50 books to read before you...Favourite Classic books

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Tangled Metal
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Re: 50 books to read before you...Favourite Classic books

Postby Tangled Metal » 22 Aug 2019, 8:32am

Cool controversial but how about the bible, Koran, etc.? Whether religious or not religious texts are a big cultural influence on society and understanding. If reading books is partly about enlightenment and increased understanding of the human condition / the world then those texts certainly add to that. Speaking as a long term and committed atheist I still think there's merit in reading such documents.

Oldjohnw
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Re: 50 books to read before you...Favourite Classic books

Postby Oldjohnw » 22 Aug 2019, 9:07am

Just reading Nan Shepherd's "The Living Mointain".

Inspirational and transformative.
John

Cycling and recycling

Vorpal
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Re: 50 books to read before you...Favourite Classic books

Postby Vorpal » 22 Aug 2019, 9:22am

mercalia wrote:None of the above.

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff ( 2019 )

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/ ... off-review

Consider the apparently benign game Pokémon Go, both a ridiculous and a transparent example of the link between behavioural surplus and physical control... The players think they are playing one game – collecting Pokémon – while they are in fact playing an entirely different one, in which the board is invisible but they are the pawns.

How collecting has moved onto to manipulating.

There is no manipulation in Pokémon Go. For one thing, it is never necessary to enter private/commercial property to visit virtual points. For another, most of the collection points are actually player submitted. One can hardly succeed in the game only going to the commercially oriented collection points. Also, I play with my children, and although I sometimes go to particular geographic points to get stuff in the game, it does not influence my decision to go into a coffee shop or restaurant. I doubt that Pokémon Go has had any influence whatsoever on either footfall or sales, nor commercial interests significantly impacted the game experience. I'd need to see some evidence to accept that
Pokémon Go players are walked, lit by their glowing screens, straight through the doors of shops they didn’t even know they wanted to visit.
Certainly I, and my children have never done so.

p.s. this is a bit off topic, even if the book were a 'classic'; we can move it elsewhere if anyone wants to continue the discussion
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

mikeonabike
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Re: 50 books to read before you...Favourite Classic books

Postby mikeonabike » 22 Aug 2019, 9:43am

Vorpal, I guess you have more sense than the average Pokemon Go punter.

My suggestion is For Whom The Bell Tolls by Hemingway.

Freddie
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Re: 50 books to read before you...Favourite Classic books

Postby Freddie » 22 Aug 2019, 9:46am

Some interesting recommendations, but I do get the feeling from the replies that the classics aren't that well loved? A good amount of modern stuff being recommended, no problem really, I'm sure they are interesting too, but many are probably a little young to be considered classics.

Which makes me wonder, are the classics intimidating to the modern reader? (I certainly found the translation I attempted of Dante's Inferno almost indecipherable)

From reading Victorian literature I had to learn what a Hansom and Brougham were.
PH wrote:Others I'd recommend everyone to read - Heart of Darkness, Howards End, On the Road, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, something by JB Priestly (doesn't matter what, if you like it you'll be back for more, if not, well they aren't a hard read.) I'll stop there, it could be a long list.
If you're determined to tackle Ulysses, maybe read Dubliners first to get a feel for the language.
Heart of Darkness was excellent, heavy and oppressive (bit like 1984, you were transported there), but great. I imagine a number of people, especially younger ones would pitch a fit at some of the language and views in it though. Great literature, yes, consonant with our times, no!

The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance......uh, even if you don't have a motorcycle....?
Last edited by Freddie on 22 Aug 2019, 9:53am, edited 1 time in total.

Mike Sales
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Re: 50 books to read before you...Favourite Classic books

Postby Mike Sales » 22 Aug 2019, 9:51am

I enjoy Joseph Conrad's books.
Some may find him hard going. I recommend Youth as short, dramatic and accessible.

Tangled Metal
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Re: 50 books to read before you...Favourite Classic books

Postby Tangled Metal » 22 Aug 2019, 9:54am

Thucydides, history of the Peloponnese War. Totally indiscipherable unless you understand ancient Greek. Prefer those little books with the Greek one side if a double spread with the translation on the other. Definitely old form of English but good translation.

The classics are good but not for everyone. Afterall not much Latin and Greek being taught these days.

