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Thread: Anyone read any good books recently ?

  1. #201
    Administrator swanbourne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrcrowley
    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 :)
    If you enjoyed his book Paul, you should try to catch his one-man show "An Evening With Howard Marks". Just don't ask him to sell you a Zulu strap. :lol:

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

  2. #202
    Master Ron Jr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaypeeaitch
    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.
    Banks is one of my favorite authors. He can also be very disturbing.

  3. #203
    "Mr Nice" is great book, also the Howard Marks " Book of Dope Stories " is a good read. In a similar vein about the same industry is the book "Smokescreen" by Robert sabbag
    "Allen Long began as a documentary film-maker following a number of drug dealers and smugglers through the highs and comedowns of getting illicit materials to those who most want them. He then decided, connoisseur that he was of the almost mythical Columbian gold, that smuggling marijuana himself may very well be the best way to fund his film"
    I read it a while back and enjoyed it immensely :wink:

  4. #204
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    Howard Marks was one of the guests at a function I was invited to in honour of Joey Pyle the old time gangster.

    My eldest son went in my stead and said he came over as a dick.

    Still after all that dope it's no wonder. :lol:
    Cheers,
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  5. #205
    Master Ron Jr's Avatar
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    Not a book but a Manga series that my Daughter loves called Death Note. Very enjoyable. In Japan it has already been made into two live action movies and the anime starts on Oct 30th. I will definitly be looking foward to future issues.

  6. #206
    Quote Originally Posted by Richie
    "Mr Nice" is great book, also the Howard Marks " Book of Dope Stories " is a good read. In a similar vein about the same industry is the book "Smokescreen" by Robert sabbag
    "Allen Long began as a documentary film-maker following a number of drug dealers and smugglers through the highs and comedowns of getting illicit materials to those who most want them. He then decided, connoisseur that he was of the almost mythical Columbian gold, that smuggling marijuana himself may very well be the best way to fund his film"
    I read it a while back and enjoyed it immensely :wink:
    If you enjoyed Smokescreen there is another book by Sabbag, Snowblind (guess the subject matter...) which is just as good. In fact I think I enjoyed it a bit more than Smokescreen.

  7. #207
    'Imperium' by Robert Harris. Historical novel about Cicero (Ancient Roman stuff). Good read. Hardback available from Asda £9.97

  8. #208
    Quote Originally Posted by endure
    'Imperium' by Robert Harris. Historical novel about Cicero (Ancient Roman stuff). Good read. Hardback available from Asda £9.97
    That sounds good. It is on my "to read" list. :)

    Best wishes,
    Bob

  9. #209
    If you like historical novels (I do, I like history but don't like 'dry' books) try 'Gates of Fire' by Stephen Pressfield - the story of Thermopylae.

    Two history books that I thought were good were 'Rubicon' and 'Persian Fire' both by Tom Holland about the last years of the Roman Empire and the story of the Persian Empire.

  10. #210
    Quote Originally Posted by endure
    If you like historical novels (I do, I like history but don't like 'dry' books) try 'Gates of Fire' by Stephen Pressfield - the story of Thermopylae.

    Two history books that I thought were good were 'Rubicon' and 'Persian Fire' both by Tom Holland about the last years of the Roman Empire and the story of the Persian Empire.
    I've read Rubicon, and liked it. I asked one of my classicist colleagues about it. She said it was pretty accurate.

    Plutarch is actually readable. I reread The Fall of the Roman Republic over the weekend.

    Also, the Scarrow books, light train trip reading, are pretty good.


    Best wishes,
    Bob

  11. #211
    I've read some of the Scarrow books. I'll have a look at Plutarch. Cheers.

  12. #212
    Tell a lie - I've actually read 'On Sparta' by Plutarch which was very good. I shall have to investigate further. :D

  13. #213
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    The Long Tail by Chris Anderson (editor of Wired) -

    it's about how the Internet has increased choice and how companies now sell a much wider range of goods (eg previously hard to find CD's etc) It also mentions the powerful influence of customer recommendations in 'helping' people find and buy items they hadn't considered before.......I could see direct comparison here with our interest and the influence of forums.

    plus

    Mission Song - John LeCarre

    Good story set around the Congo and attempts to rip off the mineral reserves. Usual stuff but a good read

    :)

    Alan

  14. #214
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    I bought a box of books by Jack Higgins.

