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What are your 10 favorite books?


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My wife and I started discussing our favorite books over dinner the other night. I decided to type up my list so here it is in no particular order.

I could fill my entire list with Sci-Fi books, but I decided to try and mix things up a bit.

Hopefully, you'll find something on this list that you like. Enjoy.

The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury

    Ray Bradbury is probably the greatest writer alive today. His books read more like poetry than prose. This collection of sci-fi short stories are very accessible--they are more about people and situations than technobabble. My two favorite stories are No Particular Night or Morning and Kaleidoscope. I also like his books Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles.

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

    What would happen if all the giants of business and industry got tired of the constant interference from the government and simply left? This book tells that story. Don't be afraid by the length of this one; it's over 1000 pages but it reads quickly. Also, check out her other works The Fountainhead, We The Living, and Anthem.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

    This is the first book in a 5 book sci-fi "trilogy". It is Amazing and funny. It sets out to answer the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything. Just don't watch the movie of the same name--it's awful. However, you may want to look for the BBC miniseries as it is VERY well done... and won't spoil the book if you watch it first. Also, check out his Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency series.

Animal Farm by George Orwell

    There is a reason that books like this are considered "classics"--they're good. It tells the story of revolt on a farm and the dangers of corrupt leadership. Just as relevant today as in 1945 when it was first published. Other classics you might try are Nineteen Eighty-Four, Brave New World, Catch-22, The Catcher in the Rye, and Lord of the Flies. If you're like me, you were assigned all of these in school and skipped them. Go back and give them another read. You'll be glad you did.

Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard

    Another monster of a book (over 1000 pages) that is a fast, easy read. This book was L. Ron Hubbard's return to sci-fi after a long hiatus. It tells the story of Jonnie Goodboy Tyler and the Psychlos that rule his world. Just stay away from the movie with the same name. Read the book instead. It is incredible. Every page is action packed. I didn't want to put it down.

I, Robot by Isaac Asimov

    This is nothing like the movie. (I found the movie to be good but it doesn't really relate to the book much at all.) It is a book of loosely related sci-fi short stories. These are stories to make you think logically. Also, check out his Foundation trilogy (Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation). Other authors of classic Sci-Fi I would recommend are Robert A. Heinlein (The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and Orphans of the Sky) and C.S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia and Out of the Silent Planet).

The Godfather by Mario Puzo

    This is a great story and very well written. Better than the movie? You be the judge. It tells the story of a Sicilian Mafia family based in New York headed by Don Vito Corleone. Also, check out his books The Fourth K and The Last Don.

Einstein's Dreams by Alan Lightman

    The novel fictionalizes Albert Einstein as a young scientist working on his theory of relativity. Each chapter explores one dream about a conception of time. Lightman's writing style reminds me of Ray Bradbury.

Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess by Bobby Fischer

    Some claim that the book is written by him, others claim that it is not--doesn't matter. It is the best book on the subject. Period. Basically, Fischer "skips to the end" and teaches you how to recognize a situation where you can mate your opponent... after all, that is how games are won. After reading this book, you WILL be a better chess player. It is a quick read that you won't be able to put down.

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

    Really? A kids book on your list? Sure. I have 4 kids and have read a TON of kids books over the years. This is the only one that really stuck with me. It is a kids book on the surface, but the meaning goes much deeper. Take a few minutes to read this, it is well worth your time. If you enjoy it, you might want to check out his wonderful collection of poems and drawings called Where the Sidewalk Ends.

OK, so, now that you've read this far... let's see your top 10 books!

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Rubrica, don't put too much thought into it. Just list stuff off the top of your head.

It only took me about half an hour to come up with the list and type it up.

This list might get you started: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_books

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Oh, this is the thread for me! I've read tons of books over the years, much to the reason that we have a GREAT library in our town :)

It actually looks like this


It's hard to remember the best 10 of them, but I think I can name some of them here :D

The Dark Tower by Stephen King

Well, I think everyone here knows what I'm talking about, it's the great epos by the Master of Horror. 7 huge tomes containing nearly everything man can think about in a very poetic language. Plus there is a very interesting comic series published by Marvel about it now, double the awesome!

Der Schwarm (The Swarm) by Frank Schätzing

A scientific thriller about the ongoing struggle of nature vs man, but with a big twist I don't want to spoil here.

Schätzing's style is very deep and detailed and this book contains lots of interesting facts about marine biology! A must-have for every human!

The Discworld Books by Terry Pratchett

Well, Pratchett is one of the best storytellers of our time. He writes incredibly witty, interesting and wears a cool hat.

