PDA

View Full Version : One book.



Lupy
2009-05-06, 08:35 PM
If you could only ever, in your entire life, have read one book, which one would it have been?

I would have to say that the book with the greatest impact on me, ever, has been The Lord of the Rings, because of the sheer scale of it, and the fact it was the first real book I ever read. And it's not a bad place to get your viewpoint of the world.

Icewalker
2009-05-06, 09:14 PM
Well, big difference between only having read one book and book with the greatest impact. For me, book with the greatest impact would be Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, which sent me into a two hour spiral of deep philosophical thinking, which included several stages of various viewpoints including a short nihilistic stretch, and I was about 2/3rds of the way to figuring out the meaning of life, decided I'd rather live not knowing it, and have done my best to put the train of thought out of my mind.

Lupy
2009-05-06, 09:19 PM
Wow. :smalleek:

chiasaur11
2009-05-06, 09:21 PM
Well, big difference between only having read one book and book with the greatest impact. For me, book with the greatest impact would be Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, which sent me into a two hour spiral of deep philosophical thinking, which included several stages of various viewpoints including a short nihilistic stretch, and I was about 2/3rds of the way to figuring out the meaning of life, decided I'd rather live not knowing it, and have done my best to put the train of thought out of my mind.

Hey, some of would have liked to know!

Maybe you could give us the notes?

Jack Squat
2009-05-06, 09:28 PM
Hey, some of would have liked to know!

Maybe you could give us the notes?

People aren't wearing enough hats.

chiasaur11
2009-05-06, 09:37 PM
People aren't wearing enough hats.

Well, that one's a gimmee.

Lerky
2009-05-06, 10:06 PM
ooo, tough one Lupy, since I am an avvid reader and books mean the world to me I can tell this won't be easy...
It's a touch choice between Inkdeath which had extremly deep writing and moments that made my pulse quicken, not to mention it's epic climax, but it wouldn't make much sense since it's 3rd in a seris. On the other hand another amazing book I've read is Resistance: Star Trek the Next Generation by J.M. Dilllard which had intense action in every drop of ink and not to mention oodles of antacipation! I think Resistance would have to win:smallamused:

kpenguin
2009-05-06, 10:09 PM
Does an encyclopedia set count?

Sneak
2009-05-06, 10:15 PM
Well, my instinct was to say "If on a winter's night a traveler," by Italo Calvino...but I don't know if that book could be properly enjoyed without a previous love for books and reading.

This is a toughie...

chiasaur11
2009-05-06, 10:19 PM
Got it!

The world's biggest anthology.

Now I just need one of those Espresso machines and a whole lot of paper....

Hell Puppi
2009-05-06, 10:35 PM
Welllll I'm gonna have to go with Plauge Dogs.

Because I just don't think things through.


(Okay okay it was the first thing I thought of and really I'd hate to never see it again)

Berserk Monk
2009-05-06, 10:36 PM
Watchmen (graphic novels should count!)

Almn
2009-05-06, 10:38 PM
The little prince, for everywhere I go wrong is where I forget that book.

Collin152
2009-05-06, 10:44 PM
The Great Gatsby, so I'd always remember the futility of chasing one's dreams too long.

Ichneumon
2009-05-06, 11:41 PM
Animal Liberation, by Peter Singer. It changed my life, it confirmed a lot of things for me I was thinking about in the period I read it.

Haruki-kun
2009-05-07, 12:42 AM
The little prince, for everywhere I go wrong is where I forget that book.

Damn, I was too late! I just opened the thread and thought "The Little Prince" and then I read this. :smallannoyed::smalltongue:

It was the first book I ever read, and I have to say... I'm very, very happy to be able to say "this was the first thing I ever read, and I love it."

reorith
2009-05-07, 12:47 AM
hurrrf the hitch hikers guide. duh.

no. i lied.
do androids dream of electric sheep? is possibly the greatest book about bounty hunting, stone throwing, and androids. when i finished reading it, i spent the next week trying to figure out if i was a replicant or not. i wasn't able to conclude anything :/

toasty
2009-05-07, 12:52 AM
Hmm...

Its a religious book, so I'm not sure I should say.

But, besides that one, the LotR trilogy, because its really one book anyways.

SurlySeraph
2009-05-07, 12:59 AM
Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky. There is no better explanation of how to be moral and how to redeem oneself, and it manages to be incredibly entertaining as well.

