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The best book you ever read was...

The best book you ever read was...

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Mobsta

Original Poster:

5,614 posts

163 months

Monday 22nd August 2011
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I stopped reading the "what book are you reading now" thread last year, as nearly all the posts simply added to the long list of book names which weren't exactly TOP recommendations, nor was a summary provided.

It would be great to have a quality thread which loosely summarises what everyone feels is one of their best reads, along with a brief summary for those who are interested.

I enjoyed Papillion. The true story of a convicted murderer who killed a pimp and instead of getting 10-15 years, was handed down a life sentence and shipped off to French Guyana to serve it. The book reads a little like a horror film, with the brutality inside, murders and violence, and includes some astoundingly captivating graphic (true) tales of smuggling, leppar colonies, escape plans, death by flesh eating ants, broken bones, years spent in solitary, madness, execution, compassion, more escape attempts (7 in total) and quicksand.

10/10, not as a critic, but because I've read little which has been as captivating.

And Clan Of The Cave Bear. Also another critically acclaimed international best seller, the plight of a young girl who finds herself living under the thumb and in the adoptive care of a clan of cavemen, whose mental capacity and primeval drives and primitive brains bear no resemblance to her own heritage.

One more best seller, by Ken Follett (iirc) Pillars Of The Earth. A medieval story has never been told so well, starts with a hanging and doesnt let go till the last page, depicting the hard lives and romances of friends, foes and villains through disease, death, rape and struggle, the blind fear of god, corruption within the clergy, politics, war, starvation and treachery. It's an incredibly interesting story, and masterfully told.

Don't really consider myself a bookworm, but thought I'd share the titles of a few modern day classics whose pages I couldn't stop turning. The above (in my opinion) are good enough to completely satisfy/entertain even those who don't like reading, and are well worth looking into.

If anyone can recommend a must read book or two, what would you recommend, and why (short summary would be good)!

Edited by Mobsta on Monday 22 August 17:51

Barry Chuckle

1,271 posts

67 months

Monday 22nd August 2011
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hesnotthemessiah

2,121 posts

112 months

Monday 22nd August 2011
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Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee - Dee Brown.

(For those of you who don't know). It's the story of the North American Indians told from their perspective. Not the most uplifting story as you might well imagine but it made quite an impression on me when I first read it years ago. I have read it several times since. Remarkable book. IMHO obviously.

Fas1975

1,236 posts

72 months

Monday 22nd August 2011
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For me, has to be:

To Kill a Mockingbird. Harper Lee. The writing style is just so descriptive, you're living the characters. The only book she ever wrote and one I can read over and over again without getting bored.

Pet Semetary (sic). Stephen King. Horror movies don't phase me, but this BOOK genuinely scares the crap out of me every time I read it

Yoof Full Chav

28,276 posts

95 months

Monday 22nd August 2011
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Sir Jackie Stewart's autobiography. He achieved so much despite being dyslexic, and survived one of the worst periods in F1 history, and being pilloried in the motorsport press for wanting to stop his fellow drivers dying. Worth a read
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james_tigerwoods

13,548 posts

105 months

Monday 22nd August 2011
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It varies as I can't say that any one is better than another - but my favorite reads are:
  • Without Remorse - Tom Clancy
  • Z for Zachariah - Robert C. O'Brien
  • The Merchant of Venice - Bill Shakespear

The Beaver King

5,832 posts

103 months

Monday 22nd August 2011
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Eisenhorn by Dan Abnett.

Forget the fact it is an Warhammer 40'000K book. I had a strong belief that you should never read a book that is a spin off of a computer game/film/TV programme/comic book. This completely changed my opinion on that.

It is set in the 41st millennium and mankind has spread out to the far reaches of the galaxy. The story revolves around Imperial Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn, part detective, part religious authority. The story is highly involving and really pulls you into the vast world that is Warhammer.

I seriously cannot recommend this book highly enough. I even have two copies, one for me and one to lend to friends.

Check out the reviews on Amazon. Truly one of the best science fiction series ever....

Dixie68

3,091 posts

95 months

Monday 22nd August 2011
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Chickenhawk by Robert Mason. Biography about his time as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam. Easily the best war era book I've ever read.

GTIR

24,741 posts

174 months

Monday 22nd August 2011
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Maverick - Ricardo Semler.

A story of a South American business man.

It's good.

