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Thread: Best book you have read ?

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    Senior Member redzone121's Avatar
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    Best book you have read ?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Got to do a little book reading lately (not coffee or work related) for a change.
    Anyone like to share either their all time favourite or at least something they highly recommend. We have probably covered the coffee ones already.

    Ill start with one I read last year "Tuesdays with Morrie" by Mitch Albom. True story of a US sports writer who spends Tuesdays with a past college Professor as he dies.
    Cherry subject ;D

    It was quite something, anyway your turn ;)

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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    You can try some books from Micheal Crichton. Most of his books are thrillers and best sellers. At the moment im reading one called "Next" which is also by him. :)

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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    If you like crime, I highly recommend anything by Peter Temple. Currently reading his latest, "Truth", but "Broken Shore" is probably his best.

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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    gah, ive got too many to list.
    "Affluenza" is my vote for something that ought to be mandatory reading.

    Just personal taste, but I love sci-fi. Dune rocks my world, and a recent opshop find called Factoring Humanity had this quote in it (roughly, my memorys sucky): "Science Fiction is the greatest mind-expanding drug." And it was a good read too, left me feeling rather sunny. Robert J. Sawyer if youre interested.

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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    "All The Kings Men" by Gordon Stevens, based around the premise that the Germans were actually successful in invading Britain. Tells the story of the British Resistance. A good yarn.

    Also "Kennedys Ghost" by the same author.

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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    I thoroughly enjoyed and lost myself in the Life of Pi by Jan Martel, had no idea what was real and what was conjured up to hide what was happening to him!! Some people hated it - I loved it and smiled when it was all over at the irony.

    Also enjoyed White Tiger - irony and tongue in cheek - very clever!

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    Senior Member GregJW's Avatar
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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    Yeah, loved Life of Pi.

    My favourite (lately) is "An Equal Music" by Vikram Seth. IMHO a beautifully written story of a classical violinists struggles with life, love and his music. Loved how he brought the music to life on the pages of his book.


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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    Im with Mel - Im a huge sci-fi fan too.

    Some of my favourites (theres too many to pinpoint just one!)

    * The Foundation Series - Isaac Asimov

    * Eon - Greg Bear

    * Jennie - Paul Gallico: A book I read as a child and have read many times since about a young boy that is transformed into a cat and spends some time with another female cat learning the ways of the cat world in the slums of London. Its sounds simplistic but is a truly beautiful and sad book.

    * Anything by Matthew Reilly - pulp fiction, I know, but oh so readable!

    * Anything by Dan Brown - see above.

    Cheers
    Di


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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    Oooh Ive read some greg bear in collections of short stories, will have to track that one down di!

    Might have to check out that alternative history stuff mad pierre is on about too. I dont mind a little "what if?" action in my reading.

    Great topic, btw.

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    Senior Member Pavoniboy's Avatar
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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne with illustrations by E.H. Shepard. Still a classic for me. And, yes I am serious :)

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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    The best book Ive ever read? I couldnt even begin to list all the hundreds if not thousands of books that are at the head of that list. Theres far too many of them abiding in that fuzzy cloud in my mind labeled best book. I enjoy and regularly ready pretty much every genre except for one. Bodice Rippers. Blech! I do however have a genre that easily qualifies as my favorite. It was my first love and what got me hooked on reading all those years ago and remains my favorite to this day. Science Fiction! :)

    While I dont have a best book per se I can easily tell you the books that have stuck out in my mind ever since I first read then as a lad 40 or so years ago. Stranger in a Strange Land (Do you grok?), The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (Gotta love being at the top of a deep gravity well!) and Starship Troopers (Power suit anyone?). All by Robert Heinlein. Ive always admired how he writes on multiple levels. One that entertains and another that makes you question/think about some aspect of society.

    I am currently working my way through the several boxes of Sci-Fi books that a friend gave me. They were his fathers collection and are mainly from the late 40s through the 60s with a smattering outside of that range. Surprisingly and very pleasingly they contain quite a few books that are new to me. So not only do I get to revisit some old friends I get to read a bunch of new books and make some new friends as well! I am having great fun and enjoyment reading through them. When finished they will join the thousands of other books in my library.


    Java "Beam me up Scotty!" phile

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    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    Sci-Fi for me too. Ive been an addict of this for almost 50 years, and like Javaphile, I have many, many favourites.

    Some specific recommendations are John Brunners series that contains Stand on Zanzibar and The Sheep Look Up, and the "Ender" series by Orson Scott Card.

    Greg


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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    Greg

    They arent my all time favorites but they are way up there. "Stand on Zanzibar" is awesome, as is the ender series. I have a soft spot for "Songmaster" also by Orson Scott Card.

