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Book thread: what are you reading?

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Sex and Money are like Oxygen

They're not important until you're not getting enough.

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On 07/04/2020 at 00:37, Saintslass said:

I've just finished reading two books about actual spies by the same author: Ben Macintyre.  One was about Kim Philby (obvs!) and I enjoyed it but the other I found utterly gripping.  It's called The Spy and the Traitor and is about Oleg Gordievsky, a colonel in the KGB who ended up spying for MI6 until he was betrayed, and he was spirited out of the USSR in the kind of operation which had Hollywood written all over it.  How they succeeded I don't know but they did, and Gordievsky is still alive, living somewhere in the UK under an assumed name (and with a 24 hour armed guard since the Skripal poisonings). 

Both good reads.  McIntyre is a writer I enjoy.

Try Agent Zig Zag.  Unbelievable story of a chancer, womaniser, etc etc becoming a double agent between Germany and England during Ww2 years.

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Now here's a novelty..... i am about to read a book. I think the last book I read for anything other than reference was at least 34 years ago.... i remember as I'd broke my leg playing for wath at ponty.

I've read it before like.... but wilt by Tom Sharp perhaps reflects my adolescent humour.

 

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I'm currently re-reading Raw Spirit, Iain Banks' book about Scotch whisky. It is also about other things, but mostly about whisky. Good-natured fun and often silly, but you still (sic) learn quite a bit about the subject.


"Men will be proud to say 'I am a European'. We hope to see a day when men of every country will think as much of being a European as of being from their native land." (Winston Churchill)

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I am in the middle of a very entertaining read. '###### Las Vegas'. It a fond look at the history and stars that appeared at Batley Variety Club.

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Rereading War of the Worlds again. First time in a few years I read it. So gripping and fast paced, pulls you right into the story. Its interesting reading about 19th century London and picking out how it's changed in the modern day, for example describing places like Barnet, Twickenham and Kew as completely separate towns separated by just small lanes and people fleeing Martians in horse and carts. Brilliant! Absolute classic! 

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Graham Greene - The Ministry of Fear. An unsettling little book, set during WWII, and was one of the first Greene titles I ever read.


"Men will be proud to say 'I am a European'. We hope to see a day when men of every country will think as much of being a European as of being from their native land." (Winston Churchill)

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On 12/08/2020 at 10:30, The Hallucinating Goose said:

Rereading War of the Worlds again. First time in a few years I read it. So gripping and fast paced, pulls you right into the story. Its interesting reading about 19th century London and picking out how it's changed in the modern day, for example describing places like Barnet, Twickenham and Kew as completely separate towns separated by just small lanes and people fleeing Martians in horse and carts. Brilliant! Absolute classic! 

I've recently re-read Down and out in Paris and London by Orwell..same interesting thing about reading how the places were back then....obviously more recent and more depressing though 

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Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall

Basically all about the concept of ‘geo-politics’ and how each country’s foreign policy with the rest of the world tends to be defined by it’s geography and position on a map.

It’s not a new concept and has long been around in diplomatic speak, but it does help you to look through the lens of the likes of Russia, China etc and make sense of their moves from their perspective.

I can recommend it to anyone, as if you have an understanding of international current affairs, it will enhance that.  Or if you’re looking to approach the subject for the first time it’s very clear and concise and a good starter or primer for further reading.

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Finished The Body Snatchers and moving straight onto an absolute classic in sci-fi, 'The Space Merchants' by Frederick Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth. 

The Space Merchants is about a future where human society is completely controlled and dictated by advertising firms, where governments are represented by ad firms, votes are weighted towards those with more influence in these companies and companies turn entire countries into businesses. Written in the early 50s, it is an incredible metaphorical commentary on the influence our capitalist society has on just about every aspect of our lives, whether we realise it or not. Of course, being a sci-fi novel it exaggerates these points to the extremes but it's certainly interesting to read it over 60 years after it was written and see how little observations that the authors see as being massively exaggerated are drawing closer and closer to reality as time moves on. The book is set 100 years after it was written so we are about 30 years off that now and with the way media, advertising and marketing already dominate society its not out of the realms of possibility to see our society approaching something seen in the book by 2050 after all, yesterday, apple was valued at $2 trillion which would make it one of the richest countries in the world. 

A brilliant book worth reading! 

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On 20/08/2020 at 09:48, JohnM said:

Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym.

of Nantucket. 

A Poe choice and a good choice.

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On 15/08/2020 at 00:20, Bedfordshire Bronco said:

I've recently re-read Down and out in Paris and London by Orwell..same interesting thing about reading how the places were back then....obviously more recent and more depressing though 

Let's hear it for the plongeurs!

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"Life in a Railway Factory" by Alfred Williams 

Written in 1915, about the reason why my home town even exists, and described as "the most important literary work ever produced in Swindon, about Swindon" 

Edited by Wiltshire Rhino

2014 Challenged Cup Winner

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Justin Quirk - Nothin' but a good time: The spectacular rise and fall of Glam Metal.

This is a history of one of history's most reviled, noisy, colourful and ephemeral music genres. There's a lot of outrageous stories, some of which are stoopid fun, some of which are disturbing and sordid.
The writing is mainly pretty decent, although the fanboy hyperbole clearly ratchets up when the author describes the music of his favourite bands. But that could be said of many music writers covering more "serious" types of music.
Odd fact plucked from the pages: Vinnie Vincent, who played for KISS and also fronted one of the poutiest, spiky-guitar-est, big-haired-est, make-up slathered bands in his own right, used to write music for the sitcom 'Happy Days' and the spinoff 'Joanie loves Chachi'.
Just like the genre, this book is good fun, right up 'til it all turns bad.

Now reading: Geoffrey Household's historical novelisation "The Exploits of Xenophon". Good so far.


"Men will be proud to say 'I am a European'. We hope to see a day when men of every country will think as much of being a European as of being from their native land." (Winston Churchill)

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