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Thread: Anyone read any good books recently ?

  1. #151
    Grand Master
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    Happy birthday, Bob! :D
    Cheers,

    Martin ("Crusader")


  2. #152
    Thanks. It is very kind of you all. :)

    Best wishes,
    Bob

  3. #153
    Grand Master abraxas's Avatar
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    Happy Birthday Bob.

    john


  4. #154
    Administrator swanbourne's Avatar
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    Happy birthday Bob!

    Nice watch John. :wink: Can we see it on a NATO?

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

  5. #155
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    :occasion4:

  6. #156
    Hi Abraxas,
    Is that Jeter bloke the guy who carried on the Blade Runner series ? I think it's the same surname but can't remember the initials, Jeter seems quite an infrequent surname, just wondered if it was the same geezer ?
    Cheers, Richie

  7. #157
    Grand Master Dave E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richie
    Hi Abraxas,
    Is that Jeter bloke the guy who carried on the Blade Runner series ? I think it's the same surname but can't remember the initials, Jeter seems quite an infrequent surname, just wondered if it was the same geezer ?
    Cheers, Richie
    Yup, that's the same guy.
    Dave E

    Skating away on the thin ice of a new day

  8. #158
    If you want to learn about the Pisskop Rooinek, Grandpa Chook and the snake with no hat go and buy yourself a copy of 'The Power of One' by Bryce Courtney. :D

  9. #159
    Master Ron Jr's Avatar
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    I'm in the middle of All Tomorrows Parties by Gibson. Enjoying it so far.

  10. #160
    Administrator swanbourne's Avatar
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    Having read Dan Brown's "DaVinci Code", I've now ordered "The Holy Blood & The Holy Grail" so I can make my own mind up whether he stole the plot. Also ordered "The Chemistry of Death" by Simon Beckett, a Yorkshire author writing Patricia Cornwell style stories apparently.

    A local author is making his/her new novel available as a free download from today at http://www.syci.org.uk/floodwaters/index.htm , it's about the Sheffield Flood (really happened).

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

  11. #161
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    I've just read "Close quarter battle" by Mike Curtis.

    I'm not usually a mil book reader but it was lent to me.

    A very interesting and well written book about a Welshman who was a miner, joined the Parachute regiment and went on to get into the SAS.

    He of course goes into graphic detail about the selection process and his depiction of the Falklands and the gulf war was both thrilling and meaningful.

    Its not just a boys own type book though as his private life is revealed as well.

    Very good read.
    Cheers,
    Neil.

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  12. #162
    Shadow Divers: John Chatterton and Richie Kollers amazing discovery of a WW2 Vessel thought to have sunk elsewhere and the 6 years of diving it trying to get her to reveal her identity.

    Angels and Demons: Dan Brown : nuff said great book.

    Rule of Four: Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason: DaVinci code for people with brains apparently...

    Rainbow Six: Tom Clancy: little bit slow in places but what a book great mil stuff

    The Increment: Chris Ryan: Fiction story about the SAS guy who gets into all sorts of scrapes everywhere.

    The Kremlin Device: Andy McNab: sam esort of stuff as Ryan

    A Short History of Nearly Everything: Bill Bryson: Fantastic book written in his usual great light sometimes very funny look at the planet from birth until now

    Working on at the moment: Deception Point: Dan Brown and got to get a copy of Ocean Gladiator: Mark Ellyatt and The Last Dive: Bernie Choudray

  13. #163
    I recently read The Labyrinth Makers by Anthony Price, a superior spy thriller from 1970 which was recommended by Bob somewhere near the start of this thread (thanks Bob!). Excellent stuff, and well worth checking out for anyone who likes Le Carré for instance. The detective work is very clever and the protagonist David Audley, whilst formidable in his own way, is engagingly human and vulnerable. The book is certainly "of its time" in that feminists are unlikely to be very impressed with Audley's attitude to women, but in my view that rather adds to the book's charm...