I got sucked in in his fantasy universe when I was 12, and together with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy makes my top list of... well, enjoyable books :P

Die Stadt der Träumenden Bücher (The City of Dreaming Books) by Walter Moers

Moers is one of the leading fantasy authors in Germany and writes just... fantastic. The ideas he comes up with are often incredible and hard to believe, and he even illustrates his books and makes up his own words ;)

This book is an ode to literature and its masters and very fun to read.

I could tell you about a whole lot more (including Night Watch by Sergei Lukianenko, everything by Michael Chrichton and more), but I'm to lazy to type all that :lol:

I hope you liked what you read!

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I love Shel Silverstein's poetry books!

Most of my favorite books are for younger readers. The books for adult readers have strong languages and don't interest me.

Anyway, my top 10 are:

1. Number the Stars. I know that this one's for younger readers, but the first time I read it I liked it a lot and reread it several times even as I grew up.

2. Survivors. Another Holocaust book in the point of view of children. It was sad and very good.

3. Transall Saga by Gary Paulsen. A science fiction book about a different dimension.

4. Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer. Awesome books. Again, science fiction.

5. Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz. A young spy being sent to different missions.

6. Dovey Coe. A story about a young girl accused of murder.

7. A Child Called it by David Pelzer. A boy abused verbally and physically by his own mother. A moving story.

8. Little Critter books by Mercer Mayer. Come on. Who wouldn't like this cute creature?

9. Napoleon's Buttons. A non-fiction book explaining different facts in chemistry. Explains different reactions and how things work.

10. A Prayer for the Dying. Wow. This book was a little difficult to read and understand because it's all written in second person point of view, but it was a very interesting book. I love the ending, even though it's ironic.

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(including Night Watch by Sergei Lukianenko

Oh my goodness, I read that yesterday! It was one of the best books I've read in a long time. Actually, that might get me started. In no articular order;

Night Watch - Sergei Lukianenko

As I said, brilliant book - a little more adult than some I would usually read, but it definitely adds a certain level of quality to the book. Harry Potter can only be so good when you can see it's aimed at children; this surpasses that problem. Also, like one of the books below, this actually made me cry at one point (I'm not sure why, really; it wasn't a sad moment, just out of empathy for Svetlana).

The Harry Potter Series - Joanne K. Rowling

Come on, I need to explain this?

The Discworld Series - Terry Pratchett

Again, very good, his stories are very compelling.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - can't remember the author, and that's probably not quite the right name

Very, very moving, and quite surprising in some places. There was a little bad language, but again, it's not worth abandoning the book because yu're a bit timid of swearing like I am.

Magician - Raymond E. Feist

I'll admit, I'm not really into the habit of reading books like this; I prefer books to have a plotline that's not actually centered around a war, but this is an exception; atruly brilliant book, and on of the first in ages to make me cry on morethan one occasion (although I AM a big softie).

Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

I know what you're thinking - "what a childish book!", and I agree with you. It holds very little meaning to me any more. Yet, the whimsy imbued within those pages and the sense of being able to do whatever you want, because the normal laws of the universe don't apply, is something that has stuck with me forever - a main point in my next book.

The Doomspell Trilogy - Cliff McNish

Now, whe a character is about to die in a book, then is suddenly saved by some incredibly unlikely event, it usually ruins the book for me, as do other such things; for examble, "as we all know"s. However, this book is, again, a rare exception, simply because the sense of freedom in what the characters can do is written so well that it doesn't feel unnatural; instead, your mind begins to feverishly overwork all the possibilities. The second book brings this to a peak; with the main threat from the first book eliminated, the first few chapters consist simply of toying around with novel concepts, something that appeals to me very much.

Time Hollow - N/A

Now, I know this is a game, but hear me out for a moment. It's very easy for a person like me to become attatched to a story and it's charaters, and so despite the fact that it's not a book, it's still a story, and so I think this still applies. Again, I, the big wimp, cried because of this storyline, and that seems to be pretty much the only thing required for me to put a book on my top ten list; after all, apart from extreme pain and one extremely unusual nervous breakdown in cass, books, or, more specifically, stories, have been the only thing ever able to make me cry - and they do it with ease.

Prism - Kellerman / Kellerman

Again only on the list because I'm running out of ideas and it made me cry. In all honesty, nothing that remarkable, and probably not worth looking up, but it's still good.

The Oxford English Reference Dictionary - N/A

My favorite book ever.


Don't look at me like that!


Anyway, as I said, that was in no particular order.

