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    #202496 - 10/01/14 11:45 AM Re: books for adults [Re: SFrog]
    aquinas Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2269
    Originally Posted By: SFrog
    Originally Posted By: aquinas
    Originally Posted By: SFrog
    I'd make a recommendation back, but most people seem turned off when I say the genre is "Italian epic poetry".


    Not me! smile


    In that case, I highly recommend the Barbara Reynolds translation of Ariosto's "Orlando Furioso" (it comes in two parts).

    Furioso is a continuation of Boiardo's "Orlando Innamorato". Both are excellent, but I fell in love (no pun intended) with Furioso first.

    --S.F.


    I'll definitely look into that. Short of learning Italian, an accurate translation is the next best thing.
    _________________________
    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

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    #202718 - 10/04/14 02:41 PM Re: books for adults [Re: Bostonian]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4144
    Dr. Ben Carson, author of "Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story" (1996) and "America The Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great" (2013), has authored "One Nation: What We Can All Do To Save America's Future" (May 2014)

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    #214422 - 04/17/15 09:25 AM Re: books for adults [Re: Bostonian]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2591
    Loc: MA
    Freeman Dyson: By the Book
    New York Times
    April 16, 2015

    Physicists and mathematician Freeman Dyson discusses his favorite books. Below is an excerpt where he talks about math and science books, but in the article he also mentions works of history, religion, and fiction. Other NYT "By the Book" columns are at http://www.nytimes.com/column/by-the-book . Dyson has written several books for a popular audience himself.

    Quote:
    Whom do you consider the best contemporary writers on science and mathematics?

    On science, my favorite is Edward Wilson. In “The Ants” (with Bert Hölldobler) and “On Human Nature,” he describes ants and humans with equal insight. On mathematics, my favorite is Robert Kanigel, who wrote “The Man Who Knew Infinity,” a biography of the Indian mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan. It is impossible to write a readable book about real mathematics for nonmathematical readers. The best anybody can do is to write about a real mathematician.

    What are the best books about mathematics for the lay reader? The best books about physics?

    The best books that I know about mathematics and physics are almost a hundred years old: “Men of Mathematics,” by Eric Bell, published in 1937, and “Space, Time and Gravitation,” by Arthur Eddington, published in 1920. Bell’s book seduced a large number of kids of my generation, including me, into becoming mathematicians. Eddington’s book was the main reason why Einstein was better understood and admired by the general public in Britain and America than he was in Germany. No comparably clear account of Einstein’s ideas existed in German.

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    #214426 - 04/17/15 10:05 AM Re: books for adults [Re: Bostonian]
    deacongirl Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/03/10
    Posts: 948
    Wolf Hall is on my list. I'm rereading Open Veins of Latin America.

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    #214427 - 04/17/15 10:15 AM Re: books for adults [Re: Bostonian]
    suevv Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/10/12
    Posts: 381
    I am a book re-reader. Over the years, I can't count the number of times I've re-read the following. Some are junky but fun (and yes - I know Hunger Games was not really intended as an "adult" book). One is very sad.

    Interesting - they are all coming of age stories that involve what appear to be highly gifted children/young adults. As I raise my PG son, these take on new and evolving meanings for me.

    Pride and Prejudice
    Ender's Game
    Little Women
    Hunger Games
    The God of Animals (very sad)
    Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

    I guess my favorites are a little pedestrian. But they make me happy - old friends. P&P is my go-to answer for "the one book I'd want if lost on a deserted island."

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    #214430 - 04/17/15 10:32 AM Re: books for adults [Re: Bostonian]
    Curiouser Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/03/13
    Posts: 155
    Loc: NJ
    Some of my particular favorites: Atlas of Love, Time Traveler's Wife, The Fountainhead, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Flowers for Algernon, Mr. Vertigo, Dresden Files, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, The Chronicles of Amber...

    And in case anyone is interested...sci-fi/fantasy recommendations from my husband (he was a bit overzealous!):
    Andy Weir - The Martian
    Dan Simmons - Hyperion Cantos; Ilium/Olympos saga
    Steven Brust - Dragaeran novels/Khaavren Romances
    Philip K. Dick - anything, really
    Dave Duncan - Tales of the King's Blades
    David Eddings - The Belgariad & The Mallorean
    William Gibson - anything
    Weis & Hickman - The Death Gate Cycle
    Tom Holt - anything
    Guy Gavriel Kay - The Fionavar Tapestry
    Patricia McKillip - anything, especially the Riddlemaster of Hed
    L.E. Modesitt - The Saga of Recluce
    Neal Stephenson - Snow Crash, Cryptonomicon
    Garth Nix - The Old Kingdom novels
    Sheri S. Tepper - anything

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    #214436 - 04/17/15 11:09 AM Re: books for adults [Re: Bostonian]
    madeinuk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/18/13
    Posts: 1440
    Loc: NJ
    Godel, Escher,Bach - An eternal golden braid
    By Douglas Hofstadter

    Is definitely one of the best and thought provoking books that I have ever read - probably a bit date nowadays but still worth reading IMO

    It was the book that got me into AI
    _________________________
    Become what you are

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    #214438 - 04/17/15 11:51 AM Re: books for adults [Re: Bostonian]
    Platypus101 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/01/14
    Posts: 659
    Loc: Canada
    Been meaning for ages to pull Godel, Escher, Bach out of the depths for DS - Thanks for reminding me I owe myself a shot at it first!

