Top 100 books and all that

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  • Top 100 books and all that
  • Boba Fatt

    I got talking with a mate a few weeks back and we’d both been thinking the same thing, there are plenty of books out thee that you are supposed to have read.

    I just finished To Kill A Mockingbird and it was fantastic, so where next?

    I’d rather hear what people recommend as must reads rather than trawling through the lists online.

    My thoughts were Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Slaughterhouse 5, Breakfast of Champions, On The Road

    Premier Icon Northwind

    Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes


    For cyclists, I would recommend The Rider by Tim Krabbe. Proper good literature. Not too long either. I’m not a fast reader and struggle unless a book is really good, but this is one of the small few I’d happily read again.


    1984 – George Orwell

    The Twits – Roald Dahl

    The End of Faith – Sam Harris

    Flashman – George MacDonald Fraser

    At The Mountains of Madness – H.P. Lovecraft


    The Pickwick papers
    Confessions of an English opium eater
    The misfortune of virtue
    The ascent of rum doodle

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    Last 2 good books I read that’d I recommend are, Crime and Punishment, Dostoevsky and The Martian, Andy Weir.

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    I’d Recommend, Wigan Pier or Down and out before 1984 myself.

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    The count of Monte Christo

    The kite runner


    Cold comfort farm
    +1 for Down and Out and Wigan pier.
    Good Behaviour (Molly Keane)
    A Farewell to Arms


    Blood Meridian – Cormac McCarthy
    American Gods – Neil Gaiman
    Good Omens – Terry Pratchett (RIP) and Neil Gaiman.
    Into Thin Air – John Krakauer
    Carrying the Fire – Michael Collins
    In Cold Blood – Truman Capote
    House of Leaves – Mark Danielewski (be careful with this one – It’s not for you 8) )


    Small Gods- Terry Pratchett


    oh, forgot one of my proper faves: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

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    The thought gang-Tibor Fischer.


    My favourites include:
    100 years of solitude – Gabriel García Márquez
    World According to Garp – John Irving

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    On Extended Wings – Diane Akerman. Brilliant account of learning to fly light aircraft. Sounds dull, but fantastic.

    Oooh, haven’t read Garp in ages! Good call.

    A few of the classics from me;
    Tom Jones, by Henry Fielding. Glorious.
    The Longest Day, by Cornelius Ryan. Reads as if it’s not real, but sadly it was all too real.
    The Great Game, by Peter Hopkirk. Another documentary of history that reads like the finest proto-spy novel ever written.

    And, Fleming. Yes, go and read the Bond books. They’re truly excellent, IMHO.

    *Edit – Seadog, see also “Fate is the hunter” by Ernest Gan. *

    Premier Icon pedropete

    Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

    Anything by Terry Pratchett or David Gemmell

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    Two personal favourites.

    Angry White Pyjamas – Robert Twigger. He spends a year learning Aikido on the Japanese riot police course, starting from scratch pretty much.

    Hokkaido Highway Blues – Will Ferguson. Bloke hitchhikes the length of Japan following the cherry blossom.

    Premier Icon metalheart

    It’s been a long time since I read Vonnegut but my favourite was Sirens of Titan.

    Some of my favourite books are:

    Sunset song – Lewis Grassic Gibbon
    Young Art & Old Hector / Green Isle of the Great Deep – Neil Gunn
    Anathem – Neal Stephenson (Cryptonomicon is also very good)
    Spook Country – William Gibson (his others are good too)
    Gravitys rainbow – Thomas Pynchon (took a lot to get get into but once there loved it. Intense!)
    Kitchen Confidential – Anthony Bourdain
    The Chrysalids – John Wyndam
    A confederacy of dunces – John Kennedy Toole.


    Just finished-
    Trainspotting + Skagboys, Irvine Welsh.

    Just avoid the clichéd pride and prejudice


    The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay

    Definitely Good Omens. My personal favorite.
    Also The Brentford Trilogy by Robert Rankin.
    Bottersnikes And Gumbles (just for your inner child).
    Top books.

    The Wasp Factory, and quite a few other Iain Banks books. The Bridge is great, must have read at least once a year since I got it.. Also, if you can do scifi read Player of Games, some will say start with Consider Phlebas which is very good but PoG is bettererererer.

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    American Tabloid, James Ellroy

    Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger

    The Secret History, Donna Tartt

    The Right Stuff, Tom Wolfe

    In the Heart of the Sea, Nathaniel Philbrick

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    Oh aye Iain Banks! Crow Road and Espedair Street for me.

    +1 for 100 yrs of solitude
    This thing of darkness – phenomenal novel about Darwin and captain Fitzroy
    Midnight’s children
    Darkness at noon
    East of Eden
    Things fall apart


    Bottersnikes And Gumbles

    Christ that takes me back , chopper.


    The Moon’s a Balloon – David Niven autobiography.
    Spike Milligan’s war memoirs (mostly the first 3 though).


    Another vote for ‘The Right Stuff’

    CFH Have you also read ‘Foreign Devils on the Silk Road’? Yours for the borrowing also [quick before it gets packed to move!]

    Other Ernest Gann books are also worth a read.

    Anything by Georgette Heyer or Nevil Shute is worth your time, and The Rubiyat Of Omar Khayyam should be by your bedside for dipping into at all times, as should anything by Saki / HH Munro.

    No mention of Patrick Leigh Fermor yet?


    Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
    Catch 22 – Joseph Keller
    The Road – Cormac McCarthy

    These would be on my list

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    Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck
    and another vote for Catcher in the Rye


    Another +1 for “100 years of solitude”, totally weird and I have no idea why I like it but I love it.

    My current favourite book is “Shantaram”

    I must be one of the few people who didn’t like “Catch 22” I never really found a voice for it in my head, if you know what I mean.

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    hitchhikers guide to the galaxy


    The Dice Man

    a couple off the top of my head

    Fair stood the Wind for France by HE Bates
    Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
    Dry by Augusten Boroughs
    Writing Home by Alan Bennett
    England’s Lane by Joseph Connolly
    Ordinary Thunderstorms by William Boyd
    Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada


    100 is not enough, just a few from the 80/90s

    Time’s Arrow by Martin Amis
    The Music of Chance by Paul Auster
    The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

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    One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest – Ken Kesey
    The Fight – Norman Mailer
    Fight Club – Chuck Palahnuik
    Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
    Lord of the Flies – William Golding
    Wise Blood – Flannery O’Connor
    Empire of the Sun – JG Ballard

    (Not Kerouac’s On The Road – it’s crap)


    Some great suggestions but I am astounded that no-one has suggested The Grapes of Wrath (Steinbeck) yet. Perhaps the most perfect book ever written and as for the final page? Perfection.

    Gotta say that Birdsong had perhaps the most profound effect on me though – from reading that I have developed a massive interest in the two World Wars and have since read lots of historical accounts, biographies and auto-biographies of people involved in the wars in one way or another. And my interest has also effected my 6 year old girl who likes nothing better than reading about the war (children’s encyclopaedias of the wars) as her bedtime book.

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