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> Books 2nd Edition, Foreword by m0r1arty
maian
post May 17 2011, 06:14 PM
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QUOTE (maian @ May 9 2011, 11:41 PM) *
I'm now reading What A Carve Up! by some bloke.


That bloke sure can write.

Is it right that I spent large portions of the book feeling really, really fucking angry? Obviously, the piercing satire of the horrors of Thatcherism is meant to be enervating, but I found so much of it applies to the actions of the current lot that I just wound up getting angry on a whole new level.

Anyway, it's great. Genuinely one of the best books I've ever read.
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Serafina_Pekkala
post May 18 2011, 11:27 AM
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QUOTE (maian @ May 17 2011, 07:14 PM) *
Genuinely one of the best books I've ever read.


I'm glad you agree.
QUOTE
Is it right that I spent large portions of the book feeling really, really fucking angry?


Yes. Especially now that the Tories are back and we'd probably have at least one Winshaw MP.
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Zoe
post May 18 2011, 12:59 PM
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In his Q&A Coe was saddened, but not necessarily surprised at just how prescient a satire it turned out to be. Intensive farming was not the issue it is now when he wrote the Dorothy stuff, foot and mouth and BSE all happened after publishing.

You strike down one generation of Winshaws and another rises up even stronger. I would like to see the grotesque version of balloon skinned Cameron.
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maian
post May 26 2011, 03:09 PM
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On the plane back from Florida I finished Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America by Rick Perlstein, which is an exhaustive and compelling account of Richard Nixon's political career and the lasting impact of the cultural divisions of the '60s which he exploited for political gain, in the process reshaping the American political landscape into the one we know today. Apart from an opening 100 pages on Nixon's early life and career - including his first fall from grace - the book is broken up into four sections, each focusing on the four elections - '66, '68, '70 and '72 - that define Nixon's ascendance to, and tenure as, leader of the free world. In doing so, Perlstein seeks to encompass all the major movements in America in the '60s: the race riots, the student riots, the antiwar movement, the anti-antiwar movement, the collapse of the Democratic Party into bitter infighting, in doing so creating a picture of deeply conflicted nation, unsure of the direction it was heading in, and the paranoid, twisted man who took advantage of the forces around him. There's also plenty of juicy information about Nixon's nefarious dealings - he sabotaged peace talks in 1968 so that he could run as peace candidate, one of his plans to end the war was to convince the North Vietnamese that he was crazy enough to use nuclear weapons - but he steers largely clear of the Watergate investigation, since they were obviously covered in some detail by the men who conducted them.

One of the best cultural histories I've ever read, and one which offers invaluable insight into both the time it covers and the time in which it was written.

This post has been edited by maian: May 26 2011, 03:13 PM
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Serafina_Pekkala
post May 27 2011, 11:19 AM
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QUOTE (Zoe @ May 18 2011, 01:59 PM) *
balloon skinned Cameron.


I totally know what you mean.

I am reading The Amber Room by Catherine Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy after it featured on Radio 4's Book of the Week (which is fast becoming my favourite radio series). A wonderful real life mystery - about the looted Russian treasure and it's history. Highly recommended. I've read too much fiction lately and need more facty digest.
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Silky
post May 27 2011, 11:45 AM
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Reading the Belgariad yet again. biggrin.gif
I had forgotten how much I loved these characters.
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Shack
post Jun 6 2011, 09:47 PM
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Devoured Dead Run, the third in the PJ Tracy set. Another very enjoyable read.

Next up, The Kite Runner, before I dip into the Steig Larsson "Girl With" trilogy.
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widowspider
post Jun 6 2011, 10:02 PM
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QUOTE (Shack @ Jun 6 2011, 10:47 PM) *
Devoured Dead Run, the third in the PJ Tracy set. Another very enjoyable read.

Next up, The Kite Runner, before I dip into the Steig Larsson "Girl With" trilogy.

Amazing book, but devastating.
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sweetbutinsane
post Jun 7 2011, 06:33 PM
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The 100 Classic Book Collection for the DS had The Secret Garden and I couldn't resist re-reading it last week. It's been a long time, but I love it just as much now as I did when I was young.
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maian
post Jun 7 2011, 11:32 PM
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My friend Luke let me borrow a copy of Pronto by Elmore Leonard on account of how we are both huge fans of Justified and Pronto is the first novel to feature the character of Raylan Givens. (Also, for fans of the series, the opening scene of the pilot is actually a version one of the last scenes of Pronto.) It was a typical fun, cool and witty tale of criminals, cops and their complicated private lives, though Elmore breaks from his usual locales by setting a significant part of the story in Italy, which allows him to pontificate on the differences between American criminals and the Mafia types with whom they consort. Fans of Justified might find it a bit weird reading about a version of Raylan that is ever so slightly different from the one from the show - based on reading Pronto and Fire In The Hole in close proximity, I have taken to thinking of the Raylan of the novels/short stories as Sideways-Raylan - but the dry wit, great action and compelling characters mark Pronto out as being very much of the same mold as Justified, even if some of the details feel a bit off.

I'm now reading Gangs of New York by Herbert Asbury, which is interesting largely because, as a work of historical writing, it seems to say more about the world in which Asbury was writing it than the one that he was writing about. And I am interspersing that with a mixture of short stories by Raymond Carver and H.P. Lovecraft, which makes me wonder if anyone has ever tried to meld the fantastical, eldritch terror of Lovecraft with the quiet, haunting minimalism of Carver, like if there is a version of The Thing on the Doorstep in which the reanimated corpse at the end wonders about how emotionally distant its husband has become, or a telling of The Case of Charles Dexter Ward which focuses entirely on the sense of alienation that Joseph Curwen feels after he starts impersonating Ward, only to discover that he does not fit into this bold new century.

This post has been edited by maian: Jun 7 2011, 11:36 PM
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Ade
post Jun 8 2011, 02:10 AM
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QUOTE (Silky @ May 27 2011, 12:45 PM) *
Reading the Belgariad yet again. biggrin.gif
I had forgotten how much I loved these characters.

I haven't read that series in years - after Magician and The Hobbit, they were my first full foray into the fantasy fiction genre. I may well have to pay them another visit.
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Julie
post Jun 8 2011, 02:16 AM
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QUOTE (Shack @ Jun 6 2011, 05:47 PM) *
Devoured Dead Run, the third in the PJ Tracy set. Another very enjoyable read.


It's been my favourite of the lot, so far.
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Outatime
post Jun 8 2011, 08:33 AM
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QUOTE (Julie @ Jun 8 2011, 03:16 AM) *
It's been my favourite of the lot, so far.


Funny, it's my least favourite. My favourite is the first one.
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mcraigclark
post Jun 8 2011, 09:35 AM
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QUOTE (Outatime @ Jun 8 2011, 04:33 AM) *
Funny, it's my least favourite. My favourite is the first one.

Same here. I still really liked it though.
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jem
post Jun 8 2011, 11:12 PM
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Just finished Pattern Recognition by William Gibson. I will go out on a limb and state that the ending sucked, did not enjoy one bit. I think I may be the only one though. A couple of people at work stopped when they saw it poking out of my drawer to tell me how much they loved it. (Erin normally refuses conversation with people at work that is not work related - I might be an asshole/antisocial/or simply have nothing to say, who knows? Not me.)

Will read The Bell Jar next - Hooray for Plath!

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