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Thread: Anyone read any good books recently ?

  1. #101
    Journeyman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richie
    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
    While a student at Stirling University, Banks appeared as an extra in the final battle scene of the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which was filmed at the nearby Doune Castle.

  2. #102
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    I am reading old Desmond Bagley books at the moment...

  3. #103
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    Just have "Monte Carlo Methods in Financial Engineering" opened on my desk. No, I can't really say I read that book. Books like that must be slowly studied. The older I am, the slower I study books of that kind. :(

  4. #104
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    Hello folks. Any English, British or Europeans out there might like to try
    "England our England" by Vernon Coleman. Very scary stuff (if he's right).
    Another good one is " Eats,shoots & leaves" by Lynne Truss.
    It didn't help me much, but I enjoyed reading it.
    Regards, Jon.

  5. #105
    "The Recollections of Rifleman Harris" - the memoirs of an ordinary soldier in the 95th Rifles.

  6. #106
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    'The Somme' - Peter Hart

  7. #107
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    I just finished reading "The Odessa File" by Frederic Forsyth and now reading the MASH by Richard Hooker.

    The first one is a great thriller about SS conspiracy, one investigative journalist and memoirs of ex-prisoner from death camp in Riga who committed suicide after realizing that the commander of death camp escaped the justice and still living in Germany under the ODESSA protection. It's a breathtaking reading from start to end with only few weak passages.

    The other book is just fun reading, which may not appeal to all readers. I'm sure, you all know the MASH TV series, so this book is much more black-humored, sarcastic and with no regret with military officers, ranks and war madness. Not as good as for example J. Heller's "Catch 22" and fantastic "How I Won the War" by Patrick Ryan, but it's still good anti-war reading ;)

  8. #108
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    Finished Prattchets newest THUD! entertaining as always.

  9. #109
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    Jersey Kosinski's "Cockpit"
    I wont be filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, I am not a number, I am a free man, my life is my own!!!
    Be seeing you
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    Griff.

  10. #110
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    Just finished reading "Thud", the latest of Terry Pratchetts's Disc World series. Good read as usual, and though not my favorite of the series, up there in the top 20%.

  11. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike K
    Just finished reading "Thud", the latest of Terry Pratchetts's Disc World series. Good read as usual, and though not my favorite of the series, up there in the top 20%.
    Which one is your favorite Mike? So far, mine's MORT, a classic. :D
    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.

  12. #112

    For good reads that could ALso be considered literary

    Check out Ernest Hemingway or Salman Rushdie.

    Hemingway: For Whom The Bell Tolls, The Sun Also Rises, The Old Man And The Sea

    Rushdie: Satanic Verses, Haroun And The Sea Of Stories & the new one...I forget the name

  13. #113

    Re: For good reads that could ALso be considered literary

    Quote Originally Posted by WatchMonster
    Check out Ernest Hemingway or Salman Rushdie.

    Hemingway: For Whom The Bell Tolls, The Sun Also Rises, The Old Man And The Sea

    Rushdie: Satanic Verses, Haroun And The Sea Of Stories & the new one...I forget the name
    For "vintage", and some of the purest writing of short stories you will ever find, but not "serious", also try Damon Runyon.

    Best wishes,
    Bob

  14. #114
    Hi again all,
    HNY ! I just finished "Feet in the Clouds: A Tale of Fell-Running and Obsession" by Richard Askwith, an excellent account of training for the Bob Graham but also including chapters on the history of fell running and the professional vs amateur debate, a good read. Also good enough to get you out of the chair/couch and out on the fells/roads !
    Cheers,
    Ritchie

  15. #115
    Have just finished Screen Printing by Robert Adam and Carol Robertson (screen printing for fine artists -- which isn't me; I'm more of a semi-coarse one). Very good and complete. Lots of interesting ideas in there, and some useful hints.

    In the middle of The First Crusade by Thomas Asbridge. Haven't got much beyond the discussion of the political/social context yet, but I'm enjoying it. It is pretty well written.

    Best wishes,
    Bob

    PS Thanks Richie, that sounds interesting. I've wanted know something about fells running for some time.
    RLF

  16. #116
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    "Talk of the Devil : Encounters with Seven Dictators" by Riccardo Orizio.

    Interesting and sometimes quite funny despite its subject.
    The chapter about Idi Amin was particulary interesting.

