The book club

  • Creator
    Topic
  • #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 - 201 through 225 (of 231 total)
  • Author
    Replies
  • #155716 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    Glad you liked the Bookman series. Overwhelmingly bookish. Virtually every major character from Victorian fiction you can think of finds his  or her way in there somewhere. Particularly fond of Ms Adler and the delightfully eccentric Havisham. And just who is Smith based on?

    Know what you mean about having to Google Street View stuff in B&M. I know some of them from personal experience of London. The underground stuff at Smithfield is intriguing. Used to park in the great subterranean spiral entrance when working at the Mirror. Weirdly old. Also, can’t remember if he has used the Necropolis Railway. This is also a fascinating thing with its original entrance, complete with Necropolis stone lettering, under a Waterloo railway bridge. At least it was there a few years ago. Might be “redeveloped” now, sadly.

    Still yomping through the Beaufort Scales series and enjoying enormously. 🐉

    #155826 Reply
    Georgie

    I wondered the same thing.  Smith and The Village obviously have a definite The Prisoner feel, but that was a TV original, of course, and not based on a book.

    Maybe he was an original character like Orphan was?

    #155885 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    Yup. Maybe he was original like Orphan. Only “Smith” coming to mind is the one from Matrix who would be wholly inappropriate. Others that came to mind were Hannay and/or Sexton Blake but the character is too far away and he would have used their own names.

    #156095 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    Decided to take a rest from Cosy Dragons. Now on Dresden book Summer Knight. Promising. Good (or rather Bad) Queen Mab is an engaging character. Like the variety of wizards too.

    #156503 Reply
    Georgie

    Dipping in and out of current B&M, but the fact that I can’t even remember the title suggests the effect of current medication.  Did manage to do a bit of light laundry this morning, though, and will be making Coronation chicken sandwiches for lunch.

    Discovered the original ‘Tomorrow People’ on the interwebs this morning, so might give those a look later on.  I have also just been reading about the Roman subjugation of Anglesey, so the morning has not been completely wasted.

    #156552 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    Sorry you’re a bit crock, Georgie. {{{😒}}} It’ll get better. Talking of Roman occupations et al, do you know of Tales of Verres by Ovid, recounting the murderous governership of Sicily? Or, indeed, the “Sicilian Vespers” revolt in medieval times?

    #156594 Reply
    Georgie

    Oh, yes.  Verres was a thoroughly charming bloke.  First employed by a megalomaniac (Gaius Marius, Uncle to Julius Caesar, who rose to supreme power and, through threats of violence from slavishly loyal military, got himself re-elected as Consul SEVEN times, when the Law was that you could only be Consul once), he chummed up to anyone corrupt and powerful and looted and double-crossed his way to the top.

    I believe the Prosecution of Verres was the first time Cicero acted on behalf of the Prosecution.  (I have a soft spot for Cicero – he once wrote “A room without books is as a body without a soul”, so how could I not?)

    I haven’t read about the Sicilian Vespers, though.  My bad.  Medieval is interesting, or course, but I’m mostly Greek mythology and Roman History – End of the Republic (Marius again) to . . . the end of the Flavian Dynasty, I suppose.

    <whispers quietly> But the only reason I was reading about the Quelling of the Druids on Mona was because I’d just been watching Merlin, and it made me wonder how the druids in the show might have survived the Roman purge. 🙂

     

    #156604 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    Tales of Verres was what they gave us to study after withdrawing the whole lot of us from the ‘O’ level. Gods! If only we’d had Ovid’s work instead of Caesar’s bloody Wars we might have got interested enough to actually enjoy Latin.

    The Sicilian Vespers is definitely worth a look in a spare moment. Historically not terribly important or significant (aside from , arguably, marking the start of the Mafia). But it is just a cracking , ripping yarn.

    #156627 Reply
    Georgie

    I can’t even remember what we had to read for Latin ‘O’ level, in which I ultimately scored a magnificent 49% – and then forget everything I had learned through subsequent lack of use, other than amo, amas, amat . . .  We actually had a good Latin teacher, too.  Did you have to translate from English into Latin as well as Latin to English?  Or was that just us?

    🙁

    #156633 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    NO, not just you, Georgie. English to Latin not easy. Great pity we only had less than a year of enjoyable Latin (Verres et al). Would love to have done more. When using European languages I find even my less-than-basic knowledge quite helpful. Mrs T and I used to drive slowly down to Spain for hols. Going through France, Italy (a bit), Spain, even Switzerland. Conversing with locals and other foreign visitors, we ended up using a bastardised mixture of Spanish (me), Austrian (her), French, Italian – all strung together with curious bits of Latin. By the end of it, we would find it affecting our English, so that at the end of the sentence the verb we would put!

    #156641 Reply
    Georgie

    My sister had that problem coming back from a 6 week Geology Field Trip around France, Germany and Switzerland (they tried going to Liechtenstein but, being a Sunday, it was closed).  When her group were on the ferry back to Blighty none of them could remember the English word for ‘milk’.  They just sat there saying “What the hell is English for ‘milk'” – in English.

    Additional: for fans of London’s peculiar secrets, I found this in the Guardian and it is totally Bryant and May-esque:

    https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2021/jun/29/inventive-vents-london-flues-grilles-our-hut

    Don’t forget to follow the hot links in the article, either. 🙂

    #156642 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    Brilliant link. Will go look properly when I can! Necropolis railway 2nd class entry now sadly gone. Was there when I was a kid in 50s/60s. Had trouble loading pic. However, the 1st Class entry still exists but lacks the wonderful “Necropolis Railway” sign from the other one:

    #156671 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    Just finished Summer Knight from the Dresden series. Entertaining as ever. But I wish he would not crowd his tales with so many characters, some of whom are very similar. I mean, two ex-girlfriends (both troubled and/or dead), six Faerie Queens plus a Godmother, Gods know how many Faerie warriors etc. It feels like he’s done the book in a screaming hurry and did not have a decent editor. Still fun though.

