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Two questions: 1) What's your favorite book? 2) If it's different from your favorite, what one book would you recommend to others?

I'm always looking for (inspiration for) "new" books to read. Fiction or non-fiction. With the titles of the books you list, in two sentences, can you give a concise summary?

  • Jun 1 2013: Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang. Its breathtaking in its scope, unforgettable in its descriptions, this is a masterpiece which is extraordinary in every way. I consider this to be a "must read" for all.
  • Jun 1 2013: Favorite:
    Pablo Neruda I Confess I Have Lived, because it has opened my eyes to perceive a beauty in the world and language I haven't seen before.

    Frantz Fanon The Wretched of the Earth, because it gave me insight. Most of the time there is way more behind human behavior than meets the eyes. Once someone is able to understand that, they will have a way better approach to understand and use critic and that there are a lot more reasons for certain actions humans take than those we see immediately.
  • Jun 8 2013: "War and Peace", by Leo Tolstoy (Louise and Aylmer Maude translation)

    Of all the books I have read, this stands out as my most satisfying reading experience.

    IF you read the first 150 pages, you will be sucked into reading the rest of it.

    Difficult because of the huge number of characters and the essays on history - but when I finished reading it, I felt that Pierre, Natasha, Andrey and others were part of my family.

    Challenging, but worth the time and effort.

    - - - -

    Any of the Library of America books would be my other recommendation. These are part of the U.S. cultural base, and each one can introduce you to any branch of great American literature - History, Novels, Biographies, Drama, etc.

    The best possible buy if you focus on your personal preferences, or are curious about the work of a writer you have heard about, but not read. If you are an adult, some of these books were K-12 assignments. You will find a new perspective on each, once you have matured.
  • Jun 7 2013: My favorite book is The Complete Robot, by Isaac Asimov. It showed me the potential of the world, gave me my love of science, and taught me life lessons about discrimination. I think that reading this book marked a change in my life, from child to adolescent. I started to become aware that the world is much bigger than my little town.

    Though it is certainly my favorite, I don't know that it would have the same impact upon others as it did me. I think that circumstances and past experiences can affect how we ourselves are affected by books.

    For most people, I feel that reading Flowers for Algernon would be good. I think that, regardless of your own past history, Flowers for Algernon provides something. Maybe emotion, maybe a social issue to think on, maybe a view of the future. Regardless, I feel that it will have an effect.
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    Jun 6 2013: FG what is your favorite book that you would recommend?
  • Jun 2 2013: My favourite book is The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende and I recommend everyone to read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
  • Jun 1 2013: The Secret - Law of attraction.
    This book is just to read in words, what we know as truth, but just forgot to believe in it.
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    Jun 1 2013: My favorite, and most highly recommended book is the the best selling and most influential book of all time. It is considered by many to be the greatest piece of literature ever published. It is the book about which John Wesley spoke when he said. ""I want to know one thing — the way to heaven; how to land safe on that happy shore. God Himself has condescended to teach the way; for this very end He came from heaven. He hath written it down in a Book. O give me that Book! At any price, give me the Book of God!" It is the Authorized Version of the King James Version of the Holy Bible.
    • Jun 1 2013: Thank the gods not everyone proselytizes on TED ! It is not the forum for such. The Bible you are talking about is a literary masterpiece, but it was concocted from hearsay by a committee of very human linguists and scholars at the request of King James. Great yes, but no Cassius Clay.
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        Jun 2 2013: Are you proselytizing by expressing your opinion? The essence of proselytizing is to attempt to convert others to one's beliefs. Let me assure you I am making no such effort. Whether you, or anyone else comes to believe what I believe is not something with which I have anything to do. That is God's business, not mine. We agree completely that TED is not the place for such activity. I was answering a precisely worded question about my favorite book. Your opinion of my favorite book has not been solicited by the originator of the post and has nothing whatsoever to contribute to the topic. I'm sure you know you are welcome to post a conversation inviting discussion about the Holy Bible. Your reference to Cassius Clay has sailed right over my head. Does it have some bearing on this topic?
        • Jun 2 2013: i would agree with you that TED is not the place for proselytizing but you opened the door with the last 2 sentences of your original comment and Cassius Clay was called the greatest by himself and some others. it is debatable if he was the greatest fighter.
    • Jun 4 2013: This book has been rewritten. Perhaps you should study the original scrolls as well, and consider the goals and personalities of the people who chose to exclude the Books of many who knew Jesus and wrote about him. Perhaps a mind closed to all inspired voices will not help you to heaven.
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        Jun 4 2013: Now I see why you did not name the Holy Bible as your favorite book. To you it is obsolete and rightly so because it excluded many who knew Jesus and much of what was written about him. It would be a pretty big book. In my favorite book it says this: "And there are also many other things which Jesus did , the which , if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen." [John 21:25] Another thing about my favorite book is that it describes the history of drought and flood all over the world, like your favorite book. As for helping me get to heaven there is no need for anything further to be done beyond what Jesus Christ has done, but thanks for your concern. Have you noticed that not many people berate the books mentioned as favorites in this conversation? Peculiar don't you think?
  • Jun 1 2013: I would recommend "Language and the Pursuit of Happiness" by Chalmers Brothers. This book has transformed my life in so many ways. As a result, today I am more joyful and experience greater inner peace.
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    Jun 1 2013: My favorite book:
    Chaos Point - Ervin Lazlo
    The first book that made me aware of the challenges we face towards a better world - or chaos.

