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 Favourite books

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heres_jonny
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 6:16 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

This may seem a bizarre question, but I have a non-baiting related problem: without a book, I can't sleep. Probably something habitual, but I need something to read before I nod off.

Problem is, I've run out of books - I've read all of Pratchett in about 10 days, and Grisham in the 5 days before that. I've done all the classics I want, and I've read a lot of them in German just for variety!

I've always worked on recommendations before reading something - so tell me: what books do you all read?

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meyer
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 6:23 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

If you are looking for really great literature, I would suggest Gabriel Garcia Marquez. His following novels are particularly good: Love in the Time of Cholera, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Chronicle of a Death Foretold. You'll find many reviews of these with google.

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BRUIN
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 6:26 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Who has time for reading books? I am mainly reading e-mails!

No, seriously, I would recommend:

Allan Eckert - several (6?) books by him - historical fiction (about 70% history and 30% fiction) covering the US frontier in 1700's to early 1800's.

Scott Thurow (spelling?) - legal fiction

Night watch series by Sergei Lukyanenko (spelling? again) -escapist sci-fi/horror (!)

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JMRazor
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 6:28 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

American author who gets an equal amount of praise and derision for his stylized fiction, is David Foster Wallace (link is to his Wiki page).

He broke out with "Infinite Jest" -- over 1,000 pages, with over 300 endnotes. Sounds like fun, right? Well, having read it twice, I can say it's incredibly layered and fascinating. It's also at times overly dense and 10x too cute for its own good.

He also writes some great non-fiction as well, most recently: "Consider the Lobster" is a collection of essays and articles he's written on topics as diverse as his attendance at the AVN Awards, to, as the title suggests, going to a Lobster Festival in Maine, USA.

Anyway, I've read all his stuff, and it's never boring.

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Tsnerd
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 6:32 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I'm currently devouring the Dresden File series by Jim Butcher- technically they're Sci-Fi/Fantasy on the book shelves, but think a grown up, cynical Harry Potter crossed with a smartass Philip Marlowe and you'd be a bit closer.

http://www.jim-butcher.com/books/dresden and you can read the first chapters of the books to see if it is something you'll like.

I'm also working around to buying books by Jasper Fforde, which Artemis highly recommended months ago, but I haven't gotton to yet.

Lastly, you can never go wrong with John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee series.

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Last edited by Tsnerd on Mon Apr 09, 2007 6:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 6:34 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

If you like fantsay then try Raymond E. Feist, fantastic stuff. Another author i've recently got into is Jeffrey Deaver and he's unputdownable.
For Pratchett esque comedy/fantasy see if you can track down a copy of Mary Gentle's 'Grunts' its hilarious but I think it may be out of print so second-hand's your only option.

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Eight
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 6:37 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

For crime thrillers, Ngaio Marsh, Josephine Tey, Francis Fyfield or Sue Grafton. For amusement, John Mortimer, Armistead Maupin or P G Wodehouse.

Two specific recommendations, both of which are moving, but in different ways: "Under the Skin" by Michel Faber (haunting and utterly engrossing but vrey strange) and "The Drowned and the Saved" by Primo Levi (the most extraordinary book but have a box of tissues handy).

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meyer
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 6:45 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Eight wrote:
"The Drowned and the Saved" by Primo Levi (the most extraordinary book but have a box of tissues handy).


Yes, I agree. This one is really extraordinarily good. Equally moving and good (maybe even better!) also by Primo Levi, is If This Is a Man. These books deserve nothing but praise.

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Tae
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 6:49 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Tad Williams - Otherland: This are 4 books - each one around 1000 pages. They are difficult to describe, but they are brilliant.

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GeorgJ
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 7:03 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

These are nice for a light read - and you might even learn something into the bargain:


Click here

All together, there are six books in this series.

Mod edit to fix link which was blowing out the forum. Eight
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Pastor Frank
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 7:07 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I just got "A man without a country" , the latest book by Vonnegut, in the mail a few days ago. Its a fun, albeit short read. I know he is an acquired taste so your mileage may vary. Its mainly a published rant but has some funny chapters.

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windypops
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 7:20 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

My favourite short stories of all time.

The complete works of Saki.

The Project Gutenberg eBook, Beasts and Super-Beasts, by Saki

Project Gutenberg's The Chronicles of Clovis, by Saki

The Project Gutenberg eBook, Reginald, by Saki

Project Gutenberg Etext of Reginald in Russia etc by Saki

The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Toys of Peace, by Saki

The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Unbearable Bassington, by Saki

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Dionysius
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 7:24 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I've been collecting books for over 20 years. I must have approximately 2000+. Right now, I'm reading about the fall of Singapore to the Japanese. Also, I have yet to read the 'biography' of the Ark Royal air craft carrier sunk in 1941. But I would agree that Primo Levi is a must.

