Books you've read that you're sure no one here has heard of

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Books you've read that you're sure no one here has heard of

Postby rocklobster » Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:03 pm

Let's see if you've read some obscure stuff! Have you read stuff you're sure no one on this site has read? Post here if you have.
One I've read was We by Yevgeny Zamyatin. At the time, I didn't know who the writer was because we got the book in a literature class in my junior year and for some reason, the teacher hid The writer from us (maybe she didn't want the administration knowing we were reading something by an "evil Russian"). This is a book about a society in which individuality is not known to the populace. People are given names that seem more like serial numbers and you are taught to say "we" in places you would normally say "I". It truly opened my eyes to dystopian stories, and I've enjoyed them ever since.
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Postby Nate » Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:14 pm

Easy, and both of them I've read recently.

Who Censored Roger Rabbit? by Gary K. Wolf. Everyone has heard of the movie I'm sure, but there is a book it was loosely (VERY loosely) based on. The things that are the same between the book and the movie are the names of the characters, and Roger is married to Jessica. And well, that's it. Everything else is completely different.

In the book, instead of cartoon characters, the toons are comic strip characters. Y'know how in the movie, cartoons were made by taking movie cameras and filming the toons? It's the same in the book, comic strips and comic books are made by taking toons and photographing them and putting the photographs in order...toons also talk with word balloons above their heads (which is why they show up in comics), although a few can also talk verbally. The premise of the book is that Roger Rabbit has been murdered, and his word balloon from his death was censored, which contained a vital clue to the killer's identity. The book is about Eddie's attempt to find out who censored Roger Rabbit.

The others are the trilogy Agota Kristof did, The Notebook, The Proof, and The Third Lie. But I already talked about those in the "What are you reading" thread.
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Postby Htom Sirveaux » Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:44 pm

Paul Neilan's Apathy and Other Small Victories. The best way to describe this book is somewhere between The Big Lebowski and Office Space. Pretty heavy on the vulgarities, and the plot's actually a little thin, but it's still one of the funniest books I've ever read (apart from my beloved Discworld novels). If he ever writes another book, I'll definitely read it.
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Postby Atria35 » Thu Jul 08, 2010 5:13 pm

Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto (yes, I know- the name! The name!). But it's a touching work that takes a look at love and gender roles. Of course, it does it in a very subtle manner- while I was reading it, I had a vague feeling that something was off, but it wasn't until near the end that I realized what was going on, and I had an "I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE!!!" moment. And still think it's an awesome story.
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Postby FllMtl Novelist » Thu Jul 08, 2010 5:37 pm

The Claidi Journals: Wolf Tower. I mentioned it in another thread. My Mom was reading it and rereading parts of it, so I tried it. I liked the story, and the ending.
And The Loud Silence of Francine Green by Karen Cushman. It meant a lot to me when I read it, because I was really shy at the time, and the heroine was the same. Maybe I'll read it again, and see what it's like for me now...
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Postby Tancos » Thu Jul 08, 2010 5:48 pm

I read We many years ago.

How about John Bellairs' first two books? St. Fidgeta and Other Parodies is a collection of Catholic humorous pieces that will be particularly amusing to those who remember the post-Vatican II '60's. The Pedant and the Shuffly is a fantasy in which a creature something like a walking haystack defeats an evil wizard through sheer silliness.
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Postby MomentOfInertia » Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:20 pm

I've read:

Issac Asimov's I robot and The Rest of the Robots which are collections of many of his robots short stories, and two of the novels.

The first 5 Foundation books, also by Asimov

And Fantastic Voyage 1 which is am adaption of the movie & 2 which is a separate story with a similar premise, again by Asimov.

I have also read Artur C Clarke's 2001: a space odyssey, which I enjoyed much more than the movie.
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Postby Atria35 » Thu Jul 08, 2010 7:56 pm

FllMtl Novelist (post: 1407851) wrote:The Claidi Journals: Wolf Tower. I mentioned it in another thread. My Mom was reading it and rereading parts of it, so I tried it. I liked the story, and the ending.