    Gone back to cosy mysteries with Dragons, part 4. Still utterly bonkers!

    #156678 Reply
    Georgie

    Well that’s a weird coincidence (or, more likely, the result of spending too much time in the company of Mister Bryant), but only three or four days ago I was Google-mapping Brookwood cemetery and wondering if I might take a drive over, but from what I can see not much can be seen from the road other than the walls.  I can’t really go and park and take a stroll around, which I would love to do, being a bit of a fan of old cemeteries and graveyards.  It led to reading about the ‘Magnificent Seven’ new cemeteries for the London dead and, by extension, the Necropolis Railway.

    You can still follow the route of the branch line down from the main railway station (now called Chapel Avenue) to Cemetery North station (demolished) and across the road, parallel to Cyprians Avenue, to Cemetery South station – where the St Edward Brotherhood Church and Monastery now are, but the buildings don’t look station-like, so I think that station has also been demolished.

    #156682 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    I find the whole Necropolis Railway just fascinating, not least since, as a kid, the bus to Westminster took me past it regularly. Never been to the cemetery but did at last manage to engineer a snap of the old frontage, was just under the mainline, westbound bridge over Westminster Bridge Rd…

    #156996 Reply
    Georgie

    121 Westminster Bridge Rd – perhaps, one day, the PCU will move there after Bryant manages to blows up their most recent place of work.  That would be perfect. 🙂

    #157002 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    Brilliant idea. I had seen them, perhaps, moving to Wapping police station(if it still has a pier) or maybe re-starting the old Charing Cross nick which was on a pier under Waterloo bridge. (“Only floating police station in the world” commentary on Golden Spray II pleasure launch 50s/60s). The old Necropolis station would be better though. Just think of its effect on Maggie Armitage with all her witchiness!

    #157067 Reply
    Georgie

    When I was a wee lass on holiday en famille I saw a comedian who said his ambition was to perform at the End of the Pier Show in Wigan.  It was years before I got the joke.

    #158185 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    Finally finished everything in the Beaufort Scales “Midsomer with dragons” series. Most enjoyable; bonkers fun. Starting Blood Rites from the Dresden series. Feel I am going to like the puppy; hope Dresden keeps the wee chap.

    Have you heard of the Invisible Library series by  Genevieve Cogman? Sounds right up your street, and mine! Do tell, when you get a chance.

    #158198 Reply
    Georgie

    To be honest I haven’t read the  Dresden Files for a few years now and I’ve forgotten most of the details, but I do recall Drenden’s puppy being a dear little thing.  Yet another series I need to catch up with – I’ve only got them as far as  . . . hang on a minute . . . Changes.  Also need to catch up with No.1 Detective Agency, Jasper Fforde, Stephen King . . .   Still got Shogun to read again, too!

    Not encountered Beaufort Scales or Invisible Library yet.  Dare not start a new series – still working through Bryant & May and not even started on the Gervase Fen series yet.  🙂

    #158417 Reply
    struth
    Participant

    I use these day mostly audio books, especially in car(off my phone) and currently on flashman and the redskins.   Although not politically correct these days, i dont care as they were set in victorian times and thus are fair game.

    But i have a lot of audio books(from audible) and enjoy them.

    #158486 Reply
    Georgie

    DH usually listens to his stuff on audio, too.  Usually Stephen Fry autobio, Bill Bryson, and the seemingly endless The Cryptonomicon.

    I’ve got lots of lovely non-PC books knocking around from my childhood, and before.  Anything written by Evil Blyter and Elinor M. Brent-Dyer, in particular.

    #158556 Reply
    Tharg
    Participant

    Haven’t tried the audio book thing myself.  But know  plenty who have and like ’em very much. There’s something really personal in having a book read for you. Did it when we read Lord of the Rings to the kids. Both readers and listeners had a great time.

    If you want to try some really outstanding non-PC works then take a look at John Buchan and Edgar Wallace. The latter’s Four Just Men is outstanding in the genre with heroes who actually murder an MP!

    #158561 Reply
    struth
    Participant

    Haven’t tried the audio book thing myself. But know plenty who have and like ’em very much. There’s something really personal in having a book read for you. Did it when we read Lord of the Rings to the kids. Both readers and listeners had a great time. If you want to try some really outstanding non-PC works then take a look at John Buchan and Edgar Wallace. The latter’s Four Just Men is outstanding in the genre with heroes who actually murder an MP!

     

    think i might have that book. john buchan stuff is usually good too

    #158663 Reply
    Georgie

    Finished The Burning Man.  That was a really good one – though it took me a while to twig what the title was really referring to.  It will be interesting to see what the future holds.  Next batch of 3 arrive tomorrow.

    Started The Gilded Fly last night and it’s a bit of a mental adjustment going from the ones style to the other.  The main problem is that whenever there’s one of those ‘Character ‘A’ eventually drifted off to sleep, truly believing that all would be well from now on.  Little did he suspect that, by the middle of the following afternoon, six people and an elephant would have been murdered in the most brutal of circumstances . . . ‘ chapter endings I hear it in my head in the voice of Charles Gray, who played The Criminologist in the Rocky Horror film.  🙂

Viewing 25 replies - 201 through 225 (of 231 total)
Reply To: Reply #144376 in The book club
Your information: