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 Post subject: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2023 21:03 
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1. The Confidence Men by Margalit Fox

Absolutely gripping tale about two POWs in World War 1 who escape their captors by claiming to be able to speak to the Beyond. Not only is the story itself an absolute pageturner, but Fox also talks about how people fall for such tricks, the art of the magician, and the history of spiritualism to show how the audacious plan worked.

A strong start to the literary year!


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2023 12:48 
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1. The Confidence Men by Margalit Fox


2. Maus by Art Spiegelman

Despite knowing of Maus for years I've only just read it. It's hard-hitting and uncompromising in its depictions of the Holocaust. I had to take a few breaks to get through it and the starkness of some of the frames will linger with me for a while.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2023 20:06 
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Corruptible - Brian Klaas Why we get the leaders we do, and how it is all our own fault, but there are ways to make it better. It's engaging, readable, and makes one think. There's a few ideas I I have seen elsewhere, but worth the time to go through it. Pair with How To Rig An Election for maximum eye row raising.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2023 20:33 
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Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
Posts: 3237
The Midnight Library - Matt Haig. This book was a bit of a 'thing', certainly in sales, and I followed the author for a while, but it, and his "you are enough" type messages are not for me. Glad I read it, it's an interesting idea - that before death people see a repository (like a library) that lets then explore other lives - but I thought it clunky.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2023 9:18 
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1. The Confidence Men by Margalit Fox
2. Maus by Art Spiegelman


3. The Hunger by Alma Katsu

I needed something light and easy to read so picked up this thriller for the library. A wagon train is crossing the great western trails to reach the sunny shores of California in the 1840s, but the journey is rocked by division, hunger, extreme weather, mystery illnesses, murder, and possible attacks by skin-walkers, wolves, or just rabid men.

The whole thing felt like a rushed-to-print novelisation of a movie, and I wouldn't be surprised if it appeared at the local multiplex soon. I found it plodding, the characters boring and predictable (oh look, each has a flashback telling their back story!) , and not particularly atmospheric or creepy. I did have nightmare about skin-walkers in Bicester so I suppose I have to credit the book for that.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2023 13:53 
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1. Crash Annual 2023

Does this count? For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, Crash was a Spectrum magazine that ran from something like the mid-80s to the early 90s (spending its final years as a logo in the corner of a rival magazine).

A mixture of memory and hindsight tells me that Crash was probably the middle of the three main Spectrum magazines, with Your Sinclair being the kind of precursor to Amiga Power, and Sinclair User being mostly shite (ironically that was the magazine that would "save" Crash

Anyway, a few years ago, there was a Kickstarter for a Crash annual, and I've picked it up since whenever the first one I got was (2020?) I was going to skip this years as I'm trying to a) not spend too much money, and b) avoid acquiring more tat, but there's a nice pre-Christmas element to reading this (I didn't finish it until this year though, so it still counts, right), so when a last minute email offered another chance to buy, I folded.

The annual itself mostly reads like an issue of Crash, and involves many of the magazine's writers, with articles, tips, and lots of reviews of newly written Spectrum games, many of which look very impressive given the machine's limitations, and probably none of which I will bother to play.

This annual closed with a tribute to Oli Frey who was responsible for the artwork on many of the covers of Crash (and I think Zzap, the Commodore stablemate), and passed away late last year.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2023 16:31 
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Gogmagog

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 48726
Location: Cheshire
MaliA wrote:
Corruptible - Brian Klaas Why we get the leaders we do, and how it is all our own fault, but there are ways to make it better. It's engaging, readable, and makes one think. There's a few ideas I I have seen elsewhere, but worth the time to go through it. Pair with How To Rig An Election for maximum eye row raising.


Spare - Captain Wales Christ, this is a ride and a half. It's very poorly written, and he comes over like Holden Caulfield without the whimsy. Really picks up in the final third with ALL THE GOSSIP. I ended up feeling some sympathy for him.

ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
He gets the girl

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2023 21:11 
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Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
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1. The Midnight Library - Matt Haig


2. Educating Peter - Tom Cox. Started following Tom Cox on Twitter, read 21st Century Yokel and loved it. He's moved into writing the sort of books he wants to, rather that this one, and you can feel this difference. This is a nice, whimsical trip into music, as he takes a friend's teenager under his wing and introduces him to music and musicians. But it's a smidge without passion. Good, well written, but I could see why he talks about the industry the way he does - this was written to sell, rather than because he was compelled to write it.
3. Carnival of Snackery - David Sedaris. The US' Alan Bennett's second volume of diaries, covering 2010-2020. Gets a bit sombre in places near the end, as he hits and passes 60 and his family ages too. Plus 2020 happens. But it's funny throughout, and his responses when people challenge him to startle him are pretty amazing. Plenty of jokes reported from other people, but they work. He's also rich now, and has a refreshingly American approach to just saying that and enjoying the perks.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2023 20:30 
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Joans wrote:
1. Crash Annual 2023


2. Luke Haines - Bad Vibes: Britpop and my part in its downfall

I think this was in someone's list last year, and they obviously made it sound interesting enough to pop on my Amazon wishlist.

The Auteurs probably weren't even on my radar until it was too late, I don't think I even heard of them until I went to university, and by that point Haines was starting to form Black Box Recorder.
The timeline of the book leads up to this point, so while I wasn't exactly reliving many of the events discussed, it was still an enjoyable trip through the early-mid 90s, made more entertaining by Haines' disdain for, well, pretty much everything and everyone.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2023 21:28 
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Gogmagog

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Joans wrote:
Joans wrote:
1. Crash Annual 2023


2. Luke Haines - Bad Vibes: Britpop and my part in its downfall

I think this was in someone's list last year, and they obviously made it sound interesting enough to pop on my Amazon wishlist.

The Auteurs probably weren't even on my radar until it was too late, I don't think I even heard of them until I went to university, and by that point Haines was starting to form Black Box Recorder.
The timeline of the book leads up to this point, so while I wasn't exactly reliving many of the events discussed, it was still an enjoyable trip through the early-mid 90s, made more entertaining by Haines' disdain for, well, pretty much everything and everyone.


I loved it.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2023 12:47 
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1. No Plan B - Lee & Andrew Child

Reacher sees a woman murdered and he sets out to find out why.

The usual Reacher book, you know it will be good and along to same format :)

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2023 20:45 
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1. The Confidence Men by Margalit Fox
2. Maus by Art Spiegelman
3. The Hunger by Alma Katsu


4. Ask a Historian by Greg Jenner

The podcaster and author answers readers' questions. An enjoyable mix of questions answered in Jenner's usual charming style.
Highlight is the one about the historical accuracy of the Flintstones.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2023 20:23 
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Soopah red DS

Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
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1. The Midnight Library - Matt Haig
2. Educating Peter - Tom Cox.
3. Carnival of Snackery - David Sedaris.


The Children of Dynmouth - William Trevor. A relatively short novel of a small English town and the lives of its children, in particular one odd friendless but well-informed boy, who lets slip secrets to get what he wants. Nice creepy atmosphere.

The Cactus Eaters: How I Lost My Mind and Almost Found Myself on the Pacific Crest Trail - Dan White. A book with a "He said it! He said the title!" moment. Dan and his girlfriend set off to walk the trail. Dan is a twat. They go through things, some funny, more testing. It wanders a bit at the end, as any tale of an expedition done in bits and incompletely remembered is likely to do. At its best for the first half or more, when the walking and discovery are at their heights, though I think the opposite is probably true for the author, who got more out of the latter stages.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2023 10:43 
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Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
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1. The Midnight Library - Matt Haig
2. Educating Peter - Tom Cox.
3. Carnival of Snackery - David Sedaris.
4. The Children of Dynmouth - William Trevor.
5. The Cactus Eaters: How I Lost My Mind and Almost Found Myself on the Pacific Crest Trail - Dan White.


No Less the Devil - Stuart MacBridge. A thriller but not about Logan, the author's long-running series. Still a dark police story with gore aplenty. It takes a bit of an odd turn that I didn't think quite worked, and I wasn't totally convinced, but it just about sticks the ending.

The Foot Soldiers - Gerald Seymour. Unusually for Seymour, it's a follow-up, to The Crocodile Eaters, 'starring' the same unlikely grey hero, Jonas Merrick. Known as "The Eternal Flame" because he never goes out, he's unassuming but excellent at catching traitors as he has to here when a defector is nearly killed. Who is the leak? Seymour has a very particular way of doing dialogue that makes everyone clipped and a bit odd, but once you're into the world it works. This one is just a little baggy towards the end, but I was clammy handed as the tension built in various sub-plots before that. One of the best thriller writers *if* you can deal with the style.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2023 18:13 
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And IN STROLLS GRIM..., BITCHES

I have read some books. Prepare to be entranced!

1) Hell Train by Iain Rob Wright
Look at that title! HELL TRAIN! HELL TRAIN! CHOO CHOO IT'S THE HELL TRAIN! Etc.
Anyway, a train goes into a tunnel that never ends, and weird shit starts happening. People hallucinate, people die, people vanish. It's a fairly easy read and some approriately freaky things happen, and I enjoyed it quite a lot. It's part of a bigger series of books that are mostly stand-alone, so I then read

2) Maniac Menagerie by Ian Rob Wright
So this was a large departure from the previous book. Absolutely nothing supernatural happened and it didn't seem to tie into anything, which is odd. It was a very J A Konrath-like book about serial killers (most of whom were basically superheroes) and a rich man who had built a theme park where they were the main attraction. Wouldn't you know it, things go very wrong very quickly.
It was an okay (if absurd) book, but I was expecting ghosts and shit.

3) The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard
Space-ship AIs make tea so people can survive in warp space. A strange detective hires a ship to take her to look at stuff. It was wierd and far too flowery and I didn't like it very much. Fucked if I know what happened, TBH.

4) Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal
British psychics set up a system during World War I in which soldiers who are killed report in and tell them what happened. Good shit! Soon it turns into a murder mystery and I somewhat ruined it for myself by deciding that a certain character was a traitor and then ending up being right, but I can't hold that against it.

5) The Gray Man by Mark Greaney
Remember that boring film? Well, this is the book series it was based on, and it's fucking great. If you like Jack Reacher but want to read about a Jack Reacher who isn't actually Jack Reacher (and has the worst fucking luck in the world) then this is well worth your time.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2023 23:05 
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Soopah red DS

Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
Posts: 3237
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1. The Midnight Library - Matt Haig
2. Educating Peter - Tom Cox.
3. Carnival of Snackery - David Sedaris.
4. The Children of Dynmouth - William Trevor.
5. The Cactus Eaters: How I Lost My Mind and Almost Found Myself on the Pacific Crest Trail - Dan White.
6. No Less the Devil - Stuart MacBridge.
7. The Foot Soldiers - Gerald Seymour.

The Sellout - Paul Beatty. A Booker winner, it just didn't gel with me. It's a satire on black people's treatment in the US, and maybe I just rushed it - it's not long, under 300 pages. But I felt like I didn't know the world well enough for it to land.

Home Fire - Kamila Shamsie. A modern rewriting of Antigone, though if I ever knew that, I didn't remember it, and I'd have to look it up to know what it meant. It had sat on my kindle for a long time before I rescued it. A lot of build up with the children of immigrants meeting and moving around each other, and government involvement because some of them are the children of a jihadi, one of a government minister. Interesting background and rocks along, well written. The ending came out of nowhere (you can do that on a kindle more than a paper book, if you don't have the % on) and made me gasp out loud.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2023 8:40 
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Gogmagog

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 48726
Location: Cheshire
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
Corruptible - Brian Klaas Why we get the leaders we do, and how it is all our own fault, but there are ways to make it better. It's engaging, readable, and makes one think. There's a few ideas I I have seen elsewhere, but worth the time to go through it. Pair with How To Rig An Election for maximum eye row raising.


