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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:16 pm 
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That chapter certainly overturned a few assumptions that I think a lot us were taught and hold as a self-evident truth.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:20 pm 
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A legal link to the pdf of the Debt book for anyone interested. Socialism eh?

https://libcom.org/files/__Debt__The_Fi ... _Years.pdf


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:23 pm 
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Limerickman wrote:
A legal link to the pdf of the Debt book for anyone interested. Socialism eh?

https://libcom.org/files/__Debt__The_Fi ... _Years.pdf


Anarchism baby woooo hoooo!


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:28 pm 
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flaggETERNAL wrote:
That chapter certainly overturned a few assumptions that I think a lot us were taught and hold as a self-evident truth.


It's sad but Adam Smith and his Wealth of Nations largely fulfills a propaganda function today. How many of those who quote it or mention his pin factory have actually read all five volumes, or more importantly its primer, The Theory of Moral Sentiments?

It (Wealth of Nations) is a work of moral philosophy, first and foremost. And an interesting one. Unfortunately, it's acquired a status somewhere between Thucydides and the Gospels.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 9:34 am 
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Conservative Eddie wrote:
flaggETERNAL wrote:
That chapter certainly overturned a few assumptions that I think a lot us were taught and hold as a self-evident truth.


It's sad but Adam Smith and his Wealth of Nations largely fulfills a propaganda function today. How many of those who quote it or mention his pin factory have actually read all five volumes, or more importantly its primer, The Theory of Moral Sentiments?

It (Wealth of Nations) is a work of moral philosophy, first and foremost. And an interesting one. Unfortunately, it's acquired a status somewhere between Thucydides and the Gospels.


Us anthrotwats dispelled the myth of barter aeons ago. The problem is we spout so much sh*t on other issues that when we occasionally say something useful we are usually ignored. This noted I actually think Graeber overcooks his case by failing to look at exchange interactions between peoples with very different systems of value. In those instances, barter, albeit mediated differently on each side of the exchange certainly took the form of barter.

And in fairness to most (academic) economists, the Smith narrative really only survives in the its popularly appropriated economics 101 form.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:04 am 
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Short Man Syndrome wrote:
Short Man Syndrome wrote:
Currently winding my way through The Book Thief. It's quite good, it seems to be about an ongoing game of street football, but I quite often miss the point of these things.



Finished this - must have been allergic to the last few pages as my eyes went all leaky and sad. Beautiful writing.



Started reading this this morning and just couldn't put it down. What a beautiful book. I guess its aimed at teenagers and wish I could have read it at school although there's a good chance I just wouldn't have appreciated it.

Also read Memoirs of a Geisha this week which also goes into my list of classics. Both just utterly brilliant escapism, wonderful writing and great stories too.

Been good to get a couple of good reads in after struggling through the dirge of Murakamis Wind Up Bird Chronicles


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:35 am 
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HKCJ wrote:
Short Man Syndrome wrote:
Short Man Syndrome wrote:
Currently winding my way through The Book Thief. It's quite good, it seems to be about an ongoing game of street football, but I quite often miss the point of these things.



Finished this - must have been allergic to the last few pages as my eyes went all leaky and sad. Beautiful writing.



Started reading this this morning and just couldn't put it down. What a beautiful book. I guess its aimed at teenagers and wish I could have read it at school although there's a good chance I just wouldn't have appreciated it.

Also read Memoirs of a Geisha this week which also goes into my list of classics. Both just utterly brilliant escapism, wonderful writing and great stories too.

Been good to get a couple of good reads in after struggling through the dirge of Murakamis Wind Up Bird Chronicles


If you found that dreary I suggest you avoid IQ84 I read all 3 volumes and finished thinking "What? is that it" incredibly long winded and ends up saying nothing


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:57 am 
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The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and 1Q84 are probably two of my favourite books, particularly the latter.

Murakami seems to be one of those authors who inspires either complete adoration or total indifference.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:59 am 
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PourSomeRuggerOnMe wrote:
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and 1Q84 are probably two of my favourite books, particularly the latter.

Murakami seems to be one of those authors who inspires either complete adoration or total indifference.

I really rate some of his stuff and IQ84 started out strong but for me he lost control of the narrative and then opted for a deus ex machina ending to tie it all up


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:20 pm 
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I suppose it's hard to know how in control of the narrative he is in 1Q84 given the size of the book and the fact that thematically he's navigating the blurred edges between the real and the unreal, lending itself to a pretty loose narrative at the best of times. I remember reading in an interview with him that some of the concepts, like the Little People, just came to him suddenly, and he doesn't necessarily have a fully resolved explanation of them and their motives. So I can see where you're coming from but for me the lack of cohesion wasn't necessarily a negative as it fit with the style and the story itself, and I was happy enough with the ending.

The only one of his I've read that I wasn't crazy about was Kafka on the Shore, I just never really got into the story and I think the style of it threw me off a bit.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:22 pm 
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I like his writing.. its beautiful.. its just not really interesting which I kind of look for in a book. I loved this assessment from a review on goodreads..

Spoiler: show
I had been wondering where my cat was when the phone rang. It was a woman offering to have no strings sex with me. I made some non-committal remarks to her and put the receiver down. I hate those cold callers. I had nothing to do that day, or any other day, so I walked down the back alley and fell into a desultory conversation with a random 16 year old girl who had a wooden leg and a parrot on her shoulder. She suggested I help her make some easy money by counting bald people. That sounded about as good as anything else to me, after all, as I have already explained, i had nothing to do. At all. And I was doing it. It was kind of a cool period in my life when i wasn't really doing anything. I didn't have a job, I had become estranged from my family and for some reason I could not quite put my finger on, i had no friends. So we counted the bald people for a while and then we stopped. We went back home, or should i say, she went back to her home, and I, of course, went back to mine, where I prepared a simple evening meal consisting of grated cucumber, a little olive oil, half a smoked mackerel and a pot of basil. I didn't put the tv on because I didn't have a tv because if i had had a tv i might have switched it on and seen something on it that was actually interesting. Then the cold calling sex woman rang again and this time she said that she couldn't quite tell me how she knew this but she knew something was going to happen to me but she did not say when it would. I decided to rehang the curtains in the front room. But not right away. Maybe later. I picked up the novel I was reading. It was a long one by a very modish Japanese writer called Haruki Murakami. It was about this English guy called Paul Bryant. He was kind of dull but all these weird unexplained things kept happening like he was a magnet for all the weirdness around. I don't know how to explain it. Neither did he. Neither did Haruki Marukami. I read for an hour and found I was on page 303, which in my paperback edition, was the exact centre point of the novel. I put it down. I had a feeling that in this novel things would continue to happen but the things would all be made of blancmange, a tasteless gooey substance which looks a little like wallpaper paste but isn't. And the people in the novel would all be not really real but also not really not real, if you know what I mean. My arm felt slightly tired holding the book. I shifted to a different reading posture on my couch but it did not help. The strength went out of my arm. I do not know why. As you may have noticed, I do not know anything at all. I struggle to recall my name on most days. The novel fell from my hand. I had the feeling I would never pick it up again. I did not know why I had that feeling, but I was pretty sure that I had it at the time I was having it. Although later, I was almost sure I had no memory of it. When I looked up a completely naked woman was sitting at the table eating a slice of thinly buttered toast. I asked her who she was and she said she was not at that point in a position to be able to divulge that information. She asked if she could borrow my car. I explained it had been taken by my wife who had left me two weeks ago. This did not seem to phase her. I noticed that her body was almost the same as that of my wife. She had two breasts, two nipples, and although the table was obscuring the lower parts of her anatomy I was sure that the rest of her was also not dissimilar. She consumed three pieces of toast and told me in a cool voice that I would never see my cat again except possibly in a place that began with the letter H or has a H in the name somewhere. She borrowed my wife's smart summer coat and a pair of her stilettos and left after about 15 minutes. It began to rain but I did not notice. I thought about paying my electricity bill.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:25 pm 
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Ha, I remember that GoodReads post alright, it's very good.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 8:42 pm 
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Read The Tunnels by Greg Mitchell there recently, exciting account of the tunnellers in the early days of the Berlin wall. Reads like a Cold War thriller but is entirely non fiction account of what went on and the people involved. The overlap with what was going on in Cuba and the missile crisis was interesting too. Well worth a read if you're into that era.

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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 2:34 pm 
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Just finished this, finally (I had a couple of abortive attempts at it many years ago):

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Have only read A Clockwork Orange of his before, thought this was better although if anything harder to get into (actually CO was pretty easy I thought, this wasn't hard but a bit more opaque). I have to confess to finding some of the theological & philosophical ramblings too obscure to follow but as an evocation of Elizabethan London and just as a story it was superb. Lots of violence and buggery too, which was nice.

Highly recommended. I'll have to give his Shakespeare one a go. Any other Burgess recommendations?


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 2:39 pm 
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Womack wrote:
Just finished this, finally (I had a couple of abortive attempts at it many years ago):

Image

Have only read A Clockwork Orange of his before, thought this was better although if anything harder to get into (actually CO was pretty easy I thought, this wasn't hard but a bit more opaque). I have to confess to finding some of the theological & philosophical ramblings too obscure to follow but as an evocation of Elizabethan London and just as a story it was superb. Lots of violence and buggery too, which was nice.

