Author Topic: Books to make me think  (Read 4413 times)

Zoidburg

Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #25 on: October 29, 2008, 05:49:23 pm »
The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
Also, The Simulacra by PKD is good, if not as tightly structured as The Man In The High Castle.
Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut.
More "seriously": Guns, germs and steel by Jared Diamond, although not perfect, is a pretty good read.
+1 on The Man In The High Castle by PKD

Also - Empire of the Sun and The Drowned World by Ballard

Re-reading someting from school is sometimes a good place to start as well, sounds silly but you may find that something that was boring at the time because you were more intrested in Suzie Bostocks rapidly expending chesticles, may become an engaging experience today

Lord Of The Flies is always good

tonycollinet

  • No Longer a western province of NĂºmenor
Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #26 on: October 29, 2008, 06:05:30 pm »
For fiction try time travellers wife

Has been accused of being a bit girly - but its self consistency is amazing. Very well written.

Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #27 on: October 29, 2008, 11:32:27 pm »
The man who mistook his wife for a hat
Absolutely, top read!

(I've also found both "Sophies Letters" and "Zen and the art..." fine for a while but could never grind on to the end).

Paxo's "The English" is great as is Longitude.  I also enjoyed the Ernest Shackleton books, especially the Endurance voyage, heavy in detail, but it was the detail that kept his men alive where other would have failed (He'd have made a good Audaxer).
Bill Bryson's "A brief History of Nearly everything" is lightweight, hugely informative and witty.
Simon Schama is a great teller of British history in a way even I can understand the plot.

As some kind of Scientist, this book changed the was I viewed the world...
Chaos; Making a New Science, by James Gleick.
Chaos: Making a New Science: James Gleick: Amazon.co.uk: Books

Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #28 on: October 29, 2008, 11:37:43 pm »
A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich - Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

A tale about the Russian gulags.  Remarkable for its mundane details and how one can adapt to circumstances so appalling.

It's also reassuringly short :)

Justin(e)

  • On my way out of here
Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #29 on: October 29, 2008, 11:42:10 pm »
Quote
If This Is A Man by Primo Levi
One of my favourites.

Currently reading:
The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries Are Failing and What Can Be Done About It -  Paul Collier. 
Just started it, but I bought it as a 'thinking book'.

Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #30 on: October 29, 2008, 11:50:15 pm »
If on a winter's night a traveller... by Italo Calvino

If This Is A Man by Primo Levi

Both on my reading list - I've read other books by both authors.

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino is wonderful - it's sub-divided into brief chapters, so you can read a couple at a time. There's also a suggestion of a grander pattern to the chapter headings, which someone more mathematically minded than I may be able to work out.

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #31 on: October 30, 2008, 09:49:35 am »
There's also:

The Nothing That Is by Robert Kaplan.  Basically, a history of zero. ;D
Getting there...

mattc

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Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #32 on: October 30, 2008, 01:50:34 pm »
The bibliophile in my house has insisted I post this link:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/3212732/Most-worth-talking-about-books.html

(if nothing else it features some cracking titles).
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Flying_Monkey

Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #33 on: October 30, 2008, 01:54:28 pm »
The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
Also, The Simulacra by PKD is good, if not as tightly structured as The Man In The High Castle.

Dick's best books by far (apart from TMITHC) are A Scanner Darkly, Ubik and The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. IMHO of course, but I am a complete Dickhead!  ;)

bikenerd

Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #34 on: October 30, 2008, 02:28:39 pm »
The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
Also, The Simulacra by PKD is good, if not as tightly structured as The Man In The High Castle.

Dick's best books by far (apart from TMITHC) are A Scanner Darkly, Ubik and The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. IMHO of course, but I am a complete Dickhead!  ;)

I haven't read too much of PKD's work, 3 or 4 novels and a couple of short story collections, but he was way ahead of his time and is quickly becoming my favourite author.  Although I like Vonnegut a lot as well.

Wascally Weasel

  • Slayer of Dragons and killer of threads.
Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #35 on: October 30, 2008, 08:39:51 pm »
A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich - Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

A tale about the Russian gulags.  Remarkable for its mundane details and how one can adapt to circumstances so appalling.

