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Hank Hill
22 Jan 17 22:51
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Date Joined: 03 Jan 02
| Topic/replies: 8,172 | Blogger: Hank Hill's blog
Skeletons of the Zahara  - Dean King

American sailors shipwrecked off the coast of Africa 1815. They say fact is stranger than fiction and this tale of struggle certainly backs that up. Probably 90% of the books I read are history books, but even if you're not a history buff this book is riveting. Certainly not a cheery read but you'll want to keep turning the page to see what the sailors will overcome next. Recommended.

What has chit chat been reading?
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Report Velasquez June 11, 2017 12:26 AM BST
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfA5KXrO1iM

CHRISTELLE PICOT READS MAUPASSANT

Laugh
Report bodil June 11, 2017 12:29 AM BST
Oh god! The way she crosses her legs - you wont be disappointed.
Report Velasquez June 11, 2017 12:31 AM BST
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bW6JA8fcYl8

FLORRIE AUCLERC READS ARSENE LUPIN

This must be the French equivalent of Babestation...them classy French...Laugh
Report bodil June 11, 2017 12:34 AM BST
I expect whatever state-sponsored body pumps money into promoting the French language is behind them. Beats A Book At Bedtime hollow.
Report Velasquez June 11, 2017 12:36 AM BST
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OA3uadMo7hg

JIM CARREY FALLS IN LOVE WITH MATURE FRENCH LADY....Grin
Report Velasquez June 11, 2017 12:40 AM BST
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2doZu6kU7mE

MARIE CLEMENT

DON'T ACTUALLY CARE WHAT SHE'S READING.....Love
Report Velasquez June 11, 2017 12:41 AM BST
YOU ARE ALL GETTING BILLED FOR THIS...Angry
Report bodil June 11, 2017 12:47 AM BST
Those calves, those eyebrows - je suis undone!

God you must have been bored to discover them - and then thrilled!
Report Velasquez June 11, 2017 12:54 AM BST
As I recall, 'twas a hot evening in May, and I had drank far too much absinthe diluted with corn syrup and soda water...for endless hours, I had searched patiently for a TAME IMPALA concert in Paris, only for the machine to deliver up these scantily clad Gallic hotties chuntering away in the language of lurv...Excited
Report Velasquez June 11, 2017 12:56 AM BST
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXJQv2Vy1YQ

Shocked
Report bodil June 11, 2017 1:00 AM BST
I fear we have hi-jacked this thread - merely typing that word ensures both of us will be tear-gassed and clubbed to the ground before dawn.

Enjoy!
Report Velasquez June 11, 2017 1:06 AM BST
Laugh
Report bodil June 11, 2017 1:54 AM BST
Does anyone know where the love of God goes
When the waves turn the minutes to hours?
Report Foinavon June 11, 2017 10:51 AM BST
Voyage au bout de la nuit Excited

Great stuff lads, beats reading about May & DUP into a c0cked hat.Cool
Report workrider June 11, 2017 11:36 AM BST
Just finished Gentlemen & Blackguards by Nicholas Foulkes.Or gambling mania and the plot to steal the Derby of 1844.Lord George Bentinck's challange to the owners of Running Rein that years Derby winner. A smashing read.
Report workrider June 11, 2017 11:37 AM BST
Challenge even.
Report bungalow bill June 11, 2017 5:33 PM BST
Conclave by Robert Harris - didn't think 118 old men locked in a room to elect a new pope would be any good - but I enjoyed it - 8/10.

Also, read 2 of the most recent Jack Reachers - can't remember the titles - and Lee Child does like picking footballers names as Characters which I find a bit weird, Greizeman and Klopp amongst others here  - OK, but they are all getting a bit samey.

And a short story called Willed Accidents Happen by Patricia A. Guthrie which was ok too.
Report annie. June 11, 2017 8:12 PM BST
Agree about Jack Reacher novels, it is nearly the same formula every time.
Report sixtwosix June 21, 2017 1:41 PM BST
The Pale Criminal - Philip Kerr 6/10
Bestie - Joe Lovejoy 8/10
George VI - Sarah Bradford 7/10
Time For Heroes - Ted Brack 7/10
March Violets - Philip Kerr 7/10
Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut 6/10
Park Drive Book Of Football 1968/9    10/10
A German Requiem - Philip Kerr 7/10
Hunt Vs Lauda - Paul Fearnley 9/10
The Dikler and His Circle - Mary Comyns Carr 10/10
3.59.4 The Quest For The 4 Minute Mile - Bob Philips 8/10
The People vs O J Simpson - Jeffrey Toobin 10/10
The Devil's Star - Jo Nesbo 8/10
The Program  - David Walsh 9/10
After Auschwitz - Eva Schloss 10/10
Leonard - William Shatner 8/10
In Pursuit the Nazi Hunters - Andrew Nagorski 8/10
The Time Machine - H G Wells 10/10
War Of The Worlds - H G Wells 9/10
The Invisible Man - H G Wells 6/10
The First Men In The Moon - H G Wells 4/10
The Fifth Head Of Cerberus - Gene Wolf 4/10
Our Zoo - June Mottershead 10/10
Story Of Your Life And Others - Ted Chiang 6/10
1984 - George Orwell 11/10
Five Dead Canaries - George Marston 7/10
Report Foinavon June 21, 2017 2:13 PM BST
1984 is definitely a book for our times, sixtwosix. Did someone flag up 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami?