Athaniar
2009-05-07, 01:54 AM
One book, hmm? Well, I have a book that contains all Sherlock Holmes stories, that'd be a good read. That or Lord of the Rings.

Felixaar
2009-05-07, 02:01 AM
What if I write books? Am I not alowed to read them?

Oh, and I'd probably go with Oh, the places you'll go! by Dr. Seuss.

Ishmael
2009-05-07, 02:13 AM
Lord Jim, by Joseph Conrad. That book sort of hits the heart of my entire life struggle, that impossible, beautiful, agonizing attempt to achieve the sort of Ideal identity that only exists in imagination. I deeply empathize with the themes that Conrad develops--the failure of action to reconcile to a constructed identity, the tragic impossibility of the Romantic hero, the conflict between whether empirical fact or some intuitive, personal opinion should constitute reality. It's amazing, and sort of began my entire intellectual journey.

Of course, it's rather hard to choose. Both Hamlet and Moby D**k are ridiculously important to my life. Paradise Lost made me go through a major religious crisis, since I was forced to confront the concept of free will in all it's implications.

But Lord Jim still is my choice. It deals with the issues that have been absolutely defining throughout my life.

reorith
2009-05-07, 02:30 AM
Of course, it's rather hard to choose. Both Hamlet and Moby D**k are ridiculously important to my life.

if vengeance is something you hold dear, i recommend death wish.

Dallas-Dakota
2009-05-07, 02:32 AM
To rule them all.
One book, to find them.
And in darkness, bind them.

HeavySleeper
2009-05-07, 02:51 AM
The Brothers Karamazov. Good on so many levels.

horngeek
2009-05-07, 03:29 AM
Out of non-religious, LotR.

The entire trilogy, because Tolkien considered it one book anyway.

blueblade
2009-05-07, 03:36 AM
I second crime and punishment. Immensely important book for anyone who has ever wondered why morality differs from person to person, or doubted how he (or she) was meant to live their life.

Ashtar
2009-05-07, 04:00 AM
Only one book? Then there is no question about it: Player's Handbook Ad&d 2nd Edition

From the moment I opened the cover, it opened to me a realm of possibilities, my visions and fantasies could become an activity I shared with my friends! No longer was I locked into a world where ants were as large as men and humano´d rats scurried in our sewers unchecked, finally I could bring in friends to fight and triumph.

From this moment, who was I to need other books? When I could simply gather friends and create the greatest adventures and stories ever? And now, these live on in the oral tradition of our gaming group, told around the fireplace, even to the next generation...

Sure, other books inspired me, but none gave me the keys to the universe itself! [Cue Evil Laugh] Mwhahahahaha [/Cue Evil Laugh]

dagaarn
2009-05-07, 04:52 AM
I can't answer this.

bosssmiley
2009-05-07, 05:01 AM
Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, which sent me into a two hour spiral of deep philosophical thinking, which included several stages of various viewpoints including a short nihilistic stretch...

Yeah, I hate Huxley that much too. :smallwink:

For me it's probably George Orwell's "1984" (written partially as a counterpoint to BNW). You never see the world the same again.

Failing that either "Collected Short Stories of H. G. Wells", or REH's "Collected Conan".

Dogmantra
2009-05-07, 01:49 PM
If there's a collected version of The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy "trilogy", then that.
If not... I'm not sure...

chiasaur11
2009-05-07, 02:08 PM
If there's a collected version of The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy "trilogy", then that.
If not... I'm not sure...

Rejoice.

There is.

Dogmantra
2009-05-07, 03:33 PM
Rejoice.

There is.

Huzzah!
And there was much dancing.
The reason I chose that is because the Hitch-Hiker "Trilogy" has probably been the most influential series I've ever read.

Tamburlaine
2009-05-07, 04:02 PM
What an incredibly difficult question to answer. I'm not sure it's even physically possible for me to pick just one book...

Hmm... The Chronicles of Amber? Tales of the Dying Earth? No. I think I'd have to end up picking Catch-22.

Canadian
2009-05-07, 05:00 PM
The July 2004 issue of Penthouse magazine.

Kaelaroth
2009-05-07, 05:31 PM
I love so many. But one, right, right, right now? The House of Sleep, by Jonathan Coe. It makes me shiver, and cry, and hope, and hate. I love it so.
So very much.

SOdhner
2009-05-08, 04:24 PM
Wow, that's a really tough question.

