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Book thread: what are you reading?


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22 minutes ago, Old Frightful said:

"The Testament" by Grisham is probably my all time favourite read.

Starts off with something completely unexpected and continues as a gripping story right until the end.

A good mate of mine has just finished reading the The Guardians by him and recommends it so just a matter of time before i get around to reading that.

Iv'e always been a keen reader when Iv'e had time, but due to lock downs and all that goes with it I'm reading more then ever.

I would say my favourite modern authors are John, David Baldacci and Jame Patterson. From the past it has to be George Orwell. Such a handle on reality.

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The Subtle Art of not Giving a F*ck is actually my 12 year olds book, her Mother confiscated it, and asked me to go through the entire book and redact all the swear words, been doing that for two weeks, and not half way through. Might buy a Rupert Bear Annual for Christmas.

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Just read "The unwrapping of Theodora Quirke", a fantasy Christmas novel set in Liverpool. It really is an utterly brilliant book. I only spotted it as Johnny Vegas was plugging it on Twitter. A highly entertaining and moving tale.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55630729-the-unwrapping-of-theodora-quirke?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=8wchaXoaP6&rank=1

I also recently devoured yet another cricket book called "Not out first ball", the story of a nomadic and very mediocre team from the Home Counties. It's in the same vein as "Fatty Batter" and "Rain Men" but somehow not quite as enjoyable - still a good read though.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18998348-not-out-first-ball?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=U7oR3shrOB&rank=1

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17 minutes ago, Leeds Wire said:

I also recently devoured yet another cricket book called "Not out first ball", the story of a nomadic and very mediocre team from the Home Counties. It's in the same vein as "Fatty Batter" and "Rain Men" but somehow not quite as enjoyable - still a good read though.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18998348-not-out-first-ball?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=U7oR3shrOB&rank=1

Read that and enjoyed it, but not (as you say) quite up to the other books. Have you read Penguins stopped Play by Harry Thompson? Another good one in the same vein, about the Captain Scott XI.

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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1 minute ago, Futtocks said:

Read that and enjoyed it, but not (as you say) quite up to the other books. Have you read Penguins stopped Play by Harry Thompson? Another good one in the same vein, about the Captain Scott XI.

Yes, I have thanks. Forgot about that one!

Have you read "Fibber in the Heat" by Miles Jupp? That's a cracking read.

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7 minutes ago, Leeds Wire said:

Yes, I have thanks. Forgot about that one!

Have you read "Fibber in the Heat" by Miles Jupp? That's a cracking read.

Love the Miles Jupp book, especially when he's nervously rubbing shoulders with playing and broadcasting legends, all the time worrying that they half-recognise him from Balamory. :kolobok_biggrin:

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"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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On 03/12/2020 at 14:19, Bleep1673 said:

The Subtle Art of not Giving a F*ck is actually my 12 year olds book, her Mother confiscated it, and asked me to go through the entire book and redact all the swear words, been doing that for two weeks, and not half way through. Might buy a Rupert Bear Annual for Christmas.

I am also trying to read Extinct Countries, which is hilarious. It charts the unsuccessful attempts of various business men to set up their own country, mostly on behalf of GB, and crashing & burning, some stupid Victorians, with too much money, or homosexual libido have tried it, and tried to declare themselves KING of >>>>>>>

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35 minutes ago, Bleep1673 said:

I am also trying to read Extinct Countries, which is hilarious. It charts the unsuccessful attempts of various business men to set up their own country, mostly on behalf of GB, and crashing & burning, some stupid Victorians, with too much money, or homosexual libido have tried it, and tried to declare themselves KING of >>>>>>>

What's the author's name?

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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On 05/12/2020 at 18:28, The Future is League said:

I have just finished reading  the George Orwell  book, Homage to Catalonia. 

Another great book by him, but i think they all are of the one's i have read.

His less popular stuff is all brilliant. Down and Out in Paris and London, and Keep the Aspidistra Flying are both well worth a read if you haven't already! 

