Community Member
May 8, 2008
1) Favorites?

2) Fiction or non-fiction?

3) Genre?

4) Favorite authors?

5) Recommendations?

Some survey of course...

6) Why do you read?

7) Do you prefer active reading or passive reading?
(Active reading is when the reader has to work to understand the full depth of the book. Example: most short stories have advanced literary depth. Passive reading is when the reader can relax and allow the author to be a guide. Example: Harry Potter.)

1984 — George Orwell
Sons and Lovers — D H Laurence
Anna Karenina — Leo Tolstoy
Pride and Prejudice — Jane Austen
Falling Leaves — Adeline Yen Mah
The Reader — Bernhard Schlink
Brave New World — Aldous Huxley
The Portrait of a Lady — Henry James
Infidel — Ayaan Hirsi Ali
The Last Tsar — Edvard Radzinsky
The God Delusion — Richard Dawkins
The Elegant Universe — Brian Greene
Disarming Iraq — Hans Blix
The Prince — Niccolo Machiavelli
Utopia — Sir Thomas More
The Republic — Plato
Protagoras — Plato
River God — Wilbur Smith
A Thousand Splendid Suns — Khaled Hosseini
Dune — Frank Herbert
Do androids dream of electric sheep? (or Blade Runner) — Philip K Dick
Rebecca — Daphne du Maurier
The House of Mirth — Edith Wharton
Fahrenheit 451 — Ray Bradbury
Logan’s Run - William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson.
The Cult of the Saints: It’s rise and function in Latin Christianity - Peter Brown
The World of Late Antiquity: AD 150-750 — Peter Brown
Out of Africa — Iask Dinesen
Lost Christianities — Bart Ehrman
The Divine Comdey — Dante Alighieri

Fiction or non-fiction?

Either. At the moment I am obsessed with non-fiction books about the lives of women in the Middle East. I also love 19th Century novels.


Anything really.

Favourite authors?

Edith Wharton
Jane Austen
?sne Seierstad
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
George Orwell
George Eliot
Elizabeth Gaskell
John Galsworthy
Richard Dawkins
Peter Brown
Flavius Claudius Iulianus (Emperor Julian the Apostate)
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus
Marcus Tullius Cicero
William Shakespeare


What not to read if you wish to avoid annoying main characters:

Crime and Punishment — Fyodor Dostoevsky
Madam Bovary — Gustav Flaubert
He knew he was right — Anthony Trollope
Vanity Fair — William Makepeace Thackeray

Anything by Charles Dickins or John Steinbeck
Traci Harding ( inabilty to stick to the first person voice throughout the novel)
The Peloponesian War - Thucydides — great for falling asleep, so boring I’ve never managed to finish the book

What I recommend:
Any of my fav books. For something a bit different try:
The Records of the Grand Historian by Sima Qian.
The opera ‘Farwell My Concubine’ is based on a part of the history where Xiang Yu is losing the war and his concubine Yuji refuses to leave him. Liu Bang then becomes Emperor Gao Zu and marries the cunning Empress Lu Zhi. My favourite part is a bit later when the then Dowager Empress Lu removes her rival Lady Qi:

She then chopped off Qi's hands and feet, blinded her by scooping out her eyes, cut out her tongue and abandoned her to live in a toilet, and insulted her as "the Human Pig" . Several days after, Empress Dowager Lü recalled Emperor Hui to have a look of "the Human Pig". After he realised who "the Human Pig" was, the weak emperor was so sick of Lü's cruelty that he virtually relinquished his authority, withdrew himself to carnal pleasures. (Paraphrased quotation from the Records of the Grand Historian, chapter 9)

*Lady Qi was Emperor Gao Zu’s favourite Concubine and mother of his son Ruyi.
After his death Empress Lu’s son Emperor Hui came to the throne.

*In ancient China toilets were a part of a building, which overhung a yard full of pigs, as pigs eat faeces.

Why do you read?

For a chance to see how other people live, often makes me appreciate my life more.

Do you prefer active reading or passive reading?

Either, don’t mind as long as I am interested.
world history books

i love The Almanac of World History by National Geographics

Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Frued

The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice

Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

genre: any

dislikes: i can't name 'em right off the top of my head

Some have been mentioned already so I won't repeat those but here are just a few others...

The Ender's Game series - Orson Scott Card (and the Bean one too. ;) )
His Dark Materials trilogy - Philip Pullman
The Redwall Series - Brian Jacques (I was obsessed with in it Junior High and High School)
The Giver - Lois Lowry (I've reread it 4 times since elementary school)
Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
The Winds of War - Herman Wouk
Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, etc. - William Shakespeare
Crito - Plato (I derived much of my personal philosophical beliefs from this text)
Nichomachean Ethics - Aristotle
The Bible - I'll let you determine who the author is.


Pretty much any, but I'm partial to science fiction and fantasy books.


