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Last Book You Read....


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Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain. Been meaning to read this for years but was finally spurred on by the Roadrunner documentary about his life. The book won't be much of an eye-opener to anyone who's ever worked in a restaurant but Bourdain's writing style is very appealing and engaging and just when you think he's getting a bit too ladsy and full of himself, the chapter on Scott Bryan near the end really grounds everything. There are plenty of throwaway remarks about suicide that now come across as far more solemn given what happened to him.

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V2 by Robert Harris.
Let me just say that Robert Harris has, as far as I know, never written a bad book*. V2 is another good one, set towards the end of 1944 it centres on two characters. One, a German scientist with qualms whose job it is to make sure that they work whilst being watched by the SS, and the other a WAAF officer who is part of a team trying to work out where they are being launched from, so they can attack it. Excellent page-turner. 
*I said the same thing about Gene Hackman movies. Then I saw The Chamber. 

I really like Robert Harris but The Second Sleep wasn’t great.
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The Old Man and the Sea -
Ernest Hemingway
Short story of less than 100 pages, but he sure crams plenty in. This won him the Nobel prize for literature and can see why. Full of his direct style and vivid imager. Would recommend.

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The Cartel by Don Winslow 

2nd part of a trilogy. The first book (The power of the dog) was excellent and the Cartel has been good but not as good. The border is the final part and next on the list. 
 

Anyone who liked the Narcos tv series would enjoy them and note a lot of similarities. 

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Been managing to read a lot over the past few months:

Underland by Robert Macfarlane - had no idea what to expect form this but it was brilliant. Each chapter is him investigating a different aspect of below ground - for example, how tree roots in a forest can almost communicate and divert nutrients to trees that need it or the below ground seed depository in Norway/Finland that holds millions of seeds in case of an apocalypse. It is extremely interesting - loved it 5/5

In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson - I am a huge fan of Larsen and some of his books (Devil in the White City, Dead Calm) are excellent. I didn't get into this one quite as much - tells the story of the US ambassador to Germany during the rise of Hitler. 3/5

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts - don't know how much of this "true story" is actually true but I found it a real page turner. Aussie guy escapes from prison and ends up living in the slums of Mumbai. It's massive (around 900 pages) but I read it next to the pool on holiday and tore through it. Seems to really divide opinion online. 5/5

Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer - I read this due to loving Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close but it was nowhere near as good. Based around a Jewish author's trip to Ukraine to try to find a lost relative - the book jumps between different times and places. Couldn't really get into it. 3/5

#1 & #2 of the Conqueror series by Conn Iggulden - Charting the rise of Genghis Khan. I am enjoying these, very interesting insight into life on the plains and how the Chin Dynasty was. Didn't think I would like these as much as I do. 4/5

A Little Hatred and The Trouble With Peace - Joe Abercrombie - can't remember who it was but somebody on here first put me onto Abercrombie and I reckon he is now my favourite author. The Age of Madness trilogy is, somehow, even better than The First Law books and I didn't think that was possible. He is such a good writer, the dialogue is sharp and witty and the battle scenes incredible - characters are well rounded (Orso is a favourite) and it is just a fantastic reading experience. 5/5

 

 

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2 hours ago, Saigon Raider said:

 

In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson - I am a huge fan of Larsen and some of his books (Devil in the White City, Dead Calm) are excellent. I didn't get into this one quite as much - tells the story of the US ambassador to Germany during the rise of Hitler. 3/5

See, I thought that one was fascinating.

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On 13/09/2021 at 18:27, Clough85 said:

The Cartel by Don Winslow 

2nd part of a trilogy. The first book (The power of the dog) was excellent and the Cartel has been good but not as good. The border is the final part and next on the list. 
 

Anyone who liked the Narcos tv series would enjoy them and note a lot of similarities. 

Once you finish The Border try some of his San Diego books - Gentleman’s Hour and The Winter of Frankie Machine are a good start

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3 hours ago, Saigon Raider said:

#1 & #2 of the Conqueror series by Conn Iggulden - Charting the rise of Genghis Khan. I am enjoying these, very interesting insight into life on the plains and how the Chin Dynasty was. Didn't think I would like these as much as I do. 4/5

My favourite series of his, and the first that I read. 

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5 hours ago, HK Hibee said:

Once you finish The Border try some of his San Diego books - Gentleman’s Hour and The Winter of Frankie Machine are a good start

I had read The Force of his before I started the trilogy, I enjoyed it as well.  Planning to look out for his other ones. 
I have Stuart macbrides new one and the rankin/mcilvaney one on the list next. 

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22 hours ago, Saigon Raider said:

 

#1 & #2 of the Conqueror series by Conn Iggulden - Charting the rise of Genghis Khan. I am enjoying these, very interesting insight into life on the plains and how the Chin Dynasty was. Didn't think I would like these as much as I do. 4/5

 

 

 

 

19 hours ago, scottsdad said:

My favourite series of his, and the first that I read. 

I've listened to the first 3 of these on audible this year and didn't think they were up there with the rest of his stuff tbh. Probably unpopular opinion but I think his war of the roses series is his best. 

Also I thought Everything is Illuminated was sensational, one of my favourite novels actually 

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I've listened to the first 3 of these on audible this year and didn't think they were up there with the rest of his stuff tbh. Probably unpopular opinion but I think his war of the roses series is his best. 
Also I thought Everything is Illuminated was sensational, one of my favourite novels actually 

My friend recommended Everything…but it just didn’t grab me. His next one though is absolutely sensational - bawling at the end of it.
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On 16/09/2021 at 11:38, Richey Edwards said:

Finished Anti-Social and I Am The Messenger this week.

Started reading The Green Mile. I have had this book for years but had never read it. I have seen the film though.

If I remember rightly, the books goes into detail about what the death row inmates were facing execution for. Delacroix’s (the guy played by Michael Jeter in the movie) crime was particularly disgusting, which makes you less sad when his execution is bungled. The book therefore more effectively makes you question how bloodthirsty we (as readers/people demanding vengeance) are when it comes to capital punishment.

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Survive The Night by Riley Sager.

I have loved all four of Sager's previous books but this was a big miss. Had figured out the big twist about 15% of the way through and then the epilogue spoiled what had been at least a decent read and put it firmly into two star territory.

Edited by Craig the Hunter
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