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Bleep1673

Which authors REALLY got you reading?

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If I'm honest my Dad got me reading Library books at a very early age, and we used to go to Eccles, and Hope Libraries on a regular basis, but I think the writer who really caught my imagination was a sci-fi writer called Harry Harrison, and his Stainless Steel Rat books. That's when I discovered reading can be fun. They were trash novels, but caught my 12 year old imagination, and I read the lot, I then started to read more "Serious Sci-Fi", Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, etc., and found them too high-brow. I discovered Pratchett, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez about the same time, and that really screwed my mentality. I had weird dreams while reading Tom Holt, and I have had endless laughter, and one argument with a Saffa (can we call them Boers these days? She certainly was a Bore), over Tom Sharpe.

I remember reading Phillip K. Dick's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" while I was still at school [Before Blade Runner], and thought it very existentialist, rather than Sci-Fi, I still do, I read it about every 5-8 years. The only crime books I ever read have been Patricia Cornwell, when (Ironically) I had to do a month at HM Pleasure in 1997, and now I am reading The Maltese Falcon (via the Library), which is good fun.

I now read stuff that I like the synopsis of, I know that's not the way it works, it works for me.

I have a Kindle, if purists want to carry around 30kg of books, feel free, most of my recent acquisitions have been via there, usually my history, or trash (as I call it) reading. Well let's start talking.

I don't want to know who is your favourite author (Julia Donaldson - Gruffalo), or genre, just who made you read.

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Sex and Money are like Oxygen

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

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I started out with Asterix and Tintin, and the weirdly off-kilter world of Tove Jansson. Plus a fair amount of A.A.Milne, E.Nesbit.

Then the historical novelisations like Henry Treece, Roger Lancelyn Green, Rosemary Sutcliff and Mary Renault. An early fan of Asimov (whether the serious work or his endearingly appalling shaggy-dog joke stories), Alan Garner, J.R.R.Tolkien, Mervyn Peake and Roald Dahl.

But, growing up in a house without a television but with hundreds of books, I'd try anything that looked interesting. This led to an accidental early discovery that Roald Dahl wrote some pretty racy adult stuff too, like My Uncle Oswald, which I read a long time before I really should. It ain't the Danny the Champion of the World! The H.E.Bates books about the Larkin family were also a somewhat premature peek into a more adult world. Illicit discoveries of books by Terry Southern and Anais Nin were also somewhat <ahem> diverting.

Gerald Durrell was another early formative experience, as was John Wyndham and Arthur Ransome. And I cannot leave out the Molesworth books of Geoffrey Willans and Ronald Searle.

I the last decade, I have revisited quite a few of my childhood favourites, and I am very happy to report that, in most of the above cases, the quality still stands up to an adult reading.

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"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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Edited by Bleep1673

Sex and Money are like Oxygen

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

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35 minutes ago, Futtocks said:

I started out with Asterix and Tintin, and the weirdly off-kilter world of Tove Jansson. Plus a fair amount of A.A.Milne, E.Nesbit.

Then the historical novelisations like Henry Treece, Roger Lancelyn Green, Rosemary Sutcliff and Mary Renault. An early fan of Asimov (whether the serious work or his endearingly appalling shaggy-dog joke stories), Alan Garner, J.R.R.Tolkien, Mervyn Peake and Roald Dahl.

But, growing up in a house without a television but with hundreds of books, I'd try anything that looked interesting. This led to an accidental early discovery that Roald Dahl wrote some pretty racy adult stuff too, like My Uncle Oswald, which I read a long time before I really should. It ain't the Danny the Champion of the World! The H.E.Bates books about the Larkin family were also a somewhat premature peek into a more adult world. Illicit discoveries of books by Terry Southern and Anais Nin were also somewhat <ahem> diverting.

Gerald Durrell was another early formative experience, as was John Wyndham and Arthur Ransome. And I cannot leave out the Molesworth books of Geoffrey Willans and Ronald Searle.

I the last decade, I have revisited quite a few of my childhood favourites, and I am very happy to report that, in most of the above cases, the quality still stands up to an adult reading.

Early on I read many of the same people you did!....Doris Lessing really hooked me in for a long period of time...believe it or not one of the most readable people is actually Cicero (I now read the ancient authors alot).  In my opinion, the best Canadian author is Stephen Leacock, funny fellow that Leacock.

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7 minutes ago, Kayakman said:

Early on I read many of the same people you did!....Doris Lessing really hooked me in for a long period of time...believe it or not one of the most readable people is actually Cicero (I now read the ancient authors alot).  In my opinion, the best Canadian author is Stephen Leacock, funny fellow that Leacock.

There's an absolutely gargantuan anthology of Stephen Leacock I bought for the Kindle, and I have been dipping into it between other books for a long time now. Spike Milligan was also a fan of his, apparently.

He also fits into the North American humorist tradition that includes Mark Twain, Bret Harte, S.J.Perelman, Robert Benchley, H.L.Mencken (well,some of his lighter work), Woody Allen's prose books and David Sedaris' monologues.

