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O.T. Recommended reading


EddiePlaysBass

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This could be fun, as I'm sure there are several people on this forum who read (no pun intended) ... and I'm looking for recommendations for my Christmas list :)

 

Here's the deal: recommend a book you read, and explain (briefly) why you liked it.

 

Danny Wallace - Yes Man

 

Danny Wallace recounts his experience of saying "yes" to most every proposal made, and the ways in which it changed his life. It's hilarious to the point of getting tears in your eyes, and I'm sure my outbursts of laughter while reading this one on the train have made several people go and buy the book. Highly recommended, and it will make you think about your life a little bit. After all, how often do we say "no" without thinking about what we may be missing out on?

 

Richard North Patterson - No Safe Place

 

One of those rare books that I tend to re-read every few years. It's a twin story-line: the reader follows Senator Kerry Kilcannon, a candidate for US presidency who is haunted by ghosts from the past, as well as an anti-abortion activist. Intertwined with this story is the narration of Kerry Kilcannon's youth, which sheds a new light on his "current" decisions as an adult. It's incredibly well-written and the different story-lines are interwoven in such a way that you never lose track of the plot, but instead can relate to the main character and the decisions he's made.

 

Amélie Nothomb - Sulfuric Acid

 

A return to form for Amélie Nothomb, who in my humble opinion had had a rather weak outlet of books with the preceding "The Book Of Proper Names" and "Antechrista", neither of which fully do justice to her unique and captivating writing style. Sulfuric Acid is again fiction, and although I prefer her autobiographical work, Amélie Nothomb has managed to paint a horrific picture of a would-be future in which the Big Brother idea as adapted for television, is taken one step further. I have read most of her oeuvre so far and this one is amongst her best outings yet.

 

Alrighty, get recommending :)

 

PS: I'm not sponsored by Amazon (unfortunately) but I figured the links would make life easier :)

 

 

"I'm a work in progress." Micky Barnes

 

The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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Nothomb has managed to paint a horrific picture of a would-be future in which the Big Brother idea as adapted for television, is taken one step further. I have read most of her oeuvre so far and this one is amongst her best outings yet.

 

Ok, it's long out of print but it reminds me... I once read this great Sci-Fi short story about a TV Show called "It Could Be You!", which consists of short snippets set among normal TV programmes.

 

"It Could Be You!" runs all throughout business hours and consists of short clues such as "The person we are looking at today... never wears a hat!" and, in the story, everyone rushes to buy a hat. "The person we are looking at today... is wearing a grey coat!" and everybody storms off to buy a coat in any colour but grey. And so on all throughout the day.

 

And the point is that they finally reveal who the chosen person for the day is, and zoom the cameras on to him. And whoever kills that person wins a huge prize.

 

The show is a great little way to get people to buy stuff and keep the economy running.

 

 

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Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose -- a dense read, but worth it. Rich in detail on the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

 

Franklin and Winston by Jon Meacham -- a nuanced exposition of the personal and political relationship between two of the world's greatest leaders.

"Tours widely in the southwestern tip of Kentucky"
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The Wanting Seed - Anthony Burgess

 

One of the best books I've ever read. A must read for all.

 

Job: A Comedy of Justice - Robert A. Heinlein

 

Extremely witty, ironic & sarcastic. A quick read, pretty funny.

 

The Penultimate Truth - Philip K. Dick

 

Science Fiction at it's best.

 

Cannery Row - John Steinbeck

 

Should be included in American Literature 101. Way better than Of Mice and Men.

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Two favourites:

 

Altered Carbon

 

When I finished reading this for the first time I immediately started it again. What's not to like about a book that has a hotel called 'The Hendrix'?

 

The Dispossessed

 

I wonder if John Lennon read this before writing 'Imagine'?

 

I love both of these - they suit the old and sometimes angry idealist in me.

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The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara

 

This is one of my most favorite books. It is an account of the Battle of Gettysburg written from the perspectives of Robert E. Lee, James Longstreet, Joshua Chamberlain, and John Buford.

 

Brilliantly written and unputdownable. This novel won the 1975 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. It served as the basis for the movie Gettysburg.

