No 1

What is your favorite book no 1?

You are only to pick ONE SINGLE book. I know it might be hard to pick just one, but still choose just one. Not the book which is most beautiful or impressively written. Not the most rescent book that made an impression on you. But the one book which has meant more in your life than any other book.


Will never forget it.

Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, by Douglas Hofstadter.

The Return of the Native, Thomas Hardy

Against Forgetting, Twentieth Century Poetry of Witness, edited by Carolyn Forché.

There is nothing else to which I turn so often for truth, solace, history, poetry.


I had a real difficulty answering this question. There have been a few books that really blew my mind when I first read them. They were totally unsuspected. I could not even imagine that such books could be written. And they changed the way I started to think and evaluate situations. These books are: How to solve it. Bhagavad Gita. How to stop worrying and start living. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. The Power of Now.

But none of these is my no 1. Instead it is a book which is no mind blower at all. It is a very modest book that only says what is self evident. Yet I feel that this simple little book holds the secret of how to live a good life. The title of the book is “The Slight Edge”.

A collection of stories by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, including “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich”.
That’s the book that got me started writing.


Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey.

I’m breaking the rules, but a very close second to my original choice would be The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. A children’s book that should be required reading for every adult. :slight_smile:

Good post Bobueland!

The Tree of Man, Patrick White

Something Wicked this Way Comes, Ray Bradbury
The Unusual Life of Tristam Smith, Peter Carey
Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov

Franz: When I was a teenager One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich had a powerful effect on me, one that I came to strongly resent years later. I was an avid cross-country runner from ages 14-17, but after reading a scene where Solzhenithzyn derides athletics as an absurd frivolity of the elites, not only could I not run anymore, but I became drawn into a nihilistic outlook that took years to escape. It’s a bit like that film, “Requiem for a Funeral”, pushing an anti-drugs message, but so relentlessly bleak that one almost needs drugs to recover from it!

I know exactly what film you are talking about. Dream, though, not Funeral.

Yep, that’s correct. Brilliant film-maker though Aronofsky, I loved The Wrestler.

As soon as I read this, I was reminded of Alan Sillitoe’s, 'Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, part of which was made into a movie of the same name. … nce_Runner
I suspect it would be of interest to you. :wink:
Take care

Next time someone throws a book at you, duck. Then said book won’t leave an impression!


Hmmmmm, now that I think about it, perhaps Lady Chatterley’s Lover really did have a significant effect on my life, or at least nudged me toward writing for a living, if that’s significant. Except it wasn’t the book itself, but Ed Zern’s review it of it in a 1950s edition of Field & Stream, from which I learned it was possible to get paid for making fun of things in an intentionally oblique fashion:

“Although written many years ago, Lady Chatterley’s Lover has just been reissued by the Grove Press, and this pictorial account of the day-to-day life of an English gamekeeper is full of considerable interest to outdoor minded readers, as it contains many passages on pheasant-raising, the apprehending of poachers, ways to control vermin, and other chores and duties of the professional gamekeeper. Unfortunately, one is obliged to wade through many pages of extraneous material in order to discover and savour those sidelights on the management of a midland shooting estate, and in this reviewer’s opinion the book cannot take the place of J. R. Miller’s ‘‘Practical Gamekeeping.’’”

:smiling_imp: 8) :wink: :confused: :neutral_face: :confused: :frowning: :frowning: Chance’d be a fine thing.

Brilliant: Yes. I love “PI” and will one day take my heart to watch “Requiem…”


The book that shaped my mental landscape the most is The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. It’s been my favourite since I was a kid. :slight_smile:

Tough choice. So many books, so many great authors.

Although I am tempted to list The Riders by Tim Winton, given the criteria I’d probably choose the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen Donaldson. For the pedants who say “That’s not a book, it’s a trilogy” I say “Pah!” (and also that I don’t remember the individual titles, so can’t say which of them meant the most). My screen name, “nom”, actually comes from a character in the Second Chronicles that I chose to use for games in the 80’s and carried over to the online world in the 90’s.

Stephen Donaldson and Tim Winton are two of my literary heroes. I will never be able to write like either of them, but if I can write even half as well I’ll be happy.