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    managed to find the complete caro LBJ series in hardback for $45, should arrive in 3-6 days

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      Finding time to read lately. Had Shantaram on the bookshelf for years so picked it up the other day.

      Very enjoyable so far.
      I hold silver in tit for tat, and I love you for that

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        Originally posted by Trippie View Post
        managed to find the complete caro LBJ series in hardback for $45, should arrive in 3-6 days
        Say goodbye to May
        "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

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          Loving the Michael Jordan documentary at the moment so planning to try a book about him. I've gotten great enjoyment out of sports books in the last couple of years. Anyone have one in particular to recommend?

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            Originally posted by Keane View Post
            Loving the Michael Jordan documentary at the moment so planning to try a book about him. I've gotten great enjoyment out of sports books in the last couple of years. Anyone have one in particular to recommend?
            Lowbrow tip here-Paul Mersons autobiography

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              Originally posted by PSV58 View Post
              Lowbrow tip here-Paul Mersons autobiography
              I meant a Jordan book but I hear that Merston one is a hoot

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                Originally posted by Keane View Post
                Loving the Michael Jordan documentary at the moment so planning to try a book about him. I've gotten great enjoyment out of sports books in the last couple of years. Anyone have one in particular to recommend?
                Sam Smith has two decent-ish books about him. The first one is the Jordan rules, can't remember name of second one.

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                  Struggling to enjoy a book properly since A Gentleman In Moscow.

                  Going to take on Apeirogon now and cure this malaise.

                  and then Deacon King Kong...might even read that first. Feel like I am basing my choices on Goodreads ratings which is always dangerous ground.
                  Last edited by Raoul Duke III; 07-05-20, 11:56.
                  "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

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                    Originally posted by Raoul Duke III View Post
                    and then Deacon King Kong...might even read that first. Feel like I am basing my choices on Goodreads ratings which is always dangerous ground.
                    OK, that was a winner. Set in the Cause House projects of Brooklyn in 1969, just as the heroin epidemic is about to take hold and ghettoise the city. An old drunk called Sportcoat walks up to the most feared drug dealer in the 'hood and shoots him in the head. Why did he do it? What happens next?
                    A richly-textured story then unfolds with a range of beautifully-imagined characters. Sportcoat himself, Hot Sausage, The Haitian Sensation, Sister Gee, Bum-Bum, Pudgy Fingers and a slient Italian gangster called Elephant being just some. Told in a mixture of authentic black conversation and some beautifully elegaic prose, the story itself is gripping but the characters come to livable, infuriating, terrifying life. With a little help from a streetwise cop, free cheese from Jesus, illegal moonshine, baseball and the Nation of Islam of course. Good mostly triumphs over evil and ol' Sportcoat is a truly wonderful personality.

                    Get yourself a bottle of King Kong and sit down with this tale. I'd never heard of this author before now but will be seeking out his works.

                    4.5/5
                    "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

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                      https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/sh...14707-unfollow

                      Just finished this, a remarkable insight into life in the hate group that is Westboro Baptist Church, and well written too as the Author eventually leaves her family, and everything they thought her to be, behind.

                      Also reading this, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/156783.Axiomatic
                      20 years after I first read it, and it's still excellent, "Into Darkness" and "Learning to be me" are two of the best science fiction short stories I have read.

                      Looking for recommendations on anything on World War 2 and in particular the years leading up to it if anyone can help.

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                        ...
                        "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

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                          Stated a audio book last week. And only finished chapter 1 today
                          Was only 20 mins long, but I’d put in on in bed and I just kept falling asleep.

                          Probably more suited to people who go to bed at a normal time.

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                            Originally posted by Strewelpeter View Post
                            Its well worth it but there are parts that are tough going.
                            Read Declan Kiberd's Reading Ulysses its a great guide.
                            Couldn't find that, is it in Ulysses and Us or something else?

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                              EDIT: reading comprehension fail

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                                Read a James Patterson book for the first time ever yesterday (after decades of walking by stacks of his books in airports ). Was looking for some sludge.

                                Pros: can read without needing to engage brain in any way. Short.
                                Cons; my God, some shite.

                                "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

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                                  Is Artemis by Andy Weir worth an Audible credit or should I save it for something better?

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                                    'Billion Dollar Hollywood heist' is another take from a person who was a regular in Molly's game. It isn't great but fills in a few blanks, gives names, and is a decent popcorn Audiobook to while away a few hours.

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                                      ...
                                      "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

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                                        I know the TV series McMafia is held in high regard, the book is also really good. Gives a really cool and detailed insight into Eastern Europe/Russia and how organised crime blew up there. Socioeconomic and political circumstances are so intertwined with organised crime, really interesting viewing history through that lens.
                                        Poker Podcast Playlist

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                                          Originally posted by Raoul Duke III View Post
                                          Going to take on Apeirogon now and cure this malaise.
                                          Apeirogon was a let-down from my perspective. It's a novel without fiction, somewhat in the style of our old friend Javier Cercas, that tells the story of two bereaved fathers from opposite sides of the Palestinian-Israeli divide. The two fathers themselves are inspirational figures, Bassam and Rami, who have rejected violent solutions and instead seek to use the deaths of their daughters to bring the two sides together and promote peace.

