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  1. #16
    In no particular order:

    - The Kings of Chess: A History of Chess Traced Through the Lives of Its Greatest Players (William Roland Hartston)
    - Baroque Chess Openings, Or, How to Play Your Betters at Chess and on Occasion Win (Richard Wincor)
    - The Middle Game in Chess (Reuben Fine)
    - The Immortal Games of Capablanca (Fred Reinfeld)
    - The Encyclopedia of Chess Openings
    - Chess Life and Review Volumes 1 & 2
    - The ABCs of Chess (Bruce Pandolfini)
    - Tigran Petrosian: His life and games (Victor Vasiliev)
    - Lasker's Manual of Chess (Emanuel Lasker)
    - Handbuch des Schachspiels (Paul Rudolf von Bilguer)

  2. #17
    Witch of the Woods Miriamele's Avatar
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    Hmm...I am developing a sneaking suspicion that Bond likes to play chess...

    This thread is fun. I'm going to look back over my book journal for the past few years, compile a list and come back to post it.

  3. #18
    Lord of the Wild Hunt Mithfânion's Avatar
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    Suciul

    Les Bienveillantes/Kindly Ones by J. Littell
    Intrigued by the title I looked this up and found the English translation due in March. What makes this such a good book then? It does look interesting, and at a 1,000 pages, massive.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithfânion View Post
    Suciul
    Intrigued by the title I looked this up and found the English translation due in March. What makes this such a good book then? It does look interesting, and at a 1,000 pages, massive.
    I definitely want to read the translation asap - which ironically is not by the author who is American - since my French is so-so, though the book is easy to read.

    The book sold tons of copies in Europe - in France they printed something like 10k first print, and within a week or so they needed 200k copies - and got all literary prizes (Goncourt, Academie) because it's truly fascinating, but it will all depend on how you take the narrator, one former SS/SD - the SD was the elite of the SS - Officer PhD. Maximilien Aue, sort of protegee of Himmler himself, intellectual, French educated since his mother was French, bisexual in a Nazi Germany where homosexuality was in practice punishable by death, currently living as an executive in France with his wife, twin children and writing his memoirs trying to justify what happened in the war.

    And unrepentant to the end at least of war crimes, though his family and personal life is even more tortuous.

    Only at the end the book unravels a little bit, but there are so many scenes that stay with you - without spoilers, there is one "philosophical" conversation with a Jewish young educated woman on the edge of the famous Kiev pit where the Nazi shot and buried tens of thousands, with Max sent by his CO to personally shoot some Jews because he got a reputation for squeamishness - Max was the officer in charge of records of a team that was exterminating Jews in Ukraine, but he avoided the killings himself and that would not do for his CO - there is another one with a Russian Commissar POW in Stalingrad, and then of course everything with his twin sister, with his mother and step father and the mysterious twin boys they adopted in occupied France, with his powerful protectors...

    The pages turn by themselves and I am really curious how the book will be received in the English speaking world...

  5. #20
    Witch of the Woods Miriamele's Avatar
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    This was difficult, but here's my top ten:

    - War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
    - Last Light of the Sun by Guy Kay
    - Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
    - The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan
    - Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
    - A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula LeGuin
    - The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
    - Shogun by James Clavell
    - Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
    - Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

    If I really wanted to pick my very favourite fiction books the list would have to be about thirty books.

  6. #21
    It never entered my mind algernoninc's Avatar
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    such a difficult choice :
    1) Antoine de Saint-Exupery - The Little Prince or The Citadel
    2) Boris Pasternak - Doctor Zhivago
    3) Marguerite Duras - Le Marin du Gibraltar or L'Amant
    4) Gabriel Garcia Marques - Cento Anos de Soledad
    5) a book by Raymond Chandler
    6) Frank Herbert - Dune
    7) Louis de Bernieres - Captain Corelli's Mandolin
    8) a book by Nevil Shute
    9) Guy Gavriel Kay - Sailing to Sarantium
    10) a book by Dick Francis

    I wish i could add Faulkner, Hemingway, Steinbeck, Isabel Allende, Mario Vargas Llosa, Joseph Conrad, John Updike, Milan Kundera, Iris Murdoch, Peter Hoeg, Nick Hornby ... but then the list would never end.

  7. #22
    Witch of the Woods Miriamele's Avatar
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    algernoninc, I almost listed Guy Kay's Sailing to Sarantium too, along with Lord of Emperors...those two books were just awesome. I never thought I would have found a scene about a chariot race exciting!

  8. #23

    I love lists!