Apparently, it's a dystopian world based on 1984 (Q sounds like 9 in Japanese). I read 1984 prior to 1984 but haven't yet read 1Q84. I must do it soon.
Report Des Pond July 18, 2017 1:15 AM BST

May 16, 2017 -- 12:39PM, TheGoldenVision wrote:


The Heavenly Table - Donald Ray PollockThis is a brilliant book populated by some of the best characters in modern literature. It's a 1916 cowboy story set in the hillbilly parts of the US. Full of "winder lickers" and inbreds, it's a story telling joy. Read it. You wont be sorry. The same author has a couple of similar tales... one a group of short stories... but both a reflection of scary life in the American badlands.


I came upon a copy of this at my local library, and recalling the title from this thread, I decided to give it a go. And, yes it was great read. Blackly comic and tragic at the same time, it uses multiple points of view to very good effect. It reminded me of a book called The Sisters Brothers, which I read a few years ago, and was also redolent of a Nick Cave song or a Coen Brothers movie. Clips along at a fair old pace and keeps you interested in the fate of the characters. Some of whom you wouldn't want to meet, but some that you find yourself caring about. Thanks for pointing it out. Happy

Report sixtwosix August 18, 2017 7:30 PM BST
The Pale Criminal - Philip Kerr 6/10
Bestie - Joe Lovejoy 8/10
George VI - Sarah Bradford 7/10
Time For Heroes - Ted Brack 7/10
March Violets - Philip Kerr 7/10
Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut 6/10
Park Drive Book Of Football 1968/9    10/10
A German Requiem - Philip Kerr 7/10
Hunt Vs Lauda - Paul Fearnley 9/10
The Dikler and His Circle - Mary Comyns Carr 10/10
3.59.4 The Quest For The 4 Minute Mile - Bob Philips 8/10
The People vs O J Simpson - Jeffrey Toobin 10/10
The Devil's Star - Jo Nesbo 8/10
The Program  - David Walsh 9/10
After Auschwitz - Eva Schloss 10/10
Leonard - William Shatner 8/10
In Pursuit the Nazi Hunters - Andrew Nagorski 8/10
The Time Machine - H G Wells 10/10
War Of The Worlds - H G Wells 9/10
The Invisible Man - H G Wells 6/10
The First Men In The Moon - H G Wells 4/10
The Fifth Head Of Cerberus - Gene Wolf 4/10
Our Zoo - June Mottershead 10/10
Story Of Your Life And Others - Ted Chiang 6/10
1984 - George Orwell 11/10
Five Dead Canaries - George Marston 7/10
Assassination of Heydrich - Callum McDonald 8/10
Autobiography - Joey Barton 6/10
Autobiography - Trevor Brooking 7/10
Autobiography - Mark Ward 9/10
Autobiography - Sir Roger Moore 7/10
Gestapo - Frank McDonough 4/10
From A Buick 8 - Stephen King 10/10
Report dunlaying August 18, 2017 8:37 PM BST
St Fredo - Alphonse Boudard , a great read. Not one for the feminists though.
Report Foinavon August 18, 2017 9:41 PM BST
Reheated Cabbage, a collection of short stories by Irvine Welsh, some better than others. Frank Begbie features in one of them.

The sex lives of Siamese Twins Irvine Welsh at his best. Set in Miami and not a Scotsman in sight. Contains a fair measure of trademark horrific scenes, it wouldn't be Welsh without.

Also read a few books about politics which I won't bother to detail.
Report annie. August 18, 2017 10:09 PM BST
Eight months on Gazza Street - Hilary Mantel
I loved 'Wolf Hall' but this is nowhere as good. Okay but I don't think it is a man's book.

Freakonomics - Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner
Quite interesting but not as good as all the rave reviews have said.

The end of the affair - Graham Greene
Another disappointing 'classic'.  It reads very like a mills and boon.

For whom the bell tolls - Ernest Hemingway
Yet another disappointing 'classic'.  He never uses a word when a paragraph would do.  Basically it is another 'mills and boon' set in the time of the spanish civil war.  Man meets beautiful woman, has sex with her, blows up a bridge then dies.  Waffle, waffle, waffle.  Just once can't a man meet an ordinary woman and fall madly in love with her because she is kind, funny and intelligent - Oh no, they have to be beautiful, it doesn't matter about anything else.

Mohammed
Published in 1968 this is quite a good book about the prophet.  Interesting.

Tuf Voyaging - George R R Martin
Not nearly as good as game of thrones but worth a read if you like science fiction.

The beautiful dead - Belinda Bauer
Okay thriller.

Remains of the DAy - Kazuo Ishiguro
Man Booker winner but doesn't deserve it. 
What is it about 'classic' books?  He was about in his thirties I think when he wrote it and it shows.  We are expected to believe that a man worked and lived alongside an attractive woman who made advances to him for a long time, but did not notice!!  The main character is a butler and a man, but you would never have guessed the man bit.

Daisy in Chains - Sharon Bolton
Not bad but the ending, like so many thrillers, is a bit of a let down.

The sky is falling - Sidney Sheldon
Readable but shallow.

Private - James Patterson
Readable but shallow.  I don't think I will read another james patterson book.

Double Indemnity - James M Cain
Why are these sorts of books so alike?  Pretty woman but evil etc etc. Okay

You've been warned - James Patterson
Readable but shallow.  I must stop reading james patterson books, they are  a waste of time

Beach Road- James Patterson
Readable but shallow.

The Black Ice - Michael Connelly
Okay

The Maltese Falcon - Dashiell Hammett
Disappointed.  According to one list supposed to be the best thriller ever.  But to me it reads the same old story, 'hard bitten' detective meets pretty woman who turns out to be  evil.
Report bodil August 18, 2017 10:46 PM BST
I read the latest - out this week - Montalbano/Camilleri. A Nest Of Vipers - your usual incest/patricide stuff. OK. The BBC is showing 4 new Montalbanos, starting 9pm tomorrow. I like the sunshine, white Miocene rocks and the food. And often some cracking ladies. Warning - apparently Livia, his chronic girlfriend, is played by a new (4th) actress. Hopefully better than the last one.
Report annie. August 18, 2017 11:37 PM BST
Thanks for that, bodil. 

I looked up the author and his books look worth reading as he is old and has lived a life and apparently they reflect the italy of the last twenty years and all the politcs it involves as well.  So you get a history and a travel book as well as a thriller.  My kind of book, hopefully.  I have been bored with the books I have been reading lately.
Report bodil August 18, 2017 11:45 PM BST
They are a good series - and I enjoy the programs. Vague idea you don't have a TV (television that is, since you live in Brighton).  They've done wonders for tourism in Sicily - it is a remarkable island with a unique history and cuisine.  The mafia (who don't feature that much in the books) usually shoot each-other.
Report annie. August 19, 2017 12:52 AM BST
I have moved from brighton, first back to my flat in london and then from there to where i am now.  I don't have a tv but do see programs at a friends.  Do you think it is better to see the series first and then read the books or visa versa, I must admit to liking box sets.
Report bodil August 19, 2017 1:21 AM BST
You can watch/read in any order. I've rarely made a firm connection between the book and the film. All good. Box set (not new series) great.

Which county are you in now then?
Report annie. August 19, 2017 1:39 AM BST
Thanks, bodil.  Goodnight
Report bodil August 19, 2017 1:46 AM BST
Sleep well.
Report sixtwosix October 1, 2017 10:24 AM BST
The Pale Criminal - Philip Kerr 6/10
Bestie - Joe Lovejoy 8/10
George VI - Sarah Bradford 7/10
Time For Heroes - Ted Brack 7/10
March Violets - Philip Kerr 7/10
Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut 6/10
Park Drive Book Of Football 1968/9    10/10
A German Requiem - Philip Kerr 7/10
Hunt Vs Lauda - Paul Fearnley 9/10
The Dikler and His Circle - Mary Comyns Carr 10/10
3.59.4 The Quest For The 4 Minute Mile - Bob Philips 8/10
The People vs O J Simpson - Jeffrey Toobin 10/10
The Devil's Star - Jo Nesbo 8/10
The Program  - David Walsh 9/10
After Auschwitz - Eva Schloss 10/10
Leonard - William Shatner 8/10
In Pursuit the Nazi Hunters - Andrew Nagorski 8/10
The Time Machine - H G Wells 10/10
War Of The Worlds - H G Wells 9/10
The Invisible Man - H G Wells 6/10
The First Men In The Moon - H G Wells 4/10
The Fifth Head Of Cerberus - Gene Wolf 4/10
Our Zoo - June Mottershead 10/10
Story Of Your Life And Others - Ted Chiang 6/10
1984 - George Orwell 11/10
Five Dead Canaries - George Marston 7/10
Assassination of Heydrich - Callum McDonald 8/10
Autobiography - Joey Barton 6/10
Autobiography - Trevor Brooking 7/10
Autobiography - Mark Ward 9/10
Autobiography - Sir Roger Moore 7/10
Gestapo - Frank McDonough 4/10
From A Buick 8 - Stephen King 10/10
Autobiography - Peter Alliss 9/10
Autobiography - Johan Cruyff 4/10
Timeline - Michael Chrichton 6/10
The Shot - Philip Kerr 5/10
Dog Rounds - Elliott Worsell 6/10
Report annie. October 1, 2017 6:08 PM BST
The prussian officer and other stories - D H Lawrence

I am not a fan of short stories but I read it as lawrence is supposed to be good, but I was not impressed.  It is well written but I think because they were written over a hundred years ago I do not 'get' them.

The woman in white - Wilkie Collins

Again this is supposed to be a classic but the ending is disappointing, although all the thrillers I read lately seem to be like that.  But it is well written and entertaining, but maybe not for a man.  It seems to be written by a woman, it is quite 'mills and boon' in most parts.  It was supposed to be the most popular book of the nineteenth century!

The wrong side of goodbye - Michael Connelly

Another formulaic thriller by him, but okay.