                                          My problem is with the style of the book - it's irritating, There are well over a thousand 'chapters' and, in the style of Cercas, many digressions - some of which are illuminating and some of which are just plain annoying. This lends the book a jerky quality in which the narrative doesn't flow easily. Maybe this was McCann's intent, I don't know but it's annoying. Far from his best work like Let The Great World Spin (the hero of which gets a little vignette in this one) or This Side of Brightness.

                                          This could be a truly uplifting book but the mannerisms he chose fail the story itself. 3/5
                                          "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

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                                            OK, buckle up Book People. I found a winner.

                                            The book is The Sympathizer, by Viet Than Nguyen. It tells the tale of The Captain (many of the characters are known only by their titles, such as The General, The Commandant, The Crapulous Major, The Commissar, My Father the Priest etc), a shadowy figure with a tragic backstory, in the South Vietnamese military who is the right hand man of the General, one of the doughtiest anti-Communist fighters in the Saigon regime. Now however, their allies the Americans have abandoned them to their fate at the hands of the Viet Cong and, as Saigon's defences crumble, they seek aid, and get it, from the CIA in making good their escape. First to the Philippines and then to America. The book then charts their travails in Los Angeles, the dubious political and military games they engage in, before the circle is completed with The Captain's return to now-unified Communist Vietnam to carry out a doomed mission.

                                            The title however hints at the ambiguity within the book, The Captain is actually a Communist double agent and has been so since his childhood. All his actions are ultimately undertaken under orders from his handler and to the detriment of the revenants. The book is subtly plotted, contains wonderful imagery and characters, and, rather surprisingly given the subject matter, is extremely funny - especially in its observations on the ignorance and cultural stupidities of both Orient and Occident alike.

                                            This one won the Pulitzer Prize in 2016 and I can easily see why. An excellent investment of your time imo.

                                            5/5
                                            "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

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                                              Deep work was a worthwhile read. Hitch must subscribe to the idea in order to publish so much?

                                              I see Keane didn't rate it too highly though.

                                              I did feel the author laboured the point in parts.

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                                                Originally posted by Denny Crane View Post
                                                Deep work was a worthwhile read. Hitch must subscribe to the idea in order to publish so much?

                                                I see Keane didn't rate it too highly though.

                                                I did feel the author laboured the point in parts.
                                                I think I liked it a lot early on but by the end thought it was a bit over-laboured maybe. It's a fairly limited point he's squeezing a book out of.

                                                I use the Goodreads stars based on what they say when you hover over them, i.e. * didn't like it, ** it was ok, *** liked it, **** really liked it, ***** amazing

                                                I like Cal Newport in general.

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                                                  Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind. First good book in a while for me

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                                                    ...
                                                    "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

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                                                      ...
                                                      Hideous apparitions attack NYC, as Jemisin has ‘a little monstrous fun’ after the Broken Earth saga
                                                      "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

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                                                        Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide To... View Post
                                                        The City We Became by Jeminsin (Broken Earth saga) seems like it should be amaaaaazzzzing.
                                                        Massive fan of jemisin. Sadly gave this one up after 100 pages

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                                                          ...
                                                          "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

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                                                            I have a new one for us, have been neglecting to update this thread and also Goodreads but am now pimping The Ratline by Philippe Sands.

                                                            "Oh great, yet another book about the fucking Nazis" I hear you say and I have some sympathy with this perspective. Hasn't everything about the Third Reich been fully documented in obsessive detail, a million times? Not quite like this however. Sands takes on the tale of Otto von Wachter, fervent Austrian Nazi, who ultimately rose to high office within the Nazi administration, ultimately becoming Gauleiter (Governor) of Galicia, a region in Southern Poland. Under his SS governorship, hundreds of thousands of Jews were first ghettoised, then transported to extermination camps such as Treblinka or Auschwitz to be murdered. He also played a bit part in the Italian front near the end of the war and was implicated in several SS mass murder reprisals against innocent civilians.
                                                            So far, so standard in terms of senior Nazi baddie biography.
                                                            Despite being on the wanted list of the Allies after the war, he successfully evaded them over the course of several years flitting around the mountains of Austria and Northern Italy, eventually finding some shelter in Rome through the agencies of various ex-fascists and the Catholic Church before contracting a serious illness and dying suddenly in a Roman hospital in 1949. Unlike many of his former comrades, he had not managed to utilise the infamous 'ratline' to safety in South America, all facilitated by a willing church and despots like Peron.

                                                            The book however isn't really about Wachter's misdeeds but more an exploration on two themes. Firstly his relationship with two people, his wife Lotte, another enthusiastic Nazi, who he maintained a voluminous correspondence with throughout their married life and also his son Horst, whom he never really knew due to the war and his flight from Allied justice. The author, some of whose family perished in the Holocaust, befriends Horst and an extraordinary relationship ensues between them. Horst is a strangely likeable character who obdurately insists, in the face of all evidence, that his father was a good man who knew nothing of the murderous side of the Nazis and only sought to help people. He himself is clearly not a Nazi but suffers from a form of blindness when it comes to his father. This however does not deter him from sharing many valuable artefacts with the author and, unintentionally, solidifying the case against Otto.

