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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
Rapparee 20 Jul 03 - 11:56 AM
Gern 20 Jul 03 - 12:07 PM
Billy the Bus 20 Jul 03 - 12:14 PM
smallpiper 20 Jul 03 - 12:21 PM
Liz the Squeak 20 Jul 03 - 12:23 PM
NicoleC 20 Jul 03 - 12:42 PM
GUEST,.gaargoyle 20 Jul 03 - 12:50 PM
NicoleC 20 Jul 03 - 12:51 PM
GUEST,pdc 20 Jul 03 - 12:57 PM
Rapparee 20 Jul 03 - 01:00 PM
Allan C. 20 Jul 03 - 01:23 PM
katlaughing 20 Jul 03 - 01:32 PM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Jul 03 - 01:53 PM
Don Firth 20 Jul 03 - 03:29 PM
Chanteyranger 20 Jul 03 - 04:06 PM
Mudlark 20 Jul 03 - 04:19 PM
Rustic Rebel 20 Jul 03 - 04:44 PM
fat B****rd 20 Jul 03 - 05:17 PM
Grab 20 Jul 03 - 05:19 PM
JohnInKansas 20 Jul 03 - 05:24 PM
Kim C 20 Jul 03 - 05:29 PM
Rick Fielding 20 Jul 03 - 05:53 PM
Gern 20 Jul 03 - 06:53 PM
Lin in Kansas 20 Jul 03 - 07:50 PM
Helen 20 Jul 03 - 07:59 PM
Bassic 20 Jul 03 - 08:56 PM
Midchuck 20 Jul 03 - 09:12 PM
Art Thieme 20 Jul 03 - 11:09 PM
Rapparee 20 Jul 03 - 11:11 PM
Tinker 20 Jul 03 - 11:20 PM
Tinker 20 Jul 03 - 11:23 PM
Rapparee 20 Jul 03 - 11:25 PM
Ely 20 Jul 03 - 11:36 PM
Deda 20 Jul 03 - 11:45 PM
katlaughing 20 Jul 03 - 11:50 PM
Chanteyranger 21 Jul 03 - 03:58 AM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Jul 03 - 06:32 AM
Sooz 21 Jul 03 - 07:28 AM
Ghirotondo 21 Jul 03 - 08:15 AM
Rapparee 21 Jul 03 - 08:40 AM
GUEST 21 Jul 03 - 09:14 AM
artbrooks 21 Jul 03 - 09:19 AM
Bert 21 Jul 03 - 10:33 AM
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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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