I thought this was going to be the 'desert island' question, which is actually way easier. A lot of the books that are springing to mind are good but wouldn't stand on their own.

A Prayer for Owen Meany? Though the middle was really slow... hmm. I think it depends on what I wanted to accomplish - for example, either Diamond Age or Consider Phlebas probably could have single-handedly made me love science fiction.

Hmm... no, I think I'll go for Everyone Poops.

H. Zee
2009-05-08, 04:33 PM
Catch-22. No book has impacted on me more, for some rather personal reasons I'd rather not admit. Suffice to say I very much identify with the protagonist, and following his example helped me get through a rather addled period of my life with everything intact.

Ororo
2009-05-08, 06:42 PM
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster or Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

Ororo
insert pithy comment here

adanedhel9
2009-05-08, 10:26 PM
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. If nothing else, after rereading it several times, I'd eventually be able to keep all the Joses, Arcadios, and Aurelianos straight.

Alteran
2009-05-08, 11:21 PM
This is a really tough question, partly because I'm sure that all of the books I read impact how I see the others. Right now I'm feeling pretty strongly about Pebble in the Sky by Isaac Asmiov, but that must be partly because I just finished it.

I'm not sure if I could pick one, there are just too many good books.

Graymayre
2009-05-08, 11:28 PM
Huzzah!
And there was much dancing.
The reason I chose that is because the Hitch-Hiker "Trilogy" has probably been the most influential series I've ever read.

I have a copy of it. It looks like a gigantic fricken' bible. :smalltongue:

________________________________________
The Novel that has impacted me the most

Ender's Game: It just hit home with me intellectually for reasons that I still have yet to fully understand several years later.

________________________________________

If I had to choose one novel to read:

...

...

...

1984 I guess. The intricacies of its social and mental philosophies astound me.

Honestly, I'd rather choose something with the most information, pound for pound. To quote Thomas Jefferson "I cannot live without books." So, it would pay to find one that expressed myself the most (still looking).

Trizap
2009-05-08, 11:34 PM
I can't answer this.

neither can I.

Liffguard
2009-05-09, 03:49 PM
Definitely The Silmarillion, for sheer mind-blowing epicness. It has great philosophical themes, beautifully lyrical writing and unmatched worldbuilding. But all of that pales besides the fact that its just an amazing story from start to finish, with great characters, twists and turns along the way and a satisfying ending.

Hadrian_Emrys
2009-05-09, 08:26 PM
The Wheel of Fortune has got to be the best book I've read in terms of characterization and inherent suspension of disbelief. Sure, I hated half the cast and mentally begged for the descriptions of self-inflicted emotional anguish to stop coming, but it was VERY well done. I'll never read it again, but I strongly urge anyone with hopes of becoming a novelist to pick it up.

xyzzy
2009-05-10, 02:14 PM
There's a lot of possibilities; Infinite Jest (though I haven't yet finished it >.>), Ender's Game, 1984, Watchmen, etc.

What about multiple-volume works? Maybe the Oxford English Dictionary.

Godel, Escher, Bach. Principia Mathematica.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. The Bible. The Lord of the Rings.

I can't pick! I'm glad this isn't a choice that has to be made.

skywalker
2009-05-10, 02:50 PM
A Prayer for Owen Meany? Though the middle was really slow... hmm. I think it depends on what I wanted to accomplish - for example, either Diamond Age or Consider Phlebas probably could have single-handedly made me love science fiction.

I forgot about Owen Meany. I remember how hard it was to get into that book, but after getting into it, how hard it was to skim (I was trying to read it all in one night before a test). Good, nay, amazing book. Not my "one book" tho.

I mean, I think it's a tough question because all the little kid books I read when I was a kid taught me to read. I could never read any of the books mentioned in this thread (even The Places You'll Go, it's an intermediate book!) without the help of things like One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, etc. And The Places You'll Go is a strong contender regardless.

But assuming I knew how to read without reading any of those other books, it's an epic contest between The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, and Stranger in a Strange Land, both by Robert Heinlein. Because both had such a profound affect on my views of politics, human nature, and sexuality/love collectively that I cannot choose between the two. I would not want to live this life without having read either of them. Can I tape them together? Is there an omnibus? There really needs to be an omnibus. When I'm older, I'll pay to have those two books printed as an omnibus for sure. Just in case there are some people who can only read one book for... some reason.

