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Thread: Anyone read any good books recently ?

  1. #1

    Anyone read any good books recently ?

    Hi All,
    As an avid reader ( I'm always told I read to much, but it's a top form of escape ) I was wondering if anyone could recomend any good reads ? No particular genre, I'll read almost anything from Sci Fi to the Classics. I recently started "Crime and Punshment" but it's so hard going I had to put it down for a bit ( I reckon the crime is buying the book, the punishment is you have to read it :wink: ). Funilly I also recently got one of the Clive Cussler books out of the library, having heard people say he was good, predictably it was a pile of shite !
    Cheers, Richie :)

  2. #2
    Here are some suggestions:

    Fiction: Any of Anthony Price's novels (roughly, about a security service that does research). Hilary Mantel's A Place of Greater Safety (French revolution). Marguerite Yourcennar, Memoirs of Hadrian.

    Non-fiction: Henry Kissinger's Diplomacy. John Keegan, A History of Warfare. Simon Blackburn, Lust. A recently acquisition: Donald De Carle, Practical Watch Repairing.

    Best wishes,
    Bob

  3. #3
    The Dhammapada by Eknath Easwaran

  4. #4
    If you look here you don't even need to buy the book :D

    http://www.serve.com/cmtan/Dhammapada/

  5. #5
    Grand Master abraxas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by endure
    If you look here you don't even need to buy the book :D

    http://www.serve.com/cmtan/Dhammapada/
    Me Buddha Now! :roll: :D

    anon

  6. #6
    Grand Master abraxas's Avatar
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    .
    COW POLITICS

    SOCIALISM:
    You have two cows, you give one to your neighbour.

    COMMUNISM:
    You have two cows, the government take both and give you the milk

    FASCISM:
    You have two cows, the government take both and shoot you.

    CAPITALISM:
    You have two cows, you sell one and buy a bull.

    TRADE UNIONISM:
    You have two cows, they take both from you, shoot one, milk the other and throw away the milk.

    FEUDALISM:
    You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.

    PURE COMMUNISM:
    You have two cows. Your neighbours help you take care of them, and you all share the milk.

    APPLIED COMMUNISM:
    You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the government takes all the milk.

    Mexican DEMOCRACY:
    You have two cows. The government takes both, shoots you and sends the cows to Zurich.

    MILITARISM:
    You have two cows. The government takes both and drafts you into the army.

    SINGAPOREAN DEMOCRACY:
    You have two cows. The government fines you for keeping two unlicensed farm animals in an apartment.

    PURE DEMOCRACY:
    You have two cows. All your neighbours decide who gets the milk.

    REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY:
    You have two cows. Your neighbours pick someone who will tell you who gets the milk.

    AMERICAN DEMOCRACY:
    The government promises to give you two cows, if you vote for it. After the election, the president is impeached for speculating in cow futures. The press dubs the affair "Cowgate", but supports the president. The cow sues you for breach of contract. Your legal bills exceed your annual income. You settle out of court and declare bankruptcy.

    BRITISH DEMOCRACY:
    You have two cows. You feed them sheep's brains and they go mad. The government doesn't do anything.

    EUROPEAN DEMOCRACY:
    You have two cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. After that it takes both, shoots one, milks the other and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows.

    HONG KONG CAPITALISM:
    You have two cows. You sell three of them to your publicly-listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax deduction for keeping five cows. The milk rights of six cows are transferred via a Panamanian intermediary to a Cayman Islands company secretly owned by the majority shareholder, who sells the right to all seven cows' milk back to the listed company. The annual report says that the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more. Meanwhile, you kill the two cows because of bad "feng shui".

    TOTALITARIANISM:
    You have two cows. The government takes them and denies they ever existed. Milk is banned.

    POLITICAL CORRECTNESS:
    You are associated with (the concept of 'ownership' is a symbol of the phallocentric, warmongering, intolerant past two differently aged (but no less valuable to society) bovines of non-specified gender. You are torn by feelings of guilt, your psychotherapist recommends a treatment centre. You spend six weeks there, paid for by the community health plan, and graduate into Guilty Anonymous.

    COUNTERCULTURE:
    Wow, dude, there's like...these two cows, man. Uh, so, like, you have really got to do some of this milk, like, fer shur, it's awesome, man.

    SURREALISM:
    You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons


  7. #7
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    Richie,

    The Clive Cussler books are really pot boilers without much literary merit but a good light read if you are on holiday etc.

    I'm enjoying a novel at the moment called "He kills coppers" sort of "faction" book based on true happenings in 1966.
    Cheers,
    Neil.

