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Added by ToonHead2102 on 21 Feb 2012 06:19
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Books Read and To Read before 'Ascension'...

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1984 - George Orwell
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2001: A Space Odyssey - Arthur C. Clarke
Written by Arthur C. Clarke

It is here that Clarke shows he is the premier intellectual mind of the science fiction genre. What would go on to become the greatest movie of all time, no doubt would turn out to be the most mind-expanding novel you will ever read. Clarke sure doesn't disappoint. Although I can tell where the movie and novel separate from one another, it's really just minor differences. Things that were in the movie that weren't in the book, things that were in the book that weren't in the movie. But the end result is one of the most creative, thought-provoking, and genre-bending space epics ever put to paper, that ends where it begins and begins where it ends. -Readers should note that it's inevitable that the book should somewhat differ between the movie cause as Kubrick and Clarke had been looking for a project to do together for some time now, changing projects a couple times from two of Clarke's earlier works before finally settling on something 'completely original'! Kubrick brought Clarke on board for a project that he described as wanting to be the first good science fiction movie, the novel and movie were virtually written and shot at the same time, with Clark trying to keep up to Kubrick and vice-versa. The overall result, for those of whom (and I know you're out there, I used to be one of you-) who may have found themselves 'lost' by Kubrick's film, it does fill in some of the gaps concerning the information and meaning behind some of the movie's most INFAMOUS scenes. It was strange for me to see such iconic scenes being translated into written word.

The beginning starts with a sound argument for the Ancient Astronauts Theory, concerning a Pleistocene primitive ape-man in Northern Africa named Moon-Watcher. That's interesting, the movie never named the main character. As the ape-men live stagnant primitive lives, times are harsh, but the primitives thinking nothing of hardship, they have no prior understanding of it. Their lack of aggressiveness makes their survival instincts nearly non-existent which makes them easy prey for predators such as a leopard which is constantly hunting their clansmen. They have no sense of past or present so they feel no need to start a war with neighboring species such as the pigs and lizards and other edible creatures they are surrounded by. This is also evident in a strange scene in which Moon-Watcher's father is killed and he doesn't register any sort of emotion cause he does not recognize this term 'father' we're all familiar with? The clan is even spineless to attempt to defend their watering hole from more aggressive, stronger rival clans, they feel no need to fight cause they already expect the outcome. --Things change the moment a strange black monolith, measuring 1x4x9 in dimensions, seems to appear outside their cave out of nowhere one morning. Even though possible credit could be linked to mysterious noises Moon-Watcher heard in the middle of the night before that morning? Where did it come from? Why is it here? Who built it? -None of these questions register on the minds of these simple creatures as they seem rather 'unconcerned' with it's presence as long if it doesn't act as any added source of food supply.

But soon enough everything starts to change as the monolith begins to pulsate a 'coordinated' series of high-frequency vibrations, causing the consciousness of the ape-men and women to alter, and they dance rhythmically to it. The monolith appears to be manipulated by Higher intelligences and seems to select out certain individuals and put them through a series of 'tests'. Certain 'gifts' are given to the dawn of mankind and the Fall from Eden scenario is played out beautifully in this anti-religion anti-Darwinian interpretation. Man learns to kill to get what they want, they learn to keep written record. And from there 3 million years worth of human history play out all the while the strange black monolith having vanished mysterious nearly as fast as when it arrived. --Flash forward to the modern space program in 2001, man has now established colonies on the surface of the Moon and more advanced forms of space travel have been realized and met. Dr. Heywood Floyd is brought in as a specialist to consult on a highly classified sensitive matter concerning a recent discovery on the Moon. When Heywood finally arrives there he is shocked to discover what the team refer to as TMA-1 (Tycho Magnetic Anomaly-One) as the very same black slender, smoothy polished monolith that we first saw in the first part of the book. Here it is buried under layers of rock and sand on the surface of the Moon. Before the team has a chance to truly investigate it, the Sun rises on the horizon of the Moon and TMA-1 begins pulsating a large disruptive vibratory beam out into space.

Flash forward to two years later. A highly prepped space flight on route to the outer orbit of Saturn, has astronauts on board the space shuttle Discovery, consisting of David Bowman, Frank Poole and several other trained astronauts in cryostasis. Together they are kept company with the ship's seemingly friendly but potentially threatening super-computer, the Hal-9000. Hal represents the peak of man's ultimate obsession with advanced technology and artificial intelligence, as well as our ever increasing over-dependence of it. To make something artificial more human, is to run the risk of giving that creation human emotions. But there are no human emotions more destructive that 'lies'. In the movie this was supposed to be Kubrick's artistic expression of the argument that it is not so much the weapon (the black monolith/Hal-9000) that we as humans should be so frightened of but more likely the corrupt minds of those who might use those weapons for harm? To give man ultimate freedom of past and future is to give man ultimate freedom to act as his own downfall (threat of nuclear capabilities/extreme paranoia). -It is at this point after Hal malfunctions and Bowman is forced to fight for his life that Bowman learns of the ship's true purpose and eventually ends with his inevitable arrival in orbit as a satellite around the Moon of Saturn, Where much to Bowman's shock he discovers a much larger TMA-2 black monolith, just floating there in space, where he eventually investigated as goes through a psychedelic trip into a Higher dimension by entering hyperspace through a star-gate. Where Clarke goes to elaborate and intricate details to describe everything Bowman experiences and is thinking as he witnesses sights no man could ever even dream were possible or even begin to think were real. Eventually arriving at being born into a new advanced form of consciousness at the hands of whatever intelligent beings were guiding him, and being reborn "a star-child". Where Bowman subsequently is his birth, old age, and death, all in one instance. Truly a remarkable piece of work!

