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"Well that's 2 books off the "bucket list" for me..." Topic

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28 Nov 2012 12:20 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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1,961 hits since 28 Nov 2012
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Tom Bryant28 Nov 2012 11:15 a.m. PST

And without even having to read them too! Recently I posted this question:

TMP link

And due to the response I cna now take "Dianetics" and "Scientology" off my bucket list of books. I wanted to find out for sure if Hubbard wass worth the read or not because I could never find anything outside of the works listed in the previous post. Now to conquer some of the other I have. For the curious they are:

"Das Kapital" by Karl Marx
"Mein KAmpf" By Adolf Hitler
"Don Quixote" By Migeel de Cervantes
"The Lord of the Rings" By J.R.R. Tolkien

Wish me luck folks.

Ghostrunner28 Nov 2012 11:19 a.m. PST

I guess the question is what makes a book 'worth the read' to you.

The first two books on your list above are the ravings of some rather disturbed (OK – very disturbed) individuals.

As a coherent document, they probably warrant a pass.

But, if you're interested in the insight into history, then they might be worth the time spent.

Sundance Supporting Member of TMP28 Nov 2012 11:24 a.m. PST

Scratch Das Kapital. You know how it ends…

Ambush Alley Games Inactive Member28 Nov 2012 11:25 a.m. PST

You cannot go wrong with Cervantes. Even at 50 I toy around with learning Spanish just so I could read Cervantes and Arturo Pérez-Reverte in their natural state, sans translation.


mad monkey 128 Nov 2012 11:40 a.m. PST

Arturo Pérez-Reverte da Man. The Alatriste novels are de awesome sauce. Well maybe not for all, but I liked them. : )

Nikator Inactive Member28 Nov 2012 11:45 a.m. PST

Das Kapital is something I found a fascinating read, if you treat it as the 19th century political Hegelian philosophy it truly is. Personally, I enjoyed it very much, but then I like that sort of thing. If you look at it thinking of it as a prescription for living in the 21st century, you may be disappointed.

@ Ghostrunner- I think you are spot on with Mein Kampf, but unfair to Marx. I have read a good deal of Marx, and I feel certain that, whatever his faults (he had a bunch), Ol' Karl would have been royally…er…proletarially PO'ed with the truly wierd things folks like Stalin, Mao, and that lot did with his writings. Karl was a fiery but basically gentle soul, married, kids, lived quietly writing and researching. He was not a murderer, mass or otherwise.
The man was a visionary and a gifted philosopher. Not so great as a seer of the future, but a poor candidate for the Pantheon of Evil folks have tended to push him into. He was a thinking man's Utopian. He is perhapds best undestood as the ultimate Christian heretic, believing that we must love our fellow man but rejecting religion.

snodipous28 Nov 2012 11:48 a.m. PST

I found Mein Kampf to be just tiresome. Not crazy-but-interesting, not particularly disturbing, just a long, boring slog.

Don Quixote is fantastic.

Lord Of The Rings has its own long, boring, sloggish bits, but the good and interesting parts make up for them. I liked The Hobbit a lot more.

LostPict Supporting Member of TMP28 Nov 2012 11:50 a.m. PST

Try the 21st NetFlick short courses instead:

"Das Kapital" by Karl Marx – Red Dawn
"Mein KAmpf" By Adolf Hitler – Final Days
"Don Quixote" By Migeel de Cervantes – Man of La Mancha
"The Lord of the Rings" By J.R.R. Tolkien – LOTR EE, Blue Ray

Lost Pict

Maddaz111 Inactive Member28 Nov 2012 11:54 a.m. PST

I am committed to re reading Don Quixote after reading it at the tender age of ten, in my I read every book in the School Library stage. (it is on my Kindle)

I have been forced to read two of the other books on the list, And once read The whole of the Lord of the Rings, in a 24 hour period, at a single sitting.

I like the Lord of the Rings and have three editions of it on my bookcase.

I could suggest that there are other books that are also good reads, that might reward more careful study.

CPBelt Inactive Member28 Nov 2012 11:57 a.m. PST

Yeah, I was going to suggest waiting for the movies. evil grin

I found JRR LotR to really drag so much that I just gave up on it. And I'm a guy who has read Dicken's Bleak House and Melville's White Jacket.

Don Quixote is da bomb. I also liked the miniseries they did on it.

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP28 Nov 2012 12:04 p.m. PST

My bucket list right now is getting through the boards list of top 100 Best Novels from here:


I'm through 23 of them so far. 6 of those in the last two months.

freecloud Inactive Member28 Nov 2012 12:13 p.m. PST

Das kapital is a tome, but in some ways it's more relevant again today than it has been for many decades. Don Quixote needs to be read along with an explanation of what he was lampooning, and The Lord Of The Rings isn't as good as the movie :-D

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP28 Nov 2012 12:14 p.m. PST

Read "Lord of the Rings" in High School. Loved it!

