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Grey Manrod
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I'm currently reading the Great Gatsby. Somehow, I made it through HS with out having to read this book. Why did I not read this sooner? That said, it almost seems criminal to make a HS student read it - they lack the life experience necessary to truly enjoy it....

So, post up - what books did you read later in life that you knew for years you should read?
 

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Glue Sniffer
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Everything by Vonnegut.

I also wish I got to read (nearly) every book assigned in high school, but without reading it knowing I'd be tested on its minutia.

I turns out most of those were really good books when get to just sit back and enjoy them.
 

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I didn't read To Kill A Mockinbird until I was in my mid thirties. One of the best books I have ever read.
 

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I assume you mean ANY books we wish we'd read sooner?? (i.e. don't have to be classics of literature)

If they must be "classics," ignore me :)

1 # Angels & Demons by Dan Brown
2 # White Oleander by Janet Fitch
3 # Watchers by Dean Koontz
4 # State of Fear by Michael Crichton (RIP)

FYI I have a degree in English Literature, but of the hundreds/thousands of books I've read, these are my favorites.
 

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midnight melon mounter
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There's no harm in reading something too late. Reading something too early is what kills the love of reading in young people. Shakespeare in 9th grade? Utterly wasted.
 

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Captain Obvious
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FishrCutB8 said:
I didn't read To Kill A Mockinbird until I was in my mid thirties. One of the best books I have ever read.
i still haven't read that.
 

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Alex-in-Evanston said:
There's no harm in reading something too late. Reading something too early is what kills the love of reading in young people. Shakespeare in 9th grade? Utterly wasted.
You know I've always said "There are two kinds of people. Those who understand Shakespeare, and those who say 'eh??' every time they read a line. I am the latter." ;)
 

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Game on, b*tches!
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Nor I. I love Vonnegut, btw. I need to read more and reread some others.
 

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Big is relative
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I was on submarines for almost 15 years of my 24 year naval career (so far). When I would deploy I would take 5-8 books depending on the length of the book and deployment. A random selection of A Prayer for Owen Meany started a lifelong appreciation of John Irving. I have all his books. I read a lot of Michener but it was easy to burn out on the painful detail of his later writings.

The book I wished I had read sooner?

Tales From the South Pacific by James Michener. I found a copy for a buck in a used book store last month. I have seen the movie and musical on stage, but it doesn't do the book justice. I reads much like Catch 22.
 

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Glue Sniffer
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RoadBikeVirgin said:
FYI I have a degree in English Literature, but of the hundreds/thousands of books I've read, these are my favorites.
Heh. I call it brain porn.

And, damnit, when I'm going to sleep or trying to escape a stressful day, there is nothing more I want than simple, enjoyable, brain porn.

For me, that's Harry Potter. Damnit, I've read 'em all more times than I can count and will probably have one tucked in the bag when it comes time to birth the man-child. Sure, it doesn't sound nearly as cool asm "I'ma read HST while in labor," but damnit, it's just fun.

Oh, and Augusten Burroughs for brain porn that feels more relatable than it should - given that he always writes about his life as a gay alcoholic with a beyond eccentric family.
 

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Big is relative
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catzilla said:
Heh. I call it brain porn.

And, damnit, when I'm going to sleep or trying to escape a stressful day, there is nothing more I want than simple, enjoyable, brain porn.

For me, that's Harry Potter. Damnit, I've read 'em all more times than I can count and will probably have one tucked in the bag when it comes time to birth the man-child. Sure, it doesn't sound nearly as cool asm "I'ma read HST while in labor," but damnit, it's just fun.

Oh, and Augusten Burroughs for brain porn that feels more relatable than it should - given that he always writes about his life as a gay alcoholic with a beyond eccentric family.
You would probably enjoy John Irving's Until I Find You. Disfunctional family and tattoos.
 

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id like to think that ive been pretty well read for only being alive 25 years. Vonnegut and Irving are two of my favorite authors. i havent finished The Great Gatsby because I was drawn away by King's Dark Tower series but i hope to return some day. Ive read a lot of fantasy (my wife calls them "geek books" cuz of the swords etc) and those are great brain porn. it was amusing that back in high school I read Fahrenheit 451 unknowingly about 3 months before the teacher assigned it. Old Man in the Sea is great and I like Shakespeare. Hiassen is hilarious.

the best book ive ever read is Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey.

the great things about books though is that even having read quite a bit (for my time) there is still so much out there!
 

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eminence grease
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Cygnus said:
the sweetest of books. but reading aloud, huh?

one upon a time, life was like that book.
I had never heard of it until one of my kids received it. I was probably 30. I wish I had read it or had it read to me when I was a kid.

I can't think of anything more peaceful.
 

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Power Napper
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one of my all time favs

logansites said:
the best book ive ever read is Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey.
YES!! I know he gets all the props for Cuckoos Nest, but Sometimes a Great Notion is better IMO.

Hmmm. I was one of those who did all my heavy reading at a young age,so now I get to coast on a lot of brain porn as catzilla says.

But some so called classics are just a grind to get through at any age, still haven't made it all the way through Ulysses, and most likely never will.

Guess I wish I had found Babara Kingsolver's Poisonwood Bible sooner. Just beautifully written. Her best I think.
 

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A wheelist
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I've wanted to attempt Pirsig's "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" for years and finally got up the courage in the fall. It was a tough read for me but I was determined to get through it. I had to repeat the first 100+ pages again as I lost the confusing plot but once I figured out that the narrator was truly disturbed I was off & running. As only 10% of those who start the book ever finish it, I was proud of myself for persevering. It helped to read some of the more eloquent reviews of this book both during and after I had read the book as they helped me better understand the confusing plot.
 

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Sharp
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I only just got around to reading "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" by Milan Kundera, although I'd been meaning to for years. And bigbill, +1 on "A Prayer for Owen Meeny" - a great read.
 
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