Just about everything you could wish to understand about human origins and Higher dimensional frequencies and the existence of no time, is all in Clarke's masterpiece vision. Truly a man ahead of his time. I will say I have a few minor grievances about the book that are almost too minuet to make any difference. Unlike the movie I felt Hal in this book had somewhat more human characteristics than the film. The "open the pod bay doors" scene is gone. And there isn't as much of a sense of loss in this book as there was in the movie as to the disappearance of the monolith. But those are just small potatoes. Fans of the movie will must undoubtedly note (which the author himself explains the reason for) that in the book the destination is the outer orbit of Saturn where as in the movie Kubrick was forced to relocate to Jupiter. Too bad, anyone who reads David Icke's book will be aware of the esoteric connection concerning the planet Saturn. I found myself intrigued by the epiphany Bowman makes when he realizes Saturn's rings are speculated to be as old as 3 million years (around the same time the monolith appeared on Earth???)...

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2010: Odyssey Two - Arthur C. Clarke
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2061: Odyssey Three - Arthur C. Clarke
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3001: The Final Odyssey - Arthur C. Clarke
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A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
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A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
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People who added this item 58 Average listal rating (34 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 0
A Midsummer Night's Dream - William Shakespeare
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People who added this item 82 Average listal rating (48 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0
A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
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About a Boy - Nick Hornby
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All Quiet on the Western Front - Erich Maria Remarque
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American Gods - Neil Gaiman
Am in the middle of reading...
Am up to Chapter 7!
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Anansi Boys - Neil Gaiman
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Am up to Chapter 2!
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And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie
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Am in the middle of reading...
Am up to Chapter 19!
So far what I think is: Lives up to the reputation, OMG - Tom Hanks was PERFECTLY cast as Robert Langdon!
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Animal Farm - George Orwell
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Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
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Area 51 - Robert Doherty
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Area 51: The Truth - Robert Doherty
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Area 51: Excalibur - Robert Doherty
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Area 51: Nosferatu - Robert Doherty
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Area 51: the Mission - Robert Doherty
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Area 51: The Reply - Robert Doherty
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Area 51: the Sphinx - Robert Doherty
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People who added this item 103 Average listal rating (39 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
Atonement - Ian McEwan
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Band of Brothers - Stephen E. Ambrose
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Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
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RECENTLY ADDED REVIEWS:
-Watership Down(1977)
-The NeverEnding Story(1979)
-Human Race Get Off Your Knees - the Lion Sleeps No More(2010)


I would have gave a number at the top of this list but as I am discovering the splendid pastime of reading as both hobby and personal pursuit of something I desperately want out of life, something I 'allude to' already plenty of times in my movie list - this is the counterpart to that, only now I have replaced cinema with literature. I would like to say this is a complete and full list of books that deserve recognition as the best of the best throughout human history but that would certainly be a difficult reputance to uphold unless I did an exhaustive investigative study of mankind's literature throughout the ages. A medium that goes back MUCH farther than cinema. Until I have a CLEAR idea of how many books I plan to read or have enough DECENT titles to give a comfortable number to throw at people, this will just simply have to be an accumulation of how many books I have read thus far and WHICH books I've read, and would recommend.

But this is also, like my movie list, a list with a story. As we creep closer and closer to ascension date, I doubt anyone's going to have enough time to read and watch everything I present on my respective lists? So for the most part this is a check list for those whom HAVE read their share of what they see here and a bucket list for those who need to catch up. When it comes to reading most people find it exceedingly difficult to know WHAT to read? That was my biggest issue. -On a personal side I say, trust your 'instincts' to guide you to the appropriate titles as you go along. The answers are out there, that's what I've found. Which is what is displayed on here. The titles you see below me is what answers I found during my search for a particular subject, hopefully to guide me in the correct path. So this list may have a particular 'theme' to it. However, mixed in are some unrelated titles that I had the fortune of reading in the years prior that I just felt deserved a shout out for what they are!

If anyone wishes to suggest titles for me to read and review feel free to comment below, can't guarantee I'll get to them but will at least put them up in the list for future consideration. Short stories will be judgment calls cause their are so many short stories out there, I 'prefer' to reserve this list for more COMPLETE literate sagas. But I don't wish to exclude.

Also keep in mind the 'criteria' for making it onto the list. I can't guarantee I'll like what you recommend, and I can't guarantee it will make the final 'criteria', as this list sort of has an overall 'theme' to it, I wanna try and 'stick to it'...

But I won't right away dismiss anything without giving it a chance? -To try and sum it up, I suppose the criteria for making it onto this list is this: if the world was about to go up in (another) cataclysm - tomorrow! -what ten works of literature would you wish to save? What should mankind's testament to our existence be in the future?!!...

Aside from that, please comment how you all are liking what you see and whether or not you agree? I'm dying to know! Thank you.

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Comments

Posted: 5 years, 4 months ago at Jun 1 18:15
Great selections... I've read so many I don't even know which ones to recommend and which ones to keep in hold!

I hope you might update this anytime soon...
Posted: 5 years, 2 months ago at Jul 23 19:51
Just wanted to ask, how many books do you read at one time? I read 2, or sometimes 3, simultaneously.

btw, have you read Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less by Jeffrey Archer?

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