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BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.

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Rick Fielding 20 Jul 03 - 11:04 AM
Tweed 20 Jul 03 - 11:32 AM
GUEST,Boab D 20 Jul 03 - 11:36 AM
Morticia 20 Jul 03 - 11:37 AM
Amos 20 Jul 03 - 11:46 AM
Shelley C 20 Jul 03 - 11:47 AM
Candyman(inactive) 20 Jul 03 - 11:51 AM
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Billy the Bus 20 Jul 03 - 12:14 PM
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Subject: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 11:04 AM

Peter's "influential book thread has been very entertaining but I want to ask a different question.

Since I have to do a lot of 'hospital waiting' these days and am often in some discomfort (chemo ain't fun) I'm really reading up a storm, but I'm falling back on stuff I read ten and twenty years ago. I need new books (just new to me)

What I'd really appreciate is if folks would put down the absolute most exciting "can't put down", "waste a day and don't even know it" books they've read.

Doesn't need to be great literature, can be non-fiction, can be horror, just as long as it's RIVETING!!!

Cheers and thanks

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Tweed
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 11:32 AM

Try Peter Freuchen's "Adventures in the Arctic" Rick. I don't know if it's still in print but it's a good one where you will be carried off to Greenland in the twenties and thirties with the one-legged Danish explorer. He was a pretty funny man and makes crossing the ice cap sound like a party. It's true story, or at least as true as the old pirate could make it to be.
I'm with you on giving the old books a re-read.
Yerz,
Tweed


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: GUEST,Boab D
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 11:36 AM

Hello Rick hope the chemo's going well.
You may laugh at this but here is a couple of really good books that I would say are really good
Kane and Able Jeffery Archer Ok laugh but it is really a good book and well woth the effort.

I've also reciently discovered the writer Jeffery Deaver, the books he has done are entertaining and always have more twists than a bag of spiral pasta. Any of the Lincon Rhyme ones I'd thouroghly recommend.

Maybe Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh but it s a wee bit difficult to understand if you cant get into the Scottish Edinburghonian dialect in the written form.

And if you fancy all the Harry Potter books one after the other and youll be hooked like I was. Being a former medic in the army I laughed at my doctor for reading them and he recommended them to me. Not till about 2 years later once I had left(couldnt be seen to be reading kids books you know) I took them up and they were brilliant light and heavy reading.

Hope that you try some of these as they are all worth the time
Dylan


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Morticia
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 11:37 AM

Red Dragon by Thomas Harris....author of Silence of the Lambs but it's a much better book, IMO....I got so wrapped up in it that WW3 could have happened outside my front door, I wouldn't have noticed. Still thinking of you, Rick and Heather....hang on in there.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Amos
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 11:46 AM

Rick:

Any of Robert Heinlein's stuff hit me that way -- I was a bit younger then, though.
And I am not ashamed that I just love tearing through the latest Dirk Pitt adventure from Clive Cussler.

The Fountainhead struck me that way as well.

Recently I have been hit that way by Amy Tang's novels and by Barbara Kingsolver's work.



A


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Shelley C
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 11:47 AM

Anything by Robert Goddard. Intruiging plots, not too trashy, just a 'good read'.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Candyman(inactive)
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 11:51 AM

It goes back a while, but my favorite novel, and one that I never get tired of rereading is John Kennedy Toole's "A Confederacy of Dunces."


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Rapparee
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 11:56 AM

Dana Stabenow's Kate Shugak series. Mysteries, they're called, but with a twist. Kate's an Aleut living on her homestead in Alaska; a former investigator for the Anchorage DA's office until she was nearly killed.
'most any of them, except "Hunter's Moon," which dark, very dark, but like all, extremely well written.

If you're doing chemo, try to avoid "Breakup," since you'll laugh so hard that your IVs'll come out. It starts on an ordineary day for Kate, during Breakup, when an engine from a passing 747 falls on her homestead....

Then read "Blood Will Tell," if for no other reason than a) what Kate does to Jane, b) what Emaa does to Kate, c) what Jack does to Kate in Nordstrom's, and d) what Mutt does to a couple of baddies. There's also a mention of the "Whale Fat Follies," something you really should attend whenever you're in Anchorage (Fly By Night Club).

By the way, Dana (and Kate) are great fans of shanties....


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Gern
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 12:07 PM

Hunter Thompson works for me--I agree with "Confederacy of Dunces" as well. Good travel writers like Peter Mathiessen and Jonathan Rabin can consume entire weekends for me. I'm reading Thurston Clarke's "Equator" right now, and enjoying the ride. Musical biographies also wrap me up for days at a time: Time White's "Catch a Fire" about Bob Marley, Bergren's "Louis Armstrong: An Extravegant Life," Ian Carr's "Miles Davis", even "Ladies and Gentlemen, Lennie Bruce." And, embarassingly enough, good sports writers like Roger Angell and Roger Kahn's "Boys of Summer." You could lose yourself for a few minutes with "Legends of the Toronto Blue Jays." Good luck and happy reading!


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 12:14 PM

Hi Rick,

For a real Riveting book, try The Complete Modern Blacksmith by Alexander G Weygers - it teaches you to make your own rivets, as well as stone and woodcarving tools etc. .... ;^)

Tweed's Fruechen suggestion made me think of Farley Mowat's Never Cry Wolf, but you probably read that 30 years back.

Any of Gerald Durrell's books are a good light-hearted look at animals (and humans). From the way he described some of my Kiwi mates in Two in the Bush I now chortle even more than I did 30 years back over his characters from Corfu, Africa and South America.

Then, if you want some 'real bloke's' Italian politics, I've read Giovanni Guareschi's Don Camillo series so many times they have fallen apart.

All the above are available through Amazon.

All the best, mate - Sam


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: smallpiper
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 12:21 PM

Absolutely anything by Terry Pratchett


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 12:23 PM

When I want something to take me out for a long time, I pick up the Spike Milligan war memoirs - but be warned - they will have you laughing your IV's out! I can sit and read the first 4 back to back and you could parade Sean Connery covered in Belgian Chocolate with a cherry on top and I wouldn't notice for ever such a long time!

Another one that does it for me is one I found called 'The Floating Brothel' - a faction (factual story told in a fiction genre) book by Sian Rees. It's the story of a female prison ship bound for Sydney in the days before it was called Sydney. It's completely fascinating, and not a little depressing, but the historical detail is incredible.

Take care dear, and thinking of you.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: NicoleC
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 12:42 PM

Rick... what kind of books do you generally like? It might help target the suggestions.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: GUEST,.gaargoyle
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 12:50 PM

Read the classics. Life is too short to read all the really good stuff... so why consume stale fish and moldy pototos?

For pure entertainment value these are tops on my list, and I have read them several times:

Count of Monte Cristo (revenge ten fold)

Jean Val Jean (the 1,100 page condensed version of Les Misrables)

Hunchback of Notre Dame (what a shocker)

To Kill a Mockingbird

Huckleberry Finn

Tom Sawyer

Swiss Family Robinson

Invisable Man

Anderson's and Grimm's Fairy Tales (unabridged)

Tess of de Ubberville 0R Mayor of Castlebridge

The Arabian Nights

Jungle Book

Dracula

Edgar Allen Poe short stories

Don Quixote

Treasure Island

The Reivers

Oliver Twist

Grapes of Wrath / Cannery Row

(At the moment I have just finished a large collection of Kipling short-stories, also a "cancer auto-biography" written by a childhood friend ((that damns the HMO's and diagnoisis delays,)) and have begun reading Madam Bovary and Kidnapped.)

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: NicoleC
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 12:51 PM

Oh duh... now I see, you don't care about the genre.

I second the Terry Pratchet nomination. Funny, funny stuff, but light enough that it doesn't make you tired when you are sick. He's my favorite "home with the flu" author. My persoanl favorite is "Hogfather."

For socio-political commentary wrapped up in moderately sci-fi scenery but without the science part, anything by Sheri S Tepper. A good one to start with is either "The Gate to Women's Country" or "Grass."


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 12:57 PM

I absolutely agree with the recommendation of Sheri S. Tepper, but for a book that just captures you totally, read Ian McEwan's Atonement. Also good is A. S. Byatt's Possession, and although it's not a light read, Nadine Gordimer's The Pickup. But especially Atonement!


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Rapparee
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 01:00 PM

If you like humor, read Pat McManus. "How I got this way" "The Bear In The Attic" "Real Ponies Don't Go Oink" or any of his stuff. Growing up, hunting, fishing, camping, outdoors.

I sort of suspect that you won't be wanting anything toooooo serious.

I also like "One Hundred Years of Solitude" and 'most any collection of reasonably good poetry. But then, I've been known to read the covers on rolls of toilet paper, too.

Another thought is recorded books, especially if the chemo is draining your strength. A headset, a player, and Jim Dale reading Harry Potter....


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Allan C.
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 01:23 PM

This is like trying to list your favorite foods, Rick. Mine are sure to be quite different from yours. There has never ever been any book that I found so thrilling that I couldn't walk away, put it down or whatever. However, I have to agree with Garg about the classics. There is a reason they have become classics.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 01:32 PM

I second the recommendation of Kate Stabenow's books!

Anything by Tony Hillerman, Charles de Lint, and/or Elizabeth Scarborough!!! The latter two have great music stuff intertwined.

An old one called the "Spider King" by Laurence Schoonover.

"The Devil Wives of Li Fong" by E. H. Price.

Collection of ghost stories by M.R. James.

The Walking Drum by Louis L'Amour.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 01:53 PM

It's horses for courses, but here are three oddish books that you might try chasing up. None of them exactly modern.

The Evolution Man (published in 1960 as "What we did to Father"), - everyday life in a tongue in cheek version of the old stone age, written by Ernest the Ape Man, with Father discovering fire with some tricky results, an dMother inventi g cooking; and Uncle Vanya objecting to all this new-fangled nonsense, with his slogan of "Back to the Trees.