    I've also read and enormously enjoyed Look To Windward by Iain M Banks, one of his 'Culture' SF novels. I had overlooked this previously (having read Excession and found it rather disappointing) but it's one of his best. In the unlikely event that anyone who likes SF at all hasn't checked out his work I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. IMB is one of the fairly small number of writers in the genre with a really freewheeling imagination. He is also a master of the devious and ingenious plot. My absolute favourite among his SF works is The Use of Weapons which would make a good place to start.

  14. #164
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    I've recently read a couple of Mark Billingham books i can't recommend them highly enough. They all have the same lead character Tom Thorne who is a detective in London i started arse about face and read the latest one first but since read a couple of others if you like crime novels they're very good

  15. #165
    Hi All,
    I just been sat in the garden in the glorious evening sunshine and finished off "All Tomorrows Parties" by William Gibson, which I think may have been mentioned further up in the thread. Good read with the typical nous of all Gibson's books. Contained a couple of the characters from Idoru and Virtual Light too. A bit of WIS stuff in it too, way over my 007/009/PRS3 head but I'm sure some of you will suss it and find it particularly interesting. Of notable interest is the fact that one of the main features of this and the other two books really gets it in the closing stages,
    Worth a skeg,
    Ritchie

  16. #166
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richie
    Hi All,
    I just been sat in the garden in the glorious evening sunshine and finished off "All Tomorrows Parties" by William Gibson,
    Has this book any connection the great Velvet underground track of the same name?

    Anyone?
    Cheers,
    Neil.

    My Speedmaster website:

    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  17. #167
    I hadn't realised it was a Velvet Underground track, I thought it was a track by that goth group whose lead singer did the TDK "sitting in a chair in your living room which just happens to be in a wind tunnel" advert :wink: . I can't remember their name, but it was something architectural.
    As to whether the book and track are related I'll have to LW a copy of the track and have a listen,
    Richie

  18. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richie
    I hadn't realised it was a Velvet Underground track, I thought it was a track by that goth group whose lead singer did the TDK "sitting in a chair in your living room which just happens to be in a wind tunnel" advert :wink: . I can't remember their name, but it was something architectural.
    As to whether the book and track are related I'll have to LW a copy of the track and have a listen,
    Richie
    Bauhaus.

    *************************************

    Just finished a book by Elizabeth Moon called The Speed of Dark ©2002. She's mainly an SF author, and the book is SF but of the near future. Moon is, in reality, the parent of an autistic child, and the book is about a set of "high-function" autistic people (you know the type that can calculate which day of the week given any given date of any year, or who can do cube roots in their head, etc.) who work for an advanced science company doing, what else, advanced scientific development for them. They are then given a chance to take a drug that will make them "normal". Will they do it? Why? The book has been compared (and I concur) to Flowers for Algernon, but I find most interesting is how (at least Moon believes) the mind of a high-function autistic works - how they think and see things. I don't know how accurate it is, but it is fascinating. I, and the missus agrees, and I don't think it'll ruin anything by letting you know, find the ending a bit depressing. Though that is a bit of a surprise from the regular happy "riding off in the sunset" type end that I'm use to in most popular fiction and SF books.

    P.S. I'd Happy to know, if others do read this book, what they think of it also, so please add comments.

  19. #169
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richie
    I hadn't realised it was a Velvet Underground track, I thought it was a track by that goth group whose lead singer did the TDK "sitting in a chair in your living room which just happens to be in a wind tunnel" advert :wink: . I can't remember their name, but it was something architectural.
    As to whether the book and track are related I'll have to LW a copy of the track and have a listen,
    Richie
    I daresay the Velvets originated the track as it was written by Lou Reed in 1967 according to my album cover.
    Cheers,
    Neil.

    My Speedmaster website:

    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  20. #170
    Just in the middle of some Vince Flynn books very "24"ish if you know what I mean, brilliant reading. Mitch Rapp is basically a Jack Bauer type of bloke. Also going to read the Bourne Series books see how they compare to the films

  21. #171
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce
    Just in the middle of some Vince Flynn books very "24"ish if you know what I mean, brilliant reading. Mitch Rapp is basically a Jack Bauer type of bloke. Also going to read the Bourne Series books see how they compare to the films
    The Bourne books made the films a disappointment to me they missed so much out and seemed to change the bloody story :evil: but i think that is the case with most books then made into films.

