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New Releases? No, not today…



Greetings Literary Comrades!

This week in new book releases is a sparse one, at best, so I’ve opted not to put together a post. Mostly because there isn’t a post to put together! There’s a whole slew of romance releases, Nora Roberts and maybe some other namely persons that I do not know of, but nothing that was particularly standout for a sort of head’s up. A rather depressing day for literature, methinks, unless I’m missing something. That is ENTIRELY possible! If you know of any good books coming out this week, give us a head’s up on them in the comments, eh?

Since it’s a slow week, why don’t we try something fun for this Tuesday? A mini book review, of sorts! What’s your favorite title? What’s it about? Why do you love it so much? WHY DON’T YOU MARRY IT — errr. Right. Let’s hear it, nerdlings! Favorite book, reasons why: this is your assignment.

Now go! Illuminate our minds!

Image: Brett Jordan/Flickr

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  1. Lincoln says:

    World War Z. Fantastic read. But some asswipe stole my copy.

  2. Jefferson Keane says:

    Has to be Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas. I love and miss Dr. Hunter S. Thompson!

  3. Hana Hinds says:

    There are two that i can think of at this time; The Book Theif by Markus Zusak, and Between The Bridge and The River by Craig Ferguson. I am reading Between The Bridge and The River right now and it is absolutly fantastic! I may be a bit bias because i’m a comedy nerd. I read The Book Theif in 2 days because it was too addicting to put down. Kinda pissed off my friends who wanted to hang out, I left them for a book!

  4. Jeremy says:

    Favorite book of all time at the moment has to be “Exquisite Corpse” by Poppy Z. Brite.

    Despite her I’m-so-underground-and-you’re-not writing style,the book is really well crafted. A story about forbidden love, and questionable ethics in the midst of fucked up misinformation about AIDS and HIV from the Regan era. Also extremely graphic an well written homo-erotica… Also throw in necrophelia, incest, and canibalism to boot. Handsdown the most fucked up book I ever read and that is beautiful.

    Honorable mention to Orwell’s “1984”, Gaiman’s “American Gods”, and Clarke’s “Childhood’s End”

  5. Elysa Braunstein says:

    Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science by Martin Gardner – it showed me there were people out there who were skeptics like me.

    The Eyre Affaire by Jasper Fforde – smart and funny.

  6. Bethany says:

    I love so many books, it’s hard to pick the favorites. Also my favorites seems so puny and childish compared to some that are listed…

    That being said, I LOVE Dave Eggers book You Shall Know Our Velocity. I just fell in love with the story. Following after is most of the David Sedaris books. Sometime, I actually ‘mentally re-read’ a few stories when I am feeling down. That doesn’t make me sound lame or anything. Another is probably young, but I’m kind of young and it is a book by Ned Vizzini called It’s Kind Of A Funny Story. The main character’s thought process in that book was eerily similar to mine at parts.

  7. Jared says:

    The Dune series (the 6 by Frank Herbert, not the ones his son co-wrote) is one that I find myself rereading year after year. It’s his weaving of a story spanning thousands of years and so many different characters that still feels like one cohesive tale that just astounds me. You just won’t find a series that has more to say about religion, politics, history, and the potential future of humanity. Sadly, I’m actually toning down my Dune nerd love

  8. Taylor L. says:

    PS- Dear Mindie Prest,
    Yes, “Brave New World” and “1984” are amazing books, but at this point I think it’s understood that they are well-loved classics. Oh, and “1984” was written by George Orwell (the best writer ever), not Orson Wells. Psh.

  9. Taylor L. says:

    A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving. It’s touching. I cried the first time I read it. It’s long but definitely worth it, especially if you love symbolism. There are so many symbols that seem unrelated but it all comes together at the end. The dialogue skips around from the past to the present to way in the past to political disturbances…it keeps you interested. It deals with death, sexuality, love, friendship, Vietnam, faith….a little bit of everything. A must read for sure.

  10. Brian D says:

    Looking for a fast, easy summer read, maybe for a plane trip? Check out The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. It’s The Lottery meets The Most Dangerous Game. It’s more of a young adult novel but I guarantee you will be enthralled and won’t be able to put it down. I was up till 3am reading it until I fell asleep on the toilet (the bathroom is by far the best room in a house in which to read a good book). My wife finished it and the 2nd installment in less than a day. The 3rd (and last) book of the series comes out later this summer. It’s worth checking out for sure.

