Your favorite reading genre and a few good books in that genre

in General Discussion edited January 2014
I know we have had some "what are some of your favorite book threads" around, but I want to organize what AIers like to read into a comprehensible list. I figure, we all seem to have similar tastes to some extent, so this would be a solid place to get book recommendations (ever read something your 60-year-old aunt said would be good and it was a snooze?)

anyhow, my idea is that those who consider reading a hobby or at least a decent way to pass time (read more than one book a month) to post their favorite reading genre(s) and their top book(s) in said categories. Don't just put the last one you read or the first that pops in your mind, but the truly great ones, so we all have some good recommendations on what to read.

this thread is largely selfish as i have been reading a lot lately (unemployed currently) in my free time and am running out of good books.

here, i'll start:

My fav. genre right now is Historical Fiction. My top reads in that are (1) Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett) (2) The Heaven Tree Trilogy -- i just can't get enough of early england

As for general reading, I recently read "Life of Pi" and was really really impressed. I think it is a best seller you can pick up at wal-mart or somewhere.

Anyone else? I guess we could talk non-fiction too, but I was thinking novels when I started the thread


  • Reply 1 of 13
    murbotmurbot Posts: 5,262member
    Not a big reader, but this book stands out in my mind.

    The Demon, by Hubert Selby, Jr.

    Once you get used to the writing style, the book blows you away.

    And when you're done that, you can of course read Last Exit To Brooklyn, Requiem For A Dream, etc. Dude rocks.
  • Reply 2 of 13
    shawnjshawnj Posts: 6,656member
    I enjoy the muckrackers' work in the early 20th century. (Upton Sinclair's novel, The Jungle, especially)

    (NOTE TO SELF: As a second year English major, I have to get more well-read!)
  • Reply 3 of 13
    i don't even remember when i read a novel the last time.. oh wait. don quijote in spanish in '99, then some novels in portuguese, i forgot the names.. something that would be 'no place is far' would be the title of one of them. and something of paulo coelho. instuctions of flight for chicken?

    i have programming books (cocoa, objective c etc) at night table. sick? other enjoyable books .. hmm? leonie sandercock, brian weiss (i hav ea pile, in portuguese and spanish), marya hornbacher, .. i'm so far from the novels again. oh - found 3 interesting books yesterday; a japanese cookbook, an origami manual, and a painting/drawing techniques manual.

    i guess the next novel i'll read will finally be neuromancer, i was actually looking for a novel yesterday, it should be somewhere on a cd ..
  • Reply 4 of 13
    Near-future speculative fiction loosely related to the Cyberpunk genre. Jon Brunner is probably the best, his vision eerily accurate. "Stand on Zanzibar" (overpopulation) "The Sheep Look Up" (pollution) Both are out of print but you should be able to find a copy with any out of print search and then order.
  • Reply 5 of 13

    originally posted by Giaguara

    i guess the next novel i'll read will finally be neuromancer, it's somewhere on a cd ..

    Neuromancer is great, but out of Gibson's stuff I really recommend "Virtual Light", "Idoruo" and "All Tomorrow's Parties" a trilogy dealing with nanotech, the web, the media and AI. Though Neuromancer is far more dramatic in storytelling I think this trilogy and the new one "Pattern Recognition" is far more relevant to our current vision of the future.
  • Reply 6 of 13

    Which ones? It doesn't matter. This boy is twisted and so is his stories!

    Fight Club is a gem but try Choke for a laugh.
  • Reply 7 of 13

    beard on pasta

    a cook's guide to chicago

    the babbo cookbook - mario batali

    jazz books

    beneath the underdog - charles mingus

    lush life (biography of billy strayhorn) - david hajdu

    straight, no chaser-the life and times of thelonious monk - leslie gourse

    dance of the infidels-a portrait of bud powell - frances poudras

    (basis for the movie 'Round Midnight and is a good read even if you don't care for jazz.)

    and all books by Edna Buchanon, and Calvin Trillin.
  • Reply 8 of 13

    originaly posted by tonton

    Jeff Noon - Vurt, Pollen, Nymphomation, Needle in the Groove

    Jasper Fforde - The Eyre Affair, Lost in a Good Book, The Well of Lost Plots

    Cool, I'll check it out.
  • Reply 9 of 13
    hmm... i have a very ecclectic bookshelf.

    For the last couple weeks I have been re-reading some of the Science Fiction stuff ... Larry Niven is excellent.

    Prior to that I read a couple of Hemingway novels ... "Islands in the Stream" is one of my favorite books off all time.

    2nd on the favorites list would probably be "Wind, Sand, and Stars" by StExupery (the guy who wrote "The Little Prince"

    Mark Twain ... My favorite of his is "Following the Equator" ... people actually used to travel like that !!!

    For light reading ... Jimmy Buffett's novels are quite entertaining !

    I'm gonna quit for now.
  • Reply 10 of 13
    I've always liked "clever fiction." That is, a book that handles a fictional plot that is under some realistic and philosophical underpinnings. One of my favs is still "the Fountainhead" (Though I think the rest of Rand's work is insipid.) I also like existential novels and the like. I guess I'm just a melancholy bitch.
  • Reply 11 of 13
    pfflampfflam Posts: 5,053member
    I always enjoy reading Continental Philoophy books (Nietzsche, Heidegger, Derrida, Lacue-Labarthe etc)

    then Aesthetic Theory and art criticism texts: Hal Foster, Peter Burger

    but these have slowed down in the past few years . .

    now I am renjoying reading History texts particularly about the ends of great Empires or the beginings of great empires

    I just read Michael Grant's The Fall of Rome a Reapraisal

    and am now reading 'Rome In the Dark Ages' which is not very well written

    also very interested in the history of Carthage and, of course, Hannibal . .


    I also enjoy Epic Space-Opera Science Fiction:

    Vernor Vinge

    Alastair Reynolds (allthogh Chasm City satrted out good and sank as fast as a rock into a crap book without a thought-out reason for being)

    I am interested in this genre but there really is very very little decent stuff out there
  • Reply 12 of 13
    aquafireaquafire Posts: 2,758member
    My favourite books are....


    Dictionaries ( all kinds ),


    Telephone directories.

    Those four are enough to establish the plot and substance to any book I want to write...8)
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