Highly recommended. I'll have to give his Shakespeare one a go. Any other Burgess recommendations?


Earthly Powers is his best and also has the best opening line in literature. Nothing Like the Sun is alright, but very dated now.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 3:04 pm 
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Ta, Earthly Powers it is then.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:10 pm 
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just finished reading a place of greater safety....hilary mantels book about the french revolution

at this point i think i like it more than wolf hall


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:42 am 
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Brazil wrote:
Womack wrote:
Just finished this, finally (I had a couple of abortive attempts at it many years ago):

Image

Have only read A Clockwork Orange of his before, thought this was better although if anything harder to get into (actually CO was pretty easy I thought, this wasn't hard but a bit more opaque). I have to confess to finding some of the theological & philosophical ramblings too obscure to follow but as an evocation of Elizabethan London and just as a story it was superb. Lots of violence and buggery too, which was nice.

Highly recommended. I'll have to give his Shakespeare one a go. Any other Burgess recommendations?


Earthly Powers is his best and also has the best opening line in literature. Nothing Like the Sun is alright, but very dated now.


This. His best effort by far. I found it to be one of those rare books to which the mind has returned regularly in spite of having read it over fifteen years ago. It's clever, fun, plays lots of little games with the reader, but is at the same time deeply serious and profound. Good and evil stuff. Some of the dialogues are quite brilliant, and the prose element in general has knock-out fluency - a pleasure to read and see what our language is capable of in the long form. It also includes a character called Carlo Campanati, who, for me, is one of the most vividly drawn personalities in all of the literature I've read.

Be aware of one thing, however. He will test your vocabulary. Burgess constantly goes for it with the back end of the dictionary. I suspect it was to do with his love of learning new languages, but he simply couldn't stop firing out words the reader will never have heard before. Tell us when you get to the 'adventitious apocope', or my favourite, the 'venerean strabismus'.

Enjoy.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 6:15 am 
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Just finished A Thousand Splendid Sons. I thought it was pretty much impossible for Khaled Hosseini to live up to Kite Runner but somehow he managed it. Amazing books both.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:41 am 
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I bought this book about 11 months ago but haven't been able to have a decent crack at it due to parental duties etc.
My mission is to get through it by Easter. Its quite heavy going at times with the sheer mountain of Russian names to remember but its written very well.
Some of the stories of Peter the Great's court are f**king hilarious :lol:
Working my way through Catherine atm and looking forward to getting into the 19th century which is much more relevant to what I studied back in the day.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:46 am 
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HKCJ wrote:
Just finished A Thousand Splendid Sons. I thought it was pretty much impossible for Khaled Hosseini to live up to Kite Runner but somehow he managed it. Amazing books both.


+1

Slight preference for "Kite Runner"...


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:59 am 
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clementinfrance wrote:
HKCJ wrote:
Just finished A Thousand Splendid Sons. I thought it was pretty much impossible for Khaled Hosseini to live up to Kite Runner but somehow he managed it. Amazing books both.


+1

Slight preference for "Kite Runner"...



Yeah me too I think just. I read the Kite Runner a year or so ago and was going to dive into this straight after but my girlfriend told me to wait and give it a while, read some other stuff first because then i would really savour and appreciate them both. Think she was spot on and I will give it a while before I read And the Mountains Echoed. We were saying his writing has an almost musical rhythm to it that I find it almost hypnotic.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:08 am 
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HKCJ wrote:
clementinfrance wrote:
HKCJ wrote:
Just finished A Thousand Splendid Sons. I thought it was pretty much impossible for Khaled Hosseini to live up to Kite Runner but somehow he managed it. Amazing books both.


+1

Slight preference for "Kite Runner"...



Yeah me too I think just. I read the Kite Runner a year or so ago and was going to dive into this straight after but my girlfriend told me to wait and give it a while, read some other stuff first because then i would really savour and appreciate them both. Think she was spot on and I will give it a while before I read And the Mountains Echoed. We were saying his writing has an almost musical rhythm to it that I find it almost hypnotic.


I read both when they came out years ago and yes the writing flows superbly... Didn't know he had written a third book, so I'll get that ordered soon. :thumbup:


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:02 am 
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Just finished this.

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Drier than Ann Widecombes lady parts, although I'm sure Rob, Braz or Crash would appreciate it.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:12 am 
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Jim Lahey wrote:
Image

I bought this book about 11 months ago but haven't been able to have a decent crack at it due to parental duties etc.
My mission is to get through it by Easter. Its quite heavy going at times with the sheer mountain of Russian names to remember but its written very well.
Some of the stories of Peter the Great's court are f**k hilarious :lol:
Working my way through Catherine atm and looking forward to getting into the 19th century which is much more relevant to what I studied back in the day.

