The book club

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  • #138834 Reply
    Brydo

    I must admit I am not a big reader of books but it’s clear that some on the forum are.

    I could of course be tempted and no better time than now when we have very little to do.

    So I thought it would be interesting to hear from members their recommendations.

Viewing 25 replies - 51 through 75 (of 195 total)
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  • #142346 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    Winter’s Tale continues to intrigue and grip me. His pastiche/parody of the newspapers is so bitingly true. The Whale’s editor/publisher (Binky?) is just SO Maxwell. Now, non-journo readers might find the parody of the man (and the newspapers) as over the top. They most certainly are not. Damn close to the truth, particularly in Binky’s psychopathic unreality. Pure Cap’n Bob.

    Have found my Martian Chronicles. May be tempted to read one or two of them just to stop WT taking control of my mind!

    #142444 Reply
    Georgie

    “May be tempted to read one or two of them just to stop WT taking control of my mind!”

    Ah, but what a lovely way to go. 🙂

    Finished WT on Saturday night – up ’till past midnight, but toward the end I can never leave it until it’s over.

    Started The White Corridor last night.  Took delivery of B&M books 7,8 & 9 on Saturday, with the latest Flavia Albia A Comedy of Terrors due on April 1st and The Bookman Histories due at some point April 1st – 14th.

    I really do recommend Lindsey Davis’ Falco and Flavia Albia (Roman detective) series – they are well researched and well written as well as being funny, sometimes moving and always exciting.

    #142551 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    Ave, Georgia. Thanks for the Roman detective tip. Sounds excellent, particularly with the element of humour included. Totally missing from so much work these days. Will order as soon  as. Probably have to do the Kindle thing as we are drowning in books at present!

    #142565 Reply
    Georgie

    ” . . . we are drowning in books at present!”

    I know what you mean.   I can’t wait for the British Heart Foundation to start collecting books from their collection points again – I’ve got at least 3 carrier bags worth of books to donate as it is.

    #142569 Reply
    Georgie

    Oh, and while considering what could possibly follow WT I thought of another ‘recommendation’ last night – the Titus Groan trilogy (Gormenghast, Titus Groan and Titus Alone).  BBC also did a brilliant, brilliant, brilliant adaptation of the first two as a four parter in 2000 (twenty-one years ago!  Crikey!), which is available on DVD.

     

    #142574 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    Three carrier bags? Eeee, you were lucky. We’ve got three or four bin liners and nowhere to take ’em. Read the Titus Groan decades ago. Fancied doing them again and snapped up a full set in a charity shop early last year – when we were allowed to go into those Alladin’s caves!

    #142597 Reply
    Georgie

    I was lucky enough to donate a load right up to the start of 1st Lock-down.

    I bought a T-shirt with ” There’s no such thing as ‘Too many books’ ” on the front last year.  I might have been wrong . . .

    #142837 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    I have been to another world, and come back.  Listen to me.” to which I might add “I have seen things you humans cannot even imagine” and “I have seen a new heaven and a new Earth“. All of which means I have finished WT and am mightily impressed. It has elements of Phillip Dick, Bradbury, Catch 22 and even The Revelation of St John the Devine. Morality, fantasy, elements of metaphysical stuff too. Could go on for a long time. Won’t though. Overall, it is very like Heller’s novel – ambitious, challenging, flawed and powerfully affecting. Thank you for introducing me to it. Will need more reads to appreciate fully.

    Have started Martian Chronicles again. Have remembered that I bought my present copy a few years back intending to reread it all but only got round to a few bits. Have not read the majority for well over 50 years! Stunning to find that, impressed as I was as a teenage reader, I just missed so much. I recall the poetic forms he uses more than anything but missed the ironic, tongue-in-cheek satire and amazing ideas (a gun that fires a swarm of killer bees at you!).

    #142864 Reply
    Georgie

    I’m glad you enjoyed it!  It always leaves me feeling like I’ve emotionally over-indulged when I finish reading it – mentally saturated.

    Still working on The White Corridor, but unfortunately I’m dealing with either the side-effects of last weeks Pfizer jab, or I’ve caught a cold.  Either way I’m having trouble concentrating today . . .

     

    #142868 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    Take it easy, Georgie. Sounds very much like after-effects from jab. Much the same as we had. They do go away. Take much care {{{😷}}}

    #142935 Reply
    Georgie

    Finished The White Corridor last night.  The book seemed a bit shorter than the usual, but it had two twists at the end that I didn’t see coming, so no complaints.