Spare - Captain Wales Christ, this is a ride and a half. It's very poorly written, and he comes over like Holden Caulfield without the whimsy. Really picks up in the final third with ALL THE GOSSIP. I ended up feeling some sympathy for him.

ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
He gets the girl


A Talent for War - Jack McDevit this bloke's uncle dies, and it is Very Mysterious, but his uncle was researching something, so this bloke picks up the trail. It's a good space adventure, and nods towards how we view our own history, it being written by the winners, and the legends that grow around powerful historical figures.

It's well worth the look.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2023 14:16 
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KovacsC wrote:
1. No Plan B - Lee & Andrew Child


2. The Thursday Murder Club - Richard Osman

I really quite enjoyed this book. It is about a group of 70 & 80 year olds that like to solve cold murder cases for fun.. Until there is a real murder.

It is a lot of fun and I will be reading the sequels

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2023 2:55 
SupaMod
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OAPs solving murders (or trying to) is a thing that actually exists:
https://www.websleuths.com/forums/

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2023 21:12 
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Joans wrote:
1. Crash Annual 2023
2. Luke Haines - Bad Vibes: Britpop and my part in its downfall


3. Duncan MacDonald - South Coast Diaries

There's a subset of people on here that came from WoS, and there's a subset of those that were there because of Amiga Power, and there's a subset of those that came to Amiga Power from Your Sinclair, and there's a subset of those that were reading Your Sinclair long enough that they're familiar with the writing of Duncan MacDonald.

Potentially, that subset just consists of me.

Anyway, I'm not sure of the best way to describe his writing, I've been reading a few old reviews, and so far he's had his pet monkey review Skate Crazy on the spectrum, and Howard from Take That review Grand Prix Manager 2 on the PC, when he was writing for PC Zone. This is now making me read a load of old PC Zones, so expect a load of old PC games in the Finish 52 thread.

You may also be familiar with this - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_ ... prov=sfla1
Although it seems he was just ahead of his time https://store.steampowered.com/app/1480 ... Simulator/

From what I can tell, after leaving PC Zone, he pretty much disappeared. The diary extracts on which this book is based were originally published back in 2000 on seethru.co.uk,
although from a trip through the wayback machine only a few weeks worth of entries were published. It looks like they made it into book form in 2005, but it looks like it wasn't published at the time (the internet seems a bit unclear about this).

Apparently MacDonald was on the dole at the time of writing these entries, so not sure how much of this is based on experience. I think I only learned of the book's existence when I heard that the author had died, which, I think was in 2020, although it might have been 2017, and people only found out about it in 2020 (again, the internet seems a bit unclear).

I suppose I should write about the book. As the title suggests, it's written as diary entries, covering the first few months of "Duncan Donaldo's" stint in Hastings, surviving on the dole. Learn how to play Dole Lotto, so you get the most sympathetic person serving you. Read Cordon Bleu quality recipes, using ingredients from Lidl (and whatever else you might be able to get your hands on), and discover more about cockroaches than you probably want to know.
The entries are nice and bite-size, apart from a couple of longer "plot development" ones, and it's an amusing enough read while it lasts.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2023 10:18 
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Soopah red DS

Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
Posts: 3237
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1. The Midnight Library - Matt Haig
2. Educating Peter - Tom Cox.
3. Carnival of Snackery - David Sedaris.
4. The Children of Dynmouth - William Trevor.
5. The Cactus Eaters: How I Lost My Mind and Almost Found Myself on the Pacific Crest Trail - Dan White.
6. No Less the Devil - Stuart MacBridge.
7. The Foot Soldiers - Gerald Seymour.
8. The Sellout - Paul Beatty.
9. Home Fire - Kamila Shamsie.


The Kaiju Preservation Society - John Scalzi. Rattling story about another world full of Kaiju and their parasites, with experimentation ongoing to keep them out of our world and safe. Lots of exposition in chat, and lots of joking between the characters that didn't work for me. If you buy into it, you'll have a lovely time, but they were all making the same kind of jokes, and the pop-culture references ("Chewbacca called, he wants his bandolier back") didn't work for me. The author made this world, he made it like that, and then it conveniently fits a crap joke.

Magnificent Women and Flying Machines - Sally Smith. The first 200 years of British women in the sky. An interesting series of chapters about pioneers in ballooning, parachuting and flying. There's a long bibliography, it's not under-researched, but an absence of quotes and footnotes, and a lot of "she would have felt this" points to a lot of guesswork, or perhaps a need to fill a gap with some idea of what the person might have been thinking. Doubtless this is because women's involvement is poorly documented, but at times it dropped me out of the stories, and was too much like listening to sport commentators telling you what someone is thinking. You don't know. You're guessing or projecting. The rest of it is very good.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2023 23:23 
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Gogmagog

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 48726
Location: Cheshire
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
Corruptible - Brian Klaas Why we get the leaders we do, and how it is all our own fault, but there are ways to make it better. It's engaging, readable, and makes one think. There's a few ideas I I have seen elsewhere, but worth the time to go through it. Pair with How To Rig An Election for maximum eye row raising.


Spare - Captain Wales Christ, this is a ride and a half. It's very poorly written, and he comes over like Holden Caulfield without the whimsy. Really picks up in the final third with ALL THE GOSSIP. I ended up feeling some sympathy for him.

ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
He gets the girl


A Talent for War - Jack McDevit this bloke's uncle dies, and it is Very Mysterious, but his uncle was researching something, so this bloke picks up the trail. It's a good space adventure, and nods towards how we view our own history, it being written by the winners, and the legends that grow around powerful historical figures.

It's well worth the look.