    Never read him before but enjoying them.

    IRA, international terrorism etc etc

    Good pot boiler type stuff to read in bed. :)
    Cheers,
    Neil.

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  15. #215
    Master chrisb's Avatar
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    Ah, Mr Sean Dillon 8)

  16. #216
    Master Steve264's Avatar
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    Currently reading "The Camel Club" by David Baldacci. Quite a page-turner. Recommend it.

  17. #217
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisb
    Ah, Mr Sean Dillon 8)
    Yes indeedy.

    He makes a very interesting (anti) hero.
    Cheers,
    Neil.

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  18. #218
    Grand Master Griswold's Avatar
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    Just finished reading Terry Pratchetts 25th Discworld novel, 'The Truth'.

    Absolutely brilliant, but I think he must have been listening to my views on the media; and newspapers in particular.

    Brilliant read and hilariously funny. :)
    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.

  19. #219
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    After reading 'NOT ON THE LABEL' by Felicity Lawrence I stopped buying supermarket bread and bought a breadmaker ... review here ...

    http://www.weightlossresources.co.uk/fo ... _label.htm

    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.

  20. #220
    Grand Master Mrcrowley's Avatar
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    I'm still reading 'World According To Clarkson'. Bloody funny.
    Paul

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

  21. #221
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    I take it you have read the Robert Graves books Count Belisarius and the Claudius ones Endure?
    Novels of course but still very good.
    Having just read Persian Fire recently as well, I also picked up from Homer to Hadrian by Fox at the same time from that well known online retailer. This is another decent read. I also threw Greece and Rome by Connolly at war into my basket at the same time, much lighter but some good details on weapons etc.

    The only one of the rome series by McCullough I don't have is fortunes Favourites but have a signed copy on its way to me. I should have waited to read the later ones I suppose but I don't suppose it matters too much when you know the basic history anyway.

  22. #222
    Just read "Never Let Me Go" by Ishiguro (pub. 2005, so pretty new). Very Sick And Wrong. I loved it.

    Kam

  23. #223
    I recently finished Trafalgar: the men, the battle, the storm, by Tim Clayton & Phil Craig. It puts things in context, and is very readable.

    Now reading The Command of the Ocean: a naval history of Britian, 1649--1815, by N. A. M. Rodger. I want to learn about blockades, amongst other things, and I suspect that there has never been anyone better at it than the British navy of the late 18th early 19th century.

    Also rereading Popper's The Open Society and Its Enemies and The Poverty of Historicism, as I need to become relatively expert on them in the next 10 months.

    Best wishes,
    Bob

  24. #224
    Quote Originally Posted by murph
    I take it you have read the Robert Graves books Count Belisarius and the Claudius ones Endure?
    Novels of course but still very good.
    Having just read Persian Fire recently as well, I also picked up from Homer to Hadrian by Fox at the same time from that well known online retailer. This is another decent read. I also threw Greece and Rome by Connolly at war into my basket at the same time, much lighter but some good details on weapons etc.

    The only one of the rome series by McCullough I don't have is fortunes Favourites but have a signed copy on its way to me. I should have waited to read the later ones I suppose but I don't suppose it matters too much when you know the basic history anyway.
    I've read all the Graves books, everything Mary Renault ever wrote, 'Alexander the Great' by Robin Lane Fox. Also all of McCullough (including the non-Rome stuff). I think Renault's trilogy (Fire from Heaven/Persian Boy/Funeral Games) are the best books I've ever read.

    'Hot Gates' by Stephen Pressfield is worth a read too.

  25. #225
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfrazier
    Now reading The Command of the Ocean: a naval history of Britian, 1649--1815, by N. A. M. Rodger. I want to learn about blockades, amongst other things, and I suspect that there has never been anyone better at it than the British navy of the late 18th early 19th century.

    Best wishes,
    Bob
    Me too... :)

    :)

    Alan

  26. #226
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    Just started reading the biography "Frank Fletcher 1870-1954 'A formidable Headmaster'" by John Witheridge. The author is the present headmaster of Charterhouse ... Sir Frank Fletcher was the headmaster at Charterhouse from 1911 until 1935 ... the book mentions Frank Fletcher's retirement presentation silver pocket watch ... I have acquired that watch and discovered some provenance ... will post some pictures of it as soon as get round to using my digital camera ... watch is a real beaut ... silver Frodsham and may have IWC movement ... took a lot of repairing to get it working again but eventually found a watchmaker who could do it ... it has a presentation engraving on the cuvette.

