Recommended Posts

Our public libraries are reopened at least for curb side delivery of books. What reading recommendations do you have. Could be fiction or non-fiction, just really good and likely to be available in a library system in a city of 200,000. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As corny as it sounds, I happened across a Horatio Hornblower book awhile ago and thought "what the hell, I've give it a go."  It was an enjoyable read!  I had to look up a few nautical terms I was unfamiliar with, but I was surprised how much I enjoyed it.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, Snaggletooth said:

Licke anythinge besides sailing?

Just about anything goes although not heavily into the arts/humanity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm reading a bio called The Hard Way Around- The Passages of Joshua Slocum  by Geoffrey Wolff that is outstanding. Turns out besides being a good sailor he was a pretty amazing business man and very lucky in love. Pretty surprising considering his sad ending.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just finished re-reading Asimov's Foundation trilogy. Great if you want to escape to the far reaches of the galaxy to a time when humanity's earthbound origins has been long forgotten. Currently on John Kennedy Toole's  "A confederacy of dunces" good read so far, funny as hell.


 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just finished watching the documentary on Ulysses S Grant on the history channel, Samuel Clemons encouraged him to finish his autobiography which he did 3 days before dying, so plan to read at least that and a biography as well. Growing up in the south the rewritten history did not paint him in a favorable light at all. One of the few times when the Losers write the history.  Hours well spent watching btw. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Grant documentary d' mentions was excellent. I really enjoyed several of the books about grant prior to that. If you enjoy history I have a book or two about Grant and several others I'd recommend. Advise if it appeals. Other than that:

The Dog Stars:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dog_Stars

The Wild Trees (awesome):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wild_Trees

The Soul of America (one of my favorite authors and a very contemporary read):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Soul_of_America

Lastly Joesph Campbells The Power of Myth......but here I would watch Moyers discussion on PBS with him first....perhaps instead of. Excellent:

https://billmoyers.com/content/ep-1-joseph-campbell-and-the-power-of-myth-the-hero’s-adventure-audio/

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

If you haven't already read them, and maybe even if you have, all of the books in the Aubrey/Maturin series, starting with Master and Commander.

 

ETA, PB, really good to (virtually) see you up and about.

Edited by Black Sox
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, d'ranger said:

I just finished watching the documentary on Ulysses S Grant on the history channel, Samuel Clemons encouraged him to finish his autobiography which he did 3 days before dying, so plan to read at least that and a biography as well. Growing up in the south the rewritten history did not paint him in a favorable light at all. One of the few times when the Losers write the history.  Hours well spent watching btw. 

We have the 1886 edition around somewhere.  Great book.

We also have Lord Anson's book about his voyage around the world capturing the Manila Galleon. Another great one.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Point Break said:

The Grant documentary d' mentions was excellent. I really enjoyed several of the books about grant prior to that. If you enjoy history I have a book or two about Grant and several others I'd recommend. Advise if it appeals. Other than that:

The Dog Stars:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dog_Stars

The Wild Trees (awesome):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wild_Trees

The Soul of America (one of my favorite authors and a very contemporary read):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Soul_of_America

Lastly Joesph Campbells The Power of Myth......but here I would watch Moyers discussion on PBS with him first....perhaps instead of. Excellent:

https://billmoyers.com/content/ep-1-joseph-campbell-and-the-power-of-myth-the-hero’s-adventure-audio/

 

"Inside War" is an interesting little book about how much guerilla conflict went on inside MO during the Civil War.  Written by a Canadian, so the author didn't have a particular axe to grind or anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, bplipschitz said:

"Inside War" is an interesting little book about how much guerilla conflict went on inside MO during the Civil War.  Written by a Canadian, so the author didn't have a particular axe to grind or anything.

I'll poke around a bit and perhaps add it to my list. As you know Grant was eventually the principal player in the early civil war midwest campaigns. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love everything that Pat Conroy ever wrote.  Russell Baker's autobiographies are great.  Oswald's Tale by Norman Mailer.  Why Bob Dylan Matters.  Ken Follett's books.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, bplipschitz said:

As corny as it sounds, I happened across a Horatio Hornblower book awhile ago and thought "what the hell, I've give it a go."  It was an enjoyable read!  I had to look up a few nautical terms I was unfamiliar with, but I was surprised how much I enjoyed it.