E21_Ross

17,960 posts

120 months

Monday 22nd August 2011
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David copperfield - Charles dickens
1984 and animal farm by George Orwell
To kill a mocking bird by harper lee

Loads more but can't think off top of my head

smartypants

26,218 posts

77 months

Monday 22nd August 2011
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james_tigerwoods said:
It varies as I can't say that any one is better than another - but my favorite reads are:
  • Without Remorse - Tom Clancy
+1 Absolutely superb from Clancy. I've read it three times now I think.


james_tigerwoods

13,548 posts

105 months

Monday 22nd August 2011
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I read Without Remorse at least twice a year - I've read it over 50 times since getting it when I was about 16....

I've had a brain check - I forgot Red Storm Rising, also by Clancy...

Brian Fantana

235 posts

93 months

Monday 22nd August 2011
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Catch 22. Every male who reads it loves it....I'm yet to meet a female who does too.

It's a VERY cynical and sarcastic view of WW2. It has actually had me laughing out loud, whilst at the same time being truly devastating.

I also just read "the way home" by George Pelecanos (one of the writers on "The Wire"). An excellent read about growing up and how a stupid decision can affect you your whole life, the friends you make and the choices that they make have on you too. I read this in a few hours, I was that engrossed.

Currently reading "One Day" by David Nicholls on the insistance of my GF due to the fact that I read all of my books whilst on holiday. It's actually very enjoyable! Reads a bit like a rom-com, but a bit darker. It tells you what's going on in the lives of the 2 main characters over the period of 20 years since they met at university. It's been made in to a film & out this week I believe, so when I inevitably get taken to watch it I can say with gusto "I preferred the book"....but then I always do!

smartypants

26,218 posts

77 months

Monday 22nd August 2011
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james_tigerwoods said:
I read Without Remorse at least twice a year - I've read it over 50 times since getting it when I was about 16....

I've had a brain check - I forgot Red Storm Rising, also by Clancy...
smile

Rainbow Six is another great Clancy one.

IainT

10,040 posts

146 months

Monday 22nd August 2011
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The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. Brilliant stories, rediculously fast paced and well written. Urban fantasy.

Patrick Rothfss' Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear are stunningly good fantasy.

Turbodiesel1690

1,907 posts

78 months

Monday 22nd August 2011
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Dixie68 said:
Chickenhawk by Robert Mason. Biography about his time as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam. Easily the best war era book I've ever read.
I'll second this - one of the most vividly written and addictive books I've ever read

Also Bravo Two Zero blew me away the first time I read it

Fiction-wise (and please no jokes) Treasure Island is a true classic and cliched or not Dan Brown can write a good book, especially The Lost Symbol

doogz

26,185 posts

95 months

Monday 22nd August 2011
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I don't really read much. Well, i don't read fiction. I get bored easily, so a book has to either be full of information, something useful, like a textbook, or i'm currently flicking through, and reading parts, from the Bosch Automotive Handbook, just reading the odd section here and there as i think of things.

Or, it has to be short, and funny.

The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy - Tim Burton, for example.

Shaw Tarse

26,143 posts

111 months

Monday 22nd August 2011
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Was mentioned in the other thread, but Sniper One by Dan Mills.

One for the little room

aizvara

1,792 posts

75 months

Monday 22nd August 2011
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Brian Fantana said:
Catch 22. Every male who reads it loves it....I'm yet to meet a female who does too.
My GF likes it. I thought it was pretty good, but wouldn't go so far as to say I loved it.



The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester

I came to that having read recommendations for ages, assuming it would be good, but of its type/time (late 50s). Instead, its an incredibly aggressive, nihilistic and imaginative work. It has a lot of modern sci-fi prefigured; cyberpunk, elaborate max-security prisons, megacorps, bullet time.


Runners up: After Dark - Haruki Murakami, The Bridge - Ian Banks (plus most of his others), The Testament of Gideon Mack - James Robertson, Going Postal - Terry Pratchett.

Famous Graham

26,553 posts

133 months

Monday 22nd August 2011
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Turbodiesel1690 said:
Also Bravo Two Zero blew me away the first time I read it
It gets better with every read wink

For me : "The Last Hero" by Peter Forbath. Tricky to get hold of now as it's out of print, but if you can find a second hand copy, fill yer boots. It's a fictionalised account of Henry Stanley's expedition across the Congo to rescue the Emin Pasha in Equatoria. No idea why it fascinates me so much, but it's very compelling.

In terms of true stories, "Vulcan 607" takes some beating.