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View Full Version : Recommendations?


NatrlBornThrllr
01-20-06, 02:02 AM
I'm a bit ashamed to admit it, but I'm not all that familiar with literature. You and I could walk up to the average moviegoer and spout off names like Akira Kurosawa, Federico Fellini, Todd Solondz, and Terry Gilliam...and people would simply cock their heads to the side and say, "who?" In the realm of literature...I'm that guy. So, I'd like some recommendations on books that'd appeal to my taste, if you don't mind. A few that I've read and enjoyed in the past couple of months and thoroughly enjoyed..

Everything Palahniuk
Running with Scissors
The Unbearable Lightness of Being

I like books that take off on tangents about the political, philosophical, and in Palahniuk's case...random factoids. I like books that aren't afraid to be vulgar from time to time. I like books with an odd or unique story to tell (I vastly preferred Running with Scissors to Snow Falling on Cedars, as an example). I like books that are written with a quick, dry wit. Being a busy 21-year old college kid, I'm looking for quick, light, and easy reads. Something with a unique style grounded in an intriguing, if not captivating story.

I think, to sum up everything I'm looking for in one sentence: I want books that I can quote out of context. That is, not all story. I'm looking for some story, some tangent.

The only book on my to-buy list is Dry. Can you help me add a few more titles that might fit what I'm looking for?

Thanks in advance.

-JP

Joe Molotov
01-20-06, 02:26 AM
Is there anything more quotable than The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series? And as far as going off on random tangents, they got that as well. They're easy reads, funny, and well written. If you've already read them (or even if you haven't) then you should also check out Douglas Adam's somewhat lesser known books Dirk Gently's Hollistic Detective Agency and The Long, Dark Tea-Time of the Soul. They're excellent too, and also very quotable. Any conversation where I'm able to work in "You're lucky it didn't slash at you with it's beak as well" I consider to be a good conversation.

TimeandTide
01-20-06, 09:21 AM
I can't recommend enough A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by David Eggers. One of the best books I've ever read and it definitely meets your criteria.

NatrlBornThrllr
01-20-06, 12:35 PM
Is there anything more quotable than The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series? And as far as going off on random tangents, they got that as well. They're easy reads, funny, and well written. If you've already read them (or even if you haven't) then you should also check out Douglas Adam's somewhat lesser known books Dirk Gently's Hollistic Detective Agency and The Long, Dark Tea-Time of the Soul. They're excellent too, and also very quotable. Any conversation where I'm able to work in "You're lucky it didn't slash at you with it's beak as well" I consider to be a good conversation.

I've heard good things. Even though science fiction isn't a genre that I'm particularly fond of, I'll pick up one of the books and give the series a shot.

I can't recommend enough A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by David Eggers. One of the best books I've ever read and it definitely meets your criteria.

I actually saw this book mentioned among the reviews for Running with Scissors. The title intrigued me, as did the comments about it. With your recommendation on top of that, I'll definitely hunt it down. Thanks.

-JP

FantasticVSDoom
01-21-06, 06:28 PM
Great thread Natrl, Im kinda in the same boat as you as I'm looking for similar books.. I have read every Palahniuk book and about to start with Augusten Burroughs as well (about to begin Magical Thinking and my sis is sending me running with scissors). My wife told me Rule of the Bone by Russel Banks might be along those lines so I have that coming up and looking for more.

TimeandTide
01-21-06, 09:49 PM
Great thread Natrl, Im kinda in the same boat as you as I'm looking for similar books.. I have read every Palahniuk book and about to start with Augusten Burroughs as well (about to begin Magical Thinking and my sis is sending me running with scissors). My wife told me Rule of the Bone by Russel Banks might be along those lines so I have that coming up and looking for more.

My favorite Banks book is The Sweet Hereafter. Haven't read Bone, so I'm looking forward to your comments on it.

Other suggestions:

You Shall Know Our Velocity by Eggers
Trainspotting by Irving Welsh
The Beach by Alex Garland
Lolita by Nabakov (far lighter and funnier than you might think)

lordwow
01-21-06, 10:18 PM
<B>All The King's Men</B> By Robert Penn Warren - My favorite book. It's a philisophical look at an idealist who works for a corrupt politician, but doesn't feel that he's doing anything wrong.

NatrlBornThrllr
01-22-06, 09:52 PM
Alright, I picked up the following today:

Dry (Augusten Burroughs)
Magical Thinking (Augusten Burroughs)
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (Dave Eggers)
Trainspotting (Irvine Welsh)
The Acid House (Irvine Welsh)
The Rules of Attraction (Bret Easton Ellis)

Those, plus a few that I own but haven't read yet, should hold me over for a while. I'd still like to buy Rule of the Bone, but I didn't see it at the Hastings or Half Price Books that I went to...plus I spent $80 or so, so I guess it can wait. There are many others on my wishlist, just based on some of the Amazon lists (mainly, titles that frequently showed up on lists related to Palahniuk's books) that I'll pick up once I work my way through these. Some of them are:

Jesus' Son (Denis Johnson)
Reasons to Live (Amy Hempel)
Kiss Me, Judas (Will Christopher Baer)
Penny Dreadful (Will Christopher Baer)
Just a Couple of Days (Tony Vigorito)
...and some others from this thread.

Thanks to everybody for their help, and if anybody reads this and thinks of a title that I absolutely must read (in terms of fitting in with what I've read and liked thus far), don't hesitate to speak up.

-JP

FantasticVSDoom
01-23-06, 09:28 AM
I know he has been muched maligned here recently, but Im reading My Friend Leonard by James Frey (million pieces guy) and its been pretty good so far. I wasnt going to read it as I have so many other things to read right now (all the shit from my above post), but wife said it was pretty good and she was balling at the end of it and I need to get it back to the library by end of the week, so I thought what the hell. Definitely a quick read and has some pretty good wit about it. Not at all similar to Palahniuk, but if you are out of ideas, it might be worth checking into.