If you liked Horatio, read Patrick OBrian's  series of historical novels.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Point Break said:

Oh, and anything (esp the last 3) written by Yuval Noah Harari, start with "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind"

https://www.ynharari.com/book/sapiens/

Yes to "Sapiens" fascinating stuff. Glad to see you're doing better PB.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Dog said:

Yes to "Sapiens" fascinating stuff. Glad to see you're doing better PB.

Much better Dog, thank you very much. B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All the Harry Hole novels by Jo Nesbo.

Any Henning Mankell novel.

"A Gentleman in Moscow"

The Phillip Kerr Bernie Gunther novels.

Robert Crais books with Elvis Cole and/or Joe Pike

Harlen Coben's Myron Bolitar series

Winston Churchill's 6 volume post WWII memoirs (you will be stunned at the man's wielding of power at a granular level to run that war before the US finally wrestled the upper hand from him)

Ken Kesey's "Sometimes a Great Notion"

Tom Wolfe's "A Man in Full" and "The Right Stuff"

 

 

Let me know when you've finished those :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, usedtobeoldestsailor said:

If you liked Horatio, read Patrick OBrian's  series of historical novels.

This series is a must and they go by much too fast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Made the mistake of reading O'Brien before Horatio.  Horatio does not stand up well to the comparison.  "Never follow kids or an animal act..."

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, Chris in Santa Cruz, CA said:

All the Harry Hole novels by Jo Nesbo.

Any Henning Mankell novel.

"A Gentleman in Moscow"

The Phillip Kerr Bernie Gunther novels.

Robert Crais books with Elvis Cole and/or Joe Pike

Harlen Coben's Myron Bolitar series

Winston Churchill's 6 volume post WWII memoirs (you will be stunned at the man's wielding of power at a granular level to run that war before the US finally wrestled the upper hand from him)

Ken Kesey's "Sometimes a Great Notion"

Tom Wolfe's "A Man in Full" and "The Right Stuff"

 

 

Let me know when you've finished those :)

Kesey.......haven’t read him in at least 40 years or so! ;)
 
and I have the Churchill stuff, you’re absolutely right 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, FoolOnTheHill said:

Made the mistake of reading O'Brien before Horatio.  Horatio does not stand up well to the comparison.  "Never follow kids or an animal act..."

Absolutely true for me as well. Didn't even bother with Hornblower but both remind me of the "Flashman" novels. Forget who wrote them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, Chris in Santa Cruz, CA said:

All the Harry Hole novels by Jo Nesbo.

Any Henning Mankell novel.

"A Gentleman in Moscow"

The Phillip Kerr Bernie Gunther novels.

Robert Crais books with Elvis Cole and/or Joe Pike

Harlen Coben's Myron Bolitar series

Winston Churchill's 6 volume post WWII memoirs (you will be stunned at the man's wielding of power at a granular level to run that war before the US finally wrestled the upper hand from him)

Ken Kesey's "Sometimes a Great Notion"

Tom Wolfe's "A Man in Full" and "The Right Stuff"

 

 

Let me know when you've finished those :)

Second “A Gentleman in Moscow”.  Got it from the Cloud Library back when the local brick-and-mortar libraries just closed, and liked it so much I just went back and read it right through again.  I did, however, have a passing interest in mid-century Soviet Union, as my dad was an exchange scientist for a few years just before and just after Perestroika.  The problem I have reading historical fiction on an iPad is that Google Earth is right there and I can get lost for hours...

You also listed the only two Tom Wolfe books I’ve read, both of which reside in my library.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Bernie Gunther books are great.

If you like English history, the Hilary Mantel books Wolf Hall, Bring Up the Bodies, and The Mirror and the Light are good. I am about a third thru the latter one. They are about Thomas Cromwell and Henry VIII.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just read 3 books by Carl Hiaasen from my archives.  

