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This week I have been reading

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  • Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada.
  • Struggling through David Copperfield by Dickens - 30%



    Given up on Copperfield, now reading The Best of Everything by Rona Jaffe, Madmen esque book
  • Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada.


    Loved this, best book I've read this year so far.

     

     

  • Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada.


    Loved this, best book I've read this year so far.

     

     

    Very good read.

    Just finished The Fry Chronicles by Stephen Fry.   Disappointed as it got bogged down is so much self analysis. Just tell us a funny story Steve.

  • 'RCT, that's what I thought of Catcher in the Rye when I was a teenager and was told to read it.  Ditto On the Road.'

    I'll have nothing said about Brother Jack Kerouac.
    Didn't get it.  Listens to Jazz, gets drunk/stoned, borrows money of rich mummy and daddy when broke.  Dull.
  • Just about to finish "Modern Baptists" by James Wilcox. Not bad but nothing special given its supposedly a modern classic. Seen it described as a cross between Diary of a Nobody and Confederacy of Dunces but nowhere near as good as either.

     

     

  • Reading JG Farrell again, three great books based in three of my favourite places:
    - Troubles (Ireland)
    - The Siege of Krishnapur (India)
    - The Singapore Grip (Singapore)

    Well worth reading.
  • 'RCT, that's what I thought of Catcher in the Rye when I was a teenager and was told to read it.  Ditto On the Road.'

    I'll have nothing said about Brother Jack Kerouac.
    Didn't get it.  Listens to Jazz, gets drunk/stoned, borrows money of rich mummy and daddy when broke.  Dull.

    Now, see, this is a common misconception that Kerouac was a spoilt rich kid. His dad, who died when Kerouac was fairly young, lost his print shop in a flood and had to go on the road, so to speak, in search for work, and so was unemployed for long periods. His mum, meanwhile, was a shoe skiver, in that she basically cut the excess soles from shoes in a shoe factory.
  • 'RCT, that's what I thought of Catcher in the Rye when I was a teenager and was told to read it.  Ditto On the Road.'

    I'll have nothing said about Brother Jack Kerouac.
    Didn't get it.  Listens to Jazz, gets drunk/stoned, borrows money of rich mummy and daddy when broke.  Dull.

    Now, see, this is a common misconception that Kerouac was a spoilt rich kid. His dad, who died when Kerouac was fairly young, lost his print shop in a flood and had to go on the road, so to speak, in search for work, and so was unemployed for long periods. His mum, meanwhile, was a shoe skiver, in that she basically cut the excess soles from shoes in a shoe factory.
    Makes it worse that he was constantly poncing off her then.  And if you re-read the book he is constantly taking money off her.

    Then again Jack might just have been playing up the "poor old me" bit a little too much.
  • edited May 2011
    Well, I admit, I am a Kerouac apologist (that's him in my avatar). But, yes, I agree he did get drunk rather a lot. I have a recording of him p*ssed on a radio show, which makes it all the worse when the host says, 'Good morning, Jack'!
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  • Catcher in the Rye is doubly good because you can sing the title to that song from 'The Snowman' - you know 'I'm walking in the sky' - thus:

    'Catcher in the Rye

    Is very very hard to read....

    Catcher in the Rye, It'll make you cry' etc repeat forever :[[

  • 'RCT, that's what I thought of Catcher in the Rye when I was a teenager and was told to read it.  Ditto On the Road.'

    I'll have nothing said about Brother Jack Kerouac.
    Didn't get it.  Listens to Jazz, gets drunk/stoned, borrows money of rich mummy and daddy when broke.  Dull.
    I read about a chapter of Catcher in the Rye when I was 14 and found the kid to be such a boring whiney tool that I gave up. I've ofetn considered having another pop at it but by the sounds of it my initial assessment is only likely to be confirmed.
  • Dara O Briain, Tickling the English:  A cross between a tour diary and a sociological study of Englishness from someone with an outside perspective.  Intelligent, witty and well written.  It's humorous throughout, but I did only have one genuine lol moment.  If you're looking for a comedian-branded joke book you might be disappointed.  If you'd prefer something amusing and insightful, I'd recommend it.
  • Reading JG Farrell again, three great books based in three of my favourite places:
    - Troubles (Ireland)
    - The Siege of Krishnapur (India)
    - The Singapore Grip (Singapore)

