What book are you reading at the moment?

Croydon13013
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Re: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by Croydon13013 » Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:47 pm

Lost at Sea by Jon Ronson. It's just a collection of essays and articles already published, but some of them are brilliant. I've just finished reading the Sylvia Browne article and that is a must-read (here it is: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/ ... .jonronson). Now on the Jonathan King article (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyl ... .jonronson) which is well written but unpleasant, and doesn't wrap up well like his best work.
thIS sIGnaTure iS an

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Abdul Alhazred
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Re: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:44 pm

The Kingdom of Speech by Tom Wolfe.

Not one of his better efforts. Gives the impression of having been dashed off in a hurry.

Also ambiguous in one way. Is he a creationist who won't quite admit it, or just an otherwise well educated guy who does not understand evolution?

I liked all his other stuff that I've read, so it's irritating.
Yes, that one.

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Ketchup
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Re: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by Ketchup » Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:07 pm

Croydon13013 wrote:Now on the Jonathan King article (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyl ... .jonronson) which is well written but unpleasant, and doesn't wrap up well like his best work.
Intrigued to find out what JK is up to now (if he served the full 7 years, he is a free man for 10 years now), I looked him up.

He now writes a regular column for the prison newspaper Inside Time, and this is what he wrote in there about Jimmy Savile:

(from the Daily Mail): http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... users.html
Paedophile Jonathan King claims Jimmy Savile was INNOCENT and his victims were his 'accusers'
  • • Jonathan King was jailed for seven years in 2001 for sexually abusing five teenage boys - he continues to protest his innocence
    • The 69-year-old pervert said predatory rapist Savile was an 'innocent man'
    • Appalling outburst came today in King's monthly column for Inside Time
    • He said Savile's victims should be referred to as 'accusers' because the pervert DJ never appeared in court
    • He wrote: 'The crimes never happened. At least miscarriages of justice in cases of murder have bodies to show that crimes did take place'
and here is his most recent article from Inside Time:
A Christmas Message

I’ve been writing regularly for Inside Time for 15 years now. First as an inmate; then, on release, as a columnist. I found, when I was inside, that this paper was almost the only place that truly cared about my welfare, other than friends and family. But before that I was lucky enough to meet the late Lord Longford.
Read full article: http://www.insidetime.org/a-christmas-message/
~ Today is the Tomorrow you worried about Yesterday ~

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bindeweede
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Re: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by bindeweede » Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:17 pm

I have recently finished reading "The Little Red Chairs" by Edna O'Brien, the first of her many novels I've read, and her latest. It centres on Fidelma McBride, who lives in a small place in the west of Ireland, and her relationship with a "faith healer" from the Balkans who turns out to be something far more sinister. I found it an involving but at times disturbing read.

More on topic, I am about half way through "A Man Called Ove", by Fredrik Backman, translated from the Swedish. This is a totally different kettle of fish, and much lighter. Ove is a Victor Meldrew type, but that over-simplifies the character greatly. There are some laugh-out-loud moments and others that almost bring a tear to the eye. I am really enjoying reading it, and have ordered another of Backman's books - "Britt-Marie Was Here" - in the hope I will enjoy it as much.

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Re: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by bindeweede » Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:19 pm

I'm about one quarter of the way through Evelyn Waugh's "Decline and Fall". Having watched and enjoyed the first episode of the new TV dramatisation, I decided I should read it.

I am really enjoying it. Apart from "Brideshead Revisited", it's the only book of Waugh's I've tackled, and it is very funny, and I suppose not unexpectedly, better than the TV version. The early part of the book is set in a fourth-rate public school in North Wales, and apparently Waugh taught in a prep school in that part of the UK for a short time, so I expect he reflected at least some of his experiences in the novel.

One quote from the "Prelude" made me smile especially.

"I expect you'll be becoming a schoolmaster, sir. That's what most of the gentlemen does, sir, that gets sent down for indecent behaviour."

:lol:

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Abdul Alhazred
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Re: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:12 pm

Just finished The Elementary Particles by Michel Houellebecq.

Much more explicit sex than in Submission, but not "gratuitous" within the context of the story. And while arguably obscene, like Arthur Miller's work definitely not intended as whack off material.

Short version: Everybody fucks and nobody really enjoys it.

Very existential. That means totally fucking depressing.

I won't give away the socko ending just yet.
Yes, that one.

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chaggle
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Re: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by chaggle » Sat Apr 08, 2017 7:27 am

For Info - The Elementary Particles sold as Atomised in the UK.
Don't blame me - I voted remain :con

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Re: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by Tony.Williams » Sat Apr 08, 2017 8:07 am

The last novel I've finished: The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L Sayers, a detective story written in the early 1930s. I read it because it was said to be very evocative and atmospheric of the Fenlands setting - an area I grew up in - and it certainly delivers on that score. Unusually, the main activity featured is campanology! Dated, but still worth reading.

