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Soulman58

5 Favourite Books

Although it was a slow burner, the 5 fav films gave me plenty to hunt down.  Hoping for the  same from fav 5 books,mine are:

1. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks

2. To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee

3. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

4. The English Patient - Michael Ondaatje

5.  Catcher In The Rye - J D Salinger

 

 

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1. Devil's Guard - George Elford

2. They Stood In The Door - Don McNaughton

3. The Man Who Would Be King (And Other Stories) - Rudyard Kipling

4. Despatches - Michael Herr

5. BFG - Roald Dahl

Dave 

 

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Nice one, I couldn't possibly narrow my choice down to 5, but here's my top five (very loosely) American music related books:

1. Rivethead - Ben Hamper

2. Pic - Jack Kerouac

3. Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung - Lester Bangs

4. Beneath The Underdog - Charles Mingus

5. Last Exit To Brooklyn - Hubert Selby Jr

 
 
 

 

 

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Bugger, can I cheat and list my five favourite poetry books which is hard enough on its own and come back with five non poetry later...…

In no particular order

Rapture    Carol Ann Duffy

Laying Something Down  Jim Burns Collected poems 1962-2007 (if I had to choose a single book of his it would be  Streetsinger.

The Mersey Sound which allows me to get in three of my favourite poets, Roger McGough, Brian Patten and Adrian Henri.

Straight Ahead   Claire Shaw

Black Roses Simon Armitage

Pink Mist  Owen Sheers.

  The last two I'd recommend to anyone whether they like poetry or not, in the first Simon Armitage takes on the voice of Sophie Lancaster the Goth girl murdered in Bacup Lancashire, very moving, the Owen Sheers Pink Mist is a verse drama about three young soldiers from Bristol who end up in Afghanistan again it will move you.

   As with all these things ask me in half an hour and another will spring to mind...

 

 

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Used to read a lot , and maybe now close to retirement will start reading more . 

In no order .

Dune - Frank Herbert 

Who moved my cheese - Spencer Johnson 

Catch 22 - Joseph Hellier 

Jonathan Livingston Seagul - Richard Bach

Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance - Robert Pirsig 

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Top 5  (Fiction)

A Clockwork Orange-Anthony Burgess 

Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas-Hunter S Thompson

(We can't stop here...this is bat country!)

The Ginger Man-J.P.  Donleavy 

The Ginger Man,published in 1955, is absolutely hilarious but was initially banned in Ireland and the U.S. on the grounds of obscenity.

 It's also listed as one of the Modern Library's 100 best novels. Donleavy's friend and fellow writer Brendan Behan was the first person to read the completed manuscript.

The Singular Man-J.P. Donleavy 

Down All The Days-Christy Brown 

And an honourable mention as I've just read it again recently after 30 years.

As I Walked Out One MidSummer Morning-Laurie Lee

Edited by Soulsides

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6 hours ago, stevegods said:

Used to read a lot , and maybe now close to retirement will start reading more . 

In no order .

Dune - Frank Herbert 

Who moved my cheese - Spencer Johnson 

Catch 22 - Joseph Hellier 

Jonathan Livingston Seagul - Richard Bach

Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance - Robert Pirsig 

I've never managed to finish either Catch 22 or Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, perhaps I should give both another go.

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1984 - George Orwell

Travels with my Aunt - Graham Greene

The Stand - Stephen King

Maximum Bob - Elmore Leonard

The Godwulf Manuscript - Robert B. Parker

 

 

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Spelling error.

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1. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

2. A Dance with Dragons - George R Martin

3. Best Served Cold - Joe Abercrombie

4. Dracula - Bram Stoker

5. Killing Floor - Lee Child

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9 hours ago, Twoshoes said:

I cheat and list my five favourite poetry books

Seamus Heaney for me

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6 hours ago, Timillustrator said:

I've never managed to finish either Catch 22 or Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, perhaps I should give both another go.

Well this for me, was at a time of  experimentalism and questioning .. having lived in Holland and the States and back in London , looking inwards .

RD Laing - The Divided Self 

Jack Kerouac   - On the road / the Dharma Bums 

HermannHesse- Siddhartha 

Maybe too much drugs .. but food for thought 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rod & Line - Arthur Ransome

Generation Kill - Evan Wright

The Godfather - Mario Puzo

David Rees - How to sharpen pencils

Legionnaire - Simon Murray

Catch 22 is a good book. Loved it whilst in school in my mid teens - flicked through a copy in a bookshop a few years ago but seemed like it had become hard work. Age I guess.  Bought Men who stare at goats instead - that's a great read!

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Another nigh on impossible one to answer , probably read more books over the years than I've heard tunes ...  but these are always up there at the top.

"Shadow the Sheepdog" by E. Blyton.

"Down to a Sunless Sea" by David Graham.

Cecil A Hewitt's series on English Medieval Carpentry.

Every "Biggles" adventure by W.E. Johns.

Everything by Bernard Cornwell.

 

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Botanical Latin by William T. Stearn

Everything by Tom Sharpe

The Doors Of Perception by Aldous Huxley

Hallucinogenic and Poisonous Mushroom by Gary P. Menser

Toxic Constituents of Plant Foodstuffs by Irvin E. Liener

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16 hours ago, stevegods said:

Well this for me, was at a time of  experimentalism and questioning .. having lived in Holland and the States and back in London , looking inwards .

RD Laing - The Divided Self 

Jack Kerouac   - On the road / the Dharma Bums 

HermannHesse- Siddhartha 

Maybe too much drugs .. but food for thought 

Loved On The Road, must have read that 10 times, although not for at least 20 years; actually read all the novels published when Kerouac was alive. There's been quite a lot of posthumous stuff but not really read that apart from Visions of Cody & Pic. Never finished Siddhartha either! but did read Steppenwolf. 

 

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Not necessarily top 5 but enjoyed these 

papillon henri charriere

perfect storm Sebastian junger 

No worse enemy Ben Anderson 

Sinatra j Randy 

Call the midlife chrus Evans 

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I don't know if those (or some one) titles are traduced / published in english. There's science, philosophy, novel,...:

- E. M. Coiran: "Breviario de podredumbre" (french original title: "Précis de décomposition"; in english "Guide to decomposition")

- M. Bakunin: "Dios y el estado" (perhaps "God and the state",…?)

- F. Nietzsche: "Así habló Zaratustra" ("Also Sprach Zaratustra")

- R. Penrose: "La nueva mente del emperador" (perhaps "The new brain of the emperor",…?)

- E. Mendoza: "El laberinto de las aceitunas"

 

Books that, like the songs, you can not heard but read one time and another and never tired, bringing every time new things

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I get a lot of books on Audible, great for listening to when walking the doggo

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20 minutes ago, josep manuel concernau robles said:

- F. Nietzsche: "Así habló Zaratustra" ("Also Sprach Zaratustra")

This one definitely is, never read it. Have read Beyond Good And Evil and found that heavy going, quite mysoginistic and slightly mad. 

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2 hours ago, Timillustrator said:

This one definitely is, never read it. Have read Beyond Good And Evil and found that heavy going, quite mysoginistic and slightly mad. 

I'm agree. All the F. Nietzsche philosophy is very "nihilist" but "Also sprach Zaratustra" have a certain lyricism that is what I likes more than the ideas. Also E.M. Cioran is tagged as "a nihilist philosopher" but he got a very fine humor sense.

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13 hours ago, josep manuel concernau robles said:

I don't know if those (or some one) titles are traduced / published in english. There's science, philosophy, novel,...:

- E. M. Coiran: "Breviario de podredumbre" (french original title: "Précis de décomposition"; in english "Guide to decomposition")

- M. Bakunin: "Dios y el estado" (perhaps "God and the state",…?)

- F. Nietzsche: "Así habló Zaratustra" ("Also Sprach Zaratustra")

- R. Penrose: "La nueva mente del emperador" (perhaps "The new brain of the emperor",…?)

- E. Mendoza: "El laberinto de las aceitunas"

 

Books that, like the songs, you can not heard but read one time and another and never tired, bringing every time new things

Mikhail Bakunin's "God and the State" is available, and on my to do list.

Roger Penrose's "The Emperor's New Mind" is also available but isn't on my to do list.

Eduardo Mendoza's "The Olive Labyrinth" might be fun to read, I'll see if I can pick one up cheap locally.

Coiran's book translates as "A Short History of Decay" translated to English in 1949 by Richard Howard, and isn't for the faint-hearted. Stark realism and pessimism abounds in the short essays, but is often hilarious as he rips apart the early 20th century.  It would be wonderful to have an updated version as things have gotten progressively worse since it was written.  I haven't seen my copy for 30 years, but I intend to dig it out again at some time.

Edited by TattooDave
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Some old favourites and real gems already had a mention from mssrs Herr, Faulk, Hellier, Selby Jr, Harper Lee etc, every one an absolute winner 👍

I like a hint of darkness, periodically, interspersed with light of course:

Solzhenitzyn - gulag archipelago 

Robert Conquest- the harvest of sorrow

Lucien Randall - ginger geezer, the life of Vivian Stanshall

Read these as a youth and still dip in from time to time as they never fail to make me chuckle

Milligan - war memoirs 

James Herriot - any of the vet books 

 

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3 hours ago, TattooDave said:

Mikhail Bakunin's "God and the State" is available, and on my to do list.