    I tend to like a mix of genres, and select the book (and the music) to match my mood - sometimes to alter my mood.

    Phil

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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    Quote Originally Posted by 7068696C5F5F000 link=1264408206/12#12 date=1264471119
    as is the ender series
    +1

    Enders Game is one of the best

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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    I enjoy reading non fiction especially autobiographys/biographys and a good one that comes to mind is "Midnight Express" by William Hayes who was sent to a turkish prison for trying to courier drugs out of the country. This one was made into a movie a long time ago, cant remember when. A riveting read and hard to put down.

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    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    Quote Originally Posted by 013423217277460 link=1264408206/14#14 date=1264498146
    This one was made into a movie a long time ago, cant remember when.
    1978
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077928/

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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    Thanks for that link TG. wow 1978 that long ago.

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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    Read this one many years ago and still rate it very highly..... 8-)

    "The Sudden Sky" - B. Michelaard

    If youre not into epic "seat of the pants" stories from a pilots perspective, then this might not be for you....

    Mal.

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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    My current books is very good......Slave Species of God by Michael Tellinger and the other I am read Emerging Viruses by Dr Horowitz.....can list many many more but will probably bore you to death..:)

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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    My fav book is Marching Powder by Rusty Young. True story written by an Aussie about an Englishman (Thomas McFadden), convicted of drug trafficking in Bolivia, who ran tours inside the jail. The tours were even listed in Lonely Planet. The author bribed the guards to let him share a cell with McFadden for 3 months to write the book.

    I just read on Wiki that it will be made into a movie this year by Brad Pitts production company - will be keeping an eye out for that one!

    Interesting read...

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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    "Best" book is a big call...but fairly recently "Shantaram" by Australian author Gregory David Roberts is a real page turner. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shantaram_(novel)
    Optioned by Johnny Depp, hopefully will see the light of day as a feature at your local cinema.

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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    Ill book my seat at the SCi-Fi anomous meeting too ;)

    Again, there are so many good books but the one that has left the biggest impression on me was a non-fiction book, "Cosmos" by Karl Sagan. He writes with such hope and joy at what humans have done and intended to do. Apparently he did a TV series based on the book but I have never seen it :(

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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    Quote Originally Posted by 09392E3C262A254B0 link=1264408206/21#21 date=1266972953
    Ill book my seat at the SCi-Fi anomous meeting too ;)

    Again, there are so many good books but the one that has left the biggest impression on me was a non-fiction book, "Cosmos" by Karl Sagan. He writes with such hope and joy at what humans have done and intended to do. Apparently he did a TV series based on the book but I have never seen it :(
    Yep, loved that one too and actually had the entire TV Series on Beta Tape then our Beta VCR packed it in. Still have the tapes some where, probably buried under a lifetimes accumulation of stored goods that we dont have room in the house for any longer :(

    Mal.

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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    My favourite book EVER is "House of leaves" by Mark Danielewski. You can;t buy it in Aus for some reason, and it has a huge cult following on some internet forums...

    I would try and describe it... but its almost impossible. Basically a house with dimensions in it that should not be there, to say the extreme least.

    READ IT.

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    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    Quote Originally Posted by 734354465C505F310 link=1264408206/21#21 date=1266972953
    Again, there are so many good books but the one that has left the biggest impression on me was a non-fiction book, "Cosmos" by Karl Sagan. He writes with such hope and joy at what humans have done and intended to do. Apparently he did a TV series based on the book but I have never seen it
    http://www.hulu.com/cosmos


    Java "Enjoy!" phile

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    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    When I was lots younger (somewhat more than 40 years younger) I really enjoyed the SF novel Rite of Passage by Alexei Panshin. Bits of it still stick with me today.

    Greg

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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    Quote Originally Posted by 715A4D5A4B5352575E3B0 link=1264408206/24#24 date=1267301431
    http://www.hulu.com/cosmos


    Java "Enjoy!" phile
    Thank You!! :) ;)

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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2B0017001109080D04610 link=1264408206/24#24 date=1267301431
    Quote Originally Posted by 734354465C505F310 link=1264408206/21#21 date=1266972953
    Again, there are so many good books but the one that has left the biggest impression on me was a non-fiction book, "Cosmos" by Karl Sagan. He writes with such hope and joy at what humans have done and intended to do. Apparently he did a TV series based on the book but I have never seen it *
    http://www.hulu.com/cosmos


    Java "Enjoy!" phile
    Was interested but vids look like they can only be streamed within the USA

