Books - what are you reading at the moment?

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Postby Afront » Mon Jul 30, 2007 6:18 pm

SirMirrorman wrote:Next in the pile is The Dark River by John Twelve Hawks

That sounded interesting... until I saw the quote on the cover of the first book: "the new da vinci code"
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Postby SirMirrorman » Tue Jul 31, 2007 11:38 am

Around the nation, around the world
What's been going down?
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Postby Jinx » Mon Aug 06, 2007 10:02 pm

Still reading 'Rip it up and start again' by Simon Reynolds. This is a book about postpunk 1978 to 1984, and features our heroes among many others. I'll post a review when I've finished it. Don't hold your breath I can only take it in small doses.
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Postby sarah t » Fri Aug 17, 2007 2:14 pm

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Postby cs15 » Sun Sep 09, 2007 1:40 pm

Just home from 2 week holiday in Zakynthos, Greece.

Got through this lot whilst sunbathing on the beach in 38 degree heat:

The Black Sun by James Twining

Great book. It's a story based on a treasure hunt concerning a train that was sent by the SS full of art and gold etc during the dying days of world war two from Berlin to Austria and the missing carriages (and treasure) from that train. Loads of intriguing Nazi information and conspiracy theories. Loved it.

Echo Park by Michael Connelly
Never heard of this writer before but was advised to get get the book and I'm so glad that I did. Basically about a detective hunting down a serial killer but with loads of twists and turn. Really enjoyed the book and will be hunting down other titles by this guy.

Cry Salty Tears by Dinah O'Dowd
A book by Boy George's mum about her life growing up in the slums of Dublin through her life at the hands of her wife beating husband and up to today. This is NOT about Boy George. It's HER story. Really enjoyed it. Have a real interest in this as her brother was my next door neighbour for 28 years and it's weird reading bits and pieces about him in this book. She is a fantastic woman and this was a great read.

Cross Bones by Kathy Reichs
I have read a few of her books in the past and have always enjoyed them but whilst this one starts out well the ending is just a waste of time and such a let down. Very much in the style of the Da Vinci Code (even mentions it once or twice) but is full of holes and by the end I really didn't care about the characters. Big let down.

Red Carpets & Other Banana Skins by Rupert Everett
His life story and loads of gossip about stars he worked with etc etc. Very funny in places and he is very honest throughout regarding his career on the way up and on the way back down again and all the bits in-between. A good read.

The Last Juror by John Grisham
I stopped reading John Grisham books some years ago as they were all pretty similar. Was given this one by a friend and it was the usual Grisham court room story. Good but no cigar.
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Postby DJ Ian Aitch » Tue Sep 11, 2007 8:50 am

I'm reading Taking Liberties Since 1997 by Chris Atkins, Sarah Bee and Fiona Buttons; which is making me very depressed, ashamed and yet very inspired. I think everyone in Britain should read it.
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Postby JJ » Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:08 am

I've just finished The Secret River by Kate Grenville.

It's about a London boatman in the very late 1700s, who is deported to Australia following a crime. It then details how he makes his way in the new town springing up called Sydney, and the interaction (often brutal) between the new settlers and the aboriginal people. I particularly enjoyed it as I recognised a lot of the waterways and descriptions of the land around the area. It was ultimately a sad book, but I still enjoyed it.

I'm now on A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka. It's OK, but a bit of a girls' book so far...
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Postby Stig Olsen » Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:12 am

I'm reading about the allied invasion in Normandy....and currently a small story about Mr. Dawe - a compiler of Puzzles for the Daily Telegraph, who in 1944 created panic at MI5 because clues and answers related to the planned invasion - such as Omaha, Utah, Overlord etc. - very interesting - read about it here: http://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/England-History/Crossword.htm
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Postby aapierre » Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:34 pm

Bernard Cornwell The Saxon stories

The Last Kingdom
The Pale Horseman
The Lords of The North

and the soon to be in my mits Sword Song

Bernard Cornwell

My other favourite is

Valerio Massimo Manfredi

I've read these

The Spartan (2002)
The Last Legion (2003)
The Talisman of Troy (2004)
Tyrant (2005)
The Oracle (2005)

Alexander
1. Child of a Dream (2001)
2. Sands of Ammon (2001)
3. Ends of the Earth (2001)


And am yet to get started on these three

Empire of the Dragons (2006)
The Tower (2006)
Pharaoh (2008) - not out yet

but this author is excellent - for me he is a read from cover to cover author - work and sleep permitting
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Postby JJ » Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:38 pm

Has anyone read any good WW3 / Nuclear War type novels? For example, a book version of something like Threads or The Day After?

There's a pretty good one called Arc Light by Eric L. Harry, and a book called The Third World War by Humphrey Hawkesley that was less good, but they seem to be rare. It's a subject that fascinates me.
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Postby tall tall tall » Tue Sep 11, 2007 5:33 pm

Vaguely remember reading one in the 70s/80s when at school and when we were all paranoid about the Russians. Just Googled and I remember the title now: 'Z for Zachariah'. I don't know if it's any good though as can't remember much about it and I haven't got the time to get it and re-read it.
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Postby Jinx » Tue Sep 11, 2007 9:12 pm

JJ wrote:Has anyone read any good WW3 / Nuclear War type novels? For example, a book version of something like Threads or The Day After?

