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BS: suggest some great books

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GUEST,James 28 Jan 04 - 10:46 AM
MarkS 28 Jan 04 - 11:01 AM
Rapparee 28 Jan 04 - 11:06 AM
Les in Chorlton 28 Jan 04 - 01:14 PM
Stilly River Sage 28 Jan 04 - 01:20 PM
Clinton Hammond 28 Jan 04 - 03:04 PM
Amos 28 Jan 04 - 03:08 PM
Amos 28 Jan 04 - 03:09 PM
harvey andrews 28 Jan 04 - 03:15 PM
GUEST 28 Jan 04 - 03:18 PM
Stilly River Sage 28 Jan 04 - 03:19 PM
GUEST,pdc 28 Jan 04 - 03:26 PM
Bat Goddess 28 Jan 04 - 03:58 PM
Cluin 28 Jan 04 - 04:12 PM
Emma B 28 Jan 04 - 04:15 PM
Amos 28 Jan 04 - 04:23 PM
Stilly River Sage 28 Jan 04 - 04:33 PM
Rapparee 28 Jan 04 - 04:35 PM
Helen 28 Jan 04 - 04:55 PM
Stilly River Sage 28 Jan 04 - 05:06 PM
Jeanie 28 Jan 04 - 06:04 PM
GUEST,pdc 28 Jan 04 - 06:10 PM
open mike 28 Jan 04 - 06:47 PM
freda underhill 28 Jan 04 - 07:14 PM
Midchuck 28 Jan 04 - 07:15 PM
Midchuck 28 Jan 04 - 07:16 PM
jaze 28 Jan 04 - 07:45 PM
Bat Goddess 28 Jan 04 - 07:51 PM
Shanghaiceltic 28 Jan 04 - 07:53 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 28 Jan 04 - 08:35 PM
GUEST,ozmacca 28 Jan 04 - 08:41 PM
Nancy King 28 Jan 04 - 08:43 PM
Helen 28 Jan 04 - 08:58 PM
Teresa 28 Jan 04 - 09:51 PM
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Bee-dubya-ell 28 Jan 04 - 10:16 PM
open mike 28 Jan 04 - 10:51 PM
Amos 28 Jan 04 - 10:57 PM
Cluin 29 Jan 04 - 01:30 AM
GUEST,Tang the Orangutan 29 Jan 04 - 01:34 AM
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GUEST,An English Patriot 29 Jan 04 - 04:20 AM
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Jerry Rasmussen 29 Jan 04 - 08:53 AM
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Subject: BS: suggests some great books
From: GUEST,James
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 10:46 AM

I am going to be laid up for three whole months this winter and I plan to stock up on some good reads. Since I see a wide variety of tastes and opinions here at Mudcat I was hoping you all would suggest some good reads. I like a lot of Non fiction as well as some ripping yarns. I am currently reading"The Venetian Affair",The Lady and The Unicorn and several books by Simon Winchester. I like a good mystery also.

Thanks In advance, I know you can help me out.


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Subject: RE: BS: suggests some great books
From: MarkS
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 11:01 AM

If you have a taste for Science Fiction, start by looking for the Honor Harrington series by David Weber. The first book is "On Basilisk Station." It is ususally available at reduced price just to get you hooked.
There are enough books in the series to keep you occupied through any lengthy period.
Regards
Mark


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Subject: RE: BS: suggests some great books
From: Rapparee
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 11:06 AM

Dana Stabenow's Kate Shugak series is great. "Breakup" and "Blood Will Tell" are possibly the best in the series, but that's comparing excellence and excellence.

If you REALLY want to think, read "Godel, Escher, Bach: an eternal golden braid." It's nonfiction, but I'm not going to even attempt to explain more about it.

Or read up on Chaos theory. Or the 14th Century. DON'T read (very much) in your usual fields of work.

Also, have you considered using the time to learn a new instrument?


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Subject: RE: BS: suggests some great books
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 01:14 PM

For non-fiction, The Ascent of Man - Jacob Brownoski, anything by Stephen Jay Gould,

For fiction John Le Carre for cold war and post cold war thrillers, Terry Pratchet for well..... Discworld, Ian Rankin Inspector Rebus - crime in Scotland.