Freddie
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Re: 50 books to read before you...Favourite Classic books

Postby Freddie » 22 Aug 2019, 10:07am

Tangled Metal wrote: The classics are good but not for everyone. Afterall not much Latin and Greek being taught these days.
More's the pity.

Tangled Metal
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Re: 50 books to read before you...Favourite Classic books

Postby Tangled Metal » 22 Aug 2019, 10:16am

Between my uncle and my dad going to university they dropped the requirements for a classics o level for acceptance to university. If only they'd kept it. Those classical subjects are about intellectual rigor and capability. It feels that universities are now lacking that in the drive to get over 50% of young people into university.

Personally I studied Latin for 4 years and ancient Greek for 3. I got ancient Greek and civilisations gcse but dropped Latin sooner. I was only interested in the ancient Greek civilisation and especially their myths. I wanted to be able to read the original texts. Plus Latin is easier and I liked a challenge.

Forgotten it all now though. Brain dumped it in favour of engineering at University. :(

PH
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Re: 50 books to read before you...Favourite Classic books

Postby PH » 22 Aug 2019, 10:26am

Freddie wrote:The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance......uh, even if you don't have a motorcycle....?

It doesn't have much to do with motorcycles, or maintenance or Zen
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zen_and_t ... aintenance

mattheus
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Re: 50 books to read before you...Favourite Classic books

Postby mattheus » 22 Aug 2019, 10:36am

PH wrote:
Freddie wrote:The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance......uh, even if you don't have a motorcycle....?

It doesn't have much to do with motorcycles, or maintenance or Zen
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zen_and_t ... aintenance


... and Jaws wasn't about a shark.

I did enjoy Zen mostly. The main crux of the narrator's internal battle went over my head eventually, but there was some really nice ideas along the way.

merseymouth
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Re: 50 books to read before you...Favourite Classic books

Postby merseymouth » 22 Aug 2019, 10:36am

Hello all, Glad to see so much reading still being done!
Very true about previous generations reading limits & family history. My maternal grand-parents when they married had disparity, Granny could read, Grand-dad couldn't, that was about 1890. A cross and here is the mark of David Edward B----on (my edit).
But by 1911 Granny obviously taught Grandpa to read as he filled in the Census Form, first time that enumerators didn't complete the task, so he had improved his life. Quite common back then.
But as to books to recommend? On my Kindle I have a great variety of books, but one of my favourite writers is Ernest Bramah, so I have his comple works.
His Max Carrados novels tell the works of a blind detective, a bit Richard Hannay like. But he first came to my attention with his "Kai Lung sagas. He was a travelling Chinese minstrel, who was condemned to death, but who deferred the penalty by his constant moral story telling, very Confuscian.
My favourite saying is - "He who chooses to gamble may live to sell his sandals"!
Worth a read. IGICB MM

reohn2
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Re: 50 books to read before you...Favourite Classic books

Postby reohn2 » 22 Aug 2019, 10:40am

PH wrote:
Freddie wrote:The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance......uh, even if you don't have a motorcycle....?

It doesn't have much to do with motorcycles, or maintenance or Zen
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zen_and_t ... aintenance

It does,and a whole lot of other stuff which of course involves maintences in Zen
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reohn2
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Re: 50 books to read before you...Favourite Classic books

Postby reohn2 » 22 Aug 2019, 10:48am

A selection:-
Philip Pullman's Dark Trilogy
Zen in the art of Archery
The K-Pax trilogy,Gene Brewer
Britain BC Francis Pryor
The Program David Walsh
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I cycle therefore I am.

Tangled Metal
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Re: 50 books to read before you...Favourite Classic books

Postby Tangled Metal » 22 Aug 2019, 1:33pm

I think I've got more unfinished books at home than finished. Some of them my partner is reading so they're not being completely wasted.

She can read I no longer can. By that I mean I can't concentrate enough these days. Occasionally when bored on family holidays and stuck in a tent while raining outside I read a book through. I think partly I've got out of the habit and partly it doesn't stimulate me as much as I need.

I've got books on stone age technology, templars, the positives in religion aimed at atheists, archeology, several modern classic novels and a book on the troubles written by iirc the Grauniad's correspondent through most of when the troubles were at their height. Plus a load more that I can't remember. I counted 28 books started but not finished. That was 6+ years ago and I think I've added to them since. Plus I've been trying to support our local library (mostly by borrowing books to generate fines! :roll:). It's under threat as all small town libraries are.