Author Topic: Essential Books  (Read 14347 times)

cyberman

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Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #75 on: July 20, 2015, 06:25:03 AM »

I recieved six of the tawse for informing him  that Macbeth was little more than political fantasy, and I would not write a critique on it.


Strange - you obviously had things to say about Macbeth, but you refused to write them down when asked. So you just wanted to get a row from your teacher; and it worked you got what you wanted. So because your teacher gave you what you wanted, you now claim that's a reason not to like Shakespeare.

Luckily for you, in rejecting Shakespeare in favour of Burns, it gives you another opportunity to establish your nationalist credentials (lest there were any doubt).

Anchorman

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Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #76 on: July 20, 2015, 08:11:35 AM »
Sorry: let me elaborate, Cyberman.
At the time, we were fourteen.
We were sudying Macbeth as the set play (along with the excellent "Death of a salesman (Miller)
The teacher was a sadist, pure and simple. He belted students for trivial reasons.
One girl wore leg calipers, and he belted her for having the timerity to be late (slow mobility was, apparently, not a valid excuse.)
In those days, and in that regime (1974) it wasn't 'done' to question the teacher.
We had submitted our essays, which had - fortunately - been marked.
We were then asked to give a verbal precis of our understanding of the play.
I did.
The result was demonstrably instructive.
"The rose of all the world is not for me.
I want, for my part only the little white rose of Scotland,
that smells sharp and sweet and breaks the heart."

Gonnagle

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Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #77 on: July 30, 2015, 09:07:14 PM »
Dear Me,

Go Set a Watchman was excellent, a real page turner, slow to start but once it got going, excellent, and like To Kill a Mockingbird I will read it again, it certainly made the old grey cells spark, another great insight into a time gone past by Harper Lee.

Gonnagle.
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Samuel

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Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #78 on: September 28, 2015, 01:39:14 PM »
Just glancing over this thread again and it strikes me as absurd that certain scientific tracts are included but none that are geological in nature. Without the principles of uniformitarianism, stratigraphy, biostratigraphy etc. we would have never come to make use of the mineral and hydrocarbon wealth of our planet. to rectify this I submit the following:

James Hutton, Theory of the Earth; or an Investigation of the Laws observable in the Composition, Dissolution, and Restoration of Land upon the Globe  - the foundations of modern geology and the first real proposal of the idea of uniformatarianism "a geological doctrine. It states that current geologic processes, occurring at the same rates observed today, in the same manner, account for all of Earth's geological features" (google)

First geological map of an entire country, or 'The map that changed the world'  William Smith - not a book I know but a seminal piece of work that included Smith's observation that fossils occurred in a specific order with layers of sedimentary rock. This is the first time rocks could be put in a recognised order based on the fossils they contained and is now known by the term biostratigraphy. It allowed redictions ot be made as to what might lie beneath the ground , simply based on observations at the surface. BEfore this landowners would dig on their estates in the hope of finding coal. After Smiths work it could be shows where the likely places were. A crucial development for industry and understanding the distribution of our natural resources.

Georges Cuvier, Mémoires sur les espèces d'éléphants vivants et fossiles - the first paper to establish a species of animal as extinct. Before this it was widely believed than extinction was impossible. Once extinction was accepted it revolutionised the way fossil remains could be studies and described, freeing scientists from attempting to fit fossil remains into existing groups, changing the way we viewed the past of our world forever.

Charles Lyell, Principles of Geology - the key document that argued for an Earth older than 6000 years, the age taken from Bishops Ushers work on the genealogies in the Bible. Refining and popularising Hutton's earlier theories it championed the idea that the slow processes at work today were responsible for all features visible from fossils to fjords. It required a planet that was far, far older than anyone had dreamed possible. It was a huge influence on Charles Darwin, who took it with him on the Beagle, and whose principle interest as a young scientist was geology.


Without these works the Origin of Species could not have been written. Geology established a view of the world within which the process of natural selection could operate. Most important was its evidence of a vastly ancient Earth, but also that rocks were organised and predictable and contained traces of strange and alien life forms that suggested ancient lineages stretching back far into the past. The idea of stratigraphy was later taken up by antiquarians and applied to their own investigative practices and modern archaeology was the result.

The Origin of Species was not doubt a world-changing book, but it is a shame the equally world-changing discoveries of geology that preceded it are so poorly understood or appreciated.
A lot of people don't believe that the loch ness monster exists. Now, I don't know anything about zooology, biology, geology, herpetology, evolutionary theory, evolutionary biology, marine biology, cryptozoology, palaeontology or archaeology... but I think... what if a dinosaur got into the lake?