Before that I re-read Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner, having just read the sequel The Privilege of the Sword. Fantasies set in a Renaissance world in which professional duellers are hired to sort out disputes. No magic, no elves, etc just very well-written stories, with a lot of dry wit.

Non-fiction: Just finished The Cradle of Humanity by Mark Maslin, a newly published work on human evolution which sets it within the context of the physical environment. Intriguing.

Just started The Korean War by Max Hastings, I've had this book sitting on my shelves unopened for decades (not unusual) and decided to learn more about this conflict.

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bindeweede
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Re: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by bindeweede » Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:42 pm

bindeweede wrote:I'm about one quarter of the way through Evelyn Waugh's "Decline and Fall". Having watched and enjoyed the first episode of the new TV dramatisation, I decided I should read it.
The third episode was broadcast this evening. Better than the first two, imo, but time better spent reading the book - Waugh having a go at the aristocracy, poor public (i.e. independent) schools, trendy prison governors, etc. And this from 1928.

BBC iPlayer episode 3.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0 ... -episode-3

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Re: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by Tony.Williams » Sun May 21, 2017 10:24 am

Tony.Williams wrote: Just started The Korean War by Max Hastings, I've had this book sitting on my shelves unopened for decades (not unusual) and decided to learn more about this conflict.
I should add, having finished the book, that I previously had no idea what a complete and utter shambles the entire war was, from start to finish. Most of the action (almost comic in the way it see-sawed, if the consequences weren't so tragic) took place in the first few months, followed by a couple of years of painful stalemate. Everyone misunderstood everyone else - this was a war which could very easily have been avoided altogether, and certainly could have been ended quite quickly.

Let's hope the same mistakes aren't made again. But as SF writer Poul Anderson wrote:
History doesn't always repeat itself. Sometimes it just screams out, "Dammit, can't you learn ANYTHING?" and whacks you with a club.

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Re: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by Tony.Williams » Sat May 27, 2017 4:01 pm

I'm working my way through two different fiction series at the moment, coincidentally both of them featuring female private investigators, albeit very different.

Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series (commencing with the novel of that name) features a PI operating in the late 1920s/early 1930s. The first book is a really remarkable work, rich in atmosphere and setting, and closely observed. It includes lengthy flashbacks to Maise's early life from 1910 onwards and through her nursing service in the Great War, all explaining how she came to be in her present position. Very impressive, and highly recommended. There are eight novels in total so far, so much pleasure to come.

Dana Stabenow's Kate Shugak series (no less than 20 novels so far, starting with A Cold Day for Murder) features a present-day native Alaskan who gets drawn into solving a variety of crimes. The author was brought up in Alaska, and went to all of the places she writes about, and did a wide variety of jobs which also inform her stories, so they positively reek with authenticity. I do enjoy being educated as well as entertained! I have just finished the fifth in the series (Play With Fire) which startled me somewhat, because it focuses on religion. And threaded through the story is a sustained and ferocious attack on religion in general and fundamentalism in particular, with scorn poured liberally on preachers and their beliefs: it is downright polemical. I really didn't expect this from a best-selling US author, she must surely have offended many of her readers. All credit to Ms Stabenow for her courage!

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chaggle
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Re: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by chaggle » Sat May 27, 2017 8:01 pm

Great reviews Tony.

Almost persuades me to start reading novels again.
Don't blame me - I voted remain :con

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Re: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by Tony.Williams » Sun May 28, 2017 11:47 am

chaggle wrote:Great reviews Tony.

Almost persuades me to start reading novels again.
What - you don't read novels? :ro

I would find life rather dreary if I didn't read at least one a week.

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Re: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by chaggle » Sun May 28, 2017 12:27 pm

I go through phases.

As a kid I was an avid reader of all sorts, Arthur Ransome, Biggles - anything then as a teenager much sci-fi.

Lost interest in my 20s for some reason.

Then I was sent a book (think it was Wilbur Smith) in a book club scam and had to keep it as I took too long to send it back so I read it. That got me going reading all sorts again - mostly big action/adventure stuff.

Stopped reading again when I discovered the internet. :oops:
Don't blame me - I voted remain :con

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chaggle
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Re: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by chaggle » Sun May 28, 2017 12:32 pm

By the way I nearly wrote one once - got up to about 70,000 words and couldn't think of an ending so I lost interest. It's on an old computer drive in my drawer - maybe I'll dig it out sometime.

It was an erotic, comedy, sci-fi, detective thriller - think Michael Crichton crossed with Ben Elton. :thumb:
Don't blame me - I voted remain :con

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