View Full Version : Last good book you read
Stevie Rave On
08-24-1999, 01:26 PM
I just finished reading "The Godfather". It was great. Watching the movie after reading the book made the movie that much better. Anyway, I've been having trouble deciding what to read next, (I hate buying books only to find 300 pages into it that I hate it) so I thought I'd ask for some suggestions.
08-24-1999, 01:29 PM
you wont like mine but...
Sanctuary & Montana Sky by Nora Roberts.
I have read almost all of her full length novels. :)
I recently read (again ) The Deep by the guy who wrote Jaws...not bad.
08-24-1999, 01:32 PM
I just finished reading "Snap Happy" by Fiona Walker. It's the story about a budding stand-up comic having a few problems (to say the least). I'm still giggling about it.
I prefer rogues to imbeciles because they sometimes take a rest.
Alexandre Dumas the Younger (1824-1895)
08-24-1999, 01:45 PM
Just finished "The Looking-Glass War" by John LeCarre. Currently reading "Blind Ambition" by John Dean and "Coming in to the Country" by John McPhee.
In case you think I only read books by people named "John", I'm also reading "The Country by the Sea" by Paul Theroux.
The Godfather is very good, and adds a lot to the movie.
08-24-1999, 01:52 PM
The 2 books by, I believe, J. K. Rowling. "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and "Harry Potter and the Closet of Secrets"(not sure on the last one, I've already lent it out.).
Her writing flavor is a close to Roald Dahl's as I have ever seen. Entertaining for kids, fascinating to adults.
08-24-1999, 02:02 PM
COMPANY K, by William March, 1933.
A series of 113 prose vignettes told -- a la SPOON RIVER ANTHOLOGY -- from the POV of each member of a (fictional) company of U.S. Marines serving during the final year of the Great War, ranging from one to four pages in length, and from the sublime to the gory to the humorous to the ridiculous in content.
A minor classic, all but forgotten now (though still in print from the University of Alabama Press), and a big influence on such war-novels-of-the-absurd as CATCH-22 and SLAUGHTERHOUSE 5.
08-24-1999, 02:04 PM
The Lost Continent by Bill(?) Bryson.
Biggles had mentioned reading a travel book of his (Walk in the Woods) and being a lover of travel "diaries" and stories, I picked it up Sunday. Thanks Biggles! I enjoyed it.
Oooh, I will have to look for Company K. I'm just now reading Claire Tomalin's wonderful biography of Jane Austen: amusing, engrossing, well written. Also recently read Songs of the City, a great new book about songs about New York, 1850s to the present. It has wonderful sheet music covers all through the book.
08-24-1999, 02:43 PM
There's a coincidence for you, Miss McF...I just picked up part of my upcoming vacation reading at Academy Bookshop on W. 18th Street: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE.
I'm ashamed to say I haven't read it till now...too busy with Dickens and Trollope and James Hogg and Charles Maturin and the other Boy Authors of her era.
It's a Norton Critical Edition, so about half the volume is biography and essays...I'll post a Book Report when I come back.
08-24-1999, 02:43 PM
Hey, a guy afta my own heart. I am re-reading Da Godfather right now. Every time I finish reading it I get depressed because I know it's gonna be about 10 books before I find another really good one again.
So then I make myself a big pot of spagetti, rent Godfather trilogy and fahgetaboutit.
08-24-1999, 03:14 PM
"Cold Mountain: by Charles Frazier. I think it's Charles, might be Robert. But the title is enough.
If you love beautiful language, this is it. Also a great story. Everyone I've talked to had a bit of a hard time getting started, including me. The first few chapters I wasn't sure I was going to be able to appreciate it. Then...I couldn't put it down. I was totally enthralled and I wept at the end. Beautiful book, gorgeous language, incredibly evocative of time, place, and circumstance.
There are two parallele stories. The first is a Southern Rebel soldier towards the end of the Civil War, who, after recovoering from his wound, decides he's had enough and starts walking home. Along the way he has to get enough to eat and avoid getting caught and killed, since it was illegal for him to just walk away from the war.
The other is of the girl he left behind, who, when we meet her, is completely lost after her father dies. She is genteel and educated, and thoroughly unable to fend for herself in those harsh times. So she hooks up with a mountain girl who is totally uneducated, but hardworking, no-nonsenes, and as wise and able as one can imagine about how to make the land work for them.
It isn't the kind of story I ever thought I'd like so much, but it was lovely, truly lovely. And fascinating... talk about getting down to the basics of survival! For everybody.
Incidentally, the book was the National Book Award winner for, I think, 1997 or 98.
Really, if you love to read...try it. And give it a few chapters before you decide.
As for great books in general, I'd have to say, having just read it for the 2nd time, that my favorite book of all time is "A Prayer for Owen Meany". Utterly entrancing.