    A few other great summer reads, especially for the beach, are the Kite Runner and The Shadow In The Wind. The former is obviously very well-known and for good reason. Well written, wonderful story, heart-wrenching, etc etc. The latter is a Spanish novel by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (I believe that’s how you spell it). The translation to English is wonderful, and this book had the best language and literary style I’ve ever read. Another book where you get lost in the pages. You find yourself having dreams in the world that’s been so vividly painted by the author.

    (please pardon any typos, typed this all out on my iTouch…)

  11. MINDIE PREST says:

    Seriously people!?!?! I have read almost all the books listed, and yes while all are really awesome books, I cannot believe i didn’t see one mention of ” A Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley or “1984” by Orson Wells. Both are very relevant in today’s “Big Brother” style government. Glad to at least see, J.D. Salinger, Harper Lee and Kurt Vonnegut on here though! Oh, for a great “fun” read I have to with the Harry Potter series or the Sookie Stackhouse series.

  12. bvac says:

    I don’t know how to read 🙁

  13. Karl says:

    The most meaningful books to me are the Sea of Fertility tetralogy by Yukio Mishima. I try read them every summer and they have grown a lot with me as I age. The four books trace one mans experiences with Buddhism, art, and humanity through the lens of Japan in the 20th century. It’s better than I made it sound. The books haven’t so much changed my life as they have changed with it. Really beautiful stuff.

  14. Robin says:

    The Lorax! Doesn’t it say it all?

  15. Jessica says:

    Dune by Frank Herbert
    Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
    American Gods by Neil Gaiman
    The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
    Enchantment by Orson Scott Card
    Any book by Charles de Lint or Terry Pratchett or Neil Gaiman
    Possession by AS Byatt
    The Eight by Katherine Neville
    East of Eden & The Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck
    For Whom the Bell Tolls by Hemingway
    John Adams by David McCullough
    On the Blanket by Tim Pat Coogan
    Freedom Road by Howard Fast
    The Princess Bride by William Goldman
    Invisible Man by Ellison
    The Brothers Karmazov and Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky
    Plum Island by Nelson Demille

  16. BillEyeBrow says:

    I love Ender’s Game. I go back to it time and again.

  17. Amy says:

    Pride and Prejudice because it brings out the dormant romantic in me, Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris (I would marry this book) because it’s brilliantly funny, and Harry Potter (all 7 of ’em) because re-reading the series is like visiting an old friend.

  18. Jennifer says:

    This blog seems a bit highbrow for me (thank God I didn’t get your job), but I’ll be honest: classics: I’m an Austenphile and my favorite book of all time is Pride & Prejudice. I love Austen’s wit and ability to write a good, strong heroine. Non-fiction: John Krakauer, he does incredible research on his subjects/topics. I become so emotionally attached by the time the book is over and cannot stop thinking about what I just read.
    Recent release: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was great, the second and third were good. All three are page turners. Unfortunately the main characters all became less appealing as the series went on, but still highly recommended.

  19. Jason says:

    Give me Good Omens.

  20. Brienne Pope says:

    It’s hard to pick a definitive favorite but I think I’d go with “The Catcher in the Rye”. You just have to love Golden Caulfiled’s view on life.

  21. ken says:

    @Pat, have you read all of Vonnegut’s other novels and have “Hocus Pocus” as your favorite?

    I’ve never heard that one picked as a favorite. I’m boring in that i like “Cat’s Cradle” the most…probably followed by “God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater.”

    “Catch 22” would make my Top 10. I’ve liked the ~10 Pratchett books i’ve read, but none of them were unqualified great.

  22. mary says:

    Women by Charles Bukowski. Discovered him only last year with this novel. I’m sad I didn’t know him when he was alive. The protoganist, Hank, is an effed up nympho and his vulgarity is offensive and disgusting. And yet there’s honesty in this.

    This is not fair. A lot of people commented with their faves, but what about you, Chris? Unless he commented and I missed it.

