Just a few of mine.
The Men from Earth by Buzz Aldrin. How man got to the moon, straight from the horses mouth. Includes his brilliantly romantic description of floating free in space. The human spirit captured for your astonishment. The Executioners Song by Norman Mailer. True story of the life and death of Gary Gilmore, drop-out turned murderer who took the state of Utah to court to have himself executed. Epic comment on crime and punishment. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. Story of a boy who sticks with his best friend even though he accidentally kills his mother. It's a strangely religious tale of redemption and martyrdom. Irving should have quit after this one... Precious Bane by Mary Webb. Victorian love story about a girl born disfigured, but who finds true love when her poems move the right soul. Fabulously well written and evokes the English countryside beautifully, but also the nasty superstitions of village life. You'll cry at the end. Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut. Yeah, it's on everyone's "best books ever" list, but for a reason. The most savagely ironic story ever told. Just how stupid is mankind? The Death Guard by Philip Chadwick. Highly disturbing tale about genetic engineering written before WW2 and banned from publication by a government concerned that its bleak message might counter their own propaganda. It was finally released in 1989 and concerns an attempt by a veteran of the Western front to reduce human death in war by creating an army of purpose built monsters to do the fighting for us. Do I need to tell you that it all goes horribly wrong? Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin. Rip-roaring boys adventure tale about a biologist who gets a job on a ship sent to map the south coast of America. Along the way he finds fossils of giant creatures that don't exist anymore, sea shells on top of mountains and a chain of islands where the local finches seem designed to have different beaks to feed on the different foods present. It all makes him wonder. Darwin wasn't aware of where it would lead at the time, but anyone with even the remotest knowledge about science can see one the greatest ideas that anyone ever had unfolding before their eyes. London Fields by Martin Amis. Dark tale about a dying writer who has a chance encounter with a girl who's planning her own murder and decides to write a book about it, but which of the local characters that she plays off against each other has she chosen for the deed? Can he work it out before he dies and the world ends? File under post-modern nightmare. Helliconia by Brian Aldiss. A splendid scientific romance by one of our most dependable sci-fi writers. Tells the tale of a world with such a long and elliptical orbit it's seasons last for generations and are so intense the inhabitants actually evolve into almost separate life forms. Little do they know, life on their planet is watched from Earth by a manned satellite. It's a genuine classic and so much better than it sounds with brilliant characters and a perfectly realised society. The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham. Anything by him actually but this is really good stuff. A village in England loses it's memory for two days. It transpires that every woman in town got pregnant during that time. The children are very odd indeed. War of the Worlds by HG Wells. God I love old sci-fi and this is the best. What an imagination, the battle scenes of cannon and riflemen on horseback fighting giant tripod creatures from outer space must have shocked the Victorian world utterly rigid. And one of the best opening chapters in publishing history. Jonathan Livingstone Seagull by Richard Bach. Worst book I ever read. So offensively new age and banal I actually wanted to track the author down and give him the kicking he so richly deserves. Moby Dick by Herman Melville. No really, try it. It's brilliant and can be read in so many ways. Most people get hung up about the metaphors inherent in captain Ahab and his impossible fight against nature - a fight mankind cannot win. But it's also a fascinating history of the mindless slaughter that helped make our civilisation so wealthy. A spectral colossus haunts the inflated myth of progress, as the poet said. Even at the time people thought whaling was too unpleasant for words and were happy that it took place out at sea with the bounty coming ashore in barrels so they didn't have to think about it. I could go on and on.... ---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <turquoiseb@...> wrote : I particularly liked: Robin Williams “Oh my god, Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy. It’s one of the greatest books of all time, and the greatest character is The Mule.” 50 Cultural Icons on Their Favorite Books http://flavorwire.com/480819/50-cultural-icons-on-their-favorite-books http://flavorwire.com/480819/50-cultural-icons-on-their-favorite-books 50 Cultural Icons on Their Favorite Books http://flavorwire.com/480819/50-cultural-icons-on-their-favorite-books Everybody loves a good book. Yes, everybody -- even the rich, famous and culturally relevant. And since there's nothing better than a book recommendation from some... View on flavorwire.com http://flavorwire.com/480819/50-cultural-icons-on-their-favorite-books Preview by Yahoo