What have you just READ?

Talk about films, television programs or a good read you'd like to share.

Re: What have you just READ?

Postby ListerofSMEG-2 on Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:03 am

Dave Gorman vs The World

Excellent stuff :)
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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby Bobbobthebob on Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:05 am

SaintStrongbow wrote:Seems I'm the only one reading at the mo!

Pshaw, I read some: https://www.goodreads.com/user_challenges/622620

Incidentally, if any of you are on goodreads, feel free to friend me up :)

The best book I’ve read lately has to be:

The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss

Alexandre Dumas’ father General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas was basically an 18th century badass. There’s no other way I can put it. Starting out as the illegitimate mixed-race son of a French aristocrat in Saint-Domingue (Haiti); he was later sold into slavery but then brought back to France; legitimised; educated in the classics, philosophy, fencing & horse-riding; later enrolling in the French army as a private before working his way up to a general in record time. In fact, no black man in a western army rose to such a rank until Colin Powell did so in 1989. Reiss pieces together what information he can on the General from the son’s own memoirs (in itself pulled together from other people’s recollections as the general died when his son was 4 years old) and contemporary descriptions but most of all from the letters and sundry documents written and signed by the general. While some of what Dumas (the novelist) wrote was clearly embellishment, it’s apparent from the other contemporary sources that much of it wasn’t. It makes the later betrayals of the general and his sink into obscurity so much more painful.
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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby cowboyfromhell on Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:03 am

Over the past few months I've been making my way through Iain M Bank's novels - really intelligent sci-fi and highly recommended.

Also reading Don Quixote, fancied a classic and there's a few extremely funny moments. :D
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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby Dog of War on Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:17 pm

Finished John Dies at the End few weeks ago, highly enjoyed it. Might have to check out the film.
Next on the list: Apathy and Other Small Victories and then perhaps Slaughterhouse-Five.
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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby 13th Nightmare on Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:48 pm

I'm working my way through all the Sherlock Holmes stories. Going to be reading it for a quite a while it seems
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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby Silkie on Wed May 07, 2014 7:47 am

The World According to Bob: The Further Adventures of One Man and His Street-wise Cat by James Bowen. An inspiring book that continues the story of how finding a stray cat and it becoming part of his life made such a huge difference to one man.
"I prefer the company of animals more than the company of humans.
Certainly, a wild animal is cruel.
But to be merciless is the privilege of civilised humans."
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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby Falcon X resurrected on Sat Jun 14, 2014 1:59 pm

Ian Douglas Star Carrier at book 4 now, decent military sci-fi, I like most of his ideas on how society will likely evolve, but for his emphasis on nations, which I doubt will still be around by then.

Alastair Reynolds Chasm City, love the guy. Universe he creates is just on the edge of comfort zone which still allows you to sympathize with the characters. He does have George RR Martin (Game of Thrones) syndrome to create a world a bit too big for a story arc to finish in one book so his endings can be a bit rushed and filled with clichés. Never the less his books will make you think the way say Odyssey 2001/2010 or Matrix has probably made you think the first time you have seen it, again well worth the read.


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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby re# Skilgannon on Sat Jun 14, 2014 4:12 pm

facebook :P
for she is the Cat that walks by herself, and all places are alike to her

no matter how many times I put together the great jigsaw of life there is always the same integral piece missing that prevents the picture from being complete Annabel Rose Hardwick
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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby SaintStrongbow on Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:32 pm

Finally finished book 10 of the Wheel of Time series. Have read them all, except for the 14th, before and really starting to struggle now. I will finish this series if it is the last thing I do.
Sometimes you have to stand in the shadows; to see the light.

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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby Shuriken on Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:41 pm

lol Saint, I'm stuck on book 12 again at the moment.
This is my sandvich. There are many others like it, but this one is mine. My sandvich is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my sandvich is useless. Without my sandvich, I am useless. I must eat my sandvich true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy, who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will. Before lunch I swear this creed: my sandvich and myself are defenders of my country, we are the masters of our enemy, we are the saviors of my life. So be it, until there is no enemy, but sandvich. Om nom.

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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby Enigma on Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:53 pm

Homicide: A Year On The Killing Streets by David Simon. Such a brilliant book.
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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby Blast on Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:39 pm

Currently reading Richard Dawkins The Selfish Gene.
Brilliant so far!
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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby Silkie on Sun Jul 27, 2014 1:23 pm

The 7th and final volume of Spike Milligans war memoirs Peace Work. Hard to believe I started reading them back in the 1970's when I stole my brothers copy of the first book but the later ones can be hard going at times and seem a bit weak. Having said that his descriptions of Italy really make me want to visit there and you can tell how much in love with the country he was at the time.

