light hearted feel with still amounts of suspense. I laughed out loud and almost cried. It was a great one!
I also loved all of Koontz' Odd Thomas series. It was unlike anything else I had ever read by him, and I connected with the ghost seeing line cook from the beginning.

I recently read the first Game Of Thrones book, and was enthralled! Such great writing, and such an intriguing story!

I loved White Oleander, and the story is so touching. I adore the characters and the authors voice. 

There are just so many more.I read all the time, and its one of my favorite past times!

Edit! Ah I thought of another one! The Road by Cormick McCarthy. Post apocalyptic world that a son and his father have to try to make it in. The writing style isn't like many other books, which, along with the emotion in the novel, made it a memorable one for me.

Jan 04 13 11:13 pm Link

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Lela Jesse

Posts: 1148

Arcata, California, US

immateria wrote:
My literary tastes cycle. Right now, I'm re-reading The Lord of the Rings, while muddling through The Silmarilion, and I think they are the best books ever/

I adore all of the LOTR books!

Jan 04 13 11:17 pm Link

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Snowmonkey Design

Posts: 4633

London, England, United Kingdom

Lela Jesse wrote:
I've read all Lord of the Rings books, the Hobbit, and the Silmarillion and they are absolutely magical. Some of my favorites.
---------------------

I also love LOTR and the Hobbit, read them so many times my copies are all battered..mind you I now spoil the ending for myself by always suggesting if only Frodo used a LandRover..Mordor would be nearer.

Anyway if you like those books..don't know if you have read his other stuff

Roverandom  about a small dog who goes to the moon, it was written for Tolkien's son ..or Tales From the Perilous Realm. both very good though much shorter than the Hobbit. smile

Jan 05 13 12:03 am Link

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BorderlineBunny

Posts: 2201

Tulsa, Oklahoma, US

Jules NYC wrote:

I am a huge Stephen King fan

Then if you haven't read that one I suggest you do. It is my absolute favorite Stephen King novel, followed closely by Insomnia for some reason. Haha.

Jan 05 13 12:16 am Link

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Lela Jesse

Posts: 1148

Arcata, California, US

Snowmonkey Design wrote:

Lela Jesse wrote:
I've read all Lord of the Rings books, the Hobbit, and the Silmarillion and they are absolutely magical. Some of my favorites.
---------------------

I also love LOTR and the Hobbit, read them so many times my copies are all battered..mind you I now spoil the ending for myself by always suggesting if only Frodo used a LandRover..Mordor would be nearer.

Anyway if you like those books..don't know if you have read his other stuff

Roverandom  about a small dog who goes to the moon, it was written for Tolkien's son ..or Tales From the Perilous Realm. both very good though much shorter than the Hobbit. smile

I haven't read it all. I've started Children of Hurin, and i likes that, but got distracted. I'm going to give all of JRR Tolkien's works some more going through. I love his style and can't wait to read more. I'm going to take your suggestion and read both of those!

Jan 05 13 12:21 am Link

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Paul Ferris

Posts: 3508

New York, New York, US

Fake stuff

The Alienist by Caleb Carr. 1880's NYC. A serial killer is on the loose targeting transvestites. A psychiatrist (called Alienists in the day) puts together the first forensic/behavioral scientist teams to investigate and try to catch him.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon. An autistic teen finds a dog stabbed in his neighbors yard and while most people think he did it he investigates the crime. 

The Game of Thrones books although the author might die before he finishes them so read with caution.

Real Stuff

Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure by Matthew Algo. Story of how former President Harry Truman decided to drive from Missouri to New York City with out secret service to visit his daughter. It never happened before and won't ever happen since. Fantastic and fun read.

Packing For Mars by Mary Roach. Hilarious look into what astronauts really have to go through to travel in space. The image of "One Small Step For Man" gets wiped out by descriptions of how Astronauts had to poop into ziplock bags and mash up anti gas pills into them to prevent them from popping during flight.

Jan 05 13 12:33 am Link

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Snowmonkey Design

Posts: 4633

London, England, United Kingdom

Lela Jesse wrote:

Snowmonkey Design wrote:

Lela Jesse wrote:
I've read all Lord of the Rings books, the Hobbit, and the Silmarillion and they are absolutely magical. Some of my favorites.
---------------------

I also love LOTR and the Hobbit, read them so many times my copies are all battered..mind you I now spoil the ending for myself by always suggesting if only Frodo used a LandRover..Mordor would be nearer.

Anyway if you like those books..don't know if you have read his other stuff

Roverandom  about a small dog who goes to the moon, it was written for Tolkien's son ..or Tales From the Perilous Realm. both very good though much shorter than the Hobbit. smile

I haven't read it all. I've started Children of Hurin, and i likes that, but got distracted. I'm going to give all of JRR Tolkien's works some more going through. I love his style and can't wait to read more. I'm going to take your suggestion and read both of those!

hmm, I've not read The Children of Hurin..the last one I read was Unfinished Tales and The History of Middle Earth, but to be honest I could not get into it.

Oh I forgot there is also a collection of short stories too...including one on Tom Bombadil ...Roverandom I am not sure if still printed I got mine from a second hand store. smile

Jan 05 13 12:35 am Link

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DivaEroticus

Posts: 14712

Fayetteville, Arkansas, US

My favorites:

The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran
Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis
A Year in Provence, by Peter Mayle
Earth's Children series, by Jean Auel

Jan 05 13 07:50 am Link

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Marc Damon

Posts: 6562

Biloxi, Mississippi, US

Almost anything by Dan Brown, Clive Cussler, John Grisham and James Patterson.