And for something completely different, The Belovéd Vagabond by William J Locke, published in 1906, all about this travelling poet and musician who nearly gets sucked into bourgeous life, but escapes back to a saner lifestyle as a peasant. I remember some Sunday paper ran a feature about "Good Bad Books" once, and this scored very high.

And a third book which some would also see as a Good Bad Book, but I personally think is good without the qualification - The Dean's Watch by Elizabeth Goudge. Published 1960.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 03:29 PM

The two best books I have read within recent years are The Sparrow and it's sequel, Children of God by Mary Doria Russell. The broad sweep of the story in these books makes them a little hard to categorize and some bookstores have had problems in deciding where to put them. Is this Science Fiction? General Literature? Religion? Philosophy? What?

Well—all of these things. The story starts when SETI picks up music from the nearby Alpha Centauri system on the Arecibo radio telescope. When they finally verify that this is actually what they're hearing, it leads to an expedition. But it's a private expedition. World governments are otherwise occupied, and they would argue for years over whether or not such an expedition would be worthwhile, how would they fund it, should this be a joint expedition and, if so, who all, etc., etc.; in short, politics as usual. So who sponsors the expedition? The Jesuits! To meet God's other children. The way Russell (who was raised Catholic, but converted to Judaism) sets this up, it's not really all that far-fetched. They horse-trade with the Japanese who are asteroid mining, and get a partially hollowed out asteroid, fit it out, and equip it with a mass-driver (Russell is a linguist, not a hard scientist, but she's had some good advice and the science is fairly sound). Anyway—the story deals with a first contact with an intelligent alien race. It starts promisingly, then goes horribly wrong despite the good intentions of all concerned, both humans and aliens. Premature assumptions, cultural differences, even subtle differences in the way certain everyday words are understood (certainly a theme that is germane these days).

The story centers mostly on Father Emilio Sandoz, the linguistics expert. Father Sandoz is very devout man, and what happens to him and because of him on this alien planet causes him to lose his faith. He wrestles mightily with God, challenging and questioning God's true nature. And upon his return to Earth, he must also wrestle with the Church because of accusations made against him and because of his reluctance to talk about what actually happened on the alien planet.

Not all of the crew of the starship are Jesuits. All of the characters, both human and alien, are well-drawn and distinct, and their interpersonal relationships are fascinating. Occasional conversational sparks fly between the Jesuits and some of the more secular members of the expedition. To say that the issues dealt with in this story are thought-provoking would be a gross understatement, and the narrative sweeps along like a story of high adventure, which, largely, it is. It is essentially complete in The Sparrow, but to get all the nuances and to fully understand happened and why it happened, it takes both books.

This is fascinating reading. It is a philosophical story encapsulated in an exciting adventure. Despite the fact that it deals with religion a great deal, it is not a religious tract. In fact, it raises hard questions, and it can really jar the complacent!

If you want a couple of books (all one story, really) that will keep you turning pages, then keep you pondering the Nature of Things for a long time after you finish it, this is it.

Highly recommended. Happy reading!!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 04:06 PM

Another Harry Potter addict here. For can't-put-it-down reading Rowling's a winner. On the other thread I mentioned the WWII personal account, With The Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa, by Eugene B. Sledge, and I recommend it here, too, because it is so absorbing. Gangs Of New York , by Herbert Asbury is not the most accurate of histories, but god, what a great read. Mouse Tales: A Behind-The-Ears Look At Disneyland, by David Koenig, is a very entertaining an informative read. He tells of the prankster culture among the employees that permeated the place until the top brass cracked down on it, and the really hilarious pranks they pulled. There are also chapters on visitor stupid questions and actions, chapterts titled "The tragic kingdom," "Lawsuit Land,"....you get the picture.

last, but along with Harry potter at the top of the list, is Anguished English, by Richard Lederer. It's been out for a long time, so maybe it's old news to you, but I hough I'd mention it on the off-chance you haven't read it. Trust me, Rick - GET THIS BOOK. It is truly laugh out loud reading, by an English teacher who collected errors from student history papers, courtroom transcripts, traffic reports and such.

Happy reading.

Best,

Chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Mudlark
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 04:19 PM

Hi Rick...Sorry for the need for real page-turners, but one into one they are great escapes. I 2nd Kingsolver (Bean Trees) and that title reminded me of The Milagro Beanfield War, by John Nichols. Also, any book by Richard Russo (Empire Falls, Straight Man, Nobody's Fool) and Michael Malone (Handling Sin, Foolscap)...both these guys are great writers, funny, good characters, and plots complex enough to hook you all the way thru to the end. All good contemporary fiction.

An oddball book but the one I would take to a desert island with me, is Riddley Walker, by Russell Hoban (Turtle Diaries). His best book, by far, it's set in a remote future in a post-nuclear holocaust England, where humanity has regressed to an iron-age,semi-literate state. It takes a little getting into as Hoban has brilliantly conceived a language, a kind of bastard English, but by the 3rd or 4th page one gets the hang of it. It's a brilliant, riveting book and not nearly as known and revered as it deserves to be. I'd be glad to send you a copy if it sounds up your alley, if you'll PM me your address.

Take it easy...


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Rustic Rebel
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 04:44 PM

Hi Rick, Hope you start to feel better soon.
My all time favorite author is Tom Robbins. If you want a funny, take a strange-trip, enlightening, contemplating, head spinning ride I recommend his books.
Another Roadside Attraction was his first. A story about kiddnapping the body of Jesus and other strange things.
Even Cowgirls get the Blues. A story of a woman with a huge thumb, so what better to do than hitchhike.
Still Life With Woodpecker. A tale about an outlaw and a princess. It also covers the contemplation of redheads and the camel cigarette pack.
Jitterbug Purfume, Skinny Legs and All, Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas, Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates and his new one that I have and am holding off reading for a while because I know it will be a few years for the next one to come out, is called Villa Incognito (I actually don't know if I can wait much longer to read it!)
Hope you get a chance to read some of his stuff and actually I hope you already have.
Peace and good health to you, Rustic
I would like also to add another favorite of mine from Edward Abbey- The Monkey Wrench Gang. Sure to please and hard to put down.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: fat B****rd
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 05:17 PM

Hello, Rick. My three year old grandson picked "Vagabond" by Bernard Cornwell for my birthday present because he liked the cover. It's medieval and the first of it's kind that I've ever read. Archers, the Grailquest etc. Try it and get well soon . ATB from fB.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Grab
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 05:19 PM

Allan C, yes, there's a reason many books have become "classics". They're old. And critics/teachers like dissecting them, particularly turgid ones with endless "layers". Quality of writing, plot and/or characterisation is not an issue. Think "Moby Dick", "Cider with Rosie" and "Great Expectations" as three so-called "classics" only suitable for use as a replacement when the toilet roll runs out (and then only if they have soft pages).

One classic which *is* worth the tag is "Kim" by Rudyard Kipling. Also if you're into Kipling then the complete "Jungle Book" too; like Harry Potter, it's not just for kids.

I'll second (or third ;-) the recommendation for "Grass" by Sheri Tepper (got to get round to some of her other stuff sometime). And everything by Gerald Durrell (doesn't matter which, they're all excellent).

Pratchett is good, but his earlier books are very patchy, and there's now about two dozen to choose from! Avoid "Moving Pictures", "Colour of Magic" and "Light Fantastic" at all costs. Trouble is that there's three strands featuring the same characters, so you really either have to read all the earlier ones from that strand to get everything, or you have to pick a book which isn't tied to those strands. My best suggestion is to get "Mort" and "Soul Music" which are the first two in one of the strands. They're both good; the second one's a piss-take on the rock music industry and is very funny. Also "Pyramids" and "Small Gods" which aren't involved in any of the three strands.

Best till last. Three classic action-thriller books - "The Last Frontier", "Guns of Navarone" and "HMS Ulysses" by Alastair Maclean. Written before he cranked out a zillion indifferent paperbacks, these are *the* best books of their type. "HMS Ulysses" is not a light read and is very depressing so don't do it if you're even slightly down. The other two though are quite uplifting and inspiring. If you only get one, get "Guns of Navarone".

From my bookshelf, those are the only ones I'd replace without hesitation if they got lost/stolen/strayed, and which I'm utterly inseparable from when I'm reading them. Lots of books I've been inseparable from on the first reading, but few are still inseparable after N goes through.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 05:24 PM

Not what you asked for, but perhaps suitable for your intended usage, I'd suggest you look at the BRI series.

Although nominally produced by "The Bathroom Readers Institute," ones I've seen have mostly been printed by Barnes & Noble, and are frequently on the "discount" table at Barnes for $10 or less. They claim to have produced 15 volumes by now, and some are available in "multi-volume" compendia, up to 800 or so pages.

Although not documented quite well enough for citation in your next dissertation, articles seem to be well researched, and are varied enough for distraction while you're waiting for something to happen - but don't really want to be too deep into something when it does.

From the intro to "Uncle John's Four-Ply Bathroom Reader:"

"Uncle John's Bathroom Reader is the first book especially for people who love to read in the bathroom. It was conceived in 1987, when a group of socially active citizens in Berkeley, California realized that the publishing industry had plenty of books for every room of the house (bedside readers, cookbooks, coffee-table books, etc.) except the bathroom—where up to 60% of Americans read. It was clearly time for bathroom readers to come out of the water closet and "Say it loud, I read in there and I'm proud!"

"Consequently, they formed The Bathroom Readers' Institute to fight for the rights of bathroom readers everywhere.

