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Books -- what are we reading lately?


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#1 MM

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 06:57 PM

Since I acquired a Kindle several years ago, I've found that I can read all of an author's books in a series IN ORDER, rather than scouring 2nd hand bookstores for one of the books in a series and taking whatever was available in the order it was found.

 

So, in the last few years, I've gotten stuck into several authors that have caught my attention...

 

So, going back to the acquisition of the Kindle....authors in order and their series are:

 

Stephen Hunter, the Sniper series with Bobby Lee Swaggart -- 14 books 

 

G.R.R. Martin Game of Thrones -- 5 books...months and months

 

Chris Ryan - author of the Strike Back series...SAS exploits...

 

Andy McNab - Nick Stone, ex SAS adventures...13 or so books ... good reads

 

Bernard Cornwell - Starbuck Copperhead series of 4 books about the USA Civil War - 4 books

 

I took a break and read some single books (not series), one of which was by

Tom Kratman "Caliphate", about the Islamic takeover of Europe..very interesting...let's hope it doesn't happen.

 

And finally, the series that I thought I'd never finish...

George Macdonald Fraser - Flashman Chronicles -- 12 books and I wish there were more

 

I'd have to say that the best of the last 3 years or so was the Flashman series...witty, informative, entertaining, and suspenseful. If you ever want to get a picture of the imperialism of the UK in the mid 19th century, this is the series for you. I finished book 12 last week, and now have to find something else.

 

I think I'll be trying to catch up with Bernard Cornwell's tales of pre-Norman England, but might just go for something else.

 

For the moment, however, I have just finished Midnight Train: Sidetracked, the second book in a trilogy about an Issan girl who comes to Pattaya to work...some interesting insights there, clearly written by an author (David Geoffries) who knows what he is talking about. Of course, you should read book 1 first...Midnight Train: Destination: Pattaya

 

Just yesterday, I started a book written by a pair of defense analysts, many compare it to Tom Clancy's :"RED STORM RISING". It's called GHOST FLEET, a novel of the next world war that is started by China against the USA.

 

So, if any of you are readers, fiction or otherwise, what books do you find most interesting?


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#2 teelack

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 08:34 PM

I too have enjoyed all the Flashman, Nick Stone and Lee Child as he is published. Having said that I love the novel of Philip Kerr and Quintin Jardine and have read everything that they have written. If you have an interest in war era stories and very good writing get into Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther novels a soon as possible. 

 

 

Having said all of that my daily Pattaya read is abut ten years old and I am loving it. It is A short history of almost everything"" by Bill Bryson who's books and writing are as good as it gets, 


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#3 short

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 11:48 PM

One that all mongers should read is the short story "Young Goodman Brown".  Amazon has it as a Kindle item.


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#4 jacko

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Posted 16 July 2015 - 12:55 AM

I struggled through a collection of Truman Capote short stories and am now reading a Nelson DeMille book. The latter is better for me! What MM says might be relevant with Mr DeMille, it would have worked better had I read his in order.

 

I really should consider a Kindle, I sometimes wake up at silly times and reading for a short while would help get me back to sleep and not disturb her who can sleep on a clothes line nearby.


Edited by jacko, 16 July 2015 - 02:07 AM.
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#5 tallguy

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Posted 16 July 2015 - 01:48 AM

If you like Bernard Cornwell you might want to try the Sharpe books which are set during the Napoleonic era. A lot of them were made into TV films. Cornwell also presented a documentary series called 'Sharpe's War' which looked at the history behind the stories.

I also like Nelson de Mille and John Connelly. Connelly has written a series of books about a former NYPD detective who returns to his native New England after his wife and daughter are murdered. There is a dark side to the books and he has a couple of interesting sidekicks.

I'm not a big fan of Stephen King but enjoyed 'Under the Dome' which is much better than the TV series.

The Stephen Leather novels are also entertaining, some of them have a Thai connection and some don't.

I like the John Burdett books, 'Bangkok Eight', 'Bangkok Tattoo' etc. These books follow the adventures of a Thai detective who tries to stay clean despite his background: his mother is a former bargirl who runs a bar which is owned by his boss, a police colonel who is also a major heroin dealer.

Re the Kindle. I bought a Kindle Fire last time I was in the UK but use it more as a tablet than an e-reader. I found that it overheated when I am reading by the pool or on the balcony so I still read more 'real' books. Another factor is that I like browsing around bookshops, I doubt if I would have picked up the De Mille or Connolly books if I was just relying on Amazon searches.

Edited by tallguy, 16 July 2015 - 02:46 AM.

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#6 atlas2

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Posted 16 July 2015 - 03:13 AM

I enjoyed Black Ajax.......Flashman's governor appears in it as it's set in Regency England and you discover the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree.