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Several of the books that BoltBait and others have listed are also my favorite. It has been my experience that movies for the most part do not do justice to the book.

I have some books that I reread and they are what I call my comfort books.

The first book on my list is a poem but I'm a poetess so what else would you expect. The first poem I remember ever reading was Robert Frost's Stopping by Woods On A Snowy Evening. In 1978 it came out in book form with wonderful illustrations by Susan Jeffers. I was pleased to find it is still in print so was able to buy this book for my grandchild.

Come Be with Me by Leonard Nimoy. Who would have guessed that Spock was a poet. The book is full of profound poems. In the introduction he writes "A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory."

Dr. Zhivago by Louis Pasternak is another favorite. In my opinion much better than the movie and the poems at the end are wonderful. I especially like reading this on a hot day all of that snow cools me off.

Starting with Catering To Nobody by Diane Mott Davidson through her entire series. She writes mysteries with caterer Goldy Schultz as the main character. The predicaments that Goldy gets herself in are hilarious. The early books have the recipes of dishes she makes in the story scattered throughout but the later books have all the recipes in the back which I like better. Most of the recipes can be made with items found at the supermarket so no running around to try to find them. As a caution I must warn you that her culinary mysteries can be hazardous to your waistline and I swear I gain ten pounds just reading her books. :lol:

Any book written by Dean Koontz. His writings are thrillers that deal with the nature of evil,the grip of fate and the power of love. With a lot of supernatural thrown in. He keeps me turning pages until the book is finished. His newest book "Relentless" which was published last year is I think one of his best.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy a classic. I first read it as a teenager for a book report. Rereading it years later I realized the significance that trains played in the novel starting with the children playing with a toy train in the first part of the book. Originally it was written as a series to be printed in the paper but a clash with the editor of the paper over the final installment caused it to be printed as a novel instead. Many of the Russians believed at the time of its publishing that it was only a romance novel about the upper class.

Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell. I was glad that I had read it before seeing the movie. :lol: My parents didn't think it was a suitable book or movie for a young lady to be reading or watching. The pictures in my head are more vivid when I reread the book than the movie could ever be.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I especially enjoyed Jo who was ahead of her time. Only later when it was required reading in school did I discover that Jo was actually based on Louisa May. It was only years later that I discovered my dad had found a copy of Little Women in a cabin he had become snow bound in and had read it to pass the time and it had become one of his favorite books.

Oh The Places You Will Go by Theodor Seuss Geisel aka Dr. Seuss. Great not only for preschoolers but for those of us who pledged to never grow up. There are those who think this is not the best of Dr. Seuss but it will still be my favorite along with The Cat In The Hat. It gives me hope that one day I may still be a success but then after just now rereading my last favorite book maybe I need to re-look at my priorities. By the way March 2 is his birthday although libraries in my area are celebrating it this month on the 27th.

hope for the flowers with words and pictures by trina paulus. Although perhaps at first glance it looks like a children story it really is a book for adults. Although I must confess that it was my son's favorite bedtime story and one I didn't mind reading over, over, and over again. For those who are artists the one phrase in the acknowledgements (the author's spelling) will probably speak to you also. Someone asked an artist how long it took him to make a certain picture. "Five minutes and my whole lifetime," he responded.

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, sure 'tis like a morn in spring.

In the lilt of Irish laughter you can hear the angels sing,

When Irish hearts are happy all the world seems bright and gay,

And When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, sure, they steal your heart away.


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Hmm, I guess I'll start...

The first one on my list is A Wrinkle In Time . I attempted to read the book when I was rather young (I think 10 - 11) and while I enjoyed it, I didn't fully appreciate it and understand a large majority of what was going on till I revisited it later on. I still want to pick up the sequel novels, but have never gotten around to it.

George Orwell. "But Mike!" you might be saying, "That isn't a book! That is an author!" Well, you got me. I've read a lot of Orwell's works because I respect a lot of his political outlook if you visualize his theories and apply them to the era in which he wrote. Notable favorites of mine include Homage to Catalonia, Coming Up for Air, and the all classic 1984.

The Great Gatsby makes its spot on my list, probably because I believe that a lot of the mistakes I made, make, or will make in life is due to the lack of constructive priorities. I actually believe that this is true of nearly everybody I have ever met. We always focus on wealth, possessions, other people, etc in hopes that it will bring happiness. Sure, we may be happy but it is very reminiscent of applying a bandage to a gun shot; it is only going to stop the bleeding.

Into the Wild was phenomenal. Another great outlook on our lives.

