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The Greatest Book Of All Time?

One of the unexpected, but very fun things about having a popular blog is that people send you things sometimes.  Weightlifting people send me equipment to try out once in a while, and authors and other book lovers send me books to read and review.

But yesterday was something really special.  I got a book in the mail that may just be the best book in existence (it isn’t Dune).  Take a look.

Thanks Ethan!  This might be the best gift I’ve ever received. A sure entry for one of the greatest books of all time.

Josh

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  • Jason December 3, 2009, 12:43 am

    That’s a nice top three list. I approve, especially of Catch-22. You can’t drop that from the list. Since I’m a lover of lists and a reader myself, I will put my current top 3. Unlike your list, though, mine is always shifting.

    1. My Antonia by Willa Cather
    2. Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
    3. The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester (a sci-fi classic)

    • Josh Hanagarne December 3, 2009, 11:49 am

      I’ll look up that Bester, Jason, thanks.

  • Larissa December 3, 2009, 1:19 am

    You’re the best, Josh. :’) I can’t wait to show Ethan this video in the morning. . . he is going to freak out! You know, you are a true super star in his eyes. 🙂

    • Josh Hanagarne December 3, 2009, 11:48 am

      I hope he likes it. It is one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever gotten.

  • Henri December 3, 2009, 2:33 am

    That’s awesome 😀

  • Karina December 3, 2009, 4:52 am

    That made my day, even though it’s not my gift.

  • Eric | Eden Journal December 3, 2009, 7:22 am

    That is one of the best things I’ve seen in a long time. Now, about that date… I wondering if blogging about this infidelity is not the best desicsion. (unless your wife is into that kind of thing.)

    Seriously though, that video rocked. I’ll keep an eye out for that book on Amazon.

    • Josh Hanagarne December 3, 2009, 11:48 am

      If Janette would like to show up and battle the shark, she can prove her love her me.

  • Heather December 3, 2009, 8:47 am

    Josh,
    Kudos to Ethan! That was awesome! Hope Janette “understands” about the shark date. . . . but I doubt it. Great post! Please tell Ethan the Tiger Shark was my fave. Good detail there with the stripes! Details are very important. Have fun on your date!

  • Janette H December 3, 2009, 8:51 am

    Just so everyone knows, I only approve of Josh taking sharks on dates. No other sea creatures or humans make the list.

    The book was truly wonderful. Thanks Ethan!

  • Srinivas Rao December 3, 2009, 8:54 am

    Josh,

    That’s really cool that you get awesome fan mail from younger kids. You really are having a tremendous influence on the world. I’m glad to be one of those people. AS far as Sharks go, considering my time in the ocean, I don’t think I’m too scared of them. Then again I’ve never been attacked by one.

  • Casey Brazeal (North and Clark) December 3, 2009, 9:56 am

    Tell Ethan I want a copy! I will happily trade him some of my creative property for a copy of “The Book of Sharks.” Does he need a song or a post? I want in.

  • Beth@Smart Family Tips December 3, 2009, 10:33 am

    I think the shark book is FANTASTIC. Great work, Ethan!

    Thanks, Josh, for sharing it with us.

  • Dean Dwyer December 3, 2009, 11:05 am

    Ah Janette, if only more wives could be as understanding. Josh, I’m a little out of my league (get it…league?) on this, but when dating sharks I might suggest being at least an arms length away. I might also suggest a water or spray bottle to spray down you date. They get cranky when they start to dry up.

    Ethan, if you are reading, great book. I liked the cookie cutter sharp. Actually anything with the work cookie in it has to be good right?

  • Jessica Marie December 3, 2009, 11:08 am

    My biggest concern is that you made a date with someone other than your wife. While I applaud your courage in dating a shark, won’t your lovely and talented wife be jealous or will she be going on a date with a tiger at that time? The book was excellent and I think that Ethan has quite the future as a book illustrator.

  • Patty - Why Not Start Now? December 3, 2009, 12:49 pm

    Hmm, I’m flashing back to the SNL Land Shark. If that’s the species you’re dating, be afraid, be very afraid.

    • Josh Hanagarne December 3, 2009, 2:51 pm

      Never saw it. What era was the sketch from?

  • Brendon December 3, 2009, 2:49 pm

    Wow – nice to see Ethan knows all about New Zealand – we are trying to keep a low profile down here, we like our little corner of the world 😉
    Cool book!!

    • Josh Hanagarne December 3, 2009, 2:51 pm

      He’s got his eye on you. Your cover is blown!

  • Sophia December 3, 2009, 5:08 pm

    I was clapping like a silly person in my livingroom as you read out The Book of Sharks. I liked the New Zealand shark best of all becaust it moves…very slowly. How exciting not to be afraid of sharks. Do you think Ethan could write me a book about bees?

