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Thread: Anyone read any good books recently ?

  1. #2051
    Master wildheart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andymonkey View Post
    Bring It On Home by Mark Blake. Bio of Peter Grant the Led Zeppelin manager. Some great stories of a time gone by...


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    Best book on Led Zeppelin I have read so well researched, a lot of the stories came from Peter Grants children.

  2. #2052
    I finished another Iain M Banks book, "Surface Detail." Another brilliant book that makes you think and concentrate to fully comprehend it as well as its analogies to real life. I am finding it increasingly difficult to read other authors, in particular sci-fi ones. It's very sad there won't be more books set in the "Culture" universe/galaxy. No one could do it any justice to tell you the truth.

    Tried reading Ursula K Le Guin's "The Dispossessed" but couldn't get into it. I have Vernor Vinge's "A Fire Upon the Deep" on order.

    Dickens "A Christmas Carol" is next.

  3. #2053
    A Man For All Markets - Edward Thorp

    Real story on beating the casinos and stock market.

    Sent from my COL-L29 using Tapatalk

  4. #2054
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ventura View Post
    I finished another Iain M Banks book, "Surface Detail." Another brilliant book that makes you think and concentrate to fully comprehend it as well as its analogies to real life. I am finding it increasingly difficult to read other authors, in particular sci-fi ones. It's very sad there won't be more books set in the "Culture" universe/galaxy. No one could do it any justice to tell you the truth.

    Tried reading Ursula K Le Guin's "The Dispossessed" but couldn't get into it. I have Vernor Vinge's "A Fire Upon the Deep" on order.

    Dickens "A Christmas Carol" is next.
    Try Neal Asher and Richard Morgan , neither are as good as Banks but still a cut above most. Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons is great (first trilogy...second not so much) and anything by William Gibson.

  5. #2055
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    Yup feel the same sense of loss that there won’t be any more Culture novels, Use of Weapons is a fave of mine. His non sci fi work as Iain Banks is also a pleasure, Complicity among others is a good read. Also like Richard Morgan, his anti hero Takeshi Kovacs serves up stylish ultra violence. Gibson’s a legend.
    Last edited by Passenger; 3rd January 2020 at 03:42.

  6. #2056
    Master Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by inthered View Post
    First Light - the autobiography of Geoffrey Wellum, left school in 1939 age 17 to join the RAF to train as a fighter pilot, an absolutely compelling story and a personal insight into the Battle of Britain.
    +1, a brilliant, 'cant put down' read.
    If you enjoyed that, read Last of the Hurricanes'
    Just finished SAS Mark 'Billy' Billingham's book, The Hard Way. What a soldier!

  7. #2057
    Master Mark020's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildheart View Post
    Best book on Led Zeppelin I have read so well researched, a lot of the stories came from Peter Grants children.
    Just finished it. Very nice book.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by ahandle View Post
    A Man For All Markets - Edward Thorp

    Real story on beating the casinos and stock market.

    Sent from my COL-L29 using Tapatalk
    One of the best books I've ever read

  8. #2058
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.D View Post
    Try Neal Asher and Richard Morgan , neither are as good as Banks but still a cut above most. Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons is great (first trilogy...second not so much) and anything by William Gibson.
    Quote Originally Posted by Passenger View Post
    Yup feel the same sense of loss that there wonít be any more Culture novels, Use of Weapons is a fave of mine. His non sci fi work as Iain Banks is also a pleasure, Complicity among others is a good read. Also like Richard Morgan, his anti hero Takeshi Kovacs serves up stylish ultra violence. Gibsonís a legend.
    Thanks for the suggestions. I have tried reading his non science fiction fiction, but most of it is written in the first person and I find it very difficult to read. Having said that I have just read The Wasp Factory and though good for most authors it's not as brilliant as his sci-fi. I may have to read his non Culture sci-fi.

    As for Richard Morgan, his Kovacs novels are first person and am not a fan as previously stated. The only first person I don't have a problem with, as it's not focused purely on it is Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes.

    Stephen Baxter as said earlier in the thread is good, but he's more of an ideas man, rather than
    a story teller. Pity that he and Iain didn't do a book together.

  9. #2059
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ventura View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions. I have tried reading his non science fiction fiction, but most of it is written in the first person r.
    Neal Asher youíll like , similar to Banks but not quite as deep.

  10. #2060
    Thanks, where do you suggest I start with him?

  11. #2061
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ventura View Post
    Thanks, where do you suggest I start with him?
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neal...olity_universe

    This should explain , Gridlinked is a good start I liked the spatterjay series more but the polity books get you familiar with the world building. Its like an earlier version of the Culture , you could see the polity ending up like them.

