The PR Book Thread

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Nolanator
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by Nolanator »

Been working my way through "The State of Africa" based on recommendations here. Going through in fits and starts, but it's fascinating.

I had thought that learning the details about the sheer scale of corruption and abuse of power shortly after independence would be eye-opening, and it was, but it's the recent stuff that's really caught my attention. The details of the atrocities in Rwanda and the Congo/Zaire and the civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone are harrowing. All parties seem to have been an absolutely horrible people, with some of the worst traits in human nature on show.
The lead-up to these conflicts, the barbarity of the conflicts themselves, and the appalling reaction of the international community really add up to create an absolute shit-show of human suffering.

Should be mandatory reading for all.

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Ewinkum
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by Ewinkum »

Just finished ‘The selfish gene’ by Richard Dawkins.
What a book. A must read if you haven’t already.

Onto ‘All the pretty horses’ by Cormac McCarthy next.
I read ‘Blood Meridian’ a couple of years ago and it was excellent. Grim, bleak and beautiful.
Hoping for something similar.

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Fangle
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by Fangle »

What do you guys think about graphic novels? Looks like crap to me. My wife's book club are starting on one called Maus.

Denirostaxidriver
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by Denirostaxidriver »

Fangle wrote:What do you guys think about graphic novels? Looks like crap to me. My wife's book club are starting on one called Maus.


One of the top 10 books / whatever that I have ever read.

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HKCJ
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by HKCJ »

Just finished Beartown... cracking read, most enjoyable book I’ve read for a while. Recommend for fiction fans.

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happyhooker
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by happyhooker »

Denirostaxidriver wrote:
Fangle wrote:What do you guys think about graphic novels? Looks like crap to me. My wife's book club are starting on one called Maus.


One of the top 10 books / whatever that I have ever read.

Not quite at that level of enthusiasm, but it's excellent

james garner
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by james garner »

Ewinkum wrote:Just finished ‘The selfish gene’ by Richard Dawkins.
What a book. A must read if you haven’t already.

Onto ‘All the pretty horses’ by Cormac McCarthy next.
I read ‘Blood Meridian’ a couple of years ago and it was excellent. Grim, bleak and beautiful.
Hoping for something similar.


I should revisit the selfish gene, some great concepts, a bit sobering to consider oneself a survival machine or robot for our genes, although that theory falls a bit flat when I have had 10 pints, I like to think of myself as the bender of survival machine robots.

Also introduced the concept of memes. Shame Dawkins is such a C*nt

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julian
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by julian »

Image

The author reviews the concept of modern democracy and how some radical movements are shaping it in the wrong way.

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Floppykid
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by Floppykid »

Any decent/essential books on astrophysics, the big questions about the universe etc. etc. people would recommend?
Obviously for a layman and not too dry, but still something that will make me look smart/pretentious on public transport when reading it.

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flaggETERNAL
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by flaggETERNAL »

Floppykid wrote:Any decent/essential books on astrophysics, the big questions about the universe etc. etc. people would recommend?
Obviously for a layman and not too dry, but still something that will make me look smart/pretentious on public transport when reading it.


Neil DeGrasse's Astrophysics For People In A Hurry is pretty good.

Also, just about to finish the Iron Druid chronicles. Pretty good, lighthearted fantasy for those who like the genre.

Monk Zombie
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by Monk Zombie »

been reading this:

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ended him up at Dachau and dead

Friedrich Reck might seem an unlikely rebel against Nazism. Not just a conservative but a rock-ribbed reactionary, he played the part of a landed gentleman, deplored democracy, and rejected the modern world outright. To Reck the Nazis were ruthless revolutionaries in Gothic drag, and helpless as he was to counter the spell they had cast on the German people, he felt compelled to record the corruptions of their rule. The result is less a diary than a sequence of stark and astonishing snapshots of life in Germany between 1936 and 1944. We see the Nazis at the peak of power, and the murderous panic with which they respond to approaching defeat; their travesty of traditional folkways in the name of the Volk; and the author’s own missed opportunity to shoot Hitler. This riveting book is not only, as Hannah Arendt proclaimed it, “one of the most important documents of the Hitler period” but a moving testament of a decent man struggling to do the right thing in a depraved world.