    A book I would recommend: Freedom - Not License by A.S.Neill (founder of Summerhill School)
    This is a book about an extraordinary school that broke paradigms in the fifties - but what is incredible about it is that it's still a breakthrough model, even today.
  • Jun 1 2013: 1. The thief of always by Clive Barker. 2. The Recipe of Happiness by Deepak Chopra.
  • Jun 1 2013: Napoleon Hill, The Law of Success. Because it is so true. I did not believe some of the laws at the beginning. But they all turned to be true.
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    Jun 15 2013: I am very happy to give you recommend a book, but you need to read every day, this is the Bible. My life changed because of the Bible, I hope you are, Jesus loves you.
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    Jun 12 2013: The Shack, by Wm. Paul Young. This book has more potential to change your life than any other.
  • Jun 12 2013: My favorite book is Dom Casmurro, by Machado de Assis, a brazilian author, which I totally recomend. It´s the story about a woman, named Capitu, which, allegedly, betrays her husband. Allegedly, because the narrator is the husband himself, so the reader never really knows if the betrayal is true or simply a paranoia. It´s a story about jealousy itself. Very impressive. Another one of my favorite books is the classic of revenge: The Count of Monte Cristo.
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    Jun 8 2013: The Old Man and the Sea
    By Ernest Hemingway

    I always admired the old mans endurance even if he didn’t have much to show for his endeavors. I haven’t read the book in years but thats something I’ve never forgotten.

    Jonathan Livingston Seagull
    By Richard Bach

    A story about achieving your goals, no matter how high, no matter whats working against you.

    These were my aunts favorite books. As soon as I could read well enough she made sure I read them too. Because of this, these books have personal significance for me, as well as being extraordinary stories. I intend on sharing them with my daughter one day. I hope you enjoy them as well.
  • Jun 6 2013: My favorite book at the moment is 'In search of the multiverse' by John Gribben. However I recommend 'The power of one' by Brice Courtney to anybody to read but especially 12 to 14 year olds....
  • Jun 5 2013: Favorite book: either The Fabric of Reality or The Beginning of Infinity both by David Deutsch.

    Recommended: The Engines of Creation - K. Eric Drexler

    All of the above are non fiction. I recommend the engines of creation because its is the first popular science book to talk about molecular nanotechnology and the coming molecular manufacturing revolution. Nanotechnology has become popularized and also many current technologies go by that name, but I find that the core concepts are wildly misunderstood.
  • Jun 5 2013: My favorite book is 'Le Comte de Monte Cristo'. The revenge of Man. He lost in revenge
  • Jun 5 2013: Nice to meet you, too.
    Blood thirsty seems to be a continual problem. We've shifted it out of sight, tried to hide it, avoid media coverage, make it "secret" as if the people who are forced to fight and the people under attack don't communicate with anyone.
    I am especially interested in american indians. My husband is Kiowa so I've had access to a lot of information and history that isn't taught in our schools. Some tribes planted orchards of fruit and nut trees and made it through winter by harvesting hundreds of pounds of nuts which they made into a frothy, delicious drink that the author of 1491 got to try. Even when they were traveling following herds, some planted fields of corn or other grains, and came back to harvest crops when the hunting season ended. What other books can you recommend?
    Have a lovely evening
  • Jun 4 2013: My favourite book is "Heaven and Hell" by E. Swedenborg. It even has its own FB page.

    The contents relates practically every aspect of this life, and also the life to come, as in certain ways they don't differ much.
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    Jun 4 2013: My favorite book is Blindness from Jose Saramago
    Recommended to all.
    • Jun 4 2013: My favorite is Elixir by Brian Fagan. It is the history of drought and flood
      on civilizations all over the world. Fascinating.
      Mr. Fagan presents it with charming grace and style.
      I also recommend "1491", a well researched study of the americas before
      the first spanish set foot here. You'll never think of native americans the same way again.
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    Jun 4 2013: My favorite book is Living to tell the tale - Gabriel Marquez
    I recommend the same book to everyone I meet.
  • Jun 3 2013: Heinlein's 4 hugo award winners - the moon is a harsh mistress, double star, starship trooper, and stranger in a strange land

    asimov foundation series and his mysteries.
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    Jun 3 2013: My favorite book is 'The Little World of DonCamillo' by Giovanni Guereschi.