It's also reassuringly short :)

That's a great book, also a brilliant example of how novels don't need to be 600 pages plus in length to tell their story.

Flying_Monkey

Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #36 on: October 31, 2008, 10:21:32 am »
A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich - Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

A tale about the Russian gulags.  Remarkable for its mundane details and how one can adapt to circumstances so appalling.

It's also reassuringly short :)

That's a great book, also a brilliant example of how novels don't need to be 600 pages plus in length to tell their story.

That's true, although The First Circle and of course The Gulag Archipelago are much longer and equally gripping in the ordinary detail of the terror of Stalinism.

And actually that reminds me - if anyone wants to read one book that might help them understand the worst in humanity (and how we might do better), I can totally recommend Humanity by Jonathan Glover. It's moral philosophy, but utterly to the point, clear and brilliant.

Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #37 on: October 31, 2008, 10:29:19 am »
A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich - Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

A tale about the Russian gulags.  Remarkable for its mundane details and how one can adapt to circumstances so appalling.

It's also reassuringly short :)

That's a great book, also a brilliant example of how novels don't need to be 600 pages plus in length to tell their story.

another one that shows how people adapt to disaster is the beautiful but utterly depressing 'on the beach' by nevile shute.  I was in floods of tears by the end.

I couldnt finish Gulag Archipelago, but will order the Solzhenitsyn one today.

tiermat

  • According to Jane, I'm a Unisex SpaceAdmin
Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #38 on: October 31, 2008, 10:40:21 am »
That was featured on R4's book program yesterday Mike, made me think I would like to read it.  Fascinating that it seems still relevant, dispite being 50 years old...
I feel like Captain Kirk, on a brand new planet every day, a little like King Kong on top of the Empire State

Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #39 on: October 31, 2008, 10:42:56 am »
it's a beautiful book.  If you want something more cheerful to read afterwards (and you will :)), A town like Alice by him too is just fantastic.

Really Ancien

Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #40 on: October 31, 2008, 10:44:34 am »
I do like the odd polemic for light reading. Any of the Michael Moores and I do like the Francis Wheen's book 'How Mumbo Jumbo Conquered the World', but I do agree with this extract from a review.

'The reason Wheen never tries to understand why people believe the daft stuff that they do is because of his innate faith in argument and reason. If he knows something is nonsense, why doesn't everyone else ? (...) Nothing makes sense any more and it bloody well should. Wheen's indignation is righteous and well worth reading. It will greatly appeal to those who are as reasonable as him. I'm not, and that's probably because I am a different star sign." - Suzanne Moore, New Statesman '

Damon.

Mr Larrington

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Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #41 on: October 31, 2008, 11:55:29 am »
That's true, although The First Circle and of course The Gulag Archipelago are much longer and equally gripping in the ordinary detail of the terror of Stalinism.

Many years ago I struggled through The Gulag Archipelago.  Well, almost.  I reached the end of the second volume, only to discover that there was a third.

Which hadn't yet been published.

If the KGB had organised a hit team to sort Solzhenitsyn out, I'd have volunteered to lead it.
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

Snakehips

  • Twixt London and leafy Surrey
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Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #42 on: October 31, 2008, 12:34:43 pm »
Blood River: A Journey to Africa's Broken Heart
by Tim Butcher

is worth reading particularly in the light of recent/current events in the DR Congo

Snake

my bikes ...  http://beta.yudu.com/library/item_details/17432/Snakehips--Bikes
Mustn't grumble in the circumstances .

Flying_Monkey

Re: Books to make me think
« Reply #43 on: October 31, 2008, 02:06:12 pm »
That's true, although The First Circle and of course The Gulag Archipelago are much longer and equally gripping in the ordinary detail of the terror of Stalinism.

Many years ago I struggled through The Gulag Archipelago.  Well, almost.  I reached the end of the second volume, only to discover that there was a third.

Which hadn't yet been published.

If the KGB had organised a hit team to sort Solzhenitsyn out, I'd have volunteered to lead it.

I'm not sure that's very funny...

Anyway, there is a one volume edited edition available.