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Author Topic: The greatest British and American books  (Read 1137 times) Average Rating: 0
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Vladik
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« on: January 23, 2012, 02:10:53 AM »

I'd like to read them. Could you be so kind to share?
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« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2012, 02:13:58 AM »

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.

Wait are you serious?
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2012, 03:07:15 AM »

Huh

Wait are you serious?

without a doubt Wink

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« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2012, 03:51:03 AM »

The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald.  I love all of Fitzgerald's novels and the themes he deals with: the superficiality of life, the emptiness of many things, not finding happiness in wealth and being miserable if you aren't yourself.     
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« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2012, 04:08:48 AM »

Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh.
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« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2012, 04:42:09 AM »

Are you looking for novels or non-fiction?
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Vladik
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« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2012, 06:17:14 AM »

thanks to all

Are you looking for novels or non-fiction?

Everything.
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« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2012, 06:29:29 AM »

BTW, I recommend something like this from Айрис Press.  They have the original English text of the novel, but have fairly decent notes in Russian.   Karo has the same sort of system: original text with explanations in Russian. 
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« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2012, 06:42:22 AM »

First and foremost The King James Bible deserves to be at the top of the list. Period. It is still an outstanding literary achievement.

Now that I'm done pontificating onwards to the list.

Anything and everything by Dr. Seuss. (Ok I'm joking, but really...)

Henderson the Rain King - Saul Bellow

The Good Earth - Pearl S. Buck

The Sound and the Fury - William Faulkner

This Side of Paradise - F Scott Fitzgerald

Catch-22 - Joseph Heller

Main Street - Sinclair Lewis

Moby Dick - Herman Melville

Beloved - Toni Morrison

Gravity's Rainbow - Thomas Pynchon

East of Eden - John Steinbeck

Leaves of Grass - Walt Whitman

A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess

The French Revolution - Thomas Carlyle

Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

The Alexandria Quartet - Lawrence Durrell

The Mill on the Floss - George Eliot Mary Ann Evans

Lord of the Flies - William Golding

I, Claudius - Robert Graves

Ghostwritten - David Mitchell

A House for Mr. Biswas - V. S. Naipaul

1984 - George Orwell

Can I just say that Nightfall (short story) is the the greatest short story ever by Isaac Asimov.
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« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2012, 06:50:12 AM »

Oh and the greatest novel of all time:



Immensely charming, satisfying and exuberant. Eric Carle finely crafts an excellent balance between grace and truth. The colors harmonize the timeless quality of its prose; a masterstroke.
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« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2012, 09:06:59 AM »

Some of my favorite books and authors, in no particular order:

The King of Ireland's Son by Padraic Colum
Paradise Lost by John Milton
Le Morte D'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory
The King of Elfland's Daughter by Lord Dunsany
The King James Bible
William Blake
Emily Dickinson
W.B. Yeats
John Keats
Shakespeare
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« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2012, 10:59:55 AM »

Actually Furher Putin has just written in an article:

"В некоторых ведущих американских университетах в 20-е годы прошлого века сложилось движение за изучение западного культурного канона. Каждый уважающий себя студент должен был прочитать 100 книг по специально сформированному списку"

Translation: "There was a movement - to learn the Western cultural canon - which  took place in some leading American Universities in 20's. A student who respected himself was to read 100 books from a specially made list. Some Universities have remained this tradition up to our days".

But this has nothing to do with this thread. Absolutely nothing.   Smiley

« Last Edit: January 23, 2012, 11:06:55 AM by Vladik » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2012, 06:12:24 PM »

It really depends on your tastes. I love all of Jane Austen's novels; and the Bronte sisters. Dickens has such heart and a great concern for much needed social reform during the time of his writing. Shakespeare, if English is your second language, might be a bit...ummmm...challenging.  Undecided

Whatever you choose, all the best with your reading.
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« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2012, 06:24:00 PM »

I really liked this list:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/bigread/top100.shtml

Seems to be a nice combination of popular literature and the classics.
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« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2012, 06:59:19 PM »

The Fortunate Pilgrim by Mario Puzo
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« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2012, 07:22:53 PM »

Try Orwell's "1984", Vladik. It is a bit like Britain's answer to Zamyatin's "Мы". CS Lewis is another favorite of basically everyone, though I'm ashamed to admit that I don't know him as well as I probably should (I've only read "Mere Christianity" as an adult, though I read "The Chronicles of Narnia" series as a child). On the other side of the pond, you can't get much more quintessentially American than Mark Twain. He and Kurt Vonnegut are probably my two favorites, though of course there are many runners' up. I read a lot of English-language authors in translation as a child, so I feel like I kind of missed out on some of what made Roald Dahl et. al. so special, but apparently those are good if you like fantasy stories. (Not fantasy like "sci-fi", but I figured i should throw in some kid stuff since someone else mentioned the one about the catepillar.)

Also, if we're allowed to include naturalized authors of foreign origins (which we must be, or else the excellent Joseph Conrad recommendation by Achronos must be out; he was a Pole who became a British citizen), then I must add Khalil Gibran (Lebanese American) to the list. "The Prophet" is his most famous work, but I have several others in addition to that and they are all incredibly beautiful works.



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« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2012, 07:39:56 PM »

Anything written by John Steinbeck.
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« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2012, 01:51:08 AM »

Many thanks!
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« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2012, 05:43:53 AM »

The KJV.
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« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2012, 06:46:51 AM »

Advise and Consent, Alan Drurey
http://www.amazon.com/Advise-Consent-Allen-Drury/dp/B0013QSV56/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1327574849&sr=1-3

The Naked Civil Servant, Quentin Crisp
http://www.amazon.com/Naked-Civil-Servant-Penguin-Classics/dp/0141180536/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1327574918&sr=1-1
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« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2012, 11:06:28 AM »

Don't forget, Mr. Charles Dickens.

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« Reply #21 on: January 26, 2012, 11:14:13 AM »

ANIMAL FARM!!!!
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« Reply #22 on: January 26, 2012, 11:15:56 AM »

When it comes to Orwell, I very much enjoyed Homage to Catalonia.
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« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2012, 04:02:51 PM »

For slightly more recent books, I love Pat Conroy. The Lords of Discipline is amazing.
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« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2012, 04:12:45 PM »

The Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence

Lord of the Flies by William Golding
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« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2012, 04:14:44 PM »

"The Chosen," Chaim Potok
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