Sassy

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Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #79 on: September 29, 2015, 08:27:20 AM »
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1.The Bible (public library; free ebook), to learn that it’s easier to be told by others what to think and believe than it is to think for yourself
If, it could do what he suggests then atheists would not exist. Then again could be Christ did things that no amount of being told what to think could affect. Do we need telling?
Who told man before the bible what to think? The clue is God was there at the beginning he will be there at the end but this guy wasn't. Difference between being told what we should do and what we think. The bible is a doers book not about being told what to think.

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2.The System of the World (public library; free ebook) by Isaac Newton, to learn that the universe is a knowable place.

We live here don't we? Hey! is the Universe a knowable place or just our little corner of it?
The universe is all time and space with it's contents and here is us sat on a planet called earth, He did say the universe it knowable... Discoverable maybe but not in our day and age.


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3.On the Origin of Species (public library; free ebook) by Charles Darwin, to learn of our kinship with all other life on Earth.
If our kinship is the same with all life on the earth will they now read this list and actually understand it...

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4.Gulliver’s Travels (public library; free ebook) by Jonathan Swift, to learn, among other satirical lessons, that most of the time humans are Yahoos
Would Yahoos read this list of 8 books? Only asking... ::)


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5.The Age of Reason (public library; free ebook) by Thomas Paine, to learn how the power of rational thought is the primary source of freedom in the world

Yeah! cos that would work right! Did Hitler and all other tyrants since Paine published his book actually make a difference because of it?
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6.The Wealth of Nations (public library; free ebook) by Adam Smith, to learn that capitalism is an economy of greed, a force of nature unto itself

Couldn't be mans own greed is what causes capitalism??? yes?? no??? A force of selfishness unto everybody?
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7.The Art of War (public library; free ebook) by Sun Tzu, to learn that the act of killing fellow humans can be raised to an art
Well do you think Cain would have chosen a different weapon to kill Abel? Would have been more or less affective?  Killing humans is not an art it is execution and if the generals  of the countries had to battle to the death to decide there would be no armies and no wars.
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8.The Prince (public library; free ebook) by Machiavelli, to learn that people not in power will do all they can to acquire it, and people in power will do all they can to keep it


Where did Christ do all he can to acquire power and do all he could to keep it...
Truth is Christ came with power and did everything to pass it on to everyone even died to make it possible for others. Maybe this is all human prospective and has nothing to do with the first book the bible. Because that is a way of finding God and filling your life with love and power of the kind that matters... the selfless kind.
Purely human trait and a very clear picture of mans own reasoning displayed.
We know we have to work together to abolish war and terrorism to create a compassionate  world in which Justice and peace prevail. Love ;D   Einstein
 "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."

Nearly Sane

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Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #80 on: September 03, 2016, 07:24:37 PM »
Interesting on choice of  5 books on war




http://fivebooks.com/interview/cecile-fabre-war/

Nearly Sane

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Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #81 on: October 15, 2016, 01:00:30 PM »
Niall Ferguson's choice of 5 books that have influenced him.

http://tinyurl.com/hwh8548

Nearly Sane

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Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #82 on: October 17, 2016, 10:28:25 PM »

Scotland's 10 favourite books. Seen worst lists. But no Stevenson? And Knots and Crosses not Ian Rankin's best, or even near it.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-37677187

jeremyp

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Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #83 on: October 18, 2016, 01:45:00 AM »
Scotland's 10 favourite books. Seen worst lists. But no Stevenson? And Knots and Crosses not Ian Rankin's best, or even near it.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-37677187
I bet, if you did a survey of who, in Scotland, has actually read any of those books, you'll find number 6 at the top by a mile.

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Nearly Sane

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Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #84 on: October 18, 2016, 08:29:43 AM »
I bet, if you did a survey of who, in Scotland, has actually read any of those books, you'll find number 6 at the top by a mile.
Undoubtedly true, though a number of the other books are decent sellers. But the choice of a favourite book is not about most read.

Anchorman

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Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #85 on: October 18, 2016, 09:10:59 AM »
I suppose the choice was on Scotland's best beloved books - and I'm surprised Stevenson didn't make it, either. I'm equally surprised that Dunnett and Tranter were not in the top thirty.
"The rose of all the world is not for me.
I want, for my part only the little white rose of Scotland,
that smells sharp and sweet and breaks the heart."