My whole trick is to keep the tune well out in front. If I play Tchaikovsky, I play his melodies and skip his spiritual struggle. ~Liberace
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Ok, one book I really like is GK Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday. A fun, joyous page turner of a novel set in 1900s London, where an undercover policeman is elected to the Grand Anarchist Council of Europe. If you can't get that, get The Club Of Queer Trades. You can find a lot of Chesterton on Project Gutenberg's site too.

 

I'd also recommend just about anything by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Either the Tarzan series or his John Carter, Warlord of Mars books. Quite silly, and full of absurd plot-holes, but... wow, just wow.

 

And if you have some time, get Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "One Hundred Years Of Solitude" and be amazed.

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I know it's not even remotely in context . . . but my young son recently got turned off reading story books - I guess because he's just at that stage where he has to read chapter books rather than the basic picture books.

Anyway I searched for something to win him over and . . .I found . . . Captain Underpants by Dav Pikey. http://www.pilkey.com/

Heartily recommended for fun loving kids and adults who want a bit of humour while they read along with their kids.

Sorry, back to the serious stuff . . .

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I would second ANIMAL FARM and NINETEEN EIGHTYFOUR.

 

If you are looking for a mindless read...just something to while away the hours, try FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, by Hunter Thompson. Its basically the story of a drug-induced trip to Sin City. Just a sort of fun read that doesnt require you to think.

 

Another good read is HEART OF DARKNESS, by Conrad. It is basically the literary version of Apocalypse Now. Good story of the battle of good versus evil in humans.

 

IN COLD BLOOD, by Truman Capote is a good non-fiction novel about murder in the American mid-west.

 

 

 

 

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The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara

 

This is one of my most favorite books. It is an account of the Battle of Gettysburg written from the perspectives of Robert E. Lee, James Longstreet, Joshua Chamberlain, and John Buford.

 

Brilliantly written and unputdownable. This novel won the 1975 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. It served as the basis for the movie Gettysburg.

Excellent choice -- that one may be due for a re-read.

 

The movie wasn't bad either.

"Tours widely in the southwestern tip of Kentucky"
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I find it fascinating that nearly all the books mentioned have been around for a long time.

 

Has anybody been reading any current fiction?

Discovered any young new writers?

 

I think the last thing I discovered was Nick Hornby.

 

And I like him because he writes the sort of stuff I'd like to read. So it doesn't count as a discovery, because it's more of an affirmation. He hasn't opened any new ground for me.

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I find it fascinating that nearly all the books mentioned have been around for a long time.

 

Has anybody been reading any current fiction?

Discovered any young new writers?

 

I read all of the Dan Brown books. They were all well written and exciting to read.

 

Digital Fortress

Angels & Demons

Deception Point

The Da Vinci Code

 

Point of Impact by Stephen Hunter is also a great read.

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  • 4 months later...

Bumpity bump :)

 

I am heavily into biographies, even if the person who's bio I'm reading is someone I know nothing about whatsoever. Most current example is You Cannot Live as I Have Lived and Not End Up Like This: The Thoroughly Disgraceful Life and Times of Willie Donaldson which is a fascinating read. I knew nothing about Willie Donaldson, nor had I read his books, but it's a great read nonetheless. Other bio's I've read include Ghengish Khan by John Man (bit disappointing, I need to look for another one) and Nelson Mandela's autobio which is very interesting, but I never finished it because at the time I needed it for my final dissertation. I will be starting that one again soon. My sister has Bill Clinton's bio which I will read as well.

 

But I'm looking for some recommendations in this field as well ! Musical and non-musical ... Especially if anyone could recommend a good bio on Grigori Rasputin? There seems to be a lot of crapola written about this man ...

 

I've read Milkowski's Jaco bio, I even read a bio on Alanis Morissette (:rolleyes:) and of course the pinnacle of music bio's: White Line Fever :rawk: So if anyone can recommend anything ... Oh yeah, being a Johnny Cash fan, this one's on my list too: I Was There When It Happened

 

 

"I'm a work in progress." Micky Barnes

 

The Ross Brown Shirt World Tour

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