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  8. #8
    Master
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    I'm reading "My Life and Travels - An Anthology" by Wilfred Thesiger (edited by Alexander Maitland). Really superbly written by a man who packed so much into his life it puts me to shame.

    Here's a bit about it:

    http://books.guardian.co.uk/extracts...029978,00.html

    Si

  9. #9
    Master
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    How about any of John Buchan's books?
    Beautifully written and entertaining at the same time.

  10. #10
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by endure
    If you look here you don't even need to buy the book :D

    http://www.serve.com/cmtan/Dhammapada/
    If you are into Buddhism, may I suggest that you read the official Thai or Thai-Pali/Sanskrit version. I presume you can read it, looking at your signature.

    The English translations on the site are a little weird, almost like they are tailored to suit western culture and philosophy. Some could even be misleading, e.g. it equates Love to Metta.

    But I have to say all in all the site is not bad and certainly worth bookmarking. Thanks for pointing that out Rich. :)

  11. #11
    Craftsman
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    A classic book in the philosophy section :


    Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance

    I enjoyed it very much, this one really trigger your thoughts and I had to / wanted to start over a few times..... :?
    It does include motorcycles and maintenance but not in the way one should think..
    Highly recomended :D

  12. #12
    Master
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    Dirt Music - Tim Winton (should have won the Booker) (also 'Cloudstreet' or 'The Riders')

    The Great Gatsby - F.Scott Fitzgerald

    Anna Karenina - Tostoy

    The 'Boudica' books - Manda Scott

    also read 'Fortress of Solitude' - Jonathan Lethem recently

    All good stuff!

    :) :)

    cheers
    Alan

  13. #13
    Hi All,
    Thanks for the replies

    Neil C. I read "The Long Firm", which I think is by the same guy who wrote "He Kills Coppers", also a good book. The Clive Cussler book was about some work done by him and friends in looking for wrecks, but what messed it up was he kept adding fictional stories including dialogue about how the vessel was sunk, which seemed innapropriate. I was expecting a realistic book on diving, like "Stars beneath the sea" or "The Eternal Darkness"

    Si. Have you read "Arabian Sands" by Thesinger, another good read. Also in a similar explorer vein are the works of Thor Heyerdahl

    KH2. A friend recommended reading that very book only last week ! great minds etc.

    Endure. I'll check that one out, looks very philosophical.

    In a similar vein maybe, and possibly great viewing and subject for debate, do people llist their top 3 or top 5 books that they have read ? Although maybe books are not meant for popularity lists as their reading is so objective ( should that be subjective ?)
    Also an excellent book I can recomend is "Hells Angels" by Hunter S. Thompson
    Cheers,
    Richie

  14. #14
    Hey Niel C,
    I almost forgot, have you read "A Riot of our own" by Johnny Green ? By the title and author I'm pretty sure you can work out who it's about :wink:
    Cheers,
    Richie

  15. #15
    Administrator swanbourne's Avatar
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    I tend to latch onto an author and read as many as I can find. At the moment I'm reading Dan Brown and almost finished the third one. After that, I think I'll start reading all the Sherlock Holmes stories again and then start on Tom Sharpe. I also have a collection of all Ian Fleming's James Bond novels to read again; I first read them at the age of 14 so it will be interesting to see how different they appear 40 years later.

    Last year on the forum, somebody mentioned a character in a book whose DNA matched the DNA on the Turin Shroud, can anyone remember what this was?

    Eddie
    Whole chunks of my life come under the heading "it seemed like a good idea at the time".

  16. #16
    I have recently been reading the following:-

    Dan Brown. http://www.danbrown.com/ I bought all four of his current paperbacks and they are all a good read. I love the way the real world places tie into the plotlines.

    Matthew Reilly. http://www.matthewreilly.com/ Think action movie in a book. Everything he has written is sort of an instant action fix. If you like a deep plot line best to give these a miss. If not have fun. Ice Station and Temple are particularly good. If it can happen to the Hero it usually does. All the character are larger than life and there is a cliff hanger at every possible opportunity.

    Dale Brown. http://www.megafortress.com/index02.htm Writes excellent Military techno thrillers based around high technology aircraft and weapons. Usually based around area 51 or dreamland. Fantastic aerial combat sequences and convincing hardware.

    Bernard Cornwell. http://www.bernardcornwell.net/ I am a big fan of the Sharpe novels. Always a good read and with accurate historical content as well. Reccomended.

    Michael Crichton. http://www.crichton-official.com/ Always manages to produce well thought out interesting story lines. Never been disappointed with any I have read.

