I Can't Really Complain . . . But I Still Do
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Saturday, July 22, 2006

Feedback Saturday (#38)

Friday has come and gone, but it's cool because everyone knows that Saturday is the essence of Friday's promises come to fruition.

Here at Procrastination Station Corporate Headquarters we make it a point to take the opportunity that the weekend provides and collect some valuable data from all of you devoted readers out there. It's a little thing we like to call "Feedback Friday (or Saturday in this case)".

For anyone out there who is confused or possibly doesn't even know how you got here, it's really pretty simple . . .

We employee three of what can only be described as "the most amazingly mediocre" blog-writers in The Rocky Mountain Region. With two of them on extended holiday in Antarctica, that leaves yours truly as the sole creator of material for this lovely little site, and even I can't come up with interesting things to say every single day.

(We noticed!)

That's where you come in . . .

Without the valuable feedback you guys provide, this blog would undoubtedly wither and die (or go on forever in relative obscurity much like it already does - it's really a toss up). The point is that what you have to say is sometimes the best stuff we come across.

So, now that we've gotten all the legal mumbo-jumbo out of the way, let's get down to the work at hand.

This week we're gonna explore some of the literary inclinations floating around out there. I want to know all about your three favorite books and what it is about them that you love. And I don't want to see the first three Harry Potters as your complete list. Let's try and spread the wealth a little bit, okay?

I must admit that I have a real soft spot for books and I can't wait to hear all about the stories you all think are the best and why.

Ben O.


Blogger Glenn said...

"I Could Never Be So Lucky Again"
Jimmy Dolittle

I thought it was fasinating that an aviation legend crashed so many planes.

"The Bad Place"
Dean Koontz

Way cool/freaky.

"Jurassic Park"
Michael Crichton

I read it long before the movie ever came out and it was better than the big screen version as all books are.

8:20 PM  
Blogger anne said...

Only three?? Oh man, this is Sophie's choice all over.
"Jane Eyre" (Charlotte Brontë) - beautiful love story, and still very modern in its critique of women's place in society. (that's my excuse anyway)
Peter Carey's "True History of the Ned Kelly Gang" - a first-person account of the life of Australia's legendary outlaw
Alexandre Dumas' "The Three Musketeers" - I can't not have a French writer in there.
In fact, I'll break your rule (you know, in the name of French-American relationships): Fred Vargas' "Have Mercy on Us All" - very, very clever thriller.
I might be back under an assumed name to give more titles.

5:45 AM  
Blogger Ben O. said...

Glenn - I haven't even heard of that Dolittle book - sounds interesting. I like Koontz, but I haven't read that one - Intensity was pretty . . . intense. Crichton is a good writer as well - so many movies made of his stories.

Anne - Sounds like you are into the classics - way cool. I have to get my head off of the couch and start reading more of the greats. Stephen King turns pages, but sometimes I feel like I'm missing out on a bigger picture.

We'll be watching for a mysterious French woman lurking in disguise . . .

Ben O.

11:23 AM  
Blogger Ben O. said...

Just in case anyone is paying attention - I changed out one of the "What I'm Reading" Book pics over to the left. I guess I'm in a "Behind the Scenes" sort of mood lately. I highly recommend the one I just finished - "Kind of Blue - The Making of the Miles Davis Masterpiece" by Ashley Kahn to anyone who even remotely likes jazz. It is really interesting to see how records were made back in the day and how the jazz greats of the past lived and worked. Very cool book.

I just started "Future Noir - The Making of Bladerunner" book, but it looks to be quite interesting as well. I love that movie like you wouldn't believe, so naturally it made sense to read about how it was made.

More on that one later -

Ben O.

11:35 AM  
Anonymous rollin said...

"The Lord of the Rings"
J.R.R. Tolkien
(some people call it a trilogy, but it's really one story in three volumes, plus I don't want to use up all three spots!)
I love the rich characters and the tough decisions they make, both for good and for ill, as well as the illustration of how the pursuit of power corrupts even good men and women. I re-read this every few years and am always amazed at how affected I am.

Steven D. Levitt
A fun chance to turn conventional wisdom on its head in considering the truth of cause-and-effect relationships.

"The Total Money Makeover"
Dave Ramsey
It seems an odd one to consider a favorite, but his wisdom and approach to debt and getting past the belief that debt is good and normal really hit home.

8:30 AM  
Blogger mcBlogger said...

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman, and Terry Pratchett. Just a freaking hilarious fictional account of the Apocalypse.

Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt. Just a really moving story. Enjoyed it emensly.

The Lion, the Fox and the Eagle by Carol Off. A solid account of two of the bloodiest failed peacekeeping missions in Sarajevo and Rwanda and how 3 three Canadians dealt with it. Totally slams the UN though.

It's tough to stop at 3 but these came to mind first so they got honerable mention.

10:20 AM  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

Cold Sassy Tree
Olive Ann Burns

This is my favorite "coming of age" story ever.

