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Hank Hill
22 Jan 17 22:51
Joined:
Date Joined: 03 Jan 02
| Topic/replies: 8,444 | 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 DIE LINKE March 7, 2017 9:27 PM GMT
Anyone here read Kill Your Friends by John Niven? Music industry satire is superb, though the rest does read like a Bret Easton Ellis. Fascinating fact is that the hotmail address which appears on the final pages is actually my email address.
Report Des Pond March 10, 2017 8:00 PM GMT
Nothing to Envy, Award-winning journalist Barbara Demick's eye-opening account of the struggles of six ordinary citizens of North Korea as they attempt to escape their arduous existence. Many of you will have read this already, but it's well worth a read for anyone who hasn't, or anyone that may have had their interest piqued by the strange events seen on the News recently. currently available on Kindle at £1.89.
Report TheGoldenVision March 10, 2017 8:22 PM GMT
Donald Ray Pollock... brilliant. Just finished his third offering, "The Heavenly Table". Fabulous characters, brutal settings and a story which keeps you hooked til the end. Beverley Hill Billies meet Deliverance meet Southern Comfort meet whatever drugged up, incestuous, in-bred trip through the bits of America Obama and Clinton never knew existed... and probably still exists. Buy it!!!
Report TheGoldenVision March 10, 2017 8:57 PM GMT
Desert Island Disc reads....

Berlin Noir... Philip Kerr (3 books actually, but his best 3 so far)
Lonesome Dove... Larry McMurty (Charles Dickens would have died for these characters)
The Devils Disciples... Antony Read (how the hell did Hitler succeed?)
Place of Greater Safety... Hilary Mantel (French Revolutionary excellence)
Report annie. March 10, 2017 9:18 PM GMT
Let the old dreams die - John Ajvide Lindqvist

It is a book of short stories from the author of 'let the right one in' that was turned into a swedish horror film and then remade by the americans.  It was okay but maybe I am not a fan of short stories.  I have to admit I skim read the last few stories so they might have been terrific.

I agree about 'Place of greater safety' , GoldenVision, if that is the only french revolution one by hilary mantel, as I have forgotten what the book I read was called.  Did you read 'Wolf Hall' and 'Bring up the Bodies' by her? I loved them.
Report bodil March 11, 2017 12:10 AM GMT
Working my way through the Ed McBain 87th Precinct series. On about 38 of 52(?).  Of their time and most wonderfully non-pc (though honourable in intention) but an entertaining way of spending time before the grave. Interesting to consider how many books will be consigned to oblivion because of causing offence to parties waiting to be offended.
Report bodil March 11, 2017 12:34 AM GMT
Also re-reading The Master and Margarita by Bulgakov. Read it in the late 60s - and remember almost nothing. Seems so aware of recent censorship/group-think. Hard to imagine he wrote to Stalin and Stalin wrote back. Another godawful censorship situation (with guaranteed death if Joseph not amused). And his version of St Matthew's gospel will not appeal to the Christians on here. Surprisingly modern.
Report annie. March 20, 2017 8:35 PM GMT
A Storm of Swords, part two - Blood and Gold by George R R Martin.  The continuing  saga of 'game of thrones'.

I like reading these books and this one did not disappoint.  As said before I am watching the series and then reading the books, so maybe I am enjoying them more as I know more about what is going on - the plot runs to many, many characters, families etc.  Also you get to like some of the characters in the film so you enjoy exploring more of their characters in the books, if you get my meaning.
Report Mc Moonbeam March 20, 2017 10:12 PM GMT
Where do you peeps find the time ... i'll have to start a thread titled 'Food cooked 2017' Plain
Report Mc Moonbeam March 20, 2017 10:17 PM GMT
Last book I started reading was 'Mastery by Robert Greene' started in 2015 & haven't quite finished it yet!
Report sixtwosix March 22, 2017 2:44 PM GMT
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
Report Foinavon March 22, 2017 5:42 PM GMT
When Prophecy Fails: A Social and Psychological Study of a Modern Group that Predicted the Destruction of the World

This book was brought to my attention on another thread.
An interesting read and a fascinating insight although a bit repetitive at times.
I would have liked to have seen more analysis of the psychological states of the cult members but realise that this wasn't really feasible within the scope of the study.
Report Foinavon March 22, 2017 5:52 PM GMT
* When Prophesy Fails, by Leon Festinger.

I've just read the first chapter of Bulgakov's book, Bodil. Very well written and rather weird, I think I will enjoy this one.
Report Life-Lucky March 22, 2017 6:27 PM GMT
Some great tips on where to find my next read here, thanks all. I'm currently reading INSIDE MR ENDERBY, one of Anthony Burgess' early and very funny efforts before he went all grandiose
Report bodil March 26, 2017 11:36 PM BST
sixtwosix - you've just read the first 3 Bernie Gunther novels (Philip Kerr). A very fine series. No 12 is out April 4th - and I'll even fork out the outrageous amount the publishers want for a kindle version.