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Subject: RE: BS: suggests some great books
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 01:20 PM

I'd go reread some of my favorite old mysteries. Josephine Tey, Mary Stewart, Tony Hillerman, Nevada Barr.


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Subject: RE: BS: suggests some great books
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 03:04 PM

Everything by William Gibson

Everything by Neil Gaiman

Everything by Clive Barker

Everything by Guy Gavriel Kay


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Subject: RE: BS: suggests some great books
From: Amos
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 03:08 PM

Gravesend Light

Ahab's Wife

both published in the last few years and both worthy prizewinners.
Sorry -- authors' names escape me. The first is by a woman.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: suggests some great books
From: Amos
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 03:09 PM

Correction: the latter is by a wopman (Ahab's Wife).

A


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Subject: RE: BS: suggests some great books
From: harvey andrews
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 03:15 PM

HISTORY "Dreadnought" Robert K Massie. Reads like a novel, unputdownable.
COMEDY "Dig infinity" Oliver Trager. Biog of Lord Buckley
TRAGEDY "The perfect storm" S Junger
THEATRE "Acting up" David Hare
BIOGRAPHY "Dear Tom" Tom Courtenay
DELIGHT "84, Charing Cross Road" H Hanff


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Subject: RE: BS: suggests some great books
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 03:18 PM

Martin Cruz Smith: "Gorki Park" - one of the best detective stories I ever read, it really gave me nightmares. The sequel is "Polar Star", also great.
And you shouldn't miss Henning Mankell's novels about Inspector Kurt Wallander. That stuff is addictive. Mankell is too good to be real ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: suggests some great books
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 03:19 PM

Amos, you corrected yourself from "woman" to "wopman"--usually people get it wrong before they start sending corrections!


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Subject: RE: BS: suggests some great books
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 03:26 PM

"Ahab's Wife" is by Sena Jeter Naslund, a professor from the University of Kentucky. An excellent, outstanding book that recreates the big, flamboyant fiction of the 19th century. Particularly good for those who have read "Moby Dick," but also fascinating for those who haven't. Loved it, as you can probably tell!


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Subject: RE: BS: suggests some great books
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 03:58 PM

I just finished reading Louis L'Amour's memoir, "Education of a Wandering Man." Before I read it, I'd had no desire to read Western fiction, but after reading of his travels, what he was reading during his travels (book lists for 1930-1932 included), stories of who he talked to during his travels, and descriptions of the deserts he walked out of, mines he worked on or assessed, ships he sailed on, and reading of his philosophy of writing -- accurate historical backdrop, accurate geography and weather, and characters based on information about real people gleaned from diaries and reminiscences -- I now want to start in on reading his novels. Sounds more like they should be categorized as historical fiction rather than "Western" genre.

By the way, Guest, pdc, I'm in the middle of re-reading "Moby Dick" for the first time since I was 14. And, believe me, I didn't have the education or maturity to fully appreciate it at the time. What a book!

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: suggests some great books
From: Cluin
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 04:12 PM

Wopman?   LOL

Great typo, Amos. As a constant keyboard flubber myself, I salute you.


As long as you're going to be laid up, James, and you like mysteries, I'd suggest a book about another fellow who was laid-up who took on a mystery as a hobby during his convalescence. The book is "The Daughter of Time" by Josephine Tey. It's a good read and even pretty educational.

Other than that, try some Walter Mosley: the Easy Rawlins stories or especially "R.L.s Dream" (tangentially involves bluesman Robert Johnson, but the main character is another old bluesman).