                                                            The second theme is the one of how did Otto die? This very quickly becomes a fascinating delve into what was really going after the war between the various intelligence services of the fast-developing Cold War powers in which the demands for justice were quickly pushed aside in favour of the imperative to cause damage to those on the other side of the closing Iron Curtain. I won't spoiler this bit but safe to say that no-one emerges from this with clean hands. Horst's reactions to the various tendrils of this investigation range from euphoria to depression as he seeks to vindicate the reputation of his genocidal father.

                                                            This book is layered and can be read both as a straightforward historical study, albeit one with a highly unusual amount of direct familial research material, which is fascinating in its own right but the human dimension of Otto and Lotte's marriage, and the struggles of Horst to obscure his fathers culpability against the overwhelming weight of evidence will keep you turning pages until the very end - fittingly a picture of Otto, at work, in a forest.

                                                            Bleak and beautiful.

                                                            5/5

                                                            "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

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                                                              I read Perfume: The Story of a Murderer recently and was absolutely blown away. Great idea, executed wonderfully. Süskind writes so well about 18th-century France, it's hard to believe it was written in 1985.

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                                                                Originally posted by Hectorjelly View Post
                                                                I read Perfume: The Story of a Murderer recently and was absolutely blown away. Great idea, executed wonderfully. Süskind writes so well about 18th-century France, it's hard to believe it was written in 1985.
                                                                Absolutely love that book. read it when it came out and have read it at least 4 more times since. to be honest that birth just grips you and you can't stop reading from then on.

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                                                                  Originally posted by shrapnel View Post

                                                                  Absolutely love that book. read it when it came out and have read it at least 4 more times since. to be honest that birth just grips you and you can't stop reading from then on.
                                                                  Yeah! That's exactly how I felt. I don't know how or why they made a movie about it though.

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                                                                    Cool article on how useless goodreads is. I'm going to try the service she recommends, will report back. https://www.newstatesman.com/science...rygraph-amazon

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                                                                      The Biggest Bluff is a rare good poker book. Author Maria Konnikova gives her account of going from never having played poker before to convincing Eric Seidel to take her on as a student and documents her journey into poker.

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                                                                        A couple of decent deals today; Atomic Habits that a few hear have recommended is 99c on Kindle:

                                                                        https://www.amazon.co.uk/Atomic-Habi...s%2C152&sr=8-1

                                                                        Also some may know Thomas Piketty (French Economist) who wrote Capital in 21st Century, his latest offering is £15 delivered, generally costs around £30-35 mark delivered: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Capital-Ide...s%2C138&sr=8-2

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                                                                          This is interesting. Anyone got a recommendation on where to start with Charles Dickens? And he makes Middlemarch sound pretty compelling.

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                                                                            Robert Harris - The Second Sleep
                                                                            Harris has been a popular IPB author with his Cicero books amongst others.
                                                                            I finished this one a few weeks ago, didn't particularly enjoy it, actually got angry with it a few times because I felt a lot of it was just illogical.
                                                                            But I'm still thinking about it a few weeks later, which I guess is a sign of a good book at some level.

                                                                            In this one, we join a young English priest in the year 1492, travelling on horseback through the Sussex countryside on his first trip from the seminary.
                                                                            His task is to perform the funeral of another priest who died in a distant village.

                                                                            However within the first 2 chapters there are subtle deliberate mistakes/clues from the author and it quickly becomes clear that (minor spoilers from the first 30 pages, some of which are even given away on the back of the book)
                                                                            SPOILER
                                                                            this is not a history book, this is a future book. This 1492 is strikingly similar to our Middle Ages, but this is 1492 Year of the Risen Lord, not 1492 AD. There has been a reset which is generally accepted to be because God/Jesus reappeared after the ancients (i.e. us) had caused the destruction of our civilisation. The church is pretty much back in control, and science/academia is very marginalised, women subjugated etc


                                                                            Bigger plot spoilers
                                                                            SPOILER
                                                                            Whilst there are some interesting references to continuing wars against independent Scotland and the French Muslim state, our story just concentrates on the travails of our priest when he gets to the village. We eventually learn a little about underground scientific movements, and get some information about what planet-wide catastrophe happened in the final days of our civilisation


                                                                            I got annoyed because I couldn't accept the central premise
                                                                            SPOILER
                                                                            that so much scientific knowledge could just disappear and be forgotten, or that people wouldn't be able to innovate when they find bits of old technology. Despite the undeniable fact that so much information is 'in the cloud' and thus vulnerable, I'd have thought even if the worst happened that humanity would be able get back to electricity/cars/telephones/machinery within a generation or two, even if the only information was word of mouth and what was written down. Though by the time of our story which is 800 years after the 'event', speaking of such things is heresy and all the books have been burned, so the moment has been lost.


                                                                            But very interesting even if I wouldn't actually recommend it. Maybe just one for those who want to complete all their Harris books.
                                                                            Last edited by ArmaniJeans; 18-06-22, 16:57.

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