Under their sensitive guidance, The Reader has been specially designed with the needs of bathroom readers in mind: It's full of brief but interesting articles that can be read in a few seconds, or a few minutes. It covers a variety of subjects (so a reader never has to settle for the "same old thing"). And it's arranged so a reader can just flip it open to any page; no planning, no searching. We hope you enjoy it. As we say at the Bathroom Readers' Institute: "Go With the Flow.""

Not for every unfilled moment, but for a break from the serious stuff when the need arises. If you replace "bathroom" with "waiting room" in the above, it works for me, sometimes.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Kim C
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 05:29 PM

Well, I repeat myself, but The Black Flower, and The Year of Jubilo, both by Howard Bahr, are definitely can't-put-down. Admittedly I am biased because the author is a personal friend, but I hadn't met him at the time I first read his books.

Another one I couldn't put down, was The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. This was first published in the 1860s, and is a fantastic mystery with so many twists and turns, your head will spin. The prose is extremely slow, because it's Heavy Victorian, but I had to keep reading, because I had to know what happened next! Well worth the trouble.

I am also a huge Louis L'Amour fan. I love his books striotly for entertainment value. These are great waiting-room reads because they move along quickly, and are usually pretty short.

A short novel I read recently is Catherwood by Marly Youmans. It is officially out of print, but used copies can be found easily on amazon.com.

Someone may have already mentioned this, but Zane Grey's Riders of the Purple Sage is pretty exciting too.

And... I have read many of the books on Gargoyle's list, and have to agree. Victor Hugo is one of my favorites, and everything I've read by him has been a not-put-downer.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 05:53 PM

YES,YES,YES! You've all reminded me of wonderful reads. I shall have a good solid list when I hit the book exchange on MONDAY.

tHE wALLACE-WALLACHINSKY REFERENCE BOOKS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN FAVES. Hmmm, must stop shouting, ha ha.

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Gern
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 06:53 PM

I missed the Wallace-Wallechinsky reference in this thread, but let me recommend the People's Almanac, in three volumes if you can find them. Great subversive history and oddball trivia--I mined them deeply for anecdotes to entertain my undermotivated high school history students. Not everyone can read arbitrarily chosen trivia for long periods, but I'm one of them. The Uncle John's Reader and bathroom series deal with similar matters in shorter soundbytes. Both combine outrageousness and humor.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 07:50 PM

Rick, best of the best to you with your treatment. Hope you're better soon!

Try the James Lee Burke mysteries, especially Heaven's Prisoners and Black Cherry Blues, two of the early Dave Robicheaux novels. Many of Burke's books "before Robicheaux" are worth the read also: Two for Texas and The Lost Get-Back Boogie, for instance. And Kim C., if you enjoy Civil War era stories, check out his White Doves at Morning--very good.

Any of John D. MacDonald's books. Wine of the Dreamers and Ballroom of the Skies are both attention-getters, as well as the only two "sci-fi" books he ever wrote.

And I'll third the Dana Stabenow books. If you're looking for entertainment, Breakup is laugh-out-loud funny.

Lin


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Helen
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 07:59 PM

Marion Zimmer Bradley's potboilers based on a society where telepathic ability is the main power and the structure of society is based around the people who have these abilities. There are quite a few in the series but you can read them in any order. I found them very well written, considering their light fiction nature, and often found them unputdownable.

Clare Francis writes mysteries with lots of interesting characters and plots. One of my absolute favourite authors for entertainment.

Allan Pease Why Men Don't Listen & Women Can't Read Maps - the man who wrote Body Language all those years ago has turned his observational talents to the differences between men and women and how they communicate. Very funny and insightful and a very easy read, but revelatory as well.

Mary Norton's The Borrowers series (kid's books - similar to McGrath's suggestion about "What We Did to Father, in that it is a different way of looking at ordinary life). Catweazle, by Richard Carpenter would be another example of that too.

Engine Summer, by John Crowley, which is a lyrical, gentle post apocalyptic view of the world, with interesting ideas about the mythical nature of the "recollections" about how life was before everything changed. I've read this a couple of times and it is a very gentle but thought provoking novel, rather slow in pace, so not what you would read if you want something exciting, but it often recurs to me in daily life because of its insights.

Jean Merrill: The Pushcart War - kid's book, very funny, about when the people who think they have no power in life band together to take action.

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Bassic
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 08:56 PM

Spike Milligan, yes, yes , yes. David Nivens "The Moons a Baloon" and "Bring on the empty horses", hilarious. Bernard Cornwell`s Arthurian stuff, fascinating fantacy. "Captain Corelli`s Mandolin" and "Chocolate", much better than the films. Anne McCaffrey Pern books, good sci fi and very readable. Nothing too heavy in that lot but all good "reads".


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Midchuck
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 09:12 PM

Peter Bowen's "Gabriel DuPre" books. Mysteries set in the butt-ugly, eastern part of Montana. Protaganist is a widowed, fiftyish Metis, works as a cattle brand inspector, but is the only really effective law enforcement in his area - and is also a whiz-bang fiddler. Lots of fun.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Art Thieme
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 11:09 PM

The one book I'd suggest of all the good books out there, given your situation, Rick, is by George Stuart. EARTH ABIDES.

We're in your corner, sir !!!

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Rapparee
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 11:11 PM

Forget it, Rick! I'M reading the suggestions!!

Oh, yeah: Arthur C. Clarke's "Childhood's End" and Edward Miller's "Canticle for Liebowitz."

We're behing ya, man!


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Tinker
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 11:20 PM

Have you seen Troy Soos Historical Baseball mysteries ??? They are set in the early days of baseball (teens and twenties) and wrap a mystery around the characters and the times. Hanging Curve deals with what happens whenThe Browns lose to the Negro Leagues There are about six different books of historical escape.... Of course you've got to like baseball..BG


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Tinker
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 11:23 PM

The Browns lose to the Negro Leagues


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Rapparee
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 11:25 PM

We're behind you, as well as behing you....


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Ely
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 11:36 PM

I'm always for John Steinbeck. Otherwise, that new one about the Carter Family is really good (_Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone?_). I suppose I have odd taste, but I'll suggest:

_In Cold Blood_ by Truman Capote

_The Barn at the End of the World: the Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist, Shepherd_ by Mary Rose O'Reilley

_The Murder of Helen Jewett_ by Patricia Cline Cohen

and anything by Mark Twain or J. Frank Dobie.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Deda
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 11:45 PM

I agree with Garg about the classics. I recently re-read Huckleberry Finn (a real delight) and 1984 (don't go there right now) and Catch 22 (screamingly funny, despite how dark it is) and Slaughterhouse Five (entertaining but a little too weird for me). I also read the Odyssey maybe a year or two ago and was pleasantly surprised that it was a lot easier than I'd anticipated and also a lot of fun -- but then I'm a geek. Mark Twain said that classics are books that everyone wants to have read but nobody wants to read -- but not always.

I've also gotten a big kick out of Harry Potter, and I generally love children's books anyway. Also, anything at all by Farley Mowat is worthwhile and a wonderful read.

A newer relative of the Anguished English is called Non Campus Mentis -- students erroneous exam / essay answers about world history, hilarious, LOL on every page.

My own personal absolutely-can't-even-look-up-from-page books are all of Jane Austen -- but in my experience Y-chromosome folks don't generally get them. Mark Twain said he couldn't read her if they put him on salary to do it, and he thought it was a real shame that she died a natural death.

May this time pass quickly and successfully for you.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Jul 03 - 11:50 PM

I know I am repeating myself, too, from other threads, but I know you'd really enjoy these two by Jocelyn Godwin: Waiting for the galactic bus and its sequel, The snake-oil wars. Libraries used to have them, otherwise they can sometimes be found used, but they are out of print.

Another He, She, It by Marge Piercy. Also, her City of Darkness, City of Light about Paris, mostly, during the French Revolution, very well written and I could not put it down! Also, Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace is excellent.

Don't forget that perennial of Canada, Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town which I had the pleasure of reading for the first time this year thanks to my Secret Santa!

My son says he is just reading The Dirty Dozen and that is is much more than he expected and much better than the movie.

I second the Marion Zimmer Bradley recommendation, but would also mention her Mists of Avalon if you haven't already read it.

You and "you know who" are tops on my list, darlin'...have been for quite some time...good stuff happens...luvyakat


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 03:58 AM

Mudlark -
Was the film "Threads" based on the book you mentioned? I saw it years ago, and remember mostly the scenes of England years after a nuclear holocaust, thrust back into a sort of dark ages existence. Your suggestion reminded me of that film.

Yeah, Spike Milligan! Rick, you might like "Puckoon." Brilliant, funny stuff.

Chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 06:32 AM

"in my experience Y-chromosome folks don't generally get (Jane Austin)."

No accounting for tastes, but there are a lot who do. Here's what Rudyard Kipling's offering:

Jane went to Paradise:
That was only fair.
Good Sir Walter met her first,
And led her up the stair.
Henry and Tobias,
And Miguel of Spain,
Stood with Shakespeare at the top
To welcome Jane----
Then the Three Archangels
Offered out of hand,
Anything in Heaven's gift
That she might command.
Azrael's eyes upon her,
Raphael's wings above,
Michael's sword against her heart,
Jane said: "Love."

Instantly the under-
standing Seraphim
Laid their fingers on their lips
And went to look for him.
Stole across the Zodiac,
Harnessed Charles's Wain,
And whispered round the Nebulae
"Who loved Jane?"

In a private limbo
Where none had thought to look,
Sat a Hampshire gentleman
Reading of a book.
It was called _Persuasion_,
And it told the plain
Story of the love between
Him and Jane.

He heard the question
Circle Heaven through----
Closed the book and answered:
"I did----and do!"
Quietly but speddily
(As Captain Wentworth moved)
Entered into Paradise
The man Jane loved!