    Clive Cussler. http://www.numa.net/clive_cussler.html I like the simple stories and action lead plot. You know what you are getting and it gives you an entertaining ride.

    Terry Pratchett. http://www.terrypratchettbooks.com/ You either love or hate the comedy style written in the form of a fantasy novel. But they always make me laugh and the parallels drawn to our modern day life are always right on the money.

    Plus loads more I am struggling to remember at the moment.

    HTH

    Mark

  17. #17
    Grand Master abraxas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swanbourne
    ???????. At the moment I'm reading Dan Brown and almost finished the third one. After that, I think I'll start reading all the Sherlock Holmes stories again and then start on Tom Sharpe. I also have a collection of all Ian Fleming's James Bond novels to read again; I first read them at the age of 14 so it will be interesting to see how different they appear 40 years later.

    Last year on the forum, somebody mentioned a character in a book whose DNA matched the DNA on the Turin Shroud, can anyone remember what this was?

    Eddie
    If you liked Dan Brown, try this chap. I?ve met him a couple of times and if anyone knows (about) how to stay young forever ... he does.
    http://www.graal.co.uk/

    For more archaeological material:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASI ... 26-5954212

    Go wild:
    http://www.andrewcollins.com/page/artic ... eview.html
    http://www.andrewcollins.com/page/books/ashes.htm
    http://www.andrewcollins.com/page/artic ... skulls.htm

    I wasn?t aware of any blood DNA extracted from the shroud ...
    http://www.shroudstory.com/faq/turin-shroud-faq-02.htm

    john

  18. #18
    Administrator swanbourne's Avatar
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    It was only a story John. :wink: Something about DNA found at the scene of a burglary was run through the computer and matched (allegedly) DNA extracted from the Turin Shroud.

    Eddie
    Whole chunks of my life come under the heading "it seemed like a good idea at the time".

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Born T
    Quote Originally Posted by endure
    If you look here you don't even need to buy the book :D

    http://www.serve.com/cmtan/Dhammapada/
    If you are into Buddhism, may I suggest that you read the official Thai or Thai-Pali/Sanskrit version. I presume you can read it, looking at your signature.

    The English translations on the site are a little weird, almost like they are tailored to suit western culture and philosophy. Some could even be misleading, e.g. it equates Love to Metta.

    But I have to say all in all the site is not bad and certainly worth bookmarking. Thanks for pointing that out Rich. :)
    Unfortunately I cannot read or write in Thai script so I have to rely on translations. I've read a number of different translations of the Dhammapada but keep returning to Eknath Easwaran's as it seems to be the one that 'talks' to me.

  20. #20
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richie
    Hey Niel C,
    I almost forgot, have you read "A Riot of our own" by Johnny Green ? By the title and author I'm pretty sure you can work out who it's about :wink:
    Cheers,
    Richie
    No I have not read it Richie, but I am certainly going to seek it out.

    White riot!!!!!!!! :D
    Cheers,
    Neil.

    My Speedmaster website:

    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  21. #21
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swanbourne
    I tend to latch onto an author and read as many as I can find. At the moment I'm reading Dan Brown and almost finished the third one. After that, I think I'll start reading all the Sherlock Holmes stories again and then start on Tom Sharpe. I also have a collection of all Ian Fleming's James Bond novels to read again; I first read them at the age of 14 so it will be interesting to see how different they appear 40 years later.

    Last year on the forum, somebody mentioned a character in a book whose DNA matched the DNA on the Turin Shroud, can anyone remember what this was?

    Eddie
    Eddie

    I met up with one of my chums at a boot sale/flea market early this morning.

    What did he have in his bag which he had purchased earlier??

    A first edition of "Goldfinger" with its original dust jacket!!!!!!!!!

    I'm not an expert on books but it must be worth a few bob I would think. :shock:
    Cheers,
    Neil.

    My Speedmaster website:

    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  22. #22
    Administrator swanbourne's Avatar
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    I would think so too Neil, a good find. I was introduced to Bond paperbacks in 1963 during a school camping trip to to Barmouth. I remember this very well because we arrived back at lunchtime on Saturday and then I had to go with my parents for a week in Rhyl!

    I was hoping to be left "home alone" for a week but alas, it was not to be.

    This might be worth watching to get an idea.

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... 90694&rd=1

    Eddie
    Whole chunks of my life come under the heading "it seemed like a good idea at the time".

  23. #23
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    For those who like action driven books, I agree the Dirk Pitt series authored by Clive Cussler is entertaining. I am currently reading Sahara in advance of the movie release. I am very interested in how this book will be translated onto the big screen.