  12. #2062
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    I'm re-reading Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. It's my favorite book of all time, hands down. Funny, interesting, easy to follow yet complex enough to tease the mind. It's beautiful.

  13. #2063
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    I'm into The Murder Room by PD James.

    Enjoying it so far.
    Cheers,
    Neil.

    My Speedmaster website:

    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  14. #2064
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    Just finished 34 years in hell , a very interesting true story not the best written if Iím honest but I enjoyed the insight

  15. #2065
    Brief Answers to the Big Questions - Stephen Hawkin

    A pretty easy read, despite the subject matter, which is fascinating and mind boggling at the same time.

  16. #2066
    Journeyman petay993's Avatar
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    May I recommend "The Uninhabitable Earth" by David Wallace-Wells

    This well researched and written tome portrays an incredibly worrying short term future for our planet (think next 100 years). I am no Greta Thunberg fanboy and have been guilty of having my head in the sand regarding the climate change movement but this book has made me feel rather ashamed of the potential legacy we are leaving for future generations.

  17. #2067
    Quote Originally Posted by chrisparker View Post
    Brief Answers to the Big Questions - Stephen Hawkin

    A pretty easy read, despite the subject matter, which is fascinating and mind boggling at the same time.
    Starting reading this which was Christmas gift.

    Just finished Something Deeply Hidden - Sean Carroll. About quantum weirdness and many worlds theory. Surprisingly enjoyable but quite tough - will probably reread in few months.

  18. #2068
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    I'm currently about 2/3rds of the way through Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker - it's a hefty book but completely mind blowing, if you weren't a sleep zealot already, you will be after this!

  19. #2069
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    Not long finished "Battle Scars" by Jason Fox.

    Gives a very interesting account of PTSD from an elite soldiers perspective.

    He throws away most of the machismo that might be associated with SAS/SBS soldiers and gives a brutally honest account of what some of these people must go to.

    Definitely worth a read as a means of trying to gain insight as to what PTSD can mean for some, and also how difficult it can be for former members of the military to adapt to life afterwards.

    Also goes to show that these people dont necessarily get the help they need from the military, especially after giving so much.

  20. #2070
    Have read "A Christmas Carol." It was an interesting read. Will probably try more Dickens.

    Read through "The Wasp Factory," Iain Banks, and I thought it was good, but first person isn't for me.

    Just finished "1984," George Orwell. It was amazing how relevant it is now with all the connected technology stuff, surveillance, political correctness being analogous to state run fascism etc. I was surprised that for a book written decades ago it is still very relevant.

  21. #2071
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    'THE DIET MYTH' by Prof Tim Spector.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=the+die...l_8usbihrxf2_e

    ... an eye opener as regards safe weight loss and healthy diet to boost the immune system and thus prevent and remedy health problems ... and it explains addictions and their risks. Also worth watching his You Tube videos https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...ry=tim+spector

    dunk
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    "The energy expenditure of most people's weekly gym class workouts equates to the reward of one large doughnut afterwards" Ö Prof. Tim Spector, 'The Diet Myth' author

  22. #2072
    Craftsman Templogin's Avatar
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    ...and what do you do? What the royal family don't want you to know. Norman Baker.

    "... And What Do You Do? is a hard-hitting analysis of the royal family, exposing its extravagant use of public money and the highly dubious behaviour of some among its ranks, whilst being critical of the knee-jerk sycophancy shown by the press and politicians. Baker also considers the wider role the royals play in society, including the link with House of Lords reform, and the constitutional position of the monarch, which is important given Prince Charles's present and intended approach."

    Just read the preview on Amazon if you have any doubts that this one is worth reading.

  23. #2073
    That looks interesting. I will reserve a copy with the library.

    Finished "Inversions," by Iain M Banks. An attempt to do a Culture book that isn't a Culture book. It's one of his least liked books by his sci-fi following, but I really enjoyed it. There is a mix of first person and third person. Strangely enjoyed the first person part more. Have two Culture books left, before his non Culture sci-fi.

  24. #2074
    Quote Originally Posted by Templogin View Post
    ...and what do you do? What the royal family don't want you to know. Norman Baker.

    "... And What Do You Do? is a hard-hitting analysis of the royal family, exposing its extravagant use of public money and the highly dubious behaviour of some among its ranks, whilst being critical of the knee-jerk sycophancy shown by the press and politicians. Baker also considers the wider role the royals play in society, including the link with House of Lords reform, and the constitutional position of the monarch, which is important given Prince Charles's present and intended approach."