Far From The Light of Heaven - Tade Thompson On a spaceship, travelling through interstellar space, the first officer wakes up from hypersleep to find the ship 's AI wiped, and thirty passengers out of the thousand on board who were also asleep out of their pods and very much dead. Really good locked room mystery.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2023 23:29 
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Gogmagog

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 48726
Location: Cheshire
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
Corruptible - Brian Klaas Why we get the leaders we do, and how it is all our own fault, but there are ways to make it better. It's engaging, readable, and makes one think. There's a few ideas I I have seen elsewhere, but worth the time to go through it. Pair with How To Rig An Election for maximum eye row raising.


Spare - Captain Wales Christ, this is a ride and a half. It's very poorly written, and he comes over like Holden Caulfield without the whimsy. Really picks up in the final third with ALL THE GOSSIP. I ended up feeling some sympathy for him.

ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
He gets the girl


A Talent for War - Jack McDevit this bloke's uncle dies, and it is Very Mysterious, but his uncle was researching something, so this bloke picks up the trail. It's a good space adventure, and nods towards how we view our own history, it being written by the winners, and the legends that grow around powerful historical figures.

It's well worth the look.


Far From The Light of Heaven - Tade Thompson On a spaceship, travelling through interstellar space, the first officer wakes up from hypersleep to find the ship 's AI wiped, and thirty passengers out of the thousand on board who were also asleep out of their pods and very much dead. Really good locked room mystery.


The Employees - Olga Ravn (translated by Martin Aitkin) this is proper good. This is weirdly proper good. Life on board a spaceship through the employee's eyes. Highly recommended. Absolutely superb.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2023 8:54 
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Posts: 17857
Location: Oxford
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1. The Confidence Men by Margalit Fox
2. Maus by Art Spiegelman
3. The Hunger by Alma Katsu
4. Ask a Historian by Greg Jenner


5. My Name's Not Friday by Jon Walter
A literate young boy is captured and enslaved. On the plantation, he secretly teaches others to read and becomes convinced he is Moses.
It's ok, and spends more time talking about the lives of the enslaved rather than obsessing with the goings-on at the big house. I felt the author was trying to make the lead into a Tom Sawyer figure, but somehow left out the charm.

6. All That Remains by Sue Black
A professor of anatomy and forensic anthropology discusses what happens to the body after death, intertwined with personal reflections on her career and life. Probably the strongest and most harrowing section is her account of her work in Kosovo in the early 2000s.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2023 17:56 
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Master of dodgy spelling....

Joined: 25th Sep, 2008
Posts: 22563
Location: shropshire, uk
Grim... wrote:
OAPs solving murders (or trying to) is a thing that actually exists:
https://www.websleuths.com/forums/


That is quite cool..

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2023 10:47 
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Heavy Metal Tough Guy

Joined: 31st Mar, 2008
Posts: 6543
Squirt wrote:
23.) Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway - Jonathan Parshall & Anthony Tully
A technical and detailed, but still fairly readable, history of the famous battle. Everything is covered, from Japan's grand strategy to the number of torpedo loading trolleys per hanger deck. One for people who are very interested only, but I really do recommend it if this is your bag.


I read this again.

2.) Father Brown - G.K.Chesterton
A collection of short stories from everyone's favourite slightly loopy uncle. Father Brown is wise and kind and rational, and solves crimes.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2023 11:16 
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Soopah red DS

Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
Posts: 3237
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1. The Midnight Library - Matt Haig
2. Educating Peter - Tom Cox.
3. Carnival of Snackery - David Sedaris.
4. The Children of Dynmouth - William Trevor.
5. The Cactus Eaters: How I Lost My Mind and Almost Found Myself on the Pacific Crest Trail - Dan White.
6. No Less the Devil - Stuart MacBridge.
7. The Foot Soldiers - Gerald Seymour.
8. The Sellout - Paul Beatty.
9. Home Fire - Kamila Shamsie.
10. The Kaiju Preservation Society - John Scalzi.
11. Magnificent Women and Flying Machines - Sally Smith.


Lion - Conn Iggulden. Second book in a trio about the life of Pericles, who fought the Persians and went on to be orator and leader in ancient Athens. This book ends with the Peloponnesian War imminent, and I always rooted for the Athenians so I might just leave it there. Competent historical fiction.

I Hate the Internet - Jarett Kobek. Written in 2016 and still relevant, a satire on the communication enabled by the internet. It's full of short paragraphs, sometimes coming across more like beat poetry. Recommended by Stewart Lee, and more like his columns (where I have to concentrate not to lose the thread) than his stage shows.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2023 12:57 
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Master of dodgy spelling....

Joined: 25th Sep, 2008
Posts: 22563
Location: shropshire, uk
KovacsC wrote:
1. No Plan B - Lee & Andrew Child
2. The Thursday Murder Club - Richard Osman


3. The Man who Died Twice - Richard Osman

The sequel from the TTMC, literally starts a day after.

I love those books, the growth of the characters and how awesome the old people are. The rag tag bunch solving more murders.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2023 12:06 
SupaMod
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Est. 1978

Joined: 27th Mar, 2008
Posts: 69622
Location: Your Mum
Grim... wrote:
1) Hell Train by Iain Rob Wright
2) Maniac Menagerie by Ian Rob Wright
3) The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard
4) Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal
5) The Gray Man by Mark Greaney

6) Steel Flies by Roy Lanchester
This is a spoof cold war thriller by fake car journalist Roy Lanchester, who is actually Richard Porter, who used to work on Top Gear / The Grand Tour and wrote the Boring Car Trivia books I've read over the last couple of years, and is also one half of the Smith and Sniff podcast which is great. Anyway. Trent Steel is some sort of British secret agent who has to figure out who stole an experimental jet. It's deliberately written badly and it's most amusing, with things like massively overly-detailed descriptions of cars or roads, regular references to "muscular eyes" or "talented nose", and different ways of saying "black car" (coffee black, midnight black, dark black, etc). I liked it.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2023 21:13 
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Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
Posts: 3237
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1. The Midnight Library - Matt Haig
2. Educating Peter - Tom Cox.
3. Carnival of Snackery - David Sedaris.
4. The Children of Dynmouth - William Trevor.
5. The Cactus Eaters: How I Lost My Mind and Almost Found Myself on the Pacific Crest Trail - Dan White.
6. No Less the Devil - Stuart MacBridge.
7. The Foot Soldiers - Gerald Seymour.
8. The Sellout - Paul Beatty.
9. Home Fire - Kamila Shamsie.
10. The Kaiju Preservation Society - John Scalzi.
11. Magnificent Women and Flying Machines - Sally Smith.
12. Lion - Conn Iggulden.
13. I Hate the Internet - Jarett Kobek.