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Sooz
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 07:28 AM

The Accordion Crimes by Annie Proulx
Anything by Ben Elton, Dean Koonst or Terry Pratchett.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Ghirotondo
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 08:15 AM

Hi, Shall I suggest "Round Ireland With a Fridge", by Tony Hawks and almost anything by Tom Robbins, starting with "The Jitterbug Perfume"? and if you like the genre, I have enjoyed a lot the David Eddings series (the first five). I don't know if there is an English translation of "Novecento", by Alessandro Baricco (they made a film from it, something like "The legend of the piano player on the ocean" by Tornatore), along with "Silk" and "Ocean Sea".
Hugs from Italy
Ghiro


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Rapparee
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 08:40 AM

Try Twain's "Puddin'head Wilson" or "Life on the Mississippi" for something a bit different. John Madsen's "Up on the River" deals with live on the Mississippi above St. Louis.

In the area of anthropology, see if you can find Mike Doogan's "Fashion Means Your Fur Hat Is Dead" for Alaskan etiquette and lifestyle advice.

Out-of-print, offbeat histories (WW2) that I've enjoyed are "Of Spies and Strategems" and "You're Stepping On My Cloak And Dagger." They're both about life in the OSS, but with a different viewpoint from most.

I'm sort of partial to "The Experts Speak" for a wonderful collection of inaccuraties.

Heavens! There are so many possibilities.

Kipling's "Stalky and Co." is good, as are "The Lawrenceville Stories" for reading in a different area. "Dink Stover At Yale" isn't as good as the Lawrenceville stories.

Try reading "Mark The Match Boy" or anything of that sort by Horatio Alger if you want some laughs. Alger was serious when he wrote them.

Bring a whole big stack with you. If you don't like one, chuck it and start another.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 09:14 AM

Your "waste a day a not even know it" description stuck with me. Here are some offerings that can be read in about one or two sittings. At least for me they were the kind of books that you wanted to read in a day:

Classic (or semi-classic):

Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck: good story about drifters looking for work in the fields of California

Johnny Got His Gun, Dalton Trumbo: IMO the greatest anti-war novel ever written

The Crying of Lot 49, Thomas Pynchon: quirky story from a genius writer

Trout Fishing in America, Richard Brautigan: whimsical, not about trout fishing at all (well, sort of...trout fishing is mentioned a few times). Brautigan had a great imagination and there is an endearing innocence to his writing. Anything by Brautigan is a great way to "waste a day" ...most of his stuff can be read in one sitting

Modern Tales of Drama for the Young At Heart:

Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney: girl leaves boy. Boy turns to cocaine and partying in NYC with his buddy, desperately seeking ways to get girl back. Boy has a few laughs along the way. Written in the second person and ends on an upbeat

Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis: rich college preppies in Los Angeles looking for bigger kicks find meaningless instead. Kinda depressing, but a good story


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: artbrooks
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 09:19 AM

Sharon Lee and Steven Miller's "Liaden Universe" books (SF). The first three, Conflict of Honors, Agent of Change, and Carpe Diem came out in the late 1980s (and I have literally read the covers off of them). Apparently their editor decided they weren't selling well enough and dropped both the series and the authors. They were "rediscovered" (they were there all the time, doing other things) about 3 years ago, and have rounded out the series with a prequel and 2 sequels. Good stuff, and "can't put it down" reading.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Bert
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 10:33 AM

Here's a few for starters

Wilt by Tom Sharpe
Trapp's War by Brian Callison
The Golden Keel by Desmond Bagley
73 North by Dudley Pope
Air Bridge by Hammond Innes
The land God Gave to Cain by Hammond Innes
Fighting Caravans by Zane Grey
Hot Ice by Nora Roberts
All of the 'Dover' books by Joyce Porter
The Canterbury Tales (or some of them at least) - Chaucer
Pied Piper by Ian Fleming


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Grab
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 11:27 AM

Ooh, I'd forgotten Tom Sharpe. Some are crap, but I think the funniest is "Vintage Stuff".

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: sledge
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 12:35 PM

I like the current rash of histoical who-dunnits that have followed in the wake of Ellis peters with her Brother cadfael series.

Others worth reading would inclusde Bernard Knight with the Crowner John series, Paul Doherty with just about any of the different charecters he's spawned and those by Edward Marston.

Other good historical romps would include any of the Bernard Cornwell and Allan Mallinson books.

Seriously good factual books I've read several times would be the Arctic grail by Pierre Berton or the Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes about the History of transporting convicts, in this book I was seriously surprised to see that the percentage of those sent out for poaching was quite small, as it says in the book about the same as those transported for beastiality (aren't there meant to be lots of sheep in Australia still).

Stay well

Sledge


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: GUEST,heric
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 01:03 PM

Voyage of the Narwhal fits the bill. Easy to read, carries you away to a different place.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: lady penelope
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 01:56 PM

I dunno about anyone else, but I'm taking notes from this thread.

Marion Zimmer Bradley - Mists of Avalon, this is now the last book in a trilogy ( she wrote it kind of backwards, or they decided that Mists.. was the only commercially viable book or something )

Anything by Lois Mcmaster Bujold, but I thoroughly recommend the Barryar books.

Terry Pratchet - again anything but I found "the science of Discworld" a nice mind warper.

Neil Gaiman - American gods (read it in two days)

Lindsey Davis - the Marcus Didius Falco series starting with The Silver Pigs.

The Moon Riders - Theresa Thomlinson

Wilkie Collins - The Woman in White, but the one that got me was The Moonstone

Dreams of Trespass - Fatima Mernissi, a fascinating memoir of a woman who grew up in a traditional Morrocan harem.

Anne McCaffrey - again anything, but I tend to prefer her earlier stuff.

The books about Don Camillo ( an italian preist with a difference ) but I can't for the life of me remember who wrote them. I must raid my mothers attic.

Nightlife of the Gods, The citadel & The stars look down. Again - I'm sorry - I can't remember who wrote them.

Good luck with everything Rick, including your booklist!

TTFN Lady P.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Micca
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 02:03 PM

rick, anything By Thorne Smith, a bit weird and they often take time to get ito, but can be very funny, Lady P's Night Life of the Gods for instance


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 02:13 PM

Don Camillo - definitely, lovely books, gentle easy reading, but thoughtful as well. Written by Giovanni Guareschi, who drew the pictures as well. Here is a site..


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 02:49 PM

And here is a splendid site with online texts of lots of the Dion Camillo stories, and lots of other stuff as well - The Little World of Giovanni Guareschi


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Mudlark
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 02:59 PM

I, too, am taking copious notes. Surprized no one has mentioned Bill Bryson's books by now. If you haven't read them all, Rick, they are perfect waiting room reading...very funny, episodic and...very funny.

Chantyranger...I took a quick look at the Threads website, having never seen the movie. Not at all based on Riddley Walker, which takes place long, long after nuclear winter, so that a whole new environment and civilization, such as it is, has evolved. I'm not usually into fantasy and sci-fi (aside from a few classics like Canticle for L.) but the writing and imagination in Riddley Walker is so superior to most books of any genre that it surpasses them all.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Raptor
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 03:03 PM

The Beach House By James Patterson

Raptor


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 04:23 PM

I recommend the historical maritime fiction of James L. Nelson, who has a couple series of page-turners: The Brethren of the Coast series, dealing with pirates along the coast of N. America in the 1600's (first book is titled "The Guardship"); The Revolution at Sea series, which looks at the American navy, circa 1776 (first one is "By Force of Arms"); and a new one on the Confederate Navy in the Civil War ("Glory in the Name"). All have great plots with twists, lots of historical veracity, plenty of action, and good, taut writing.

Get well soon.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 06:52 PM

Thanks, Mudlark. I'll take a look into Riddley Walker. I normally don't read sci-fi either, but that sounds exceptional. Rick, your thread has given alot of us some good ideas.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 07:17 PM

I was going to mention Bill Bryson, but you beat me to it... a hoot, every one of them!

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 07:37 PM

The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy. This was the best of his 'L.A. Quartet'...L.A. Confidential was made into a good movie from one of the books, but this book is pretty amazing. Especially good if you have a bit of knowledge about Hollywood movies from the 1940's. Wouldn't especially recommend the other books in the quarted.

The last series I read that I enjoyed was by a guy named Steven Saylor. The Gordianus the Finder series. Clear, good prose about ancient Rome. No detectives back then, but Gordianus was a 'finder', and various Caesers and Cicero and such people would come to him to discretely look into matters. The mysteries aren't much, but the books take you to a different place, like sci fi does. Usually in the detective section of used book stores, I believe.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Peter T.
Date: 21 Jul 03 - 07:40 PM

Hi Rick, Speaking of classics, if you have never done the whole lot, you might try The Three Musketeers sequence. Most people have read the first one, but the whole sequence is great. It is over a million words!
I also agree with gargoyle (new for me) about The Count of Monte Cristo. Most people read the Classics Illustrated version or the abridged version -- the full version is immense and wonderful, takes about a week.

There are new translations of Dostoyevsky by Pevear and Volkonsky (they also just did Anna Karenina), which, even if you have read earlier versions, are completely fresh and like brand new books. Also big, big, books.   

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Nancy King
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 01:04 AM

Most of the titles I'd recommend are not particularly new; I don't generally read current bestsellers (though I am listening to the taped version of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix"), but there are a lot of good oldies out there you might have missed. And even if you haven't missed them, there's nothing wrong with re-reading something you enjoyed years ago.

I'm currently wrapped up in the Aubrey-Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian. Great sea stories, very historically accurate, with wonderful characters. If you haven't already read 'em, start with "Master and Commander." And if you're into books on tape, the O'Brian novels read by Patrick Tull are superb!

Riveting, he wants. Fair enough. How about some good suspense, such as "Eye of the Needle" by Ken Follett or "Day of the Jackal," by Frederick Forsyth? "Shibumi," by Trevanian (who also wrote "The Eiger Sanction" and a couple of others) is excellent. A lesser-known title I really liked 15 or 20 years ago is "Nightbloom," by Herbert Lieberman.