    I then slept like a log and am feeling much better today – just a bit of a headache.  Meanwhile DH is buzzing around, full of beans and totally recovered (the jammy swine!).

    The Victoria Vanishes is now on the side table, as yet unopened.  This may change now that I have the afternoon back – his nibs has decided he doesn’t fancy Nasai Goreng for dinner tonight, and Porky pasta parcels in Carbonara Sauce with garlic bread is much quicker to prepare). 😀

    #142976 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    So glad you are enjoying Bryant and May. Hope that your recovery continues. The Victoria Vanishes owes a lot to the classic The Moving Toyshop by Edmund Crispin. Gervase Fen is the wonderfully named “hero”. How can you not like a chap with a name like that?

    Menu tonight is pork stroganoff (Mrs T dislikes a beef version). Needs soured cream which I thought was on today’s Sainsbury’s order but wasn’t. Goes off in search of fresh lemon to squeeze into creme ordinaire. Take care, fell better…

    #143074 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    Hi, Georgie. Hope you side effects are going off and you feel better. My copy of The Silver Pigs arrived today. Has gone to top of list to be read after I finish astonishing myself with Bradbury. More later. Right now it’s liver and bacon with mashed swede calling to be seen to in kitchen…

    #143107 Reply
    Georgie

    Still got a lousy headache, so I’ve taken the day off from reading so my focus doesn’t have to keep adjusting so much.  Other side-effects have disappeared, I’m happy to say.  3 days of mild ‘flu isn’t too bad, really.  Am currently doing Roast chicken with all the fixin’s for dinner today.  Another 20 minutes and I can put the tatties on to boil . . .

    #143110 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    Sorry you’re still feeling a bit crock, Georgie. With all this good weather and all! Have to shout “Snap” on the catering front… Roast chicken and all its bits. Chicken done in one of those terracotta “brick” thingeys. Doesn’t crisp up too much but holds flavour amazingly and is wonderfully moist. To follow we have the absolutely immoral Waitrose Espresso Torte. Consists of chocolate, cream, chocolate, some cakey stuff, oh and chocolate. In order to keep fattening her up, I may add ice cream on top, chocolate, of course!

    Take care. Enjoy your repast…

    #143165 Reply
    Georgie

    I do like the corn-fed chickens from Waitrose – the one we had delivered on Friday is big enough for Sunday Roast, a couple of rounds of Chicken Sandwiches (maybe ‘Coronation’ style, though I might just do with a bit of mayo) and a Chicken and Mushroom Curry.  If I were anything like, I’d boil the carcass for stock, but quite frankly I can’t be arsed and Oxo do it better anyway. 🙂

    Oh yes – Books!   Started making tentative stabs at TVV in one chapter sessions.  The headache is going, just very very s l o w l y . . .   

    #143170 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    Glad you’re feeling a bit better, albeit in a slow sort of way. The Waitrose chickens are good but now buy from local butcher who offers organic stuff if you want it. Whatever you get from him is really top class. Even Mrs T, who is not a terribly enthusiastic meat eater, will comment on the quality, especially of chicken. We, too, get two or three meals out of a chicken. Tonight’s cold bird will be with Spud Dauphinoise and mini green beans. If there’s any more for manana then I’ll make a rice stir-fry.

    Have just started Silver Pigs. Intrigued! Do you remember the TV series called Hazel? London smartarse PI played by Nick Ball. This is a bit like him kicked back two millennia. Interested to see if she holds it up all the way through. Promising so far. (Would love to see it in Latin – wonder if the classical language would stand up the humour; as I recall, any wit or humour in Latin classics came from the situations not playing with the language.)

    #143414 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    @Georgie OK, you got me! Have made the mental gearchange to accept a London PI working two millennia ago in Rome. Silver Pigs is a can’t-put-down. Enjoying enormously.

    #143671 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    All a bit quiet over here in Off-Topic Avenue. So, just to do something, will repeat that am really enjoying Silver Pigs. By Juno, Ms Davis has really done her homework.

    More important, very pleased to say that Madam T continues to improve, again, slowly. But today she actually managed to take Tilly-dog out for a walk. Had to keep velocity down, similarly the distance. Came back a bit knackered but with nothing broke, strained or sprained. This is a Good Thing so long as I can get her to continue to do push the envelope gradually!