  • Lisis December 3, 2009, 5:54 pm

    You’re the best, Josh. And Ethan, that is The Best Book EVER!!!

    🙂

  • Ethan Nicodemus December 3, 2009, 6:11 pm

    Thank you. I don’t know what my next book will be. I am happy you like the book. I have to go to soccer practice soon. bye

  • Boris Bachmann December 3, 2009, 6:11 pm

    Land Shark = the 70s. Dan Akroyd, Gilda Radner, John Belushi SNL era. Funny stuff.

    The Book of Sharks is a great book.

    The Pillow Book by Sei Shounagon is a classic book of lists – maybe one of the first. Translations are sometimes a little strange, but very fun to read and think, “Damn, people haven’t really changed at all over the last 1000 years!”.

  • crestina December 3, 2009, 7:00 pm

    This is cool, Josh. Sharks can be very daunting and scary and I am afraid of them.
    Bravo to Ethan. 🙂

  • Keith December 3, 2009, 10:58 pm

    All I can do is list my favorite top 3.

    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
    Dune by Frank Herbert
    The Children of Odin by Padraic Colum

    Hey, remember when I loaned you Dirk Gently’s Detective Agency? How’s that book treating you?

  • Professor Beej December 4, 2009, 12:46 am

    That makes me so happy. You really are good people, you know that?

    But now you have me thinking. What are my top 3 books ever? What are my favorites? I’ve never even tried to list them, but I probably should. As much as I love to read, I have a hard time saying that anything is my favorite. I have a lot of different favorites, all depending on what mood I’m in and what “need” is most prominent in my psyche. I’m sure as fickle as I generally am that I will try to revise this over time, but each of these is on the list for a very specific reason, even if it doesn’t seem like there it should be.

    1. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
    2. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
    3. The White Boy Shuffle by Paul Beatty

    • Josh Hanagarne December 4, 2009, 9:23 am

      Beej, I loved 1 and 3. Gave 2 a B but still enjoyed it. You have great taste.

      • Professor Beej December 4, 2009, 10:22 am

        Really? I’ve never actually heard anyone who didn’t absolutely adore The Time Traveler’s Wife. What was it that brought it down in your mind?

        • Josh Hanagarne December 4, 2009, 2:35 pm

          Honestly, I can’t remember exactly what it was. Maybe it was just the wrong time. I did finish it. I have nothing bad to say about it at all. Just don’t have memories of being blown away. That author has a new book out. Have you heard of it or read it?

          • Professor Beej December 4, 2009, 10:37 pm

            I have it on audiobook, just waiting for me to finish my current one, Stephen King’s “Needful Things.” It’s a tossup whether I get into “Her Fearful Symmetry” (the author’s newest) first or Dan Brown’s newest. Which do you think would be the better choice.

            I had a friend at work tell me that “Her Fearful Symmetry” is good, but not quite as good as “The Time Traveler’s Wife.”

          • Josh Hanagarne December 4, 2009, 10:38 pm

            I loved Needful Things but have never been a Dan Brown fan, so it’s hard for me too be objective there. Follow your heart:)

          • Professor Beej December 5, 2009, 11:19 am

            I’m not so much a Dan Brown fan as I am a fan of religious intrigue. Angels and Demons was actually a very good book, but then The DaVinci Code got all the credit for the exact same book. I’ve never been able to get all the way through Deception Point. I’ve heard even more mixed reviews of The Lost Symbol than I have about Her Fearful Symmetry, so I think Niffenegger’s ghost story may win out this time.

            And I am very much enjoying Needful Things. It’s a decently long book (18+ hours), and every time I think I am going to put it aside and start on a new one for a change of pace, one of two things happens: the completionist in me refuses to let me turn it off or a really intense scene comes along and keeps me enthralled.

          • Josh Hanagarne December 5, 2009, 1:01 pm

            Good! And I’m with you on religious intrigue. While I’m not a Dan Brown fan, it’s not like I haven’t read his books. And will probably continue to do so:)

  • Beth L. Gainer December 7, 2009, 8:36 am

    Ethan’s book is amazing!! Very clever. And the fact that he quelled your fear of sharks is great.

    Now here’s a tip for your date with the shark: do not use any fish-scented cologne. Nurse sharks are the best ones to start with. Also, don’t watch Jaws now that you’ve overcome your fear.

  • Beth L. Gainer December 7, 2009, 8:37 am

    Oh, (PS), why bump something off your top three list? Have a top 10 list, and you won’t have this dilemma.

    • Josh Hanagarne December 7, 2009, 12:57 pm

      Good call. Actually, I should just add it to my top 100. I just thought it added some gravitas to the occasion.

  • Shane Hudson February 24, 2010, 10:42 am

    Wow.

    That’s it. Just wow. I loved it when I received my first gift from a reader, and indeed love every single one.

    But that really is special!