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A Good Book

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  • #3923
    • Total Posts 703

    Hi all

    As some of you could be described as a fairly intellectual lot, I thought I’d ask if you had any tips for good books to waste time with.

    I boughed up for a copy of The Taking by Dean Koontz and The Da Vinci Code not long ago so thought I was set but they’re both so bloody good that I’m nearly finished already (although with all the press around it I can’t help but think that I should put another cover on The Da Vinci Code to hide that I’ve caved in and read it….but it is surprisingly good). I’d heartily recommend both of them as well as Round Ireland With A Fridge and Never Hit A Jellyfish With A Spade, both of which I’ve read this year. So far it’s turning out to be a good year for books (if not much else!) so if anyone can advise a good title get next I’d definitely take it on board next time I raid Waterstones :biggrin:

    • Total Posts 703

    Oh and for the record, if anyone suggests I pre-order Harry Potter and the Subject of His New Book will be shot :laugh:

    empty wallet
    • Total Posts 1631

    Hi Zoz

    I can highly reccomend :

    <br>Beyer on Speed :Andrew Beyer

    Mordin on Time :Nick Mordin

    Betting on Flat Handicaps : Jon Gibby

    Against the Odds : David-Lee Priest

    Modern Pace Handicapping : Tom Brohamer

    Against the Crowd : Alan Potts

    <br>As i  purchase and read other titles,i will reccomend the ones that i feel will be of interest :biggrin:

    • Total Posts 2924


    If you enjoyed Round Ireland With A Fridge, I suggest you read McCarthy’s Bar by Pete McCarthy. I would also suggest you wear incontinence pads whilst you are reading it.


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    recently read that poor old Pete had died. Real  shame.

    Zoz, unfortunately I read your thread just before going to bed, and have been awake half the night doing a virtual tour of my bookshelves, trying to think what might suit you, on the limited knowledge I have of you.<br>I have thousands of books so it was a long night!

    <br>Stella Duffy – Wavewalker.<br>Aren’t you mad for Silence of the Lambs?  Personally I think Manhunter’s the best film, which is the problem with recommendations!  Anyway, here’s a really good crime novel,  by a British female, about a lesbian private investigator. (That at least should get a few of the blokes reading this down to Waterstones!).  It’s not Red Dragon, but then what is.

    <br>Lawrence Block – Matt Scudder series<br>Lawrence Block is the best kept secret in writing.  I’ve recommended his Matt Scudder series of crime novels to over 20 people. At least 10 of these have ended up reading all 13 of them, including my wife who normally hates anything I like (and vice versa). Waterstones normally have a couple in the crime area.  

    <br>Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez<br>Talking of differences of opinion, my fave book of all time is Marquez’s 100 Years of Solitude.  However, my wife gave up on page 6.  Strangely, her fave book of all time is this one by him.   And I believe it’s about to be a big film – so you’ll be ahead of the crowd!

    <br>Kurt Vonnegut – Slaughterhouse 5<br>It’s the 60th anniversary of the bombing of Dresden. This American was there. And this is the novel he wrote about it. Which admittedly doesn’t sound very uplifiting, but give it a chance. In his own words Vonnegut writes "like a 12 year old".  In fact he’s the only writer I can think of since William Blake who can say profound things so simply. And entertainingly.

    <br>Pobby and Dingan – Ben Rice<br>This may not be easy to track down – ebay or abebooks maybe.  There’s a number of books that are deeply uplifiting, quasi spiritual, the sort that get onto school reading lists by dint of being short, easy to read, and good to talk about: To Kill a Mocking-bird; Of Mice and Men; The Man Who Planted Trees.  I was going to suggest the latest one like this – The 5 People you Meet in Heaven.  This seems to be the ‘word-of-mouth’ book of the last year or so.  Only problem is I thought it was crap.  Pobby and Dingan on the other hand is a masterpiece.  A tale of a young girl, and her lost imaginary friends.  A tale everyone should read, especially gamblers.

    Hope that helps!  

