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Book addicts: any old favorites? ... Any fantastic new reads?

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Lounge' started by leashedForLife, Jul 28, 2017.

  1. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    I dunno about U, but i can't remember when i learned to read -
    I remember being bored & frustrated with "Dick & Jane" stories in 1st & 2nd grade, i remember reading 'Treasure Island', 'Black Beauty', the Bobbsey Twins [i thot they were priggish], Nancy Drew [i was entranced at 1st, then noticed how predictably she was rescued by Ned... *sigh*], all the L M Alcott books, Dickens, the horse-racing yarns of Foote with the groom, 'Blister', frequently appearing & a vast crew of jockeys, owners, hot-walkers, gamblers, vets, & other bit-players fading in & out...
    I read  1950s & even 1920s science-fiction when i was just 10 or 11, H G Wells, Jules Verne, plus forays into Jack London, Zane Grey [& what a sexist pig he turned out to be, in real life! - putting women on pedestals in fiction, & treating them like galley-slaves & chamber-maids in his private life],  cowboy yarns, the Gold Rush sagas, early Australia, Arctic & Antarctic exploration, ocean going voyages - Heyerdhl, Conrad, Darwin on the 'Beagle', novels, biographies, historical fiction, fantasy...

    I am well-past 50 & still read myself to sleep, nightly.  :b   So i need a lot of reading matter, to get good sleep. // I read when my clients nap, or while the laundry is running, or, or, or...

    Currently, i'm deeply immersed in 'Learninto Talk Bearabout one man's life in Montana as a hunting & fishing Guide, & his lifelong fascination with grizzlies. // Last week i began reading the 'Artemis Fowl' series, full of sprites, dwarves, trolls, Mud Men, majik, amazing tech, & derring-do.

    Anything U can recommend? -- what wonderful books transported U to another life, another time, or a different country? :)   I'm all ears, & i'm sure others will want to know, too.
      - terry
     
     
  2. Biker John

    Biker John Well-Known Member Registered

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    The book that changed me from some one that can read to being a reader was 'Nada the Lily' by H Rider Haggard, It was an old book at the time and is well over 100 yrs old now, but I still have fond memories of it and came across a good copy in a second hand book shop a few years ago and of course I just had to buy it. Now I do tend to read crime just escapist but that's fine with me. One other that I came across and enjoyed reading was 'Never cry Wolf' by Farley Mowat, (I do wonder if his name attracted me to pick it up first).
     
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  3. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    'Never Cry Wolf was indeed good - unfortunately, Farley was never one to let mere facts get in the way of a good story.  :rolleyes:   I did not know that when i 1st read it, & was disappointed later to discover he'd played fast & loose with some of his facts, to advance the story-line. //  By & large, yes, he tells it like it was, but don't hold him to absolute accuracy, as he's not recording data; he's relating a memoir, & some of the facts are shaded - others are simply not facts, period.

    I hadn't heard of 'Nada the Lily', I'll have to look that one up - anything that converts a literate person to a lifelong reader has gotta be good. ;)

    I like escapist stuff, too - the Venice series on an Italian cop solving crimes is IMO a marvel, i LOVED it [all but 1 book, which fell off the high standard set by the others].  He has a wife, a life, children, parents, they all eat MEALS as opposed to drive-thru fat & starches in the car - it's a fully-realized place, with real humans, real politics, real weather... great stuff.
    [Detective Guido Brunetti; author Donna Leon.]

    Chicago has V.I. Warshawski - another great series, F lead. Vic is tough physically, smart, resourceful, & persistent. She, too, has a culture, a past, family, ex-BFs, her dad was a cop [he's dead when the series begins] ... morality, ethics, city politics, money & power,  legacies...  // Botswana has Precious Ramotswe, the able woman of traditional build - owner of "The #1 Ladies' Detective Agency'.  Precious loves her country; she does not ignore the warts, she tries to better her world where she is - to ease the pain of not knowing for ppl who need answers to life's nagging mysteries - not the big ones, but personal, individual mysteries.

    The marvelous old children's book, 'The Golden Window' , was one i grew-up with, which my younger sister stole from my parents' house when she moved out - amazing, how many things left with her, on her 18th birthday. [My mother's copper-colored satin, down-filled quilt, a wedding gift, was one.  :eek:  ]  It was an 1880 or so illustrated collection of fables, wonderful tales with rich ornate prints to depict each.

    - terry
     
  4. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    well, i'll be hornswoggled - Haggard also wrote, 'King Solomon's Mines' - which i read many, many years ago.  I'd forgotten all about that.  // I also read  'Lost Horizon', another of the "lost world" genre that was so popular in the late-19th & early-20th centuries.

    Wells' 'Time Machine' makes use of a similar concept, but his "loss" is his main character's feeling of loss when he returns to his own Victorian reality from a far-distant future, & he feels he must return there.

    '20 Thousand Leagues Under the Sea with the inventive, paranoid captain is another world we can visit in fiction, but cannot live in - in the current day, 'Jurrasic Park'  is another we can yearn for, but not live within.
     