Mein Kampf - Adolf Hitler (It was a surprisingly boring read)
Foundations of Metaphysics of Morals - Immanuel Kant (I wanted to kill myself half way through)


Any of the above

Anything by Roald Dahl
"The Wizard of Oz" Series, Frank L Baum
"The Foundation"-series and "Robot detective stories" by Isaac Asimov (for that matter, anything he's ever written!)
"Harry Potter"-series, JK Rowling.
Marcus Aurelius works in general
George Bernard shaw works in general
Keirsey's "Please understand me II"
Works of C.S. Lewis (especially "the great divorce")
Works by Jane Austen (Pride & Predudice or Persuasion specifically)
Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre"
Elizabeth Gaskell's "North & South"
"Our mutual friend" by Dickens
"Your God is too small", J.B. Phillips
"The Liberating Gospel in China", R.R. Covell
Shakespeare's "Hamlet" and "12th night"
Lois Lowry's "The giver"
"The new birth order", Dr Leman
"What Christianity is all about", Scholes
Timothy Zahn's "Night train to Rigel" (but nothing else)
"A Harmony of the Gospels", and, of course, my bible.
Sherlock holmes, anyone?

By Genre:

Classic literary romance
Science fiction
Myths and Fairytales


The bridge of Tarabathia
The house of Seven gables (or anything by nathaniel hawethorne)
Edith Wharton, John Steinbeck, Ibson- in general
Shakespeare's "Macbeth"
How could I forget The Giver?
That was a fantastic book.
So was Children of the Dust- by whoever wrote it, can't remember.
I didn't answer immedieately because I wanted to make it quote friendly.

1) Favorites?

LOTR, Silmarillion - J. R. R. Tolkien
All Redwall books - Brian Jacques
The Ender series, The Bean series - Orson Scott Card
The Dark Tower series - Stephen King
The Divine Comedy - Dante Aligheri
1984 - George Orwell
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
The Prince - Niccolo Machiavelli
The Art of War - Sun Tzu
Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
Cirque Du Freak series - Darren Shan
The Devil's Dictionary - Ambrose Bierce
A Modest Proposal - Jonathan Swift

Satya and Serket, we share similar interests :D

2) Fiction or non-fiction?

Usually like fiction better.

3) Genre?

Science fiction, fantasy fiction, satire, adventure

4) Favorite authors?

The above

5) Recommendations?

Again the above

Some survey of course...

6) Why do you read?

I thirst for knowledge, experiences, perspectives, and wisdom.

7) Do you prefer active reading or passive reading?

Usually active, but sometimes passive when I feel lazy.
1) Favorites?

Little Women(and that whole series) by Louisa May Alcott
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit
Burned by Ellen Hopkins
Firestorm by David Klass
Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin
Flying Solo by Ralph Fletcher

There are probably some I'm forgetting, but those will suffice.

2) Fiction or non-fiction?
I read fiction mostly, but I'm trying to inspire myself to read more non-fiction.

3) Genre?
In non-fiction, I like psychological books a lot.
In fiction, I enjoy problem novels and any story with darker overtones or psychological/emotional problems or suffering.
I also like books of poetry.

4) Favorite authors?

Ellen Hopkins. Louisa May Alcott. David Klass.

5) Recommendations?

Any of my favorites.
I'm Not Crazy, I'm Just Not You by Roger R. Pearman and Sarah C. Albritton(About the 16 MBTI Types)
Description by Monica Wood(If you're a writer.)
You Don't Know Me by David Klass
Levi's Will by W. Dale Cramer
A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf(Particularly for female writers.)

Some survey of course...

6) Why do you read?
To gain more information on certain things or persons. To escape from reality. To become a better writer. To pass the time. Because I just can't stop.

7) Do you prefer active reading or passive reading?
I like a nice mix of both.
1) Favorites?

Persuasion - Jane Austen
Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
The Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton
Red Dwarf - Grant Naylor
The History of Love - Nicole Krauss
Othello - William Shakespeare
Life of Pi - Yann Martel
Cloudstreet - Tim Winton
The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy
What's So Amazing About Grace? - Phillip Yancey

2) Fiction or non-fiction?


3) Genre?

Literary fiction... I like a lot of styles, but can't seem to get into Science Fiction.

4) Favorite authors?

I don't really have favourites - different authors appeal to me depending on the quality of their work.

5) Recommendations?

My list above... also, Mendeleyev's Dream by Paul Strathern is a nice summary of the how the periodic table of elements was developed. :)

6) Why do you read?

Because I enjoy it. I love the elegance of particular authors, and their insights. Sometimes I reread my favourites for their elegance, sometimes for their insights - on great occasions, both. I read to be transported, to learn more about human nature, and to learn how a person can express themselves with resonant beauty. I love to hold that beauty down deep inside of me until it's permeated in to my being.

7) Do you prefer active reading or passive reading?

Active reading. I can't read Harry Potter. Passive reading feels like junk food at times... I wonder where my hours went.
1) Favorites?
i think my favourite novel is lolita, but i haven't read it for a number of years so i'm not sure anymore, and the more i read the more difficult it feels to keep consistent favourites. i tend to most appreciate brief, immediate, very elegant novels. some of my other favourites have included the crying of lot 49, wide sargasso sea, washington square, the castle of otranto, the tombs of atuan, l'etranger, the trial. but i have enjoyed many longer novels also, such as the master and margarita, the monk, 100 years of solitude, voss, midnight's children, omeros... actually that's probably the limit.