Got this as an Audible, going to finish SPQR and then this.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:15 pm 
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Just read this;
Image

A good effort, but tries to cover a little too much ground, IMO.
Now finally, after promising myself for years, on to this;

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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:47 pm 
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Not as good as his books about Joy Division and the Hacienda, though that might be more because I've a greater interest in them than New Order. Still hilarious though and well worth a read for anyone interested in NO, Factory, Madchester and the like.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:36 pm 
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One of the best books I have read. I have studied this topic a lot in the last year and this is like the cement for the bricks. Provides a strong interpretation about the decision making (or lack of) for going into Iraq in 2003 and confusion over US foreign policy.

Next book is Tim Shipman's: All Out War

Image

Read quite a few books on Brexit so far including Hannan's latest (it was ok) and started Craig Oliver's Unleashing Demons (this is great if you didn't follow Brexit too closely but I was working a lot on the referendum at the time so knew all the details he wrote about, thus it felt a bit of a waste of time so gave up), however Shipman's is far more intriguing from what I have read so far and provides a far more detailed account from all perspectives.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:27 pm 
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Has anyone read Coming Up For Air? Brilliant book. Very well written with so many things still relevant today.

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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:59 pm 
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arrived this afternoon courtesy of amazon: 8)

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the book -
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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 5:23 pm 
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clementinfrance wrote:
HKCJ wrote:
clementinfrance wrote:
HKCJ wrote:
Just finished A Thousand Splendid Sons. I thought it was pretty much impossible for Khaled Hosseini to live up to Kite Runner but somehow he managed it. Amazing books both.


+1

Slight preference for "Kite Runner"...



Yeah me too I think just. I read the Kite Runner a year or so ago and was going to dive into this straight after but my girlfriend told me to wait and give it a while, read some other stuff first because then i would really savour and appreciate them both. Think she was spot on and I will give it a while before I read And the Mountains Echoed. We were saying his writing has an almost musical rhythm to it that I find it almost hypnotic.


I read both when they came out years ago and yes the writing flows superbly... Didn't know he had written a third book, so I'll get that ordered soon. :thumbup:


Read And the Mountains Echoed a couple of months back, also superb but the first 3/4 are the best. 3rd out of the 3 for me but very much worth it. Totally agree on the "musical rhythm"


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:02 pm 
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Thought I'd try and read some funny books this year. This article is my starting points, so any suggestions?
I've already read all the Calvin & Hobbes books.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/ ... t-christie


Worth a read, not difficult. I still don't know if he's guilty or innocent.

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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:07 pm 
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Just read this;

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Very light read really, too light on detail to be that interesting, but a decent sketch of his young life and bizarre proclivities.

Moving onto;

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It's by the same author. Hopefully it'll be good deal more dense, while keeping the authors readable style.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:32 pm 
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Just finished Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada. Interesting novel written just after the second world war about resistance to the Nazis during the second world war. Explains how fear slowly took hold of Berlin with the rise of the Nazis.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 4:14 am 
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JoeyFantastic wrote:
Just finished Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada. Interesting novel written just after the second world war about resistance to the Nazis during the second world war. Explains how fear slowly took hold of Berlin with the rise of the Nazis.

Sounds relevant. *cough*

Is it a novel or a history book?


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 6:58 am 
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CBATC if already mentioned, but Robin Ince and Josie Long do an excellent podcast called Book Shambles which I've recently got into - it's proving enormous literary value at the moment, although they recommend a handful of different books each episode and I'm already about fifteen books behind on my reading list now.

Currently working my way through Thoreau's Walden and Civil Disobedience - apparently a classic I had heretofore not been aware of.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:51 pm 
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Floppykid wrote:
JoeyFantastic wrote:
Just finished Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada. Interesting novel written just after the second world war about resistance to the Nazis during the second world war. Explains how fear slowly took hold of Berlin with the rise of the Nazis.

Sounds relevant. *cough*

Is it a novel or a history book?


A novel based very loosely on a real life couple who published anti-Nazi propaganda in Berlin during the war. The author had had some run ins with the Nazis so knew to some degree what he was writing about.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:17 am 
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Anyone have any recommendations for books about the development of nuclear weapons during and after WW2?


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:43 pm 
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Floppykid wrote:
Anyone have any recommendations for books about the development of nuclear weapons during and after WW2?


I'm not sure this is what you're looking for but I came across this about a month ago, didn't buy though.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01 ... 5400977031


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:45 pm 
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I am currently reading my old science fiction books for possibly the last time and then passing them on to my daughter (for her to dump). Most of these I bought 50 odd years ago - Bradbury, Asimov, Dick, Heinlein etc. The one at the moment is Ray Bradbury's Machineries of Joy. What lovely writing.


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