    /Stefan

  17. #117
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    'The Shadow of the Almighty' by Elizabeth Elliot

    The story of her and her husbands missionary work with Indians in Ecuador and his subsequent killing by Auca natives

    cheers

    Alan

  18. #118

    Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

    Excellent book translated from the authors oringinal spanish

    http://www.complete-review.com/revie...na/zafoncr.htm

  19. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfrazier
    In the middle of The First Crusade by Thomas Asbridge. Haven't got much beyond the discussion of the political/social context yet, but I'm enjoying it. It is pretty well written.
    Tom's a good guy and comes from an excellent school of British military historians of the Crusades. :) I reviewed his Ph.D. thesis for a journal. Let us know how you like the book as you proceed. :wink:
    Cheers,

    Martin ("Crusader")


  20. #120
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    Just finishing up rereading Cardinal of the Kremlin. Then off to find the new Gibson book.

  21. #121
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    I "discovered" Terry Pratchett's Disk World series about 5 or 6 years ago. I have since read all 30 or so of his books. My better half finally "forced herself" to read one of my copies last year (well, two years ago now? still signing things 2005), fell in love with the series, and is just getting to the last two of them now.

    I started from somewhere in the middle, and read whatever I could find at the library in haphazard order. She started with one near the beginning, liked it, then started from the beginning of the series - very smart.

  22. #122
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    "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger. Now all I need is a gun. Can never find Paul McCartney or Yoko Ono when you need them. :violent1: :violent2: :violent3:

  23. #123
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    "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger. Now all I need is a gun. Can never find Paul McCartney or Yoko Ono or a surviving Lennon when you need them.

    :violent1: :violent2: :violent3:

  24. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike K
    I "discovered" Terry Pratchett's Disk World series about 5 or 6 years ago. I have since read all 30 or so of his books. My better half finally forced herself to read one of my copies last year (well, two years ago now? still signing things 2005), and is just getting to the last two of them now.

    I started from somewhere in the middle, and read whatever I could find at the library in haphazard order. She started with one near the beginning, liked it, then started from the beginning of the series - very smart.
    I re-read them in order about a year ago. If i had to do it again I wouldn't read a couple (Pyramids was one). Finished THUD! not to long ago, Pratchett is not as light as he used to be.

  25. #125
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    Puzo's Godfather firmly cements me to a chair

  26. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by bond
    Puzo's Godfather firmly cements me to a chair
    I haven't read it/them. However, Puzo's "The Last Don" read more like a Jackie Collins bodice-ripper than a Mafia story. Maybe he's lost his touch?

  27. #127
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    [quote=Ron Jr]
    Quote Originally Posted by "Mike K":319yjp0a
    I "discovered" Terry Pratchett's Disk World series about 5 or 6 years ago. I have since read all 30 or so of his books. My better half finally forced herself to read one of my copies last year (well, two years ago now? still signing things 2005), and is just getting to the last two of them now.

    I started from somewhere in the middle, and read whatever I could find at the library in haphazard order. She started with one near the beginning, liked it, then started from the beginning of the series - very smart.
    I re-read them in order about a year ago. If I had to do it again I wouldn't read a couple (Pyramids was one). Finished THUD! not to long ago, Pratchett is not as light as he used to be.[/quote:319yjp0a]
    I actually liked <u>Pyramids</u>. If for nothing else it explains the assassins guild. But I liked the exploration of gods/God and kings and destiny/fate and duty (some of the same basic topics as in <u>Small Gods</u>, another very good book - also not about Ankh-Morpork or Lancre). I really did not like <u>Monsterous Regiment</u>, nor <u>Carpe Jugulum</u>.

    Pratchett is using the series more and more as a bully pulpit to discuss and explore modern politics, morality, and philosophy. But I like that.

  28. #128
    Grand Master Dave E's Avatar
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    Moving Pictures was a pretty weak one I think (I remember quite liking Pyramids), I'm just reading Thud at the moment. Pratchett's books are definitely dealing with a lot of deeper issues than people sometimes give them credit for.
    Dave E

    Skating away on the thin ice of a new day

  29. #129
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    I've also just finished "American Scream", a biography of the late great American stand-up comedian Bill Hicks who tragically died of pancreatic cancer just as he was about to be massive in the States. He was already very popular here in the UK and in Canada.

  30. #130
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    Reading Tom Sharpe again and started with "Riotous Assembly" last night. It had me laughing out loud. Sharpe is bizarre, irreverant and very, very funny. Highly recommended.