    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.

  27. #227
    Quote Originally Posted by sundial
    Just started reading the biography "Frank Fletcher 1870-1954 'A formidable Headmaster'" by John Witheridge. The author is the present headmaster of Charterhouse ... Sir Frank Fletcher was the headmaster at Charterhouse from 1911 until 1935 ... the book mentions Frank Fletcher's retirement presentation silver pocket watch ... I have acquired that watch and discovered some provenance ... will post some pictures of it as soon as get round to using my digital camera ... watch is a real beaut ... silver Frodsham and may have IWC movement ... took a lot of repairing to get it working again but eventually found a watchmaker who could do it ... it has a presentation engraving on the cuvette.

    Dunk
    That's nifty. Provenance! :)

    Best wishes,
    Bob

  28. #228
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfrazier
    Quote Originally Posted by sundial
    Just started reading the biography "Frank Fletcher 1870-1954 'A formidable Headmaster'" by John Witheridge. The author is the present headmaster of Charterhouse ... Sir Frank Fletcher was the headmaster at Charterhouse from 1911 until 1935 ... the book mentions Frank Fletcher's retirement presentation silver pocket watch ... I have acquired that watch and discovered some provenance ... will post some pictures of it as soon as get round to using my digital camera ... watch is a real beaut ... silver Frodsham and may have IWC movement ... took a lot of repairing to get it working again but eventually found a watchmaker who could do it ... it has a presentation engraving on the cuvette.

    Dunk
    That's nifty. Provenance! :)

    Best wishes,
    Bob
    I Emailed the Charterhouse Archivist to try and establish some provenance and the Headmaster subsequently sent me a photocopy of an extract from another book regarding the retirement presentation watch ... the 'other book' was written by a former Charterhouse employee whose parents had also been employed there since 1863... and the biography published in 2005 also mentions the watch.

    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.

  29. #229
    Grand Master
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    Time Travel in Einstein's Universe: The Physical Possibilities of Travel Through Time (Paperback)
    by J. Richard Gott
    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
    Toodle pip
    Griff.

  30. #230
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    The new Rupert annual. :D
    Cheers,
    Neil.

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    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  31. #231
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    The new Rupert annual :D
    Cheers,
    Neil.

    My Speedmaster website:

    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  32. #232
    Just finished 'White Gold' by Giles Milton - the story of white slavery and the Barbary pirates. Eye-opening stuff.

  33. #233
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil.C
    The new Rupert annual :D
    Yep, I used to read em twice too, and especially the Eagle :shock: :lol: :lol:
    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
    Toodle pip
    Griff.

  34. #234
    Hi again all,
    Well, I just finished reading "Funeral in Berlin" the book from which one of the Harry Palmer films was taken. Written in 1964, It is an excellent read, just enough detail to get you interested in stuff without going overboard, a twist and turn in the story too, spot on, recomend it to anyone,
    Cheers,
    Richie

  35. #235
    Has anyone here read "Lunar Park" by Brett Easton Ellis, I finished it recently and I must say it is one of the wierdest books I have ever read, luckily I had read all of his other books so I had an inkling what he was on about :? Well Strange :?
    PS: Belated Happy New Year to All

  36. #236
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    I´ve just read a few books by Christopher Moore....

    Described as "A very sick man, in the very best sense of the word" :wink:

    http://www.chrismoore.com/

    My fav. Writer is still Tom Sharpe.
    We can't stop here, this is bat country.


  37. #237
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    Reading "Somerset Cider ... the complete story" ... very informative ...cider used to be part of farm workers' wages ...

    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.

  38. #238
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richie
    Hi again all,
    Well, I just finished reading "Funeral in Berlin" the book from which one of the Harry Palmer films was taken. Written in 1964, It is an excellent read, just enough detail to get you interested in stuff without going overboard, a twist and turn in the story too, spot on, recomend it to anyone,
    Cheers,
    Richie
    Good book.

    I have enjoyed all of Len Deightons stuff over the years fiction and factual.

    Recommended.
    Cheers,
    Neil.