PRAISE
Very, very rarely one comes across a book so remarkable and so unexpectedly convincing that it deserves more to be quoted than to be reviewed.... I beg you to read this bitterly courageous book by as good a German as one could well imagine.
—Frederic Raphael, The Sunday Times, London

It is stunning to read, for it is not often that invective achieves the level of art, and rarer still that hatred assumes a tragic grandeur.
—The New York Times

Observations set down with passion, outrage, and almost unbearable sadness.... astonishing, compelling, and unnerving.
—The New Yorker

In his visceral loathing of the Nazis, Reck was not, of course, unique. From our perspective, however, he had one great advantage over most of his like-minded friends: he possessed the makings of a great diarist. True, he was not at the centre of things, but he knew the world and had contacts in it. He was something of a connoisseur of rumours, collecting and savouring stories about the latest Nazi scandal or atrocity and adding to them his own trenchant reflections. And if he was a slightly gullible listener, he was a very acute observer.
—The Financial Times

Unlike many memoirs of the Nazi period, this one is not a totally gloomy account of persecution, brutality and horrors. The dominating quality is its tough exuberance and (often black) satirical humor. From a great height of aristocratic disrelish Fritz Reck-Malleczewen looks down on the Nazis as lower middle class scum, vengefully greedy for power, with Hitler as their avatar, at once sinister and ridiculous.
—The Wall Street Journal

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Floppykid
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by Floppykid »

Any good bios of Tecumseh Sherman people would recommend?


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Floppykid
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Re: The PR Book Thread

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Monk Zombie
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by Monk Zombie »

this arrived today - supposedly like the Flashman stuff. anyone read it?

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He Man Rugger Pints
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by He Man Rugger Pints »

Read State of Africa having seen it posted here, what a general shambles and doesn't leave you hopeful for the future.

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This is an excellent biography of Woods. Golf isn't a sport I've much interest in but he really was an unbelievable superstar. Goes into a lot of detail on his father (total prick) and how it developed his mindset. He was extremely cold and ruthless. Seems to have gotten himself together a bit after his life crashed a few years back. One of better sports books I've read.

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This is about a post office manager who robbed more than €1.7 million to fund his compulsive gambling addiction. Reading it would induce anxiety when you hear all of the amounts he wins and loses. Good account of how insidious gambling (especially online) has become in our society and how the mind of an addict works.

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Nieghorn
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by Nieghorn »

Monk Zombie wrote:this arrived today - supposedly like the Flashman stuff. anyone read it?

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No, but I want to now! Cheers!

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Boobs not Moobs
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by Boobs not Moobs »

So I've read book 1 in this series and I'm wondering whether to continue. It's got plenty of merits but he also extrapolates everything. Lots of battles which get reptitive, I skim read battle bits, there's also plot threads that get hammered home again and again, 2 characters 1 is a bully, he bullies other character about 8 times, ott. 3 more books each about 1k pages. Being a bit sexist but I think would probably appeal more to men, main characters are all men, lots of fighting and warrior stuff.

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Short Man Syndrome
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by Short Man Syndrome »

Recently read and can recommend:

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Pat the Ex Mat
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by Pat the Ex Mat »

Uthikoloshe wrote:
MungoMan wrote:An exceedingly enjoyable SF / fantasy book from the local library. Definitlety recommended.

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Good shout. Half way in and hooked.



Do you know who is Dad is?

I've enjoyed all his books. Glad to see a new one.

Just finished the latest Peter.F.Hamilton book.

Enjoyed it a lot - a new universe is good afternoon the Void sequence

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Nieghorn
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by Nieghorn »

I'm tempted to see if I can get this on interlibrary loan ...

Spoiler: show
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Dobbin
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by Dobbin »

I need to find some new authors to read. Preferably ones with a large back catalogue. Anyone got any suggestions?

I read all sorts: literary, intelligent thrillers, humorous, historical, contemporary, crime, classic. Authors: Jonathan Coe, Iain Banks, Paul Murray, David Mitchell, Philip Roth, Alan Hollinghurst, have read a few Pratchett, Iain Pears, Magnus Mills, le Carre, John Irving, Evelyn Waugh, others in the same vein(s).

Not really into SF or (serious) fantasy. All suggestions gratefully received

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Pat the Ex Mat
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by Pat the Ex Mat »

Richard Morgan back in form with Thin Air.

I'd rate it as his best Neo-Noir yet.

He can't write Fantasy for shite mind :lol:

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danny_fitz
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by danny_fitz »

Anyone read Arnhem: The Battle for the Bridges by Anthony Beevor yet?

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Nieghorn
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by Nieghorn »

I've been trying to give fiction more of a go lately and maybe it's because I've been trained by movies, TV, and graphic novels, but do a lot of books have so much pointless fluff in them?

I just finished The American War on 1.25 speed audio and glad I chose to speed it up as I was left feeling that not much happened that couldn't be told in a short story. I'd abandoned two other books last week because nothing gripped me.

But back to the GNs, if you like Bond, I highly recommend this ... basically, if Moneypenny actually was a field agent in her youth and comes out of retirement to solve Bond's murder.

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HKCJ
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by HKCJ »

Struggling through Bleak House at the moment. I love Dickens but this is proving quite hard work.

Anyone read Mick Herrons Slow Horses series? Started off a bit ropey but getting more and more enjoyable as they go.

Brazil
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by Brazil »

HKCJ wrote:Struggling through Bleak House at the moment. I love Dickens but this is proving quite hard work.

Anyone read Mick Herrons Slow Horses series? Started off a bit ropey but getting more and more enjoyable as they go.