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Subject: RE: BS: suggests some great books
From: Emma B
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 04:15 PM

Just read "The Athenian Murders" by Jose Carlos Somoza although, I'm ashamed to say, in translation. If you like "The Name of the Rose" you'll love this.
Best biography I've read for a while "Turlough" by Brian Keenan, a must for O'Carolan addicts


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Subject: RE: BS: suggests some great books
From: Amos
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 04:23 PM

What I was trying to correct was "former" to "latter", and the Wopman Error, as it is known in higher scientific circles, was merely a mathematical anomaly. :>)


A


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Subject: RE: BS: suggests some great books
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 04:33 PM

Linn, if you want to see what literary types do with westerns, look for Ron Hansen's The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. If you have a strong stomach find a copy of Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian: Or An Evening Redness in the West. Both are historical novels.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: suggests some great books
From: Rapparee
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 04:35 PM

Lots of times I like to read what I call "list" books: books which contain short articles, sometimes only a paragraph or two, about a topic. Stuff you can read, put down, and pick up again without losing a beat because the next paragraph is about something completely different. Here are some titles:

Saints preserve us! (a rather irreverent hagiography)

Who in hell? (similar to the above, by the same authors, but great                sinners instead)

Stories in Stone (a book of epitaths)

Various cartoon collections: Bill Watterson, Darby Conley, Bill mend, Allen Magruder, Frank Cho, Jerry Scott, Jim Borgman, Mike Peters, Berk Breathed, Gary Larson, Doug Marlette, and so on.

Unwritten laws.

100 Ways To Die In the Outdoors.

Pat McManus's books -- The Night The Bear Ate Gumbaw, The Bear In The Attic, How I Got This Way, Real Ponies Don't Go Oink!, and lots of others. (Warning: they are FUNNY!!)


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Subject: RE: BS: suggests some great books
From: Helen
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 04:55 PM

Any fiction by Nevil Shute for a well-written light read, but I especially like his autobiography called Slide Rule. He was number cruncher, pre-computers, for aircraft design, and worked on a private enterprise design and build project for an airship in a sort of economic/design competition, competing with a bungling, bureaucratic government organisation whose airship crashed and burned.

It's only a fairly short book, but I find it extremely interesting from a whole lot of different perspectives.

The coincidence of a couple of things in this thread is kind of odd & spooky because I was just looking at my copy of Godel, Escher & Bach a couple of nights ago - which I haven't actually read yet - and also my small collection of Mary Stewart pot boilers plus Crystal Cave etc and wondering whether to re-read some of them, again. (That's not a tautology, by the way, I mean I have already re-read them all at least once, and I might re-read them again.)

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: suggests some great books
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 05:06 PM

I've read several by Nevil Shute (full name: Nevil Shute Norway), and remember tracking down a short list on Mudcat a year or more ago. I agree--his books are very good. A Town Like Alice was made into a popular mini-series, and On the Beach was made into a film at least once. Last time he came up I was trying to remember one called Trustee from the Toolroom, but as I look through the list of his books at Amazon, I see others I read also (way back in high school). I think I read the Vinland the Good, if that starts out with a couple of folks in a small airplane that crashes on the coast and they flash back to Viking times.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: suggests some great books
From: Jeanie
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 06:04 PM

James - you say you also like non-fiction: here are a couple books I've enjoyed lately, that you might like:

"Seven Ages of Britain" by Justin Pollard (publ.Hodder & Stoughton) - based on the recent UK TV series. Covers history of Britain from the Mesolithic period to 17th century. Described as "exploring the lives and times of the ordinary people of Britain who rarely emerge into the light of written history but nonetheless were witness to its every twist and turn."

"Borley Rectory - The Final Analysis" by Edward Babbs (publ. Six Martlets Publishing) - If you are into (real life) mysteries, you will enjoy this analysis of what was known as "the most haunted house in England" and the characters and events surrounding the place, up to the present day.

And some poetry - Treated myself at Christmas to this excellent anthology : "Staying Alive - Real Poems for Unreal Times", edited by Neil Astley (publ. Bloodaxe Books). Described as "500 life-affirming poems fired by belief in the human and the spiritual at a time when much in the world feels unreal, inhuman and hollow." Famous and less known poems, from 'classics' to 21st century. Powerful, positive, thought-provoking. Good stuff !

