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Cheap Entertainment November 17, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Word Play, Writing & Writers.
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“No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting.”

~ Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

What books have stayed with you . . . long after you turned the last page?

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1. Naomi - November 17, 2010

What a great question, Nancy!

The first one I ever remember was Richard Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull. It was quite a treat to see an unexpected link on FB the other day to an interview with him. For thirty-something (!) years I had no idea what he looks like 🙂

nrhatch - November 17, 2010

I loved reading Jonathan Livingston Seagull! Now I have to google Richard Bach.

Thanks, Naomi.

nrhatch - November 17, 2010

Just read the first few pages of the book on line . . . Bach caught my attention immediately with his “outcast” seagull who doesn’t fit in with the rest of the flock.

2. Cindy - November 17, 2010

Many Nancy, too many to list. But a book that had a profound influence on me is Anne Michaels’ Fugitive Pieces, brutal and beautiful.

nrhatch - November 17, 2010

That book flew under my radar. I shall have to google it and see what I missed.

Thanks, Cindy.

nrhatch - November 17, 2010

Based on the reviews I read, it’s probably not the book for me: “If you don’t read poetry, it will drive you insane. Stay away.” 😉

The reviews reminded me how I felt while reading White Oleander or novels by Toni Morrison.

Perhaps, novel-length poetic prose is not my genre . . .

That said, if YOU ever write a novel-length piece of poetic prose, I promise to read it. 🙂

3. Patricia - November 17, 2010

I think my favorite book is usually the one I just finished. Right now it is the trilogy by Stieg Larsson. I am reading the last book now and it is as exciting as the first two.

Seriously though, my favorite book is the Bible. Not for any great religious reason or because I am so holy and righteous but because I see something different with each reading–which is daily–it just never gets old and boring. I have 8 translations and there are couple of others I want.

nrhatch - November 17, 2010

I’m with you about my favorite book being the one I just finished . . . assuming I liked it.

Probably has something to do with my short term memory. 🙂

Many people enjoy reading the Bible. It’s not a book I gravitate towards if I want something entertaining to read. Nevertheless, I excel at Biblical questions on Jeopardy. Go figure!

4. souldipper - November 17, 2010

I learned to read with Grimm’s Fairy Tales and Aesop’s Fables. But the childhood book that really turned on the magic for me was “The Little Lame Prince” by Dinah Maria Mulock Craik,first published in 1875. I may have been four when I first heard the story, but then I read it myself later.

I adored the story because it was the first to show me that physicality was no hindrance to traveling.

nrhatch - November 17, 2010

I loved my copies of Grimm’s Fairy Tales! And Mary Poppins, Winnie the Pooh (and Tigger too!), and all of the Dr. Seuss classics:

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
Green Eggs & Ham
Cat in the Hat

Books have been best friends (and cheap entertainment) for years.

The Little Lame Prince sounds vaguely familiar, but I might be confusing it with another Princely tale.

Loreen Lee - November 17, 2010

Yeah! Theres the ‘Little Prince’, by Ssn Xavier, or something. He finds a rose with thorns. Does that help? He’s from another planet and finds the earth very ‘strange’. I think the theme is ‘friendship’, if I remember.

nrhatch - November 17, 2010

Thanks, LL ~

Here’s a few Princely Tales for kids I found with a quick search:

The Little Prince
The Little Lame Prince
The Prince and the Pauper
Prince Valient
Prince Siddhartha: The Story of Buddha
Prince Caspian: Return to Narnia
The Princess and the Pea
The Prince of Tides
Prince Charming
Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince

5. Maggie - November 17, 2010

The Magus by John Fowles

There are many more than that, but that’s the first one that comes to mind.

nrhatch - November 17, 2010

Good pick!

And I expect it has fewer pages than War and Peace, Atlas Shrugged, or Les Miserables! 🙂

nrhatch - November 17, 2010

Actually, my expectation turned out to be INCORRECT.

Wrong again! My batting average is dropping like a stone. 😉

Turns out, The Magus has 656 pages. Quite the hefty Tome.

6. Arvik - November 17, 2010

Ah, so many! Here’s a short list off the top of my head…

“Not Wanted on the Voyage,” Timothy Findley
“2001: A Space Odyssey,” Arthur C. Clarke
“Wuthering Heights,” Emily Bronte
“The Chronicles of Narnia,” C.S. Lewis

nrhatch - November 17, 2010

Wuthering Heights and Narnia definitely stuck with me long after the last word faded from view.

I don’t know that I ever read 2001: A Space Odyssey. I tend to enjoy most Science Fiction on screen better than in print word ~ the result of lack of visual imagination on my part.

There is no way I could have imagined Chewie the Wookie from Star Wars without the assistance of Lucas. 🙂

7. Booksphotographsandartwork - November 17, 2010

Oh how I wish that I had been keeping a list all of my life! Here are some that I can think of. I read so much and like others of you a lot of times it’s the last one that I have read. Sometimes I think I will never find another great read.
1 Looking for Alaska
2 Snowflower and The Secret Fan
3 White Ghosts (?)
4 Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (highly recommend)
5 Coming of Age in Mississippi
6 The Birth House
7 Almost anything written by Francine Rivers
8 Everything except one book written by Miss Read (my all time favorites)
9 The Good Earth
10 The Bobbsey Twins (when I was little)
11 Kabul Beauty School
and about a gazillion more. I love to read.

nrhatch - November 17, 2010

Awesome list.