Until you're mine - Samantha Hayes

Another thriller, not bad, but I don't think I like thrillers written by women, they are a bit too soppy for me.
Report Foinavon October 1, 2017 6:18 PM BST
I met an interesting lady on holiday and discovered that she had written her autobiography.
As I knew she has lived a turbulent alternative lifestyle, I downloaded it from Amazon.
Not sophisticated writing but an eye-opener for me. I thought it might appeal to Annie which is why I'm posting it here.
More than once around the Block by Andy Rosholm-Olesen.
My review is there under the pseudonym Ataraxia.
Report Foinavon October 1, 2017 6:23 PM BST
I think Lawrence was a terrible writer, annie. He only came to prominence because of LCL and the pornography trial. There must be thousands of unread copies of that (with a couple of grubby pages) Grin lying around.
Report annie. October 1, 2017 6:49 PM BST
I do like your pseudonym 'Ataraxia', Foinavon.  I looked up the meaning and it sounds like me, well most of the time!
Report Foinavon October 1, 2017 7:14 PM BST
I learnt the term from my guru and inspiration, the Greek philosopher Epicurus. Although he lived before the time of Christ his teachings are relevant to us today.Happy
Report annie. October 1, 2017 7:39 PM BST
I love one of his teachings -

God, he says, either wishes to take away evils, and is unable; or He is able, and is unwilling; or He is neither willing nor able, or He is both willing and able. If He is willing and is unable, He is feeble, which is not in accordance with the character of God; if He is able and unwilling, He is envious, which is equally at variance with God; if He is neither willing nor able, He is both envious and feeble, and therefore not God; if He is both willing and able, which alone is suitable to God, from what source then are evils? Or why does He not remove them?

I think the above should be taught in schools whenever they teach 'religion'
Report Foinavon October 1, 2017 7:57 PM BST
He set out some simple rules for living in order to have an untroubled life. Not a lot of his work survives but there are books analysing his teachings sometimes gleaned from his followers.
He wasn't an atheist in the sense that we understand it today. He thought the Gods existed but didn't concern themselves with the affairs of man rather like Deists or Pantheists today.
Report annie. October 1, 2017 9:01 PM BST
The Ghost - Robert Harris

I liked this book.  I like how he writes and he seems down to earth and normal, not something writers, especially 'classsic' ones are.  Maybe because he came from a council house and a comprehensive school.  Maybe because he has lived a full life before writing books.  I will now read all his other books.
Report Foinavon October 1, 2017 10:22 PM BST
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes.

A disturbing novel about a futuristic experiment on human intelligence.
The modern edition is a bulked out version of an original short story and is still worth reading.
Report annie. October 1, 2017 11:01 PM BST
Foinavon, you have hit on one of the few short stories I like! I have not read it in years but I still remember how sad the ending was.I can't remember if I read the short story or the novel. 

I have just read about it on wiki and apparently the author was pressured into having a happy ending, but refused.  It is also a great title for a book.
Report Foinavon October 1, 2017 11:18 PM BST
A friend of mine who read it years ago told me about it so I downloaded a copy. It wasn't until he asked me why it was taking me so long to read it that we twigged about the rewriting.
A number of romantic episodes have been included and some Freudian stuff too presumably to appeal to modern taste. In a way there is a sort of contentment at the end as he has his old "friends" back at the bakery and they seem more sympathetic and protective towards him than at the beginning.
Report annie. October 1, 2017 11:31 PM BST
I think then that I read the short story, although I have also seen the film about the book so that has me confused as well! I will have to read the original novel.

Do you read them on a kindle or similar?  I have often thought of getting one. How do you find them?
Report annie. October 1, 2017 11:32 PM BST
Goodnight Foinavon Happy
Report Foinavon October 1, 2017 11:40 PM BST
Yes, I wouldn't be without my Kindle Paperwhite. I bought mine from John Lewis in a sale 3 years ago but you can get them from Amazon. I read it every day for several hours and it goes everywhere with me. The back lighting allows me to read in bed before falling asleep or if I wake in the early hours and can't drop off again. Reading does the trick but I have to be careful not to drop it on my nose.
Goodnight Annie, nice talking to you.
Report annie. October 4, 2017 6:55 PM BST
I am the same Foinavon, I love reading in bed, but as I often fall asleep reading I don't know whether it would last long!

Home - Harlan Coben

I used to like his earlier books, they were well plotted but they are not as good nowadays.  However it is okay but again the ending of these 'thrillers' let them down and also this book is a bit soppy, like a woman had written it.
Report Des Pond October 11, 2017 5:46 PM BST
For anyone who hasn't read it, Catch 22 is 99p on kindle today. One of my favourite books, I've got a copy on paperback, but I'm tempted to buy it again at that price. Happy
Report Foinavon October 11, 2017 6:14 PM BST
Thanks, Des. I read this book as a paperback around the time it came out which is an awful long time ago, perhaps half a century now. My copy has long since disappeared, borrowed but never returned I suspect. I will download a copy to my Kindle as it worth reading again.
Report dunlaying October 11, 2017 9:17 PM BST
Voltaire Almighty - Roger Pearson , who shows a singular lack of respect for the rules of grammar. A good , if irritating , read.
Voltaire A Life - Ian Davidson
Rififi Chez Les Hommes - Auguste Le Breton , one of his good books.
La Derobade - Jeanne Cordelier , terrific.
Report Foinavon October 11, 2017 10:23 PM BST
Our Culture, What's Left of It. by Theodore Dalrymple.

