Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Random Question

Every once in a while, a random thought crosses my mind that I decide I would like to share with the unsuspecting masses.  The easy way to ask the question would be to ask, "What is your favorite book?"

My question is what book have you read the most times over?

Mine is probably Lonesome Dove, which I guess I've read cover to cover about four or five times,  closely followed by The Cop Who Wouldn't Quit, which I've read three or four times.

Yes, I know it has nothing to do with criminal law or the CJC, and I'm sure that somebody will find something rude to say about me going off topic, but I'm genuinely curious.

Seeing as how this isn't exactly a controversial question, if you'd like to sign your name to the answer, I'd like to know that, too.

38 comments:

Brian Poirier said...

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson

Its a big tomb of history, action, mystery, spy, war, and some geekdom and scifi/fantasy thrown in.

Chance said...

The Old Man and the Sea. I have probably read it 10 times.

Anonymous said...

All The Pretty Horses

- Doug Richards

Mark Bennett said...

My top two:

1. Winter's Tale, by Mark Helprin. Magical realism, set in a mythical turn-of-the-millennium New York. I've probably read it more than half a dozen times, and given away scores of copies—every time I'm in a used bookstore I buy every copy I find.
2. Gates of Fire, by Steven Pressfield. Military historical fiction, and a meditation on fear and its opposite.

Almost anything by Helprin or Pressfield is a good bet. The exceptions are Helprin's Freddy and Fredericka and Pressfield's The Last of the Amazons.

Brian, I loved Cryptonomicon too. (I call it geek lit.) Stephenson's other books haven't grabbed my attention the same way.

Even if you don't read fantasy, you might like Patrick Rothfuss's Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear. Rothfuss is one of the finest writers working today.

In the spy genre, I recommend Charles McCarry (start with Old Boys, then go to the beginning and work your way forward). Also, anything by Robert Littell.

If you like sword fighting, try Arturo Perez-Reverte's Alatriste books, set in 16th-Century Spain. While we're there, I have to mention The Queen of the South, Perez's modern-day nobel of drug traffickers. That may find its way into my top five when I read it again.

A book that I recommend to all dog lovers, and that I will read again when I can stand crying like a baby, is The Art of Racing in the Rain.

Gianpaolo Macerola said...

State of Fear by Michael Crichton. I have read that book at least 15 times...

Anonymous said...

I have read Franz Kafka's "Metamorphosis" cover to cover 13,412 times.

Rage

Anonymous said...

John Locke, Second Treatise of Government

Edward D Porter

Alex Bunin said...

The Gay Place by Billy Lee Brammer (which has nothing to do with homosexuality, but depicts Texas politics in the early 1960's).
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (a hilarious depiction of New Orleans, also in the '60's, and published posthumously by the mother of its suicidal author; it won the Pulitzer Prize).
The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton (a prescient work anticipating our current use of snitches and stings to encourage crimes that would not otherwise occurred)

Anonymous said...

I highly recommend the collected editions of Penthouse Letters. Each one packs plenty of surprises!

Arthur Seaton

Anonymous said...

Mr. Arthur Seaton:

Sir, don't you find it a bit odd that your nemesis is enthralled by a man-roach identity crisis?

Anonymous said...

Actually, it's Killer Angels. But I don't re-read books too often. Have too many that I can't get to as it is.

Nice try following up on your own stupid post though, 4:31. Good luck with your homophobia.

Rage

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Rage,

I like Killer Angels, too. Did you read Gods and Generals, The Last Full Measure and Gone for Soldiers?

Alejandro Macias said...

The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Just a story about a boy and his dad.

Anonymous said...

Cold Mountain
The Road

and to clense the soul.... Mere Christianity

Josh Reiss said...

The Power Broker by Robert Caro.

Anonymous said...

To Kill a Mockingbird (5 times)
Time to Kill (3 times)
The Last Mafioso (4 times)

Sheila Hansel

cjclawyer said...

I am thrilled to see the return of Arthur Seaton!

Anonymous said...

I read Gods and Generals and Gone for Soldiers, but not the last one you mentioned. Gods and Generals was a weak attempt by the author to copy his father's writing. And I have never seen a movie do such a disservice to the memory of the generals involved as Gods and Generals did. Lee ultimately bears the responsibility for losing Gettysburg (and thus, the war) because of his over-reliance on Stuart, and he was a fool for how he ignored Longstreet, but he wasn't the old lady they portrayed him to be. That book and movie were horrible knock-offs of Killer Angels, if you ask me.

Almost the same can be said for anything written by Stephen Ambrose. Excellent prose, but Ambrose is a hack and a cheater. He outright copied portions of work by Cornelius Ryan (my favorite WWII author and a must-read for you if you like that era. Read them in order--The Longest Day, the A Bridge Too Far, then The Last Battle, although the first two are by far the best) and after he was notified that he needed to cite Ryan's work he refused--for decades. I threw out all of his books and only begrudgingly watched Band of Brothers when it was given to me as a gift. Ryan stood on the ground where the battles happened in the short years after the war, and discussed what happened with people who were there. Ambrose went decades later and claimed it couldn't have happened like that--well after everything had been rebuilt and with no witnesses. He has as much credibility as Black Ink does on notions of democracy or Seaton does on fair trials.

Rage

Rage

Anonymous said...

The Wicked Witch of the West by Pat Lykos!

Anonymous said...

It's Greek to Me: How to Lead a Successful District Attorney's Office

By Patricia R. Lykos

Little Jimmy

Anonymous said...

Every single book by David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice being my most read.

- Jen Falk

Mae said...

The Neverending Story by Michel Ende. It's been my favorite book since childhood, followed closely by the The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett

Anonymous said...

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irvine.

All Mary Karr's books.

Gone to Texas by Randolph Campbell.

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

--D. Darby

Anonymous said...

Darby, you'd like Goodbye to a River, by John Graves. Be sure to read up on the back story first.

Probably not Hard Scrabble, unless you've ever tried to clear a fence line or cedar trees, or load hay in the summer.

Rage

Anonymous said...

Darby it's John Irving not Irvine.

Anonymous said...

Rage, I can assure you that Darby has done all of those things, and man y more things on ranches and farms than you would likely think.

Not every former DA is a pussy, no matter what you'd like to believe.

Seaton

Anonymous said...

The Power & The Glory by Graham Greene

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Cider House Rules by John Irving

Shirley Cornelius said...

To Kill a Mockingbird -- of course.

The Harry Potter books -- have read them 4-5 times.

All of Jane Austen's novels -- particularly Pride and Prejudice.

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien. But if you read that you also have to read his Tomcat in Love. It's hysterical.

Troublesome Young Men by Lynne Olson. It chronicles the group of Tory MPs who opposed Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's appeasement policies towards Hitler in the late 1930s, his resignation and Churchill's rise to Prime Minister.

Look Homeward Angel by Thomas Wolfe.

Any of Winston Churchill's speeches or correspondence particularly his eulogy of Neville Chamberlain delivered before the House of Commons. Murray, you need to read it and when you write about it -- and you will --I expect a shout out. He describes very succinctly that which is missing in the moral composition of the present HCDA administration. I will loan you a copy of it.

I too am a David Sedaris fan. I am on my second copy of Holidays on Ice. I once snorted Diet Dr. Pepper through my nose reading it. And not for the first time. Anyone who has ever penned or been the recipient of a family update letter in a Christmas card MUST read the one contained in this compilation.

I have a hundred more titles. Have not scratched the surface.

Anonymous said...

Loves me some Count of Monte Cristo. I find something new every time I read it.

Laura Killinger

Anonymous said...