Nearly Sane

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Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #86 on: October 18, 2016, 09:47:11 AM »
I suppose the choice was on Scotland's best beloved books - and I'm surprised Stevenson didn't make it, either. I'm equally surprised that Dunnett and Tranter were not in the top thirty.
not sure exactly what the process was for selection of the top 30. I note though that it is 1 book an author and in the case of series, the first book.

Anchorman

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Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #87 on: October 18, 2016, 10:17:33 AM »
Mind you, NS, I totally agree with the number one choice. I never get tired of "Sunset Song" - or the whole trilogy, if it comes to that.
"The rose of all the world is not for me.
I want, for my part only the little white rose of Scotland,
that smells sharp and sweet and breaks the heart."

jeremyp

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Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #88 on: October 18, 2016, 01:37:24 PM »
Undoubtedly true, though a number of the other books are decent sellers. But the choice of a favourite book is not about most read.
But it is reasonable to assume that if somebody has read and owns HP and hasn't read and doesn't own Sunset Song, that person's favourite book is more likely to be the HP book.
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Nearly Sane

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Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #89 on: October 18, 2016, 01:45:46 PM »
But it is reasonable to assume that if somebody has read and owns HP and hasn't read and doesn't own Sunset Song, that person's favourite book is more likely to be the HP book.
Yes, but it's a self selecting electorate as well.

jeremyp

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Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #90 on: October 18, 2016, 01:52:44 PM »
Yes, but it's a self selecting electorate as well.
True.

That's also why numbers 1 and 2 in the BBC Big Read were LotR and Pride and Prejudice. LotR at a stretch, maybe, but there is no way more people's favourite book is Pride and Prejudice than the Harry Potter series or H2G2.
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Nearly Sane

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Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #91 on: October 18, 2016, 01:55:45 PM »
True.

That's also why numbers 1 and 2 in the BBC Big Read were LotR and Pride and Prejudice. LotR at a stretch, maybe, but there is no way more people's favourite book is Pride and Prejudice than the Harry Potter series or H2G2.
it's people who read a lot and widely that are more likely to participate, added that it is also on average likely to be an older readership.

jeremyp

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Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #92 on: October 18, 2016, 02:02:20 PM »
it's people who read a lot and widely that are more likely to participate, added that it is also on average likely to be an older readership.
I read a lot and widely, but I haven't read Pride and Prejudice.

I have read LotR and I found it rather pretentious and tedious in large parts. As an aside, my first experience of the BBC Message Boards was posting my views about LotR. It was also my first experience of being flamed on line.

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Nearly Sane

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Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #93 on: October 18, 2016, 02:07:54 PM »
I read a lot and widely, but I haven't read Pride and Prejudice.

I have read LotR and I found it rather pretentious and tedious in large parts. As an aside, my first experience of the BBC Message Boards was posting my views about LotR. It was also my first experience of being flamed on line.
I would say that adaptations also have an effect, even if people haven't read the book,but in that sense Sunset Song is a bit of an oddity. There has been a recent film but it was unsuccessful and not liked by those who like the book. Also, it should be noted,this was from a preselected long list which was put together by a panel.

Nearly Sane

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Re: Essential Books
« Reply #94 on: April 30, 2018, 04:27:16 PM »
Moderator Thread has had a number of derails removed.

Nearly Sane

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Re: Essential Books
« Reply #95 on: April 30, 2018, 04:32:22 PM »
The tidy up of the thread happened because I was discussing a set of posts I was making on books I love elsewhere with no explanation and Gordon suggested kicking this off again. I had been trying to avoid the books I had mentioned previously but on reading the thread I was not entirely successful. Still the 1st one hadn't been mentioned and here I will indulge in some explanation. This was just so dark and dirty and dank that I loved it.


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thérèse_Raquin
« Last Edit: April 30, 2018, 04:38:45 PM by Nearly Sane »

Dicky Underpants

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Re: Essential Books (merging '8 books' and Desert Island Reads)
« Reply #96 on: June 11, 2018, 04:21:31 PM »
Have just thought of another one and it's actually a novel - Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, easily the saddest book I've ever read.

Just scrolling through this thread after three years, and noticed this one, which coincidentally I've just read. I agree with Shaker's judgment; and indeed I agree with a lot of his choices in his splendid list (not that I've read all the ones listed).
« Last Edit: June 12, 2018, 04:53:12 PM by Dicky Underpants »

Rhiannon

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Re: Essential Books
« Reply #97 on: June 11, 2018, 04:37:37 PM »
Bloody hell, just found my list from whatever it was years’ ago. How can my tastes have changed so much in so little time?  :-\