  22. #172
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    Just finished ' The Spanish Game' by Charles Cummings.

    It's a novel about a British ex spy who is based in Madrid. I found it very entertaining aand a good quick read.

    Before that was the ' Motorcycle Diaries' by Che Guevarra. Interesting but nothing special, I thought the film was more entertaining.

    Now reading ' The Turning' by Tim Winton

    cheers

    Alan

  23. #173
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    Just finished a book titled <u>Victory: On the Attack</u> (edited by Stephen Coonts. Pub.: Forge Books, ©2003). It's four novellas, by different authors, about WWII, the first story dealing about a German officer POW released after the war and his struggles to get home, and the next three dealing with flying in one way or another, the last of which, coincidentally, is about flying the PBY "Catalina" in the South Pacific.

    The four authors are Ralph Peters, Jim DeFelice, James Cobb, and Dean Ing, all famous as military fiction writers.

    All four, each about 75-pages in pocketbook form, are good stories, and I strongly recommend the book for an easy, though not too light of a read.

    The book is part of a series of "Victory" books, each about WWII and consisting of several novellas. This is the first of them that I have read, and will go tomorrow to look for the rest.

  24. #174
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    I'd like to make a couple of recommendations.

    Firstly, "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/031...lance&n=283155

    Absolutely fascinating book about the subconscious judgments we make about people and situations. Not too heavy but with a wealth of un-nerving insights into how we interact with each other. A real page turner. I've given this book to a few friends and all have been gobsmacked.


    And another recommendation, this time on a theme I keep returnig to, the history of colonial Africa: "The State of Africa" by Martin Meredith:


    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/...389061-9108624

    Fascinating book about the transition to independence in African nations. It makes sad reading: when African nations began to escape from colonial control the talk was of Africa becoming one of the most prosperous continents on the planet, and given the natural resources available it could have been so. In the beginning the talk was of African nations showing the est of us how to live! Now look at it. Disastrous. We in the west have stripped the continent bare.

  25. #175
    Master
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    Mmm...
    Just to modify the above a little: we in the west both stripped the continent bare and gave rise to to the situation where some African leaders / businessmen themselves have stripped the continent bare and destroyed what they could have had.
    Read the book. Devastating stuff. While the British have little to be proud of, the Belgians can be singled out as the cause of a lot of suffering. As can the Catholic church. The book serves to increase my distrust of "Christian" missionairies. In a way the situation is perpetuated in these reports we are reading today of abuse by so-called aid-agency workers.

  26. #176

    Shadow Divers

    Well, I just finished a book called "Shadow Divers" by Robert Kurson. It's an excellent true tale about a group of divers and the individuals within that group finding and trying to identify a U Boat off the New Jersey Coast.

    Absolutely brilliantly written, I've done a bit of diving myself and I was hooked from the first pages. The tales of the hazardous deep wreck diving and also the painstaking research to identify the wreck are top notch. Complete with photos and monographs of the vessel and its' interior, and even a list of the crew ! Written about the times when Trimix as a partial solution to narcs and the bends was only just coming to the fore I can thoroughly reccomend it to diver and non diver alike.

    A good read, I'm sure there are others on the forum who will have read it too. In the words of the great Paul Pritchard " A Gripper "
    richie

  27. #177
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    Just finished one by Brad Thor called Path of the assassin it was quite good and also has a little mention of a Rolex explorer 8)

  28. #178
    Richie....Shadow Divers is going to be a film made soon by Ripley Scott. I urge you to also read The Last Dive which is a book all about the Rouse's and their diving careers.

    I was at the recent London Dive Show and listened to a great talk by Chatterton and Kohler it was amazing. If you want to catch more of them in action then tune to the History channel Deep Sea Detectives!!

  29. #179
    Master doug darter'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
    Hi Eddie,

    I think this was me.

    It's about a doctor researching DNA to seek a cure for cancer.