Roger Penrose's "The Emperor's New Mind" is also available but isn't on my to do list.

Eduardo Mendoza's "The Olive Labyrinth" might be fun to read, I'll see if I can pick one up cheap locally.

Coiran's book translates as "A Short History of Decay" translated to English in 1949 by Richard Howard, and isn't for the faint-hearted. Stark realism and pessimism abounds in the short essays, but is often hilarious as he rips apart the early 20th century.  It would be wonderful to have an updated version as things have gotten progressively worse since it was written.  I haven't seen my copy for 30 years, but I intend to dig it out again at some time.

I read "El laberinto de las aceitunas" the same year that was published and having read many other Mendoza's books, IMHO, this is the most funny of all (more than the most famous "Sin noticias de Gurb").

Since the first 80's I purchased practically all the books by Cioran. After he died, his "rumanian period" was also published here in Spain by Tusquets editors. I have around 25 titles (some of wich I have let to some friends years ago, as one of my favorites "Historia y utopía"). Despite the fact "Précis de décomposition" is my absolute favorite ant his first book in french language, when he established in France, I likes a lot some other with, predominantly, aphorisms as "Silogismos de la amargura" or "Le chut dans le temps". Tons of irony and sarcasm!

The one by Penrose is a collection of diverse scientific arguments against the theory of the "SAI" ("Strong Artificial Intelligence") and he explains how the human tought as the matemathical "aja" and "eureka" solutions can't be emulate by the computers.

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1 hour ago, josep manuel concernau robles said:

I read "El laberinto de las aceitunas" the same year that was published and having read many other Mendoza's books, IMHO, this is the most funny of all (more than the most famous "Sin noticias de Gurb").

Since the first 80's I purchased practically all the books by Cioran. After he died, his "rumanian period" was also published here in Spain by Tusquets editors. I have around 25 titles (some of wich I have let to some friends years ago, as one of my favorites "Historia y utopía"). Despite the fact "Précis de décomposition" is my absolute favorite ant his first book in french language, when he established in France, I likes a lot some other with, predominantly, aphorisms as "Silogismos de la amargura" or "Le chut dans le temps". Tons of irony and sarcasm!

The one by Penrose is a collection of diverse scientific arguments against the theory of the "SAI" ("Strong Artificial Intelligence") and he explains how the human tought as the matemathical "aja" and "eureka" solutions can't be emulate by the computers.

Mendoza sounds like Spain's answer to Tom Sharpe, and I'll be trying to find copies of some of his stuff locally.

Cioran is well known for his humorous take on nihilism, he's probably more widely read these days with the wordy anarchists that seem to be in abundance, though they seem to be an humourless lot on the whole.

Penrose still sounds a little deep, I drink too much vodka to make sense of myself let alone science.  I find children's books like "Emil & The Detectives" by Erich Kastner enough when I'm on the bottle.

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I don't really have a top 5 but can recommend the following:

Robert Harris - An Officer and a Spy

Fredrick Forsyth - Icon

As mentioned in the first post, Sebastian Faulkes's Birdsong is also excellent.

Also mentioned above Mario Puzo's The Godfather is superb even if you've seen the films. On a similr note, so is Peter Benchley's Jaws. He writes a lot more about great white sharks and what drives their behaviour.

 

 

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On 15/02/2019 at 08:28, stevegods said:

Dune - Frank Herbert

so thought I'd read it based on your recommendation, absolutely brilliant, you can hear his influence in some of the later books I listed such as GRR Martin and Joe Abercrombie

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Glad you enjoyed it.

The follow up books aren’t as good , but it was also made into a feature film which kind of captured the essence of what Herbert had in mind. All except for Sting getting a part and I’m afraid he can’t act in my opinion. 

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On 15/02/2019 at 22:27, Stevie said:

The Godfather - Mario Puzo

currently reading this, the plot and character detail is next level, it's a lesson in human psychology and more, lots of subtle stuff going on

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10 hours ago, shufflin said:

currently reading this, the plot and character detail is next level, it's a lesson in human psychology and more, lots of subtle stuff going on

 I read the book after seeing the film, and found myself astonished at what an accurate reflection of the book the film was, considering as you say, the level of detail involved.

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my favourites are Peyton Place  Grace Metalious , Good Companions J.B. Priestley, The Quest for Carla John Le Carre, Berlin Noire Philip Kerr, Lost Squire of Inglewood Thomas Jackson

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