It reminded me that I'm glad that I don't live in Flori-Duh, and I wouldn't want him to live next door to me.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

History suggestions:

John Keegan, military, very readable

Farley Mowat (not kidding) - The Regiment or And No Birds Sang

Peter C Newman - Empire of the Bay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

51ZGB5Y1WML._SX352_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

bookbub.com will send you an email everyday on books to download based upon the interests you have

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty much anything by Jim Harrison, either fiction or non. The “Raw and the Cooked” is a good primer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, NaClH20 said:

Second “A Gentleman in Moscow”.  Got it from the Cloud Library back when the local brick-and-mortar libraries just closed, and liked it so much I just went back and read it right through again.  I did, however, have a passing interest in mid-century Soviet Union, as my dad was an exchange scientist for a few years just before and just after Perestroika.  The problem I have reading historical fiction on an iPad is that Google Earth is right there and I can get lost for hours...

I third the motion re Gentleman in Moscow.

And if you like historical fiction I'm reading Imperium by Richard Harris atm re Cicero's rise to power in Rome. Fascinating stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, Alhadder said:

I third the motion re Gentleman in Moscow.

And if you like historical fiction I'm reading Imperium by Richard Harris atm re Cicero's rise to power in Rome. Fascinating stuff.

Almost all of his books are great (I wasn’t enamoured of “An Officer and a Spy”). The Cicero trilogy was very good. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’d hesitate to recommend the series I am finishing. Not because, they aren’t good but because they are not an easy read. Fantastically well written “House of Niccolo” series by Dorothy Dunnett set in the 15th century. About to start her Lymond series next - equally as good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Covenant with Death by John Harrison, a fictional account of a regiment raised in WWI and sent to the trenches just before the Somme.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Point Break said:

The Grant documentary d' mentions was excellent. I really enjoyed several of the books about grant prior to that. If you enjoy history I have a book or two about Grant and several others I'd recommend. Advise if it appeals. Other than that:

The Dog Stars:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dog_Stars

The Wild Trees (awesome):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wild_Trees

The Soul of America (one of my favorite authors and a very contemporary read):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Soul_of_America

Lastly Joesph Campbells The Power of Myth......but here I would watch Moyers discussion on PBS with him first....perhaps instead of. Excellent:

https://billmoyers.com/content/ep-1-joseph-campbell-and-the-power-of-myth-the-hero’s-adventure-audio/

 

I'm still waiting for your bloody book! ;):P

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mentioned before but ... Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series are a favorite ... just finished rereading them for maybe for the third time.

and not in any particular order ...

The Dog Stars, Peter Heller

The Road, Cormac McCarthy

Carl Hiaasen, John Grisham,  Kristen Hannah for entertaining quick reads

Dune, Frank Herbert

Anything by Isaac Asimov, Ernest Hemingway, John LeCarre

The Alice Network, Kate Quinn

The classics also have appeal if you didn't read them in school, such as The Count of Monte Cristo, Moby Dick, Last of the Mohicans, 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Count Of Monte Cristo is indeed a great book. It was originally published as a serial, so it rushes you along thru a series of improbable cliff-hangers, but it's so intense and the characters are so engaging that you don't really think about it.

My recommendations: Yes to Farley Mowat, if you want a non-sailing boat-related book then try Grey Seas Under which is about rescues in the 1930s and 1940s.

For action/mystery, the 'Travis McGee' series by John McDonald, they all have a color in the title: The Scarlet Ruse, Deep Blue Goodbye, etc etc. I discovered these books by accident in the university library and they ruined my studying for two years. Also, his travel books 'Please Write For Details' (fiction) and 'Nothing Can Go Wrong' (nonfiction) are very good. MacDonald was a bestselling, very successful author back in the day but he seems to be forgotten. The first of his I read was 'Darker Than Amber' which is short and very intense, sucked me right in to the whole series. Obviously it was meant to happen.

