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 Works of Literature 
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Midnaholic

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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:46 am
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Post Works of Literature
Literature is great. The hardest part of reading a book for me is not actually reading it, but finding a good one to read. I noticed we didn't have a thread on this sort of topic whatsoever (actually I'm too lazy to check, but I bet it's true), so I decided to make one in order for our community to spread the rich literature that some of us have read, to each other, or even the crazy idea that we'll get slightly more intelligent through more active reading! If you have a noteworthy novel(s) you'd like to share, then I'd like to see it! All I ask is that you post the Name and Author of the book along with maybe a brief description and why you enjoyed it, whether it be because the book just contained so much depth and meaning, or that you simply thought it was awesome (although the latter two are not required). So with that, I think I'll start off with a rather renown work of literature:

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To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Brief description from About.com:
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee tells of Scout and Jem's childhood in Alabama and how a series of events shook their innocence, shaped their character and taught them about human nature. Lee examines racism and other prejudices through a page turning story told in a wonderful, Southern voice. This is a must read American classic.

I loved this book because of the adventure it takes you through in the eyes of a maturing child. It touches base with so many aspects and lessons of life and never fails to engross you into the story. It's also quite flexible in its understanding because everyone goes through childhood and adolescence.

~~~~~~~~

Also, feel free to comment on any book mentioned!


Last edited by Rikimaru on Fri Sep 04, 2009 2:49 am, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Sep 03, 2009 3:02 am
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Post Re: Works of Literature
I like this idea. Good job, Riki, you've done something awesome. Also, I read To Kill a Mockingbird a couple years ago, and I did enjoy it. Harper Lee does a great job of placing the reader in her world, and because of that, every emotional or suspenseful moment is given that much more impact. Also, Fun Fact: Scout's friend Dill was modeled after Harper Lee's childhood friend Truman Capote, who everybody knows as the guy that one movie was about.

The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac

This is a semi-autobiographical story told by Jack Kerouac as "Ray Smith" about events in his life after he discovered and began practicing Buddhism. Pretty much every character is a direct representation of a close friend of his, mostly all of which are Beat icons like himself, including people like Gary Snyder (Japhy Ryder in the book) and Allen Ginsberg (Alvah Goldbook in the book). It takes you through his days having wild drunken parties punctuated with poetry readings, to his deepening engrossment in Zen Buddhism encouraged by Japhy, to his replacement of city life with a love for nature and mountaineering. It's an odd sort of work because there's no apparent conflict, just the account of an interesting life surrounded by interesting people in a counterculture that peaked in the 50s, yet still influences modern thinking as a whole.

This book is short enough that its rambling, and sometimes directionless, style isn't enough to make it uninteresting or tiresome. In fact, once you get used to it, it adds to its charm. It's a good start if you're interested in this kind of thing, because his most famous work, On the Road is kind of intimidating at around 300 pages and absolutely no paragraph breaks. No matter which you read, though, this guy has some interesting thoughts and a way of seeing life, and I recommend reading something by him.

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Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:37 pm
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Midna Devotee

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Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 4:24 am
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Age: 25
Post Re: Works of Literature
What the Dickens!

I recently had the pleasure of reading Charles Dickens' "Great Expectations". In fact, I have recently realized just how wonderful his works are. Each and evey one of his characters, no matter how minor, would be believable as a living, breathing human being. He instills them with such a depth of personality; Oh, how I wish I had the ability to write as he did.

At any rate, I would put foward any of his works as books more than worthy of reading.

I can not, at this hour, begin to express my love of literature. If I were not so plagued with fatigue, my explanation would have been far longer, and many more works added.

Ah, well, I shall return to this thread when I find the time to do so.

In the Heart, in the Head,

Fancy Bread

-_- Sleep... a novel idea.

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Thu Dec 10, 2009 4:42 am
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Midna Devotee

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Post Re: Works of Literature
Over the summer I read a lot of Kurt Vonnegut, and can say I highly recommend him. My personal favorite was Slapstick, a book inspired by his thoughts on loneliness, and reminiscent about this death of his sister (much of the story covers the intense closeness of a pair of twins who increase each others intelligence, especially when engaged in incestuous acts); although his most popular seems to be Slaughterhouse-5, which is almost autobiographical about his survival of the bombing of Dresden during WW2.

I'd also like to give a shout-out to Fyodor Dostoevsky for his Notes from Underground. This novel follows a few events of one of the most insane literary figures I've yet encountered, but his very insanity stems from an over-sanity, or an overly rational mind. His intelligence turns him to self-consuming bitterness, as he tells us of himself, and encounter with old "friends," and how he inspired a prostitute, if only to destroy her hope once more and for good.

I too read To Kill a Mockingbird, but it was very long ago, and the only thing I could fathom getting enjoyment out of reading was Tolkien. But to hear others speak of it well, perhaps I shall give it another try.

And CS: I would specifically like to thank you. Kerouac was suggested to me by a trusted friend, and I was just yesterday looking for something by him. The local library is rather small, so I shall see second-thing on Monday it the much larger campus library carries that book!

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Sun Oct 10, 2010 12:41 am
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Post Re: Works of Literature
Yayyyy

Yeah, go for it. His style can really turn some people off, but if you like it then pretty much everything he wrote is worth reading as far as I can tell. I recently got another novel by him actually (Big Sur) but haven't started it yet.

I've read some Vonnegut as well, incidentally. Three novels: Slaughterhouse-5 about 2 years ago, Cat's Cradle summer 2009 on a train ride from Paris to Rome, and Breakfast of Champions early this year some time. I was a fan of all of them, although perhaps Cat's Cradle the most. Breakfast was pretty good too, but it went into so many unrelated digressions and followed such a loosely defined story arc that it was maybe a bit too scatterbrained for me. He drew lots of pictures in it though.

I've never read anything by Dostoevsky; I just know about Crime and Punishment and that's pretty much it. I hear his work can get super depressing though. I might give him a try later this year.

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Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:01 am
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Midna Devotee

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Post Re: Works of Literature
Breakfast was the first thing by him that I read, and I had the same opinion of it as you, and the arbitrarily drawn anuses and beavers and vaginas made me feel awkward to read it in public places at first, especially considering I could hardly even say what the book itself was actually about ("Oh, I'm just reading it for the pictures"), but then I went on to Cat's Cradle, which was probably my second favorite by him.

Dostoevsky's style can be a turn off at first too. He'll say something, then in the same sentence contradict himself, then follow up with indecision to end the sentence. And he'll go into these long tangents, never to actually return to what he was saying... But He does it really well. Once you get used to the style, it's more like sharing a thought process as it's happening, than having a story told to you.

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Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:26 am
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