Saturday night “books in the cesspool” party!

One of nwmuses favorites

One of nwmuse's favorites

Good evening, friends.  Tonight, we have a respectable topic for the cesspool party:  Your favorite books.  Please let us know why the books you list are your favorites, and what impact they have had on your life.

The waitstaff chimps are wearing their rented tuxedos, and drinks are on the house.  This promises to be a fabulous evening of fine manners and elegant conversation.

As usual, please note that there is no valet parking for the cesspool party, and if you give a chimp your keys, we are not responsible for helping you get it off the blocks.

Aw hell, who am I kidding?  Party on!

72 thoughts on “Saturday night “books in the cesspool” party!

  1. Well, it’s no secret around here that my favorite book is The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy (all five books). I totally fell in love with them when I first read the line “The ships hung in the air in much the same way that bricks don’t.”

    • Hello, Schneiders!!

      The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is fantastic. Like you, Wayne, I was attracted by all the goofy things he wrote. I need to read them again. I’m WAY too rusty on it.

  2. Just remember to have your towel handy, Zooey. 😉
    (And watch those micturations.)

    If you ever get to watch the beginning of “Three Days of the Condor” (Starring Robert Redford), check out the credits closely. It’s based on the novel “Six Days of the Condor”. What, did they just cut out the three days where he slept or something?

  3. My mom introduced me to novels with “Rebecca” by Daphne du Maurier. I loved it.
    Another book I loved when I was younger was “The Prophet” by Kahil Gibran. I’m sure I didn’t really understand it, but something about it was very compelling. My grandmother had a very old copy and the art in it was also mezmorizing.

  4. I spent a lot of years reading nothing but trash romance novels. Geez..

    A couple other books (fiction) that I’ve read in recent years that I really liked were “The Historian” by Elizabeth Kostova, “Water for Elephants” by Sarah Gruen, and “The DaVinci Code” by Dan Brown. I LOVED the Harry Potter books.. I love Grisham and Mary Higgins Clark.

    I love all the books by Thom Hartmann, Ron Suskind, and John Dean (non-fiction).

  5. I had a church choir director that read “Pilgrim’s Progress” by John Bunyan when I was in the third grade. I never forgot that story.. I couldn’t wait to get through the singing part so we could get to the next chapter of the book. She brought it to life.

  6. I was fortunate enough to have a fourth grade teacher who loved to read children’s stories to us. We used to look forward to that one day of the week where he would read “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” He was really good at it, and it helped keep my interest in reading (and writing, which I was doing then, too.)

  7. Growing up, I read a lot of Agatha Christie and Mary Stewart..

    We had to box up a lot of our books when Wayne’s mother moved in, so right now we have two bookcases. One is for non-fiction/politics/reference books, the other has shelves devoted to: Harry Potter series, Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series, and Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series.

  8. Catch-22. Heller is funny and very poignant at times.

    Crime and Punishment. Think I’ve read it six times. Something about the big heart trudging through frozen mud Russian ambiance appeals to me.

  9. I am also a huge fan of all the Robert E. Howard “Conan” series. Somehow the big lug just finds a slashing, reaving place in my heart.

    • I loves me some Harry Potter. Since I’ve been in school, that’s about all the fiction I’ve read. It’s very comforting. I love getting lost in the world of Hogwarts.

      When I was younger, I read biographies — of famous women in history. I loved them.

      Anything by Al Franken in a hoot, as well as informative. 🙂

  10. Louis L’Amour is always tops on my list. I learned quite a bit of history that isn’t taught in school, as well as geography and some anthropology. Robert Heinlein would rank a close second. My wife (a retired library assistant) and I like murder mysteries and, who can resist Janet Evanovich. We have a library of about 2500 books, not counting her 300 cookbooks. They range from fantasy (Harry Potter) to historical (Gore Vidal) to trashy bodice rippers–hers, not mine. I also read a lot of Mother Earth News type magazines and home hobby woodworking stuff.

    • I used to read the trashy bodice rippers toward the end of my marriage. I think it was my way of trying to remember that there was passion and desire somewhere in the world — even if it was in the pages of a book.