Hmm, that is all I can think of right now. I'll post more later.


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Hmm, I guess I'll start...

The first one on my list is A Wrinkle In Time . I attempted to read the book when I was rather young (I think 10 - 11) and while I enjoyed it, I didn't fully appreciate it and understand a large majority of what was going on till I revisited it later on. I still want to pick up the sequel novels, but have never gotten around to it.

I had forgotten about that book until just now reading your post. Think I'll head to the library and see if they have a copy of it available for me to checkout. It is interesting how we appreciate and understand more of a book when rereading it during a later stage in our life.

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, sure 'tis like a morn in spring.

In the lilt of Irish laughter you can hear the angels sing,

When Irish hearts are happy all the world seems bright and gay,

And When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, sure, they steal your heart away.


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In no particular order...,

Steel Beach - John Varley

Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card

How To Reassess Your Chess - Jeremy Silman

Magician - Raymond E Feist

Mythago Wood - Robert Holdstock

Paradise Lost - John Milton

Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos - Dennis Overbye (current re-read the story of Astronomy & Cosmology)

Searching For Bobby Fischer - Fred Waitzkin

Lord of the Flies - William Golding

Leonard Maltin's 2005 Movie Guide - Leonard Maltin (yes I need to update it!)

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In no particular order...

Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins

A little easy, but I loved it. Great storyline.

Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins

Hunger Games was better, but still, I liked it.

Percy Jackson Series - Rick Riordan

Awesome series, my fav is #4 (Battle of the Labyrinth, I believe)

Alex Rider series - Anthony Horowitz

See Helen's description above, a great series.

Artemis Fowl series - Eoin (spelling) Colfer

Once more, see Helen's description above.

Breaking Dawn (I didn't like the others) - Stephenie Meyer

Nothing to say about this.

Maximum Ride series - James Patterson

Wonderful series, highly recommended.

That's all for now.

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My list :

1. The Vampire Chronicles ~ Anne Rice

2. The Fellowship Of The Ring ~ J.R.R Tolkien

3. The Picture Of Dorian Gray ~ Oscar Wilde

4. Star Wars - Dark Lord Rising - The Rise Of Darth Vader

5. Twenty-Four Chilling Tales By H.P. Lovecraft

6. The Last Apprentice ~ Joseph Delaney

7. I Am Legend ~ Richard Matheson

8. Edgar Allan Poe

9. Dracula ~ Bram Stoker

10. Cirque Du Freak ~ Darren Shan

There's way too many books , can't list them all .

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My list, in no particular order:

The Valley of Fear - Arthur Conan Doyle

Murder on the Orient Express - Agatha Christie

The Hunt for Red October - Tom Clancy

The Outsiders - S. E. Hinton

Monday Night Jihad - Jason Elam and Steve Yohn

A Study in Scarlet - Arthur Conan Doyle

The Hound of the Baskervilles - Arthur Conan Doyle

Ghost Recon - David Micheals and Tom Clancy

Splinter Cell - Tom Clancy

The Adventure of the Second Stain - Arthur Conan Doyle

You can tell I am a mystery addict :lol:

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I've read tons (probably literally) of books, most of them science fiction, but some fantasy, and some fiction and nonfiction. In no particular order, here's my list:

1. Tolkien's The Hobbit. By extension: the whole LOTR series, including the Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, the Book of Lost Tales, and so on and so forth. I appreciate an author who can create a vast, living world within the confines of his pages, and Tolkien is the master of it.

2. Asimov's Foundation, and again by extension: Asimov's whole Foundation universe series. Again, I'm a fan of the extensive, epic saga, and Foundation qualifies.

3. Kevin J. Anderson's The Saga of Seven Suns. This is an awesome science fiction series spanning seven books and one comic book prequel. The story centers around the struggle of the human race and their alien allies to survive a war against elemental powers.

4. Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game, along with most of the series. I didn't like the sequels past Xenocide, but the parallel story line of Bean and the events on Earth afterwards is pure gold.

5. Anything by Timothy Zahn:

~~~a. Manta's Gift. Timothy Zahn is hands down my favorite author ever. If the Ender series is gold, this story is platinum. It tells the story of a young man's journey (and transformation) in an entirely alien culture.

~~~b. In Star Wars, both the Thrawn series and The Hand of Thrawn series. All five of these books are masterfully written and often considered the best Star Wars literature ever written (though some of the current stuff is good).

~~~c. The Cobra Trilogy: Holy fricking bloody potato, I was doing some research on Zahn as I typed this and realized Zahn is actually writing more in this series. This is another sci fi series, if I had to compare it to anything, it would be like G.I. Joe, except far cooler, and in space. Despite how that sounds, this is a great series with well developed characters and great writing. A must read.

