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Thread: Recommended Reading

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    Capped Player SkStu's Avatar
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    Recommended Reading

    hey all, apologies if such a thread already exists (i searched but found nothing).

    just posting to recommend Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer - im about half way through it now and its just a deadly read. Pretty bleak but deadly all the same. Its the true story of Chris McCandless a Harvard graduate who gave away all his money to charity and disappeared from his family to live the life of a drifter, living off the land... his body was found in an abandoned bus over two years later in the wilds of Alaska. Im simplifying it a lot but its a really interesting story. And its now a movie apparently.

    read more about the background here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_McCandless

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    Nemesis by Max Hastings. Great book on the closing months of the Pacific War in WW2. Losts of personal accounts plus a clear and concise overview, dealing with such topics as the atomic bombs. One of the best WW2 books I've read and I've read 1000+.
    Forget about the performance or entertainment. It's only the result that matters.

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    International Prospect osarusan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OwlsFan View Post
    Nemesis by Max Hastings. Great book on the closing months of the Pacific War in WW2. Losts of personal accounts plus a clear and concise overview, dealing with such topics as the atomic bombs. One of the best WW2 books I've read and I've read 1000+.
    Have you read A Doctor's War by Aidan MacCarthy? It's an engrossing book.

    If anybody has more classical tastes, I'd recommend "The Pickwick Papers" by Charles Dickens. It is, in my humble opinion, the zenith of all literature, at least all literature Ive ever read.

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    Quote Originally Posted by osarusan View Post
    Have you read A Doctor's War by Aidan MacCarthy? It's an engrossing book..
    No, but I will order it. Thanks.
    Forget about the performance or entertainment. It's only the result that matters.

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    I'm currently re-reading Fighters & Bombers of World War 2 by Kenneth Munson.

    I got it as a Xmas pressie from the sisters boyfriend (now and long since the brother-in-law) back in 1982. I was 9 at the time and, while I was absolutely delighted to get it and did read it cover to cover, a lot of the stuff in it went over my head.

    I picked up all the headline stuff like "First Luftwaffe aircraft (a Heinkel one-eleven) shot down by an RAF aircraft "(an Avro Anson ...rather improbably) but what stands out on re-read is just how profoundly wartime drives innovation and technology. At the outbreak of the war aircraft engines averaged around 750-800 horse-power. Six years later that was well over 2000hp.

    Also some of the emerging technologies like electrically powered turrets and the rush to utilise them ...sometimes to the detriment of their overall purpose -shooting down the other sides planes. A case in point being the British built Boulton Paul Defiant -a two seater with NO forward firing guns in the wings. It's armament was just the four gun electric turret behind the pilot. The turret and it's gunner made what would've been a perfectly good conventional fighter plane unwieldy and, once the Germans figured out it had no forward firing guns it was a deathtrap. Useless as a daytime combat aircraft ...and all to accomodate the turret!

    The Soviets on the other hand, with typical understated ingeniuty, just mounted two machine guns on a device no more sophisticated than the handlebars of a push-bike in their Il-2 -a plane of similar spec to the Defiant - and were able to use the weight spared to mount guns in the wings, armour plate the cabin crew, fuel tanks etc... AND their plane could actually agressively engage German fighters and win.
    " I wish to God that someone would be able to block out the voices in my head for five minutes, the voices that scream, over and over again: "Why do they come to me to die?"

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    It has now been made into film but when I read Bringing Down the House a few years thought was excellent.

    Currently reading Game of Shadows about drugs in professional sports & very good.
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    I'm currently working through Ten Days That Shook The World by John Reed.
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    bravo two zero is a great read as are alot of the books by andy mcnab

    stakeknife by martin ingram is a hard read but very interesting story of ops in northern ireland and special forsce work

    also the books long way round and long way down are an excellent read good stories and keeps you interested if you like travel books
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    if you can find a copy of what a cop knows its an excellant read,its fairly old but a great insight into the life of the police in america
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    Seasoned Pro Bluebeard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by osarusan View Post
    If anybody has more classical tastes, I'd recommend "The Pickwick Papers" by Charles Dickens. It is, in my humble opinion, the zenith of all literature, at least all literature Ive ever read.
    Pickwick is great fun and a good read, though not as good, in my self-inflated opinion, on the book it is based on, Don Quixote. It requires time though - at over the thousand pages, I found it a little intimidating, but it is well worth it as a funny read.

    Staying classic, and Dickens, A Tale Of Two Cities is an absolute belter from golden opening line to tear evoking ending and memorable last line. Funny throughout as a sidebar to the mighty and portentious events therein. Well worth a gander.
    That question was less stupid, though you asked it in a profoundly stupid way.

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    International Prospect osarusan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebeard View Post
    Pickwick is great fun and a good read, though not as good, in my self-inflated opinion, on the book it is based on, Don Quixote. It requires time though - at over the thousand pages, I found it a little intimidating, but it is well worth it as a funny read.

    Staying classic, and Dickens, A Tale Of Two Cities is an absolute belter from golden opening line to tear evoking ending and memorable last line. Funny throughout as a sidebar to the mighty and portentious events therein. Well worth a gander.
    I have to disagree with the first half of your post. Don Quixote, while undoubtedly a classic, was a little disjointed, particularly the first half. It had loftier ideals than The Pickwick Papers, but I felt (in my equally self-inflated opinion!) that The Pickwick Papers achieved what it meant to achieve more concisely (if Dickens could ever be accused of being concise). That said, Don Quixote is regularly voted the greatest novel of all time, by people who know far more than me (or do they?) about literature.

