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A Bloody Good Read Thread

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A Bloody Good Read Thread

Old 19th Sep 2010, 18:07
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A Bloody Good Read Thread


Don't just give the name of the book. Give also the name of the authors, the title, and, without giving away too much, why the book is a 'Bloody Good Read' and why you would recommend it to the readers of Jet Blast.

Something like this:

Title: The War for all the Oceans.

Author/s: Roy and Leslie Adkins

Subtitle: From Nelson at the Nile to Napoleon at Waterloo.

My thoughts on the book:

If you enjoyed Hornblower, you will love this. It is the true story of how Britain, accidentally, while overcoming Napoleon, became master of the Oceans.

Read about Sir Sydney Smith who, after escaping Boney's clutches from some awful prison in Paris, defeated him on land and sea from Acre to Trafalgar. A man who rivalled - and, possibly, excelled - Nelson in derring do.

This book is vitalised by real time accounts of heroes who were at Trafalgar and the Battle of the Nile. You can smell the gunpowder as ships explode in a technicolour that Hollywood is unable to reproduce.

Understand the courage that led young men to tackle odds that seemed insuperable, who explored and conquered countries without getting so much as an SMS from HQ.

Read about the rock that was a ship and a thorn in Boney's side and the whores who infested the ships back home; the guys who avoided the Press.

Cracking good read about a time when men were men and History was made all told in a readable way.

This is what modern history should be: well researched, readable and well written.

Last edited by larssnowpharter; 19th Sep 2010 at 18:24.
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Old 19th Sep 2010, 18:11
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What an excellent idea for a thread.

Give me a little time to think of which book to start with and I'll be back.
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Old 19th Sep 2010, 18:36
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Title: Sisters of the Sinai

Author: Janet Soskice

Subtitle: How two lady adventurers found the hidden gospels

My thoughts on the book:
Two Victorian sisters at the end of the 1800's learn languages, paeleology and history, and go where few white men (and no white ladies) had gone before.

Utterly brilliant. Read it non-stop on the TGV to Brussels on Thurday, in the hotel there, and finished it in the TGV on the way back on Friday. Book is well-written. fast paced, completely engrossing. Don't even think about reading the first few pages if you have anything else to do - because you won't. STUNNING !
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Old 19th Sep 2010, 19:08
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Anything written by Robert Goddard.

He has an amazing ability to create astonishing works of fiction set anywhere from the 1800's to present day.

Title: The Damned United

Author: David Peace.

My thoughts on the book: I've never read a book like it, or (given that I tend only read at night in bed) read a book in such a short space of time.
Anyone who likes, or even just has a passing interest in sport will find it an absolutely compelling read.
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Old 19th Sep 2010, 19:25
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Title: The Lovely Bones

Author: Alice Sebold

Synopsis: The story of a young girl Susie Salmon who is murdered aged 14 in 1973.

My thoughts on the book: From Heaven, which looks a lot like her school playground, she watches over her family as they fall apart in the wake of her death.

"It's a study of grief, isolation & utlimately redemption & recovery. Maggie O'Farrell reviewed it & said "I sat down in the morning to read the first couple of pages. Five hours later, i was still there, transfixed."
So did I.
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Old 19th Sep 2010, 19:30
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Title : Behemoth

Author : Stephen Baxter

My Thoughts on the Book: Sci-fi that follows the lives of 3 mammoths over a period of time. 7 words on a particular page will indicate that things are not quite what they seem. I found it an absorbing read with fascinating characters
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Old 19th Sep 2010, 20:19
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Title: Five books in the series, beginning with Dissolution.

Author: C J Sansom

My Thoughts on the books: They follow the adventures of a lawyer, Matthew Shardlake, in the era of the dissolution of the monasteries in England. He is given various tasks and crimes to solve by the Kings officials, aided by his roguish assistant Barak who had been a fixer for Lord Cromwell.
The books follow historical events of the times blending fact and fiction to create a web of intrigue and adventure.
Very addictive reading leaving you longing for the next book to be published.
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Old 19th Sep 2010, 20:25
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Title: Animals make us Human

Author: Temple Grandin

My thoughts on the book: Temple is an absolute one-of-a-kind author. She rose out of profound autism and was able to describe in astonishing detail how an autistic person sees the world. She has a particular gift for interpreting the behavior of animals and she defined it in such a simplistic way that anyone can understand it. This should be a mandatory read for children and pet owners.
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Old 19th Sep 2010, 20:31
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Okay, here is my first one.

Title: Sarum

Author: Edward Rutherford.

Subtitle: The novel of England.

Classification Historical/Fiction.

My thoughts on the book:

This is the author's first book, of four books, about the British Isles. The physical area of Sarum is for the most part is Salisbury, with Stonehenge, part of Southampton and Christchurch included. Basically the word Sarum was used by medieval scribes used when they would write about the place named Salisbury.

The book starts in the period of around 7,500 years before Christ, or BCE if you prefer, with the introduction of a hunter named Hwll and his woman Akun. The author follows the lineage of the offsprings of these two people and the families that interacted with them from that period to the modern day period of 1985.