SurlySeraph
2009-05-10, 07:05 PM
Catch-22. No book has impacted on me more, for some rather personal reasons I'd rather not admit. Suffice to say I very much identify with the protagonist, and following his example helped me get through a rather addled period of my life with everything intact.

Has Nately's girl been trying to stab you, too? Man, I thought I was the only one.

Hadrian_Emrys
2009-05-10, 07:39 PM
Robert Heinlein wrote a LOT of clever, private time, material for himself. :smalltongue:

Nevitan
2009-05-10, 10:49 PM
I think I could go without books.
*prepares to be burnt alive*

H. Zee
2009-05-11, 03:44 AM
Has Nately's girl been trying to stab you, too? Man, I thought I was the only one.


:smallbiggrin: Yeah, that girl's harder to get away from than the freakin' Terminator.

KuReshtin
2009-05-11, 05:02 AM
I think Mary Shelley's Frankenstein would be my one book to have read.

Of course, I haven't read Crime & Punishment, LotR (shock horror) or a lot of other epics. I thought Frankenstein was a very good tale of morality, search for redemption (Dr Frankenstein) and search for humanity (the creature).
In the end you're not really sure who the monster is.

Dallas-Dakota
2009-05-11, 05:10 AM
....

You. Read. LotR. Now.

......

ghost_warlock
2009-05-11, 05:26 AM
Cosmos by Carl Sagan. If I'm being restricted to a single book, I would want it to be one that is composed of factual information about the universe, yet one that's epic and beautiful enough in scope to bring me to tears.

raitalin
2009-05-12, 09:47 PM
Wikipedia? Is that cheating?

If so, I'd go insane with only one book so the choice should complement and fuel my descent....Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions, or Phillip K ****'s Valis or Hunter S Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Purple Rose
2009-05-12, 10:05 PM
Ooh, this is a tough one... Would I be able to cheat and only read a book that I wrote myself? =p That way it could keep going on. ^.^

KuReshtin
2009-05-13, 06:26 AM
....

You. Read. LotR. Now.

......

Meh.. Can't be bothered. I saw the movies. That'll do for me.

Yes, I know watching the movies isn't the same as reading the books, but I don't care. :P

Black_Pants_Guy
2009-05-13, 07:02 AM
Watchmen (graphic novels should count!)

No they shouldn't. Because if they didn't count then they would still exist; think about it.:smallcool:

Berserk Monk
2009-05-17, 11:59 AM
No they shouldn't. Because if they didn't count then they would still exist; think about it.:smallcool:

First off, New York Magazine's top 100 books list.

Second, Alan Moore.

Third, ALAN MOORE!!!

Fourth, shut up.

Fifth, ALAN MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORE!!!!!!!!!

Szilard
2009-05-17, 12:07 PM
Either Green Eggs and Ham or one of the Harry Potters.

MethosH
2009-05-17, 07:51 PM
Some of those books are going to my "Must read" list.

Well... I'm between George Orwell's "Animal Farm" and Carl Sagan's "Billions and Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium"

My apologies to George, but I think I'll stick with Carl.

Fawkes
2009-05-17, 07:58 PM
You can read Animal Farm in a day. It's what, 120 pages? Well worth it.

chiasaur11
2009-05-17, 10:00 PM
Has anyone mentioned "There's a Monster at the End of this Book" yet?

Because really, literary classic there.

lord of kobolds
2009-05-17, 10:23 PM
Give me 2 hours and a giant stapler, and then I'll get back to you:smalltongue:

Artemician
2009-05-20, 09:46 AM
Definitely The Silmarillion, for sheer mind-blowing epicness. It has great philosophical themes, beautifully lyrical writing and unmatched worldbuilding. But all of that pales besides the fact that its just an amazing story from start to finish, with great characters, twists and turns along the way and a satisfying ending.
Quite amazingly, the book I'd pick would have to be the 'parody' of this work, The Sellamillion.

Amazing thematic progression, side-splittingly witty dialogue, and yet it manages to cover most of the Silmarillion did with none of the dryness.

The book reads like an epic with none of the moral dissonance and over-flowery writing.

Telonius
2009-05-20, 03:12 PM
If you could only ever, in your entire life, have read one book, which one would it have been?


The one I'm writing now.

MethosH
2009-05-20, 07:21 PM
You can read Animal Farm in a day. It's what, 120 pages? Well worth it.

I can read Animal Farm in a day. But I wouldn't dream of trading Animal Farm for the Harry Potter full collection, for example.