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Latest Book finds

I know we have one of these threads every now and again but its been a while so I’m starting a new one.

I just finished reading the latest book in the Peter Grant Series by Ben Aaronovitch - the first one is called Rivers of London. Its a cross between a police procedural one and a fantasy one. I’ve copied the blurb below for anyone interested. I can heartily recommend it, very well written and you can tell that this is an author who has done his research. So has anyone else recently read a book they would to recommend.

My name is Peter Grant and until January I was just probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service (and as the Filth to everybody else). My only concerns in life were how to avoid a transfer to the Case Progression Unit - we do paperwork so real coppers don’t have to - and finding a way to climb into the panties of the outrageously perky WPC Leslie May. Then one night, in pursuance of a murder inquiry, I tried to take a witness statement from someone who was dead but disturbingly voluable, and that brought me to the attention of Inspector Nightingale, the last wizard in England.

Now I’m a Detective Constable and a trainee wizard, the first apprentice in fifty years, and my world has become somewhat more complicated: nests of vampires in Purley, negotiating a truce between the warring god and goddess of the Thames, and digging up graves in Covent Garden … and there’s something festering at the heart of the city I love, a malicious vengeful spirit that takes ordinary Londoners and twists them into grotesque mannequins to act out its drama of violence and despair.

The spirit of riot and rebellion has awakened in the city, and it’s falling to me to bring order out of chaos - or die trying.

What an interesting thread and a welcome diversion.

I read a lot and I can heartily recommend the following, chosen at random from my recent reading:

‘The Truth Commissioner’ by David Park. Set in Ireland at the time of the truth and reconciliation commission it skilfully weaves in the stories of the various protagonists. In fact, read anything by David Park such as ‘Swallowing the Sun’ or ‘The Light of Amsterdam.’

How about ‘Beyond Black’ by Hilary Mantel. A million miles away from the court of Henry VIII, this is set in the world of clairvoyance. A world that blends the real (interpret that as you will) and the shady world of the spirits; you have to suspend disbelief for this to work. It is a largely seedy and repulsive world but one hell of a read, accidental pun forgiven?

I have many more to recommend but I will stop there for now.

I suggest listening to ‘A Good Read’ on Radio 4; the archive is available on iPlayer with enough suggestions to last many lifetimes.

Alun

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I do like the sound of Beyond Black - one of add to my Amazon wish list I think.

Thanks Alun, Happy reading

About to order The Portable Atheist by Christopher Hitchens, recommended to me by a friend.

Oh good, what an interesting thread!

Ive just finished Teacher Man....it is the 3rd and final (I think) book by Frank McCourt. Hes the guy who wrote Angelas Ashes and ``Tis. They are 3 accounts of his life,in America and Ireland.

Very, very well written and poignantly funny in places.

Highly recommend them.

pollx

ps off to the library on Tuesday to see what I fancy…I do like a biography!

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I remember trying Beyond Black a few years ago and not liking it. But now I’ve read Wolf Hall (I loved it) I might try again.

Because I can’t seem to remember the plot of the books I read just lately, I’m thinking that I need to start reading more widely, rather than just reading crime and thrillers and junk like that.

Sue

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I’ll second that. It is very, very funny at times and very, very disturbing also, and there aren’t many books that can pull off both tricks.

Alison

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This looks great. I’ve just added it to my Price Drop Tracker list. It’s a website where you can put in details of books you want to read, but don’t want to pay the current kindle price for. You state how much you want to pay, and if the book goes below that price you get an email. So The Portable Atheist is currently £8.54. I never want to pay that amount for a book, so I’ll wait till it drops in price.

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Alison, Oddly enough Beyond Black was a choice on a recent ‘A Good Read’ and no-one liked it except for the person who had chosen it. I think it’s the best book she has written.

Boudica, I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Angela’s Ashes’ and ‘Tis’ but i did not know there was a part three. Thanks for the tip and I will add it to my list.