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    #214447 - 04/17/15 01:50 PM Re: books for adults [Re: suevv]
    deacongirl Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/03/10
    Posts: 948
    Originally Posted By: suevv
    I am a book re-reader. Over the years, I can't count the number of times I've re-read the following. Some are junky but fun (and yes - I know Hunger Games was not really intended as an "adult" book). One is very sad.

    Interesting - they are all coming of age stories that involve what appear to be highly gifted children/young adults. As I raise my PG son, these take on new and evolving meanings for me.

    Pride and Prejudice
    Ender's Game
    Little Women
    Hunger Games
    The God of Animals (very sad)
    Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

    I guess my favorites are a little pedestrian. But they make me happy - old friends. P&P is my go-to answer for "the one book I'd want if lost on a deserted island."


    You would be kindred spirits with my dd14 well except for Hunger Games!). She feels the same about P&P.

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    #214451 - 04/17/15 02:30 PM Re: books for adults [Re: Bostonian]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    My family does not, in general terms, understand my obsession with Umberto Eco. Pretty much any of Eco's novels.

    I can live with that. DD at least didn't mock me for wanting my photo taken with the pendulum-- no, the Foucault pendulum, really-- while we were in Paris. So there is that.
    I deeply regret not buying that French translation of Foucault's Pendulum from a Left Bank book stall, however.

    I don't generally re-read much of anything, because I'm a narrative person, and my memory for narrative detail is simply too good, so the "story" is more or less ruined for me after the first read, unless I read it fast-fast-fast and while tired. There are exceptions to that, but those are the books that I love and truly treasure. I'm kind of promiscuous in my reading tastes, but there are some things that I'd read again and again just for the delight of it.

    Some books that I love, find haunt me, or have spoken to me at various times in my life;

    Jonathon Livingston Seagull-- really, a very powerful metaphor for life as an HG+ person (if one chooses to read it that way). One of my most prized possessions is a signed first edition that was a gift from my father-- it's a lovely memento of a perfect rainy day spent in a rare book crawl with him-- and one of the last of (many) such memories, when I was a teen.

    Pillars of the Earth. Love this book-- love the rich and accurate FEEL of the character development, and the grimy, sort of desperate THINKING and actions of those characters. Both horrifying and fascinating. Made me think very deeply about how brutish and traumatic life used to be for all but a tiny minority of human beings, and inspired my wonder at the collection of world heritage sites and cultural treasures that exist in spite of that fact. Still amazing after all this time. I can't say that I recommend the "sequel" which I wasted 14hr of my life reading with great eagerness... I cared not one bit about ANY of the characters in that book, and was sorry to have wasted the 1000 pages-- something that I rarely, if ever, have to say about any book. LOL.

    Another all-time favorite is Helprin's epic fantasy, The Winter's Tale. Love that book. It's not a great story, not a great work of prose (by any means), not great in ANY way-- but it was great for me when I first encountered it as a teen a bit older than my daughter. It was, for me, the right book at the right time. I think that The Night Circus reminded me somehow of this book-- I enjoyed that novel very much, and so did DD.

    I also love Pushkin, Kafka, and Tao Te Ching, but only in lovely translations that preserve sense (and, I suppose, sensibility).

    The Making of the Atomic Bomb, All the President's Men, and A Beautiful Mind all speak to me.

    I like poetry. My favorite modern poet is probably Billy Collins, but in terms of older poetry, I have a deep appreciation for Langston Hughes (my daughter is the one who hooked me!!) and Riley (because of my dad's fondness for him).

    I also return fairly often to my out-of-print anthologies of Ray Bradbury's short stories, and his magnificent Dandelion Wine. I know that it's not strictly an "adult" novel, but it is remarkable nonetheless.

    Another "children's" author that I adore is George MacDonald. Oh, and Betty MacDonald's Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books, because they are just a delight in every possible way.


    My desert island author is probably Shakespeare, though. There is just so much gravity and compassion about human nature and the ways that human beings relate to, or interact with, others. I can't think of another playwright that seems to grasp and convey both light and dark so well.
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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