Read any good books lately?

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26/03/2008 at 18:48

ST - I've read The Lovely Bones and agree it's a great book.  I'm trying to think if I've read The Magus, I think not, but it rings a big bell.

Min - I can't read more than one book at once, unless one of them is 'educational' in some way or another.

HL - Sorry, I shouldn't have a go at Marian Keyes, the last couple of her books I've read I've enjoyed.  I just got a bit fed up with her works on female ad execs who can't get a boyfriend and then realise they are in love with their best mate all along who happens to be a bloke.   The last book of hers I read was great.

The way you guys are talking about War and Peace is how I feel about The Catcher in the Rye, supposed be a great, great book but just seems a let down to me. 

26/03/2008 at 20:30

Just to show how shallow I am.  My current book is 'Penguins stopped play' by Harry Thompson.

It's about a bloke who assembles a team of 11 players to play Cricket on each of the seven continents of the globe.  Only just started it so can't really comment.  The writer contributed to 'Have I got news for you' and it's been recommended because it is pant wettingly funny!    pirate
26/03/2008 at 21:52

Lovely Bones is an awesomely haunting book ST.

At the moment I am reading;

A Peoples' Tragedy - Orlando Figes (history of the Russian Revolution
Don't You Know Who I Am - Piers Morgan
Unchained Melanie - Judy Astley
The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield
A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini
Seven Weeks to the Perfect Ride - Lance Armstrong
My Story So Far - Paula Radcliffe

I have a book in the car too but can't remember what its called.

I am a bit odd aren't I?

I know what you mean about Marian Keyes though Mouse - I'm finding that I am tiring of the whole Chick Lit genre for easy reading - all so so predictable. And altho I did enjoy her earlier books I find them a bit "samey" now. I also find the same of Phillipa Gregson who writes historical novels - read one or two and you've read them all.

26/03/2008 at 22:00
I'm reading The TIme Traveller's Wife at the mo and am enjoying that
26/03/2008 at 22:37

Excellent thread.

I'm currently reading Lolita by Vladimir Nabakov; excellent and amusing read, despite the subject matter.  Also reading a book on Scottish History by Magnus Magnusson, which is exceptionally well written, if a bit boring in places.

I've always fancied reading Mein Kampf and other WW2 books but haven't gotten round to it yet.

Also recently finished Alive by Piers Paul Read as well as quite a few books on African Economics and violence in Sierra Leone - all interesting stuff..

BryanTheSnail (M.)    pirate
27/03/2008 at 00:28

SVT - interesting comments about Cervantes - I read the complete Quixote last year in response to the spanish harping on about it being the first modern novel, but also to get a better understanding of the story. 

The translation I read was certainly easy enough to follow and I did find the first part funnier and lighter to read than the second part which was certainly more detailed in its characterisations but also more outlandish in Quixote's behaviour and in some ways less credible. 

In some ways this is understandable.  The first part when published was a larger and more involved work than had been customarily published up to that point and attracted a lot of interest, praise, criticism and indeed plagiarism (another author tried to cash in on Cervantes success by writing and publishing his own version of the second part before Cervantes own version was finished).  All of these factors must have affected Cervantes in writing the second part and alongwith his development of the characters, landscape, and humour which had been widely praised his anger at his critics and immitators is  evident.

I would read it again but probably not for a couple of years.

PloddingOn    pirate
27/03/2008 at 09:45
Mouse - I totally agree about Catcher in the Rye - massive let down for me.  I thought it was meant to be something to rival "To Kill a Mockingbird" but seemed more in the same genre as "Run Spot Run". 
27/03/2008 at 09:50
You know, I nearly said something about To Kill a Mockingbird in my original comment PO, spooky!  (Should I give Run Spot Run a go, do you think?)
27/03/2008 at 09:51
I'm going to Germany later on today... I was rather hoping my copy of Mein Kampf would've arrived by now, but sadly it hasn't
PloddingOn    pirate
27/03/2008 at 10:05
I loved To Kill a Mockingbird.  Actually, all my set books in school were pretty good.  Cry, the Beloved Country was another one.  Just reading Nelson Mandela now and the descriptions are very similar of the Transkei and Natal.  Well written books!
27/03/2008 at 10:06
I've never read To Kill a Mockingbird... In fact there are loads of "must reads" that I've never read. The Count of Monte Cristo being another.
gingerfurball    pirate
27/03/2008 at 10:21

I am a fan of crime and thriller books and sometimes a good courtroom drama, I love Ruth Rendell, Scott Turow, Grisham, Lee Child...the usual suspects I guess.

Currently just starting to read Out by Natsuo Kirino which I am really intrigued with.  Confessions of a Fallen Angel by Ronan O Brien was beautiful (rough!) and tragic.  I admit to having a peek through Richard and Judy's reading list to see if there is anything outside my usual genre and have found some fantastic books (like How To Talk To A Widower by Jonathan Tropper which was hilarious and also The Lovely Bones which I probably wouldn't have considered and also The Secret History by Donna Tartt which was magnificent!) 

All time favourite Vanity Fair by William Thackery.

Edited: 27/03/2008 at 10:25
27/03/2008 at 10:22

DM - the Count of Monte Cristo is a great read - gets a bit stale in the middle but picks up again.

Bryan - I agree that the first part of Don Quixote is much better. The second half gets bogged down in trying to have digs at the 'unofficial' second book. I personally wouldn't read it again, at least not for a good few years.

My schooling was inadequate - I've never read Cathcher in the Rye or To Kill a Mockingbird. But I do have a recipe for a Tequila Mockingbird.

27/03/2008 at 10:23
One book that I detest... Beloved by Toni Morrison. What a total pile of w**k.
PloddingOn    pirate
27/03/2008 at 10:23

I didn't read the Catcher in the Rye at school.

But there was so much hype around it, that I took it out of the library and read it.

Was rubbish

Also - Yann Martel and the "Life of Pi" 

Edited: 27/03/2008 at 10:24
27/03/2008 at 10:24

My 'guilty pleasures' would probably be Grisham and Patterson. Quick reads, entertaining, but not to be consumed in quick succession or you'll realise how similar each new book is to its predecessor.

27/03/2008 at 10:26
SVT, there's no shame in enjoying stuff like that... Only Harry Potter (yes, I am being a cock)
27/03/2008 at 10:28
You know what? I got two A's in English at GCSE (in the days when it was 100% coursework) and I don't think we read a single book to completion. I think half of 'Brave New World' was about it. It's rubbish now I think back on it - no wonder so many people stop reading books when they leave school.
27/03/2008 at 10:28
DM - no you're not. At least not while I agree with you.
27/03/2008 at 10:33
heh heh! In my English Literature A level, I deliberately didn't read all of Beloved, I hated it that much. In my mock exam, I scored quite highly because the question was on the first 20 pages (which I'd read) but in the actual exam it wasn't... Resulting in a somewhat "disappointing" mark!
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