    Regarding A Tale of Two Cities, I couldn't agree more. Although for me, the chapter entitled The Wine Cask is the best passage, not only of that novel, but of any novel.

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    After studying English in college I really got out of the reading habit, but since moving recently and having to get the bus to work I've rediscovered my love of a good book.

    Some that I'd recommend from my recent reads would be Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry, I've always like the post-colonial style of writing and Mistry weaves a great story, giving an insight into Indian family life, politics and religion. He writes with an easy style that really draws you into the characters. I'd highly recommend it.
    I also managed to read The Sea by John Banville at my third attempt. It took me a while to get into it but Banville has a beautiful turn of phrase and the last third of the novel is some of the best I've ever read. I can certainly see why it was awarded the booker prize. Also found it fascinating that the fictional seaside village was basically Rosslare Strand, which is near to my home in Wexford.

    On a lighter note I also read Lifeguard by James Patterson and Andrew Gross, pure pulp fiction, great fun and made a nice change straight after the heavy going of The Sea.

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    Bought Twenty Major's The Order of The Phoenix Park on Friday and I'm 2/3rds' through it already. Funny, laugh out loud sort of book. Language is crude (his favourite word being c*nt) but I don't mind. It's probably funnier so for people who are Irish and know Dublin inside out.

    Another one of Jon Krakauers books that I can recommend is Into Thin Air. It's about the climbing expedition(s) of Everest on May 11th 1996. It's referred to as the deadliest climbing disaster in the history of Mount Everest.

    Marching Powder by Rusty Young and Thomas McFadden is also worth reading. It's a true story about Thomas McFadden who is a convicted English drug trafficker who ran tours inside Bolivia's notorious San Pedro prison. Rusty Young was a backpacker in South America who went in to San Pedro prison and co-wrote the book with McFadden.

    Gazza's biography is a good read.
    For easy reading, and I do mean easy, see Wayne Rooneys autobiography.
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    In Cold Blood By Truman Capote is probably the best book I've evver read, it kicked me off reading a lot of 50's/60's American stuff, like On the Road by Kerouac, One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest by Kesey & all of Hunter S Thompson's stuff...the Rum Diary is a brilliant, soon to be made into a film starring Johnny Depp apparently
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    International Prospect osarusan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wangball View Post
    In Cold Blood By Truman Capote is probably the best book I've ever read..... One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest by Kesey
    Both magnificent works.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebeard View Post
    Staying classic, and Dickens, A Tale Of Two Cities is an absolute belter from golden opening line to tear evoking ending and memorable last line. Funny throughout as a sidebar to the mighty and portentious events therein. Well worth a gander.
    What are ganders worth nowadays anyway? I've been wanting to have a goose/gander (whichever's tastier) for about six months now. I've never sampled their succulent tender breast before. Salivation feast at the moment! Anyone know where I could buy a goose and for how much - for dinner, not as a pet? Thanks.


    (very near to end of A Tale Of Two Cities today as it happens but won't talk/cry about it for fear of my request being lost.)

    I'm serious about the goose.

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    International Prospect osarusan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingdom hoop View Post
    Anyone know where I could buy a goose and for how much - for dinner, not as a pet?

    I'm serious about the goose.
    http://www.coedwynog-geese.co.uk/Coe...nline-Shop.htm
    Last edited by osarusan; 03/03/2008 at 3:29 PM.

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    Reading James Herberts' "Others" at the moment. Just finished it. I'm not a horror fan ordinarily but IMO Herbert could write about an over 75's lawn bowls match and make it a riveting read. The climax(big action scene towards the end) to the Book is over 70 pages long and not one word is wasted nor is it dragged out in anyway, far from it infact. Herbert keeps you gripped and leaves you feeling an distinct unease
    review here is from Publishers Weekly
    Herbert's reputation as the king of British horror is founded on his early gore-oriented "nasties" (The Rats; The Fog; etc.). His newest novel (after '48) packs powerful shocks, but continues the recent trend in his writing toward narratives steered by the complex motivations of his characters. Narrator and private investigator Nicholas DismasA"Dis" to his friendsAis a self-described "monster," afflicted with grotesque birth defects that give him uncommon insight into human behavior. But the search for a child declared dead at birth 18 years before triggers a befuddling cascade of events that defy even his understanding: birth-record traces lead to dead ends, knowledgeable authorities can't be located and Dis finds himself haunted by visions of malformed souls that periodically materialize in his mirror. Collaborating reluctantly with Louise Broomfield, his client's psychic adviser, Dis tracks a suspicious former midwife to the Perfect Rest nursing home. There, he encounters both the repellent Leonard Wisbeech, one of the most diabolically perverse doctors in all medical horror fiction, and secret experiments that shed light on the case and on Dis's own obscure origins. Readers who stick with this tale past its lethargic startAin which Herbert labors to contrast Dis's normalcy and the "ugliness" of more physically appealing peopleAwill find a payoff in the over-the-top climax, in which the freak show Wisbeech secretly presides over runs amok. Though punctuated with long expository passages that explain the novel's central mystery, the finale crackles, finding an admirable balance between terrors of the supernatural and the darkness of the human heart.
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    i have a habit of reading a few books at once and my current reads are
    Sinclair Lewis : Babbitt
    Don Dellilo : White Noise
    flann o'Brien : dalkey archive(for the umpteenth time)
    League Specialists.

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    Quote Originally Posted by placid casual View Post
    flann o'Brien : dalkey archive(for the umpteenth time)
    The Dalkey Archive is a real classic, and shockingly underconsidered. It also ends with the ultimate horror moment for any Irish man of that era
    That question was less stupid, though you asked it in a profoundly stupid way.

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