There's a pretty good one called Arc Light by Eric L. Harry, and a book called The Third World War by Humphrey Hawkesley that was less good, but they seem to be rare. It's a subject that fascinates me.

JJ,
I'm sure you've read Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers it's a cracking read and not quite what your asking about, oh and much better that the film by the way.
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Postby mikeypblueremix » Wed Sep 12, 2007 9:23 am

I watched the movie 'The Day After' the other night on satellite - the True Movies channel (!) which was quite a misnomer seeing as there hasn't been a nuclear attack in Kansas...quite a grim movie though.
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Postby JJ » Wed Sep 12, 2007 10:01 am

It is, but the effects are pretty good, and have the added bonus of hearing the American pronunciation when people look up pointing saying "Those are Minuteman missiles!" (pronounced 'missals!') It is very well done that film, but not quite as good as threads as there are far too many heroic type statements in it.

@ Jinx - I haven't read that or heard of it - will check it out, thanks! @ tall tall tall - thanks, will check that out too.
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Postby JJ » Wed Sep 12, 2007 10:05 am

@ Jinx - just looked it up. That's not really what I'm after tbh, as it's more science fiction (war against aliens). I'm talking about more conventional war (ie between humans) but with the nuclear angle, such as was seen in Threads. Any more tips?
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Postby JJ » Wed Sep 12, 2007 10:09 am

@ tall tall tall - that's more what I was thinking about, although apparently it's a children's novel.

Demanding, aren't I?!
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Postby mikeypblueremix » Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:17 pm

JJ wrote:Demanding, aren't I?!

The evidence for the prosecution:


JJ wrote:John the Moderator - all he ever gives us is pain!

Agree with you on The Day After and Threads - Threads I find really disturbing to watch; I still think it's one of the most frightening things I have ever seen.

Can't think of a WW3 apocalyptic book though apart from 'Domain' by James Herbert, which has a nuclear attack at the beginning, but then some very nasty rats with a taste for flesh...
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Postby Afront » Wed Sep 12, 2007 6:01 pm

Apocaliterature: Cormac McCarthy's "The Road" , Russell Hoban's "Riddley Walker" , Neal Gaiman's "Signal to Noise" , Kurt Vonnegut's "Cat's Cradle" , Walter Miller's "A Canticle for Leibowitz" , Stephen King's "The Stand" ...

or see:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_apocalyptic_and_post-apocalyptic_fiction
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Postby mikeypblueremix » Thu Sep 13, 2007 9:30 am

Apocaliterature has got to be the best word I've ever read... :)
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Postby aapierre » Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:25 am

JJ - not 3WW stuff but is good anyways
Fatherland by Robert Harris is set in 60s Germany as if they won the 2WW
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Postby decophile » Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:51 am

aapierre wrote:JJ - not 3WW stuff but is good anyways
Fatherland by Robert Harris is set in 60s Germany as if they won the 2WW

Is it good? What's life like?
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Postby orch5 » Thu Sep 13, 2007 12:48 pm

Ive just read The Da Da De Da Da Code by Robert Rankin. Hysterical.

Prior to that I read The Devil in Amber by Mark Gatiss.

Now I'm reading The Northern Lights Trilogy and really enjoying it too.

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Postby JJ » Fri Sep 14, 2007 8:30 am

Afront wrote:Apocaliterature: Cormac McCarthy's "The Road" , Russell Hoban's "Riddley Walker" , Neal Gaiman's "Signal to Noise" , Kurt Vonnegut's "Cat's Cradle" , Walter Miller's "A Canticle for Leibowitz" , Stephen King's "The Stand" ...

The Road - brilliant (see first post in this thread!) although he war itself not in it;

A Canticle For Liebowitz - (also see first post in the thread) I got halfway through and gave up, thought it was very dull (many years post nuclear war, the war itself not in it at all);

The Stand - my favourite book ever (although despite a nuclear blast in it, the book isn't actually about nuclear war).

I'll check out the rest, thanks Afront!

(And as Mike said - great word! :))
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Postby aapierre » Fri Sep 14, 2007 11:26 am

decophile wrote:
aapierre wrote:JJ - not 3WW stuff but is good anyways
Fatherland by Robert Harris is set in 60s Germany as if they won the 2WW

Is it good? What's life like?

I enjoyed the book a lot and ordinary life wasn't covered in huge detail but the repression and state control in it was interesting.

a lot of the book dealt with the murder investigation and the repression placed upon the investigator not to find the truth.
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Postby Afront » Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:16 pm

JJ wrote:The Road - brilliant (see first post in this thread!)

Just finished this myself JJ - very moving, not one I'll forget in a hurry.
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