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Topic: Your #1 all time favorite book

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Subject: Your #1 all time favorite book
Date Posted: 9/22/2009 9:28 AM ET
Member Since: 5/6/2009
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Tell us what your number one favorite book of all time is.  The rule is you can only pick 1.  This is the book you can't live without (other than the Bible), you could read over and over, you would recommend it to everyone, and it would definitely be your 'desert island' book.  Give us the title, author, and a brief reason why this one book is better than any other book.  I will start:

The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone. What better way to escape the realities of today than by stepping back into Michelangelo's world?

Last Edited on: 9/23/09 6:00 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/22/2009 1:15 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
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The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson.  I've read it once a year since the first time I picked it up.  Its unbeatable, humanity's greatest creativity and darkest depravities juxtaposed in an amazing true story.

Date Posted: 9/22/2009 1:36 PM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2007
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I was thinkng The Agony and the Ecstasy, too! I love that book!   I've read it 3 times already.  I'm thinking I need to re-read it yet again :)

Date Posted: 9/22/2009 6:09 PM ET
Member Since: 5/6/2009
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Vanessa-I am reading The Devil in the White City right now.  It is a good read.  I just wish it was more about the depravity than the creativity ;)

Last Edited on: 9/23/09 9:45 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/22/2009 7:11 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
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Honestly - the only book I feel that strongly about is the Bible.

Date Posted: 9/22/2009 8:01 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2008
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Okay, if you're talking, "Desert Island," here, mine is, of course, the Bible. But if you mean Fiction, it's Little Women all the way.

Date Posted: 9/23/2009 9:51 AM ET
Member Since: 5/6/2009
Posts: 1,938
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Okay, maybe I should rephrase; what book, other than the Bible, would you rank as your #1 book.  I was hoping this thread would inspire people to perhaps pick up a book they may not have considered previously.

Date Posted: 9/23/2009 4:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2009
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"I Capture the Castle" by Dodie Smith is wonderful! It's about an eccentric family that lives in a decaying castle in 1930's England. 

Please read it. It is so worth the time.

Date Posted: 9/23/2009 6:00 PM ET
Member Since: 5/6/2009
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Thanks, Naomi.  I added I captured the Castle  to my reminder list!  Sounds like my type of book!

Date Posted: 9/23/2009 6:09 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
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Mine is a tie (Sorry!  It's the best I can do!) between Watership Down by Richard Adams and Wise Children by Angela Carter. 

For me, in bibliological terms Bible = Lord of the Rings, so I will not use that as my One Book (to rule them all).

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 9/23/2009 6:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
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I'd have to say Dune by Frank Herbert.

Date Posted: 9/24/2009 9:50 AM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2006
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Outlander by Diana Gabaldon ...  I refuse to part with that book ...  I mean, time travel ... a handsome Highlander ... does it get any better? 

Date Posted: 9/24/2009 3:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
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The Lord of the Rings--three books in one! I need to read it again; I've read it probably a dozen times but not since the first movie came out, so it's been a few years.


Date Posted: 9/24/2009 4:38 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
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I haven't read the whole thing for a few years either.  I read the version I had when I was growing up until it literally disintigrated.  I'm definitely due for a re-read.

Last Edited on: 9/24/09 4:39 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/25/2009 11:22 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
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John Adams, by David McCullough By far the best biography I've ever read. Brought him to life so clearly that I was sad by the time the narrative got to 1820s, because he wasn't going to live much longer. It was like losing a current friend or family member.
Date Posted: 9/25/2009 11:58 AM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2007
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It's a novella, actually, but Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters by J.D. Salinger is one of the only books I have ever reread. I've loved it for a really long time. I pretend that the second half- Seymour, An Introduction doesn't exist, though.

For non-fiction I'd have to pick Secret Life of the Lonely Doll by Jean Nathan.

Last Edited on: 9/25/09 12:09 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/25/2009 11:25 PM ET
Member Since: 9/10/2009
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Ivanhoe, by Sir Walter Scott. Read it almost once a year...occasionally more time passes. But I'm definitely going to put The Agony and The Ecstasy to my TBR pile. 

Subject: #1 book
Date Posted: 9/26/2009 1:28 AM ET
Member Since: 9/14/2005
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Well, to be #1 is special...

For me - "Walden"  by Henry David Thoreau.

Date Posted: 9/26/2009 2:06 AM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2007
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Sharla U., I felt the same way after reading John Adams!   I'm hoping to visit the Adams' homestead in Quincy, MA during one of my trips back to New England. 

Have you seen the recent mini-series starring Laura Linney and Paul Giamatti (sp?)?  It is excellent.

Date Posted: 9/26/2009 9:32 PM ET
Member Since: 6/24/2009
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Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott.  I re-read it about twice a year - whenever I think I'm having problems that will overwhelm me, I just read about her problems and I feel better, especially because she has such a wonderful sense of humor.

Date Posted: 9/28/2009 6:06 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,571
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Shogun by James Clavell.  I have read thousands of books since this one but I STILL think about it everyday.

Edited to say that I am STILL looking for a hardback copy in good condition with a dust jacket to buy.

Last Edited on: 9/28/09 6:07 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/28/2009 9:38 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
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Time Travellers Wife is my favorite. If I was on a desert island I'd want a survival handbook.

Date Posted: 9/28/2009 10:16 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2009
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The Brothers Karamazov by Feodor Dostoyevsky is amazing.

In college, the professor who taught a course called "The Novel" told us that he was not assigning it (he assigned Crime and Punishment) because all educated people must read TBK.  With that dare, of course I read the book.  He was right.

The book is about family, faith, philosophy, religion, love, hate, sex, money, men, women, mental illness, power -- basically, it's about life.  I've learned more from this one book than any single book, and probably more than half of my college career.

Date Posted: 9/29/2009 12:24 AM ET
Member Since: 12/26/2008
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Cora, I LOVED that book.  I had to read it for my Russian History class.

Date Posted: 9/29/2009 5:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
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Kelly S. -- Yes, I've seen the TV mini-series and I enjoyed it.  I thought they did a great job converting it to the screen, about 98% of it (although, the book is still better, of course).  Back in 2002, we visted Boston and stopped very briefly in Quincy at John Adams home--didn't even go in-- while on our way down to Cape Cod.  This was before I read the book and I kick myself now. If only I had known.  Someday maybe I will get back.