A wide-ranging collection of essays with subjects as different as Fred and Rosemary West to post-colonial Zimbabwe. I found myself agreeing with a lot of what he has to say. Needless to say, some of the analysis is quite depressing. A good read in my view.
Report Des Pond October 14, 2017 12:01 AM BST
The Ritual, Adam Nevill on kindle for 99p. An original and atmospheric horror, this one. Four 30-something blokes on a hiking trip in the vast, ancient forests of Northern Sweden. What could possibly go wrong? I really enjoyed this one, although it is flawed in some ways. Conjures up the dark, cold, unforgiving bleakness of the Northern wilderness rather well. They've made a movie of it which is out now, I'll be interested to see how movie compares to my reading of the book.
Also, I noticed, Jurassic Park is on offer for 49p. can't go wrong with that, imo.
Slaughterhouse 5 also available for 99p. Has its critics, but I really enjoyed it.
Report annie. October 27, 2017 8:02 PM BST
The Great Gatsby - F.Scott Fitzgerald

Another disappointing 'classic'. 

I have noticed that a lot of these 'classics' were written when the authors were relatively young, twenties and thirties - and I think it shows.  Again a propensity to write a paragraph of description when a sentence would do.  And again more men infatuated by beautiful women, that is usually what these 'classics' are about.  Mills and Boon, I call them.

Archangel - Robert Harris

Another good book from Robert Harris set in Russia.  I like books that you learn from as well as enjoy.  Although it is similar in a way to the Da Vinchi code.

Love in the time of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Another supposed 'classic'.  It is okay, but again too 'mills and boon' for my taste.  The story, again, is about a man hopelessly in 'love' with a beautiful young woman.  He falls in love with her when she is thirteen I think.  And then he waits for fifty years for her husband to die and still is crazy about her - a woman, now very old, that he has hardly ever spoke to!  An old man would have fantasies about young women not a wrinkly old dear.
Report sixtwosix October 27, 2017 9:15 PM BST
The Pale Criminal - Philip Kerr 6/10
Bestie - Joe Lovejoy 8/10
George VI - Sarah Bradford 7/10
Time For Heroes - Ted Brack 7/10
March Violets - Philip Kerr 7/10
Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut 6/10
Park Drive Book Of Football 1968/9    10/10
A German Requiem - Philip Kerr 7/10
Hunt Vs Lauda - Paul Fearnley 9/10
The Dikler and His Circle - Mary Comyns Carr 10/10
3.59.4 The Quest For The 4 Minute Mile - Bob Philips 8/10
The People vs O J Simpson - Jeffrey Toobin 10/10
The Devil's Star - Jo Nesbo 8/10
The Program  - David Walsh 9/10
After Auschwitz - Eva Schloss 10/10
Leonard - William Shatner 8/10
In Pursuit the Nazi Hunters - Andrew Nagorski 8/10
The Time Machine - H G Wells 10/10
War Of The Worlds - H G Wells 9/10
The Invisible Man - H G Wells 6/10
The First Men In The Moon - H G Wells 4/10
The Fifth Head Of Cerberus - Gene Wolf 4/10
Our Zoo - June Mottershead 10/10
Story Of Your Life And Others - Ted Chiang 6/10
1984 - George Orwell 11/10
Five Dead Canaries - George Marston 7/10
Assassination of Heydrich - Callum McDonald 8/10
Autobiography - Joey Barton 6/10
Autobiography - Trevor Brooking 7/10
Autobiography - Mark Ward 9/10
Autobiography - Sir Roger Moore 7/10
Gestapo - Frank McDonough 4/10
From A Buick 8 - Stephen King 10/10
Autobiography - Peter Alliss 9/10
Autobiography - Johan Cruyff 4/10
Timeline - Michael Chrichton 6/10
The Shot - Philip Kerr 5/10
Dog Rounds - Elliott Worsell 6/10
Autobiography - Peter Sallis
Touched By God - Diego Maradona 5/10
Autobiography - Andrew Sachs 9/10
Picnic At Hanging Rock -Joan Lindsay 8/10
The Moon's A Balloon - David Niven 10/10
The Perfect Distance Coe and Ovett -Pat Butcher 10/10
Report treetop October 27, 2017 9:17 PM BST
The Second Half, an enjoyable read about Roy Keane after his playing career ended,particularly his spell with SAFC,slightly marred by the gutter language.

The Irish Famine,an interesting insight into the famine history from a series of Thomas Davis lectures, focussing on the benefits a well as the later devastation caused by the depndency on the potato crops in Ireland.Avoids the obvious political negativity.

The Tony Benn diaries to 2009, after he retired from Westminster but apparently spent more time on politics ! Some nice detail.