.... OH MY GOSH! Someone else knows this series?!?!?!?! YES! YES! *happy dance*

Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart. Perhaps one of the greatest stories of how the Christianization and Westernization of Africa came at an unimaginable price. Highlights both the good and the bad. It's easily inferred how Achebe views this, but looking at Africa today, you can see why.

Clive Barker's Abarat- a girl is taken to a fantastical world. Things from your wildest fantasies and nightmares abound. It has complex politics, factions, and themes throughout. It's also one of the best-written pre-teen/young adult series out there, IMHO.
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Postby Mr. Hat'n'Clogs » Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:06 pm

The Cry of the Icemark and Blade of Fire

I hope it stays that way.
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Postby bigsleepj » Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:22 pm

I could cheat and name a bunch of Afrikaans language novels, but I'd rather list R.A. Lafferty. He's out of print, hard to get but his short stories are practically each and every one a masterpiece.

Books of his I've read: Nine Hundred Grandmothers, Past Master, Okla Hannali
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Postby Nate » Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:35 pm

I actually have read Past Master at bigsleepj's mention. It was okay. Not great, but good enough. XP
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Postby Tancos » Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:55 am

bigsleepj (post: 1407890) wrote:I could cheat and name a bunch of Afrikaans language novels, but I'd rather list R.A. Lafferty. He's out of print, hard to get but his short stories are practically each and every one a masterpiece.

Books of his I've read: Nine Hundred Grandmothers, Past Master, Okla Hannali


I've got a shelf of Lafferty. Other books of his include the collections Strange Doings, Ringing Changes, Iron Tears, Does Anyone Else Have Something Further to Add and Lafferty in Orbit, and the novels Fourth Mansions, Space Chantey, The Devil Is Dead and Arrive at Easterwine. He's better at shorter lengths, and I'd recommend starting with one of his short story collections if you are interested in this most idiosyncratic of writers.

Another favorite eccentric writer: Flann O'Brien. Has anyone else read The Third Policeman or At Swim-Two-Birds?
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Postby Etoh*the*Greato » Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:18 am

MomentOfInertia (post: 1407865) wrote:I've read:

Issac Asimov's I robot and The Rest of the Robots which are collections of many of his robots short stories, and two of the novels.

The first 5 Foundation books, also by Asimov

And Fantastic Voyage 1 which is am adaption of the movie & 2 which is a separate story with a similar premise, again by Asimov.

I have also read Artur C Clarke's 2001: a space odyssey, which I enjoyed much more than the movie.


No offense, but I'm sure most people have heard of most of those books... Good reading list, though!

Lessee here... First fantasy book I ever read was a book called Bazil Broketail by Christopher Rowly. It was about this fantasy world where the human armies employ wingless drakes to fight as soldiers. These drakes wield full swords, armor, etc. Fun book. Good characters. A little racy, though. My Mom got it for me when I was in the 4th grade because it looked nifty and because I'd just started reading full length novels (Finished off Jurassic Park in the 3rd grade, baby!) but neither of us knew about all the sex scenes. I was shocked! Still, the whole thing with the dragons was cool enough to keep me reading.

Atria35 (post: 1407881Chinua Achebe's [I wrote:Things Fall Apart[/I]. Perhaps one of the greatest stories of how the Christianization and Westernization of Africa came at an unimaginable price. Highlights both the good and the bad. It's easily inferred how Achebe views this, but looking at Africa today, you can see why.


Actually, I read this for a college class. I didn't much care for it myself, however I wouldn't say I hated it. It was a very important book. It needed to be written.
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Postby bigsleepj » Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:23 am

Tancos (post: 1407929) wrote:I've got a shelf of Lafferty. Other books of his include the collections Strange Doings, Ringing Changes, Iron Tears, Does Anyone Else Have Something Further to Add and Lafferty in Orbit, and the novels Fourth Mansions, Space Chantey, The Devil Is Dead and Arrive at Easterwine. He's better at shorter lengths, and I'd recommend starting with one of his short story collections if you are interested in this most idiosyncratic of writers.