Onward to The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared and absolutely loving it so far.
"I prefer the company of animals more than the company of humans.
Certainly, a wild animal is cruel.
But to be merciless is the privilege of civilised humans."
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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby coldandtired on Thu Aug 07, 2014 9:11 pm

Not reading it personally but my partner is going through The Bronze Horseman and is giving it the highest possible praise.
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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby windowmaker on Sun Aug 10, 2014 8:55 pm

Steven King's 'The Stand', possibly the worst choice of read whilst full of cold and an Ebola outbreak is occuring


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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby Silkie on Sun Jan 11, 2015 3:35 am

The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden. A mixed bag but very good in parts.
"I prefer the company of animals more than the company of humans.
Certainly, a wild animal is cruel.
But to be merciless is the privilege of civilised humans."
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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby SaintStrongbow on Sun Jan 11, 2015 12:10 pm

I finally finished the Wheel of Time! :cheers: My God, it's an epic series. Think I will definitely wait a few years before going through all that again.

Now for something a lot lighter, Terry Pratchett's 'Raising Steam'. Gotta love Terry, he got me into reading for fun in the first place! Even if I now do feel a bit silly reading his books at my age.
Sometimes you have to stand in the shadows; to see the light.

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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby Silkie on Sun Jan 11, 2015 4:16 pm

His The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents is supposed to be a children's book but it's as dark as most adult fiction out there and one of my all time favourites.
"I prefer the company of animals more than the company of humans.
Certainly, a wild animal is cruel.
But to be merciless is the privilege of civilised humans."
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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby Bobbobthebob on Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:28 pm

A Wilder Vein by various authors
A nature writing collection almost exclusively from Ireland and Britain's Celtic fringes. Given I've recently moved to Scotland it was nice to read evocations of place and belonging in a landscape that's still very new to me (I'm a massive natural history nerd and spend my spare time recording all kinds of wildlife including small and obscure things like beetles and bryophytes). I've gone from the warm weather, dry ground, broad estuaries, coppices, ancient woodlands and chalk downlands of south-east England to Scotland's cold winds, bogs, fast-flowing burns, big open moors, uplands and dune systems. The general lack of at least semi-natural woodland is getting me down a bit but some of what's in this book is helping me re-appreciate the wild land here.

Roads to Ruin by E.S. Turner
I'd been looking out for this for a while and I'm still a chapter away from the end but it's an amazing book. At first it sounds terrible: a 65-year old history of social reform from 1800 to 1950. But it's about reforms that either obviously needed to be done to stop a real problem or were totally harmless and it's specifically about the opposition to these reforms. These are people who were screaming that the UK would descend into a pit of immorality and wife-murdering should we allow men to marry their deceased wife's sister; or that being banned from overloading a ship and endangering the crew was an affront to British liberty. It's simultaneously horrifying and hilarious. Take the chapter on spring guns for example:

Back in the 1800s after the gentry went and enclosed the common land, they blocked off a vital source of sustenance for the local poor people and filled those woods with pheasants to shoot for sport. The obvious happened and the locals would sneak in at night and poach the pheasants for their own pots. The aristocrats responded by leaving guns with wire triggers hidden throughout the woods to shoot trespassers. More often than not, these hit completely innocent people or their own employees. There are tales of people taking two steps into a wood to collect a wind-blown hat and getting blown away, gameskeepers getting shot in the leg and having it amputated and so on. And then you have some MPs or Lords, gentry themselves, complaining that all the country's aristos would just up and leave if they couldn't shoot trespassers. Or that it was better to shoot a poacher than to send him to jail as jail would expose him to "immoral types" and send him on a journey of crime resulting in him swinging from the gallows. Merely peppering his leg with pellets was therefore a mercy!
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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby Silkie on Sat Mar 07, 2015 5:16 pm

The Tumithak Trilogy. I read the first story in my early teens as well as the second but couldn't find the third until recently. So was it worth 30 years plus of waiting? No. Short, lacking all the things that made the first two so interesting and ahead of it's time it disappointed in every way. The story is an account set very far in the future of a young man who inspired by a rare account of the history of the human race and how the invading Shelk drove them from the surface sets out on a quest to kill a Shelk. The subterranean humans consider the almost never seen invaders as almost god like beings and by proving their mortality he hopes to inspire them to return to the surface of the Earth and reclaim their world. The books started in 1931 and for the time had some excellent ideas especially how Tumithak is all too human in his fear of the unknown and the things that have faded from human memory including the sky itself. The third book is not only short and shoddy but contains some unpleasant racism much at odds with the first two books.

Venus Plus X. Theodore Sturgeon. A truly fascinating book that can be a bit long winded at times. Charlie Johns awakes in the future amongst the Ledom a race very similar to humans who wish him to examine their young society as an outsider. It touches on many ideas about gender and sexual identity still relevant today but considered shocking at the time.
"I prefer the company of animals more than the company of humans.
Certainly, a wild animal is cruel.
But to be merciless is the privilege of civilised humans."
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