Hope the 3 months go really well for you, James,
All good wishes,
- jeanie


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Subject: RE: BS: suggests some great books
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 06:10 PM

Bat Goddess posted: "By the way, Guest, pdc, I'm in the middle of re- reading "Moby Dick" for the first time since I was 14. And, believe me, I didn't have the education or maturity to fully appreciate it at the time. What a book!"

I couldn't agree more. One of the most fortunate experiences I ever had was in my second year of university (as a mature student), when I signed up for a semester-long course on Moby Dick. Wow, was I lucky to take that course! The prof was a Melville fanatic, belonged to the Melville Society (had the whale belt buckle) and knew Melville's sources, his inspiration, his own whaling experiences that lead to the creation of the book -- the whole thing. I remembered that course for years, and have read Moby Dick several times since, each time getting more out of it.

Enjoy!!


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Subject: RE: BS: suggests some great books
From: open mike
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 06:47 PM

Ther is a Cormac MacCarthy who is an author and a musician.
I would definately second the Tony HIllerman suggestion.
Most of his murder mystery novels are set in the south west
Hopi/Navajo country in Arizona and new mexico. They have a
lot of tribal history. Farley Mowat is an interesting author,
too. He specializes in environmental topics..such as Never Cry Wolf.
Also Oliver Sachs is an interesting fellow. He is a psyciatrist/
psychologist and has case studies, patient histories and
solved medical mysteries in his books.
i would also suggest that if you are wanting inspiration
and spiritual introspection, Pema Chodron will offer you
food for thought in her "When Things Fall Apart" (Heart
advice for difficult times) and another one about facing your
fears. these are from a Buddhist perspective.
Another wonderful author is Daniel Quinn. He has written
several books, among them: "Ishmael" which is a prize-winning
novel about sustaining life on this planet, and learning to
adopt an attitude change which encourages this. This book is
often required reading for university students and is thought-
provoking. Some followers have attained near cult loyalties as
they follow the writings of Daniel Quinn. http://www.ishmael.com/welcome.cfm
i hope you will come thru your "hibernation" as an improved person!
and best of health to you.


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Subject: RE: BS: suggest some great books
From: freda underhill
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 07:14 PM

hi James

if you want a really good read, try My Place by Sally Morgan.

In 1982 Sally Morgan travelled back to her grandmother's birthplace. What started out as a tentative search for information about her family, turned into an overwhelming emotional and spiritual pilgrimage.

Sally Morgan is an Australian Aboriginal writer - My Place is her story about her search for her past, through the stories of the author's mother and grandmother. Winner of the 1987 Australian Human Rights Award for Literature and the 1990 Order of Australia Book Prize.

I have just finished reading Mayada Daughter of Iraq by Jean Sassoon. It is the story an an Iraqi woman from a prominent Iraqi family who was jailed by Saddam Hussein. It tells the story of her life in the cell with over a dozen other women.

And I am just reading The Promise by Guzin Najim, another story from Iraq. This is another very good read

freda


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Subject: RE: BS: suggest some great books
From: Midchuck
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 07:15 PM

The Gabriel DuPre mysteries, set in Montana, by Peter Bowen. The first two in the series are Coyote Wind and Specimen Song, and they're out as a double in trade paperback. There are 9 or 10 of them out now altogether.

The Honor Harrington books are good, but not the best. Try the Belisarius alternate history series by Drake and Flint - An Oblique Approach, In the Heart of Darkness, and so on.

The "Vlad Taltos" fantasy novels by Stephen Brust: Jhereg, Yendi, and so forth. Or his Dumas takeoffs set in the same universe, but earlier: The Phoenix Guards, Five Hundred Years After, et. seq.

Concur on the Kate Shugak Alaska mysteries. My wife found those, and, as W. C. Fields said when he explained that a woman drove him to drink, I never did thank her properly.

But my big thing this winter is the new Neal Stephenson books: Cryptonomicon, set alternatively in the present and WWII, and the sequel, Quicksilver, set in England just after the Restoration, through New England in the seventeen-teens. Take you a while, and most of us have to skip over the math, but worth it.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: BS: suggest some great books
From: Midchuck
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 07:16 PM

Sooner or later I'll remember those closing codes, every time.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: BS: suggest some great books
From: jaze
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 07:45 PM

NAME OF THE ROSE--Umberto Eco

SACAJAWEA--Anna Lee Waldo

Thick books both but, gripping stories!


