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Just keep on trying till you run out of cake

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Book recommendations
pungent elephant with sidecar
Yes, it's entry r out of a series of n in the "help rho figure out what to do over the summer" series!

I'm looking for book recommendations. Specificly, I'm looking for recommendations for books that I wouldn't normally read; the sort of books that are outside of my field and outside of my genre of choice. I already know plenty of good books about physics, and plenty of SF&F type books. What I don't know is what the best books to read for 18th century history are. Or what the world's best detective novels are. Or anything like that.

Since I'm looking to read outside of my normal range, what I'm really looking for are the very best books of their type. The really best examples of a genre, the books that best explain a certain subject, if possible, the books that you never tire of reading and the books that change your whole perspective on life. The sort of thing that's likely to get me enthused about a subject or genre and make me want to go and read more, and generally branch out.

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Tricky... I adored Le Ton Beau de Marot (possible spelling errors there). It warped my brain in good ways. It's about the issues involved in translating from one language to anohter. It's by Hofstadter.

Dante is a good read - The Inferno for starters, but you can read the whole trilogy. I read the first two and half of Paradiso, (in translation), but it felt wrong to go all the way through Paradiso, so I stopped.

I'm rather fond of Asimov's Union Club Mysteries. Many of his mysteries, actually. He's well known for his science fiction, but his mysteries are fun and he has a lot of them.

I find the combination of Elgin's The Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defense and Tannen's That's Not What I Meant are a great grounding in how language use creates arguments, how to recognize it and try to prevent it. Both authors wrote many other books in their series, but get rather redundant. Tannen especially. I do find that Elgin's second book in the Verbal Self Defense series is also useful and thought-provoking though.

And I always recommend Bellwether to anyone who hasn't read it.

I'm still struggling through Le Ton beau de Marot. It's a truly wonderful book (by a truly huge intellect -- the man is amazing!)

(And you spelled it correctly, except "beau" isn't capitalized. I'm looking at it now.)

Suzette Haden Elgin also has a livejournal - ozarque.

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