  5. Biker John

    Biker John Well-Known Member Registered

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    I agree V.I. Warshawski and Precious Ramotswe  are two very enjoyable characters. One series I have got into recently is the Marcus Didius Falco series by Lindsey Davis. Its set in ancient Rome, and have to say they are easy reads, the sort that you just keep reading. And yes I did know about the problems with never cry wolf, but still enjoyed reading it. Haggard wrote quite a few and after Nada I went on to read them all, (though I was convinced that Nada was his best), and can remember going to the library and realising I had read every one and has he was dead he wouldn't be writing any more. This must be about 60 yrs ago but can still remember the feeling.
     
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  6. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    :(  I recently had that,  "no more..."  feeling when i discovered i'd finished all the mysteries by Henning Mankell - good reads, but often gloomy; the weather, the settings, circs, etc, but i liked his characters very much. //  I miss his worldview.

    Adding - haven't heard of either Davis the author nor MDF as a character, I'll look around, it sounds intriguing. Thanks. :)
    - t
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2017
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  7. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    ooh, the Roman saga sounds GREAT - i'll def dig into those! :)

    another fave for me, the Cadfael chronicles, written by a 
    linguist & scholar, Edith Pargeter - she published them under her nom de plume, "Ellis Peters".
    Brother Cadfael is an herbalist & a medieval monk; he solves crimes & dispenses medicines, palliatives, & advice ad lib, while trying not to upset his abbot too much.
     
  8. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    Heavens! :eek:    - Who knew?!... i was snooping around Br Cadfael sites & stumbled over this -
    https://levellers.wordpress.com/2008/05/11/fictional-clergy-detectives-iii/

    Notice it's the 3rd installation of "fictional clergy detectives" - I didn't even know there was a genre, LOL.   :b   Natch, Fr Brown of BBC fame springs to mind, & 'Grantchesterisn't far behind him, but i had no idea there are dozens of 'em, M & F, nuns, priests, evangelical right-wing Baptists, left-leaning Quakers...  my word, a plethora.

    I would also  be remiss if i did not share my love of Lord Peter Wimsey - he's a helluva lot more to my taste than 007 --- Bond is a womanizer, & a smug barsteward with it.  :huh:  Hmmph. //  OTOH, Jeeves & his well-intentioned boob of a well-bred nob boss are more fun than a basketful of kittens, & they've left me laughing till my sides ached - they're nice guys, one practical & the other hopelessly inept. ;)

    There's a series set in WW-1 with a F as the P.I. - Maisie Dobbs.  I've read all but the most-recent one, but i have a beef: the author makes almost no attempt whatever to create a background or introduce any of the period issues, styles, tastes in food or drink, or anything else that might actually create a sense of place & time.  Women's hemlines & hairstyles & contemporary politics are barely mentioned, aside from the most blunt-force obvious facts, such as the deaths of young men in the War.
    Her characters can be 2-dimensional - some are 3-D humans, others are roles with names. // I read them as brain bubble-gum.  :b   They're low-calorie junk food.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2017
  9. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    .

    since i last posted, i've plowed thru a pile of wonderful old SciFi from the 1960s & '70s, some of them hardback 1st-editions in fragile, crackling dust-covers, many by Andre Norton.

    I've also read a half-dozen or more memoirs by a genuine cowboy who practiced as a vet, in the 1920s, '30s, & '40s, in West Texas - Ben Green never had a doctorate, but he knew horses & cattle, he was well-read & had a library of medical / vet texts, & at the time, U could order medication ingredients in bulk.
    Horse Tradin'
    A Thousand Miles of Mustan
    gin'
    More Horse Tradin'
    Wild Cow Tales
    The Villa
    ge Horse Doctor
    Horse Tales


    Be aware that his memoirs are artifacts of another time - he once sewed the eyelids shut on 2 wild longhorn steers, using hairs from his mount's tail, b/c they were the lookouts keeping him from gathering the last band of wild cattle out of a fenced 1,000-acre "pasture" [Texas rangeland, full of brushwood, catclaw, mesquite, & broken by steep draws the cattle could hide in, that horses couldn't negotiate].
    There's humor, affection, loyalty - but there's also pain, often without any sedatives or analgesics available.
    He himself suffered an amazing number of injuries, & was very lucky to survive some, including blood poisoning [twice!] from open wounds, untreated in wild country, while he was living rough, capturing mustangs or feral cattle.

    those are memoirs of his working life, from his mid-teens when he began cowboying, thru his 40s & 50s; Ben Green also wrote wonderful TEXTBOOKS, one on equine pigments, another on horse structure.

    https://www.amazon.com/Color-Horses-Scientific-Authorative-Identification/dp/0873583272/

    https://www.amazon.com/Horse-Conformation-As-Soundness-Performance/dp/0873581350/

    These texts are just as valid & eye-opening as when they were written. I highly recommend his entire opus. If U love horses, or enjoy exploring history, this is a door to another place & time.

    - terry
    .
     
  10. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    I had to keep my hands firmly in my pockets yesterday... I went to a huge book fair.
    They always have English books at silly prices but I have an expensive month ahead so I only bought 4 books. One tips on photography, one cook book( I could open a library with the amount I have) one Ian Rankin (rebus) and a Henning Mankell.
    But I had to pass by so many others.:( Still there's always next time!
     
