Read any good books lately?

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26/03/2008 at 13:33

I know there used to be a book club thread, but it disappeared a while back. And I realised that we could do with a thread for discussing good reads, favourite authors etc.

My name is SVT and I like reading. I have very little knowledge of literature (I took English Language instead at A-Level) but I am semi-literate and enjoy a well-constructed book. I particularly like historical novels and well-written factual history.

My most recent read (okay, re-read for the third or fourth time) is 'Stalingrad' by Antony Beevor. It's a superb piece of historical writing, going from the start of Hitler's war against Stalin up to the end and aftermath of the battle of Stalingrad. What could be quite dry (but still interesting) is turned into a gripping read by the focus on the human aspects of the battle. Every page has an anecdote from someone involved in the campaign (from military archives) or focusses on one fo the German or Russian senior officers. Beevor creates real people that you can identify with, if not empathise with, and the historical becomes much more personal. A superb book that even those with little interest in the era would find riveting.

Over to you...

26/03/2008 at 13:38
Engleby by Sebastian Faulks.. brilliant.
26/03/2008 at 13:44
I've not read any of his work yet - must get to the library. I tried to on Friday but it was shut, then I got two books for my birthday and bought another four today with birthday vouchers. It'll be a while before I need the library again...
26/03/2008 at 13:47
Black Holes and Baby Universes by Stephen Hawking. It's quite amazing how he manages to explain such complex issues in such a clear and concise manner. Heartily recommend.
26/03/2008 at 13:50
I've empathised with many Beevors in my time SVT.
26/03/2008 at 13:51

This isn't a joke - I've just ordered 'Mein Kampf' from Amazon.

PloddingOn    pirate
26/03/2008 at 13:54

I just finished Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks and read Charlotte Gray over Xmas - great author to really get a good perspective on the wars.

Also the inevitable Coast to Coast was good.  

Am now starting on the Long Walk to Freedom by Mandela,  and for a bit of heavier, but definitely awesome reading, try "Cry, the Beloved Country" by Alan Paton (we had to read it in school, so not really a recent read, but an awesome book anyway)

26/03/2008 at 13:56
DM - really? I think it'd be a fascinating read - to see whether it's just the rantings of a lunatic or whether his writing style gives some sort of insight into the hold he managed to exert over people. And whether it gives a clear picture of what he'd do in power. Interesting stuff - I expect a review.
26/03/2008 at 13:58
Yep. I just wanted to see precisely what he was on about. It's supposed to be quite badly written, but I think it'd be interesting all the same.
26/03/2008 at 13:58

PO - I'm not normally one for autobiographies but did enjoy Mandela's book.

The author I've enjoyed the most in the last few years, having picked up a cheap collection of some of his novels and short stories, is John Steinbeck. Fantastic writer.

26/03/2008 at 14:00
You've all turned into the kids that used to get beat up at school.
26/03/2008 at 14:00
John Steinbeck has always been one of my favourites... Such a wonderful way with words.

Have you read Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (only saying that so as not to suggest it was written by Steinbeck!)? The words just flow soooooo well, it's like poetry.
PloddingOn    pirate
26/03/2008 at 14:00
SVT I like autobiographies.  I enjoyed Ranulph Fiennes, Lance Armstrong and that pillock Bear Grylls as well 
26/03/2008 at 14:01
It's ok to be a bender, Coops... It's ooooooooookay.
PloddingOn    pirate
26/03/2008 at 14:01
Coops - I am surprised you can type, seeing as how you can barely read.  Is that a picture keyboard, or what? 
26/03/2008 at 14:02
I've just started (and thanks to a trip to London and back yesterday, am halfway through) 'Random Acts of Heroic Love' by Danny Scheinmann - it's pretty good so far but will wiat for the end before passing judgement.
PloddingOn    pirate
26/03/2008 at 14:03
Oooh I have wanted to read that KK - was it any good?
26/03/2008 at 14:04

Coops - I AM one of the kids that used to get beat up at school.

DM - not read Frankenstein, but I'll look it out. It's not one I'd have thought of but I'll take your recommendation.

26/03/2008 at 14:04

I particularly like historical novels and well-written factual history.

SVT will mail you tonight. Got loads. Some need to go to a good home, space and all that.

Yes I also have mein kampf. Minky it is one f*cked up read.

26/03/2008 at 14:06

Oh... If anyone thinks about putting Harry Potter down as a suggestion, I'll single handed fuck them right up...

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