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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    Quote Originally Posted by 29323B2D2E235A0 link=1264408206/27#27 date=1267573421
    Quote Originally Posted by 2B0017001109080D04610 link=1264408206/24#24 date=1267301431
    Quote Originally Posted by 734354465C505F310 link=1264408206/21#21 date=1266972953
    Again, there are so many good books but the one that has left the biggest impression on me was a non-fiction book, "Cosmos" by Karl Sagan. He writes with such hope and joy at what humans have done and intended to do. Apparently he did a TV series based on the book but I have never seen it *
    http://www.hulu.com/cosmos


    Java "Enjoy!" phile
    Was interested but vids look like they can only be streamed within the USA
    Yep, buggar........Java "crazy USA" phile ;D

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    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    A quick search of bittorrent sites revealed various copies of Cosmos--not that I recommend possibly illegal downloading of such.

    Greg

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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    Quote Originally Posted by 4F45504747485C5A290 link=1264408206/2#2 date=1264417237
    If you like crime, I highly recommend anything by Peter Temple. Currently reading his latest, "Truth", but "Broken Shore" is probably his best.
    Im also currently reading Truth and agree with the above, although Im just interested in his writing and not in crime as a genre. *I actually think that the first 2/3 of The Broken Shore is THE great Australian novel (far better than anything Tim Winton has written). *

    Unfortunately I felt it fell apart towards the end where it focused on solving the crime (which was very predicable) rather than the characters and sense of place that is so strong in the early part of the book.

    SF wise I really enjoyed Pattern Recognition by William Gibson a few years ago.

    In terms of all time favourites, I’d probably say ‘The Outsider’ by Albert Camus. *

    It’s interesting that (at least my) reactions to books seem to be influenced by my life and situation/circumstances at the time. *

    For many years I would have said my two favourite books were ‘Foucault’s Pendulum’ by Umberto Eco and ‘Amercian Psycho’ by Bret Easton Ellis. *However when I re-read them ten or so years later I was somewhat disappointed as neither had the resonance or impact of my initial reaction to them. *

    I like Eco’s ‘Name of the Rose’ as well (which is kind of a crime book).



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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    Quote Originally Posted by 794B49445F79260 link=1264408206/30#30 date=1268183888
    Unfortunately I felt it fell apart towards the end where it focused on solving the crime (which was very predicable) rather than the characters and sense of place that is so strong in the early part of the book.
    Yes, unfortunately he has a tendency to do that in several of his books: the somewhat predictable conclusion or the fortunate escape. Having read/heard some of his interviews, he admits finding it hard to finish. He is second to none on story and character development and has been justifiably awarded. Search abc.net.au for transcripts and podcasts.

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    Senior Member speleomike's Avatar
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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    Hi all

    For Sci-Fi I cant go past the classics by H.G. Wells; The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man, The Island of Dr Moreau and many others. Wells also wrote many sociological & political novels. Also Jules Verne (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea & Journey to the Centre of the Earth), Olaf Stapelton (First and Last Men and Last Men in London) Mary Shellys Frankenstein, and Bram Stokers Dracula.

    Some I read a long time ago that I remember;
    G. Viereck (My First Two Thousand Years), C.S. Lewis (Out of the Silent Planet, Voyage to Perelandra, That Hideous Strength), William Golding (The Inheritors). And add Oscar Wilde.

    For poetry I really like Edgar Allan Poe (The Raven) .

    Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
    Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore-
    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
    As of someone gently rapping, rapping, at my chamber door,
    " Tis some visitor, I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door-
    Only this and nothing more.

    Mike

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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    I love Dan Browns books, especially Angels and Demons. Perfect with cup after cup of coffee while trying to finish a book in one single night.

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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    Woohoo! Sci-fi/fantasy anonymous indeed! This is great ^^

    For alternative history stuff, The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick is good read. Discworld books by Terry Pratchett is a cracker of a series. So many books, so little time! Naked Lunch by Williams S Burroughs, Travels in Hyperreality, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson, just to name a few :)


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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    Anybody here ever read "The Kite Flyer" and "A Hundred Splendid Things"? I forgot the authors name (not American), but I heard its really nice.

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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    Am currently reading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, and enjoying it so far. Planning on heading o/s for a while and will have a good reading list while Im away. Couple of Dawkins books (God Delusion, Greatest Show on Earth, Blind Watchmaker and Selfish Gene), Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdi, and Catcher in the Rye.

    One of my more enjoyable reads was "Surely youre joking Mr Feynman", an autobiographical book of Richard Feynman (my favourite physicist). Enjoyed a Brief history of Time, Schrodingers Kittens and The Case of the Missing Neutrino, all on physics.

    Also have Heston Blumenthals "The Fat Duck Cookbook", which has a good bit of history about the science of food and his journey.