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

  31. #131
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    Yesterday bought 'Starting to Collect Antique Jewellery' written by John Benjamin ... it is a very informative read and I've learnt much from it ... and at only £12.50 it is a bargain.

    Duncan
    "… but the greatest gift the railways give to us is the proper treatment of time." John Betjeman , BBC Home Service radio broadcast 4 July 1940.

  32. #132
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    [quote=On Oct. 24th - Griswold]
    Quote Originally Posted by "Mike K":1gs88f7q
    Just finished reading "Thud", the latest of Terry Pratchetts's Disc World series. Good read as usual, and though not my favorite of the series, up there in the top 20%.
    Which one is your favorite Mike? So far, mine's MORT, a classic. :D[/quote:1gs88f7q]
    Oops. Finally got around to reading this old post. One of my favorites is <u>Going Postal</u> because it deals with the way big business is run today. How business today is in it totally for the short term gain of immediate, or nearly immediate, profits, and to hell with any long term strategies. It's a slap in the face of corporate raiders and especially those that follow them (who should know better) on their pirating sprees. It's one thing to take a failing or seriously lagging company, trim excess fat (usually at the top) and send it on its merry way, and another to loot it from within (including the pensions), leaving a hollow shell of a company to blow away in the wind.

    I also just re-read Hogfather (it was just before Christmas after all), which on the surface of it is just a telling of the Disk World's Father Christmas. But there was a quote near the end of the book that really got to me (I had forgetten it). I think it bears repeating here. The setting is Death (who always "talks" in capital letters - and without quotes as he does not speak, but puts his word directly into your brain) talking to his daughter after they both saved the Hogfather from destruction. Death's daughter, Susan (who's human? don't ask, it's a long story), is wondering why they needed to do it.


    "All right," said Susan. "I'm not stupid. You're saying humans need fantasies to make life bearable."
    REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.
    "Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little?"
    YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.
    "So we can believe the big ones?"
    YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.
    "They're not the same at all!"
    YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET? Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME? SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED.
    "Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what's the point?"
    MY POINT EXACTLY."


    I find Pratchett is like C.S. Lewis, and exploring or telling ideas and philosophies through the medium of fantasy/sci-fi stories. Sure, sometimes the lessons are pretty "in your face" but the story telling is good so you don't mind so much.

    I also like Small Gods because of its take/lessons on religions.

    I also liked Night Watch just because it is a good story.

  33. #133
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    I was reading a book, on how damaging alcohol is to my body, so i have decided to do something about it.






    I will stop reading books :twisted:

  34. #134
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    Reading "The Murrow Boys" by Cloud and Olson. The story of Edward R. Morrow and his colleagues (Charles Collingwood, Eric Sevareid, Howard K. Smith, William L. Shirer and others) who became pioneers of radio and television jounalism during and after WWII.

    Makes you long for a time when being a journalist really meant something.

    Ted

  35. #135
    Administrator swanbourne's Avatar
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    Finished "Riotous Assembly" and now started "Porterhouse Blue". Shows early promise but my, how the masters at university live. They dine off swan (special dispensation from the Queen) and have 5 different wines at dinner. Ah, what a life of hedonism and decadence these university wallahs enjoy! It really is a different world for them.

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

  36. #136
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    Just finished 'The Lighthouse' by P.D. James. I've never read any of her work before but I really enjoyed it. Apparently it's not one of her best but I thought it was alright.

    :)

    Alan

  37. #137
    Just finished reading The Pale Horseman by Bernard Cornwell. It is an historic novel set at the time of King Alfred with the Kingdom of Wessex being invaded by a bunch of nasty Danes. I really enjoyed it, definitely up to the author's usual standards. Can't wait for the next in the series.

  38. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by dashiel
    Reading "The Murrow Boys" by Cloud and Olson. The story of Edward R. Morrow and his colleagues (Charles Collingwood, Eric Sevareid, Howard K. Smith, William L. Shirer and others) who became pioneers of radio and television jounalism during and after WWII.

    Makes you long for a time when being a journalist really meant something.

    Ted
    Was <u>Good Night, and Good Luck</u>, the George Clooney movie, based on this book? I suppose I could google it, but I'm too lazy.

