Top 100 books and all that

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  • Top 100 books and all that
  • Premier Icon DezB

    Forgot Brighton Rock – Graham Greene.

    Read some fantastic books about war, but can’t think of them at the mo.


    Read some fantastic books about war, but can’t think of them at the mo.

    Primo Levi – If This Is A Man

    All the Anthony Beevor books

    Peter White – With The Jocks

    Are a few that spring to mind.


    The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer is an excellent book set in WWII.


    Anything by Ian Banks, but Espedaire Street as mentioned earlier is very good.
    One recommended on here last year, Child 44 is an excellent read.
    Atonement by Ian Mcewan (my 3 favourite authors are all called Ian and all Scottish)

    Premier Icon kimbers

    Louis de Bernières
    The War of Don Emmanuel’s Nether Parts
    Señor Vivo and the Coca Lord
    The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman.

    Ian M Bainks
    Culture stuff

    Alistair Reynolds
    Revelation Space books

    Joe Abercrombie
    Blade Itself

    George RR MArtin

    Cormac Macarthy
    everything of his ive read

    Douglas Adams
    Hitchikers Guide to The Galaxy

    Frank Herbert

    Hunter S thompson
    Fear and Loathing

    phillip dick
    scanner darkly
    do androids dream

    Hubert Selby Jnr
    Requiem For a Dream

    Dan Simmonds
    Hyperion saga

    JG ballard
    empire of the sun

    Bret Easton Ellis
    american psycho

    JRR Tokein

    Premier Icon convert

    I am astounded that no-one has suggested The Grapes of Wrath (Steinbeck) yet.

    It’s on my to do list but put off by The winter of our discontent which I just couldn’t get into (unfinished).

    Lots of good stuff above. To add:-

    ‘The Blackhouse Trilogy’ by Peter May (don’t be put off by his Enzo series – these are much better). still a light read, Rankinesque.

    And a bit more left field – ‘A prayer for Owen Meany’ by John Irving

    Some bloody fantastic books already mentioned so I can only add one to the list :- The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell


    Gotta say that Birdsong had perhaps the most profound effect on me though

    Hated Birdsong, crappy chick-lit dressed up as something profound. Awful book.

    For classics Orwell is great, and Hamlet is a good read too (although obviously not a “book” but rather a play). For non-classics more votes for Good Omens, American Gods, and a lot of Iain M Banks.

    Premier Icon convert

    For classics Orwell is great

    Agreed. I’d add John Wyndham too though he dated a little quicker. Orwell is a bit more timeless in prose style.


    Hated Birdsong, crappy chick-lit dressed up as something profound. Awful book.

    Hmm not sure I agree, although I focussed on the passages about the fighting underground (which I never knew happened) and it was that that made me want to find out more about the wars.

    The screen adaption came across as a chick-flick though, agreed.

    Premier Icon onewheelgood

    Lots of good stuff here. Three that I don’t think have been mentioned yet:
    Siddharta by Herman Hesse
    Dhalgren by Samual R. Delaney
    Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M Miller

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager

    Dhalgren is an amazing book – good choice. Amazing to think that it was a bestseller, sold over a million copies. Reckon the publishers would have been happy if it sold ten copies, given the style and subject.

    Stars in my pocket like grains of sand is my favourite Delany book, though. Pretty much the last novel he wrote with a mainstream sort of structure (if not content), his writing moved in a different direction after that.


    Hmm not sure I agree, although I focussed on the passages about the fighting underground (which I never knew happened) and it was that that made me want to find out more about the wars.

    Thing is I already knew a fair amount about that, and WWI in general – so all the novelty was in the rest of the story. Which was basically a romance novel, fine if you like that kind of thing but I don’t.


    +1 for Bryce Courtenay- The Power of One
    Alasdair Macleod- No Great Mischief
    Bukowski- Pulp
    Irvine Welsh- Trainspotting
    Orwell – Burmese Days


    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.

    One of the best books I’ve ever read and I’ve never forgotten the effect that final page had on me. I was on the number 73 heading in for college, it was all I could do not to read it out to the whole bus. I still wish I had though.

    I also loved East Of Eden, I think it the equal of Grapes of Wrath and Cannery Row.

    As a rule I only read award winners (Booker, Orange, etc) – Currently on Wolf Hall and Bringing up the Bodies by Hillary Mantel. Marvellous if you’re into historical novels.

    Also – as mentioned previously, anything by the three “Ians” [McEwan, Banks and Rankin].

    My favourite book ever – Fugitive Pieces by Canadian poet Anne Michaels.

    Worst ever – Sebastian Faulks – Charlotte Gray: overrated drivel!

    Also – check out the BBC bookclub, read their current book and listen to the discussion with the author… that’s got me into loads of good stuff over the years.


    At Swim Two Birds Flann O’Brien

    Long Walk to Freedom Nelson Mandela

    Junkie William Burroughs

    Premier Icon funkrodent

    Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck

    Good call that.

    I’d add Cannery Row by the same author.

