What are books that you've read that you think everyone should read? - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 50 (permalink) Old 02-08-2020, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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What are books that you've read that you think everyone should read?


Basically what the title says. Please help me out, and give me some book suggestions. Don't care of it's fiction or nonfiction. I don't read enough and I'm trying to change that. I was an English major in college, and a poor excuse for one if you ask me 😂.

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post #2 of 50 (permalink) Old 02-08-2020, 10:44 AM
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Charles Bukowski - Women
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post #3 of 50 (permalink) Old 02-08-2020, 11:23 AM
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I doubt people would want to read "The Book of Jasher." It is too religious. It fill in some of the missing holes that the Bible doesn't explain. It also includes some interesting stories like how Mose was a king and a man who was called Pharaoh. I read "The Book of Jasher" as Genesis.
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post #4 of 50 (permalink) Old 02-08-2020, 11:57 AM
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If you're a sports fan:

Playing with Fire - Theo Fleury

The Game - Ken Dryden

Biographies:

In Order to Live - Yeonmi Park (North Korean defector)

Shake Hands with the Devil - Romeo Dallaire (UN commander during Rwandan genocide)

Historical fiction:

Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck (set in America during the Great Depression

The Underground Railroad - Colson Whitehead (Atlantic slave trade)

Homegoing - Yaa Gyasi (Atlantic slave trade)
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post #5 of 50 (permalink) Old 02-08-2020, 12:03 PM
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I would never advise people to read anything tbh - even books I liked when I was younger I've looked at years later and found them annoying.

I can remember reading Henry Miller when I was about 25 and living in Germany with my gf. I used to get so angry I'd throw the book at the wall. He was basically an idiot - and very annoying, although he could write passably at times. Also people like the Beat writers - it was fashionable and almost required to read them years ago. Some of them are okay - On the Road isn't a bad book but William Burrough's writing is silly. I had a friend that was obsessed with him.

I used to like Saul Bellow many years ago. He once used a phrase I liked. He called some people "reality instructors." One of my best friends was married to someone like that ages ago but fortunately they got a divorce.

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post #6 of 50 (permalink) Old 02-08-2020, 04:22 PM
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post #7 of 50 (permalink) Old 02-08-2020, 05:24 PM
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Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickins

Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Dune by Frank Herbert

Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe

For Whom The Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

Foundation series by Isaac Asimov

The Super Cops: The True Story of the Cops Called Batman and Robin by L. H. Whittemore


Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life: The New Acceptance and Commitment Therapy by Dr. Steven C. Hayes

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post #8 of 50 (permalink) Old 02-09-2020, 12:41 AM
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This book was really good:

https://www.amazon.com/Marching-Powd.../dp/0312330340

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/w...wder-interview

Quote:
Rusty Young was backpacking in South America when he heard about Thomas McFadden, a convicted English drug trafficker who ran tours inside Bolivia's notorious San Pedro prison. Intrigued, the young Australian journalisted went to La Paz and joined one of Thomas's illegal tours. They formed an instant friendship and then became partners in an attempt to record Thomas's experiences in the jail. Rusty bribed the guards to allow him to stay and for the next three months he lived inside the prison, sharing a cell with Thomas and recording one of the strangest and most compelling prison stories of all time. The result is Marching Powder.

This book establishes that San Pedro is not your average prison. Inmates are expected to buy their cells from real estate agents. Others run shops and restaurants. Women and children live with imprisoned family members. It is a place where corrupt politicians and drug lords live in luxury apartments, while the poorest prisoners are subjected to squalor and deprivation. Violence is a constant threat, and sections of San Pedro that echo with the sound of children by day house some of Bolivia's busiest cocaine laboratories by night. In San Pedro, cocaine--"Bolivian marching powder"--makes life bearable. Even the prison cat is addicted.

Yet Marching Powder is also the tale of friendship, a place where horror is countered by humor and cruelty and compassion can inhabit the same cell. This is cutting-edge travel-writing and a fascinating account of infiltration into the South American drug culture.
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post #9 of 50 (permalink) Old 02-09-2020, 12:59 AM
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Ok, I'm gonna spill it.





Ok, this is the only kind of conventional one because it's old and almost no one will argue that women used to be oppressed and furthermore men backlashing against feminism love to claim that feminism won and only 1st and partly 2nd waves of it matter. But if you look at available data on the internet, even caricatures of suffragettes, you'll see that nothing has changed in terms of how they view feminism and they use the same old tactics against it. Furthermore, this view of the book is not accurate because it's not meant to be read as simply a historical artifact and that's why I think all the women should read it because it's about them and they're usually not driven by anti-woman's rights, anti-feminist agenda, at least not so actively because they don't win too much from it.

However, there are other books too But I want women to read this one because it offers a lens through which you can already see a lot despite being an old book. I mean at least I started to have it, depends on you, I guess. It's already a lot in one book. But there are other great feminist works written by Andrea Dworkin, for example or a book by Naomi Wolf called ''Beauty Myth''. All of these and other old feminist books are, sadly, forgotten, but they make the strongest statements.