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Tommo Shanter
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 7:47 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Anything by DR Delderfield.

A sadly forgotten British author who paints a picture of a lost world between the wars in 'The Dreaming Suburb - two books'. He also wrote 'A Horseman Riding By' - 3 books , 'The Swann Saga' - 3 books, as well as probably his best know book 'To Serve them All My Days'.

A window on a lost world.

[Edit] Somebody is blowing this thread. Shocked Crying or Very sad

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Eight
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:12 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Blowout fixed.

It's R.F. Delderfield you mean, isn't it, TS? I have fond memories of reading "To serve them all my days" one hot summer. Smile

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kleindoofy
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:14 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I can't decide between The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham.
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Tommo Shanter
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:09 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

@8

Yes, you are right, as Mods always are. Laughing And there's me thinking I was just dyslectic with numbers!

I sometimes use the addresses from 'The Dreaming Suburb' when the lads want to know where I live. Happy days.

@KD

Is the "Green eggs and Ham" a deliciousy of your country? Oh no, sorry, that's a different thread. Laughing

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Last edited by Tommo Shanter on Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Radden
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:13 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

The Exorcist (1970s?) was a very good book..

The Shining was incredible too.
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Tommo Shanter
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:23 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I used to like Alistair McLean's books in my youth, better than the films IMHO. Also anything by Tom Sharpe which used to make me laugh out loud when reading it on the train. That is probably why I used to have the compartment to myself. I hate to say, but Jeffrey Archer is easy reading and for something slightly more highbrow then try Frederick Forsyth.

Ain't reading brilliant!

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Nanny Ogg
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:49 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Ian Rankins " Rebus " detective novels are amongst my favourites

I recently read the Phillip Pullman dark materials trilogy, aimed at teenagers I think but worth a go

Currently reading Kathy Reichs- Break No Bones

The late naturalist Gerald Durrell wrote some amusing accounts of his travels and family- My Family and other animals etc

The late Spike Milligans war ( WW2 ) recollections are a giggle-Adolf Hitler my part in his downfall; Rommel, Gunner Who etc

Iain Banks - The Crow Road, if only for the best first line ever in a novel. "It was the day my grandmother exploded "
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Dionysius
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 10:41 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Tommo Shanter wrote:
@8

Yes, you are right, as Mods always are. Laughing And there's me thinking I was just dyslectic with numbers!


But you are certainly in need of help spelling. DYSLEXIC

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The Smily Cancer
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 10:45 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I've always been a bit fond of kafkaesque literature and Boris Vian's "L'cume des Jours" ("Froth on the daydream", also "Foam of the Daze" ) is his masterpiece and one of my favourites. Includes *many* allusions, funny word-plays, it's very surreal, absurde (but fairly easy to read) but not depressing as Kafka.

Not exactly world moving literature but unique.


A german book that I liked was "Schachnovelle" ( the royal game)

I can also second Meyers suggestions.

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Last edited by The Smily Cancer on Mon Apr 09, 2007 10:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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maynard_g_krebbs
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 10:53 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Radden wrote:
The Shining was incredible too.

I would recommend the same. *shivvers* Great read, but you might need to leave the lights on. I couldn't sleep until I finished it.

Also, a friend put me onto this Fantasy series known as the Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. I'm not much of the fantasy reader, but these have proven to be interesting stories with a fun plotline. There are 11 or so books in the series now, with the 12th and 13th on their way soon. They are interesting enough.

The only other "fantasy" books I have read are Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card and The Eye of the Dragon, by Stephen King. Both are great books to read.

I know these are not quit in the same league as "the classics" but they kept me entertained.

Also, Memoirs of a Geisha was a good book to read. It was a good book long before the movie turned it into a one-trick pony.

Oh, and don't read ANYTHING by Nicolas Sparks. You'll shoot yourself in the head before you are fininished. Really.
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Standard Procedure
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 3:29 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Anything with adventure for me! I will read those until the early hours in the morning.

I would've said the novelization of Grand Prix, but it just couldn't cut it!

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 4:32 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Two great books, which will really hook you if you're interested in English.

The Surgeon of Crowthorne
The Meaning of Everything

Both books by Simon Winchester, who writes in great detail about the making of the Oxford English dictionary. The volumes themselves had some absolutely fascinating origins. The Surgeon of Crowthorne is a slightly romanticized biography of a man who made a great number of contributions to the literary refferences in the OED while, due to unfortunate circumstances, serving a life sentence in Broadmoor hospital. The book had special interest for me as that secure mental health center and prison is situated no more than a mile or two from my old home and was home to the Kray Brothers and many other wonderful psychopaths.

The second book is a more down to earth story of the making of the dictionary and is full of nice bits of information you will want to share with people.

Both well worth a read.

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