    • Total Posts 30

    Are you a big Dean Koontz fan – I quite enjoyed The Taking, but I have to admit my favourite Koontz book is Odd Thomas, I’ll even admit to crying at the end of that one.

    For good thrillers, try Greg Iles, Harlan Coben or Jeffrey Deaver.  Mark Billingham is another worth reading.  I won’t recommend individual titles as it is very rare for any of these to write a disappointing book (in my opinion!)

    Greg Iles also wrote an excellent book called Black Cross, set in the Second World War and revolving around an operation to prevent the use of chemical weapons which are being tested in a concentration camp.

    I read like a maniac and am currently at a loose end, the book I bought cheaply in Asda (some trash called Best Man by someone Dunn) now languishing in the bin after a mere four chapters…  So I will be looking out for tips myself from this post!

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    I must have a good read before going to sleep!

    Tend to like thrillers – just finished The Murder Book by Jonathan Kellerman.

    Like books by the following:- Graham Hurley, Martina Cole, Val McDermid, Frederick Forsyth, Michael Connelly, Dean Koontz and many more

    For a good giggle – Tom Sharpe the Wilt series are very funny.

    Regards – Matron<br>:cool:

    dave jay
    • Total Posts 3386

    Kurt Vonnegut – Slaughterhouse 5<br>tooting Posted on 9:04 am on Feb. 15, 2005

    Great Book tooting … :biggrin:

    I read Northern Lights by Philip Pullman recently, that’s very good.

    These are also recomended;

    A Passage to India – EM Forrester<br>The Trial – Franz Kafka<br>Nausea – John-Paul Satre<br>Great Expectations – Charles Dickens<br>1984 – George Orwell<br>First Blood – David Morrel<br>The Old Man and the Sea – E. Hemmingway

    • Total Posts 1453

    Zoz, this is a great topic; thanks for starting it. I’ve enjoyed reading the answers it has prompted and will definitely buy some of the titles mentioned. (I’m off into town tomorrow and will try and find a Lawrence Block book recommended by Tooting for starters.)

    For what it’s worth, the most enjoyable book I’ve read in the last twelvemonth has been  Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah. I originally bought this book for my 11 year-old daughter (an avid reader).  She loved it and so did I. It’s an autobiography covering the author’s childhood in China at the time of the Japanese invasion and her later years with an evil stepmother. Inspiring and at times heart-wrenching; only 230-odd pages, but each one a gem.    

    • Total Posts 703

    Flamin’ heck, what a great response! Cheers to everyone who has contributed, there are some cracking ideas on here and I’m off shopping later so no doubt some of them will be on the bedside table in a few hours!

    I’m certainly intrigued by these Lawrence Block books, can’t say I’ve ever heard of him but I’ll certainly have them on the short list, cheers Tooting!

    • Total Posts 379

    Lawrence Block has his own website –

    I’ve just looked and there’s actually 15 Matt Scudder novels, with a new one on the way. There’s a good listing of all the novels and an excerpt as well, so you can have a look before wasting any money!


    Sailing Shoes
    • Total Posts 368

    I would like to nominate, Archangel by Robert Harris…. An excellent historical thriller. :cool:

    • Total Posts 103

    Any "Rebus" book by Ian Rankin, especialy The Falls and Black and Blue.

    • Total Posts 50

    I loved Philip Pullman’s ‘Dark Materials’ trilogy but they do have to be your kind of thing.

    I’d also recommend Graham Greene, I initially thought they’d be a bit stuffy but they’re actually quite readable. Try Travels With My Aunt or The Comedians. On a racing note Jamie Reid’s books are excellent.

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    Tooting –

    I’m going to track down the last three books on your list and am going to start with the Pobby and Dingan thingy – Thanks for those recommendations, I’m looking forward to them.

    Two others worth a look are ‘McCarthy’s Bar’ as mentioned earlier by Seabird – and Yann Martel’s ‘Life Of Pi’ a wonderful story in which ‘Pi is cast adrift in a lifeboat with a zebra, a hyena, an orangutan, and a huge Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.’

    Now, how on earth do you come up with THAT as the basis for a novel!

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