    Here is the upsum from the back of the book:

    'At the moment of his greatest triumph, the Nobel prize for medicine, Dr Thomas Carter's world is shattered by the assassination of his wife. He knows that the assassins bullet could only have been meant for him.

    In the aftermath of her death, a scan reveals that his daughter has an incureable brain tumor, and less than a year to live.

    Even the most advanced conventional science cannot save her. Something more radical is required - a miracle.

    A secret brotherhood, two thousand years old, may have the answer. They need Carters skills to complete their own sacred quest. In return, they offer him the chance to look beyond the genes of man, and into the genes of god'

    The book is called 'The Miracle Strain', by Michel Cordy.

    If you'd like to read it, I can send you my copy.

  30. #180
    Administrator swanbourne's Avatar
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    Thank you Doug but I read The Miracle Strain last year. I think there was another one though where blood found at the scene of a burglary matched the DNA on the Turin Shroud.

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

  31. #181
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    Eddie
    I think that the book you are talking about is 'My house was burgled by Jesus', the DNA on a Nike Airmax found at the scene matched some found on the Turin shroud' :twisted: :twisted:

    Ok I'll just get my coat then.

    Out to you

    Crouchy

  32. #182
    Master Ron Jr's Avatar
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    Just finished DaVinci Code last night. I was terribly disappointed.

  33. #183
    I've just read "Riding Rockets" by Mike Mullane - one of the best books I've read in a while and certainly the best written astronaut book.

    Mullane flew 3 Space Shuttle flights in the 80s and is the only astronaut I've read who describes the personal fears and frustrations of space flight. His honesty is refreshing after the usual gungho "Right Stuff" nonsense usually served up by astronauts.

    The book has its hilarous and sexy moments too - Mullane describes how weightlessness rewards astronauts with bone hard erections. He was obviously very close to the lovely Judy Resnik who tragically died in Challenger and her death seems to have affected him deeply.

    Definitely recommended.

  34. #184
    Journeyman
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    The new "Jack Reacher" book is out.
    Regards, Jon.

  35. #185
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    I'm reading 'Cloud Atlas' by David Mitchell and enjoying it a lot...I hope I can work it out before the end :?

    Brilliant writing though

    :)

    Alan

  36. #186
    Hi again all,
    I just finished reading "Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck, as with many of the so called classics it is a bit hard at the start, if I was you I'd skip till Tom joins up with his fambly. But from there on it's a good solid read, makes you sort of realise how well off you are, and how bad things can get. For a first Steinbeck read it is a bit of a task to get into, so for a first Steinbeck I can highly recommend Cannery Row and the sequel Sweet Thursday.
    I also recently read "The Old Man and the Sea" another so called classic, but I wasnt mega impressed, my summary of the whole story is " A Fisherman who hasn't caught a fish for yonks goes out in his boat and spend four days landing a massive Tuna. He ties it to his boat, heads back and the Tuna is eaten by several Sharks on the way home, End of Story" Have I missed something ?
    Cheers,
    Richie

  37. #187
    'Nathaniel's Nutmeg' by Giles Milton. It tells the story of how the British swapped a small island called 'Run' in SE Asia with the Dutch for a slightly larger island called 'Manhattan' in the Hudson :D

  38. #188
    Quote Originally Posted by Richie
    I also recently read "The Old Man and the Sea" another so called classic, but I wasnt mega impressed, my summary of the whole story is " A Fisherman who hasn't caught a fish for yonks goes out in his boat and spend four days landing a massive Tuna. He ties it to his boat, heads back and the Tuna is eaten by several Sharks on the way home, End of Story" Have I missed something ?
    Cheers,
    Richie
    That's the plot. ;)

    If you are interested in the people, A Moveable Feast is good. It is Hemingway's depicition (posthumous -- copy edited by his widow) of his time in Paris in the 20s, and has portraits of such people as Gertrude Stein and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

    Best wishes,
    Bob

  39. #189
    I consumed vast quantities of books when I was at sea. 8 hours with the headphones on and nothing to do but listen for your callsign and read.