    My Speedmaster website:

    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  39. #239
    Grand Master Dave E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil.C
    Quote Originally Posted by Richie
    Hi again all,
    Well, I just finished reading "Funeral in Berlin" the book from which one of the Harry Palmer films was taken. Written in 1964, It is an excellent read, just enough detail to get you interested in stuff without going overboard, a twist and turn in the story too, spot on, recomend it to anyone,
    Cheers,
    Richie
    Good book.

    I have enjoyed all of Len Deightons stuff over the years fiction and factual.

    Recommended.
    Agreed!

    I reread all of the Le Carre Smiley books again a year or so ago, and they were still excellent. I've also recently read a bunch of Fleming's James Bond books and really enjoyed them.
    Dave E

    Skating away on the thin ice of a new day

  40. #240
    Lately finished The Regicide Brief by Geoffrey Robertson - very interesting backdrop of the English Civil War: the story of the man who prosecuted the case against Charles I. Also about his fate come the Restoration. Just in case you think the present set of politicians (of all colours) really couldnt be surpassed in their dishonourable conduct, it reminds you that history merely repeats itself.

    Also, if you are (like me) on the road to being a fully qualified 'Grumpy Old Man' - try 'How Mumbo Jumbo Conquered the World' (Francis Wheen). It will make you laugh & cry all at the same time.

  41. #241
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    Have re - read (for the umpteenth time) all 12 of the Hornblower books by CS Forester.

    Still the best of the genre

  42. #242
    Master Steve264's Avatar
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    Just read "Exile" by Richard North Patterson, which I would wholeheartedly recommend - a legal drama with a bit of a girly love story element, but underpinned by and shot through with a seriously thought-provoking discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Holocaust survivors and suicide bomber/terrorist/"martyrs".

  43. #243
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    Reading 'Agent Zigzag' by Ben Macintyre, it's about the wartime agent / double agent Eddie Chapman. Fascinating stuff, what a great life to have lived. Before this I read Gerald Seymours latest ' Rat Run'

    :)

    Alan

  44. #244
    The Eagle of the Ninth, Rosemary Sutcliff.

    Okay, I know it's for kids, but I've been spending my nights in Oxford at my MIL's (sort of playing nurse), and I happen to run across it (amongst the thousands of books). Interesting how raw children's books were at that time.

    Best wishes,
    Bob

  45. #245
    .
    .
    Just finished "Bury my heart at Wounded Knee" by Dee Brown. Absolutely amazing how thw Red Indians were absolutely shafted :shock:

  46. #246
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfrazier
    The Eagle of the Ninth, Rosemary Sutcliff.

    Okay, I know it's for kids, but I've been spending my nights in Oxford at my MIL's (sort of playing nurse), and I happen to run across it (amongst the thousands of books). Interesting how raw children's books were at that time.

    Best wishes,
    Bob
    Boy, that takes me back Bob. A great book. I think I read her books 4-5 times :)

    Just finished "Bury my heart at Wounded Knee" by Dee Brown. Absolutely amazing how thw Red Indians were absolutely shafted
    Yep, still happens now too I guess. Though they rely more on the sharpness of their lawyers than their arrowheads these days ..........

    :)

    Alan

  47. #247
    Craftsman rickf's Avatar
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    Nothing new here but I'm in the process of reading the Harry Potter books. I started out trying to determine if it was appropriate reading for my 8 year old son. I've been enjoying them so much I'm on book 5 now. I know it's not to everyone's taste but I find the series really fun and entertaining. A bit of a change from the last book I read which was another of the Jack Reacher novels by Lee Childs (also fun stuff). Oh and by the way, I'll only let my son read the first couple books for now. The rest start to get pretty dark and will definitely give him nightmares.

    Rick

  48. #248
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrzej
    Have re - read (for the umpteenth time) all 12 of the Hornblower books by CS Forester.

    Still the best of the genre
    You can buy ten of one of his competitor's books for a tenner here:

    "http://www.thebookpeople.co.uk/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_10001_10051_50307_100_10015_10013_category _"

  49. #249
    Grand Master
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    Just read this one:

    We can't stop here, this is bat country.


  50. #250
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    I've just finished and enjoyed Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller.

    It's the true story about a (white) girl growing up through the civil war in Zimbabwe whose parents then move on to Malawi and Zambia.

    An interesting, non-political, perspective of growing up in a war zone and very evocative of Africa. Having grown up in Africa myself, brought back some memories.

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