- DSK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Boy if we go to repeats.......especially the classics........I don’t even know where to start. Just finished re-reading all of Steinbeck AND Hemingway a year or two ago. Well worth it. Some of those I listened to via Audible and they most often added immensely to the experience. Both the reading of Grapes of Wrath and For Whom the Bell Tolls were prominent in that audible experience. Being read to takes more time but it is a very different way to enjoy a book. Sit back in the garden shade or the sun, close your eyes and be read to. Awesome. The right narrator is an absolute additive to the experience. In that vein my very favorite audio book so far was the reading of To Kill a Mockingbird read by Sissy Spacek. Hearing that book in the first person narrated by Scout (as it’s written of course) with that female southern drawl brought the whole thing to life in a way my mind could not. Stellar. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very good suggestions, thanks. I am a paper book kind of guy, old I guess. Not the same as reading a digital book. One problem with the library is that they have finite space and are constantly getting new books so they sell off old ones, in particular in fiction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

9781974610907.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Point Break said:

The Grant documentary d' mentions was excellent. I really enjoyed several of the books about grant prior to that. If you enjoy history I have a book or two about Grant and several others I'd recommend. Advise if it appeals. Other than that:

The Dog Stars:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dog_Stars

The Wild Trees (awesome):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wild_Trees

The Soul of America (one of my favorite authors and a very contemporary read):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Soul_of_America

Lastly Joesph Campbells The Power of Myth......but here I would watch Moyers discussion on PBS with him first....perhaps instead of. Excellent:

https://billmoyers.com/content/ep-1-joseph-campbell-and-the-power-of-myth-the-hero’s-adventure-audio/

 

I'm going to take full credit for suggesting The Dog Stars to you a few years ago. I consider it a down payment on my autographed copy of your masterpiece.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, IStream said:

I'm going to take full credit for suggesting The Dog Stars to you a few years ago. I consider it a down payment on my autographed copy of your masterpiece.

I think you did recommend The Dog Stars! I certainly owe you one! :lol:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Point Break said:

I think you did recommend The Dog Stars! I certainly owe you one! :lol:

Thanks, now get to work Mr. Antibody! You've got a new superpower and you should use it...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, NaClH20 said:

Second “A Gentleman in Moscow”.  Got it from the Cloud Library back when the local brick-and-mortar libraries just closed, and liked it so much I just went back and read it right through again.  I did, however, have a passing interest in mid-century Soviet Union, as my dad was an exchange scientist for a few years just before and just after Perestroika.  The problem I have reading historical fiction on an iPad is that Google Earth is right there and I can get lost for hours...

You also listed the only two Tom Wolfe books I’ve read, both of which reside in my library.

 

A Gentleman in Moscow is just the most delightful, clever, and heartfelt book I have ever read. If I could only suggest one fiction book it would be that one. If you are into cooking the descriptions of the chef in the hotel are really fun. I try to use only one super sharp chefs knife for everything now. Russia is fascinating. I am almost through A Gulag Archipelago after 10 years. I read a bit here and there when I run out of books. I just read the wiki on Boris Pasternak who wrote Dr Zhivago and its amazing to learn how crazy the Stalin era was and how just this one author's story is an example in micro terms. Stalin kind of tortured the guy by not killing him but imprisoning and shooting those around him yet Pasternak would not leave even when he had the chance!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Point Break said:

Boy if we go to repeats.......especially the classics........I don’t even know where to start. Just finished re-reading all of Steinbeck AND Hemingway a year or two ago. Well worth it. Some of those I listened to via Audible and they most often added immensely to the experience. Both the reading of Grapes of Wrath and For Whom the Bell Tolls were prominent in that audible experience. Being read to takes more time but it is a very different way to enjoy a book. Sit back in the garden shade or the sun, close your eyes and be read to. Awesome. The right narrator is an absolute additive to the experience. In that vein my very favorite audio book so far was the reading of To Kill a Mockingbird read by Sissy Spacek. Hearing that book in the first person narrated by Scout (as it’s written of course) with that female southern drawl brought the whole thing to life in a way my mind could not. Stellar. 

If you're gonna go Steinbeck then get either a copy of his short stories and/or Travels With Charley. He is one of the highest circle of greatest American writers, about who we can argue if you like. I don't care for Hemingway for example but love Mark Twain. Anyway "Travels WC" is a keeper, and I don't keep that many books nowadays. The other Steinbeck I rate as a keeper, for the curious, is The Short & Curious Reign Of Pepin IV.