  39. #139
    Quote Originally Posted by Crusader
    Quote Originally Posted by rfrazier
    In the middle of The First Crusade by Thomas Asbridge. Haven't got much beyond the discussion of the political/social context yet, but I'm enjoying it. It is pretty well written.
    Tom's a good guy and comes from an excellent school of British military historians of the Crusades. :) I reviewed his Ph.D. thesis for a journal. Let us know how you like the book as you proceed. :wink:
    I finished it on the train today. Highly readable. I don't know a lot about the Crusades or this time, but, given what little I know, it seemed factually accurate. So, at the very least, a readable chronical.

    There were two other (at least), more analytic theses wound into the text. A reasonable, if a bit heavy handed, case was made for the first. The other, while it may be true, was less well supported.

    The first thesis (playing a bit against a straw man?) was that the Crusade wasn't only about religion, and wasn't only about plunder, but rather not only were both these things important motivations, they weren't even seen as being in essential conflict. Associated with this was the thesis that the medieval mind was different from ours and that religious devotion, unforgivingly brutal war and expecting the spoils of victory weren't even seen as in tension. The case for this was made reasonably, if we were told that we mustn't judge the medieval by our standards a bit too often. (I don't actually think the medieval mind was so very different. Some of us still like a bit of plunder now and then.)

    The second thesis was that until this Crusade there wasn't any deep hatred by the Muslim's of the Christians, although there were clashes and frictions at the edges of the two worlds. The main evidence adduced for this was the waining of the desire for jihad in the Muslim world prior to this Crusade. Unfortunately, although he explains the tensions within the Muslim world, he never discusses the possibility that the lack of holy war on the Muslim side was due to insufficient opportunity (danger at home, etc.) rather than insufficient desire.

    Recommended.

    Best wishes,
    Bob

  40. #140
    Hi again All,
    Well, I just finished reading the "Life of Pi" by Yann Martel. It took me three attempts to get through it as the bit in the boat in the middle of the story was a bit of a struggle, but I finally got past it. I was mega surprised at the big "feature" near the end and the final interogation got me wondering ? What was really going on ? The nearest book to it in the "what was real and what was imaginary ?" stakes I think is American Psycho, another book which makes you look back at the story AFTER you've finished the book to try and fathom which was real and what was imagined / dreamed / made up. Anyone else read it ? Any thoughts ?
    Cheers,
    Ritchie

  41. #141
    Administrator swanbourne's Avatar
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    I'm currently on my third Tom Sharpe this year, "Ancestral Vices". It has me wondering whether Sharpe was taking any "substances" whilst he was writing. :lol:

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

  42. #142
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    Currently enjoying reading Don Quixote by Cervantes.

    I'm enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would - some real laugh out loud moment, involving such classical and sophisticated imagery as people puking on each other :lol:

  43. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eccles
    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.
    My thoughts exactly he shouldn't even be allowed bathroom breaks just keep writing constantly :twisted: an excellent series of books

  44. #144
    Grand Master abraxas's Avatar
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    NT

    john

  45. #145
    Grand Master Dave E's Avatar
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    Just finished the first 3 Bond books, hadn't realised how different the literary Bond was to the cinematic one! Very enjoyable.
    Dave E

    Skating away on the thin ice of a new day

  46. #146
    My wife just gave me (today is the big five zero) The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea, which I've been browsing. One review says "[o]pen to check a point and you can be lost for hours". I see what they mean. :)

    Even better, the picture on the front is of a USCG Ice-Breaker. :)

    Best wishes,
    Bob

  47. #147
    Grand Master Dave E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfrazier
    My wife just gave me (today is the big five zero) The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea, which I've been browsing. One review says "[o]pen to check a point and you can be lost for hours". I see what they mean. :)

    Even better, the picture on the front is of a USCG Ice-Breaker. :)

    Best wishes,
    Bob
    Happy birthday, Bob!
    Dave E

    Skating away on the thin ice of a new day

  48. #148
    I'm halfway theough the latest Flashman - "Flashman on the March". Tales of the Abyssinian War in Flashy's inimitable style :D

  49. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfrazier
    My wife just gave me (today is the big five zero) The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea, which I've been browsing. One review says "[o]pen to check a point and you can be lost for hours". I see what they mean. :)

    Even better, the picture on the front is of a USCG Ice-Breaker. :)

    Best wishes,
    Bob
    Happy birthday Bob you dont look a day over 40 in your avatar :lol:

  50. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfrazier
    My wife just gave me (today is the big five zero) The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea, which I've been browsing. One review says "[o]pen to check a point and you can be lost for hours". I see what they mean. :)

    Even better, the picture on the front is of a USCG Ice-Breaker. :)

    Best wishes,
    Bob


    /Stefan

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