Edited by Futtocks
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"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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24 minutes ago, Futtocks said:

There's an absolutely gargantuan anthology of Stephen Leacock I bought for the Kindle, and I have been dipping into it between other books for a long time now. Spike Milligan was also a fan of his, apparently.

He also fits into the North American humorist tradition that includes Mark Twain, Bret Harte, S.J.Perelman, Robert Benchley, H.L.Mencken (well,some of his lighter work), Woody Allen's prose books and David Sedaris' monologues.

Lawrence of Arabia has done some wonderful translations of Ancient Greek texts....he is the best at it from what I can glean.

Edited by Kayakman

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In no particular order.

Stephen King

Isaac Asimov

Choose Your Own Adventure 

Ian Livingstone’s Fighting Fantasy books 

Edited by Copa

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1 hour ago, Copa said:

In no particular order.

Stephen King

Isaac Asimov

Choose Your Own Adventure 

Ian Livingstone’s Fighting Fantasy books 

Plenty of Fighting Fantasy.

I can't really remember not reading TBH. The Reverend Awdry's Railway Series was a big part too.


Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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Nothing got me reading for anything other than reference and learning. Reading for pleasure is something i never really did. Music was and will always be my passion. 

I realise the two aren't mutually exclusive,  but reading is wasted time to me that could be spent with my phones on.

My sister says it explains my lack of imagination......

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No one perticular author. When I was of primary school age, (1951 to 1957) my mum used to buy "classics" from Manchester...pretty sure it was C&A. Treasure Island that sort of stuff and made me read them out loud. Became a habitue of Pendlebury library, mainly music scores (brass band), jazz biographies, other non-fiction. 

Influenced by TV , started  on more adventure stories. Then Hammond  Innes,  Ian Fleming,  Len Deighton (after seeing The Ipcress File) then John Le Carre....Mark Twain...best of all.. Dickens


Four legs good - two legs bad

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The first book I ever read was Enid Blyton's Shadow the Sheepdog. The following week I bought RLStevenson's Treasure Island. I went on to join the library and have been smitten ever since.

Thank you Enid for introducing me to a treasure trove.

 

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Ron Banks

Bears and Barrow

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47 minutes ago, Bearman said:

The first book I ever read was Enid Blyton's Shadow the Sheepdog. The following week I bought RLStevenson's Treasure Island. I went on to join the library and have been smitten ever since.

Thank you Enid for introducing me to a treasure trove.

 

Enid Blyton for me too. I was more a fan of the Secret Seven than the Famous Five though. And the Magic Faraway Tree was just about the most exciting thing I'd ever heard of back then. I can still visualise all the characters in my head, even now, forty-odd years later. I read tons of stuff by Enid Blyton. Too many to list.

I also remember absolutely loving a couple of books about Danny Fox (not a person, an actual fox) who went on various adventures, though I couldn't recall the author. I thought it might  be Roald Dahl, but Wikipedia now tells me it was David Thomson.

Roald Dahl did light up my childhood with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and what I thought back then was the better book, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, because they went to space and it had monsters in it (the Vermicious Knids).

Which brings me onto the Doctor Who novelisations, the bulk of which were written by a handful of authors, notably Terrance Dicks, Malcolm Hulke and David Whitaker. I read them all, over and over again. Hundreds of them. And I've still got 'em too. Personal heirlooms and treasured memories of childhood.

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Like others it was Enid Blyton's books that started me then in secondary school the "Jennings" books. Twain, Steinbeck,  Wells,  King  particular favourites.

Others that I've enjoyed Stan Barstow's " A Kind of Loving "Trilogy  and early books by Alan Sillitoe. Heller's Catch 22 and Kesey's "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest "

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Dr Seuss and Richard Scarry (loved the exploded diagrams), then all the Terrence Dicks (and others) Dr Who novels as they had them in the local library. I then moved on to Harry Harrison, Arthur C Clark, Asimov etc as a natural stepping stone. Had read the original foundation trilogy by the time i was started secondary school just in time for the others to come out

I was allowed 2 fiction 1 non fiction each Saturday from the library when i was 9 or 10 so i usually got a Dr Who, a.n.other Sci Fi (things like John Wyndham) and then i read my way through all the non fiction books on WW1 & WW2 that they had

Edited by SSoutherner

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12 hours ago, Futtocks said:

I started out with Asterix and Tintin, and the weirdly off-kilter world of Tove Jansson. Plus a fair amount of A.A.Milne, E.Nesbit.

Then the historical novelisations like Henry Treece, Roger Lancelyn Green, Rosemary Sutcliff and Mary Renault. An early fan of Asimov (whether the serious work or his endearingly appalling shaggy-dog joke stories), Alan Garner, J.R.R.Tolkien, Mervyn Peake and Roald Dahl.

But, growing up in a house without a television but with hundreds of books, I'd try anything that looked interesting. This led to an accidental early discovery that Roald Dahl wrote some pretty racy adult stuff too, like My Uncle Oswald, which I read a long time before I really should. It ain't the Danny the Champion of the World! The H.E.Bates books about the Larkin family were also a somewhat premature peek into a more adult world. Illicit discoveries of books by Terry Southern and Anais Nin were also somewhat <ahem> diverting.