Equally good are the Aurelio Zen novels by Michael Dibdin. They finished at 11 (hard to believe the author has been dead for a decade). The BBC did a pretty good adaptation of a couple with Rufus Sewell as Zen but cancelled the series because they thought they needed "more female detectives".

I think Zen originally came from Venice. From which we have the Donna Leon Brunetti series. No 26 out soon.  Also excellent. They've certainly fared better than Venice itself, whose corruption and decline is mirrored in the books.
Report sixtwosix March 27, 2017 1:13 PM BST
Bodil , murder mystery and the Third Reich , sounded like a good book before even reading.
I think I have read five of them now  , slightly out of sequence.
Report currant bun March 27, 2017 2:04 PM BST
Post Office.......Charles Bukowski   8/10
Anyone Can Do It....Duncan Bannatyne  7/10
Surely You're Joking Mr Feynmann....Richard Feynmann  8/10
This Is London.............Ben Judah    8/10
Report Mick Sturbs March 27, 2017 2:18 PM BST
I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hays a good thriller if somewhat overlong   well worth a read
Report annie. March 30, 2017 8:06 PM BST
Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh

What to make of this book?

It seems plain that it begins with a love affair between two men, but as this is the 1920s when homosexuality is illegal, is it?  I think it is because the affair is between two men who have gone to private school, say no more, wink, wink. But then the affair dissolves and the narrator ends up marrying a woman who he dislikes and children he cannot be bothered to see, divorcing her and then trying to marry another but can't.

I did not like the characters and especially the narrator.  I wanted to scream 'man up' several times as they all are practically wimps  and up themselves.  Snobbish twits the lot of them.  The poor dears cannot cope with gorgeous homes and loads of money, whilst the working class has to work all hours to keep them in style.

I do not vote labour, but if I had read this book in 1945 I might have Happy
Report johnn March 30, 2017 8:16 PM BST
Anyone read James Robertson's "The Testament of Gideon Mack"?
I'n rereading it now, utterly fantastic book.
Report Foinavon March 30, 2017 8:56 PM BST
Good review Annie and the reason I don't read that style of literature. Homosexuality between men certainly was illegal in the 1920s although not the case for women.(iirc)
Report annie. March 30, 2017 9:12 PM BST
Thanks, Foinavon Happy

I don't read that style of literature as a rule, but as it is supposed to be a 'classic' I thought I would see what all the fuss was about.  Not much, in my opinion.  It reminded me of a upper class 'mills and boon', although I hasten to add I think I have only read one 'mills and boon' in my teenage years and that was enough!

I read somewhere that female sexuality was not illegal because Queen Victoria did not think women could possibly do it.  I can assure her they can!
Report Foinavon March 30, 2017 9:22 PM BST
Yup Grin

A lot of the literature of the Victorian age seems to be about the shenanigans of the upper crust, perhaps because the writers were describing the milieu they knew best.
Maybe it was the Mills and Boone of the age but I couldn't possibly comment.
Report annie. March 30, 2017 9:24 PM BST
My thoughts exactly, Foinavon.
Report annie. April 6, 2017 7:14 PM BST
A day in your life, 24 hours inside the human body - Dr Hilary Jones

I enjoyed this book, it was informative and entertaining.
Report Foinavon April 7, 2017 5:32 PM BST
The Master and Margarita By Bulgakov.

Rather oddball which I would describe as a cross between Kafka and Lewis Carroll without achieving the brilliance of either. Easy read though, which can't be said for Kafka, and one can see why it was banned in The Stalinist Soviet Union. The multiple Russian names were confusing at times and I had to occasionally refer back, a minor grumble.
I second Bodil's views on this book posted on here last month.
Report Foinavon April 22, 2017 2:06 PM BST
Straight and Crooked Thinking by Robert Henry Thouless

This is an update of a book originally written by his grandfather in 1930. I can think of a number of people who would benefit from reading this. I downloaded this as I wanted a copy on my Kindle.

A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
The sign of Four by the same author
I had watched adaptations of Sherlock Holmes stories on TV many years ago but never got around to reading the novels. I downloaded the complete collection of Sherlock Holmes stories for 99p which is a bargain as the stories are still fresh and exciting today.
Report bigH May 9, 2017 9:41 PM BST
rommel
07 Feb 17 12:59
Joined: 30 Jul 02
| Topic/replies: 18,846 | Blogger: rommel's blog
The Faber Book of Reportage       What was it like to be caught in the firestorm that destroyed Pompeii? To have dinner with Attila the Hun? To watch the charge of the Light Brigade? To see the Titanic slide beneath the waves? John Carey's best-selling Faber Book of Reportage draws its eyewitness account from memoirs, travel books and newspapers. This is history with the varnish removed.


