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Thread: Essential Books to Impress Anyone Who Finds Your Lost Kindle

  1. #1
    Dive Watches & Japanese Moderator OTGabe's Avatar
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    Essential Books to Impress Anyone Who Finds Your Lost Kindle

    Saw this on McSweeney's, one of my favorite websites. http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/e...ur-lost-kindle

    Made me think of the 'what are you reading?' threads and what lies one could tell there in an attempt to look more intellectual. Got any others?


    Remembrance of Things Past

    by Marcel Proust

    I recommend you put it on your Kindle in French. If you’re not going to read a classic, you might as well not read it in the original.

    Moby Dick
    by Herman Melville:

    A classic, plus it has the word “Dick” in the title, which is always good for a giggle.

    Beowulf
    “Hwæt! We Gar-Dena in gear-dagum.” The first line ofBeowulf, and yeah, I have no idea either, but unless the person who finds my Kindle is my former English professor, I’m still good to wow anyone who comes across it.

    Catch 22
    by Joseph Heller

    Anyone who finds your Kindle will be very impressed you have Catch 22 on there… but, what if they’re not very impressed? Damn.

    Fight Club
    by Chuck Palahniuk
    The first rule of having Fight Club on your Kindle is not telling anyone why you have Fight Club on your Kindle.

    The Goldfinch: A Novel
    by Donna Tartt

    Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize. Did I mention it even says so right on its Kindle book cover? Who cares that I haven’t read it.

    David Copperfield
    by Charles Dickens
    Sure to impress any Kindle finder who’s literate or at least into magicians.

    Lolita
    by Vladimir Nabokov
    Nabokov’s controversial novel about an April/December romance is still really impressive stuff. Unless, of course, someone finds your Kindle near a high school playground. Then you might want to lawyer up.

    The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism
    by Doris Kearns Goodwin

    Think the title is long? The book’s 900 pages. How impressive is that?

    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
    by Hunter Thompson
    What happens on your Kindle stays on your Kindle.

    The Collected Works of Wislawa Szymborska
    by Wislawa Symborska

    Szymborska won 1996 Nobel Prize in Literature "for poetry with ironic precision.” And think how impressed whoever finds your Kindle will be when they can’t even pronounce her name!

    The Lord of the Flies
    by William Golding

    Anyone who finds your Kindle will be impressed you read the book that’s the adult equivalent of Jersey Shore with less spray tan and more literary allusions.

    Slouching Toward Bethlehem
    by Joan Didion

    The witty, acerbic, take no prisoners Joan Didion always impresses. But, with this one, we’re also reminded posture matters.

    Breakfast of Champions
    by Kurt Vonnegut

    Must have a Vonnegut book on my Kindle. I have this one because not only is it a classic, but a reminder to whoever finds my Kindle to have a good breakfast—the most important meal of the day.

    The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
    To impress or not to impress? Is that really a question?

    Catcher in the Rye
    by JD Salinger
    Cool, hip, and it spurred a generation to name their kids “Holden.” Also, still impressive to anyone who’s ever taken an English class, or had a crush on Jodie Foster.

    One Hundred Years of Solitude
    by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

    Impressive novel. Nobel Prize winner. And, exactly the amount of time one would need to read all the books on my Kindle.

    The Essential Dr. Martin Luther King
    Impressive in anyone’s book. The dream that people will one day not be judged by the color of their skin, but solely by the content of their Kindle.

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  3. #2
    Reposting this from WUS.

    Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges is a short anthology and collection of unique stories by the legendary Argentinian author. There is no way to describe Borges' writing except to say that he is perhaps one of the most unique writers of our time. His philosophy, abstract thinking, and sheer approach to literary constructs is unparalleled. And unlike some that use elaborate prose, Borges accomplishes much with little. And he leaves you thinking.


    100 Hundred Years of Solitude
    by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a book that I find to be quite inspired by Borges, and that is perhaps one of the reasons I like it so much. Marquez explores Magical Realism through non-linear storytelling, and although the setting is very similar to his more serious works (e.g. Love in the time of Cholera or The General in His Labyrinth), this story is at-once humorous and tragic. Well deserving of the Nobel.


    Nauseau and No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre. While Sartre needs no introduction, and has written several works that can tear at your soul, these two masterpieces stand out. Nauseau is Sartre's first novel, and it explores the concept of Existentialism. In it, the main protagonist feels threatened by inanimate objects and the world around him -- things that he feels threaten his ability to define himself and his existence. Remarkable piece of work, one for which Sartre was offered the Nobel but he turned it down on account that he considered the Nobel to be part of the bourgeois establishment. No Exit, of course, established the now well-known precept that "hell is other people". It's a play where all the characters are in a locked room with no exit, and is a commentary on Existentialism and how human beings use other people to define themselves.


    The Plague by Albert Camus is another classic, where Camus also explores Existentialism (even if he hated that label) and Absurdism in a Kafkaesque setting. It revolves around medical workers who ponder upon the human condition as they try and battle a plague that is killing the population of a French colony. Breathtaking, frustrating, and incredibly chaotic -- but you will come away with a different view. And unlike Sartre, Camus did accept his Nobel, even if he died shortly thereafter.


    My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk. I admit, I have thing for Borgesesque writing. I could describe the settings and the plot, but that would be meaningless because like Borges, Pamuk creates a world where he explores "meta" concepts in the spaces and times surrounding us, amongst the living and the dead, and even within the work that you read. Pamuk takes what Borges established -- the concept of "literary puzzles" -- and plays with the reader, if to a much, much greater degree. While Pamuk also won the Nobel for his later works (Snow in particular comes to mind), My Name is Red remains his best work to date, in my opinion. His acceptance speech, "My Father's Suitcase", is a moving read.