~~~d. There's so much more! He's an amazing author. I buy his books on principle whenever I see them.

6. House Atreides, by Brian Herbert and kevin J. Anderson. Yes, the original Dune series is good, but I prefer the innumerable books that this pair has been putting out in recent years. They tell a story of vast scope, with interesting characters to boot.

7. And now for a non scifi entry: Harry Turtledove's In the Presence of Mine Enemies. It's a bit lengthy, but the story is sound and you really feel for the characters: covert Jews in an alternate history ruled by Nazi Germany.

8. And how could this list be complete without The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy? Others have listed this book, so I think it needs no explanation.

9. Much lesser known, but in the same vein as Hitchhiker is Grant Naylor's Red Dwarf: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers. Yes, this is Red Dwarf, as in the humorous television series. The books are just as funny, if not more. The humor is slightly more adult than in Hitchhiker, but it's no biggy for any mature reader.

10. Lastly ( :( ) I'll list the Legions of Fire trilogy by Peter David. This is an awesome storyline set in the Babylon 5 universe. It clears up and completes the story of Londo, Vir, and the Centauri and Drahk. These stories really capture the essence of the characters portrayed in the TV series. A must read for any B5 fans!

Honorable Mentions (or, You Didn't Think I was Done Yet?):

To Dream in the City of Sorrows, Kathryn M. Drennan: Another B5 book. This one ties in Sinclair's activity after leaving Babylon 5 and before traveling back with Babylon 4 (watch the series, I don't want to spoil it!).

The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula Le Guin: Definitely a serious sci fi classic.

The Prodigal Sun: Evergence, by Sean Williams and Shane Dix: The start of a sci fi trilogy (the rest of which i haven't read :( ). I like the characters and plot a lot.

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3. Kevin J. Anderson's The Saga of Seven Suns. This is an awesome science fiction series spanning seven books and one comic book prequel. The story centers around the struggle of the human race and their alien allies to survive a war against elemental powers.

I'm currently reading that (4th book), very entertaining. I'm excited to see how it all turns out.

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If I was to revise my list I'd be throwing in the "Chung Kuo" series (eight books) by David Wingrove. THAT is an astonishing, albeit long, read. Beautifully crafted SF series with the earth being governed by the majority Chinese powers who rule over continent sized city states. Subversion, honour, betrayals, murder and violence on a small and large scale. Brilliant!

More >> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chung_Kuo

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I must confess I've read very few of the books all of you have mentioned.

I did read "Atlas Shrugged" because Bolt Bait recommended it ages ago.

so I've picked up Nineteen Eightyfour yesterday also because it was on his list. I'm about 1/4 way into the book and enjoy it very much.

I can not really say what my ten favourite books are. But I like true stories, and How to do things books best. Many of the books I like have pictures, and lots of wonderful drawings.

There are some I like to read over and over again. Off my personal book shelf in my office in no special order here are just a few.

1) The Hermetic Code It is about unlocking some of the Legislative building of Manitoba's secrets. This book was published by the Winnipeg Free Press and has a Dan Brown Divinci Code style.

2) Canada A People's History volume one.

3) Fenton Art Glass identification and value guide 1907 to 1939. I'll admit this is mainly a picture book and price list but the colored photos of bygone beautiful glass pieces is outstanding.

4) The Spy Went Dancing. This is a spy novel. A true one about Aline, Countess of Romanones. She was one of Americas most captivating secret agent .... It is a sequel to The Spy wore Red.

at the moment all my other favourites are art books. any by Lee Hammond, or Jack Hamm. and of course by Sandra Staple for anyone wishing to learn to draw Dragons. That is absolutly the best drawing book around for Dragons.

ciao OMA

edit: PS I should also say I just purchased two books by Sheila Sturrock Celtic Knotwork designs and Celtic spirals and other designs. hint hint about my fourth personal challenge for the year 2010. :lol:

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I don't think I have 10, but a couple of mine are:

Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke: a little confusing at first, but after going back and reading it another time I appreciated it a great deal more. A very well-written plot with a very deep theme behind it.

Ender's Game (and Ender's Shadow) by Orson Scott Card: Again, for the plot.

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque: read this in school, and it was very eye-opening and made World War I a lot more real to me, despite the novel itself being fiction.

Edit: also, Dr. Seuss. All of it.

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