The gang wars of Viv Graham (Newcastle) and Lee Duffy('Boro), a local history of hard men of the era.
Report annie. November 22, 2017 8:50 PM GMT
An officer and a spy - Robert Harris

Another novel about the Dreyfus affair but quite enjoyable.

Imperium - Robert Harris

Another novel about ancient Rome but enjoyable
Report Foinavon November 24, 2017 11:13 PM GMT
A Decent Ride by Irvine Welsh

An outrageously funny book but not for the faint-hearted. Welsh has mellowed since his early trainspotting novels but as always there are episodes that are guaranteed to shock. Like all Welsh's work this story grips you from the start and is almost impossible to put down. It even features a fictional American TV personality that might remind you of someone famous.
I'm now acutely aware that I've read all of Welsh's books bar one and am hoping that there are more in the pipeline.
Report G Hall November 24, 2017 11:42 PM GMT
Foinavon I haven't read any of welsh books but am thinking about it, which one should I read first or does it matter
Report johnizere November 25, 2017 12:27 AM GMT
The Clydach Murders, by John Morris.
True crime trying to exonerate Dai Morris who was convicted of killing 4 people (mother and 2 small daughters, and the grandmother).
The book tries to point out the corruption in South Wales Police, and the way they allegedly twisted the evidence (or lack of it) to
pin the crime on Morris. You'd have to read the book to make your own mind up. I have.
Report Foinavon November 25, 2017 11:41 AM GMT
Although some of Welsh's books are standalone, in the majority of them he builds on earlier characters and refers to past events so it's best to read them in order.
The first book is "Trainspotting".
This webpage gives the complete list and published date.

https://www.bookseriesinorder.com/irvine-welsh/
Report annie. November 25, 2017 12:45 PM GMT
Foinavon, thank you, thank you, thank you Happy

I have been looking for something like that link for some time.  Nowadays there are a lot of 'continuation'  or 'pre' novels, like the film franchises, so it puts me off reading some of them, but now I can just look them up.
Report Foinavon November 25, 2017 9:42 PM GMT
Happy
Report kenny mann November 26, 2017 11:51 AM GMT
I had you down as such a cultured chap, Foinavon. ;-)

"Given that it features incest, rape, grave desecration, necrophilia and one character filling a terminally ill man’s saline drip with urine and semen, it is curious that the most shocking thing about Irvine Welsh’s new novel, A Decent Ride, is that it was published at all. Perhaps the whole thing should be read as a symptom rather than a story"
Report Foinavon November 26, 2017 12:02 PM GMT
You seem to have read them too, Kenny, pot, kettle, black, perhaps? Wink

Welsh set out to shock in all of his books, goes with the territory. There's always Enid Blyton for sensitive souls...
Report kenny mann November 26, 2017 12:18 PM GMT
Not at all, Foinavon, it was the first review I discovered, hence the speech marks. For some reason I can't do italics.

"That is just one of the questions I couldn’t care less about. Terry’s penis not only gets plenty of use, even helping a young playwright forget about killing herself, but also its own voice, in chapters laid out typographically to look like an ejaculating penis. It is as if Welsh was so bored he decided to carve a willy on his desk". I'll stick to Enid, thanks. lol

I thought annie should be warned. Maybe she can't wait to buy it now. :-)
Report Foinavon November 26, 2017 12:30 PM GMT
I'm sure she will thank you for it, Kenny. Happy
You have to read books to get the various episodes into context, otherwise you might as well ban Agatha Christie for depictions of murder and Watership Down for animal cruelty, not to mention the novels of Richard Stanley Francis.
Report Lee Ho Fooks November 26, 2017 1:38 PM GMT
Foinavon
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26 Nov 17 12:30 Joined: 11 Oct 00 | Topic/replies: 7,831 | Blogger: Foinavon's blog

not to mention the novels of Richard Stanley Francis.

Don't think I'll ever know, sounds much too cultured for me
Report Foinavon November 26, 2017 2:43 PM GMT
I don't think his nickname is acceptable to the forum's automatic censor, Lee.
To be fair, his characters have nothing in common with those depicted by Irvine Welsh.
Report annie. November 26, 2017 3:01 PM GMT
I presume you mean Dick Francis, Foinavon? Quite appropriate with your name Happy

I think I read all of his books when I was a racing fanatic.  Although  I should say all 'her' books as it is widely thought that his wife wrote them.
Report Foinavon November 26, 2017 3:10 PM GMT
Yes, I thought "Dick" was usually asterisked out, perhaps it's had a reprieve.
It wouldn't surprise me if his wife had written them although I didn't get past the first one.
It may come as a surprise but I don't approve of NH racing and there are some aspects of animal breeding and training which leave me cold. There is not a total dissonance between Kenny and me even if we don't agree on everything.
Report AFTERTHOUGHT November 26, 2017 3:15 PM GMT
The 47 Ronin story (John Allyn) .... The classic novel of samurai loyalty and revenge !

A must read for todays political elite.
Report Lee Ho Fooks November 26, 2017 5:41 PM GMT
You didn't miss much by stopping at the first one Foinavon, have read them all & would say "Forfeit" was his (or her) best.