Mr Pye - Mervyn Peake. My Pye travels to Sark to spread the word of God. It soon branches in to what we'd now call magical realism, I think, though it probably pre-dates the term. There's a Channel 4 series which I'll probably take in at some point, just to see what they do with this very odd story.

Sidesplitter - Phil Wang. Funny man writes funny book. A success, covering similar ground to his stage persona - his unusual background, and how it shapes his view of the world. At times it's a bit meandering, too much on the "it's a bit this, and a bit that" which is a fair opinion of life's grey areas, but not that interesting to read.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2023 0:00 
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Joined: 31st Mar, 2008
Posts: 6543
Squirt wrote:
1.) Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway - Jonathan Parshall & Anthony Tully
2.) Father Brown - G.K.Chesterton

3.) The Kean Land - Jack Schaefer
A "pick a book at random from my Dad's bookshelf" special. Four short stories featuring men with flinty stares who play it straight and don't take any nonsense from fancy-talking city folk. Well-written western tales that I ploughed straight through in a few hours.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2023 15:06 
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Soopah red DS

Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
Posts: 3237
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1. The Midnight Library - Matt Haig
2. Educating Peter - Tom Cox.
3. Carnival of Snackery - David Sedaris.
4. The Children of Dynmouth - William Trevor.
5. The Cactus Eaters: How I Lost My Mind and Almost Found Myself on the Pacific Crest Trail - Dan White.
6. No Less the Devil - Stuart MacBridge.
7. The Foot Soldiers - Gerald Seymour.
8. The Sellout - Paul Beatty.
9. Home Fire - Kamila Shamsie.
10. The Kaiju Preservation Society - John Scalzi.
11. Magnificent Women and Flying Machines - Sally Smith.
12. Lion - Conn Iggulden.
13. I Hate the Internet - Jarett Kobek.
14. Mr Pye - Mervyn Peake.
15. Sidesplitter - Phil Wang.


This is True - Miriam Margolyes. It took me a while to get into this lauded autobiography. I know her voice, I could hear it through the writing, but it grated a little, and some of the pithy endings to chapters made this feel like a "keep me busy writing during Covid" indulgence. But it settled in and it's a wide-ranging and entertaining ride through her life. She drops a lot of names, purely in the wish not to leave anyone out, but it's still just not terribly effective way to tell stories. And once you're unshocked by the swearing, some of it passes without much going on. It's still great, though, and so is she.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2023 18:50 
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Gogmagog

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 48726
Location: Cheshire
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
Corruptible - Brian Klaas Why we get the leaders we do, and how it is all our own fault, but there are ways to make it better. It's engaging, readable, and makes one think. There's a few ideas I I have seen elsewhere, but worth the time to go through it. Pair with How To Rig An Election for maximum eye row raising.


Spare - Captain Wales Christ, this is a ride and a half. It's very poorly written, and he comes over like Holden Caulfield without the whimsy. Really picks up in the final third with ALL THE GOSSIP. I ended up feeling some sympathy for him.

ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
He gets the girl


A Talent for War - Jack McDevit this bloke's uncle dies, and it is Very Mysterious, but his uncle was researching something, so this bloke picks up the trail. It's a good space adventure, and nods towards how we view our own history, it being written by the winners, and the legends that grow around powerful historical figures.

It's well worth the look.


Far From The Light of Heaven - Tade Thompson On a spaceship, travelling through interstellar space, the first officer wakes up from hypersleep to find the ship 's AI wiped, and thirty passengers out of the thousand on board who were also asleep out of their pods and very much dead. Really good locked room mystery.


The Employees - Olga Ravn (translated by Martin Aitkin) this is proper good. This is weirdly proper good. Life on board a spaceship through the employee's eyes. Highly recommended. Absolutely superb.


Cwen - Alice Abinia a book about life in an island where women begin to take over and what follows. It's a lot better than it sounds, and I probably would have been better reading it a lot more carefully.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2023 18:00 
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Master of dodgy spelling....

Joined: 25th Sep, 2008
Posts: 22563
Location: shropshire, uk
KovacsC wrote:
1. No Plan B - Lee & Andrew Child
2. The Thursday Murder Club - Richard Osman
3. The Man who Died Twice - Richard Osman


4. The Bullet that missed - Richard Osman

The 3rd in the TTMC books. More murders for the oap sleuths to solve.

They are like an ancient scooby doo :)

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2023 20:16 
User avatar
Soopah red DS

Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
Posts: 3237
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1. The Midnight Library - Matt Haig
2. Educating Peter - Tom Cox.
3. Carnival of Snackery - David Sedaris.
4. The Children of Dynmouth - William Trevor.
5. The Cactus Eaters: How I Lost My Mind and Almost Found Myself on the Pacific Crest Trail - Dan White.
6. No Less the Devil - Stuart MacBridge.
7. The Foot Soldiers - Gerald Seymour.
8. The Sellout - Paul Beatty.
9. Home Fire - Kamila Shamsie.
10. The Kaiju Preservation Society - John Scalzi.
11. Magnificent Women and Flying Machines - Sally Smith.
12. Lion - Conn Iggulden.
13. I Hate the Internet - Jarett Kobek.
14. Mr Pye - Mervyn Peake.
15. Sidesplitter - Phil Wang.
16. This is True - Miriam Margolyes.


