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Books - What Are You Reading - Favourites - Recommendations


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Some of my favourite books:

"Cruel Sea“ Nicholas Monsarrat,

"The Second World War“ Winston Churchill, Winston's six volume account of WW2.

"The Complete Richard Hannay" John Buchan, Spycatcher, mining engineer, adventurer, detective, war hero; includes The Thirty-Nine Steps

"Physics and Philosophy“ Werner Heisenberg, I have read this book at least half-a-dozen times; there is something important in here, I am sure of that, but what does it all mean?

"De Re Metallica“ Georgius Agricola, Written and illustrated in 1556 and translated by President Herbert Clark Hoover of all people (he was a mining engineer) and still in print today. It covers all aspects of mining in the 16th century.

Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell, I was also fourteen when I read this for the first time, I fell in love with Julia, despaired at Winston's helplessness and was determined that I would never accept totalitarianism, be it left or right.

"The Boer War" Thomas Pakenham, probably the best history book with an African theme ever written.

"The Seven Pillars of Wisdom“ T.E. Lawrence, considering recent events I decided to read this.

"A Man On The Moon" Andrew Chaikin, great account of the moon landings, these guys had guts.

"Songs Of Innocence And Experience“ William Blake, I don't pretend to understand his visions and philosophy, but he did write Jerusalem so he can't be all bad. I often take this book with me when I travel might understand it one day.

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I agree with you on Orwell.

It's hard to pick a favourite, there are many. I read very little that is not on a computer screen these days but, how about these.

The War of the worlds and the Time machine by Mr. Wells.

All the works, including the poems, of Mr. Edgar Allen Poe. His command of the English language and his detective's mind is overpowering.

Issac Asimov's Foundation trilogy was written from the end backwards, it must have been. I can not seen that any one would have that much genius to write it forwards, if you see what I mean. Wonderful.

Great novels are sometime written but never printed. One of these was Babylon 5 by J. Michael Straczynski. This was a labour of love for Joe Straczynski and won many friends throughout the world when aired on TV.

I may be biased as JMS is a self confessed Anglophile.

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My favourite Owell quote:-

"Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which."

Why does this make me sad?

Because I'm not a pig and perhaps not a "human".

Maybe it time we got rid of the "humans"? 

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Red lips are not so red

As the stained stones kissed by the English dead.

Kindness of wooed and wooer

Seems shame to their love pure.

O love, your eyes lose lure

When I behold eyes blinded in my stead!

written by Wilfred Owen in November/ December 1917 while recovering from shell-shock - he rejoined his regiment in August 1918 and was killed on the 4th of November 1918 just seven days before the end of the war. He was twenty-five.

Puts things into perspective really ... goodnight 

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My top ten books

The Ascent of Man - Bronowski

Origin of Species - Darwin

Cosmos - Sagen

Connections - Burke

Life on Earth - Attenborough

Lord of the Rings - Tolkein

The Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul - Adams

Star Trek Cookbook - Phillips & Birnes

Across the Nightingale Floor - Hearn

Unforgettable Fire - Dunphy

Books that didn’t quite make it

Harry Potter

Artemis Fowl

Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Colloquial Polish

Spock’s World

The Print & The Camera - A Adams


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Jot, the Wilfred Owen stuff is quite beautiful, there is a book called Up The Line to Death, with all the Poets from the First World War, very moving,read it if you get a chance. I dont read fiction, fact is more [to me] intesting,frightning, and beautiful.

The most dog eared book i have is John Betjamans collected Poems. i am a fan of Betjaman and have a dozen or so of his books. Just finished the story of Stephen Spenders life, some of my favorites are

Stephen Hawking, ABrief History of Time.

Richard Dawkins, River out of Eden.

-- -- Unweaving the Rainbow.

-- -- Blind Watch Maker, [nothing to do with watches]

Ludovic Kennady, A Book of Sea Journeys.

Eric Newby, The Last Grain Race.

cheers fred.

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I remember being entralled by the hobbit as a teenager but never progressed to the 6 book trilogy! Made it my mission to read it all before the first film came out.

I think the 2 books that have moved me most are:

Hemmingway's A fairwell to arms

And Tressel's Ragged trousered philantropists.

As for Sci Fi Asimov! Nuff said really. Stan I read somewhere he wrote the foundation as 3 ongoing works at the same time and knew exactly how and when they would meet so to speak. Must read that again sometime it must be 20 years at least.

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Stan said:

The Foundation Trilogy is a work of art. All praise to this not so humble biologist for his imagination and ability to put it in print. punk.gifcool.gif

I hope I will be remember for my prose?

Like f*** I will! 

Oh I don't know Stan. I consider you a great mystic poet 

I can't understand what you're on about sometimes and spend hours trying to interpret you 

Degree in Stanology anybody?

To be honest though I think I might be close behind you in the bafflement stakes 

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We should go for a subset of the bugger all club!?

I hate to suggest a title for it but ...................

something relating to old, bugger, silly, mental, tw*ts et al; may suffice?

To clarify a point, I know nothing and will never know anything that makes sense to a normal person. 

I can't understand what I'm on about most of the time, anyroad. 


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Let's call it "Neverworld club". 

No bad backs,  we would know "bugger everything". 

We would be smart enough to judge others with impunity because we are so wise and would aspire to Godhood. ohmy.gif

In my wildest dreams. 

Let's just be the soft *u*ts we are and put up with it. 

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"Man on the Moon" by Chaikin is a great book. I got the Time Life version that is a 3 book set with all the text and hundreds of amazing pictures.

pqtips - The good news is that the Lord of the Rings trilogy is only 3 books, not six so get reading it's well worth it!

The Foundation Trilogy is an amazing work, but since it was originally published as a series of short stories I find it a little too disjointed to be truely great.

Some of my favorites:

Enemy at the Gate: The Battle of Stalingrad William Craig

The Ringworld Series by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournell

Anything by William Gibson

Anything by John Irving

Foucalts Pendulem Umberto Eco Overwhelming genious!

Cryptonomicon Neal Stephenson

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