  23. Kevin says:

    Watchmen by Alan Moore and David Gibbons FTW n00bs.

  24. Jaslyn C. says:

    I’m not at all ashamed to say my favorite book is Harry Potter. Yup.
    I’ve grown up with the books and if you’re a good reader (as in you can “read beyond the words” as my english professor use to say) there is so much you can get out of the series. I can read it a hundred times and still get excited.
    A close second would be Pride and Prejudice. Just cause I’m a girl.

  25. Pat says:

    Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. I read it annually, in January, and have every year since 1997. I read a lot, and the only other books to come close to this mark are Catch 22 and Hocus Pocus by Kurt Vonnegut (read Catch 22 four times and Hocus Pocus six). Really, though, you can’t go wrong with any of Pratchett’s books, if you’re looking for a humorous “light” read with a fair amount of subtle substance.

  26. ken says:

    My permanent link to my favorite novels is here:

    My top 5 novels, in no particular order, are:

    Cryptonomicon – Neal Stephenson
    Baroque Cycle – Neal Stephenson
    The Broom of the System – David Foster Wallace (it’s funnier than Infinite Jest)
    The World According to Garp – John Irving
    Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

  27. Colby V. says:

    I’m a big Dave Eggers fan… His memoir “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius” is beautifully written and is the perfect blend of comedy,drama, sadness, etc. It’s the first book I read by him and it really made all his other books that much more enjoyable simply by helping me understand who he is and what he has been through in his life.

  28. Jess says:

    Jane Eyre.

    Yes, classic, gorgeous story, but I think Charlotte Bronte’s sense of humor is really underrated. She had a sharp, dark wit.

  29. Matthew Burnside says:

    Holy crap there are a ton of comments on this! Awesome. I don’t read a lot. I’m a slow reader and tend to fall asleep without the glow of a screen, but I loved Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card. McCoy knows what I’m talking about. (Raising the roof.) Bean is awesome. I’m pretty into young, badass giants and sci-fi.

    A quick shout out to The Phantom Tollbooth too. Loved that growing up.

    Oh! Born Standing Up by Steve Martin also. Maybe I read more than I thought.

  30. TheWhimsiad says:

    The Cyberiad by Stanislaw Lem. Hilarious book of short stories set in a universe where all the characters are robots. You can’t do it justice, other than to say that the New York Times thought Lem should win the Nobel Prize for Literature. He also wrote “Solaris” and was cited by David X Cohen as a major influence on Futurama.
    Also, the Futurological Congress.

  31. Julius M. says:

    I should add that Murakami is a literary genius, and each of his stories, both short and novel, always encapsulate me. His characters can walk off the page, and he incorporates the surreal in a way that makes it seem real. Of course, I’d prefer to read them in their original Japanese. Hopefully, I’ll get to that point in my study of the Japanese language.

  32. Kate says:

    Ordinary People – Judith Guest

  33. The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon is a content rich story of Golden Age comic creators. Stunning and worth the read.

  34. Andrew Brewster says:

    the belgariad series by david eddings. such a good fantasy series

  35. Julius M. says:

    I would say any of Haruki Murakami’s novels. If I had to pick one, then I’d say “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.”

  36. Kyle Michaud says:

    Favorite book: The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
    I’ve always been a wallflower, so I connect with Charlie immediately. The book is so different than others I’ve read. It’s a bunch of letters Charlie writes to someone he hasn’t met but thinks is a good guy and will understand his need for writing. It’s essentially his diary because he doesn’t let the guy know who he is, so he doesn’t write back.

    Anyway, I just connected with Charlie. The book helped me come away from the wall a little.

    Favorite book series: Animorphs.

    Animal Morphers. Need more? I think I started reading them in fourth grade. I fell in love. Science fiction for kids. A bunch of kids find a dying alien and he gives them the power to change into animals. They use this power to fight evil aliens, called Yeerks, who are trying to take over the Earth. It was great because it had a bunch of science, action, love, everything you’d want.

  37. K J McCoy says:

    Ender’s Game by Orsen Scott Card. It’s been years (16 or more) since I read it, but I still remember most of it and how well it was written.