Another Ken Follett I liked a lot was "Pillars of the Earth" -- not suspense, but historical fiction centering around the building of a cathedral in 12th century England. Lots of intrigue. Another good historical fiction book is "Shogun," by James Clavell.

Good current thriller/suspense/mystery writers I like include:

John Sandford, whose "prey" series is very good. The first one is "Rules of Prey," I think, and one of the best of the series is "Winter Prey."

Jonathan Kellerman is generally quite good, as is Michael Connelly, whose "Angels Flight" and "Poet" stand out. The "Quiller" books by Adam Hall have good suspense. Patricia Cornwell is pretty good, especially the early titles. Try "Charm School" by Nelson DeMille -- he is not a consistently good writer, but this one's fine. The only John Grisham worth reading, IMHO, is his first, "A Time To Kill."

For short stories, try Frederick Forsyth's collection called "No Comebacks."

An oddball selection is "The Journeyer," by Gary Jenkins, the premise of which is that Marco Polo supposedly declared on his deathbed that he had not told half of what he had seen and done on his many travels. This book, of course, tells the rest.

Well, that's all I can come up with at the moment. I'll probably think of more later.

Rick, I sure hope your therapy, unpleasant though it must be, is doing the trick for you and that you'll get much better very soon. Sure would be great to see you at the Getaway!

Happy reading!
Nancy


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 04:20 AM

Midchuck: Thanks for the recommendation of the Gabriel de Pre books. They sound like they're just up my alley!

What interesting selections--thanks for starting this, Rick. I can see some new authors on my list of "gotta reads"!

Lin


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Rapparee
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 08:38 AM

Heinlein's juveniles, and some of his adults.

Asimov's "Lucky Starr" series (written as Paul French).

E. E. Smith's "Lensman" series.


All early SF, all worth reading. The Asimov stuff was reprinted with corrections by the author in the introduction (e.g., Venus is not covered with swamp).


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: JenEllen
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 11:15 AM

The classics are always good, but I found out the hard way that hospital time is better spent in Schlock City! Some crap novel that you wouldn't normally read, that way if you get interrupted it's no great loss! The last one I read (and I had to do some serious thinking to remember the title) was called "The Cure for Death by Lightning". I did a search and it's by some chick named Gail Anderson-Dargatz. I hardly remember a thing about it now, but at the time it was engrossing and beat the hell out of People Magazine. I read the whole thing in a day, during all that 'hurry-up-and-wait' time between lab/doc/chem. Best of luck.
~JE


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: NicoleC
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 11:22 AM

RE: The Mists of Avalon, Mists was written, then the prequels were written, presumably to capitalize on Mists's success. Mists is brilliant, but neither prequel is really much worth reading unless you are bored. They're not bad, but they they don't come close to Mists.

Many of the classics listed so far bore me to tears (Austen?! snore!), but Alexander Dumas is always great fun to read -- there's more than the Count out there!


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Marion
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 11:45 AM

My favourites for engaging light reading:

"A Prayer for Owen Meany" by John Irving

"The Drifters" by James Michener


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Deckman
Date: 22 Jul 03 - 10:41 PM

Well Rick, here comes a different kind of a suggestion. From way out West here, I suggest a solid reading of "Ivan Doig." He's a Montana author who now lives in Seattle. By far, his best is a trilogy: "Dancing At Rascall Fair"; "English Creek;" and "Ride With Me, Mariah Montana." These three stories roughly follow the tales of his Scottish immegrant family from the 1880 until the 1950's, through three generations of love, war, hate, hoots, and laughs. I found them spellbinding. If you can only capture one, "English Creek" is a good starter. I'll bet you'll find a little of yourself in fourteen year old "Jick!" Best wushes. Bob


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 10:47 AM

Well, I've made a start. I went to the Book Exchange with a list a mile long and came back with:

The diary of Samuel Pepys (I've read it twice before, but I love it)

Ivanhoe

The Count of Monte Cristo

onward and upward.

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 10:56 AM

Can't go wrong with those, Rick. If you like Ivanhoe, Quentin Durward is another of Scott's that is excellent. Love the Count of Monte Cristo, too!


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 23 Jul 03 - 11:27 PM

Let us know how "onward and upward" turns out. :-).


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: GUEST,Bograt
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 06:57 PM

Hi Rick, Hope all is going well for you.

Some of the books I keep around me:-

Any "Sherlock Holmes" story
By Arthur Conan Doyle

---------------------------------------------------
"The wasp factory"
"Whit"
"The crow road"
"The business"
and any other by him,

By:   Iain Banks (Or Iain M Banks for his S/F)
(Very different, well written books)

---------------------------------------------------
"The Mordecai Trilogy"

1. "Don't point that thing at me"
2. ? Can't get at the book at the moment
3. ? Can't get at the book at the moment

By Kyril Bonfiglioni
(I found this one to be very funny)

---------------------------------------------------
"Twopence to cross the Mersey"
"Liverpool Miss"
"By the waters of Liverpool"
By: Helen Forrester
(Growing up in Liverpool in the 1930s)

--------------------------------------------------
"World from rough stones"
"Sons of fortune"
"The rich are with you always"
By: Malcolm Macdonald
(The building of the summit railway tunnel across the pennines, UK)

---------------------------------------------------
Most books
By: Lawrence Sanders

----------------------------------------------------
In Lady Penelope's Post, the Author of "The stars look down" and
"The Citadel" was A. J. Cronin, anything by him is good reading.
As are most books by R. f. Delderfield.

So many good books out there! Where do you start?

Best wishes

Bog


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 07:23 PM

...The diary of Samuel Pepys... -

that reminds me of another suggestion - The Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith. And here is a link to an online version - The Diary of a Nobody .

(And there's a lovely companion to it, written by Keith Waterhouse nearly a hundred years later - Mrs Pooter's Diary, which is his wife's version of the same events.)


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: CarolC
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 09:17 PM

I second the vote for Tony Hillerman. Anything by him is a great read, and once I get sucked into them (usually by the end of the first chapter) I find them almost impossible to put down.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 09:22 PM

"Shibumi," by Trevanian was mentioned earlier in the thread. It really is a great book -- I've read it twice. But it must be emphasized that this is a guy book, a really, really guy book. The second time I read it, my feminism came to the fore, as I wasn't turning the pages fast for plot, and I snickered my way through it -- this is a young man's wet dream of a book. But it's fun!


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Helen
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 10:04 PM

Another author who specialises in pdc's description "this is a young man's wet dream of a book. But it's fun!" is an Oz bloke called robert G. Barrett. If you mistakenly read them as serious fiction you'd probably hate it but it is all tongue in cheek, and a lot of other places too.

I forgot to mention Nevil Shute. I have read almost all of his books now. The famous ones were A Town Like Alice, and On the Beach, which were both made into Hollywood movies back in the previous millenium sometime, but it is his lesser known fiction which I like the best. My faves are Requiem for a Wren, and Too Disdained, and... Nah, the list is too long. I love his autobiography too, called Slide Rule. He was an aviation engineer/designer and he worked on the design and construction of an airship which takes up a lot of the story and is fascinating IMHO.

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 11:39 PM

Helen: hope you've read Shute's "In the Wet," one of his best. We all should have pushed Shute for this thread -- he's an easy but very entertaining read.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: alison
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 12:47 AM

I love travel books... so I recommend some that have already been mentioned


around Ireland with a fridge _ Tony Hawke
anything by Bill Bryson, ( but especially "a walk in the woods" and the one about Europe "Neither here nor there")
A year in Provence (plus all the sequels) - Peter Mayle

loved Harry Potter, loved Mists of Avalon

there is a good recent Ozzie one - can't remember the writer ? Tim Winton called "Dirt Music" - couldn't put that one down either.....

also like "Frenchman's creek" & "Jamaica Inn" - Daphne Du Maurier... they are the ones that get reread every other year....


slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: alison
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 02:12 AM

you can read an excerpt from "Dirt Music" here

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Micca
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 07:55 AM

Rick, if you can find it in the 2nd hand shop
"The Shy Photographer" by Jock Carroll!! Hilarious, the Chapter headings give a flavour
"What did you give that starving old woman on the park bench?"
" oh 1/100th of a second at f11!!"
and Puckoon as mentioned,
and if you can find it also, " The Secret Lemonade drinker" by Guy Bellamy
I found also Robert B Parker's " Spencer " Boston detective novels good,easy,light reading, also Sue Grafton's " A is For Alibi" up to "Q is for Quarry" series too


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Rapparee
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 09:08 PM

Good Lord! How could I forget Flashman??

And "The General Danced 'Til Dawn" is a great book by the same author.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Amergin
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 09:48 PM

you know...im going to have to dig up on the beach and a town like alice....great books....


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 10:42 AM

Just got Ned Sherrin's "Theatrical Anectdotes and read it in one sitting! The stories about British actor Donald Wolfit are wonderful. Thanks Seamus.

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: lady penelope
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 02:48 PM

I've decided I'm off to find a copy of Samuel Pepys Diary. Between this thread and a bloke on the radio ( Danny Baker ) who's always going on about Pepys burying his parmasan cheese in the garden when London went up in flames, I'm intrigued.....

TTFN Lady P.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 06:26 AM

I totally forgot about Ian Banks Brilliant
The wasp Factory
The Crow Road
First class even if the wasp factory is a wee bit mental.
My fave is Espadair Street .

That man kept me going for 5 weeks out in Brunie totally unmissable he is all together a great author and so insightful he just has the way of illuminating the obvious and then you realise what it is he's trying to give you a grip on.