As to books read this year, I'm reading J P Donleavy's novels again following his recent passing (I have lost count of the number of times I've read "The Ginger Man")
Report annie. November 26, 2017 6:23 PM GMT
I was lucky in that I did not read the first book by dick francis, first.  When i came to read it I could not believe how poor it was compared to the others.  Although they were very variable, especially as he got older and then his wife died and then he was poorly.  I believed that his wife did write them but with obvious input from him.  I think when the first book was  a relative success  then they had help to improve them.  They were not classic literature but I read them to understand racing better, possibly.

I am glad to hear your misgivings about national hunt, Foinavon.  It is so rare to find a genuinely kind man.
Report Foinavon December 3, 2017 6:46 PM GMT
Blade Artist by Irvine Welsh

Welsh's most recently published book. He appears to have left the door open for more books in the series so I'm hopeful that he's still writing.
Another well written book that maintains the reader's interest. There is plenty of gratuitous violence to outrage Kenny but he might be disappointed at the lack of explicit sex in this one. One can't have everything.
Report annie. December 3, 2017 8:40 PM GMT
I must remember to get some of his books, Foinavon, I would really love to read some good books.

End of Watch - Stephen King

It is okay, like so many of his books, but the plot is lacking - maybe because I am not a huge fan of science fiction or horror.  I prefer thrillers and detective books.

I did wonder whether stephen king has cancer as the 'hero' of the book had terminal cancer and was the same age as him  and now his next book out now is written with his son?
Report Foinavon December 4, 2017 12:16 AM GMT
Try one and see Annie. Be warned there is some strong stuff in there, exaggerated for effect including what might be interpreted as misogyny. This is not a reflection on Welsh but the character types he depicts.
Another favourite author of mine is George MacDonald Fraser. He is famous for the Flashman novels but I reckon his McAuslan books are his best work.
I haven't read any Stephen King novels, I know there are lots and some have been made into films but I'm not into spooky horror at all.
Report annie. December 4, 2017 12:24 AM GMT
Thanks, Foinavon, I will try Fraser and Welsh.
Report annie. December 12, 2017 7:52 PM GMT
Cry, the Beloved Country - Alan Paton

A so called 'classic'.  It is good, but again these classics are so idealistic and the people are much better than in real life.  These writers should come on chit chat and see the real men of this world Silly
Report dunlaying December 24, 2017 9:36 AM GMT
Sargasso - Edwin Corley a great yarn. Don't let the blurb put you off.
The Jesus Factor - Edwin Corley , a fine read but probably better for the older reader.
Proust - Edmund White , a biography that reads well if you an some idea of the characters found in La Recherché.
Report dunlaying December 24, 2017 9:36 AM GMT
Sargasso - Edwin Corley a great yarn. Don't let the blurb put you off.
The Jesus Factor - Edwin Corley , a fine read but probably better for the older reader.
Proust - Edmund White , a biography that reads well if you an some idea of the characters found in La Recherché.
Report annie. December 29, 2017 8:04 PM GMT
Cimarron Rose - James Lee Burke

To the best of my recollection this is the first book I have read by the author and it won't be the last.  Well written and a decent plot.

The Turn of the Screw - Henry James

The first book I have read by him and it will probably be the last as this is supposed to be a 'classic' and one of his best - I don't think so.  As ever I am disappointed by 'classics'.  I can describe this book by quoting Thomas Hardy  who said of Henry James writing ' A ponderously warm manner of saying nothing in infinite sentences'. Another writer who has to write a paragraph when a sentence would do.  They should have read Stephen King's 'On Writing'.

Camino Island - John Grisham

Why he  is among the top selling writers currently I do not know.  His novels are written to a formula and how boring they are.  They are supposed to be 'thrillers' but as in this book he tells you who did it immediately then spins it out. I have given up getting his books from the library and would certainly not pay for one, but I was this book was free so I thought I would give him a go, againSad

The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

The first I have read by this a
uthor and I might try him again, although I think this is supposed to be his best.  I liked it, it is well written and different.  I was amazed when I had read it that some reviewers when it came out in 1984 had slated it, not for the writing but for the content.  They called the content foreign and nasty, unparalleled depravity, a silly sadistic and grisly yarn,disagreeable piece of writing and far worse.  I think they should get out more Plain
Report Foinavon December 29, 2017 10:48 PM GMT
Another good uncompromising post, Annie. I like it.Happy

I'll check out an Amazon sample of The Wasp Factory, it sounds right up my street.
Report annie. December 29, 2017 11:19 PM GMT
Thanks, Foinavon Happy

The Wasp Factory is not brilliant, but because it is unusual I enjoyed it, even though being a woman I don't like grisly stuff, but the content didn't seem that bad to me.  To read the reviews you would think it was the written equivalent of the chain saw massacre.
Report bodil December 30, 2017 12:38 AM GMT
The Dave Robicheaux series by James Lee Burke are pretty damn fine. I think The Neon Rain was the first - must be about 20 now. Oddly enough the next (called Robicheaux, believe it or not) is out in a few days (kindle).  Nothing last for ever and everything declines, as does JLB, if only by repetition. Read them all. Must be a race between the author snuffing the character or the author snuffing it. They're very good. 'They' did make a film about 'In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead' I believe - with Tommy Lee Jones as Robicheaux. It was OK.