I did not break into your house and steal your books. Tell the police their witness was wrong. ]Nine Hundred Grandmothers[/i] is the only short story collection I read twice.
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Postby FllMtl Novelist » Fri Jul 09, 2010 2:47 pm

Atria35 (post: 1407881) wrote:.... OH MY GOSH! Someone else knows this series?!?!?!?! YES! YES! *happy dance*

XD You think I should read the others, then? My Mom thought the second was boring, and I don't know how I'll get my hands on the others, if they're good.

Also, I read the Avalon: Web of Magic series, along with my sister. The quality of the 12 books varied from boring to awesome (more of the latter towards the end of the series, thankfully), and I love Alison Strom's illustrations.
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Postby Atria35 » Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:59 pm

FllMtl Novelist (post: 1408070) wrote:XD You think I should read the others, then? My Mom thought the second was boring, and I don't know how I'll get my hands on the others, if they're good.


I didn't think they went outright boring, but they involved more intrigue than the first. That might have lent to the impression. I thought the third book was closest to boring, but they all were really good. I managed to get the whole series through my library. I'm lucky, my town is set into a library system where we can also order books from other libraries in the system, anywhere from the south suburbs to the north suburbs.
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Postby Kaori » Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:02 pm

Atria35 wrote:Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart. Perhaps one of the greatest stories of how the Christianization and Westernization of Africa came at an unimaginable price. Highlights both the good and the bad.

I’ve also read that. Very sobering, but an excellent book.

Probably the most esoteric books I have read (in whole or part) were from my literary theory class: Bakhtin's The Dialogic Imagination, Jacques Derrida's Dissemination, Foucault, Elements of Semiology by Barthes, Saussure's Course in General Linguistics.

Also, I have to put in a requisite plug for the excellent books by Leland Ryken, like Words of Delight and The Liberated Imagination.
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Postby Yamamaya » Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:49 pm

It's probably a lot easier to find books no one else here is heard of considering that there are so many different books and genres.

Ruled Britannia by Harry Turtledove. A very intriguing alternate historical novel where the Spanish Armada has conquered England. They have ruled over England for nine years until Lord Burghely one of Elizabeth's old advisors assigns William Shakespear to write a play that will convince the English to rise against their Spanish oppressors.
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Postby rocklobster » Sat Jul 10, 2010 5:27 am

I've actually read Who Censored Roger Rabbit, Nate.
Anyway, has anyone here checked out The Pendragon Adventure by Donald J Sobol. It's a pretty cool series about a boy who discovers he's a Traveller. This means he can "travel" between parallel worlds. He does this to prevent the evil Saint Dane from throwing the universe into chaos. Of course, the fact that Saint Dane is such a cool villain doesn't hurt either.
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Postby the_wolfs_howl » Sun Jul 11, 2010 7:39 am

MomentOfInertia (post: 1407865) wrote:Issac Asimov's I robot


I read that! ...And then I realized that the I, Robot I was wanting to read was actually a different book by a different author! :forehead: (I, Robot by Eando Binder) Still haven't found it yet.

Well, I've never heard anyone here mention the Old Kingdom trilogy by Garth Nix. It's a fantasy series set in a really unique world where the Dead come back to the land of the living and there are these people called Abhorsen who are tasked with sending them back to Death with magical bells. It might sound too necromantic, but it's really not. The necromancers are bad guys, and the magic is no more offensive or occult than any other fantasy magic, really (runs under Eastern-type assumptions, but that's almost a given in secular fantasy these days). Very exciting, too, and Nix nails the personalities of dogs and cats.

I've also never heard anyone here mention Avi, who's one of my favorite authors. He writes historical fiction, mostly, and does it very well. My favorites of his are The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle (a murder adventure on a ship in the 1700s) and Crispin: The Cross of Lead (a mix of political intrigue and medieval adventuring, with a young boy as the hero).