A wee book that I read as a child was
The Silver Sword by Ian Serrillier(wrong spelling) that was the book that really stuck woth me and even though its a kids book I still read it every now and then.
Dylan


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Rapparee
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 11:02 AM

Rick started it. Seemed like such a great idea -- and one never done before, as far as I know -- that I've printed off the list as it was earlier this week.

Why? Because I gave it to our Reference Department (I run a public library); they're to recreate it as a bibliography, checking to see which titles we own -- and ordering those which we don't and which are in print.

Rick's not the only one who might need this information!


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 11:11 AM

Darn right Rapaire. It's a great memory jogger.

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 12:17 PM

One of my favourites I forgot to mention is Arthur W. Upfield. He wrote a bunch of mystery novels about a half-aborigine detective named Napoleon Bonaparte. The books are incredibly rich in detail about the Outback of Australia and the different cultures. Real page-turners beautifully written.

Rapaire, any chance you could post the list in its entirety after your department gets done? I haven't had time to make a full list from this thread and would appreciate it, IF it's not too much trouble.

Thanks!


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: John Hardly
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 12:38 PM

just finished a surprisingly good page turner -- The Kingmaker by Brian Haig (yeah, that Haig).

I think Barbara Kingsover is the best, most readable propagandist of recent memory -- her style alone makes the reading a joy and she can derive a plot from the thinnest (but most human) of activities.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Rapparee
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 01:04 PM

Okay, I'll do it. It'll be a little bit, though - couple of weeks at the most.

I would have mentioned Napoleon Bonaparte, too, but I'd forgotten the author.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Micca
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 04:08 PM

Kat, Me too on Boney!! I have read almost all of them!1 and have p/b copies of a lot too!!


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: GUEST,celtaddict at work
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 05:06 PM

Count me in on those who want a copy of the list made from this thread!
Rick, you won't remember me, but I spent a Sea Music Festival (Mystic) weekend following you around like a puppy and have fond recollections of standing in the parking lot of Roaring Brook (Canton CT) talking (or listening) far longer than it took you to load up. I wish you the very best in your treatment. (It tickled me by the way to see one of my shots from Canton at Mudcat!)
So many great suggestions here; I certainly would second anything by personal favorites Robert A. Heinlein (get past the juveniles and the Stranger in a Strange Land, because the Methuselah series, culminating in Time Enough for Love, are my favorites), Tony Hillerman, and Ellis Peters. Remember Ellis Peters is Elizabeth Pargeter and her history-based stories of Wales and her nonfiction are definitely worth finding.   
I have not seen anyone mention some other favorites:
Madeleine L'Engle's books are definitely not for children, and do hunt up the others beyond the Wrinkle in Time series.
Saki (H.H.Munro) wrote perfectly brilliant short stories and some short novels, incredible wit with at times a bitter social-critic edge, but fall-down laughing quite often.
P. G. Wodehouse was possibly the most underrated master of English literature, probably because he wrote light comedy, but his mastery of the written word is incredible. Besides Jeeves and Wooster, look for all the Blandings Castle series, the Mr. Mulliner series, and the Psmith series. He thought his New York stories the best, but I would take his English countryside ones any time. His short stories fill volumes (often available in one big composite) and his novels are wonderfully carefree (and often available four or five to a volume).
And you MUST (and I never shout) hunt up Dorothy Dunnett. She is a Scot writer and my nominee for best author of English-language fiction. There is a series of contemporary (well, 60s-70s) mysteries, the Dolly series, featuring a portrait painter/James Bond type who lives on his yacht (the Dolly) and involves a series of extremely smart and quirky young females in mysteries with plots and characters you would never suspect; if I told you the first I read involved a dyslexic Scottish make-up artist telling her story you would scarcely have a hint of her imagination. They are currently out of print but I see them regularly in used paperbacks and on Amazon and have been published with different titles; one series (U.S. I think) are all "Dolly and the [something] Bird" but check the intro or you may get duplicates. She also wrote the six-volume Crawford of Lymond series, which was a cult item on a number of campuses years ago, but are all in print again and excellent; this series has chess-related titles (Game of Kings, Queen's Play, Disorderly Knights, Ringed Castle, Pawn in Frankincense, Checkmate). Her most recent series of eight volumes is the House of Niccolo series, massive and complex and fascinating; incredible reads. Both of these series are history-based and it is a revelation to check the character lists in the frontispieces and see how many of the characters are historic. Niccolo concerns the rise of international trade and intrigue, centered from the 14th century Brussels outward from Iceland to Asia Minor and North Africa, and Lymond starts in Scotland in the minority of Elizabeth I but ranges through most of Europe and Russia. And brace yourself, my nominee for Best English-Language Novel Ever Written would have to be King Hereafter, in 11th century Alba (now Scotland) and Norway; she starts with the same set of legends and scraps of history that Shakespeare used for MacBeth, but what a tapestry she weaves.
Good reading. Be well.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 05:32 PM

Micca, kewl! I've got a couple of hardbacks gleaned at library sales!

Thanks so much, Rapaire, not rush and only if it is convenient.:-)

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Rapparee
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 06:10 PM

James White's "Sector General" series.

Spider Robinson's "Callahan" series. Oh yeah. If you ain't read 'em, you should.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 06:56 PM

Personal remark deleted. -Joe Offer-
Here you go - a quick compilation - it took less than an hour:





Abbey, Edward   - The Monkey Wrench Gang
Alger, Horatio - Mark The Match Boy
Anderson's Fairy Tales (unabridged)
Archer, Jeffery - Kane and Able
Asbury, Herbert -   Gangs Of New York
Bagley, Desmond - The Golden Keel
Bahr, Howard -   The Black Flower
Bahr, Howard   - The Year of Jubilo
Bellamy, Guy    - The Secret Lemonade Drinker
Bergren -   Louis Armstrong: An Extravegant Life
Berton, Pierre   - Arctic Grail
Bonfiglioni, Kyril -   The Mordecai Trilogy
Bowen, Peter    - Gabriel DuPre
Bowen, Peter   - Gabriel DuPre
Bradley, Marion Zimmer
Brilliant, Ian Banks - Espadair Street .
Brilliant, Ian Banks - The Crow Road
Brilliant, Ian Banks - The Wasp Factory
Burke, James Lee   - Black Cherry Blues
Burke, James Lee   - Heaven's Prisoners
Byatt, A. S. - Possession
Callison, Brian - Trapp's War
Capote, Truman -   In Cold Blood
Carpenter, Richard   - Catweazle
Carr, Ian - Miles Davis
Carroll, Jock   -   The Shy Photographer
Chaucer   -- The Canterbury Tales (at least the ribald ones)
Cisneros - Don Quixote
Clarke, Arthur C. - Childhood's End
Clarke, Thurston - Equator
Cohen, Patricia Cline - The Murder of Helen Jewett
Collins, Wilkie - The Woman in White
Cornwell, Bernard    - Arthurian stuf
Cornwell, Bernard
Cornwell, Bernard   - Arthurian stuff
Cornwell, Bernard - Vagabond
Crowley, John - Engine Summer
Cussler, Clive - Dirk Pitt adventures
de Lint, Charles
Deaver, Jeffery
Dickens, Charles - Oliver Twist
Dobie, J. Frank
Doig, Ivan   - Dancing At Rascall Fair
Doig, Ivan   - English Creek
Doig, Ivan   - Ride With Me, Mariah Montana.
Doogan, Mike -   Fashion Means Your Fur Hat Is Dead
Doyle, Arthur Conan - "Sherlock Holmes" any story
Dumas, Alexander - Count of Monte Cristo
Dumas, Alexander - Man in the Iron Mask
Dumas, Alexander - Three Musketeers series
Durrell, Gerald   - Two in the Bush
Ellis, Bret Easton -   Less Than Zero
Ellroy, James - The Black Dahlia
Elton, Ben
Faulkner, William - The Reivers
Fleming, Ian    - Pied Piper
Freuchen, Peter - Adventures in the Arctic
Goddard, Robert
Gordimer, Nadine   - The Pickup
Goudge, Elizabeth - The Dean's Watch
Grafton, Sue   -   A is For Alibi" up to "Q is for Quarry" series
Grey, Zane -   Riders of the Purple Sage
Grey, Zane - Fighting Caravans
Grimm's Fairy Tales (unabridged)
Grossmith, George and Weedon - The Diary of a Nobody
Guareschi, Giovanni   - Don Camillo
Guareschi, Giovanni   Don Camillo
Haig, Brian - The Kingmaker
Hardy, Thomas -   Mayor of Castlebridge
Hardy, Thomas - Tess of de Ubberville
Harper, Lee   - To Kill a Mockingbird
Harris, Thomas - Red Dragon
Harris, Thomas - Silence of the Lambs
Harry Potter
Hawks, Tony -   Round Ireland With a Fridge
Heinlein, Robert
Hillerman, Tony
Hoban, Russell -   Riddley Walker
Hughes, Robert -   Fatal Shore
Hugo, Vicor   - Hunchback of Notre Dame
Hugo, Vicor   - Jean Val Jean (Les Misrables)
Innes, Hammond -   The land God Gave to Cain
Innes, Hammond - Air Bridge
Irvine Welsh, Irvine - Trainspotting
Irving, John - A Prayer for Owen Meany
Irving, John - Hotel New Hampshire
Kahn, Roger - Boys of Summer
Kingsolver, Barbara
Kingsover, Barbara
Kipling, Rudyard - Jungle Book
Kipling, Rudyard - Jungle Book
Kipling, Rudyard - Kim
Knight, Bernard   -   Crowner John series
Koenig, David,   -   Mouse Tales: A Behind-The-Ears Look At Disneyland
Koonst, Dean
Ladies and Gentlemen, Lennie Bruce
L'Amour, Louis -   The Walking Drum
Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steven - Agent of Change
Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steven -   Carpe Diem
Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steven - Conflict of Honors
Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steven - Liaden Universe
Locke, William J. -   The Belovéd Vagabond
MacDonald, John D   - Ballroom of the Skies
MacDonald, John D.   - Wine of the Dreamers
Maclean, Alastair -   The Last Frontier
Maclean, Alastair - Guns of Navarone
Maclean, Alastair - HMS Ulysses
Madsen's, John -   Up on the River
Mallinson, Allan
Malone, Michael   - Foolscap
Malone, Michael   - Handling Sin
Marston, Edward
Mary Rose O'Reilley   - The Barn at the End of the World: Mathiessen, Peter – Travel series
McEwan, Ian -   Atonement
McInerney, Jay -   Bright Lights, Big City
McManus, Pat    - Real Ponies Don't Go Oink
McManus, Pat   -   How I Got This Way
McManus, Pat   - The Bear In The Attic
Merrill, Jean   - The Pushcart War
Michener, James - The Drifters
Michener, James - Tales of the South Pacific
Michener, James - Centenial
Miller, Edward - Canticle for Liebowitz
Milligan, Spike - Puckoon
Mowat, Farley -   Never Cry Wolf
Nelson, James L.   -   The Brethren of the Coast series
Nichols, John -   The Milagro Beanfield War
Nivens, David   - The Moons a Baloon
Nivens, David   - The Moons a Baloon
Nivens, David   Bring on the Empty Horses   
Norton, Mary -   The Borrowers
Parker, Robert B   - Spencer Boston detective novels
Patterson, James - The Beach House
Pepys, Samuel   - Diary
Pern, Anne McCaffrey   - sci fi
Poe. Edgar Allen short stories
Pope, Dudley - 73 North
Porter, Joyce   - Dover books
Pratchet, Terry - Hogfather
Pratchett, Terry
Price, E. H. -   The Devil Wives of Li Fong ghost stories by M.R. James
Proulx, Annie - Accordion Crimes
Pynchon, Thomas   - Fauqualt's Pendulum
Pynchon, Thomas   - Gravity's Rainbow
Pynchon, Thomas   - The Crying of Lot 49
Rabin, Jonathan – Travel series
Rees, Sian   - The Floating Brothel
Rhyme, Lincon
Robbins, Tom   - Even Cowgirls get the Blues
Robbins, Tom   - Another Roadside Attraction
Robbins, Tom   - Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas
Robbins, Tom   - Jitterbug Purfume
Robbins, Tom   - Still Life With Woodpecker
Roberts, Nora - Hot Ice
Russell, Mary Doria -   The Sparrow and it's sequel, Children of God
Russo, Richard - Empire Falls
Russo, Richard - Nobody's Fool
Russo, Richard - Straight Man
Saylor, Steven    - The Gordianus and Finder series
Scarborough, Elizabeth
Schoonover,   Laurence   - Spider King
Sharpe Tom -   Wilt
Sharpe, Tom -   Vintage Stuff
Sherrin, Ned   - Theatrical Anectdotes
Shute, Nevil   - On the Beach our Requiem for a Wren
Shute, Nevil   - Too Disdained
Shute, Nevil - Slide Rule
Shute, Nevil - A Town Like Alice
Sledge, Eugene B.    - With The Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa
Smith,   Thorne - Lady P's Night Life of the Gods
Soos, Troy -   historical baseball mysteries
Stabenow, Dana   - Breakup
Stabenow, Dana - Blood Will Tell
Stabenow, Dana - Kate Shugak series
Stabenow, Dana - Breakup
Steinbeck, John   - East of Eden
Steinbeck, John   - Travels with Charlie
Steinbeck, John - Cannery Row
Steinbeck, John - Grapes of Wrath
Steinbeck, John - Wayward Bus
Stevenson, Robert L. - Treasure Island
Stoker, Brahm - Dracula
Stuart, George - Earth Abides
Swiss Family Robinson
Tang, Amy
Tepper, Sheri S.   - Grass
Tepper, Sheri S. -   The Gate to Women's Country
The Bathroom Readers Institute
The General Danced 'Til Dawn
Toole, John Kennedy - A Confederacy of Dunces
Tornator - Silk and Ocean Sea
Trevanian   - Shibumi
Trumbo, Dalton -   Johnny Got His Gun
Twain, Mark    - Life on the Mississippi
Twain, Mark    - Short Story Collection
Twain, Mark - Huckleberry Finn
Twain, Mark   - Tom Sawyer
Upfield, Arthur W.   - mystery - Napoleon Bonaparte
Wallechinsky, Wallace -   People's Almanac
Wells, H.G. - Invisable Man
Wells, H.G. - Time Machine
Weygers, Alexander G - The Complete Modern Blacksmith
Waterhouse, Keith, -   Mrs Pooter's Diary, wife's version of the same events
White, Time   - Catch a Fire - Bob Marley
Youmans, Marly -   Catherwood

-   Fountainhead
-   Name of the Rose (mystery)
- 1984
- Catch 22
- Ivanhoe
- Mists of Avalon
- One Hundred Years of Solitude
- The Arabian Nights
- The Dirty Dozen
- The Evolution Man
- Voyage of the Narwhal
- White Doves at Morning

Your Humble Servant,



Sincerely,

Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 07:30 PM

As a librarian, Repaire, perhaps you are familiar with lists of books most commonly stolen? I believe some are popular because they are assigned reading in schools.



Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird
Sharon Flake's The Skin I'm In
Meg Cabot's The Princess Diaries
Caroline Cooney's The Face on the Milk Carton
Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass
Michael Brooke's Concrete Wave: The History of Skateboarding
Jack Canfield's Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul
Thia Luby's Yoga for Teens
Stephen King's The Green Mile
J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit
John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men
Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's Shiloh
Louis Sachar's Holes
Gary Paulsen's Hatchet
Lois Lowry's Number the Stars
J. K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" series
S. E. Hinton's The Outsiders
Avi's Something Upstair
Sharon Draper's Tears of a Tiger
Carl Deuker's On the Devil's Court
Lurlene McDaniel's Dawn Rochelle
David Pelzer's A Child Called "It,"
Megan McCafferty's Sloppy Firsts
Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye's "Left Behind" series
Lois Lowry's The Giver
Jacques's "Redwall" series
Wilson Rawls's Where the Red Fern Grows
Christopher Paul Curtis's The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963

Sincerely,

Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Micca
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 07:43 PM

Rick, Have you Got the " Para Handy" stories? if not i may have a spare p/b I would be happy to donate!!,(PM me) If you dont know them , asj Duckboots, she will!!


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Amos
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 08:37 PM

Garg:

For your spreadsheet, dude:

Rand, Ayn -- Fountainhead
Umberto, Eco-   Name of the Rose (mystery)
Orwell, George- 1984
Hellerman, Joseph- Catch 22
Scott, Sir Walter- Ivanhoe
Philips, Jenifer- Mists of Avalon
Marquez , Gabriel Garcia - One Hundred Years of Solitude
Varous- 1001 Arabian Nights
Nathanson, E.M. - The Dirty Dozen
Lewis, Roy- The Evolution Man
Barrett, Andrea - Voyage of the Narwhal
Burke, James Lee- White Doves at Morning

A


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Helen
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 09:06 PM

Good work, gargoyle. I haven't read all of your list, and I will come back and do it properly after I get some work done today, but

Under Nevil Shute you have: On the Beach our Requiem for a Wren. It is two books called On the Beach, and Requiem for a Wren. And I said "Too Disdained" but it should have been "So Disdained"

And Amos added this one but it should be Bradley, Marion Zimmer - Mists of Avalon (not Philips, Jenifer) and Heller, Joseph- Catch 22 (not Hellerman)

Also, my own private measure as a former public library librarian of how good I was at selecting books was measuring how long it took for each book to be stolen. Damn that was frustrating! So thanks for the other list.

Also, a couple more to add: I second Amy Tan (not "Tang" as someone said above) - I've read all of hers, and also I read all of Mary Stewart's novels years ago, both the Arthur/Merlin stuff and the potboiler mysteries. One of the few authors I can read and re-read.

Herman Hesse, although maybe he is a bit d & m (deep and meaningful) for this list, and Margaret Atwood, and Dean Koontz, and some of Stephen King's like Dolores Claiborne where he gets away from the sensationalist gory bits.

And...and...and...

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Amos
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 11:43 PM

Helen, thanks for catching my errors there!

A


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 12:01 AM

Helen & Amos - Thanks for the updates - it will take moments to add - but let the thread continue for awhile....so the list isn't redundant...ANYONE can move the corrections into their D-Base.

Hess - Beneath the Wheel (a life-changing book for me - and only found out the definition after visiting the Museum of Torture Germanic/Rothenberg)all of his others Novels are grand, also.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Rapparee
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 08:29 AM

I think, Garg, that it depends upon your library.

"ALA Surveys Most Stolen Books Staff -- 5/21/2001

An informal American Library Association survey of libraries' most-stolen books has struck a chord with librarians. After receiving a query from the NPR show "On the Media" about most-stolen books, ALA Press Officer Larra Clark sent out a question to an electronic mailing list regarding library public relations. In about 80 responses, the librarians most often cited books regarding witchraft/occult/dreams/astrology, as well as exam preparation books. The latter category, as well as car repair and sex books, share a characteristic, as one librarian observed: "They all require extensive practice at home, and it takes longer than the four-week checkout period to get good at it." Clark said the list also raised some intellectual freedom questions, and she would talk to the Office for Intellectual Freedom about how libraries might respond. In some cases, libraries have taken measures to actually sell exam books or put books on reference-only shelves."   --from the "Library Journal" website.

Other categories mentioned in an earlier report which is available on the "LJ" website are military entrance study guides, police exam study guides, and religious writings such as the Bible and the Quran.

This agrees with what I've noticed in 30+ years librarianing. The titles you mentioned might well be taken from a school library or from a specific public library and I'd be interested in knowing which one.