Try the CJ Box Joe Pickett series.  Interesting progression there also.

You're a bit behind the times with Iain Banks. He's very dead. His SF output as Iain M Banks is up with the best of the past 30 years. The Wasp Factory was fairly trivial compared to his subsequent non-sf stuff. Not many happy endings though.
Report annie. December 31, 2017 8:02 PM GMT
Thanks, bodil Happy

I do know Iain Banks is dead!  I am glad his SF output is good, as I like him, I think, as  a writer so will try them.

I have seen CJ Box books so often at the library, I will add him to the list.
Report macarony January 1, 2018 7:34 PM GMT
I listen to quite a few audio books when I am at work. some of the books this year.
Irvin Welsh. The Blade artist, A Decent Ride.
Nick Redfern. Bloodline of the Gods.
Dan Brown. The Da Vinci Code.
Graham Hancock. Fingerprints Of The Gods.
David Eagleman. The Brain.
The Brain is real eye opener, I never knew that a three year old child had twice as many pathways than a 30 years old, or that decisions that we think is made by the conscious mind are in fact made by our sub conscious mind. Every decision we make is the result of a sub conscious battle.
Then there is our memory far from being in high definition they are infact stored in  low resolution, and the neurons involved in makeing the conection are reused time and again further lowering the resolution.
Report Foinavon January 13, 2018 7:56 PM GMT
Pulp: A Novel, Charles Bukowski

This is surreal, I don't know what to make of it. A spoof on detective novels it is interspersed with dry humour in terse one-liners. The chapters are short but you just keep reading, you need to know what's round the corner.
Sadly, this was Bukowski's last work, I could read more of these but not to be. I'll read this one again.
Report annie. January 13, 2018 8:43 PM GMT
Perhaps Foinavon, you should start a books 2018 thread? Happy
Report Foinavon January 13, 2018 9:01 PM GMT
I thought of that, Annie but didn't want to lose some of the references on this thread as it slips into oblivion. Perhaps we have to let go...
I have put the Iain Banks novel on my Amazon wish list so I don't forget to buy it when I'm ready. I'm thinking of buying Celine's "Voyage au bout de la Nuit" as the author is mentioned in "Pulp" and appears to have been an important influence on his writing. Have you read it?
The only other Bukowski novel I've read is "The Post Office", there are a number of others tempting me too. There are never enough hours in the day even when retired.
Report dunlaying January 13, 2018 9:07 PM GMT
I have read it Foinavon and although it is worthwhile I did not find it an easy read.
Report dunlaying January 13, 2018 9:09 PM GMT
Celine that is.
If you want a good French book Les Pegriots by Auguste Le Breton is magnificent. A biography of Georges Hainneaux AKA Jo La Terreur.
Report Foinavon January 13, 2018 9:15 PM GMT
Thanks, dunlaying, I'll give it a go.
Report Foinavon January 13, 2018 9:20 PM GMT
I haven't heard of Les Pegriots, is it recent?
Report dunlaying January 13, 2018 9:32 PM GMT
No , 1973 ,maybe inspired by Puzo's success . But it is a smashing book , Le Breton's best effort. I think it is as good as The Godfather.
Report Foinavon January 13, 2018 9:38 PM GMT
Sounds good, I'll look for it on Amazon.
Report annie. January 16, 2018 7:16 PM GMT
Schindler's List - Thomas Keneally

This is a first in my life, the only book where I have broken down crying my eyes out. My eyes are welling with tears now as I write just thinking about it. Man's Inhumanity to man.  And I really would object if someone said that should be persons inhumanity to person, because I don't think the majority of women would do what men did in the holocaust. Again I am not blaming men it is the way they are born.

Gray Mountain - John Grisham

I know I say he is not as good as his reputation but I got this book free again.  This is the same as the rest almost, lots of loose ends etc etc.  I think he writes as he goes along and if he has not come up with the answers he just leaves the book hanging Sad  The good think about it was it describes the strip mining which is ravaging the countryside there.

The War of the Worlds - H G Wells

Now here is a proper 'classic' book.  No waffle, no bad plots etc etc.  My only gripe is that I wish he had made the book longer and expanded the theme.
Report Foinavon January 16, 2018 7:25 PM GMT
I read War of the Worlds at school and thought it was great, a refreshing change to Chaucer where you had to translate every other word.

Don't think I want to read Schindler's List. It's war which is dehumanising, it's the intention of propaganda to achieve that. Sadly, we have seen several repetitions since. We have learned nothing.
Report Mr.Anderson January 17, 2018 8:12 AM GMT
The Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Not that great imho. 6/10.
Report annie. January 17, 2018 7:58 PM GMT
The French Revolution

The French Revolution is so complicated, so I read it about it again.  I wish I had read it before I read 'A place of greater Safety' by hilary mantel which is set in the french revolution - good book by the way.

A big coincidence was that in the pictures that accompany the book was the picture by David of Marat dead in his bath after being killed by Charlotte Corday, it made an impression on me.  So today I was reading the telegraph and lo and behold the same picture that i saw last night was there in the paper!
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