Seaton, good for him. Although, I'm not sure why you felt the need to stick your nose in on this. It wasn't a challenge to him and certainly not you. I wasn't challenging him because I wasn't assuming anything about his past, since I have no idea who he is. If you'll notice, I said "unless" he's done those things, leaving plenty of room for the chance that he had and therefore could relate to the book. I actually assumed he may have, in fact, just by nature of suggesting the book. Except for Goodbye to a River, Graves is usually only of interest to those who have roots in ranching here in Texas.

And I wasn't challenging you because I'm certain you haven't had an honest day's work in your life so I know you couldn't relate to it. Had I intended to address you, you can be sure that I would have mentioned that in advance, since I do know you.

I'm kind of glad you're back, but you're out of practice. Try to at least read my post before finding fault with it. Hell, you might even try to ignore them completely in the future. I'm pretty sure you've promised to do that at least half a dozen times in the past, but as expected, you are not a man of your word.

In any event, I don't think they all are, just the ones like you.

Rage

Anonymous said...

Oh Rage. You are quite possibly the most predictable denizen of this board. Perhaps I did jump in hastily--I assumed you were being an asshole because, well, you are an asshole. Next time I'll give you the benefit of the doubt--and then go ahead and say something derogatory about you anyway.

Your predictablity would be hilarious, if it wasn't patheitc. Smarter, more hard working, and more knowledgeable than anyone else--Always the same, eh Rage?

You must be really, really short, or have a tiny pecker. Heck, probably both.

Hugs and Kisses,
Seaton

Anonymous said...

Prettty weak, Seaton. And I'm usually on your side.

Anonymous said...

Weak? It's a message board dude. I'll call someone a dick or something, but I'm not going to say I hope his dogs get raped or gets ass cancer. Perspective bro!

Seaton

Anonymous said...

Name calling is all he's got, 10:41. Just let him have that.

Rage

Anonymous said...

On cue, Rage. Ha ha ha ha ha.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Rage had a couple of arbitrary lucid intervals?
Maybe Rage is finally maturing?
Maybe Rage is on better meds?
Maybe Rage finally got laid?
Whatever the case may be, the fundamental clinical consistency with Rage is a desperate need to be relevant and when that appearance is challenged he lashes out. Rage, therefore, is fairly predictable and malleable.
If we follow the Seaton approach and attack Rage merely because he's an asshole he will not disappoint. However, if Rage is commended for appropriate discourse and open ended rebuttals are used to provide a subtle out, perhaps he wouldn't jihad like a cornered rat when his nonsensical remarks are outed.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Rage often has very good insights. Some of which, I even agree with. And I'm actually a big fan of his reading list.

It is a shame to me that so much of what could be intellectually discussed here gets turned into a name-calling match.

Maybe we are all a little too tightly wound.

Anonymous said...

Oh Murray--haven't you realized that every discussion on the net is doomed to sink to the bottom? I was already there, of course, both intellectually and temperamentally. But because I love you and your shiny head, I'll be nice...until it's time to not be nice. In this situation, I will imagine you to be Dalton (albeit with better grammatical skills), which to first pull off you will have to get some damn hair.

Seaton


Dalton: Don't worry about it; all you have to do is follow 3 simple rules: One, never underestimate your opponent..expect the unexpected; Two, take it outside, never start anything inside the bar unless it's absolutely necessary; and Three...be nice.
Hank: [Incredulously] Come on!!
Dalton: If somebody gets in your face and calls you a cocksucker I want you to be nice
Hank: [With resignation] Ok
Dalton: Ask him to walk, be nice, if he won't walk, walk him, but be nice, If you can't walk him, one of the others will help you and you will both be nice...I want you to remember, that it's the job, it's nothing personal.
Steve: Being called a cocksucker isn't personal?
Dalton: No, it's two nouns combined to elicit a prescribed response
Steve: What if somebody calls my Mama a whore?
Dalton: Is she?
[everybody snickers]
Dalton: I want you to be nice.. until it's time...to not be nice
Bouncer: So, uh, how are we supposed to know when that is?
Dalton: You won't...I'll let you know...
(