Jan 05 13 07:59 am Link

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Lela Jesse

Posts: 1148

Arcata, California, US

Snowmonkey Design wrote:

Lela Jesse wrote:

Snowmonkey Design wrote:

Lela Jesse wrote:
I've read all Lord of the Rings books, the Hobbit, and the Silmarillion and they are absolutely magical. Some of my favorites.
---------------------

I also love LOTR and the Hobbit, read them so many times my copies are all battered..mind you I now spoil the ending for myself by always suggesting if only Frodo used a LandRover..Mordor would be nearer.

Anyway if you like those books..don't know if you have read his other stuff

Roverandom  about a small dog who goes to the moon, it was written for Tolkien's son ..or Tales From the Perilous Realm. both very good though much shorter than the Hobbit. smile

I haven't read it all. I've started Children of Hurin, and i likes that, but got distracted. I'm going to give all of JRR Tolkien's works some more going through. I love his style and can't wait to read more. I'm going to take your suggestion and read both of those!

hmm, I've not read The Children of Hurin..the last one I read was Unfinished Tales and The History of Middle Earth, but to be honest I could not get into it.

Oh I forgot there is also a collection of short stories too...including one on Tom Bombadil ...Roverandom I am not sure if still printed I got mine from a second hand store. smile

Tom Bombadil was one of my favorite characters that made an appearance in FOTR. I will have to read that for sure!

Jan 05 13 08:06 am Link

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Jay2G Photography

Posts: 2296

Milford, Michigan, US

I do not read nearly as much as I used too and should. But I really enjoy fantasy/science fiction.  The Amber Chronicles by Roger Zelazny are my all time favorite books. I also read all of the original Conan books, they were pretty good. I have not read the newest but I also enjoyed the Shannara series.  Along with a lot of other series and books but those are the most known I've read.  I could never get into the lord of the rings books. Way to overly descriptive and repetitive.

Jan 05 13 07:11 pm Link

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Rick Dupuis Photography

Posts: 6822

Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada

I have all of Tom Clancy's books in hard cover. He was much better early in his career than he is now, but they are still good. I haven't picked up his latest yet.
I got Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy for Christmas. Reading Lincoln now. If Kennedy is half as good, I'll be happy. If every history book was written like Killing Lincoln, more kids would like history.

Jan 05 13 07:15 pm Link

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BlueMoonPics

Posts: 4428

New York, New York, US

I don't read.

Jan 05 13 07:17 pm Link

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Rick Dupuis Photography

Posts: 6822

Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada

Marc Damon wrote:
Almost anything by Dan Brown, Clive Cussler, John Grisham and James Patterson.

I have many of Cussler's books and I've read more than I own. He's another guy who was better early. Raise the Titanic was awesome. I think his Oregon Files are like his older Dirk Pitt novels. haven't read a bad Oregon Files yet. Love them.

Jan 05 13 07:18 pm Link

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Julia Francesca

Posts: 2365

Maumee, Ohio, US

i love a clockwork orange by anthony burgess, one of few books i can read over and over again. also loved the electric kool-aid acid test, that was a wild ride. and actually a kid's book i thought was really well done was Holes, i can't remember who it's by but OMG, great book, beautiful story. and Maniac McGee!! another great young people book.

i like writing my own stories and reading them because they're funny, i wrote this one about a hamburger place where this guy goes in and gets a burger and it gives him period-like symptoms, and thus he becomes empathetic for his dear girlfriend's monthly pms. another fave of mine is about a little girl who is so terrified of farts that it turns her into a psychopath and she kills anyone whom she hears farting. i'll let ya'll know when they're published so you can read 'em too!

Jan 05 13 07:23 pm Link

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salvatori.

Posts: 3836

Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, US

"Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas" by Hunter S. Thompson. Ridiculous lunacy as a wrapping for an insightful and brilliant analysis of America, post-Vietnam.

"Old Man and the Sea." Hemingway. Minimalist storytelling with heart.

"Rivethead" by Ben Hamper. He was a GM lineworker and wrote this in the mid '80s. Sarcastic and sad and funny about factory life.

I started writing a novel in June, 2012. It focuses on a relationship (what else!). So I thought, 'What would be the narrowest audience for a piece of literature? Of course, a love story for middle aged guys!' haha

So I admit to reading a few Nicolas Sparks books here of late; for no other reason than to see how I don't want to write a love story...

smile

Jan 05 13 07:37 pm Link

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Kevin Connery

Posts: 16908

El Segundo, California, US

Single favorite: Ken Grimwood' Replay.

Collection: Lois Bujold's Vorkosigan series

I'm a big fan of many other books or authors as well, but those stand out.

Jan 05 13 07:50 pm Link

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Lovely Day Media

Posts: 4279

Vineland, New Jersey, US

While I find nothing wrong with fiction, I prefer non fiction more often than not.

  The one book I find extremely fascinating is Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.

  In this book, he interviews all the richest people at that time (the original book came out in 1937 or so) and compiles all the things they tell him into a book about how to make up one's mind to make money.  It's not about money but making up one's mind.  What these people thought about, how they thought about it, things they did, things they avoided doing, etc etc.

  Each time I read it, I find something in it that I didn't see last time.

Jan 05 13 10:46 pm Link