The Dark Tower
Stephen King

I know, I know. It's a series but it has to be said. I can't talk about favorites without talking about it.

Ender's Game
Orson Scott Wells (or something like that--I forgot the guy's name--I think, I could be right)

The first Science Fiction novel that actually grabbed me by the hair and drug me into another time--i generally do not "get" Science Fiction.

1:54 PM  
Blogger Zambo said...

Hey Ben.

My three favourite books, huh?

I tend to enjoy the works of Chuck Palahniuk...Choke, I think is my favourite...

The following is from amazon.com and it should be noted that the whole "direct descendant of Jesus Christ" was pre-Dan Brown...

Victor Mancini is a ruthless con artist. Victor Mancini is a med-school dropout who's taken a job playing an Irish indentured servant in a colonial-era theme park in order to help care for his Alzheimer's-afflicted mother. Victor Mancini is a sex addict. Victor Mancini is a direct descendant of Jesus Christ. All of these statements about the protagonist of Choke are more or less true. Welcome, once again, to the world of Chuck Palahniuk.

I think if that didn't intrigue you just a little, maybe stick with the fancy, magical world of Harry Potter...

Hmmm...I've read a lot of books...but I've re-read all of Palahniuk's earlier books...(sometimes more than once)...

One of the few autobiographies that I've actually enjoyed was Brando: Songs My Mother Taught Me...I read it a long time ago and wasn't disappointed ~ as I usually am when I read biographies or autobiographies...If you like Brando's work, chances are you'll like this book. He was a cool guy. A bit odd, but cool.

I'll come back if I can think of anything else that I'd wholeheartedly recommend...

Take care out there, Ben!

Sorry to go on and on...

Your Pal,


3:17 PM  
Blogger Ben O. said...

Here's 3 for ya . . .

1. "The Island of the Day Before" by Umberto Eco - You think the Da Vinci Code was intricate and interesting with all the secret codes and such, that book is like a first grader's comic book compared to Eco. Dan, get a pen . . . and take some notes.

2. "The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffeneger - This is the coolest, subtlest science fiction book I have ever read. I don't evenm think it knows it's science fiction. If you like stories about people, read this.

3. "Dubliners" by James Joyce - I read it in Dublin, so naturally I had to toss it in there.

There are others, but stupid me limited this little exercise to 3, so there you go.

Ben O.

6:50 PM  
Anonymous the gallic rebel said...

Oh I love Stephen King - mostly "Desperation", it makes me bawl every time.
(yes, Time Traveler's Wife is wonderful.)
Have you read "The Lovely Bones" by Alice Sebold? It's... there are no words. Beautiful.
Any Elisabeth George - very clever detective stories, cleverest of which is "In the Presence of the Enemy" - set in England, but written by an American.
The whole Tales of the City series.
There. That was my American selection.

3:03 PM  
Blogger Terri said...

ONly 3? You drive a hard bargain. OK here goes:
Gone with the wind by Margaret Mitchell - It drew me in and wrapped me up and somehow she makes you care for Scarlett O'Hara even though she's not really a very nice person.

Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkein - I love this book (and I agree - it is one book, not a trilogy). Possibly what I love most is the beautiful language in which it is written. Yes, it's English, but such poetic English!

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte - Because it is one of the most passionate, heart-wrenching stories ever written.

It is probably good you limited it to 3. I could go on all day on this topic. Next on my list would be the Bourne trilogy by Robert Ludlum. And on the subject of spy stories - anyone read Rainbow Six by Tom Clancy?

OK I'll stop now.

3:25 AM  
Blogger Ben O. said...

Anne . . . I mean Gallic Rebel - Yes, I have read "The Lovely Bones" and yes it is beautiful. I actually forgot about that one . . . it might have made my list, but like everyone else is saying, 3 just isn't enough apparently.

Maybe we should revisit this with a larger list option later.

Terri - I like the Ludlum books. Spy stories can be very engrossing is they don't get too technical and keep the suspense high. Le Carre is pretty intense at times.

Ben O.

7:57 AM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

The Eight by Katherine Neville - This came to me in a bag of books from a friend. I picked it up on a Monday night thinking I was going to hate it (a book about Chess?) and would just return it to the friend the next night. I got sucked right in and couldn't wait every day to get home from work to read it, until I got to the end and then I would find reasons to put it down so that it would last longer. I re-read it a couple of years back and it was still good.

Aztec by Gary Jennings (actually all three of the Aztec trilogy) - fiction but so much research that I feel it can be viewed as a fairly accurate portrayal of life in the times of the Aztecs. I thought they were bloody brilliant.

Ramses by Christian Jacq - Five volume set on the story of Ramses. Another fictionalised account with a boatload of research to give it the feel of authenticity.

I look at my list and laugh as if you asked me straight out, I would say that I hate historical fiction.

10:05 AM  

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