I also wanted to read ''Sexual Politics'' by Kate Millet, but I haven't read it yet to this day. There's a lot of feminist books like that I'm yet to read, such as ''Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women'' or ''Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality'' by Gail Dines. I just haven't read those yet for several reasons

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post #10 of 50 (permalink) Old 02-09-2020, 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted by funnynihilist View Post
Charles Bukowski - Women

Funny, I hated it. It was boring as hell. The main character was a self-pitying, sexist puddle of drool in a self-referential, circular ****hole of LA. What am I missing here?


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I can remember reading Henry Miller when I was about 25 and living in Germany with my gf. I used to get so angry I'd throw the book at the wall. He was basically an idiot - and very annoying, although he could write passably at times.

Me too. I was listening to the Tropic of Cancer and I wanted to punch him in the face, hard. But the first book of Miller that I read was The Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch, and it's excellent. He's still an idiot and there's a very wtf chapter that goes into some very bizarre spirituality, but otherwise it's such a great book. Basically, he's older and he's gone to live in the middle of nowhere by himself. It's very different, honest and with actual things to say.

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post #11 of 50 (permalink) Old 02-09-2020, 03:44 AM
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Funny, I hated it. It was boring as hell. The main character was a self-pitying, sexist puddle of drool in a self-referential, circular ****hole of LA. What am I missing here?





Me too. I was listening to the Tropic of Cancer and I wanted to punch him in the face, hard. But the first book of Miller that I read was The Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch, and it's excellent. He's still an idiot and there's a very wtf chapter that goes into some very bizarre spirituality, but otherwise it's such a great book. Basically, he's older and he's gone to live in the middle of nowhere by himself. It's very different, honest and with actual things to say.
Interesting, and yeah - I felt much the same way about Bukowski. There are certain books that it's almost like we're all supposed to like. Yeah right - give me a ****ing break.

To OP - it depends what you like, obviously. The point I was making before was probably a bit silly really. Things you'll like now will seem different when you're older. But that's pretty obvious and not very sensible of me to say.

I remember a book I used to sell a lot of in first edition when it first came out - Shantaram. Good fun, at least for the first half anyway. I met the author - he thinks he's a serious writer, poor guy. He made a lot of money from it so who the hell cares.

I could list about 50 books you're supposed to have read - but it doesn't mean they're any good and it's even less of an indication that you might actually enjoy reading them.

I liked that one Komorikun mentioned though btw - good fun.

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post #12 of 50 (permalink) Old 02-09-2020, 05:51 AM
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Well, I never read a lot of books (obviously ) but on the subject of "books everyone should read" I assume that the intent behind the question is to ask - "What kinds of books are so important that a human being needs to read them?".

On that one, I have to say that I don't think simply reading a book is going to impart any wisdom. People will read, watch and listen to things and make of them what they will. I have heard people say that everyone needs to read Orwell's 1984 (I did manage to fight my way through it but I saw the movie first so I could skip around and read it at my leisure rather than try to absorb everything and maintain my attention span through an entire book). I think a person could read 1984 and see it as an instruction manual rather than a warning (and many people obviously did, BTW). There is no such thing as a book that makes you a better person just by having read it (as history shows).

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post #13 of 50 (permalink) Old 02-09-2020, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
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Well, I never read a lot of books (obviously <a href="http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/forum/images/smilies/lol.gif" border="0" alt="" title="" >:-)</a> ) but on the subject of "books everyone should read" I assume that the intent behind the question is to ask - "What kinds of books are so important that a human being needs to read them?".

On that one, I have to say that I don't think simply reading a book is going to impart any wisdom. People will read, watch and listen to things and make of them what they will. I have heard people say that everyone needs to read Orwell's 1984 (I did manage to fight my way through it but I saw the movie first so I could skip around and read it at my leisure rather than try to absorb everything and maintain my attention span through an entire book). I think a person could read 1984 and see it as an instruction manual rather than a warning (and many people obviously did, BTW). There is no such thing as a book that makes you a better person just by having read it (as history shows).
The whole ploy of this post was mainly to book recommendations out of people and to see what people have read and enjoy reading on this forum, but I suppose not everyone has a book that they'd go out of their way to prescribe to everyone (I'm not even sure I do). Not to mention that people come to books with their own expectations and reach differing conclusions on what was important about them even if those conclusions are very contradictory with other people's interpretations as you mentioned. I'm not even sure I believe there's a whole set of "change the world" books out there that would alter the world in meaningful ways if everybody read them. There are some books that are culturally seen as important to specific countries, but don't necessarily always take worldwide significance too. I actually listened to a audiobook of 1984 this year for the first time (I'm terribly lazy and don't actually like reading much), and I can definitely see how someone could use it as an instruction manual to abuse power and control people and not a cautionary tale about letting freedom and critical thought dwindle under an oppressive governmental force, so much so that it may be impossible to ever get back.