    Spent p.m. slowly producing Bolognese sauce while listening to Hugh Laurie’s jazz/blues albums. Odd, eccentric and surprising. Most enjoyable. Can’t help singing along to Joshua Fit the Battle etc. a real fighting song!

    #143772 Reply
    Georgie

    Hi, Tharg!  The bad penny returns.

    Glad Mrs. T. is improving – {{{ Mrs. T.}}} – not long now and she’ll be trying out for the Olympics, ably coached, as always, by Tilly-the Wonder-Dog.

    That wretched headache has finally faded away to the point where I’m hoping to go out this afternoon – I suspect the coast will be packed so I’ll avoid that for a while, but maybe Winchester-ish (on my beloved A272) and meander back the other scenic route through the Candovers . . .

    Glad you’re liking Falco – there are 10 of those, and then the Flavia Albia series: #9 is released on Thursday, and as I pre-ordered it weeks ago my copy should arrive on Thursday, so you’ll get even less sense out of me until that’s finished. 😀

    Meatballs and Spaghetti for dinner tonight – I doubt I’ll be up to anything more complicated by then.

    Oh, Boo . . .  I forgot to do my ‘exercises’.  Better crack on or it’ll be lunchtime.

    #143774 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    Welcome back, Miz G. Glad you’re feeling at least a bit better. Just finished Silver Pigs. Brilliant – another whole new tranche of mad books to read. Have to be Kindle, I think, run out of space for print! Just started the latest Rivers of London, What Abigail Did That Summer. One of the best of the series, I think. Thaumaturgical street foxes with a smartarse line in dialogue, well, you’ve got to like it!

    Envy you the Winchester trip. Lovely part of country and the Cathedral is a brilliant place, when one can get in!

    Enjoy your meatballs-spag’. I did a new recipe last night – braised and glazed smoked loin of bacon. Dead easy (simmer 40 mins, splosh glaze on, roast for 20 mins, rest for 30 mins. Tasty and tender. New potatoes essential – when WILL the Jerseys start?

    #143801 Reply
    Georgie

    Well, Winchester was . . . interesting . . .   Instead of just pootling up St. Cross Road I got a bit ‘geographically challenged’ and went up Kingsgate Road (an ever-narrowing medieval back-lane)  and into College Street, past The Flint Fortress (Winchester College) – only to discover it was a dead-end (Bishop’s Palace ruins).  I used to go into Winch. on the bus and then explore on foot, of course.  The secret corners are idyllic on foot.  They’re a bloody nightmare in a car. 😀

    Still, I survived and didn’t hit anything, so Onward and Upward, as it were.  The Candovers were lovely, especially as the roads were quiet and I could potter along at 40 quite a lot of the time.

    #143825 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    Well, “interesting” is better than “not at all”. Visited Winchester a good few times, from holidaying in New Forest to seeing daughter who was there at Uni. Finding the city centre always a challenge. Case of spot the Cathedral and aim for it. V inconsiderate building it without a spire!

    Trying to find an excuse to pootle up to A272 and enjoy. If can’t find excuse will go anyway, I think.

    #143878 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    @Georgie Thought I’d move this bikes bit over here to avoid off-topic on a serious thing. Hope you don’t mind, so…

    “The A10 Golden Flash was a thing of beauty, as are most ‘vintage’ bikes.  Please tell me it was in gold!”

    Yup. All gold with that dead neat red cheatline. The chair was black, though. Can’t remember the make but it was all fibre-glass.

    Bike before that was an AJS 350cc single with no rear suspension or pillion. My dad made me a custom seat (leather with armrests!) on the back. It was an old dispatch-rider model from 1949. You could count the seconds between strokes but he still would it up to 80mph (following wind!)

    #143895 Reply
    Georgie

    Funny thing is I never thought of taking pictures of my bikes.  I think I’ve got one, somewhere, of me and the Suzuki in front of the Forth (rail) Bridge, but all you can see of the bike is the fairing!  (Move over, Dorothea, there’s a new girl in town . . . )

    I did visit the Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum at Highcliffe back in the day, but it’s not exactly wheelchair friendly: the whole first floor is stairs only and totally inaccessible for wheelies or walkers – though they do provide a list of all the bikes up there that we can’t see, including a 1920 Ladies Velocette much like the one my great aunt used to ride before WWI.  Which is a bit strange to me considering Mr. Miller is, according to Wiki, a Patron of the National Association for Bikers with a Disability.  Still, it’s a nice day out and there’s Tea Shop and everything, now.

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