This book was very fascinating and engrossing to me and from my studies of those time periods encompassed in the book, it has been kept very close to actual life as possible by the author.

Number of pages: 897.

Reading difficultly: Minor to none.

Recommended reading on same type subject and classification: Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett.
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Old 19th Sep 2010, 20:45
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Title: The Cuckoos Egg

Author: Clifford Stoll

Classification Factual/Computer Science

My thoughts on the book:

Although true and a thoroughly geeky subject to boot, this book reads like a thriller and involves one of the first recorded computer break ins, major security agencies around the world and a hacker with links to the KGB. For the sake of a 75 cent account error (amounting to 9 seconds of computer time someone had used and not paid for), a part-time system administrator standing in for a colleague, the books author doggedly tracked down a spy. In my opinion, this book should be required reading for all computer science readers and is a "bloody good read".

Number of pages: 326

Reading difficultly: Some terms and concepts could be difficult for non-geeks but there is nothing really in depth and a little parallel reading on googoo or similar will provide the necessary comprehension.
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Old 19th Sep 2010, 22:30
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Mad Dogs And English Men

Title: Mad Dogs and Englishmen: An Expedition Round My Family

Author: Ranulph Feinnes

Classification: Historical/Biography

My thoughts on the book:

A mixture of boys own stuff and English/French history from before the Normans invaded to present day. A remarkable journey through the family tree of one of Britain's most accomplished individuals. If History had been this interesting when I was at school I would probably be posting on the Professional Scholars Rumour Network now.
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Old 19th Sep 2010, 23:24
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HMmmmm, I don't know if I can stop at one.

Title: Power Without Glory

Author: Frank Hardy

Synopsis: John West rose from a Melbourne slum to dominate Australian politics with bribery, corruption and fear. Spurned by his wife and family and facing a hate filled nation we wonder, was John West a real figure?

Loosely based on a real figure, Jack Wren, who was an unpopular media mogul before Rupert Murdoch made it fashionable...

and number two

Title: Azincourt

Author: Bernard Cornwell

Synopsis: We follow "Hook", a poor archer who is destined to play a part in one of the greatest victories of medieval Britain against arch foe, France. Brilliantly researched (as all of this Authors books are) and wonderfully written it makes you glad to live in the modern world while being transfixed at how our ancestors (well mine anyway) not only survived but rose victorious against impossible odds.

Brilliant insights into the church and politics of the day as well.
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Old 20th Sep 2010, 03:35
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First light, by Geoffrey Wellum.

Battle of Britain through the eyes of a young pilot from training to the end of his war, Very well written.
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Old 20th Sep 2010, 07:50
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I agree with Con Pilot, and would like to add

Title London

Author Edward Rutherfurd

Synopsis Similar in scope to Sarum, the novel spans two millennia leading up to the present time. It contains the families Ducket, Silversleeves, Bull, Barnikal, Carpenter, Meredith and Penny, still common London surnames


Title I Shall Wear Midnight

Author Terry Pratchett

Synopsis Released a couple of weeks ago, the third book in the Tiffany Aching series reates the high-stakes story of a young witch who stands in the gap between good and evil. Pratchett continues to amuse

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Old 20th Sep 2010, 09:03
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Title: Between Silk and Cyanide.

Sub-title: A codemaker's war 1941-1945

Author: Leo Marks

Synopsis: An amusing, touching and thoroughly engrossing tour through the author's life during the code war with the Germans (and the French!). It also reveals that the well-known love poem, 'The life that I have', was written by him and given to Violette Szabo for use as a code.
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Old 20th Sep 2010, 12:03
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Title: Native Tongue (first book in a series of three)

Author: Suzette Haden Elgin

Thoughts: A glorious book. First read it about 15 years ago and have re-read it many times since. It combines linguistics, science fiction, feminist thought (OK, bye bye most of you) and alternative history all in one. By virtue of their acquired ability to communicate with the alien species humanity encounters in space, linguists holds the economic key to the universe. A fascinating tale about the power of language in many different fields of human endeavour, a riveting plot, believable characters and illustrative of the many invisible power tactics used by people in day to day life.
I love this book.

Already own 3 of the books mentioned in this thread, just ordered two from the list above; cracking thread Larss.
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Old 20th Sep 2010, 12:13
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Title Pavane

Author Keith Roberts

I first read this almost 40 years ago; it's recently been republished
Six srories and a coda of an alternative UK firmly under Papal rule. Sometimes disturbing.
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Old 20th Sep 2010, 14:52
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Thank you for the recommendation, Con. I loved 'Pillars of the Earth' and lap up anything in the same vein.

Now added to my 'must read' list along with some others on this list.
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Old 20th Sep 2010, 16:28
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Title "Billy Ruffian"

Author David Cordingly

Genre Non fiction, history (naval)

An account of the life and times of HMS Bellerophon, including accounts of the actions at The Glorious First of June, The Battle of the Nile, and Trafalgar.....also an account of Napoleon`s surrender and escape from France aboard the ship.
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Old 20th Sep 2010, 16:35
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Come on Lars, spill the beans, you're starting a book-review magazine aren't you.
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