Like you, I wish I had kept of list of all the books I’ve read over the years.

I read a few of the Bobbsey Twins, several Hardy Boys, and ALL of the Nancy Drew books I could get my hands on. Loved Nancy, George, Bess, and Ted . . . and Hannah and Mr Drew, Attorney at Law.

I expect Nancy Drew has something to do with why I went to law school. She and Perry Mason. 🙂

8. Julie - November 18, 2010

There are way too many, but if you really want to know – watch my blog. For my 200th post (which is coming up soon), I will be posting my – you guessed it – 200 most favorite books.

nrhatch - November 18, 2010

Wow! That’s a great idea to celebrate 200 posts.

Can’t wait to see your list.

9. Andalib - November 18, 2010

Oh, oh, oh!!!
Hmm, let’s see.

Dreamcatchers by Stephen King
Tara Road by Maeve Binchy
Change of Heart by Charlotte Bingham
Insomnia by Stephen King (go figure, right?)
Thorn Birds by Colleen McCollugh (?) – (forgive me, I can’t spell her surname)
Icebound by Dean Koontz
Fireshadows by Dean Koontz
Cell by Stephen King
Sunbird by Wilbur Smith
Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence
Angels & Demons; The Da Vinci Code; The Lost Symbol all by Dan Brown

and a lot more.

*#*

nrhatch - November 18, 2010

That’s too funny . . .

#1 on your list is Dream Catchers! Maybe I need to hire a dream catcher to go find my elusive Dragon in the Kitchen!

And #4 is Insomnia! Both by Stephen King. My fear of insomnia is what caused me to lose the dream in the first place. 🙂

I loved Thorn Birds! Colleen McCullough weaved a delightful story. As is often the case, I much preferred the book to the movie. Something got lost in translation from page to film.

10. Chad - November 18, 2010

in no order
Christopher Priest: Inverted World
Ian MacDonald: Desolation Road
Tim Dorsey: Hammerhead Ranch Motel
Rex Stout: ANY Nero Wolfe mystery
J.R.R. Tolkien: guess what
Madeleine L’Engle: A Wrinkle In Time
Feodor Dostoevsky: Crime and Punishment

nrhatch - November 18, 2010

The closest I got to reading Crime and Punishment, War and Peace, and Anna Karenina is breezing through the Cliff Notes. I need to add some heavier reading to my Bucket List.

I remember enjoying A Wrinkle in Time, quite a bit, but it’s merged in my mind with Somewhere in Time.

I have the same problem with Brave New World and 1984. I read them the same year, and can never keep them straight.

I’ve read The Hobbit by Tolkien, but not the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

With all these wonderful suggestions, I may need to take a sabbatical from writing and do more reading. Thanks!

11. Greg Camp - November 18, 2010

Watership Down, Richard Adams–one of the best descriptive writers and most compelling storytellers

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (the five part trilogy), Douglas Adams–changed my life forever by explaining how the world really works

The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien–an example of building a world in fiction, in addition to retelling Celtic and Germanic myths

The Canterbury Tales, Geoffry Chaucer–sparkling wit and a good lesson for me in my teenage years that my generation didn’t invent bawdy humor

The Republic, Plato–I’m still working out my personal footnotes to this work

Foucault’s Pendulum, Umberto Eco–brilliant philosophical storytelling, as are most of Eco’s novels, and a good study in the meaning of belief

At this point, I’m at risk of filling up your space. You do realize that you asked an English teacher about his favorite books, no?

nrhatch - November 18, 2010

I’m loving the comments on this post.

If nothing else, I’m going to google each of these and remind myself of plot lines . . . or let myself know what I’ve missed.

Watership Down rocked! I loved it. And it’s been years. I need to read it again.

The Canterbury Tales . . . so risque. The ribald humor surprised me. Not sure I read the entire book, but enough to be impressed.

I read The Hobbit by Tolkien. That’s it. Never waded into the plentiful pages of The Lord of the Rings . . . but enjoyed watching Gollum as he crooned “My Precious” on the big screen.

Chad - November 18, 2010

Oh yea, Hitchhiker’s Guide. Read that series young too

nrhatch - November 18, 2010

I read some of the Hitchhiker’s Guide, but the real mind blowing epiphanies came to me while reading Ram Dass, Be Here Now.

Ohm.

12. Rev. Caritas - November 19, 2010

He She and It by Marge Piercy. It’s about a woman who falls in love with a cyborg, but to me… it was more about the humanity of the cyborg and the woman being the one person who fully allowed him that humanity.

It is the first book that ever made me cry from deep inside my soul.

nrhatch - November 21, 2010

That reminds me of Artificial Intelligence, and that movie with Robin Williams as a robot housekeeper.

What makes humans human? Can machines emulate our human-ness?

Rev. Caritas - November 23, 2010

I saw that movie when I was much younger, and you’re right. It does seems like that.


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