      It’s funny, but after I left my marriage, I never read another one.

      • Wow, Zooey, that was the time period that I read all of them too.. The end of my first marriage.. I guess I never put that together.

        Jane, I loved Mary Stewart too. Especially “Nine Coaches Waiting” and “Moonspinners”. I loved Phyllis Al Whitney too. My favorites of hers were “Hunters’s Green” and “Sea Jade”. Others that I still have books on my shelve (thoroughly worn out) are Kathleen Woodiwiss (A Rose in Winter), and Rosemary Rogers (The Wildest Heart). Man, I am really embarrassing myself… 😳

        My best friend calls them “bathtub” books. They are short enough to sit in a hot tub and read through them before the water gets cold..

  11. RU! Conan? I wouldn’t have taken you for an REH fan.

    I hate questions like this, just like someone who recently asked me to choose the best pop song of the 70s. Just too many options. Are we referring to novels? If so, are we referring to genre fiction (sf, fantasy, mystery, historical fiction, nautical fiction) or “literature”? I have stacks.

    Modern American fiction: anything by George Pelecanos, Richard Price, or Dennis Lehane. Joe Lansdale’s The Bottoms. The historical fiction of Douglas C. Jones, mostly set in Arkansas and the Indian Territories before, during and after the Civil War.

    Anything by James Lee Burke.

    Mysteries: Lee Child, John Sandford, Michael Connelly, Robert Crais, Joseph Wambaugh . . .

    Humor: Christopher Moore, particularly Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal, but also including Bloodsucking Fiends & You Suck, A Dirty Job and Fool.

    Fantasy: Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, the Earthsea trilogy, Fafhrd & Mouser stories, pretty much everything written by Ray Bradbury, James Branch Cabell: Jurgen, the Silver Stallion, Figures of Earth.

    Science Fiction: Aaaaagh. Too much information. The Demolished Man, Door Into Summer, Left Hand of Darkness, More Than Human, The Man in the High Castle, The Forever War, Slan, The Unsleeping Eye, Roadside Picnic, The Midwich Cuckoos, Davy, The Illustrated Man . . .

    Aubrey/Maturin novels by Patrick O’Brian.

    Huckleberry Finn. On the Road, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Trainspotting, Kidnapped, Trask, To Build a Ship,

    Gawd. Wore me out.

  12. Hi guys and gals, I recognize some fellow insects from TP here.

    Evelyn Waugh’s “The Loved One”, made into a movie in 1965 is a hoot.

    It is a story about the American way of death and follows a British chap visiting his uncle who committed suicide when he was fired from a movie studio in Hollywood. Stuck with the job of arranging the funeral the nephew is advised to use the services of Whispering Glades, a full service funeral establishment. In the movie, the nephew, played by Robert Morse encounters Jonathan Winters, the CEO of the cemetary, Rod Steiger, the chief embalmer and Liberace the casket salesman.

    It is my favorite black comedy book.

    Check out all the stars that appeared in the movie:

  13. Gummitch, I totally forgot about Lamb. I never laughed so hard while reading a book. God, my sides would ache, so bad. “Lazarus, why won’t you come out?” ” I’m icky!” Zooey, my wife wants you to know that she never started reading b.r.’s until she met me, and learned that there was that kind of passion in the world. I’m not sure what she means by that, but I think that it’s a compliment.

  14. The book that the photo of this thread is about is really, really good. I had no idea when I started reading it that it would be a ghost story.. The writing is excellent. I plan to read it again.

  15. Thank you Zooey.

    I’ve been visiting here for a while and tried to register once but never got an email to confirm it (I think I screwed up the email address.)

    I flutter between several progressive and/or liberal blogs daily and have learned a lot from the regulars here and at TP. Unfortunately I sometimes remember things from 50 years ago eaiser that I do things from yesterday. A touch of the Mad Cow disease I suspect!

  16. Favorite books … hmhm…

    There are so many books I like, I can’t think of an actual favorite.

    Although I have to say I’ve taken a liking for Umberto Eco’s books as of late. Baudolino is a great story and so is Foucault’s Pendulum.