Sue, have your tried short stories? I can recommend ‘Miguel Street’ by VS Naipaul where all the stories are set in the West Indies. Furthermore, all the Bertie Wooster stories by PG Wodehouse are tremendous. Try an edition which include ‘The Great Sermon Handicap’ and ‘The Purity of the Turf.’ Now that is a world I could see myself living in, if I were a toff.

What ho, chaps!

Alun

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Sounds good Sue. Is that the actual name of the website?

I love reading anything really but still love to have a book in my hands. I have just finished l am pilgrim by terry Hayes about a terrorist making a chemical weapon to release in America and the agent sent to track him down , goes into great detail about both men’s lives before the event and some details are quite gruesome I can see it being made into a film one day .

Happy reading all .

Katy

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Yes, it’s a kindle thing, so is only for ebooks. This is the link: http://uk.ereaderiq.com/

I think it’s great if you’re like me and a big reader on a kindle but don’t want to pay big prices. I’ve got about 60 titles on there that I’m waiting to drop in price. You can also highlight authors so you get emails when books come up by them.

I think the instructions are clear enough on the website, but if you want to use it and are having trouble, let me know and I’ll try to assist.

Sue

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I’m not a big fan of short stories, maybe I should try. Thanks for the tips.

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For e-book fanatics, do a Google on Library Genesis.

You will not regret it.

Geoff

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Just to keep this thread alive I would like to recommend the following from a bygone era.

‘The Expedition of Humphry Clinker’ by Tobias Smollett published in 1771. It is an epistolary novel, related by a series of letters. It is a ramshackle work, with no particular plot, although there is an attempt to bring together a series of loose ends by a flurry of marriages at the end. As with many novels of this period, the strength is in the vignettes. There is a tremendous description of Edinburgh in all its raw glory and the perils of walking down a street without avoiding a drenching from above by a pungent yellow liquid. Gardy loo! There is a jaw-dropping account of meetings with Native Americans by the early pioneers.

‘Evelina’ by Fanny Burney published in 1778. The plot, for what it’s worth, is clumsily telegraphed from an early stage and its tedium does cast a cloud over an otherwise very entertaining read. I’m not selling this very well. But the crowning glory of the novel is a set of vignettes; there are scenes of boorish francophobia, lively nights at the opera, the dangers to modesty and virginity of dalliance with gentlemen in Vauxhall Gardens, and the baths at Bath. I could go on.

‘Moll Flanders’ by Daniel Defoe published in 1722. A woman living by her wits, using her wiles to survive, endures a number of adventures including a spell in the colonies to avoid the death sentence for felony. As with such stories, she repents in Newgate prison and finally lives a penitent life. I learnt a lot about the liberties of London in this novel. Officers of the law were not allowed to enter and the occupants, though escaped from the law, lived in poverty as there was little opportunity for employment.

I hope these gems from the past are of interest. I am currently coming to the end of ‘Roxana’ by Daniel Defoe. A woman who has lifted herself from poverty to vast wealth, by prostitution, is bedevilled by guilt and repentance. If anyone has read it please do not add a plot spoiler.

Happy reading!

Alun

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I am reading Beasts of No Nation, decided to read it, having seen the film, not for the fainthearted.

there is also one called Kind of book. It can send you an email every day and there are at least 4 free books and the others are very cheap - say 99p.

Some are only on a deal for 24 hours so you do need to check them before you buy but its a great one to have a look at.

Be warned though - it can get addictive.

JBK xx

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Well I always do as the doctor tells me

JBK xx

There’s another one: https://www.bookbub.com/home

The same kind of thing. A daily email with free and cheap books. I tend to have a quick scan through!! As you said it gets a bit addictive.

Sue

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I’m also reading my way through Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. Not a new read by any means - except for the last two which will break my heart to read - but every time I read them I notice something new or something I had forgotten which cracks me up. I can be sitting on the sofa on my own and these books will make me laugh out loud. So maybe this should be a thread on latest and well loved reads.

JBK xx

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