    My wife absolutely loves the Millenium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo etc.), and it sounds pretty good by all accounts.

  38. #38
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    Quote Originally Posted by 747F65772821100 link=1264408206/36#36 date=1272544634
    Am currently reading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
    Ive read Ayn Rands Fountainhead which I thoroughly enjoyed. A pity about the movie though.

    Im currently on the second book of the Millenium trilogy and Larsson deserved all the accolades he has received. Saw the Dragon Tattoo movie last weekend and very much enjoyed that. Theres a Hollywood version planned but Im worried they are going to make a meal of it.

    I also recommend just about any book by Bill Bryson. Get hold of "A Short History of Nearly Everything" - science explained more in laymans terms but still great reading

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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    For my 0.02AUDs worth, Alistair Reynolds is a fabulous author in the SF genre. Prolific with the big epic - e.g. Century Rain - but also writes brilliant short stories, epitomised by "Zima Blue" and "Minlas Flowers".

    Pulitzer winning (non SF) Michael Chabons "Gentlemen of the Road" is great too. Heard it first as a talking book, to keep me awake on a drive to/from Albury - roadside "coffee" stops were very unsatisfactory for this purpose - but then re-read it in the traditional way.

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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    anything by chuck palahniuk is worth reading

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    Senior Member redzone121's Avatar
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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5E535F525F695B360 link=1264408206/35#35 date=1272527645
    Anybody here ever read "The Kite Flyer" and "A Hundred Splendid Things"? I forgot the authors name (not American), but I heard its really nice. *
    Both worth a read IMO, recently read also and recommend "A fine Balance" and both "Pillars of the earth" and sequel "World without end" same story different characters but I enjoyed both.
    "We need to talk about Kevin" is out there but worth a read.
    And I agree anything by "Bill Bryson" will bring a smile to your face.

    Chris

    ps: Its "A hundred splendid Suns"

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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    Quote Originally Posted by 796E6F7164656E3A393A0B0 link=1264408206/40#40 date=1273386595

    ps: Its "A hundred splendid Suns"
    Oops, thanks for correcting that. ;)

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    Re: Best book you have read ?

    Id have to say Life of Pi by Yann Martel. Its quite a different book from many others, but its one of few books I actually read twice :)

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    Always come back to Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky the harrowing poverty and relentless spiral to murder is so absorbing, on (not much) lighter note thoroughly enjoyed the millennium triology and am currently reading Jo Nesbo
    greengarden likes this.

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    Thread revival jonster :-)

    Personally*hated* "life of pi" with a passion. Enjoyed the first half (boy/tiger/boat), then it got more hallucinogenic, then the ending felt like a cheap trick with a heavy dose of religion thrown in, certainly didn't make me want to believe in god, which was the promise at the outset. Blurrgh.

    I like Tom Robbins, "Skinny legs and all", or "fierce invalids home from hot climates" are good examples.

  46. #46
    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    For me... Jonathon Franzen's The Corrections would have to be it.

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    Junior Member greengarden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonster View Post
    Always come back to Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky the harrowing poverty and relentless spiral to murder is so absorbing....
    I'm reading this (again) currently, love it.

    One book sticks in my mind, but it's one I will never ever re-read - 'Enemy Combatant' by Moazzam Begg.

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    Have to agree on the millenium trilogy...absolutely absorbing, causing a problem when trying to find an equally absorbing read afterwards.
    Settled on some of the "Wire in the Blood" / "Fever in the Bone" books...the forever relentless spiral to murder.....

  49. #49
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    'The Idiot' by Dostoevsky for me. Followed by Jude the Obscure. Quite enjoyed the Milliennium Trilogy. I would rate Proust, but not on a per-word basis.

  50. #50
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Ah, so many great books...so little time. Unjust to single one out, so the one I mention may not be the best but is one that readily comes to mind as it is fairly recent in memory.

    I am a bit of a film buff--refuse to say movies--and the moguls who ran the studios during the golden era of Hollywood up to the 1940s absolutely fascinate me.

    They were primarily Jewish immigrants from Europe, very often from poverty-striken families, but visionaries when it came to seeing the future of mass entertainment.

    They were eccentric pioneers.

    Among them was Samuel Goldwyn, or Shmuel Gelbfisz, who as a teenager walked across Poland in the late 1800s, and caught a ship to America, arriving penniless.

    His name, of course, is the G in MGM, an amalgamation of smaller studios, Metro, Goldwyn and Mayer.

    From a worker in a glove factory, to tyrranical movie mogul who dined with presidents, his story is told in the biography,* Goldwyn, by Scott Berg.

    Unforgettable. Inspirational.



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