Be sure to read the Hobbit first. The first chapter of the Hobbit is a little dull, but it picks up later.

After you read the Lord of the Rings you must read "Bored of the Rings" by the Harvard Lampoon.


Andrew Preziosi Supporting Member of TMP28 Nov 2012 12:52 p.m. PST

I always considered "War and Peace" to be a death bed book, just for the simple fact that you'd stay alive that long just to hack through it all.

But then again, my plans could go horribly wrong if a lingerie clad Helen Mirren walked in to "cheer me up" a bit, before going!

Parzival28 Nov 2012 1:07 p.m. PST

Don Quixote is two books, actually. I liked the second better than the first, because Cervantes began to realize there was more to humor than just how much and how often his "hero" could get beaten to pulp.

Maddaz111 Inactive Member28 Nov 2012 1:10 p.m. PST

My english tutor said I had to read shakespeare before I died, so I am putting off the dreaded day by avoiding reading it.

jdeleonardis Inactive Member28 Nov 2012 1:52 p.m. PST

Lord Of The Rings is good stuff…just over all of the dumb songs – not worth the effort.

Huscarle28 Nov 2012 1:54 p.m. PST

I think Lord of the Rings has to be a must read book. Christopher Lee said that he read it once a year. However I would concur with Rallynow & recommend reading the Hobbit first.

Maddaz11, surely you have read some Shakespeare; compulsory texts when I was at school back in the day…and there are some great characters.

Andrew, "War & Peace" well I read it, but I didn't empathise with any of the characters, so I won't be revisiting it. Sadly there weren't any lingerie clad ladies around either.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP28 Nov 2012 2:04 p.m. PST

Love Lord of the Rings -have read it about six times

Mein Kampf, from the few parts I have read, is a bit of a slog

Das Kapital is not a bad read for a book written by a guy who never held a real job

Garand28 Nov 2012 2:05 p.m. PST

I think books like Mein kampf and Das Capital are worthy to be read to understand the historical context of related events. I've read Das Capital (I took classes on German Philosophy, and Marx was one of the subjects we read), and while I didn't specifically enjoy it, at least I can talk with a bit more intelligence on the subject, and it is not important to agree with the philosophy as it is to understand it (and it can be fun to read the work and find ways the philosophy is flawed; I like Nietzsche even if I don't agree with him 100%). That being said, I have never tackled Mein Kampf, mainly because of the negative connontations it draws when purchases/seen on the bookshelf.


Rapier Miniatures Inactive Member28 Nov 2012 2:46 p.m. PST

Other than the sonnets, you should never read Shakespeare, you watch Shakespeare, and listen to Shakespeare.

Chris Lee was a close and old friend of Tolkien he counts as biased.

read what you enjoy, what intriques you, or what catches your eye. reading for pleasure should never be a chore, leave that to reading for work.

altfritz28 Nov 2012 4:06 p.m. PST

My bucket list right now is getting through the boards list of top 100 Best Novels from here:


I'm through 23 of them so far. 6 of those in the last two months.

A lot of those novels I was compelled to read in High School English. Some of them I even remember enjoying!

altfritz28 Nov 2012 4:09 p.m. PST

What I want to do now is read through the entire Nero Wolfe series by Rex Stout. I've just finished re-watching the old A&E series (why did they cancel? Idiots!) and I've started on the novels. Great Stuff!

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP28 Nov 2012 6:44 p.m. PST

I would be afraid to have a Bucket List of books to read. I would feel compelled to read them all, and as soon as I finished the list, I would die.
It's just like when you finish painting all your figures.

I intend to get around to reading The Last of the Mohicans, The Three Musketeers and War and Peace one of these days. Or years. I have all 3, but feel no compelling need to actually pick any of them up and read them.
Just like I have read all the Shalespeare plays that interest me, but feel no compelling need to read Coriolanus or A Winter's Tale.

Personal logo J Womack 94 Supporting Member of TMP28 Nov 2012 7:13 p.m. PST

I have read 15/100 of the board list Pictor mentioned.

Cervantes is worth the read. So is Tolkien.

Personal logo J Womack 94 Supporting Member of TMP28 Nov 2012 7:17 p.m. PST

And 29 of the readers list. Interesting that Battlefield Earth is so far up that list. I liked it when I was 14 and read it, but its ranking smacks of Scientologists lurking the voting process.

Clays Russians Inactive Member28 Nov 2012 7:28 p.m. PST

I'd rather be a marxists than a scientologist

Chef Lackey Rich Fezian Inactive Member28 Nov 2012 8:41 p.m. PST

Tolkein and Cervantes are both very good, enjoyable on several levels. Marx is an interesting product of his times and ofte hopelessly unrealistic, but not the villain he's often made out to be. Hitler – you can find better case studies of the sysmptoms of untreated mental illness to read, ones that didn't get used to help cause the deaths of millions.

What I want to do now is read through the entire Nero Wolfe series by Rex Stout. I've just finished re-watching the old A&E series (why did they cancel? Idiots!) and I've started on the novels. Great Stuff!