    I have also read all of the fiction offerings from Richard Marcinko. Marcinko is a retire Navy SEAL and writes as someone who has "been there and done that". The language can be coarse. If yo get one of his books on tape, Marcinko reads it himself.

  24. #24
    Grand Master Dave E's Avatar
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    If you like action stuff, Andy McNabb's novels are actually pretty good. They clearly benefit from McNabb's real experience, but his hero is no superman and there is a convincing level of desperation and confusion in his action scenes. Actually, if anything, you find yourself hoping something nice will actually happen and stick! They are best read in sequence, as personal/background stuff does track through and develop.
    Dave E

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  25. #25

    books and stuff

    "I met up with one of my chums at a boot sale/flea market early this morning.

    What did he have in his bag which he had purchased earlier??

    A first edition of "Goldfinger" with its original dust jacket!!!!!!!!!

    I'm not an expert on books but it must be worth a few bob I would think."

    Well, depending on condition it could be worth anything from 1 to 800!
    Pretty good find.
    Steve

  26. #26
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    Hello folks.Lee Child is my first choice in fiction at the moment.Jack Reacher is a great "hero". Start with " Killing Floor" and you'll soon be cursing Mr Child for not writing fast enough. My non-fiction selection is "A short history of nearly everything" by Bill Bryson.Facinating stuff.Regards,Jon.

  27. #27
    Grand Master Griswold's Avatar
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    I can highy recomend anything by Jeffrey Deaver. A good starter would be his book of short stories "Twisted", currently available in paperback. A very gripping writer, his stories lead you down blind alleys with many twists and turns and I find them particularly hard to put down. I even find that the American spelling doesn't get in the way. :)

    HTH
    Best Regards - Peter
    Please Note: It is possible that Griswold may know nothing whatsoever about horology. It's even possible that he has never even owned a watch. It is also highly possible the he has a strange imagination. His wife insists he would be far better off paying more attention to taking his medication on time.

  28. #28
    Hi again all
    I just remembered a fantastic book. I can thoroughly recomend the book about the Selous Scouts by Ron Read-Daily. I can't remember the exact title but it is an excellent read, with b/w pictures, and to top it all it's not a work of fiction.
    Cheers
    Richie

  29. #29
    Gates of Fire - Stephen Pressfield
    Life in Nelson's Navy - Dudley Pope
    The Grass Crown (and other novels about Rome) - Colleen McCullough
    The Sharpe series
    The Hornblower series

  30. #30
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    I found Haruki Murakami a very good read. Intelligent, nice and good taste about music.

  31. #31
    Yeah,
    I was looking at Haruki Murakami, isn't it him that wrote Norwegian Wood. I first noticed him a couple of years back while I think he was up for some award and have been meaning to read one of his books since then. Don't all his books, the paperbacks anyway, have white spines ? I think that's why I notice them more every time I go in a book sellers. I reckon he could quite easily become the next on the reading list :) Good to hear he knows something about music too :wink:
    I was just checking my books and the most books by any one author that I have is Philip K. Dick, anyone else keen on the dude ?

  32. #32
    Master
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    I recently read Murakami's "Underground" in which he recounts the stories of some of those caught up in the Japanese subway gas attack. A strange book that gives some insight into how the Japanese operate.

    I also began to read one of his fiction works, "Hard Boiled Wonderland" but gave up after a while, just didn't get it, which is unusual for me as I read fairly widely.

    Si

  33. #33
    Master
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    I decided a while back to stop reading fiction by and large, tending towards biography recently, but I must mention one of the best works of fiction I've read in the last couple of years: "The Corrections" by Johnathan Frantzen. Such an intelligent, funny and wise book... highly recommended. Grandad is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, leading to a very clever examination of family dynamics.... doesn't sound a laugh a minute, I know, but the book cleverly combines an intelligent look at the disease with a lot of humour.
    A modern classic IMHO.

  34. #34
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    I only read "Dance, dance, dance", "Sputnik sweetheart", "Wind-up bird chronicle" and "South of the Border, West of the Sun" by Murakami. They are all enjoyable, albeit a bit weird. Didn't know he was so prolific; the public library has only these books but I liked them all. Recent reads are "Thief of time", "Jingo" and "The Night Watch" by Terry Pratchet but I only recently discovered this author , and thanks to this forum, btw.