    Also The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera (Czech Author)

    Any of the Flashman books – raunchy, funny, historically enlightening adventures of a cad and a charlatan through all the key events of the British Empire 1840-1905 (incl Charge of the Light Brigade, Indian Mutiny, Afghan Wars, Sikh Wars, Slave Trade, Zulu War, Little Big Horn, Opium Wars with China and more..). Flashman even manages to best Sherlock Holmes

    Adventures of Brigadier Gerrard – Arthur Conan Doyle. Not as famous as his other creation, but very funny books about a Napoleonic officer in the French army

    Also The Siege of Krishnapur by JG Farrell

    And any of the Rumpole books by John Mortimer


    there’s a great app/website for just this called goodreads. You can rate books you’ve read and it’ll throw back suggestions. Reader reviews are worth a browse and there are also book lists. i.e top 100 books of various decades, best 100 books based in SE Asia etc etc. Worth a look for plenty of ideas.


    plus one for the grapes of wrath , i am half way through it and gob smacked at how relavent it is in todays dog eat dog world of rampant capatalism.

    Premier Icon paladin

    Railway man – so much better than the film.

    Irvine welsh books – reading them all is better than reading g a few (helps if you understand the Leith tongue 😉 )


    Hated Birdsong, crappy chick-lit dressed up as something profound. Awful book.

    +1 utter sh*te

    Plenty of good stuff above but also:
    Karl Marx by Francis Wheen
    Alan Turing: Enigma by Andrew Hodges
    Coming Up for Air by Orwell
    Hangover Square by Patrick Hamilton
    Decline and Fall / Scoop / Vile Bodies all by Evelyn Waugh
    6 Easy Pieces by Richard Feynman
    Ascent of Money by Niall Ferguson
    The Secret Race by Tyler Hamilton
    When Genius Failed (the Rise and Fall of LTCM) by Roger Lowenstein (bit specialist this one, but good if you like business / finance type stuff)


    Oh and the entire Aubrey Maturin series.

    Premier Icon eddiebaby

    The Fruit Palace – Charles Nicholl.

    Premier Icon IdleJon

    Hated Birdsong, crappy chick-lit dressed up as something profound. Awful book.
    +1 utter sh*te

    Yep, I’ll add another +1. Terrible book.

    Premier Icon pondo

    At the risk of getting flamed, I really liked most of the Harry Potter books – the first two or three are a bit, well, kid’s books, but it gets darker and far more involved as it goes along, I think they’re a great series. Tried Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy too, and that was ace.

    As someone with an interest in cycling, you owe it to yourself to read The Hour and Faster, both by Michael Hutchinson – laugh-out-loud funny and more useful information and trivia than you could shake a stick at.

    Premier Icon cheers_drive

    The Road – Cormack McCarthy


    Lots of the above, and:

    Chickenhawk – Robert Mason

    The Forever War – Joe Haldeman

    Premier Icon epicyclo

    “Three Men in a Boat” by Jerome K Jerome

    “Riotous Assembly” and “Indecent Exposure” as a pair, by Tom Sharpe, and follow up with “Vintage Stuff”

    The “Flashman” series by George MacDonald Fraser

    And Winston S Churchill “My Early Life”


    Two i haven’t seen mentioned yet:

    Slaughterhouse 5 – Kurt Vonnegut
    Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury


    Catch22 – Joseph Heller
    Trainspotting – Irvin Welsh
    Indecent Exposure/Riotous Assembly – Tom Sharpe
    Wilt – Sharpe again


    Stig of the dump.
    Anything by Nevil Shute, In the Wet is great.
    Anything by HW Tilman.
    An ordinary soldier by Doug Beatle.

    Premier Icon nickc

    War and Piece/ Anna Kerenina by the good Count Tolstoy

    Everyone should read at least one of them. They are without doubt the two finest pieces of literature ever put on paper. Do yourself a favour and give them a go.


    A few of my favourite that haven’t been mentioned…
    Fear and loathing in las Vegas
    A clockwork orange
    Brave new world

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner

    Good point 🙂
    A Clockwork Orange is my favourite ever read.

    Anything, just anything by Wodehouse, Conan Doyle, Seamus Heaney or Joseph Wambaugh.

    Anything by Hemingway.
    The short stories to start, then Fiesta.

    The Young Lions – Irwin Shaw.
    Jake Arnott – He Kills Coppers.
    The Villian – Jim Perrin’s biography of Don Whillans.
    Les Mis.
    The White Spider.
    Jupiter’s Travels.
    As I walked out one midsummer morning.
    Collected MR James.
    Most of Ted Hughes.
    Houseman – A Shropshire Lad.
    Les Fleures Du Mal – Baudelaire.
    Any Milligan.
    Idle thoughts of an Idle fellow – JKJ.

    Anything by Banks, but nothing will ever compare to the first time you read ‘The Wasp Factory’.


    Hmm, Clockwork Orange was good but not amazing. It doesn’t rate that highly for me. And Catch 22 – yeah, good. But has anyone read any of his other shite? Something Happened is particularly awful.


    Has American Psycho been mentioned, great book.

    Premier Icon mucker

    The Book of Splendour by Frances Sherwood.
    I could not put it down, I felt immersed in 17th century Prague, smells, sounds, sights, facts and fiction skilfully interwoven, rich like really good chocolate.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner

    Agree on Joseph Heller – Catch 22 is wonderful, but Something Happened is just good.

    Er, huge Jane Austin fan btw.
    P&P is just superb – the characters are so obviously real.
    Her honesty is very refreshing too.

    A Clockwork Orange is a perfect study of humanity in just over 100 pages.

    Premier Icon seosamh77

    cracking lists here, have we reached 100 yet? take it were going for a top 500? 😀

    I’d add,
    war of the worlds
    day of the triffids
    long walk to freedom
    shogun. james clavell

Viewing 40 posts - 41 through 80 (of 97 total)

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