La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust 1 - Philip Pullman. I finally finished the TV His Dark Materials, and this let me back into the world. It's a great adventure, well-drawn with likeable characters and enough peril that towards the end I was genuinely worried before I reminded myself this is a prequel, and if we're talking about Baby Lyra, then things must mostly be fine. A great sense of adventuring through different and strange things when the characters are forced to voyage, which on reflection doesn't take up quite enough of the book.

Gotta Get Theroux This - Louis Theroux. I really enjoyed this autobiography. His on-screen persona is so much him that it is transmitted through the book effortlessly, as is his constant sense of slight surprise that what he does is enough to keep him employed. There's a slightly mournful quality as as result of him constantly trying to work out what he does, how it should change, whether it should change, and so on, but he just comes across as honest rather than self-obsessed. His famous family popup from time to time - my favourite was the almost-throwaway that "my cousin Justin was dating Jennifer Aniston at the time...".


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2023 21:19 
User avatar
Master of dodgy spelling....

Joined: 25th Sep, 2008
Posts: 22563
Location: shropshire, uk
KovacsC wrote:
1. No Plan B - Lee & Andrew Child
2. The Thursday Murder Club - Richard Osman
3. The Man who Died Twice - Richard Osman
4. The Bullet that missed - Richard Osman


5. First Man In - Ant Middleton.

A bit of an autobiography of how he joined the Army and how he got in the SBS. Was quite interesting, just came across a bit cocky and arrogant.

But I guess that comes with the special forces.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2023 8:55 
User avatar
Gogmagog

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
Posts: 48726
Location: Cheshire
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
MaliA wrote:
Corruptible - Brian Klaas Why we get the leaders we do, and how it is all our own fault, but there are ways to make it better. It's engaging, readable, and makes one think. There's a few ideas I I have seen elsewhere, but worth the time to go through it. Pair with How To Rig An Election for maximum eye row raising.


Spare - Captain Wales Christ, this is a ride and a half. It's very poorly written, and he comes over like Holden Caulfield without the whimsy. Really picks up in the final third with ALL THE GOSSIP. I ended up feeling some sympathy for him.

ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
He gets the girl


A Talent for War - Jack McDevit this bloke's uncle dies, and it is Very Mysterious, but his uncle was researching something, so this bloke picks up the trail. It's a good space adventure, and nods towards how we view our own history, it being written by the winners, and the legends that grow around powerful historical figures.

It's well worth the look.


Far From The Light of Heaven - Tade Thompson On a spaceship, travelling through interstellar space, the first officer wakes up from hypersleep to find the ship 's AI wiped, and thirty passengers out of the thousand on board who were also asleep out of their pods and very much dead. Really good locked room mystery.


The Employees - Olga Ravn (translated by Martin Aitkin) this is proper good. This is weirdly proper good. Life on board a spaceship through the employee's eyes. Highly recommended. Absolutely superb.


Cwen - Alice Abinia a book about life in an island where women begin to take over and what follows. It's a lot better than it sounds, and I probably would have been better reading it a lot more carefully.


Artemis - Andy Weir a caper on the moon. Similar in style to the Martian, but isn't as good. Dialogue felt clunky and awkward at times.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2023 22:51 
User avatar
Heavy Metal Tough Guy

Joined: 31st Mar, 2008
Posts: 6543
Squirt wrote:
1.) Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway - Jonathan Parshall & Anthony Tully
2.) Father Brown - G.K.Chesterton
3.) The Kean Land - Jack Schaefer


4.) To the Devil - a Daughter! - Dennis Wheatley.
Old fashioned nonsense about a young woman pledged to Satan and the various shenanigans that go into rescuing her. Somewhat marred by the fact that the protagonist is a bit of an idiot and keeps calling his mother "Mumsie". Some totally insane art as a bonus.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2023 12:56 
User avatar
Soopah red DS

Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
Posts: 3237
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1. The Midnight Library - Matt Haig
2. Educating Peter - Tom Cox.
3. Carnival of Snackery - David Sedaris.
4. The Children of Dynmouth - William Trevor.
5. The Cactus Eaters: How I Lost My Mind and Almost Found Myself on the Pacific Crest Trail - Dan White.
6. No Less the Devil - Stuart MacBridge.
7. The Foot Soldiers - Gerald Seymour.
8. The Sellout - Paul Beatty.
9. Home Fire - Kamila Shamsie.
10. The Kaiju Preservation Society - John Scalzi.
11. Magnificent Women and Flying Machines - Sally Smith.
12. Lion - Conn Iggulden.
13. I Hate the Internet - Jarett Kobek.
14. Mr Pye - Mervyn Peake.
15. Sidesplitter - Phil Wang.
16. This is True - Miriam Margolyes.
17. La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust 1 - Philip Pullman.
18. Gotta Get Theroux This - Louis Theroux.


Exciting Times - Naoise Dolan. Sharp and acerbic story about a love life. Set in Hong Kong, perhaps to make sure everyone is out of their own environment, the characters aren't necessarily loveable, and the narrator uncertain which is the whole point, but if you find them irritating as a result, you're stuck. I just really enjoyed it, and it ends ambiguously enough that you can turn it into a rom-com or whatever type of ending you like. Currently 99p on Amazon.

Tenth of December - George Saunders. Short stories with bits of real-life, interspersed with elements of sci-fi to focus attention. Short story collections can be mixed, but this is fantastic. The intro is worth reading, as it teed me up for one or two things I might otherwise have been confused by (particularly the capitalist horror of the SG girls). The author teaches, but this is not a wanky author's book. Funny in places, bleak in others, life-affirming overall. I'd never heard of him before this, but I suspect George Saunders hasn't written a bad book (Edit: um, he has also won a Booker).


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2023 7:44 
User avatar
Master of dodgy spelling....

Joined: 25th Sep, 2008
Posts: 22563
Location: shropshire, uk
KovacsC wrote:
1. No Plan B - Lee & Andrew Child
2. The Thursday Murder Club - Richard Osman
3. The Man who Died Twice - Richard Osman
4. The Bullet that missed - Richard Osman
5. First Man In - Ant Middleton.