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  11. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    .

    I was referred to this book while reading another - in the book i was reading!, which was intriguing.

    The Master and Margarita

    I am going to quote an entire review, as the "right" translation of a foreign-language book is IMO pretty critical to one's grasp of the author's intent -

    QUOTE,
    "where to begin...
    By Thriftbooks.com User, August 8, 2000
    I suppose that I can start by saying that 'The Master and Margarita' has been my favorite book for over 7 years now (that says a lot, since I read quite a bit!).
    I don't think it's necessary to discuss the plot of the book, since you can read what the book is about by looking at the editorial reviews. However, I will comment on the various translations.
    Without a doubt, the book in the original Russian is incomparable, but if you don't read Russian, I would recommend the Burgin / Tiernan O'Connor translation.
    The first translation I ever read was Mirra Ginsburg's - although it is very charming and enjoyable, certain bits of conversation, as well as almost an entire chapter, are omitted from this translation. I've also read parts of Michael Glenny's translation, and I don't feel that his translation accurately relays the depth, rhythm and richness of Bulgakov's style.
    Burgin / Tiernan O'Connor has given the most complete and accurate translation of this work. Another superb feature of this translation is the commentary section at the end of the text, which is very helpful in understanding what influenced Bulgakov, and especially helpful if the reader is not familiar with certain aspects of Soviet culture while the book was written (during the 1930's).
    Lastly, I have to comment on the thing that I love most about 'The Master and Margarita' - it is impossible to classify this book as one certain genre. This book is a philosophical and religious novel, an historical novel, a satire, a love story, an action/adventure, and a fantasy, all rolled into one. Simply put, it is timeless - an original, brilliant and beautiful novel."

    _________________________________________________

    I will be looking for a copy - & let U know if i find one. :)

    - t

    .
     
  12. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    Currently reading a GREAT sci-fi, i must find more by this author when i finish it, she's brill! :)

    'Grass' is an absolute marvel - a world with an evolved culture & long-time human settlement, the Earth as a long-ago ancestral home now a religious enclave sending missionaries out to convert the universe, with a Mormon-style evangelistic faith that 'converts' the dead post-mortem "to save their souls" [& their DNA... via tissue-samples that can be cloned for a future 'life'], a ban on more than 2 children plus a strict no-contraception / no-abortion policy that inevitably results in the birth of Illegals [3rd borne children] who are 3rd class citizens with no health care & no rights... it's amazing.
    The emigrants found an "indigenous variant" of the horse on planet Grass, or at least a 3-toed rideable species, but they can be neither directed or controlled - the rider's task is only to stay on. // They call them Hippae, & ppl do not speak in their presence; apparently, the Hippae can comprehend words? / thoughts? / meanings?, & take insult quickly, with lethal results.
    They likewise found an "indigenous variant" of dogs, but they're horse-sized & extremely dangerous - the hounds, too, are not kept like domestic species, but arrive when expected, as the Hippae do, to team up with the humans to hunt "foxen", a most-unfoxlike predator the size of a couple of tigers that can climb trees. :eek: The Hunt is steeped in tradition, danger, & bloodshed.

    There are ancestral landholding families of privilege who think they are aristocrats, living on vast estates; each holding hosts The Hunt in turns - then, there are town-dwelling craftsman & workers, often more-educated & indeed, wealthier than the aristos; THE COMMONERS are looked down on by the estate-families, but they're the ones who meet & trade with ships that arrive, speak many languages, are open to new ideas & experiences, while the aristos look down their noses at all off-worlders & hold everything beyond Grass in contempt, keeping their traditions ferociously.

    Then... an incurable viral plague that's been creeping from world to world for decades is finally on every inhabited planet, *except* Grass. What makes it so special? - is there a possible cure, or even a preventive, here?

    The xenophobic aristos won't allow researchers to land on the planet; grudgingly, they agree to an embassy, & a family is drafted to find possible hope for the human race's survival, going there as ambassadors in a last-ditch effort to save humanity.

    .
     
  13. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    Ive just finished reading Born a crime by Trevor Noah, if anyone doesnt know who he is he hosts the daily show and is a very funny stand up comic . Born during apartheid he was the child of a black mother and a white father. As mixed relationships were forbidden he was the proof of his parents crime. His book is about growing up at the end of the apartheid system and where it could have been a book of hate and anger, instead its funny, its sad, its witty and its truthful. I enjoyed it very much..

     
  14. Nanny71

    Nanny71 Active Member Registered

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    Sad to say I love fantasy books. Not my only reading, love dystopian and crime novels too.
    Do lovers should read the Ryder Creed novels by Alex Kava. About search and rescue dogs, also dogs training to sniff out disease
     
  15. merlina

    merlina Active Member Registered

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    Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy has a beautiful dog walk-on part. Hardy was a massive dog lover and has been a huge influence on me and an inspiration. (Someone invited to his house for dinner complained that H's dog jumped on the table and stole off his plate- while the great writer just laughed!)
     

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