Gerald Durrell was another early formative experience, as was John Wyndham and Arthur Ransome. And I cannot leave out the Molesworth books of Geoffrey Willans and Ronald Searle.

I the last decade, I have revisited quite a few of my childhood favourites, and I am very happy to report that, in most of the above cases, the quality still stands up to an adult reading.

Henry Treece was the first author I "discovered" for myself rather than being introduced to by friends or parents. I remember his Viking series and a set about a Private Detective turned Spy set in contemporary times, killer in Dark Glasses was he first one of his I read I think.

I read Tolkein as a child but never really enjoyed it, I never really got the whole made up creatures thing, although I read SF voraciously, Asimov, Clarke and later The Stainless Steeel Rat, Robert Heinlein and E E Doc Smith. 

I recently spotted a kindle package on Amazon of Smith books for 83p and was sadly diappointed at how poor they are. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Doc-Smith-MEGAPACK®-Classic-Stories-ebook/dp/B014LH4ZR6/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=ee+doc+smith&qid=1583234581&sr=8-2 it's still there if anyone is interested.

Rereading some SF I enjoyed in my teens I am surprised how much they got right and how much they got wrong, some of the innovations we take for granted were completely missed, like instant access to information and the social use of technology.

The most obvious thing they missed was the fundamental shift in gender roles, there were no female scientists, space explorers or lead characters, women were very much there to be nurses, waitresses and weak things to be rescued. 

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1 hour ago, Shadow said:

Henry Treece was the first author I "discovered" for myself rather than being introduced to by friends or parents. I remember his Viking series and a set about a Private Detective turned Spy set in contemporary times, killer in Dark Glasses was he first one of his I read I think.

I read Tolkein as a child but never really enjoyed it, I never really got the whole made up creatures thing, although I read SF voraciously, Asimov, Clarke and later The Stainless Steeel Rat, Robert Heinlein and E E Doc Smith. 

I recently spotted a kindle package on Amazon of Smith books for 83p and was sadly diappointed at how poor they are. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Doc-Smith-MEGAPACK®-Classic-Stories-ebook/dp/B014LH4ZR6/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=ee+doc+smith&qid=1583234581&sr=8-2 it's still there if anyone is interested.

Rereading some SF I enjoyed in my teens I am surprised how much they got right and how much they got wrong, some of the innovations we take for granted were completely missed, like instant access to information and the social use of technology.

The most obvious thing they missed was the fundamental shift in gender roles, there were no female scientists, space explorers or lead characters, women were very much there to be nurses, waitresses and weak things to be rescued. 

I re-read a Doc Smith book recently, and I'd agree that they have aged very badly indeed.


"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 also started wi Asterix and Tintin.

I then remember reading reference books in the bath for hours. 

Next it was Grisham and the Mario Puzo efforts. Then Bryson which progressed into more Physics focussed jazz.

Struggling to find time currently as podcasts usually do the job. Miss it. May try an audiobook at some stage

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First 'real' books I remember reading were Rev. W Awdry's Railway books, my mum had a collection of it must have been 20 of them for us kids.  The next ones I can think of were the Asterix series, Usborne science or history books and the Ian Livingstone/Steve Jackson Fighting Fantasy series from the school book club.  If you say you have enough space for books I don't want to know you. LOL

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At school, Raymond Chandler and Dashiel Hammett.

US Underground comics of the 1970s and 1980's. I still have a collection in a box in the attic.

TBH, I haven't read a novel for over 20 years.


Under Scrutiny by the Right-On Thought Police

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The bloke who wrote the Mr Man books , Roald Dahl and all the writers for my dads Racing Post

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Agatha Christie for me when I was 13.

I've always read crime novels since. Now I like Scandinavian crime novels in particular.

Racing Paper same as David though there was only the Sporting life in my day 😊

Edited by Niels

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14 hours ago, Kayakman said:

Early on I read many of the same people you did!....Doris Lessing really hooked me in for a long period of time...believe it or not one of the most readable people is actually Cicero (I now read the ancient authors alot).  In my opinion, the best Canadian author is Stephen Leacock, funny fellow that Leacock.

Talking of Stephen Leacock, he's well out of copyright, so Project Gutenberg have his books available as free downloads: https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/search/?query=leacock 

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"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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Just remembered another early read

The Rupert annuals, they had a single line across the top of a page, slightly more story under each picture and a few paragraph at the bottom. All telling the same story but in different language allowing you to read it to your level

 

As well as the annuals i had 1-20 of this range bought for me by my nan - likely a deal from the paper like the childrens encyclopedias she got me

Image result for rupert books

Then my dads collection of Old red eagle annuals, he also had a few of the specialist ones - The Eagle book of aircraft went from the basic history of planes to aerodynamics formulae that are uni level !!

Image result for eagle annual book of flight

 

 

Edited by SSoutherner

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Ah! You've reminded me: it was Eagle and also Rover, that really got me reading, I wasn't allowed Hotspur because it has too many cartoon strips.


Four legs good - two legs bad

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