Just finished Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. Blew my mind.
I had just read the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho a month ago and loved it. Randomly, I entered a bookstore and took the suggestion of a clerk. I told him I had a flight to catch in 5 hours, and wanted a small book to read. I told him I liked classics, and had just finished the Alchemist, and was open to suggestions.
"Have you ever heard of Hesse?" he asked me. "No," I responded.
He handed me Steppenwolf, and Siddhartha, and boy am I glad I picked the smaller of the two.
Are there any other books in that same genre: finding ones true potential, chasing passions/dreams etc, but in the fiction department, I mean. I am starting to really connect with these themes.
I've read both as well and I think Siddharta is better. You might want to check out Hesse's Demian. It's a more indepth work on the same theme. There's a depressing book he wrote in the same vein called "Rosshalde."
There's also Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach. If you like the "find yourself" theme, you would enjoy that.
EDIT: Also wanted to mention that there's a short story Hesse wrote called "IRIS." It is basically a condensed version of Demian and Siddharta. That story has stuck with me for a couple of decades.
Wonder if it will be as odd as "The Mysterious Stranger"? Loved that story but man what a mind fuck it was, especially for the time.
What's the book that has made you laugh out loud the most?
It's funny because books don't seem to evoke the same emotions in me as films in the sense of sadness and laughter.
I wonder if that's because I can see it coming, like when you watch a film with subtitles, you know the punchline.
Anyhow, sure this question has been asked many times, the one book or series of books that I find myself revisiting (something I don't do often) is the Adrian Mole series by Sue Townsend.
Even though there are now 30 years old, they still have me in hysterics. No other book has got anywhere near making me laugh like this.
Also I think they are probably more funny if you are from the UK, as a teenage boy growing up in 80s Britain is probably a very different person to that in the USA!
Edit: wow, didn't quite expect this response, amazing what great discussion books can lead to!
In summary, a lot of people like Catch 22 and Hitchhikers Guide.
I'm definitely going to give Catch 22 another go, and have already read HGTTG - yes it was funny.
Also I'm going to add some bullet points here to books I'm going to add to my reading list from the comments below (there's a lot....).
HitchHiker's guide to the galaxy definitely - then would be the Hobbit maybe
I definitely have to read "4321". All of my life I've been struck by how random circumstance, a comment from a classmate, a road not taken, a force of nature, can completely change a life. How a random comment, a meaningless incident, can take on a profundity for more than it should, but it does, and a life is changed.
That's one of the reasons that things like child abuse, and rape, are so totally offensive to me. How dare someone change the entire future of another's life to satisfy a momentary need, but we do that constanty without a care at all. It makes me a whole lot more careful about what I say to people. Especially children.
I read one of her short stories, The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas, in middle school. It completely changed my views on humanity and the world. About once a year I read it again and pass it on to someone else. If you've not read or heard of it I strongly recommend it.
Watching Arrival has helped me understand Slaughterhouse 5
I first read Slaughterhouse 5 about two years ago now, and while I could follow along with the plot, the jumping back and forth (or from one memory to another really) always had me a bit lost. I just watched Arrival (wonderful movie! Very smart and I would highly recommend it!), and the explanation of non-linear time made a lot more sense to me in that format. I've always understood much better visually, so its no surprise to me. Going to read Slaughterhouse 5 again tonight and see what new things I can pick up now that I wont be spending so much time trying to figure out what was happening when.
I'm excited! :)
EDIT: First ever front page :o
S5 is one of my favorite books of all time. When I saw arrival, I immediately thought of it. The aliens are almost exactly the same! I like the metaphor in the book, about how time is like a picture to them that they can look at any part of. Non linear time is such a trippy concept.
He died a mysterious death in 1849.
ITT: People who think every kid has an awesome public library next door to their house.
Not everyone has access to a public library, people. Even if one exists in their area, not every kid has parents who will take them there.
I noticed that most of those were from the Albert H Wiggins collection, so I delved into his background a bit and discovered that he was the head of Chase National Bank and made a fortune in the stock market crash of 1929 by secretly shorting 40,000 shares of his own company. That clear conflict of interest wasn't illegal at the time, but the Securities Act that made it so was subsequently referred to as the 'Wiggin Act'. Source
Just finished the original Mistborn Trilogy...
And I thoroughly enjoyed it! It was fun and exciting, and I'm definitely on board the Sanderson bandwagon.
Although, towards the end, I felt that I was enjoying it less. I was more engaged by the Man v. Man plots rather than the god-heavy turn in the last book.
I'm considering continuing on to the Wax and Wayne series, but I'm a bit wary of it being more religion-centered stories. What can I expect? Or are there any other Sanderson novels that might be more up my alley?
Edit: a word
You should definitely try out The Stormlight Archives!
I read it after reading Mistborn. I liked Mistborn, but Stormlight Archives is on a different level. Also, Mistborn is YA, so it may not be an apt comparison. Still, Stormlight was epic!