- DSK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steinbeck and Hemingway are two of my favorites - some time back I dated a woman from Russia (she had grad degrees in literature) and she also loved Steinbeck, interesting conversations from different perspectives.

So for something different - The Midnight Assassin by Skip Hollandsworth - it's as much early history of Texas and Austin as the story line about the first serial murderer in the US (1885).  The past couple of years I started reading Texas Monthly where he has some really well done and researched articles - his Midnight in the Garden of Eden became the movie Bernie.  They first started appearing on Pocket (suggested reading on my home page) and he is now my favorite living writer.  A number of his pieces are free to read, https://www.texasmonthly.com/author/skip-hollandsworth/

A sampling of some of my favorites:

O Sister Where Art thou - about women at the Goree prison in the 30's who formed a singing group.

Faith Friendship and Tragedy at Sante Fe High - about one of the victims of the school shooting - if this one doesn't move you have someone check your pulse.

Schiltterbahns Tragic Slide - how the waterpark started and what has brought it down.

What impresses me the most is the indepth research he does and how his writing makes me feel like I am right along with him.

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Steam Flyer said:

If you're gonna go Steinbeck then get either a copy of his short stories and/or Travels With Charley. He is one of the highest circle of greatest American writers, about who we can argue if you like. I don't care for Hemingway for example but love Mark Twain. Anyway "Travels WC" is a keeper, and I don't keep that many books nowadays. The other Steinbeck I rate as a keeper, for the curious, is The Short & Curious Reign Of Pepin IV.

- DSK

I have 100% of both Steinbeck and Hemingway. It’s hard to compare as their styles are so different but I’ll admit I prefer Steinbeck. That does not mean I  didn’t really enjoy Hemingway. My kids and I have a running gunbattle about Steinbeck v. Hemingway. I have one who favors Hemingway (he is a wandering adventurer) and the rest follow my tastes toward Steinbeck. It’s all in good fun. It doesn’t help that they didn’t like each other either. And yes......Travels With Charley is excellent. A standard poodle......give me a break! :lol:

And.......speaking of Steinbeck....if you can get a copy of Ed Ricketts (Doc) book Breaking Through, it’s a great read. Ricketts bio, letters between he and Steinbeck, and a discussion on his concept of non-teleological thinking. Great book.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, The Main Man said:

Almost all of his books are great (I wasn’t enamoured of “An Officer and a Spy”). The Cicero trilogy was very good. 

Correction...Robert Harris not Richard

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Barkskins By Annie Proulx is excellent, and has just been made in to a mini series by netflix I think.

 Currently I'm Reading In the Fall by Jeffery Lent. It's long, but it keeps on going.

 

Also I recently read The Master Butcher's Singing Club by Louise Erdich.... Excellent book.

 None of these are particularly "new" but well worth reading.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good Omens (Terry Pratchett and Niel Gaimon) is a very fun read.

Most (if not all) of the Discworld books by Pratchett, though my favorites are probably, Guards Guards, Thud, Going Postal and The Last Continent. If you do get into them, I recommend at least reading them in sub series order if not publication order. There is a fair amount of overlap of characters among all the books, but has multiple "main" characters/themes. IE City Watch, Rincewind, Witches etc. You can find the full list here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discworld#Bibliography and can sort them by publication or sub series order easily. OTOH, Gurads, Guards was actually my introduction to Pratchett, and is a great place to start. If you don't like it, you won't like the rest.

If you like Tolkien, or the Frank Hebert Dune books (and I do), you should really read The While of Time series by Robert Jordan. Which I think is better than either. OTOH, It's also 14 books long, and especially from about 3-10, each book is longer than the previous.

I haven't seen it mentioned, but Team of Rivals by Doris Goodwin is an outstanding book on the Lincoln Presidency and Cabinet.

The Hunt for Red October is better as a book than it was as a movie.

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.

A Time To Kill is still the best thing John Grisham ever wrote. (And it's not like I haven't enjoyed everything else he wrote.)