2) Fiction or non-fiction?
i read almost exclusively fiction and literary criticism, but i have also been known to take a fairly dilettantish interest in cultural theory, gender studies, political economy, psychology, and philosophy. i'm hoping to broaden my reading interests further in future.

3) Genre?
"literature". gothic, magic realism. maybe even epic. i also lovehate poetry.

4) Favorite authors?
i'm not sure that i've read enough of any single author's oeuvre to qualify for this question. i once became inexplicably obsessed with byatt and hungrily devoured everything she'd written at that time but i don't think that counts. i have massively enjoyed and been very moved by certain canterbury tales, but i haven't found time to approach the entire text yet.

5) Recommendations?
i persist in this ridiculous notion that everyone should cultivate a core reading experience of books like catcher in the rye, perfume, the secret history, i capture the castle, the princess bride, to kill a mockingbird, maybe even the bell jar. i have no idea why i find myself insisting on these books when they haven't remained of outstanding importance to me personally, but i remember how much they impressed me at the time. i think people should generally follow their interests. i think people should be willing to read in entirety and fully invest themselves in the reading of as many high level and "difficult" texts as possible. but i'm somewhat emotionally biased.

6) Why do you read?
i read to engage with the world. the feeling of expansion that happens in my mental space when i connect with something new in literature often moves me to tears. i enjoy opening my mind and experiencing diverse perspectives and ideas. i take pleasure in semantic arrangements, and can spend weeks coming to terms with the anatomy of a single word.

7) Do you prefer active reading or passive reading?
i'm a very slow reader. i read very deeply and sensitively. reading requires a lot of energy for me. and i haven't read very widely. but reading is my life.
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1) Favorites?
Wheel of Time, Discworld, Dungeons and Dragons Source Books, Deadpool

2) Fiction or non-fiction?

3) Genre?

4) Favorite authors?
Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman

5) Recommendations?
Nicholas Machiavelli, Austalian First Aid, Oxford English Dictionary

6) Why do you read?
Because my eyes immediately focus on words wherever I am

7) Do you prefer active reading or passive reading?
1) Favorites?
Some of these books are all time favorites from childhood on.

"Night" by Elie Wiesel
"Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams
"It's Not the End of the World" by Judy Blume
"Jay's Journal" and "Go Ask Alice" Fictional autobiographical accounts by a psychologist. Though the stories are fictional and the real autobiography Barrett's brother Scott wrote (A Place in the Sun: The Truth Behind Jay's Journal) sheds some better light on the subject. I do enjoy both.
"Crooked Little Vein" by Warren Ellis
"The Wood Beyond the World" by William Morris
"Jane Eyre" Charlotte Bronte
"Emma" Jane Austen
"As You Like It" "Romeo And Juliet" "King Lear" "Hamlet" William Shakespeare
"Decamerone of Boccaccio" Giovanni Boccaccio
"The Host" Stephanie Myer

I also like alot of modern sci fi books that have made my faves!
"The Black Dagger Brotherhood" Series by JR ward
"The Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series" Laural K Hammilton
"The Merry Gentry Series" Laural K Hammilton
"The Sookie Stackhouse Series" Charlain Harris
"The Twilight Saga" Stephanie Myer
"The Mortal Instruments Trilogy" Cassandra Clare
"The Dark Hunter Series" By Sherrilyn Kenyon
"Queen Betsy Series" Mary Janice Davidson
Im sure there are more just cant think of em all
2) Fiction or non-fiction?
Mostly Fiction
3) Genre?
Im open...right now its sci fi
4) Favorite authors?
I dont have a fav
5) Recommendations?
Any on my list of faves I would recommend

6) Why do you read?
Love to escape. Love to explore. Love to imagine.
7) Do you prefer active reading or passive reading?
Give me reading or give me death...
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1) Favorites? - Children's fantasy (when I was young)

2) Fiction or non-fiction? - Fiction - Considers possibilities, develops imagination

3) Genre? - Fantasy (not sci-fi)

4) Favorite authors? - Terry Goodkind (and others)

5) Recommendations? - Have to think about it

Some survey of course...

6) Why do you read? - "Wizard's First Rule" Terry Goodkind

7) Do you prefer active reading or passive reading? Active Reading (if I have the time)
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1) Favorites?
The Good Earth and Dragonseed by Pearl Buck, Invitation To A Beheading by Vladimir Nabakov.

2) Fiction or non-fiction?
Depends on my mood. I go through phases.

3) Genre?
Mostly historical fiction.
Memoirs right now.

4) Favorite authors?
Pearl Buck, Nabakov, Vonnegut.

5) Recommendations?

Some survey of course...

6) Why do you read?
I like knowin' stuff.
But mostly I'm just lookin for an escape, even if it's non-fiction.

7) Do you prefer active reading or passive reading?
I naturally actively read, anyway. I look up interesting things mentioned.
For example, if a character makes mention of a certain poet or composer or event in history etc. I also like to analyze the theme... when I quit school for a year I was reading novels and writing essays on them. Active reading all the way.