Read any good books lately?

I know there used to be a book club thread, but it disappeared a while back. And I realised that we could do with a thread for discussing good reads, favourite authors etc.

My name is SVT and I like reading. I have very little knowledge of literature (I took English Language instead at A-Level) but I am semi-literate and enjoy a well-constructed book. I particularly like historical novels and well-written factual history.

My most recent read (okay, re-read for the third or fourth time) is 'Stalingrad' by Antony Beevor. It's a superb piece of historical writing, going from the start of Hitler's war against Stalin up to the end and aftermath of the battle of Stalingrad. What could be quite dry (but still interesting) is turned into a gripping read by the focus on the human aspects of the battle. Every page has an anecdote from someone involved in the campaign (from military archives) or focusses on one fo the German or Russian senior officers. Beevor creates real people that you can identify with, if not empathise with, and the historical becomes much more personal. A superb book that even those with little interest in the era would find riveting.

Over to you...



  • Engleby by Sebastian Faulks.. brilliant.
  • I've not read any of his work yet - must get to the library. I tried to on Friday but it was shut, then I got two books for my birthday and bought another four today with birthday vouchers. It'll be a while before I need the library again...
  • Black Holes and Baby Universes by Stephen Hawking. It's quite amazing how he manages to explain such complex issues in such a clear and concise manner. Heartily recommend.
  • I've empathised with many Beevors in my time SVT.
  • This isn't a joke - I've just ordered 'Mein Kampf' from Amazon.

  • I just finished Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks and read Charlotte Gray over Xmas - great author to really get a good perspective on the wars.

    Also the inevitable Coast to Coast was good.  

    Am now starting on the Long Walk to Freedom by Mandela,  and for a bit of heavier, but definitely awesome reading, try "Cry, the Beloved Country" by Alan Paton (we had to read it in school, so not really a recent read, but an awesome book anyway)

  • DM - really? I think it'd be a fascinating read - to see whether it's just the rantings of a lunatic or whether his writing style gives some sort of insight into the hold he managed to exert over people. And whether it gives a clear picture of what he'd do in power. Interesting stuff - I expect a review.
  • Yep. I just wanted to see precisely what he was on about. It's supposed to be quite badly written, but I think it'd be interesting all the same.
  • PO - I'm not normally one for autobiographies but did enjoy Mandela's book.

    The author I've enjoyed the most in the last few years, having picked up a cheap collection of some of his novels and short stories, is John Steinbeck. Fantastic writer.

  • You've all turned into the kids that used to get beat up at school.
  • John Steinbeck has always been one of my favourites... Such a wonderful way with words.

    Have you read Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (only saying that so as not to suggest it was written by Steinbeck!)? The words just flow soooooo well, it's like poetry.
  • SVT I like autobiographies.  I enjoyed Ranulph Fiennes, Lance Armstrong and that pillock Bear Grylls as well  image
  • It's ok to be a bender, Coops... It's ooooooooookay.
  • Coops - I am surprised you can type, seeing as how you can barely read.  Is that a picture keyboard, or what?  image
  • I've just started (and thanks to a trip to London and back yesterday, am halfway through) 'Random Acts of Heroic Love' by Danny Scheinmann - it's pretty good so far but will wiat for the end before passing judgement.
  • Oooh I have wanted to read that KK - was it any good?
  • Coops - I AM one of the kids that used to get beat up at school. image

    DM - not read Frankenstein, but I'll look it out. It's not one I'd have thought of but I'll take your recommendation.

  • I particularly like historical novels and well-written factual history.

    SVT will mail you tonight. Got loads. Some need to go to a good home, space and all that.

    Yes I also have mein kampf. Minky it is one f*cked up read.

  • Oh... If anyone thinks about putting Harry Potter down as a suggestion, I'll single handed fuck them right up...

  • Coops I can't help it!

    Good looks, brains and a huge willy

  • TT - look forward to it. image

    Not sure I've got much space, but I always find some. You can never have enough bookcases.

  • TT, I fail to see ANY truth in that!

  • Kite Runner is superb KK. Also, I highly recommend "A Suitable Boy" by Vikram Seth - a fascinating insight into the hindu culture.

    I own and have read Mein Kampf. It is indeed poorly written, but you quite scarily find yourself nodding in along with Mr Hitler..

    I also really enjoyed Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie.

  • For no real reason, I pride myself on never having read anything by JK Rowling or Dan Brown.

  • TT, I fail to see ANY truth in that!

    Ok moderate looks and brains with a Massive willy

  • I love J.K Rowling, Dan Brown and Tolkien

    I pride myself on basically reading anything.

    I love books image

  • I just hate it when people go "oh.. Harry Potter is so good because the stories are really good and it's so easy to read..."

    Yes, so is Topsy and Tim you retarded dickbitches!

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