I've mentioned it here before on another thread (Random Pic), but A Voyage for Madmen, by Peter Nicholls is a outstanding and fascinating read about the first solo, non-stop round the world race.

Gather Darkness by Fritz Lieber.

Get Shorty by Leonard Elmore.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson.

The Keep by F. Paul Wilson.

Armor by John Steakley.

The Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O'Niel's America, by Joe Posnanski.

1776 by David McCullough.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Bacchus66 said:

Good Omens (Terry Pratchett and Niel Gaimon) is a very fun read.

Most (if not all) of the Discworld books by Pratchett, though my favorites are probably, Guards Guards, Thud, Going Postal and The Last Continent. If you do get into them, I recommend at least reading them in sub series order if not publication order. There is a fair amount of overlap of characters among all the books, but has multiple "main" characters/themes. IE City Watch, Rincewind, Witches etc. You can find the full list here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discworld#Bibliography and can sort them by publication or sub series order easily. OTOH, Gurads, Guards was actually my introduction to Pratchett, and is a great place to start. If you don't like it, you won't like the rest.

If you like Tolkien, or the Frank Hebert Dune books (and I do), you should really read The While of Time series by Robert Jordan. Which I think is better than either. OTOH, It's also 14 books long, and especially from about 3-10, each book is longer than the previous.

I haven't seen it mentioned, but Team of Rivals by Doris Goodwin is an outstanding book on the Lincoln Presidency and Cabinet.

The Hunt for Red October is better as a book than it was as a movie.

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.

A Time To Kill is still the best thing John Grisham ever wrote. (And it's not like I haven't enjoyed everything else he wrote.)

I've mentioned it here before on another thread (Random Pic), but A Voyage for Madmen, by Peter Nicholls is a outstanding and fascinating read about the first solo, non-stop round the world race.

Gather Darkness by Fritz Lieber.

Get Shorty by Leonard Elmore.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson.

The Keep by F. Paul Wilson.

Armor by John Steakley.

The Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O'Niel's America, by Joe Posnanski.

1776 by David McCullough.

 

I gotta take exception to the Stieg Larsson book..... I have never tried to slog through a book as hard as that after I tried to read "Pride and Prejudice"....

 Dull, sluggish, gloomy, and downright depressing.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sam Eastland’s “Inspector Pekkala” mystery’s are a look at Stalins Ussr.

David Downing has various mystery’s about Germany (the station series) or WW1 espionage (jake mccoll)

Antanas Seleika “provionsionally yours” is a noir in a place you might not think of, post ww1 Lithuania 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm slowly reading Generation of Vipers, it's so freaking good, I'm trying to take it slow, because it's a social commentary like Orwell, but it picks up after Orwell died. And when I read Orwell as a kid, I didn't treasure each moment, I rushed through all of them. And in the 20 or so times that I've reread Wigan Pier or 1984 or Coming Up For Air. It can never be like that first time.

Our boots are not merely seven league: they stride the globe. Our eyes see through light years. Our ears hear voices from every city on the planet. Our biceps tear down cliffs. In every material sense, we have reached the end of legends, the finale of the fairy tales. All the physical imagining of man, when he was limited to the power of his own body, has been realized. But not any good whatever has come of it -- only the greatest evil man has yet endured."

Philip Wylie writes like George Orwell came to the USA, got a job on Madison Avenue and then wrote an entire book in five minute segments while riding the elevators. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have children, I'd recommend the Swallows and Amazons series of books By Arthur Ransome, all based around sailing Holidays, mostly around the Lake district or Norfolk broads with a few other places thrown in..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few seconds and suggestions.

Pratchett's Discworld are entertaining as hell and addictive.  Too bad he is gone, Alzheimer's is a terrible disease.