Thank you Rommel for flagging this book up. Every chapter is eye opening and jaw dropping.

Got it for 1p plus postage
Report sixtwosix May 10, 2017 9:16 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
Report Foinavon May 14, 2017 5:52 PM BST
Crime by Irvine Welsh
Quite different from the well-known Trainspotting trilogy. A well-written crime thriller set in Florida where the underlying tension and menace is maintained to keep you enthralled.
It tackles the difficult subject of paedophilia and seems very well researched to me.
Excellent book.
Report Foinavon May 16, 2017 5:29 PM BST
The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli

Thought this would be worth reading, so I did.
It was.
Report TheGoldenVision May 16, 2017 6:39 PM BST
The Heavenly Table - Donald Ray Pollock

This 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.
Report Foinavon May 19, 2017 11:45 AM BST
River out of Eden - Richard Dawkins.

This is the second time I have read this wonderfully accessible book on Darwinian evolution. The river in question is the flow of a torrent of information through time carried in our genes. The various themes are clearly explained in a non-technical way and the narrative holds your attention and curiosity throughout. Dawkins also takes the time to answer his critics in a clear logical way that is easily understood. Although short and concise, this is one of his best books.
Report sixtwosix May 21, 2017 6:17 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
Report Foinavon May 21, 2017 11:14 PM BST
Last month,I downloaded a collection of 60+ works by H Rider Haggard for 49p.
So far I've read a couple of short stories, one I rate as poor (Smith and the Pharoahs)
the other excellent (The blue Curtains).
I'm looking for help from the Chit Chat bibliophiles to help me choose the best of this collection to read first. If you are familiar with this author's work I would be interested to know your recommendations.
Thanks in advance.
Report Mr.Anderson May 24, 2017 5:42 PM BST
Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (Swedish translation).

Fantasy book of more than 700 pages, and I finished it in three days, i.e. I liked it. 9/10 maybe. I've just borrowed the next book in the series.
Report Foinavon June 10, 2017 9:17 PM BST
The Art of Thinking Clearly - Rolf Dobelli
99 cognitive errors each with its own chapter, 3 pages long.
A fun read with some amusing anecdotes even though the author can come across as patronising at times.
It doesn't actually teach you anything positive,just shows you what to avoid which is OK in itself. Good book.
Report Velasquez June 10, 2017 9:51 PM BST
The Dawn of World Redemption by Erich Sauer.
Report boxingthefox June 10, 2017 10:08 PM BST
The Magic Mountain, Thomas Mann, a great read any year, also Victory, Joseph Conrad. His best imo.
Report boxingthefox June 10, 2017 10:11 PM BST
I am  Axel Heyst (Spartacus supporter voice). Grin
Report Velasquez June 11, 2017 12:15 AM BST
I had a German girlfriend who gave me Der ZAUBERBERG Grin to read. She used to read it to me and then translate...she identified totally with Claudia Chauchat, who used to bang the dining room doors with no heed for the other sick people...Cry

If you are not sick, this book will make you sick IMO. I came down with a horrendous cold in the middle of summer...this book is steeped in decadence and sickness...Cry
Report bodil June 11, 2017 12:17 AM BST
Bit upmarket, boxing? I'm impressed. Tbh the kind of books you might find in a hospital library.

Sometime last month my kindle (I'm sick of carting hundred of boxes of books around when I move - which used to be quite often, happy days. Is that OK with you paper-loving bastards?)got an update and erased all indications of what the dam books were. So I stabbed at a random blank square to get my bearings. Well I can't resist 0.99p bargains, and it was one of a trilogy by Joe Abercrombie (The First Law?). Think Brak The Barbarian (they're good), Conan (mighty Conan!) crossed with Tolkien and Game Of Thrones. Well, it was now designated as read. So I had to read it. I have a tidy mind. Really. Lots of slaughter and confusion, people go on quests and nothing much happens except time is wasted, the heroes kill children accidently and run away, true love is trampled on, good people die, bad people die, peasants are slaughtered for no good reason, the sex is brutish and bad, everyone smells and characters disappear randomly.

Now I think about it, a bit like chit chat. Or Theresa May's reign

Well I read three 600+ page books and then the first of the next series. If you need cheering up or feel suicidal, these are not for you.
Report Velasquez June 11, 2017 12:21 AM BST
By the way,there are some cracking French hotties reading classic literature on youtube...literally!
Report bodil June 11, 2017 12:25 AM BST
How, er, how well clothed are they? And do they do French?
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.
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