6. The Moscow Sleeper. - Stella Rimmington.

Book 10 in her Liz Carlye series. Quite enjoyed it about a strange college set up for hacking.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2023 10:02 
User avatar
Soopah red DS

Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
Posts: 3237
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1. The Midnight Library - Matt Haig
2. Educating Peter - Tom Cox.
3. Carnival of Snackery - David Sedaris.
4. The Children of Dynmouth - William Trevor.
5. The Cactus Eaters: How I Lost My Mind and Almost Found Myself on the Pacific Crest Trail - Dan White.
6. No Less the Devil - Stuart MacBridge.
7. The Foot Soldiers - Gerald Seymour.
8. The Sellout - Paul Beatty.
9. Home Fire - Kamila Shamsie.
10. The Kaiju Preservation Society - John Scalzi.
11. Magnificent Women and Flying Machines - Sally Smith.
12. Lion - Conn Iggulden.
13. I Hate the Internet - Jarett Kobek.
14. Mr Pye - Mervyn Peake.
15. Sidesplitter - Phil Wang.
16. This is True - Miriam Margolyes.
17. La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust 1 - Philip Pullman.
18. Gotta Get Theroux This - Louis Theroux.
19. Exciting Times - Naoise Dolan.
20. Tenth of December - George Saunders.


The First and Last Men: A Story of the Near and Far Future - Olaf Stapledon. Epic, truly epic, in scale science fiction, talking from the future as an overview of millions of years of evolution and revolution in man's lives. With no focus on the individual, it can in places seem a bit stark, but it does a good job of rolling along, and even the cycle of success and failure, where it repeats, isn't dull. There's a fair amount of "we can't talk too much of the next million years", but it never seems to be lazy, or skirting over anything. It's from the 1930s, but that only shows occasionally, and it is very interesting on potential future development. Ultimately, it's a more intense way of putting our short life span into perspective, and ends on just that note, as the last man signs off with a dedication to life.

Handsome Brute - Sean O'Connor. The true story of a man who killed two women. True crime, not my thing at all, so I don't know where I got and acted on the recommendation from. It does a very good job of setting the scene - post war Britain, the life of those who were there, including Neville Heath. It's primarily an exercise in setting the record straight, as the killings were painted as the product of sexual excess and perversion. Tabloid language and stereotype creeps in a little too often - no area can be mentioned without it being "respectable" or otherwise - but I felt like that was less the author, and more the fact that they'd crawled through a lot of coverage, stripped out most of the over the top language, and just sometimes missed bits. It kept me interested.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2023 14:27 
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Joined: 12th Apr, 2008
Posts: 17857
Location: Oxford
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1. The Confidence Men by Margalit Fox
2. Maus by Art Spiegelman
3. The Hunger by Alma Katsu
4. Ask a Historian by Greg Jenner
5. My Name's Not Friday by Jon Walter
6. All That Remains by Sue Black

7. Aftermath by Harald Jähner (tr. S Whiteside)

I've often only thought about the post-1945 from the position of either domestic history (the Attlee years) or at the geopolitical level as the stage gets arranged for the Cold War. For German history, it's only been the Berlin Airlift, the start of the D-mark, and the creation of the two states. I've never really considered what was going on there in those chaotic post war years.

Jähner takes us through everyday life during those times, from the black market, to fashion to fraternisation. The initial post-war years were chaotic and harsh, as the country struggled with starvation, destruction, and the influx of millions expelled from the former eastern territories. He talks about how "Stunde Null" is a comforting myth in the German psyche and how the legend of the Trümmerfrauen (women who happily cleared up the rubble of destroyed cities) doesn't match the reality.

One fascinating chapter deals with how the CIA funded abstract painters as part of its propaganda efforts in the early stages of the Cold War to create an image of freedom and openness compared to the sterility of the art supported by the communists.

He argues that the reluctance to talk about the past in the post-war period and the self-identification of Germans as victims of the war and the Nazis paved the way for the stability of the Federal Republic, and that the past would only be reckoned with by the succeeding generations after 1968.

A fascinating look at life in chaotic times, and a part of European history that often gets skimmed over.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2023 8:02 
User avatar

Joined: 12th Apr, 2008
Posts: 17857
Location: Oxford
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1. The Confidence Men by Margalit Fox
2. Maus by Art Spiegelman
3. The Hunger by Alma Katsu
4. Ask a Historian by Greg Jenner
5. My Name's Not Friday by Jon Walter
6. All That Remains by Sue Black
7. Aftermath by Harald Jähner (tr. S Whiteside)

8. God: an Anatomy by Francesca Stavrakopoulou

What does God look like? A theologian takes us on a journey from His Holy Feet upwards, using the Old Testament and other early sources to draw up a complete picture of the Almighty. It's not really about the Bible or Christian views of God, but more about how ancient societies perceived and related to their gods and how Yahweh fits into these traditions as he went from one amongst many to displacing everyone else to sit on the glittering throne alone.

It's endlessly fascinating, and even you don't agree with her interpretations or translations of scripture, or how the God of the Old Testament relates to modern views on the Big Guy Upstairs, it's a great look at the earliest civilisations. I did feel slightly uncomfortable reading the parts on God's, er, parts in a crowded place however.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2023 12:53 
SupaMod
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Est. 1978

Joined: 27th Mar, 2008
Posts: 69622
Location: Your Mum
Grim... wrote:
1) Hell Train by Iain Rob Wright
2) Maniac Menagerie by Ian Rob Wright
3) The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard
4) Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal
5) The Gray Man by Mark Greaney
6) Steel Flies by Roy Lanchester

7) Pitch Perfect by Mickey Rapkin
This is the book the movie was based on. It's non-fiction, and covers where college acapella started, who the big names are, and the shit they get up to. Interesting shit!

eight) Devil's Creek by Todd Keisling
Mentioned on Reddit as "one of the most fucked-up books" OP had ever read, I decided to give it a go. It's not bad, although there are too many characters for my liking. If you like sexual abuse of children, eating gross shit or zombies, this is for you. You probably don't, although that's the point.

