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Favorite All Time Book(s)

  1. Jul 21, 2006 #1
    What is your favorite? You can have more than one favorite :biggrin:.

    My favorites are :

    "Fooled by Randomness" By Nassim Taleb
    "Atlas Shrugged" By Ayn Rand

    (I didn't read too many books so those might not be that good since it was a small sample)
     
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  3. Jul 21, 2006 #2

    arildno

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    I guess it must be "Lord of the Rings" by J.R.R Tolkien
    Another favourite re-read is "Maurice" by E.M. Forster.
     
  4. Jul 21, 2006 #3

    wolram

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    Noddy goes to toy town, any thing beyond that is a strech for the imagination :biggrin:
     
  5. Jul 21, 2006 #4
    Fermat's Last Theorem by Simon Singh. It may not be the best book ever written, but it has played a very special role in my life.
     
  6. Jul 21, 2006 #5

    arildno

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    First book you read?
    Wrote love poems in it??

    What role??
    I'm piqued..positively sizzled by curiosity.
     
  7. Jul 21, 2006 #6
    Well, I had absolutely no idea of what mathematics was all about before reading it. It doesn't mean that I'm really good at it now, but I'm way better than what I would've been if I hadn't read that book.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2006
  8. Jul 21, 2006 #7
    "The Wheel of Time" series by Robert Jordan

    I'm actually re-reading the Knife of Dreams book as we speak.
     
  9. Jul 21, 2006 #8

    chroot

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    My favorite books... great question. Let me think for a bit...

    The Feynman Lectures on Physics by Feynman
    Applied Cryptography by Schneier
    Snow Crash by Stephenson
    Heart of Darkness by Conrad
    The Cave Divers by Burgess

    and surely many more.. I'll have to go through my bookshelves at home and recall my old favorites.

    - Warren
     
  10. Jul 21, 2006 #9
    Watership Down by Richard Adams, followed closely by Master and Margarita by Bulgakov
     
  11. Jul 21, 2006 #10

    Hootenanny

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    "The First Casualty", Ben Elton. Witty beyond belief
     
  12. Jul 21, 2006 #11
    What kind of background do I need to understand this?
     
  13. Jul 21, 2006 #12

    Astronuc

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    Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams :rofl:

    I've got my towel ready and my electronic thumb is always on. :biggrin:
     
  14. Jul 21, 2006 #13
    How to Profit from the Coming Boom in Nuclear Technology, by Effasin Frank.
     
  15. Jul 21, 2006 #14
    The Trial - Kafka
    Crime and Punishment - Dostoevsky
    Thus Spoke Zarathustra - Nietzsche
    The Stranger - Camus
    The Convenant - James Michener


    The list would be longer, but I restricted myself to my favorite of each author. First and third should be no surprise I imagine :rolleyes: .

    @Physics_wiz -- Ayn Rand? :yuck: To each his own i suppose.
     
  16. Jul 21, 2006 #15
    I'm not all that big on reading books. That's not to say I dont like them, but I don't love them either.
     
  17. Jul 21, 2006 #16

    chroot

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    It shows.

    - Warren
     
  18. Jul 21, 2006 #17
    Thanks, I try. Does Dr. Seuss count as a literary masterpiece?
     
  19. Jul 21, 2006 #18
    I never got that book. At all :uhh:
     
  20. Jul 21, 2006 #19

    selfAdjoint

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    Me neither. Is it something with us?
     
  21. Jul 21, 2006 #20

    Ivan Seeking

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    In part, comedy is the art of surprising people. HHGTTG is an exercise in witty surprises.

    My all time favorites:
    I would include Hitchhikers Guide
    Childhood's End
    Ringworld
    Aztec
    One of my favorite short stories is Shottle Bop

    IMO, one should be careful about spending too much time with one's nose in fiction. And much of the classical literature will leave you isolated and needing Prozac. Of course, most people here are probably already relatively isolated by their love of science.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2006
  22. Jul 21, 2006 #21

    Astronuc

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    If one gets the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, I'd recommend

    The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide

    It has five books of the trilogy and a short story. :biggrin:

    One will also find tips on "How to Leave the Planet" - which are:

    1. Phone NASA - Adams gives the number - and tells the reader to explain to NASA that it is very important to get away as soon as possible
    2. If NASA does not cooperate, phone the Whitehouse - number given
    3. If they don't cooperate, phone the Kremlin - number given (but may have changed since the book was released)
    4. If that fails, call the Pope - number given, but may also have changed.
    5. If all the above fail, flag down a passing flying saucer and explain that it's very important to get away as before your phone bill arrives.

    Of course, all this was written before the internet, so likely one only needs to send an email these days. :biggrin:

    Of course, there is Isaac Asimov's Foundation and Empire series, and those were all mostly good.
     
  23. Jul 23, 2006 #22

    siddharth

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    The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud
     
  24. Jul 23, 2006 #23
    The Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field by Jacques Hadamard
    i'm about halfway through it now & it has articulated & 'demystified' many things that i suspected about discoveries (or inventions, creations etc) of any kind, not just mathematical ones. one thing that really stood out for me was a sentence or two about classmates of galois who said that galois was repulsed by his algebra texts because they didnt give any insight into how mathematical discoveries were made. i guess they just said 'this is how its done, do it this way' etc etc without explaining why it was interesting or important to learn or where it came from. after reading that i had a better understanding of why my favourite textbooks are my favourites and not other ones.

    The Revolt of the Masses by Jose Ortega y Gasset
    one of the most exciting & inspirational books i've ever read. i'm going to read it again when i'm done the hadamard book above. see the quotes thread for many tidbits from the book.

    The Art of Worldly Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian
    a list of 300 maxims (basically rules to live by) such as these ones:
    Maxim #57: Be slow & sure. Things are done quickly enough if done well. If just quickly done they can be quickly undone. To last an eternity requires an eternity of preparation. Only excellence counts, only achievement endures. Profound intelligence is the only foundation for immortality. What is worth much costs much. The precious metals are the heaviest.
    Maxim #204: Attempt easy tasks as if they were difficult and difficult tasks as if they were easy. In the one case so that confidence may not fall asleep, in the other so that it may not be dismayed. For a thing to remain undone nothing more is needed than to think it done. On the other hand, patient industry overcomes impossibilities. Great undertakings are not to be brooded over, lest their difficulty when seen causes despair.

    the hobbit & lord of the rings of course (NOT harry potter :wink: )

    all the shakespeare i did was in high school; i kind of wish i'd done some in university now. i always liked hamlet even though it's kind of sad. i guess if i'm ever in the mood for a happy version of hamlet i could always watch the lion king.
     
  25. Jul 23, 2006 #24
    There are four way to know much: live for many years; travel through many lands; read many good books (which is easiest); and converse with wise friends (which is most enjoyable).
    Baltasar Gracian

    :wink:
     
  26. Jul 24, 2006 #25

    arildno

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    It can't be. The third book haven't come yet..
     
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