One of my favorite books of all time is the extremely obscure Letters I Never Wrote by Ruth E. Van Reken. It's sort of like her autobiography, written in the form of letters, about her experiences as an MK in Africa and how those experiences shaped her life. It had me sobbing uncontrollably on every page during the part dealing with her childhood, because it was like she was telling me my own story, though I've never set foot in Africa.

...And I can't remember if anyone else has mentioned this before, but a really good book that not many people talk about is The Mysterious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. It's written from the perspective of a boy with Asberger's Syndrome (a form of autism), and is a truly unique look at normal life. The producer and script writer of the Harry Potter movies have this slated to be made into a movie after the eighth HP movie's done, and I'm really curious to see how they adapt it.

...There's probably more, but I'll leave it here for now :grin:
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Postby Ante Bellum » Sun Jul 11, 2010 9:14 am

Read Cross of Lead in school. It was a schoolwide reading thing, not just for class.
Let's see...Well, a few series I've read that I don't think are really well known are the Chronicles of the Cheysuli, definitely, and maybe Symphony of Ages. I've also read all of the Shannara books (Minus the newer, prequel-like ones.), and I'm not sure how unknown they are. The best ones are the oldest.
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Postby FllMtl Novelist » Sun Jul 11, 2010 11:04 am

the_wolfs_howl wrote:I've also never heard anyone here mention Avi, who's one of my favorite authors. He writes historical fiction, mostly, and does it very well. My favorites of his are The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle (a murder adventure on a ship in the 1700s) and Crispin: The Cross of Lead (a mix of political intrigue and medieval adventuring, with a young boy as the hero).

I read some Avi when I was younger, and I did read Charlotte Doyle. I remember the first half being boring, though the way the sailors and ship worked was interesting. (I still remember the whole thing with bells.)
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Postby ClosetOtaku » Sun Jul 11, 2010 11:15 am

Foucault's Pendulum, by Umberto Eco.

Far superior to Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, Eco's book deals with the history of the search for the Grail, the Templars, and the modern understanding of the people who continue to search for these things.
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Postby Atria35 » Sun Jul 11, 2010 3:25 pm

the_wolfs_howl (post: 1408446) wrote:...And I can't remember if anyone else has mentioned this before, but a really good book that not many people talk about is The Mysterious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. It's written from the perspective of a boy with Asberger's Syndrome (a form of autism), and is a truly unique look at normal life. The producer and script writer of the Harry Potter movies have this slated to be made into a movie after the eighth HP movie's done, and I'm really curious to see how they adapt it.


I read that back in Jr. High. It was pretty good, but I didn't think it was really that special a story- I felt the only difference between that and your average (or below-average, for that matter. I wasn't that impressed with the 'mystery' all that much, since I'd read plenty due to my mother's love of them) mystery was that it was told from the perspective of someone with a social disorder.

Edit: Adding in a fantasy series- The Godspeaker Trilogy. Secular, but has some interesting influences from Christianity (or, at least, I saw some). While it tells a fairly simple, yet graphic story (the characters make it what it is), I wasn't too impressed with some of the racial/social lines it also drew. (Okay, yes, this has a severe case of Mighty Whitey. I wasn't that impressed with it, but did feel that other aspects made it worth reading).
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Postby Mr. Hat'n'Clogs » Sun Jul 11, 2010 3:33 pm

rocklobster (post: 1408180) wrote:Anyway, has anyone here checked out The Pendragon Adventure by Donald J Sobol. It's a pretty cool series about a boy who discovers he's a Traveller. This means he can "travel" between parallel worlds. He does this to prevent the evil Saint Dane from throwing the universe into chaos. Of course, the fact that Saint Dane is such a cool villain doesn't hurt either.


I've read it, have some issues with it. The first few weren't bad, but the plot kind of went downhill later on. I got about a hundred pages into the first book when I couldn't continue anymore.
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Postby Technomancer » Sun Jul 11, 2010 5:06 pm

rocklobster (post: 1407792) wrote:One I've read was We by Yevgeny Zamyatin.