    The book I would suggest everyone to read is CURIOSITY KILLS THE KATHA , a collection of Short Stories by me avaiilablle at http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Curiosity+Kills+the+Katha

    Ashok Kallarakkal
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    Jun 3 2013: G'day fg

    Celestine prophecy by James Redfield, it's a mix of both fiction & non-fiction set in south America.

    It's supposed to be based on a true story of priests burning old Mayan manuscripts in the 1990's. Various people including other priests & monks tried to copy & spread these manuscripts around as much as possible without being caught which meant a death sentence in certain cases even for the priests involved.

    • Jun 4 2013: Have you read 1491? It is a well researched description of what the Americas were like, the culture, agriculture, art, etc., before the spanish first arrived. Eye-opening, indeed. You'll never think of native americans the same way again.
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        Jun 4 2013: G'day Spring Bright

        It's is funny to think they where more advanced in certain areas than European's but they were. I know a fair bit about Mayan, Incan & Aztec civilisations, we only see them as blood thirsty heavens, who proved they were more blood thirsty?

  • Jun 3 2013: My favorite book is 'Attraction' by Byungryul Lee
    It shows us many small stories in our daily life. All in this book are very humble stories with usual or ordinary daily life.
  • Jun 2 2013: 1) Favorite: The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
    An insight into how the immense complexity of life arises from simple principles.

    2) Recommendation: The God Delusion by Dawkins
    A comprehensive guide to why god (almost definitely) does not exist. If you're not interested in the religion-related theme of the book, it's worth a read just for the well-built logical arguments and scientific (i.e. sensible) perspective of the world.
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    Jun 2 2013: My favorite book is "War and Peace" by Tolstoi, and the writer Christopher Isherwood, I recomend to everyone.
    • Jun 6 2013: I wonder how the book would would have been recieved had it been released with its original title "War, what is it good for?"
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    Jun 2 2013: Favorite book
    Hoimar Von Ditfurth, AM ANFANG WAR DER WASSERSTOFF (= At the beginning there was hydrogen.)
    [An absolutely fascinating story of the birth and development of the universe and of life; evolution of both is not over! Recommended to everybody ...

    Recoommendation for others:
    Ursula K. Leguin, The Dispossessed.
    The anarquist population leaves for their own planet. 100 years later the first contact back. Alternately the chapters tell, how life and society went on on both worlds. Very interesting and realistic insights, ideas, proposals.
  • Jun 2 2013: I have chosen as my favorite titles (and also to recommend): Cosmicomics by Italo Calvino and Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges. (But it was difficult to choose as I have more than 30 books which I would include in this list)
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    Jun 2 2013: "Slaughterhouse Five" by Kurt Vonnegut

    TL;DR A decidedly non-heroic man becomes unstuck in time, changes nothing, and dies. So it goes.
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    Jun 2 2013: I have truly enjoyed The Actor and the Target by Declan Donnellen. It is made for actors whom have been working for a while, helping fine tune their attention. But I think that it would serve the genearl public, anyone who has to speak in public or has had to work in front of a group of people demonstrating, teacher, professors, etc.

    The one book that I would recommend to others would be Zen and the Art of Archery by Eugene Herrigel. The joys of mastering anything comes from intense repetition and biofeedback, consistent, minute adaptations to the thing you are trying to master...like a guided missile correcting itself in order to connect to the target.
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    Jun 2 2013: My favorite book is "Nineteen Eighty-Four". I recommend to everyone.
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    Jun 2 2013: My favorite book is Principle of Electronics(an electronic Engineering Book), if it would be different then I would like to read Love stories...
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    Jun 2 2013: I recommend the book"slow to the speed of life".
    • Jun 4 2013: Who is the author? I can't find it in audio books.
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    Jun 2 2013: Has anyone heard of The Untethered Soul by michael a. singer?
    In summary, you are not the information your analytical mind, your thoughts or sensory organs tells you.
    • Jun 2 2013: I am supposed the book:The Untethered Soul is a nice book.And how about"The power of now" by Eckhart Tolle?
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    Jun 1 2013: Mystery ,visual art history , accion.. Book that can tell or show me a lesson or open my mind to analiz , experiment and know more .
  • Jun 1 2013: More Recently, Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. All the Names (Todos los Nombres) by Jose Saramago. Both are recommended,