  40. #190
    Craftsman
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    I'm just about finished with a book by Gregory Maguire. "Mirror Mirror". His first book was "Wicked, The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West".

    In this one, a take on "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", a young girl, Bianca de Nevada, is left in the care of Lucrezia Borgia while her father is sent off to search Europe for a branch of the Tree of Knowledge, an item desired by Cesare Borgia. The dwarfs are not the cute little guys that Disney envisioned.

    For you movie buffs I would recommend "The Making of Casablanca" by Aljean Harmetz. How about George Raft as Rick, it almost happened.

  41. #191
    Master Steve264's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Jr
    Just finished DaVinci Code last night. I was terribly disappointed.
    Well before DVC came out, I happened to pick up a Dan Brown paperback in the airport. Can't remember the title.

    It was beyond doubt the worst written novel I have ever read (out of literally thousands). I'll never even bother reading DVC. I may watch the movie if it comes on TV and I've nothing else to do, but my mind rebels at the idea of ploughing through his appalling prose ever again.

  42. #192

    Excellent Books

    Burt Munroe worlds fastest Indian (2 books)

    Story of the Vulcan mission to Falklands

    My life with a Leica by some German Chap but if you search for the title its well worth a read.

  43. #193
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    One book I keep going back to is Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable ... so easy to just browse through ... and depending on my mood unread threads within it lead to others ... and other books of quotations etc. if the answer is not in Brewer.

    Dunk
    "… 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.

  44. #194
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    Just got the BUG waring again when tried to post the above ... here it is:



    Could not insert new word matches

    DEBUG MODE

    SQL Error : 2013 Lost connection to MySQL server during query

    INSERT INTO phpbb_search_wordmatch (post_id, word_id, title_match) SELECT 216995, word_id, 0 FROM phpbb_search_wordlist WHERE word_text IN ('one', 'book', 'keep', 'back', 'brewers', 'dictionary', 'phrase', 'fable', 'easy', 'browse', 'depending', 'mood', 'unread', 'threads', 'lead', 'others', 'books', 'quotations', 'brewer', 'dunk')

    Line : 251
    File : functions_search.php
    "… 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.

  45. #195
    Glad it's not just me getting that bug. Is it a random bug? I seem to be getting it all the time in Sales Corner :-(

  46. #196
    That's worrying. I go and come back and my post appeared here after getting that error.

    Hopefully this will not mean I have about 100 adverts for my PO in the Sales Corner. Apologies if so.

  47. #197
    Master
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    Just finished 'Killer Elite' by Michael Smith (Defence corr. for The Times and former military int.officer).

    It's about the U.S. special forces intelligence group which is known as 'The Activity' (it's offical name is secret) and runs through the history of the unit from the Iran hostage crisis in the 70's to the work they did in finding Saddam. It also highlights the number of times they knew exactly where Osama was but couldn't get the ok to take him out from the military top brass.

    I guess they know where he is now too.....

    :)

    Alan

  48. #198
    Administrator swanbourne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cricketer
    Just finished 'Killer Elite' by Michael Smith (Defence corr. for The Times and former military int.officer).

    It's about the U.S. special forces intelligence group which is known as 'The Activity' (it's offical name is secret) and runs through the history of the unit from the Iran hostage crisis in the 70's to the work they did in finding Saddam. It also highlights the number of times they knew exactly where Osama was but couldn't get the ok to take him out from the military top brass.

    I guess they know where he is now too.....

    :)

    Alan
    As long as there's a baddy there's an excuse for all manner of things.

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

  49. #199
    Grand Master Mrcrowley's Avatar
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    Nobody read 'Mr Nice' by Howard Marks? Great book IMHO. I assume you know who he is?

    I just started reading again after a long time without. Just read all Harry Potter books, which I thought were great. My main like though is autobiographies, so if anybody has some good recommendations :)
    Paul

    GOT...TO...KILL...CAPTAIN STUPID!

  50. #200
    Ian M Banks: Consider Phlebas.

    I can't recommend this book enough to sci-fi fans. Try it, then read the rest of his Culture novels.

    Joe.

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