I'm about to start "Memoirs of a Geisha", which I'm told I will adore.
Who used to read jsut about anything, but has gotten alot pickier in her old age.
08-24-1999, 03:20 PM
If you like forensic/detective mysteries there are two excellent ones out there by Jeffrey Deavers: The Bone Collector (read first) and The Coffin Dancer. They are so well written and interesting. They are making The Bone Collector into a movie, but from what I've seen it doesn't live up to the book. In these books the main character is an ex-cop who got hurt on the job and is now a quadraplegic (sp) and can only move his left index finger. He walks a rookie cop through the crime scene over the phone, etc.
Also, if you like Historical Romance, the absolute BEST series of books (and I read a TON of books in many genres) is by Diana Gabaldon. The first one is called Outlander. These are not sappy "romance" novels. They are action-packed and take place in 16th century Scotland (right before the Jacobite Revolution (1745) and up til the American Revolution)and are historically correct with fictional characters thrown in.
Good lord, Ike, how many times have you and I bumped into each other at the same bookstores without knowing it?
Some old classics that are worth picking up (besides me, that is): Gentlemmen Prefer Blondes, by Anita Loos (one of the funniest books ever), Evelyn Waugh's Vile Bodies (also hilarious, but in a very dark way), Henri Murger's Tales of the Latin Quarter (La Boheme was based on it--but a lot of this book is very funny, in a Dickensian way), any of Stanley Loomis' three books on the French Revolution. And Tove Jansson's Moomin Valley series are the best children's books ever written, equally enjoyable for grown-ups. Like Winnie the Pooh after he ran out of Prozac.
08-24-1999, 03:40 PM
Okay, Flora, Ike. Enough of this. You both live in NYC, meet for coffee, for cripes sake!!
08-24-1999, 03:45 PM
The best old book I read is called The Clothes Have No Emperor by Paul Slansky.It s about the Reagan years,and how it was all a bad dream that everybody bought.
08-24-1999, 04:11 PM
All right, enough of the high-brow stuff. How about something down right hilarious?
Try "Double Whammy" by Carl Hiaasen. Most of his books are pretty entertaining, although the last one, "Lucky You," might have been the worst.
If you are looking for some political satire, you might want to try anything by P. J. O'Rourke.
Abstainer: a weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.
- Ambrose Bierce
08-24-1999, 04:40 PM
Burning Bright by Tom Dowd
I have 33 of the series.
08-24-1999, 04:45 PM
There are 33 of those things now? Sheeeit. I stopped after #9 or so.
But you just gotta love the combination of magic and technology. Have ye read the "Amber" series by Roger Zelany?
08-24-1999, 05:03 PM
I'm almost finished with "The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich" by William Shirer. It's fascinating, but verrrrrrrrrrry long (1,200 pages)!
Stoidela - "Cold Mountain" was awesome! I thought the imagery was fantastic. I found it rather depressing, but in a good way, and I think it's very thought provoking. Great book.
08-24-1999, 05:32 PM
Have ye read the "Amber" series by Roger Zelany?
I haven't read that series, though I do read Roger Zelazny. I read his short story collections. I always remember Unicorn Variations.
The book that left a lasting impression on me was "The Lathe of Heaven" by Ursula K. Leguin. PBS did a movie of it. You might think you have the solution to all man's problems, but will you be suprised with their outcome.
08-24-1999, 06:44 PM
Tuesdays with Morrie will change your outlook on life!
08-24-1999, 06:55 PM
Dante's Inferno, The whole Divine Comedy is cool. You'll need to be sure to get a copy with editorial comments otherwise it can be complicated.
08-24-1999, 07:23 PM
I just re-read two classic Stephen King novels...The Shining and Firestarter....Excellent books, both!
08-24-1999, 07:40 PM
Dirty Devil: When you're done w/ Rise and Fall take a few months off then read Shirer's Berlin Diary. It's his diary of the years leading up to the war. It's more emotional and less polished htan R&F, but very revealing as to the lifestyles and mindsets of the Germans and the Western reporters.
08-24-1999, 08:00 PM
My Secret History by Paul Theroux
08-24-1999, 08:40 PM
Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson. Long and very detailed on the subject of computers, hackers, and cryptography. If you've got a stomach for arcane detail, you'll love it.
08-24-1999, 09:47 PM
Just tonight finished Tower of Secrets by Victor Sheymov. Not as spicy as Victor Suvorov's books, but the exfiltration of a KGB Section Chief from Moscow does pick it up at the end. It's got a good anti-Commie rant in the middle, in case you need an education.
Budget being what it is, I'm delving into the re-read pile right now. Nice thing about reaching your mid-forties is being able to read another book about WWII and having to wait 'til the end to find out who won.