Hemingway and Steinbeck are polar opposites.  Hemingway chisels every word out of granite and consequently use them sparingly, and they hit like a prizefighter's punch.  Truly a man's man.  Steinbeck tends to go into lots of detail and writes and writes and writes.  Much more sensitive than Hemingway IMO, Hemingway's men stoically drink away their sorrows, Steinbeck's men cry.  Two of my favorite authors, I have read everything they have written and some of the every few authors that I will occasionally re- read.I think The old Man and the Sea is one of the finest novels ever written.  Everything you ever need to know about existentialism, and you don't need to read Sartre, Nietzsche, Camus, etc.  I recently re-read the Grapes of Wrath which I read when I was in high school.  In retrospect, I had no idea how much that book had helped to form my adult world view until I finished the second reading.

Robert Parker's Spencer books are amazing, a philosophical, introspective, sensitive thug, private detective.  With an ultra cool black sidekick, Hawk.  And a psychologist girlfriend.  What's not to like about that.  Another recently deceased author that I miss.  

I second the Dune series.  It can be hit and miss but the good ones are amazing. After Herbert's death his son and another author have written several more books in the series and they sound just like Herbert's voice.  

I'll support the Carl Hiaasen crowd, the man is outrageously cynical and funny.  

Ian Rankine's Scottish detective Rebus series is quite good.

Chuck Palahniuk, the Fight Club author is absolutely twisted and all of his books are bizarre and amazing.

James Michner's novels are pretty good.

A very old book but one of my favorite novels that I have read at least 6 or 7 times, something I never do with other books, is Richard McKenna's The Sand Pebbles.  That book just resonates in me.  Jake Holman is my hero.  Period.

I love WW II history.  Anthony Beavor, Richard Evans, Timothy Snyder, Martin Gilbert and last but not last Norman Davies are among the best.  best to avoid many earlier historians, they were in the war generation, and particularly the British ones just aren't very objective.  The ones I mentioned above weren't born until after the war and don't have an ax to grind.  Also in the last 30 years much more archival material is available for researchers including the brief time in the early '90s when the former Soviet Union opened their vast archives, a veritable treasure trove.

And finally Bruce Springsteen's autobiography, Born To Run,  is incredible.  he is brutally honest about his life, his battle with depression and his music. Few artists have so openly have bared their soul and inner feelings.  Love him or hate him, it's a good read.

I read a lot and have all my life.  I'm getting old and my memory isn't so hot, I'm sure I've missed some life changing books.  If any more titles come to mind, I'll post again

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yet another recommendation for Pratchett. Hillarious and sharp witted.

Arto Paasilinna is another favorite. Masterfully and light heartedly disecting the absurdities of the hunan condition.

Ursula K. LeGuin's Earthsea books are great reflections of C.G. Jung's psychology.

Speaking of Jung: nothing will make you feel dumb and uneducated in a better way. The Red Book is taking you to the extremes of human understanding.

Scarlett Thomas' novels starting with Pop-Co are a worthwhile female perspective on philosophy, metaphysics, religion, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nonfiction:

Unsinkable ... the story of the RMS Titanic... by Daniel Butler (also has written an excellent book on the Lusitania)

Life Is So Good... Richard Dawson (a memoir of a southern black man's life, who earned his high school diploma at ~90)

Fiction:

The Break... Marian Keyes (hilarious and profound story of a marriage that almost breaks up)

2nd, 3rd, or 4th- Wizard of Earthsea... Ursula K. LeGuin (a trilogy but a short one, absolutely the best fantasy story I know of)

I just finished reading "The American Story" by David M. Rubenstein

- DSK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had a funny Ian Rankin experience. When we were away cruising book exchanges were a wonderful thing. Somewhere in our journey, might have been in Namibia, there was such an exchange and I was in need of some new books. Took about six books into the bar with the exchange. Rankin is sufficiently successful (and has a short name) so the paperback cover has his name in much larger type than the book name. Anyway, grabbed a Rankin. Some days/weeks later I grabbed the book and settled down for a read while on watch in the middle of the South Atlantic - not the most exciting sailing in the world. The book was in German, as was the title, which was in quite small print. I handed the book onto the next German cruiser we met. I always wondered how the Glaswegian argot could be translated into another language.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another vote for Carl Hiaasen - not read since the 90's but seriously funny black humor.  The dark and quirky side of Florida. Now I gotta do some re-reading.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now