  35. #35
    Hi adrian
    I only read "Dance, dance, dance", "Sputnik sweetheart", "Wind-up bird chronicle" and "South of the Border, West of the Sun" by Murakami. They are all enjoyable, albeit a bit weird.
    Yeah,
    I heard they were a bit wierd ! I was looking at them in Waterstones at dinnertime and the review on the back cover of one ( Wind-up Bird Chronicle, I think) compared him to Philip K Dick !, what a coincidence :)
    Cheers,
    Richie

  36. #36
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by abraxas
    .
    COW POLITICSHONG KONG CAPITALISM:
    You have two cows. You sell three of them to your publicly-listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax deduction for keeping five cows. The milk rights of six cows are transferred via a Panamanian intermediary to a Cayman Islands company secretly owned by the majority shareholder, who sells the right to all seven cows' milk back to the listed company. The annual report says that the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more. Meanwhile, you kill the two cows because of bad "feng shui".
    For some reason that makes me think of Abramovic :roll:

  37. #37
    Master
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    BTW if you like Cussler, you'll probably like Jack Du Brul, I'm half way through the Medusa Stone. When I've finished that I'll probably drop onto another Cussler or Dan Brown, or try a Matthew Reilly. I'm also reading the 39 Steps at the moment.

  38. #38
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    I'm a very big fan of Serge Brussolo but he wasn't translated in English. This guy is creepy and if you can read in French and enjoy a blend of SF-thriller-horror it could be a good read. I think I read most of his books and bought anything by him everytime I had the opportunity. "Le carnaval de fer" is one of my favorite books ever. 8)

  39. #39
    Master chrisb's Avatar
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    As nobody else has mentioned him..............

    anything by Ian Banks- novels, or Ian M. Banks (same bloke)- Sci-fi

  40. #40
    Thanks chris
    anything by Ian Banks- novels, or Ian M. Banks
    I read a book of short sci fi stories by him , I think it was called State of the Art, pretty good. I've read a couple of the mainstream novels too, The Bridge being the one that springs to mind, I seem to remember it was a bit odd.

  41. #41
    Master Ron Jr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisb
    As nobody else has mentioned him..............

    anything by Ian Banks- novels, or Ian M. Banks (same bloke)- Sci-fi
    Banks is real good and don't just limit yourself to his SF writings (though I love the Culture), the bridge and the wasp factory are brilliant and disturbing. If you like horror give the early Clive Barker books a go I liked his early stuff (the books of blood) then he just went weird.

  42. #42
    Master Ron Jr's Avatar
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    Since Banks was mentioned I stop at the library and checked out Complicity. It is the only book by him they had that I hadn't already read. I'll let you all know how it is.

  43. #43
    Grand Master Dave E's Avatar
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    Complicity is one of his better books, some of the general fiction (IMHO) can be weak, particularly a couple from a few years ago. Of the SF, Feersum Endgin (sp?) is very hard going, because it is written in a kind of Scots slang - phonetically!
    Dave E

    Skating away on the thin ice of a new day

  44. #44
    I was told by a collegue at work today that Ian Banks is in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail", does anyone know what part he played ?, or has anybody managed to spot him in the film ?
    richie

  45. #45
    Hi again all,
    Well, I just ( two minutes ago, out in the garden, taking advantage of the brilliant sunshine ) finished reading "Mr. Nice, An Autobiography" by Howard Marks. It is an excellent read about the renowned 1980's marijuana smuggler, his life and times from early childhood, via Baliol College Oxford, and many exotic foreign locations to his release from Terra Haute Penitentiary, Indiana in 1995. It is a fantastic read and I can't reccomend it highly enough to anyone,
    Top Gear :wink:
    Cheers,
    Richie

  46. #46
    Administrator swanbourne's Avatar
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    And I'm currently reading Dan Brown's "Angels & Demons" - very topical with a papal conclave central to the story.

    Eddie
    Whole chunks of my life come under the heading "it seemed like a good idea at the time".

  47. #47
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by swanbourne
    And I'm currently reading Dan Brown's "Angles & Demons" - very topical with a papal conclave central to the story.
    Eddie
    I've got this book, but didn't read it until now. Perhaps I should read it now in advance of the next conclave to get a better understanding of how the Vatican mafia works (and will Opus Dei determine the new Pope?).
    / Hal

  48. #48
    Administrator swanbourne's Avatar
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    Should have been Angels, not Angles.

    Eddie
    Whole chunks of my life come under the heading "it seemed like a good idea at the time".

  49. #49
    Guest
    Lee Child..The Jack Reacher books. Already mentioned by Eccles...but can only agree. Draws you right in. Surprised to find out that Childs is English..he does the american thing so well...and totally unputdownable as us literati say.

  50. #50
    Journeyman
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    The Magic Kingdom
    Posts
    185
    Hi Steve,Have you read his new one yet? My copy is hopefully on it's way out to me via the Balkans and should be here in a week or two. The suspense is killing me. Regards, Jon.

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