    My ten favorites:

    1. Watership Down - Richard Adams
    2. Titus Groan - Mervyn Peake
    3. It - Stephen King
    4. Jennie - Paul Galico
    5. Tigana - Guy Gavriel Kay
    6. Memories Of Ice - Steven Erikson
    7. Skeleton Crew - Stephen King
    8. the Way The Crow Flies - Mary Ann McDonald
    9. A Game Of Thrones - George RR Martin
    10. The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Milan Kundera

  9. #24
    It never entered my mind algernoninc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miriamele View Post
    algernoninc, I almost listed Guy Kay's Sailing to Sarantium too, along with Lord of Emperors...those two books were just awesome. I never thought I would have found a scene about a chariot race exciting!
    for me Sarantium is one book, split by the publishers for marketing reasons, that's why i only mention the first installment. It is my favorite Kay book for various personal reasons [I was already familiar with Ana Comnena and Robert Graves treatment of the same period, the question of artist integrity in a totalitarian regime, the low intensity magical elements], the rest of the top ten candidates are similarly selected for personal affinities, not objective literary value.
    After Sarantium, I want more historical fantasy and this year i hope to include in my reading both Dorothy Dunnet "House of Niccolo" and Colleen McCullough "Masters of Rome".

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by algernoninc View Post
    I want more historical fantasy and this year i hope to include in my reading both Dorothy Dunnet "House of Niccolo" and Colleen McCullough "Masters of Rome".
    Together with Mary Renault's Greek loose series of novels from Theseus to Alexander the above two are some of the best modern historical fiction longish series I've ever read, though they are quite different in styles and approaches.

    Masters of Rome is almost encyclopedic, with a dry irony and cutting tone that may put some off, but the main characters that dominate the series from Lucius Cornelius and Gaius Marius to Caesar and Pompey and finally Octavian, Cleopatra and Antony (!) are just pitch perfect, so that this series makes my top 10 of all series/novels read

    House of Niccolo is quite different in style and story, full of long range plans and plots, twists and turns that could be foreseen here and there and it reads in many ways like an epic fantasy series without magic/supernatural, but with everything else from mysterious orphans to exotic travels, fortune reversals... To some extent that took a little bit of my enjoyment for the series and it ranks just below the top series of all times for me, since while in an epic fantasy series like Kushiel (which leaving aside the sex, magic and religion has some similarities to House of Niccolo in style, plot, action) I have a lower threshold for my suspension of disbelief, in a historical epic my threshold for suspension of disbelief is much higher. Still House of Niccolo is a great series and I even got the 2 volume companion to it, since I liked it so much

  11. #26
    In no particular order

    Shadow of the Wind - Carlso Ruiz Zaffon
    The Asian Saga(6 books) - James Clavell
    A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
    Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
    American Pyscho - Brett Easton Ellis
    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey
    Farenheit 451 - Ray Brabury
    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer/Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
    Lord of the Rings - Tolkien
    It - Stephen King
    The complete works of Edgar Allen Poe
    Last edited by ...; January 13th, 2009 at 11:15 AM.

  12. #27
    Mod Lady Moderator Eldanuumea's Avatar
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    I am actually sitting here trying to come up with a list of my top 10 in ANY genre after 50 years of reading......

    Well, here's an initaial, very off-the-cuff list, in no particular order:

    Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoevsky
    Lord of the Rings - Tolkien
    ........(because when I got to the part where Gollum bites off Frodo's finger, I frightened my family with my outraged shouting.)
    Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
    The Magic Mountain - Thomas Mann
    Magister Ludi - Hermann Hesse
    Kushiel's Dart - Jacqueline Carey
    Breaking Dawn - Stephanie Meyer
    ........(in case that seems like a strange choice, let me say that my mouth dropped open in shocked surprise for a full two minutes during this book, and that qualifies it, IMHO)
    The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
    To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
    The Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury
    Last edited by Eldanuumea; January 15th, 2009 at 09:41 PM.

  13. #28
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    Here is my list, although it is subject to change without warning.
    These are in no particular order.

    Little, Big by John Crowley
    Winter Rose by Patricia McKillip
    The City and the Stars by Arthur C. Clarke
    A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller
    Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
    The Door Into Summer by Robert Heinlein
    Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
    The Fifth Head of Cerberus by Gene Wolfe
    Lolita by Vladamir Nabokov
    Contact by Carl Sagan

  14. #29
    Dazed Rambler Winter's Avatar
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    In no particular order, reserve the right, etc.

    - Crooked Little Vein - Warren Ellis
    - The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
    - Fragile Things - Neil Gaiman
    - Altered Carbon - Richard K. Morgan
    - Starship Troopers - Heinlein
    - Good Omens - Gaiman/Pratchett
    - Midnight Tides - Steven Erikson
    - The Lies of Locke Lamora - Scott Lynch
    - A Game of Thrones - Martin
    - Shadowbridge/Lord Tophet - Greg Frost.

  15. #30
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    1) Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

    Elswewhere:

    Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
    Old man's war - John Scalzi
    The Lies of Locke Lamora - Scott Lynch
    I am Legend - Richard Matheson
    Hyperion - Dan Simmons
    King Solomon's mines - H Rider Haggard
    George's marvellous medicine - Roald Dahl
    High Fidelity - Nick Hornby
    The Stars my destination - Alfred Bester
    Last edited by jamieem; February 3rd, 2009 at 09:43 AM.

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