9) Pink Dwarf 1-4 by Dick Bush
It's Red Dwarf erotica, and it's hilarious. I still occasionally giggle about Lister putting her (yes) arm over the back of the passenger seat and reverse-parking Pink Dwarf into orbit.

10) Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
An absolutely fantastic story about two childhood friends who bond over videogames and then try to make their own when older. It's fantastic, and it's basically written for us. Get on it, nerds.

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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2023 14:46 
SupaMod
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Posts: 69622
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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2023 15:25 
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Posts: 14210
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Grim... wrote:
.

:DD

Two times in as many minutes!

(I wish)


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2023 11:00 
User avatar
Soopah red DS

Joined: 2nd Jun, 2008
Posts: 3237
ZOMG Spoiler! Click here to view!
1. The Midnight Library - Matt Haig
2. Educating Peter - Tom Cox.
3. Carnival of Snackery - David Sedaris.
4. The Children of Dynmouth - William Trevor.
5. The Cactus Eaters: How I Lost My Mind and Almost Found Myself on the Pacific Crest Trail - Dan White.
6. No Less the Devil - Stuart MacBridge.
7. The Foot Soldiers - Gerald Seymour.
8. The Sellout - Paul Beatty.
9. Home Fire - Kamila Shamsie.
10. The Kaiju Preservation Society - John Scalzi.
11. Magnificent Women and Flying Machines - Sally Smith.
12. Lion - Conn Iggulden.
13. I Hate the Internet - Jarett Kobek.
14. Mr Pye - Mervyn Peake.
15. Sidesplitter - Phil Wang.
16. This is True - Miriam Margolyes.
17. La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust 1 - Philip Pullman.
18. Gotta Get Theroux This - Louis Theroux.
19. Exciting Times - Naoise Dolan.
20. Tenth of December - George Saunders.
21. The First and Last Men: A Story of the Near and Far Future - Olaf Stapledon.
22. Handsome Brute - Sean O'Connor.


Children of Time - Adrian Tchaikovsky. Man is about to embark on a great plan to reseed the universe with life, but it goes wrong, with the life-accelerant mistargeted. The last remnants of man later encounter the new life - who'll wipe out who? The time element comes from the last remnants being constantly in and out of stasis to bridge large distances. Very thoughtful and satisfying plus a great read.

How to Make the World Add Up - Tim Harford. Statistical guidelines, even better if you can read in his sardonic/reassuring voice. The central conceit is a rebuttal of the idea that stats are so complicated we might as well believe nothing, particularly as expressed in "How to Lie with Statistics" by Daniel Huff. It's good, solid stuff. And the first of several written-in-lockdown books I've read that just seems like a normal book, not one written from the edge of something.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2023 10:57 
User avatar
Heavy Metal Tough Guy

Joined: 31st Mar, 2008
Posts: 6543
Squirt wrote:
1.) Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway - Jonathan Parshall & Anthony Tully
2.) Father Brown - G.K.Chesterton
3.) The Kean Land - Jack Schaefer
4.) To the Devil - a Daughter! - Dennis Wheatley.


5.) Riddle of the Sands - Erskine Childers.
Another old favourite I've read probably 5 times by now. Edwardian yachting-based spy shenanigans.


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2023 6:32 
User avatar

Joined: 12th Apr, 2008
Posts: 17857
Location: Oxford
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1. The Confidence Men by Margalit Fox
2. Maus by Art Spiegelman
3. The Hunger by Alma Katsu
4. Ask a Historian by Greg Jenner
5. My Name's Not Friday by Jon Walter
6. All That Remains by Sue Black
7. Aftermath by Harald Jähner (tr. S Whiteside)
8. God: an Anatomy by Francesca Stavrakopoulou

9.A Million Years in a Day by Greg Jenner

Stories about the history of everyday things. Some of them are pretty standard, others were pretty new to me. An easy and sometime scatological read that's shorter than Bill Bryson's similar At Home


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 Post subject: Re: Finish 52 Books 2023
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2023 22:03 
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Gogmagog

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Corruptible - Brian Klaas Why we get the leaders we do, and how it is all our own fault, but there are ways to make it better. It's engaging, readable, and makes one think. There's a few ideas I I have seen elsewhere, but worth the time to go through it. Pair with How To Rig An Election for maximum eye row raising.


Spare - Captain Wales Christ, this is a ride and a half. It's very poorly written, and he comes over like Holden Caulfield without the whimsy. Really picks up in the final third with ALL THE GOSSIP. I ended up feeling some sympathy for him.

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He gets the girl


A Talent for War - Jack McDevit this bloke's uncle dies, and it is Very Mysterious, but his uncle was researching something, so this bloke picks up the trail. It's a good space adventure, and nods towards how we view our own history, it being written by the winners, and the legends that grow around powerful historical figures.

It's well worth the look.


Far From The Light of Heaven - Tade Thompson On a spaceship, travelling through interstellar space, the first officer wakes up from hypersleep to find the ship 's AI wiped, and thirty passengers out of the thousand on board who were also asleep out of their pods and very much dead. Really good locked room mystery.


The Employees - Olga Ravn (translated by Martin Aitkin) this is proper good. This is weirdly proper good. Life on board a spaceship through the employee's eyes. Highly recommended. Absolutely superb.


Cwen - Alice Abinia a book about life in an island where women begin to take over and what follows. It's a lot better than it sounds, and I probably would have been better reading it a lot more carefully.


Artemis - Andy Weir a caper on the moon. Similar in style to the Martian, but isn't as good. Dialogue felt clunky and awkward at times.


Beyond the Burn Line
by Paul J. McAuley


The earth is inhabited by evolved racoons now free from being enslaved by intelligent bears. They are trying to work out what went on.

It's OK, but I didn't massively enjoy it.

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