    One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn is a stunning piece that examined the life of a prisoner in the Soviet Gulag. It describes a single day in the life of a prisoner, and as someone who had personally spent time in prison for mocking Stalin, Solzhenistyn had personal and firsthand experience. While he received the Nobel for his works, he was soon thereafter expelled from the Soviet Union, but later returned to Russia after the collapse of the Union. On that note, I would also readily recommend his The Red Wheel series (August 1914, November 1916, March 1917, April 1917), a unique combination of historical storytelling and narratorial interpretations of Russia, starting with the Tsarist regimes through the birth of the Soviet Union. I will also add the caveat that while I have only read August 1914 and (some of) November 1916, I think of his works as books you read through the course of your lifetime. I do not believe April 1917 has been translated into English yet.


    The Bridge on the Drina by Ivo Andric is another one of those must-read classics. It explores the lives and times of the inhabitants of a town by a bridge over the river Drina in a region that includes Serbia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina. It explores over four centuries of various conquerors and rulers, and how the people themselves change (or remain unchanged, as the case may be). In fact, Andric's work influenced Serbian nationalism to a great extent (and unfortunately, even played a role in the Bosnian conflict and in heightening anti-muslim sentiments in the region), which is ironic considering Andric's loyalties (not to mention the fact that he was Yugoslavian). Another interesting point of note is that Andric and Tolkien were both considered for the Nobel (the latter being nominated by none other than C.S. Lewis). Andric won, and I believe Tolkien's nomination was tossed because his prose was considered low quality.


    Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami. You've probably realized by now that I have a thing for unique writing styles. Murakami explores a world of magical realism and sexuality in two plots that eventually converge (if on a "meta" level). The odd chapters relate to one plot, and the even to another. Just brilliant and mind-boggling. Reading Murakami is like immersing yourself in a world created by Salvador Dali. His other works, namely IQ84 and The Strange Library are just as good, but Kafka on the Shore remains my favorite.


    Annals of Imperial Rome
    by Tacitus. Fantastic historical review, one that is strangely relevant today. In his book VI, Tacitus describes how Tiberius imposed a ceiling on interest rates, resulting in a credit crunch and the ensuing financial crisis. And of course, Tiberius' advisers made sure that the empire pumped enough money into the economy to solve the crisis, and cut the interest rates down to zero. See any parallels?


    Histories
    by Herodotus. The fascinating accounts of the Greek and Persian empires, their conflicts, and the various city-states therein. I would argue that this should be a mandatory textbook in freshman year of high school.


    Paradise Lost
    and Paradise Regained by John Milton. I am not religious, but this stands to be one of the most exemplary pieces of literature out there. Interestingly enough, Milton wrote Paradise Lost when first became blind; and Paradise Regained when he regained his eyesight.


    Illiad
    and the Odyssey by Homer. To understand the sheer scope of f'ed-up-ness of our ancestors, one needs to read these two. It is fascinating, mind boggling, and sometimes appalling. But it is always interesting.

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    Higher Entity Jeannie's Avatar
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    You'd want to be sure to tap through each all the way to the end so they show "100%" in the upper right corner.

    Jeannie
    The adventures of Bob the Traveling Watch


    . . . . . . . . . .

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    King of Mars bolaberlim's Avatar
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    "How to live with a huge pen.. "you know what's next. And yes, it does exist.

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  8. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeannie View Post
    You'd want to be sure to tap through each all the way to the end so they show "100%" in the upper right corner.

    Jeannie
    and here's me thinking your post would have been admonishing him for the 2nd suggestion for lowering the tone

    Moby Dick
    by Herman Melville:

    A classic, plus it has the word “Dick” in the title, which is always good for a giggle.

    Beowulf
    Last edited by Seriously; Jan 14, 2015 at 04:48 PM.

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  10. #6
    Am I allowed to post on this thread if I'm not lifting content from another website? :frets:

    One of my favourite things is from McSw:

    Comic Sans Monologue

    I don't know if it's NSFW but it's certain full of LTMRS*



    *language that makes Ray sad

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  12. #7
    When I read Proust I made sure that the condition of each volume, by the time I finished it, made it clear to anyone browsing my shelves that it had been read cover to cover

  13. #8
    Dive Watches & Japanese Moderator OTGabe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Der Amf View Post
    Am I allowed to post on this thread if I'm not lifting content from another website? :frets:

    One of my favourite things is from McSw:

    Comic Sans Monologue

    I don't know if it's NSFW but it's certain full of LTMRS*



    *language that makes Ray sad
    Classic.

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  15. #9
    The Dude Abides Nokie's Avatar
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    "The Complete Works of the Three Stooges-Curly only"

    and

    Joseph Heller's Catch 22.
    "Either He's Dead, Or My Watch Has Stopped....."
    Groucho Marx

  16. #10
    That's a fine list.

    Quote Originally Posted by M. Montaigne View Post
    Reposting this from WUS.

    Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges


    100 Hundred Years of Solitude
    by Gabriel Garcia Marquez


    Nauseau and No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre.


    The Plague by Albert Camus


    My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk.


    One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn


    The Bridge on the Drina by Ivo Andric


    Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami.


    Annals of Imperial Rome
    by Tacitus.


    Histories
    by Herodotus.


    Paradise Lost
    and Paradise Regained by John Milton.


    Illiad
    and the Odyssey by Homer.
    Semper Ubi Sub Ubi

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