    The first is a story that takes place in the Middle Ages; it’s part historical fiction, part fantasy. What makes the book so different is the way Eco transitions from plausible to fantasy, and back…

    The second is a mystery novel involving ancient cults, old, well-kept secrets (Eco is a historian), and a quest for the truth.

    Oh, and almost anything by Mark Twain. And Tolkien. And, of course, Kafka 😉

  17. Hi Zooey.

    Long time indeed. I’ve been busy both at home and at work. No time for play anymore ;-(

    On the upside, I have a job. Which is something that cannot be said about a lot of people out there, unfortunately.

    Trickle-down economics… am still waiting for it to trickle down to me…

  18. Z, the little man was 10 weeks old Thursday, on his 2 month checkup (9weeks 1 day) he was 14 lb 7 oz, 25.75 inches, and healthy in toto. Sleeping through the night this week.. (Holds breath)!

  19. Hey Gregor!!
    My job has me working (sort of) tonight…Starting and stopping database monitors while we stress test our data warehouse apps… Yawn..

  20. Yeah, this weekend I’ll download some from the camera. Or is it upload? And I’m supposed to be a computer geek? Geez.

  21. Hi Ru!

    DB monitors & data warehouses?

    Now, that’s excitement! 😉

    I also work in high tech. I might be wrong, but it seems to me the industry is weathering this storm -aka Bush recession The Sequel- better than back in ’99-2001.

  22. Yeah Gregor, we’re still stuck in the 80’s working AS400 I-Series. It’s an antique, but our management is too short/near/barely sighted to recognize that our company is way the hell to large to run on a mid range platform…

  23. I was just in ThinkProgress on the O’Reilly thread.

    I am telling ya, that Silence is Gold person -what a moron… unable to handle straightforward definitions to simple English words.

  24. Wait, did I just read “AS400”?

    Wow, that is a name I hadn’t come across in a long time (and I just aged myself).

    I guess there is some job security in working on that platform.

  25. I didn’t realize IBM still supported it. Or maybe it’s held together by a tangle of duct tape, paper clips, & chewing gum 😉

  26. Gregor Samsa

    “I guess there is some job security in working on that platform.”

    That goes for COBOL programmers too.

  27. Gummitch, “Door Into Summer” is probably my favorite Heinlein short. My cats have the same idea as the cat in the story. 😀

    Muse, I loved ALL of the Mary Stewart books. I do love Nine Coaches Waiting the best. Being a King Arthur fan, the first of her Merlin/Arthur trilogy is my favorite of her later novels.

    • That does it for me, all. I need to go veg in front of “Pride & Prejudice.”

      The Masterpiece Theater version, not that Keira Knightly crap. 😀


  28. Good night, all.

    It’s time for my beauty sleep.

    Or is it sleep by my beauty?

    Oh well, either way works for me! 🙂

  29. Jane, it’s one of the very few books I’ve read multiple times in my life. Some of it is badly dated (Chore Girl and Drafting Dan), but as the ultimate wish fulfillment it’s hard to beat. One of my favorite Heinlein novels is one of his least-valued: Glory Road. Reminds me it may be time to re-read, along with John Myers Myers novel, Silverlock (which is superior).

    But, argggggh, the Arthurian cycle? Ohmigod. The Stewart stuff, Gillian Bradshaw’s series, Thomas Berger’s Arthur Rex. . .

    And on the subject of historical novels: Dorothy Dunnett’s various series. Cecilia Holland (especially the early stuff from the late 60s and early 70s), Elizabeth Chadwick (often disguised as bodice rippers), Georgette Heyer (no, seriously, some great stuff), Thomas Costain, Rosemary Sutcliff, Rafael Sabatini . . .

    James Clavell, Bernard Cornwell, Conn Iggulden . . . .

  30. You made me forget Dashiell Hammett, Ed McBain, Donald Westlake (aka Richard Stark & Tucker Coe), Stephen Hunter, James Cain, Raymond Chandler, Jim Thompson, Elmore Leonard, and Frederic Brown.

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