  38. Nick says:

    In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote. It is what investigative journalism should aspire to be; a compassionate look at a killer’s life without forgetting how monstrous an unfeeling murderer can be. Also, freaked me the hell out to read that the killers had spent time in my old hometown of Worcester, MA.

  39. Lisa G says:

    Most of my nerdly favorites have been mentioned, as well: “A Wrinkle In Time,” “Hitchhiker’s Guide,” “The Stand.” In the ‘also written by’ category I’ll add “The Grapes of Wrath” and “Jitterbug Perfume” to those who’ve mentioned Steinbeck and Robbins.

    But always and forever at the top of my list are “A Christmas Carol,” “The Unbearable Lightness of Being,” and “Gone With The Wind.” I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve reread those books. And for maintaining my inner child, “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” and “The Giving Tree” are untouchable.

    Why do I love those books and so many others? Because the world of the story is more real to me than reality.

  40. Bernice says:

    The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret ATWOOD. Read it for the 1st while living in Jeddah KSA on a compound with 1500 female flight attendants. The dystopia describe by ATWOOD was completely like life in KSA. Natasha Richardson did a fabulous job in the movie – one of my most favourite movies as well. The future looks bleak for women. And very New World Order.

  41. John says:

    Favorite books of all time.. The Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin. Just wish that guy could write faster!

    Other recent favorites include “Sandman Slim” by Richard Kadrey and both “Daemon” and “Freedom” by Daniel Suarez

  42. Brittni says:

    My favorite book is To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Coincidentally, Monroeville, Alabama is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the book’s release this weekend with a festival and walking tours in the town in which the book was based. How could you not celebrate a book that housed such unique characters as Atticus and Scout Finch and a plot that displayed the evils of racism and people that wouldn’t stand
    for it any longer. I realize that the story is much more deep, but if I say any more about it, you won’t read it.

  43. JR says:

    Believe it or not, Treasure Island is amazing and reads perfectly well to an adult. Much of Stevenson is absolutely great (Jekyll and Hyde is another …). NYT just had a piece on Borges’ obsession with Stevenson, and if Borges likes you …

  44. Tira P. says:

    A Brief History of Nearly Everything.

    Science for non scientists, from the Big Bang to our days. Its not really my favorite non-fiction but might appeal to many. A little more heavy, but steal mainstream would be any Sagan book.

    Fiction: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

  45. Brit Anderson says:

    Naked Pictures of Famous People by: Jon Stewart. Insanely funny and way worth the read.

    Outlander saga by: Diana Galbaldon. Huge books but they are all great stories and you really get attached to the characters.

  46. Major Crash says:

    If you like fantasy books, you HAVE to read Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. It’s an amazing book.

  47. Saltpork says:

    The entire “Tales of the City” series. Read all of them cover to cover and I still think of all the residents of Barbary Lane as friends.

  48. My favorite book is Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton.

    It’s safe to say that most people have seen the movie, but few have read the book. You say Jurassic Park and everyone knows what you’re talking about. And while the movie is definitely great on its own, it doesn’t compare to the book. The book has so many more twists and excitement and poetic justice. It’s fantastic. It single-handedly made me settle on working to be a writer in the future. I’ve always loved writing but I decided to make a career of it after reading Jurassic Park. I don’t want to say too much about the plot because it’s SO different from the movie, I just want to say to anyone who reads this: read the book. It’s indescribably wonderful.

  49. Jessie says:

    If I had to pick just one, it would probably be A Clockwork Orange. You know the one, Alex and his droogs cause mayhem in a lawless and Russified England, then the millicents brainwash him in the StaJa. Film done by Kubrick. I love it because it’s really funny, it taught me some rudimentary (emphasis on rude) Russian and dystopian futures are one of my favorite plots to read.

  50. Ana P. says:

    Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell by Susanna Clarke – A world in itself. A 1000+ mammoth book that incorporates page-long footnotes to tell the story of the restoration of magic to Nineteen century Britain. It is the most satysfying reading experience anyone can have.

    Blindness by José Saramago -So, humans go blind. Anarchy ensues. It might seem like a simple premise, but Saramago weaves a story that pulls you in and paints a picture of utter desperation in your head. Although it is translated from Portuguese, the rich style and wit of the author is preserved, making this a thoroughly enjoyable book.