Welcome to some of the finest character writing in the English language. Avoid the post-Stout apocryphal stuff like the plague – Archie does not use a personal computer any more than Watson does – but don't miss out on the single Dol Bonner novel or the Tecumseh Fox books, and look for Inspector Cramer on his own in Red Threads. They aren't as well-developed as Nero and the gang, but still very worthy reads – and Fox is pretty much Stout writing himself as a detective.

If you haven't already read them, the entire (regrettably small) volume of works by Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler are also mandatory reading.

Justin Penwith28 Nov 2012 8:48 p.m. PST

If you haven't already, read Alas Babylon and The 10th Victim. Both were eye openers in various ways. The latter has several associated books, but the movie based on the original book is …meh. Think of it as a very bad spaghetti western James Bond flick, minus the western.

Alas Babylon is the prototype of most anything set Post Apocalypse and is better than the vast majority of its me-too followers.

Tom Bryant28 Nov 2012 10:28 p.m. PST

Read Alas Babylon in High School. Liked it a lot. Our lit instructor then went on to show the movie "Fail Safe" in our discussion of that period of history. I also had to slog through the first book of "The Fellowship of the Ring" Which is the reason want to re-apporach the Lord of the Rings series. I loved the Hobbit and think its a great read, just couldn't slog through LOTR.

Both Marx and Hitler are for historical interest. I've never read Mein Kampf, but I can imagine that it is a bit ranty and ridiculous at times. Marx I HAVE read, via the Communist Manifesto and I am well aware of what I'm getting into. Whether my sanity can survive the assault or not, only time will tell. Probably will need several bottles of cheap whiskey or bourbon to tackle Das Kapital but I'll try it sober first.

parrskool29 Nov 2012 5:08 a.m. PST

Avoid any chapter of LotR which mentions Tom Bombadil !!!!!

Tom Bryant29 Nov 2012 11:04 a.m. PST

THAT was my major hang up! Ok, we start on our journey out of The Shire and Tom Bombadil starts into a fifteen page song. It's now 3 minutes 45 seconds since we started off and Tom Bombadillo starts in with another epic song. 5 minutes 17 seconds and we haven't even left sight of The Shire and this doofus Tom Bombadillbrain has to cut in with another epic song! ARRRRGH!

Meiczyslaw29 Nov 2012 11:46 a.m. PST

The funny thing about Das Kapital is that Adam Smith anticipates the arguments and pre-buts them in Wealth of Nations. Smith was a smart guy. Marx, not so much.

Mein Kampf isn't really worth the read, but it's nowhere near a Jooooo-hating slog as the Koran is. I finished Mein Kampf.

And to reinforce what parrskool said: once you're past Bombadil, Lord of the Rings picks up quite a bit.

Tom Bryant29 Nov 2012 11:07 p.m. PST

"Wealth of Nations" is another one I'm planning on reading. Might even take a crack at "Leviathan" again for kicks.

Andrew Preziosi Supporting Member of TMP30 Nov 2012 6:22 a.m. PST

LotR…took me three attempts to get past p50 or so, w/the Tom Bomb thing, et al.

Glad I made a fourth attempt and struggled through the morass, I was, of course, greatly rewarded!

Meiczyslaw30 Nov 2012 10:50 a.m. PST

"Wealth of Nations" is another one I'm planning on reading.

Be warned: Smith is a wordy cuss. Makes Lovecraft look like Chandler.

geekygamer12 Dec 2012 7:05 a.m. PST

When i read The Two Towers nearly 20 years ago, I had a one evening job watching over a sports bar parking lot. I was shocked by how many people commented of their love of Tolkein. People that I would not assoiate with being into fantasy stuff for sure.

You may wish to add The History by Heroditus and The Racial Contract by Mills (who strangley is one of the funniest speakers Ive seen…never would have guess from the book).

The Shadow10 Jan 2013 12:53 p.m. PST

One of the problems with Chandler is that if you read all of his writing that's in print, including his short stories, you're going read a lot of stuff twice as he re-used his short story plots in his novels.

The Shadow10 Jan 2013 5:56 p.m. PST

Re: the top 100 lists. I was surprised to recall that I started *many* of those books and didn't finish them. Among them "Naked Lunch" (weird without being fun. It struck me as being pointless, "Rabbit Run" (Boring. Maybe I was too young), "Lord of the Rings" (Couldn't get past those first pages. Couldn't identify with hairy footed midgets), "All the Kings Men" (Again, I was probably too young), "Blood Meridian" (One of the most depressing books that i've ever attempted to read) "Portnoy's Complaint" (Boring), "A Clockwork Orange" (The language translation thing struck me a being a gimmick. That annoyed me), "Tropic of Cancer" (I tackled this one at about 14 years old. Mainly for the "hot" parts. The plot seemed disjointed and episodic. I think that i'll give this one another shot soon).

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