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post #14 of 50 (permalink) Old 02-09-2020, 09:53 AM
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post #15 of 50 (permalink) Old 02-09-2020, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by WillYouStopDave View Post
On that one, I have to say that I don't think simply reading a book is going to impart any wisdom. People will read, watch and listen to things and make of them what they will. I have heard people say that everyone needs to read Orwell's 1984 (I did manage to fight my way through it but I saw the movie first so I could skip around and read it at my leisure rather than try to absorb everything and maintain my attention span through an entire book). I think a person could read 1984 and see it as an instruction manual rather than a warning (and many people obviously did, BTW). There is no such thing as a book that makes you a better person just by having read it (as history shows).
Disagree

I think reading and literacy are one of the few things that could ever improve society. Sucks it's so devalued nowadays.
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post #16 of 50 (permalink) Old 02-09-2020, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillYouStopDave View Post
On that one, I have to say that I don't think simply reading a book is going to impart any wisdom. People will read, watch and listen to things and make of them what they will. I have heard people say that everyone needs to read Orwell's 1984 (I did manage to fight my way through it but I saw the movie first so I could skip around and read it at my leisure rather than try to absorb everything and maintain my attention span through an entire book). I think a person could read 1984 and see it as an instruction manual rather than a warning (and many people obviously did, BTW). There is no such thing as a book that makes you a better person just by having read it (as history shows).
Disagree

I think reading and literacy are one of the few things that could ever improve society. Sucks it's so devalued nowadays.
I think the key phrase here is "just by having read it." I think reading is good for society, but there is the occasional type of reader that will make some "more clever devils." Literature is very important in shaping people, however there is more to it than just picking up a book and reading. There is a whole plethora of factors involved with whether or not a book is going to impact a person and how it's going to impact them. I think reading cultivates something like empathy through a broader understanding of the human experience, though. Personally even if I read a book I don't enjoy, if I can see and understand another human being it, then I can get something out of it.

(EDIT: most of my time in college was spent reading books I didn't enjoy, and trying to make the best of it somehow)

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post #17 of 50 (permalink) Old 02-09-2020, 10:57 AM
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Not too much of a surprise that people on this forum don't like Bukowski.
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post #18 of 50 (permalink) Old 02-09-2020, 11:19 AM
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I gave this some thought, but it's hard to recommend reading to someone I don't know, especially since you said you didn't like reading!

Chuck Palahniuk is subversive, fun and easy (Fight Club the book packs a way bigger punch than the movie, and the movie is very good). George Orwell I have serious feelings for, Homage to Catalonia being my favourite of his books. Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin I used to memorise in chunks when drunk, she writes really well about women. Catch-22 is hilarious throughout (I laughed out loud), whilst making a very serious point about a very sad thing. Of non-fiction, Val McDermid's Forensics is very interesting, and if you're prepared to put in a bit of graft, Jeremy Bernstein's A Palette of Particles will blow your mind. etc etc.

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post #19 of 50 (permalink) Old 02-09-2020, 11:34 AM
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I think the key phrase here is "just by having read it." I think reading is good for society, but there is the occasional type of reader that will make some "more clever devils." Literature is very important in shaping people, however there is more to it than just picking up a book and reading. There is a whole plethora of factors involved with whether or not a book is going to impact a person and how it's going to impact them. I think reading cultivates something like empathy through a broader understanding of the human experience, though. Personally even if I read a book I don't enjoy, if I can see and understand another human being it, then I can get something out of it.

(EDIT: most of my time in college was spent reading books I didn't enjoy, and trying to make the best of it somehow)
I'm not saying a book is going to change everyone's life, and it may not even impact them. I sure as hell wasn't affected by books like Great Gatsby or Handmaid's Tale, despite their popularity.

But even having just read certain books helps me better understand a different perspective, improves my creativity in problem-solving, or give me insight I may never otherwise have had. It doesn't come all in one place but bits and pieces. At worst they are pleasure and entertainment. I haven't been reading much lately and feel myself getting stupider by the week.

My recommendations in this thread are easy reading by the way - Great for picky adult readers (like me) who are interested in the topics.
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post #20 of 50 (permalink) Old 02-09-2020, 01:17 PM
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I don't read much and even with things I used to like I don't think I'd recommend them to most people. So off the top of my head I actually can't remember a lot of books I've read because it's been years.

V for Vendetta? Lol. (It's a comic book.)

I kinda liked The Perks of Being a Wallflower but I read it when I was 16 or 17 and I don't think I'd recommend it to someone who isn't around that age.

edit: Also sometimes I don't finish reading things here are a list of books I've started and not finished off the top of my head:

Dune, A Game of Thrones (I read most of this one though but somehow still randomly stopped and didn't go back,) The Lovely Bones, American Gods, Good Omens, Scar Night, The Colour of Magic, The Lord of the Rings (may have stopped part way through the Fellowship.)

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