    Well worth reading.
    I did the Siege of Krishnapur for my English Literature O Level. Suffice to say, I could never read it again. Ever.
  • I did the Siege of Krishnapur for my English Literature O Level. Suffice to say, I could never read it again. Ever.
    Ain't that the way with having to read books at school.  I, like many I suspect, was put off of Shakespeare through school readings.  I didn't appreciate Animal Farm, though I suspect its really good.  And as for Cider with Bloody Rosie - I can't see me ever reading anything by Lawrie Lee now.
  • edited June 2011
    China Meiville's 'The City & The City'  (Kafka meets Sci-Fi)
  • Billy Liar was the only book that emerged from those dreaded readings at school without me hating it.
  • Good call, yes that was a good school read.  I can't really think of any others though.  I remember our English teacher having a really spirited attempt at getting us to chant the stuff in Zigger Zagger, but no-one in our class was interested in the slightest.  He'd have had more success in the East Stand.
  • One Day (David Nicholls)
  • The Longest War by Peter Bergen.

    Superbly well-written and lucid book about America (& UK) and Al-Qaeda since 9/11. Very illuminating

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  • The Longest War by Peter Bergen.

    Superbly well-written and lucid book about America (& UK) and Al-Qaeda since 9/11. Very illuminating

     

    Check your inbox, mate


    And I've just finish Carte Blance the new jefferey Deaver James Bond novel.    Never read any Bond books before or any Jeffrey Deaver but it was a good story and moved along well even if the ideas and baddies were a bit OTT in a very Bond film way.
  • edited June 2011
    Have started Bad Blood which is by Jeremy Whittle, and all about the gradual introduction of EPOs into Cycling

    Just finished The Secret Speech by Tom Rob Smith (follow up to Child 44) ... both great books
  • Stranger in Paradise by R B Parker, the Raymond Chandler of the 21st century

    Still wading through 'The Spanish Civil War' by Anthony Beevor 

  • Always liked Lord of the Flies, which we did at school.

    Currently reading "The Beatles, Britain and America" by Jonathan Gould.
    I didn't think Ian MacDonald's "Revolution in the Head" could be topped as far as Beatles books go; but this one is running it mighty close
  • the wind up bird chronicle - Murakami
    Great call.
    Still love re reading Wild Sheep Chase.
    Did you know he has a new book out, currently only in Japanese.
    English launch soon, called ''1 Q 84.''

    Can see why The Guardian praised him as "among the world's greatest living novelists" for his works and achievements.
  • Just started reading "The World According to Garp", quite riveting. Never seen the film so no idea what to expect, but it's building up to something odd, I can tell.
  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon ... excellent and hadn't come across him before ... will be getting the rest of his books
  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon ... excellent and hadn't come across him before ... will be getting the rest of his books
    Grat book, Angels Game is great also.
  • edited June 2011
    Lynne Truss: Eats, Shoots & Leaves.  Sometimes informative, sometimes entertaining, but rarely both at the same time.  I'd recommend getting it out of the library and reading about apostrophes and commas; I wouldn't recommend buying it and reading it cover to cover.  Truss explains, after Kingsley Amis, that when it comes to punctuation there are two types of people: berks and wankers.  Before reading it I thought I would be more of a berk, but as it turns out I'm probably more of a wanker than I thought.  Not a fully fledged one, but halfway between the two; maybe more of a werk or a berker.  For all those wankers that think punctuation is unimportant, it's definitely worth a look, just to see all the examples where just one mis-placed comma can totally alter the meaning of a sentence.

    Banksy: Wall & Piece.  OK there's not a lot to read as it's chiefly a picture book, but it is absolutely fascinating. 
  • Barbarossa - Alan Clark.

    A tad limited as more detailed information has since come been unearthed, particularly from the Soviet side, but it's clear that Clark undertook a lot of diligent research.However it cost me £1.99 from Oxfam so i'm not complaining.  

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