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Please recommend an amazing book

  1. Mar 30, 2007 #1
    I have two weeks of holidays in which I plan to learn more maths and do some other stuff, and I need to balance it out by reading.

    I am looking for an absolutely wonderful book. Here are some books I've read and found incredible:

    Yann Martel - Life of Pi
    Wilkie Collins - The Woman in White
    John Connolly - The Killing Kind
    Mika Waltari - The Egyptian
    Raymond E Feist - Magician

    I am ideally looking for something like Life of Pi (but original and not lame, and just as great) where the story is set in a kind of adventurous mode and leaves you feeling sad, slightly depressed but grateful for where you are. I LOVED "Magician" but I'm NOT looking for a fantasy book. Also I don't want any classics like The Woman in White. And I don't want a history book, although I loved Jung Chang's Wild Swans.

    So please recommend me something. (But please make sure it's an amazing book, I don't want to read mediocre stuff).

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 30, 2007 #2
    I would recommend :
    Roger Penrose - The Road to Reality

    It is the most amazing I have ever read.
    It is however a bit long.
    I have not read Life of Pi.
  4. Mar 30, 2007 #3


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    I think the Ice Master by Jennifer Nigel is what you're looking. The way you described the Life of Pi is exactly how I felt about this book.
  5. Mar 30, 2007 #4
  6. Mar 30, 2007 #5
    Jack Kerouac- On the Road
  7. Mar 30, 2007 #6
    Tai-Pan by James Clavell

    got lost in that one
  8. Mar 30, 2007 #7


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    One of my favorite books is "Flowers For Algernon" by Daniel Keyes (there are different versions - read both the novella and the longer novel - you may find they complement each other). Ever wanted to be (a lot) smarter, if even for a while? This may change your mind. A heart-rending story.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2007
  9. Mar 31, 2007 #8


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    How about something for the soul?

    "Be here now", by Baba Ram Dass (Richard Alpert)

    The title says it all, but if you are a typical college kid, driven by circumstances, relations with your family, friends, and peers, etc, you will not appreciate the title even a little bit until you read the book. Read the book in a quiet setting, and don't dash through it. The words are simple and well-chosen and the concepts conveyed by those words should strike home with anybody who is driven enough to ask for book suggestions to balance out demanding course-work during a two-week holiday.
  10. Mar 31, 2007 #9
    Thanks for the recommendations.

    "Roger Penrose - The Road to Reality" -- I had heard about this before and it definitely sounds really interesting. But it's SCIENCE! I don't want science at this moment. But thanks I will keep it in mind. I will definitely buy it at some point though.

    "Ice Master by Jennifer Nigel" I just had a look at this at Amazon, I'm not too sure if I want it as it's based on a true life story. I might buy it.

    Sorry I'm not too interested in that Jack Kerouac novel.

    Tai-Pan looks really interesting, I will most probably buy that above anything else unless anyone comes in with something better.

    Flowers for Algernon also looks really cool.

    Sorry turbo but I'm not really looking for that kind of spiritual book. Not sure I'd be interested.

    Thanks for all the recommendations. I've most them all on "the list to check out later" but I might buy the two books I've specially mentioned above. Thanks a lot!!

    And please recommendations coming.
  11. Mar 31, 2007 #10


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    It's not as spiritual as you might think - kind of a gut-check of your life's priorities. I bought a copy, "loaned" it to a friend, who passed it on to a friend and it never came back. A year later, I bought a used copy at a bookstore and managed to keep that one for a while, until I fell into the same situation, with another friend who fell in love with the book and passed it along to another person that she thought needed it, etc. If I bumped into a used copy at a good price, I'd probably buy it. If you can get to a library and read a bit of it, you'd know if it is for you.
  12. Mar 31, 2007 #11


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    Oh, and "Genius" by James Gleick is an entertaining read. It's a biography of Richard Feynman.
  13. Apr 2, 2007 #12
  14. Apr 2, 2007 #13
    Godel, Escher, & Bach An Eternal Golden Braid. The Crab Cannon in that will blow your mind.
  15. Apr 3, 2007 #14
  16. Apr 3, 2007 #15
    read the synopsis on wikitruth, sounds really good! definitely my next read, thanks!

    (too lazy to type ... although it kind of took more work too look for that comment and quote and type this explanation than it would have to just type)

    anyway, both books seem to fit perfectly in the sad yet uplifting in a ridiculously depressing way category. and they're both one of my favorites ever.

    I'm also half way through "for whom the bell tolls*" right now, I don't know how it ends, but I feel it's gonna be one of those endings. It's pretty good so far... but those two I like more.

    * currently in the process of ignoring mark twain's famous definition of a "classic" and decided to try and read some of them.. turns out sometimes there's a reason why classics are classics (tho not always true: god how I hated great gatzby, and catch-22 felt like a week-long marathon of every seinfeld skit that didn't work)
  17. Apr 3, 2007 #16
    altho some science books can become works of fiction, given enough time.

    check out some old roman medical texts and I'm sure you'll find them quite humorous (I know, I know... I should do stand up :yuck: ).
  18. Apr 3, 2007 #17
    Ok I will try and find it at the library before I buy it.

    I saw it at the book store the other day.. biographies are not really that interesting to me.

    I've read it! It was quite good although I didn't see what the fuss was about. Everyone seems to think it's amazing but I wouldn't call it that. Pretty fun though.

    I've heard a lot about this book. I'll try and have a look at Amazon.

    It seems ok, but I'm not sure I'm interested in the subject. Thanks anyway.

    Thanks, apparently OFOTCN is a classic so I will buy it sometime.

    :frown: :mad:

    Anyway thanks for the recommendations. I'm going to buy Flowers for Algernon and Shogun first and then check out the other stuff later. Thanks!
  19. Apr 4, 2007 #18


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  20. Apr 10, 2007 #19
    I will read the Dark Tower one day. But I dont feel like it now though, especially since there are 6 or 7 books in the series.

    Anyway I finished Flowers for Algernon. It was so great. It was really really sad however, the ending was horrible, I felt so sad for Charlie. Thanks for the recommendation for this, it was a really good book.
  21. Apr 10, 2007 #20


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    Glad you liked it. :smile:
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