Books I'm fixin' to re-attack and will recommend and enjoy are Modern Times by Paul Johnson and The Pacifac War 1941-1945 by John Costello. I've got a trilogy by John Keegan including The Face of Battle and The Price of Admiralty; I can't remember the name of the 3rd one right now...(dig, dig, dig) starts out w/Phillip of Macedonia and concentrates on leaders. Anyway, good ones all.
Ya' ever get stuck in an allright book? Tom Wolfe's Bonfire of the Vanities did that to me. I walk away from probably ~1/100 books I start, and that was one of the few. It's funny that it has stayed w/me; I guess I just couldn't maintain interest in the story as it became increasingly subject to caricature, but the author's ability to paint a picture was great. Other "great" books I've lost in the middle include Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time; his dismissal of determinism was less than compelling and I can't go on with the read until I get around that. I'm no big fan of determinism, but I must be convinced to continue (a thread begs). Another I bogged on was Thomas Sowell's Marxism wherein Mr. Sowell decimates Marxist economics. Its a great book but I was reading it as the Soviet Union collapsed and it seemed like a great release to no longer need to burden my mind with Dr. Sowell's minute and exact examinations of Marxist math (you thought the regular kind was hard).
OTOH, Thomas Sowell's Race:Rhetoric or Reality (must check title; dig, dig, dig, dig...I need to get some bookcases around here) is a very good read. When I go to the bookstore I sample; I grab a book and read a few pages - if it's a good read I may buy it - if it's crappy I know soon enough. I did read all of Mark Baker's COPS in the aisle of the local Bookstop and felt guilty about it so I bought it. Actually wound up buying several copies for friends.
Heartfire: The Tales of Alvin Maker V, Orson Scott Card
The Callahan Chronicles, Spider Robinson (contains Callahan's Crosstime Saloon, Time Travelers Strictly Cash and Callahan's Secret)
Razor's Edge, Lisanne Norman (fourth book of the Sholan Alliance series)
The Incredible Journey
Fuzzy Bones, William Tuning (sequel to H. Beam Piper's "Fuzzy" books)
Steal the Dragon, Patricia Briggs
Currently reading: Scent of Magic, Andre Norton
08-24-1999, 10:46 PM
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. That woman has an incredible command of the language.
Two recent ones:
- The Damon Runyon Omnibus (Guys and Dolls, Money from Home, and Blue Plate Special) : Stories set on Broadway around 1930, gangsters, night clubs, Prohibition, humour, pathos, ...
- Doctor Dogbody's Leg, by James Norman Hall (half of Nordhof & Hall, who wrote Mutiny on the Bounty) : A more-or-less retired naval surgeon from the Napoleonic wars sits in the pub and tells ten adventurous and implausible tales of how he lost his leg. He would have been right at home at Callahan's.
Bob the Random Expert
"If we don't have the answer, we'll make one up."
I mean, of course, ones I've read recently; they're both kind of old. Sometimes I just can't make myself clear. :(
Bob the Random Expert
"If we don't have the answer, we'll make one up."
08-25-1999, 02:19 AM
The Onion presents
Our Dumb Century
CMC International Records
Yahoo Messenger Brian_ONeill
08-25-1999, 03:03 PM
Just finished John Irving's latest, A Widow For One Year. Typical Irving style, and I loved every page. Not quite on the same level as Garp, but I still didn't leave my bed for the 2 days it took to read the 600-some pages.
Also on my literary plate right now:
the journals of sylvia plath <which i love but have to read in small doses or else i'll stick my head in an oven too>
blue highways by williams least heat-moon. it is one of the best 'travel' books i've ever had the pleasure of laying my little eyes upon.
on the road by jack kerouac.
that's it for now~
08-25-1999, 03:23 PM
Currently re-reading "The Three Musketeers" by Alexander Dumas, which just gets better every time I read it. Future plans ... trying to get through "Infinite Jest" by David Foster Wallace, starting "The Dark Tower" again from the beginning, and I need to do my reading of "Huckleberry Finn" again which, like Nat Hentoff does, I read at least once a year.
08-25-1999, 03:27 PM
I just finished Fannie Flagg's new book, Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!. She's the author of Fried Green Tomatos at the Whistle Stop Cafe.
Great book. She writes her characters wonderfully; they're all carefully drawn, real people, even the bad guys. Plus, there's a mystery about the protagonist's past, that she uncovers during the course of the book. I was up until 1 AM one night, because I wanted to find out how it ended.
I also like the Victorians - I have a shelf full of Trollope that I'm working my way through. My friends all think this is a little odd.
The Cat In The Hat
08-25-1999, 06:30 PM
Recent books I've read:1)Red Alert(the names were changed so was the ending for the film version-Dr. Strangelove) 2)I Am Legend 3) The Illustrated Man....................I May Not Have Gone To College But I'm Not Stupid -Mr. Ed
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