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2 hours ago, Saint 1 said:

His less popular stuff is all brilliant. Down and Out in Paris and London, and Keep the Aspidistra Flying are both well worth a read if you haven't already! 

I have certainly read Down and out in Paris and London, but not Keep the aspidistra flying. Now you have recommended it i will keep a watch out for it. and hopefully get it soon

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Currently reading: Rugby League Grounds Gone But Not Forgotten by Henry Skrzypecki, it's a fascinating book, one of the best RL books I have read. If you are a long standing RL geek who has a interest in the grounds you may have visited over the years it's the ultimate read full of details about those grounds that have gone and those that survive in some shape or form still.

Any collection of RL books would be incomplete without this excellent book.

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Ryszard Kapuscinski - Nobody leaves. Better known for his wonderful travel writing, this is about the opposite, about life in Soviet Poland. The link takes you to a review.

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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On 07/12/2020 at 15:40, Saint 1 said:

His less popular stuff is all brilliant. Down and Out in Paris and London, and Keep the Aspidistra Flying are both well worth a read if you haven't already! 

Burmese Days is probably my favourite. Really highlights the absurdity of colonialism from someone who witnessed it. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

In recent years I have not read a lot of non-fiction but I have just completed Simon Winder's trilogy "Germania", "Danubia" and "Lotharingia". They are idiosyncratic histories of the Holy Roman Empire and Germany, Hapsburg lands and the Austro-Hungarian Empire and finally a buffer state between France and the Holy Roman Empire covering Burgundy, Flanders and Southern Netherlands, the Rhineland and north west Switzerland. However, some book shops place the books in the travel section as regularly the author describes wandering round a town, building or museum relevant to the history. While all the books strictly follow their own chronologies, the author regularly wanders off into discussing art, music, architecture and scientific changes. 

The author is a not a professional historian, but rather works in publishing. As such his histories can be idiosyncratic. Germania is probably the most accessible geographically. I found trying to work out which areas were being discussed at times difficult in the second and third books. For instance it took me quite a while to work out the Ruthenes came from what is now western Ukraine. Strangely Bismark is only mentioned once in Germania and Mozart not at all in Danubia and the author is not unafraid of giving his personal opinion on individuals. Germania ends in 1933 as he writes that he does not want to waste time on the nazis. Personally I don't mind that as any bookshop is full of tomes on the racist psychopath and there really is nothing to add to the topic. Germany has a much more interesting history than that 12 year period which is regularly overlooked and is the birthplace of a vibrant and important culture.  Danubia unsurprisingly ends in 1918 but Lotharingia goes up to the modern day. The author's distaste of nationalists is found throughout the books and the pointed comments that the EU has seen the first lengthy period since the Roman Empire without war or preparations for the next war for Flanders and the border between France and Germany are pointed given it was written during the Brexit period.

It should be said that the style of writing is very self-deprecating, which might get wearing. Personally I found the books to be very entertaining and laugh out loud funny in places. A dictionary is occasionally helpful, however, as he does like the odd obscure word. In all they are highly recommended if you want to reawaken knowledge of areas which is now often overlooked through the carnage of the last century.

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On 21/12/2020 at 05:51, The Future is League said:

I have just finished reading  "End Game" by David Baldacci another excellent book by him

I bought 3 books 6 days ago and i think I'm going to have plenty of time to read them now and all by modern British authors just to give me a change in my reading habits

Will Robie Forever

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On 10/12/2020 at 00:55, CanaBull said:

They Call Me George by Cecil Foster.

https://www.cbc.ca/books/they-call-me-george-1.5014735

A side of the history of Canada not often taught.  Interesting with its ties to the mother country and what shaped what people who ran things thought Canada should be.

A big wide open space full of Bears & Moose, & Ice Hockey Champions, without Americans & French. Seems the right idea.

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A couple of Edward Gorey anthologies. Here's a taste of his macabre sense of humour: https://www.brainpickings.org/2011/01/19/edward-gorey-the-gashlycrumb-tinies/ 

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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