I read that one quite a few years ago, it was pretty good. I'll stick to fiction and recent books, since it's too easy to name books that have been out of print for 50 years or more (I have a great library down the road).

Anyways my own small contributions:
"The Blue Manuscript" by Sabiha Al-Khemir. Involves a dig by a mostly Western team of Archaeologists who hope to uncover a legendary lost Qu'ranic manuscript.

"Cities of Salt" by Abdelrahman Munif. Essentially this involves the Arab world's early involvement with the politics of oil as experienced by the people of one small village. Beginning with the first arrival of the exploration team to the ultimate development of the region and the consequent uprooting of most of the villagers, this novel is banned in several Arab countries.

"Map of the Invisible World" by Tash Aw. Takes place during the turmoil of Sukarno's 'Year of Living Dangerously', and one adolescent's split identity.

"Travels with Herodotus" by Ryszard Kapuscinski. Non-fiction. Bascially the memoirs of one Polish foreign correspondant. A superb read.
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Postby Mr. SmartyPants » Sun Jul 11, 2010 8:02 pm

Kaori (post: 1408149) wrote:I’]The Dialogic Imagination[/I], Jacques Derrida's Dissemination, Foucault, Elements of Semiology by Barthes, Saussure's Course in General Linguistics.

Also, I have to put in a requisite plug for the excellent books by Leland Ryken, like Words of Delight and The Liberated Imagination.

Ah! I'm familiar with Derrida and Foucault! And I have heard of Barthes and Saussure.

I want to one day read Of Grammatology... Maybe one day. XD Well I plan to take Lit Theory as an elective. Should be fun! :D
ClosetOtaku (post: 1408490) wrote:Foucault's Pendulum, by Umberto Eco.

Far superior to Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, Eco's book deals with the history of the search for the Grail, the Templars, and the modern understanding of the people who continue to search for these things.

Umberto Eco. Another figure I've been meaning to read. :D

I've been slowly reading through A History of Christian Thought By Paul Tillich. Very influential protestant theologian of the 20th Century.
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Postby bigsleepj » Sun Jul 11, 2010 8:22 pm

I've read Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum as well, as well as two other books: The Name of the Rose and The Island of the Day Before. I tried to read The Mysterious Flame of Queen Leona but could not get into it.
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Postby Warrior 4 Jesus » Sun Jul 11, 2010 8:35 pm

His writings were too difficult for me. I tried reading The Name of the Rose after finding out it influenced the excellent Thief stealth games. Sadly, I found reading the book to be more difficult than wading through a street of molasses. I enjoy a well-researched book but the facts shouldn't ever be the focus. Take out the plethora of research and you'll have a very short novel.
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Postby Kaori » Sun Jul 11, 2010 10:30 pm

Ante Bellum wrote:I've also read all of the Shannara books (Minus the newer, prequel-like ones.), and I'm not sure how unknown they are.

I’ve read one of them, but I don’t remember which one it was.

Mr. SmartyPants wrote:Ah! I'm familiar with Derrida and Foucault! And I have heard of Barthes and Saussure.

I want to one day read Of Grammatology... Maybe one day. XD Well I plan to take Lit Theory as an elective. Should be fun! :D

Have you read Derrida and Foucault already? If so, what have you read? I would think it would be a little strange to read Derrida first without having read Saussure’s Course in General Linguistics and Barthes’ Elements of Semiology, in that order. The structuralist distinction between signifier and signified (which led to Derrida’s deconstructionism) has its roots in Saussure, so you need to read him in order to really understand where Derrida, Foucault, Lacan, Bakhtin, Levi-Strauss, etc. are coming from.

But I’m sure that if you take that Lit Theory class, you will probably read all of those people. I hope you are able to enjoy it]I've been slowly reading through A History of Christian Thought By Paul Tillich. Very influential protestant theologian of the 20th Century.[/quote]
I’ve heard of him, and I have one of his books sitting on the shelf and waiting to be read.
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“Leave your heart, and look into the face of Christ.” -Andrew Murray
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