Thanks for preparing a bibliography. I'll see that the Reference Dept. gets it, as it will save them time. I want to purchase as many as we can.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 11:50 AM

People STEAL the Bible and the Quran? Does anyone else find that funny?


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Deda
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 12:21 PM

By Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion, Northanger Abbey, and Mansfield Park.

Did no one mention Douglas Addams, The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy (and all sequels)?!?

Well, Rick, if you're still checking back on this thread, this should keep you busy! Quite a required reading list. Looks like fun, if you happen to have several years of free time. Hope all is going well.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: MAG
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 02:49 PM

Yeah, people steal Bibles all the time. Either because it's a version they disagree with, or because they need it for their good work more than the public does.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Rapparee
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 04:56 PM

I don't find it as ironic that Bibles and Qurans are stolen as much as I find it worrisome that folks steal the study guides for the police exams.

With cops like that....


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Grab
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 07:20 PM

Nice work, Garg.

Since someone else has broached Stephen King, I'll own up to liking his stuff too. His short stories are a bit spotty, but the "Diff'rent Seasons" collection is brilliant (not supernatural horror, more "character horror" like Dolores Claiborne). Green Mile is pretty good too, but not a patch on the similar story in Diff'rent Seasons. For supernatural, "Firestarter" is OK. Most other horror writers (James Herbert, Dean Koontz, etc) can safely be ignored.

One other horror writer worth reading though is Richard Matheson. "I am Legend" is amazing, and many others worth reading too. Don't bother with "Hell House" though, stick to the original story (by Shirley Jackson I think?).

If you're a *very* fast or dedicated reader, the "Gap" series by Stephen Donaldson is worth a go. He's a pretentious SOB and the writing is often slow, but the scope of the series is seriously impressive. Similarly a bit slow but over a grand scale (and less pretentious) is Tad Willams' "Memory, Sorrow and Thorn" series. The former is space-opera S/F (loosely themed on Wagner's Ring), the latter is traditional fantasy.

Changing theme, a book to be appreciated by singers and drinkers is "Whisky Galore" by Compton Mackenzie. Very funny.

Back to S/F, John Wyndham. Nuff said. Although I will mention a few for Garg's spreadsheet ("Day of the Triffids", "The Chrysalids", "The Midwich Cuckoos").

Graham.

PS. I must confess to not seeing the attraction of Ian Banks. I read them and think "So what?" - it feels like a mental McDonalds meal.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Midchuck
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 09:18 PM

The Peter Bowen "Gabriel DuPre" (how do you do an acute accent in HTML, anyway?) books that I mentioned above, in, I believe, both order of publication and chronological order within the stories, are:

Coyote Wind
Specimen Song
Wolf, No Wolf
Notches
Thunder Horse
Long Son
The Stick Game
Cruzatte and Maria
Ash Child
Badlands

The first two are available in a "double" trade paperback, and I believe the second two are also.

They're the type of books where you get to thinking of the characters as your drinking buddies and get upset when you reach the end and remember they're fictional.

Peter.

PS: I'd also second, with gusto, the mention of Lee and Miller's Liad Universe space operas. Those of you who listened to the Woodchucks' Paltalk concert a year or two or three ago might recall a rather confusing song of my own, "Seven Silver Bracelets," that I did as an encore; which was actually a filk on those stories.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 11:22 PM

Skip the paper-backs Rick.

If it is worth your time and eyes - don't buy 35cent paperbacks....pay the price and get premium books in hard-bound - second-hand.

Considering your request, "can't put down" books....avoid the intellectual crap (I love Thomas Pycheon but it takes you three books to get addicted to Cherry-Coke) (Jane Austin - Pride and Prejudice - that first paragraph about a man who has money needs a wife makes me gag so I can't get past the first page because of waves of high-sea-nausea)

If you are looking for one book (three?) -one that is... drop, pickup, drop, pickup, three minutes.... thirty minutes the Wallace Wallechinsky, People's Almanac can keep you amused in the toilet or the waiting-room.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

As you read through it....you can see why...in our PC world of the 21st Century Ivanho is no longer read in the public schools....but a damn good read it is!


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 29 Jul 03 - 02:33 PM

Statement about Jane Austen:

(Jane Austin - Pride and Prejudice - that first paragraph about a man who has money needs a wife makes me gag so I can't get past the first page because of waves of high-sea-nausea)

Jane Austen wrote satire -- her stories were merely vehicles to satirize the society of her day.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 29 Jul 03 - 03:05 PM

I'm reading both Sam Pepys and Scott's Ivanhoe at the moment and even though I've read them so many times The characters feel like relatives, they're both great. They're both books "of their time", and I suspect Sam would also not be allowed in yer average high school. Shame.

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Helen
Date: 29 Jul 03 - 05:57 PM

pdc said: "Jane Austen wrote satire -- her stories were merely vehicles to satirize the society of her day."

When I first had to try to read Pride and Prejudice, when I was in high school, I totally agreed with Gargoyle:   "Jane Austin - Pride and Prejudice - that first paragraph about a man who has money needs a wife makes me gag so I can't get past the first page because of waves of high-sea-nausea". Part of the problem, I realised much later, was that the teacher seemed to have no idea that it was satire and therefore that incredible idea was never conveyed to us, her students. I knew far too many high school girls, i.e. my classmates, who lived and breathed some of Austen's words in reality, not with their satirical meaning, and the mother in the story - she made me gag even more. Here was I, the potential new age career woman in the making, in an all girls' school being forced to read novels about women who are forced by society and their families to get married at any cost. The horror!

It wasn't until I studied Austen again at university with a Professor who had specialised in and who obviously loved her work that I realised it was satire. I had steered clear of her between high school and then.

Another author to add: Fantasy/SF author C. J. Cherryh - especially the Gate of Ivrel series (can't remember the series name, but I think that this is the first title in it).

And Richard Matheson rules! One of the best writers of short stories that I have ever read. I think he also writes screenplays, sometimes for the tv show called The Outer Limits, which pushes the boundaries of ethics and philosophy and the meaning of life, IMHO.

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Burke
Date: 29 Jul 03 - 06:27 PM

I second Lois McMaster Bujold. Space opera at it's best. About half of our English faculty have been caught up in it. Be careful when reading The Vorkosigan Series, several of the earlier books have been reissued in compilations. Start with Cordelia's Honor (Shards of honor and Barrayar combination) or Young Miles (Warrior's Apprentice, Mountains of Mourning, and The Vor Game).

For mind candy I've also been reading Alan Dean Foster's Pip and Flinx series. It starts with The Tar-Aiym Krang.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Micca
Date: 30 Jul 03 - 03:18 PM

I omitted, in my list above Frederic Brown,a master of short stories with an interesting, and often surprising, twist
and
Eric Frank Russel for his really odd sense of humour, try "Wasp", "next of Kin"(novels), or "and then there were none" a short story in I think "The Great Explosion" collection


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Peter T.
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 10:00 AM

The only problem with Ivanhoe as a book is that Elizabeth Taylor isn't in it. yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Leo Condie
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 10:04 AM

read 45 by Bill Drummond. One of the funniest books there is.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 10:59 AM

Liz was a distraction, Peter. That was definitely HER year. What year was it?

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Micca
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 12:52 PM

1952!!! Rick!


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 04:29 AM

Anything by Dean Koontz, he has a new book out today, good reviews, i forgot what its called, but I'm sure it will be in the bookshop windows.john


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Jenny Islander
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 05:03 PM

Ellis Peters's Brother Cadfael mysteries. There are about two dozen of them, set in and near the Monastery of St. Peter and St. Paul, in Shrewsbury, during the terrible civil war in England in the 12th century. They are about people and faith and miracles and everyday choices and another world you sort of fall into. No preaching, no dogma, no chunks o' exposition--just ordinary souls and beautiful writing.

Dana Stabenow's Kate Shugak mysteries--absolutely! They're hilarious no matter where you're from, but if you are Alaskan the in-jokes will have you snorting apple juice out your nose. She also makes you cry.

The novels of Father Andrew Greeley. He's an opinionated geezer with deep understanding of human nature, great faith, and a long love affair with Chicago. You can gobble them up like potato chips, but they stick in your mind. My favorite is The Cardinal Virtues.

Who wrote Endymion--Shelley? Anyway, it's a huge long poem that is basically about sleep. Which is what I use it for when my everything hurts.

The Chinese fantasies of Barry Hughart: Bridge of Birds, The Story of the Stone, and Eight Skilled Gentlemen. There's nothing like them. Just go read. But not with your mouth full.

Hope this helps!


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Micca
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 05:58 PM

Endymion ? Jenny Islander.. you mean
" a Thing of beauty is a Joy forever
Its beauty increases it will never..."??
Thats John Keats that is


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: South Side
Date: 06 Aug 03 - 05:04 PM

Try anything by Tim Sandlin. He wrote about six fiction novels and they are all a little twisted. "Social Blunders" "Sex and Sunsets" I forget the rest right now but he made me laugh. Carl Hiasen ?? on the spelling but extremely funny stuff as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: katlaughing
Date: 07 Aug 03 - 11:46 AM

Micca, do you mean the Frederick Brown who is known for the world's shortest short story:

The last man on earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door.

LOL,

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: A different kind of 'GREAT BOOK' thread.
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 07 Aug 03 - 12:55 PM

Helen, thanks for the reminder of C.J. Cherryh. I like the Gate of Ivren series, too (a/k/a The Morgaine Saga), but my favorites are the Chanur series. What I like about her writing is that she lets you figure things out for yourself instead of feeding all the answers to you.

Anything by James Crumley (more hardboiled than Mike Hammer, but lots better written).

And anything by Dick Francis or James Lee Burke, two of the few authors I buy in hardback.

Rick, hope the treatment is going well.

Lin


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