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Subject: RE: BS: suggest some great books
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 07:51 PM

And if you like Tony Hillerman's Navajo mysteries, you should also like Arthur Upfield's Napoleon Bonapart (Bony) mysteries that that take place in Australia. Lots of aborigine background, as well as local lore.

My taste also runs to travel & exploration books, pre-1940. Richard Halliburton in particular (he swam the Panama Canal, jumped into a cenote in Chichen Itza, almost made it to Mecca but chickened out and got flown out by a friendly sheik, disappeared in 1939 sailing a Chinese junk across the Pacific), but lots of others, including Carolyn Mytinger's "Headhunting in the Solomon Islands, Around the Coral Sea." ("No woman is fulfilled, they say, until she holds in her arms her own little book.")

Too many books; not enough time.
Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: suggest some great books
From: Shanghaiceltic
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 07:53 PM

Try;

Kindness of Strangers; Kate Ady (A BBC reporter)
Any of John Simpson's books again he is a BBC reporter
Any of the Kathy Reichs novels.


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Subject: RE: BS: suggest some great books
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 08:35 PM

All-time favorites of mine:

The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
Giants In The Earth, by A.E. Rollvaag (about Norwegian settlers on the prairie)
How Green Was My Valley, byRichard LLewellyn

Stranger In A Strange Land by Robert Heinlein ain't half bad either

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: suggest some great books
From: GUEST,ozmacca
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 08:41 PM

How can anybody recommend a good book? There are far too many good books around! But for a good thriller writer, with a lot more than his fair share of talent and a neat sense of humour to boot, try Gavin Lyall. Any of his stories are well worth reading for the technical accuracy of the location and the background, as well as an excellent selection of plot lines and believeable characters. Unexpected, yet never laboured, twists in the stories make compelling reading. Some of his best would be "Midnight Plus One", "Wrong Side of The Sky", "Shooting Script", "Venus With Pistol", as well as his Major Maxim books and the stories about the Secret Service just before WW1. Absolutely terrific stuff, and I never tire of them.

For a comic thriller writer in a class of his own, Donald Westlake must be read. Try any of his stories about Dortmunder, a New York criminal who gets involved in the most amazing escapades. Who else would steal, not the contents of the bank, but the whole bank itself.... "Bank Shot", "Why Me", "Hot Rock", and several others.

For humour, Terry Pratchett of course, and also some, but by no means all, of Tom Holt's output. "Only Human" and Snow White and the Seven Samurai were excellent.

For an entertaining and interesting look at the Roman Empire, try Lindsey Davis, who writes crime stories about an informer (a kind of detective around the time of Vespasian)"The Silver Pigs", "Shadows in Bronze", Venus in Copper", and many others.

For alternative history sci-fi, Harry Turtledove's "Balance" series makes good reading, with the plot about an invasion of the Earth during WW2 and the resultant changes to the relationships between the antagonists, and what it does to human (and alien) society.

Those should keep you going for a couple of weeks.........


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Subject: RE: BS: suggest some great books
From: Nancy King
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 08:43 PM

And you might want to check out this thread , which contains a LOT of great suggestions.

Nancy


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Subject: RE: BS: suggest some great books
From: Helen
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 08:58 PM

Years ago I read two books by Helene Hanff

84 Charing Cross Road
The Apple of My Eye

The second one: a resident of NY city who doesn't take it all for granted and sees it as if she were just visiting. It is very observant, perceptive, warm, and insightful. I've never been to NY but if I planned to go there I would re-read this book first.

SRS,

The Vinland book is one of the few Shute books I haven't read.

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: suggest some great books
From: Teresa
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 09:51 PM

Yes, yes! The Belisaruius series, and anything else written by Eric Flint. Belisarious is both a thought-provoker and a page turner.

Robert silverberg's New Springtime series.

And I've just discovered Fred Chappell's books about life in the mountains of North Carolina. They're fanciful and full of plain, earthy wisdom. They have some neat, wonderfully loving descriptions of old-timey music, too.

Best wishes to you, James, and happy reading. :)
Teresa


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Subject: RE: BS: suggest some great books
From: Teresa
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 09:55 PM

My fangles got tingered. The second spelling is the correct one: Belisarious Belisarius Belisarius! ;)
Teresa


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Subject: RE: BS: suggest some great books
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 10:16 PM

Anything by John Irving.


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Subject: RE: BS: suggest some great books
From: open mike
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 10:51 PM

Guest James, please tell us a little about yourself.
ARe you knew here? (new?) what exactly is it that has
you laid up for 3 months? Where do you live? When are
you going to actually join the mudcat so that you don't
have to have guest as your first name? welcome! and I
hope this doesn't seem like prying, but many people
have offered up their suggestions to you and we also
want to send you get well wishes and get to know you
a bit. That's just how we are...
and i remembered another author to recommend
William Least Heat Moon -- Blue Hiways
and River Horse are best books of his i have read.
He says that small town cafe's are
rated by the number of calendars they have hanging on
their wall. He travels around the U.S. visiting small
towns in a van in Blue Highways. It is available on
cassette tape, too. In River Horse he travels across
the U.S. in a boat, and only has to portage it a few times..
it is complete with maps...he bothe makes you want to go
along and makes you feel like you already have!
saves on gas that way.


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Subject: RE: BS: suggest some great books
From: Amos
Date: 28 Jan 04 - 10:57 PM

Anything Farley Mowat writes is worth reading. All of Robert Penn Warren's fiction. If you have not read it, one great sea-classic is "Sailing Alone Around the World" by Captain Joshua Slocum, an unimpeachable book.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: suggest some great books
From: Cluin
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 01:30 AM

Also any of John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee novels. The mystery part of them is alright (they're good page-turners) but it's the asides and social commentary that are the real gems in his work. It's fun to check out the date of publiction of each one and comapare his predictions for the future with what really happened. He wasn't all that far off in that respect. I remember one where he predicted the rise in power of the computer geeks.


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Subject: RE: BS: suggest some great books
From: GUEST,Tang the Orangutan
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 01:34 AM

Anything by Jane Goodall, she studied my cousins.

Tarzan is pretty good too.


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Subject: RE: BS: suggest some great books
From: Mudlark
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 02:09 AM

James...3 months to read. Some would say that was paradise!

I've either not seen or didn't like the movies of the following books. All were terrific reads, however:

Novels as Literature:

All of the Jack Aubrey series of sea stories. That alone should cover most of the time.

John Gardner's books, particularly Grendel and Sunlight Dialogues

Peter Matthiessen: particularly At Play in the Fields of the Lord, Far Tortugo

Martin Cruz Smith: Gorki Park, of course (SO much better than the movie) but he has written several and all are solid, good reads

Corelli's Mandolin

Cold Mountain

If you are U.S. and have a taste for oddball, quirky, hilarious and unforgettable, try some Charles Portis: Norwood, True Grit, Dog of the South.

For humorous nonfiction: Any of Bill Bryson's books

For serious, thought provoking nonfiction: The Act of Creation andGhost in the Machine, both by Koestler

Highly readable memoirs: Ring of Bright Water, Gavin Maxwell; Road to Coorain, Jill Ker Conway, Cider with Rosie, Laurie Lee

And...an uncategorizable work of fiction, brilliant writing, haunting imagry, set in an distant post apocalyptic time, by Russell Hoban: "Riddley Walker," the one book I would take to a desert island.

Happy reading, whatever you choose and I hope you mend swiftly and completely.


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Subject: RE: BS: suggest some great books
From: GUEST,An English Patriot
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 04:20 AM

If you like fantasy, then read The Gormenghast Triology by Mervyn Peake and the collection of short stories by the American writer, Harlan Ellison, called Strange Wine. A much underrated novelist is Martha Gellhorn so try and get her collected novellas. Anything by Hardy, whether it is a novel, a collection of short stories, or his poetry. If you are a man, then you have to read "For Whom The Bell Tolls": If you are a woman, then read "Wuthering Heights."

If you like history, then "The Making of the English Working Class" by EP Thompson and the biography of Cromwell by Antonia Frasier. Avoid anything by Alison Weir(d)!


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Subject: RE: BS: suggest some great books
From: harvey andrews
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 04:59 AM

Amazing amount of reading going on here and all so different. We have over two thousand books in this house and only about five have so far appeared on this list!


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Subject: RE: BS: suggest some great books
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 08:53 AM

Mudlark:

Modern Times, Mon! I too am a great appreciator of At Play In The Fields Of The Lord, and Far Tortuga..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: suggest some great books
From: Grab
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 02:17 PM

You probably should read Moby Dick and Gormenghast once. Just once. Then you know why you never read them before... ;-)

I'll second Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon. Snow Crash and Interface are both worth reading as well. Diamond Age and Zodiac aren't as good.

If you're into fantasy, Tad Williams is great. You'd better be a fast reader though, or have a lot of time to kill, since so far he's done two tetralogies (4-book series, for those without a handy dictionary :-) and each book is about 2" thick. Well worth it though. Too many fantasy writers just churn out these multi-book series, but Tad Williams is probably the only one since Tolkein who feels like he's creating true epics.

But the best recommendation is anything by Sheri S Tepper. Feminist writer doing fantasy, but doing it rationally and well instead of in the big-chip-on-the-shoulder way of LeGuin or Atwood. Very, very good books - if I needed a desert-island author, it'd be her.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: suggest some great books
From: Schantieman
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 02:33 PM

Books I have read, enjoyed and can remember the titles and authors of are....

Non-Fiction
The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker and River out of Eden by Richard Dawkins - all expounding Darwin's ideas and bringing them up to date.
Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana - an account of sailing in a square-rigger by a law student who tried it 'just for fun' in the 1850s (I think). Part-way through this now.
Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson - an erudite and entertaining (like everything he writes) dissection of the English language
Eats Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss - ditto, specialising in erroneous punctuation, like greengocers' apostrophes.


Fiction
The Handmaids Tale by....?? Disturbing but fascinating.
Under the Greenwood Tree, The Trumpet Major and Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy. If you get on with these, try Tess and Return of the Native.    NOT Jude the Obscure.
The Richard Bolitho books by Alexander Kent - a bit more exciting and less literary than...
The Jack Aubrey books by Patrick o'Brian - a bit like Wagner - some wonderful moments but some dreadful half-hours
The Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger

That'll do for now.

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: suggest some great books
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 04:36 PM

too many to choose from but here's a short list in no particular order

Life on the Mississippi by Twain/Clemens
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo unabridged
Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust
Islandia by ?
Henry Roth all of starting with Call it Sleep
James Joyce Dubliners/Portrait of Artist as Young Man/Ulysses

that should keep you for three months, you'll be a changed man!


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Subject: RE: BS: suggest some great books
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 04:54 PM

Schantieman...Margaret Attwood I think.


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Subject: RE: BS: suggest some great books
From: Helen
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 05:31 PM

The Handmaids Tale by....?? Margaret Atwood not Attwood, and despite what Grab said, I wouldn't agree about Atwood or Leguin having a chip on their shoulders. I count those two authors as two of my favourites.

Atwood is excellent at building a story around individual and group complexities and the vagaries of human memory. Leguin creates fantasy or sci-fi social worlds and intelligently explores the implications of these social structures and the effects on the people living within them.

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: suggest some great books
From: Helen
Date: 29 Jan 04 - 06:14 PM

I just looked up Russell Hoban's Riddley Walker suggestion and I am going to hunt it down and read it. It sounds a lot like a very enigmatic book called Engine Summer by John Crowley, which I have read a couple of times. Enjoyed the first time, savouring every word, but enjoyed even more the second time because I understood where it was heading.

Helen


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