    Just read the preview on Amazon if you have any doubts that this one is worth reading.
    Thanks for the recommendation. I have just gone through, by the same author, "The Strange Death of David Kelly." Very disturbing the way the whole enquiry was done.

  25. #2075
    Craftsman Templogin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ventura View Post
    Thanks for the recommendation. I have just gone through, by the same author, "The Strange Death of David Kelly." Very disturbing the way the whole enquiry was done.
    This will be on my list. Thanks for the reminder.

  26. #2076
    Master Grandiloquence's Avatar
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    Just re-reading Ian Fleming's Bond books again. Been some years since I last read them.

  27. #2077
    Quote Originally Posted by Ventura View Post
    That looks interesting. I will reserve a copy with the library.

    Finished "Inversions," by Iain M Banks. An attempt to do a Culture book that isn't a Culture book. It's one of his least liked books by his sci-fi following, but I really enjoyed it. There is a mix of first person and third person. Strangely enjoyed the first person part more. Have two Culture books left, before his non Culture sci-fi.
    In addition to the Neal Asher and Richard Morgan suggestions (I like both authors' books) I would suggest also the 'Revelation Space' series by Alistair Reynolds. His other books in the same universe (The Prefect etc.) are pretty good also.

    -- Tim

  28. #2078
    My favourite book of 2019 (not that it was published then, but it's when I read it) was definitely A Gentleman in Moscow. Highly entertaining and very inventive within quite tight plot restrictions.

    Current reading Ziegler's Mountbatten. To be an official biography, he wasn't scared to examine some of the weaknesses. Unbelievable amount of source material covered, too.

  29. #2079
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    I've set myself the challenge of reading more books this year. Last year I read fewer than ten which is a poor effort (I probably spent too much time gawping at watches). I look forward to trying some of the recommendations in this thread.

    I am glad to see there is a lot of love for Iain Banks. He is my favourite author and I have read all of his Sci-fi books several times. The Player of Games and The Algebraist stand out but they are all excellent. What a brain to have written a book like The Algebraist (and as something as twisted as the Wasp Factory).

    I have just finished Solaris which is an interesting book. I think I'll need to read it again to appreciate it.

    Next book? Something completely different The Memoirs of a Survivor by Doris Lessing. Never read anything of hers but happy to give it a go.

    Tapatapatapatapatalk

  30. #2080
    Craftsman Templogin's Avatar
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    ...And What Do You Do. What The Royal Family Don't Want You To Know
    Norman Baker

    This has turned out to be a very eye-opening read. I knew that royalty were bleeding us dry, but I hadn't quite understood to quite what a fine art they have honed it. A classic sentence in the book, when talking about royal residences, "if they provide an income stream they belong to royalty. If they need repairs they belong to the state". The poor old taxpayer is getting shafted all ways round with this bunch of parasites. Andrew needs to get to a golf course, take a helicopter, the plebs are paying for it. Want to spit out a few more sprogs, no problem, the taxpayer will pick up the bill. Twenty four hour security for your daughters who seem to do nothing other than go to parties, no problem your HRH, we know how you value that added status, we will pick the bill. Live a life on state handouts whilst providing no tangible benefits? Go for it. Tax wheezes from your estate? No problem. Could afford to pay for your own services? Stop it, keep that money in your bank account. Want even more money? No problem, we have a whole host of sycophants who will rubber stamp that through. A history of Nazi sympathies? No problem, we can whitewash that all away.

    European palace with the largest amount of visitors? Versailles. The French don't have royalty. Most expensive royal family in the world? The UK royal family, double what any other royals cost.

    From the bowing and scraping to the backing out of rooms to the gongs and military ranks, state handouts whilst many of our people go hungry or go to foodbanks, royalty certainly have it all right, all the way down to the minor royals who are leeching from us. One the author described as the two of spades in the hierachy. Legislation adjusted to their benefit. Attempts to stop the media publishing embarrasing stories. Secret wills. Tax advantages that they do not need. The list goes on.

    I don't normally read the acknowledgments, but I was curious in this case. This time "reverse acknowledgements to the Lord Chamberlain, the Cabinet Office, the Privy Council and Prince Charles, all of whom have given every possible assistance short of actual help".

    The, "they are great for tourism" argument gets ripped to shreds.

    The best quote in the book? "No institution - city, monarchy, whatever - should expect to be free from the scrutiny of those that give it their loyalty."
    Queen Elizabeth II, November 1992

    Read the book. It's a cracker of a read. Never has the time been better to get rid of this anachronistic family, leeching off society.

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