Yep, bought Spook Street the other day. They're very, very good.

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julian
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by julian »

Dobbin wrote:I need to find some new authors to read. Preferably ones with a large back catalogue. Anyone got any suggestions?

I read all sorts: literary, intelligent thrillers, humorous, historical, contemporary, crime, classic. Authors: Jonathan Coe, Iain Banks, Paul Murray, David Mitchell, Philip Roth, Alan Hollinghurst, have read a few Pratchett, Iain Pears, Magnus Mills, le Carre, John Irving, Evelyn Waugh, others in the same vein(s).

Not really into SF or (serious) fantasy. All suggestions gratefully received



Try Dashiell Hammett if you haven't, The Dain Curse, The Maltese Falcon, etc. etc. Also Truman Capote, In Cold Blood, to start with. John Dos Passos, The Manhattan Transfer.

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julian
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by julian »

julian wrote:
Dobbin wrote:I need to find some new authors to read. Preferably ones with a large back catalogue. Anyone got any suggestions?

I read all sorts: literary, intelligent thrillers, humorous, historical, contemporary, crime, classic. Authors: Jonathan Coe, Iain Banks, Paul Murray, David Mitchell, Philip Roth, Alan Hollinghurst, have read a few Pratchett, Iain Pears, Magnus Mills, le Carre, John Irving, Evelyn Waugh, others in the same vein(s).

Not really into SF or (serious) fantasy. All suggestions gratefully received



Try Dashiell Hammett if you haven't, The Dain Curse, The Maltese Falcon, etc. etc. Also Truman Capote, In Cold Blood, to start with. John Dos Passos, The Manhattan Transfer.

Norman Mailer, just remembering some authors I went through. The Executioner's Song.

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HKCJ
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by HKCJ »

Brazil wrote:
HKCJ wrote:Struggling through Bleak House at the moment. I love Dickens but this is proving quite hard work.

Anyone read Mick Herrons Slow Horses series? Started off a bit ropey but getting more and more enjoyable as they go.


Yep, bought Spook Street the other day. They're very, very good.


Some of the metaphors and similes are a bit ridiculous but all can be forgiven for the character of Jackson Lamb.

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Dobbin
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by Dobbin »

Cheers julian, I might try some of that old noir stuff. I've read some of what I presume to be newer stuff of the same type - Elmore Leonard, for example.

Mailer - I read The Naked and theDead and enjoyed it. I understand he's very hit and miss though.

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happyhooker
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by happyhooker »

danny_fitz wrote:Anyone read Arnhem: The Battle for the Bridges by Anthony Beevor yet?

Not as good as Stalingrad, better than Berlin. I enjoyed it but then that has a particular interest for me.

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Nieghorn
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by Nieghorn »

A Bridge Too Far by Cornelius Ryan came back to the library the other day and I had a flip through it. Was surprised to see a very graphic image of a German with the top/back of his head blown off. Didn't think books from the era contained such things.

(Just looked it up... turns out it was Major General Friedrich Kussin, and it's now pretty clear that he was scalped, unless some freakish cut from the glass of the windscreen?)

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Short Man Syndrome
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by Short Man Syndrome »

Nieghorn wrote:A Bridge Too Far by Cornelius Ryan came back to the library the other day and I had a flip through it. Was surprised to see a very graphic image of a German with the top/back of his head blown off. Didn't think books from the era contained such things.

(Just looked it up... turns out it was Major General Friedrich Kussin, and it's now pretty clear that he was scalped, unless some freakish cut from the glass of the windscreen?)


A brief internet search reveals gory pics and confirmation of scalping... Aldo Reine stylee...

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Boobs not Moobs
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by Boobs not Moobs »

Publisher HarperCollins announced on Wednesday morning that the final novel in Mantel’s trilogy of historical novels about the life of Thomas Cromwell, will be published in March 2020. The long-awaited novel will cover the final four years of Cromwell’s life, starting with Boleyn’s execution in 1536, and moving to his own execution for treason and heresy in 1540.


At least someone is finishing a series

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kiwigreg369
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by kiwigreg369 »

Just started reading ... enjoying so far... (but bit worried seems to be 'populist science' - which i think is a worry...)

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happyhooker
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by happyhooker »

Mantel has finished the third book. Coming out spring next year

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village
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by village »

One for the history lovers on the bored. Set during the fall of Constantinople. Turns out there was a Scottish mercenary among the defenders. God only knows what he was doing all that way east. It's a good read and the author's note at the end is quite interesting too as a lot of the bits I assumed he'd made up turn out to be historical fact.

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happyhooker
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by happyhooker »

Thanks, looks right up my st.

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tabascoboy
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Re: The PR Book Thread

Post by tabascoboy »

Just started the first book in the Wheel of Time series. Hope it gets better soon, 50 pages of nothing to engage my interest as yet. Not as immediate as LOTR or AGoT but I need to give it, cough, time I guess.

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