The American Champ comes over to give our homegrown champ some facers. Flashy's dad being the matchmaker. Fraser found it hard to get it published in the US too much use of the word niggers.......But it's the word they used then and the central character is drawn sympathetically.

 

When I was over in the UK a year ago I bought a load of 'Flashman' books by other authors Flashman and the Seawolf is one Flashman and the Cobra another.........haven't gotten round to them yet. You can find them on Amazon.......I doubt they will be a good as GMF. You know he wrote the first of the series in 90 hours!!

 

 

There's a new Stephen Leather in the shops now but the large edition is over 700 baht.........I'll wait.But if you like McNabe and Ryan you'll enjoy his "Dan Spider character...............I

 

'm considering re-reading LOTR I haven't read it since I finished it at the Rolling Stones concert in Hyde Park just after Brian Jones died........Almost 50 years ago.

 

I want to read it again before it becomes a matter of urgency.

 

I'm almost embarrassed to admit this but my favourite series....next to Flashy is the Modesty Blaise collection. Peter O' Donnell could write thrillers as good as anyone. Reviews are constantly good. He even won awards writing 'chick fic' under the pseudonym of Madeline Brent.

 

Modesty and Willy Garvin are terrific characters. More rounded than say Bond who we only pick up on in an adventure. But more far-fetched perhaps.  They started out as a comic strip and this was to be turned into a film. O'Donnell wrote a screen play that was never used so it became the first book in the series.........Forget the shitty film. The book's dated but still fun.

 

When in their last caper about a doz  books on the series finally comes to an end I was actually moved.

Whenever I come across a rare copy I buy it to pass on.

 

Steven Pressfield 'The Gates of Fire'...( Battle of Thermopylae.........)  is a true classic that's up for a re-read too. 


Edited by atlas2, 16 July 2015 - 03:20 AM.

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#7 RhinoTusk

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Posted 16 July 2015 - 03:17 AM

I'm reading Herman Melville's 'Moby Dick', perhaps the greatest American novel of all time and in the public domain. Real 19th century escapist stuff and also gets you primed for taking Moby over to Lolita's or Bliss Lounge: "Thar she blows!"

Edited by RhinoTusk, 16 July 2015 - 03:24 AM.

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#8 MM

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Posted 16 July 2015 - 07:15 AM

Great feedback in this thread...

 

Just a few additions...up until I got started on the monstrously long series, like G.R.R. Martin's and GMF's Flashman, I did read all of the available Stephen Leather stories with Spider Shepherd. Great entertainment...also a few other Leather books on other topics, with the exception of the Jack Nightingale books which I just didn't care for at all.

 

tallguy:

thanks for the mention of the Sharpe series by Bernard Cornwell...I started that series years ago after seeing the Sean Bean portrayal of Sharpe. Over the years since, I think I managed to read most, if not all, of the books out of order (usually), by scrounging in second hand book stores. I really liked Cornwell's style and research abilities after that, and started reading as many of his works as I could find. I even "LIKEd" his page on Facebook, where sometimes he posts interview videos. 

 

Also, I read two of John Burdett's Bangkok novels...they were okay, but not as gripping as the other books I've mentioned. The same applies to my attempts to get "into" John Connelly..maybe they were too cerebral for my tastes :P

 

As for the Kindle, I chose the Kindle Paperwhite model, which is a single purpose book reading device...it's not backlit, but lights from the sides, so it's easy to read in the dark, and outside, it appears much like the pages in a book. It's only black on light background, so no fancy color or videos. I've never had problems reading it in any environment, the battery last 3 weeks or so with regular reading (turn off WiFi). I avoided the Kindle Fire because it is more a tablet computer than a reading device, and has higher power consumption with shorter battery life. The Kindle Paperwhite is so convenient and sturdy, I just put it in my cargo pants pocket when I go out for a breakfast alone. Highly recommended!

 

P.S,

For the gentleman who roused me from a late morning (or was it early afternoon sleep?) to deliver a book to me, I thank you. I also appreciate your giving me book 1 of the series! I will attempt to do it justice by reading it, but TBH, it's the first actual paper book I have handled in 3 or 4 years, so I have no idea how well it will go with my breakfast. It might get a bit spotty with bacon and coffee! The thought was much appreciated.


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#9 Harvey

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Posted 16 July 2015 - 08:02 AM

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (he's gonna win the Nobel Prize for Literature sometime soon).  It's a big book (I like hard copy books vs e-book).  The thing is almost 1,000 pages long.


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#10 MM

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Posted 16 July 2015 - 08:24 AM

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (he's gonna win the Nobel Prize for Literature sometime soon).  It's a big book (I like hard copy books vs e-book).  The thing is almost 1,000 pages long.

Now that sounds interesting! 


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#11 tallguy

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 12:50 AM

MM, I wouldn't describe the Burdett books as cerebral. There's a slightly comic element to the Somchais struggle for some sort of Bhuddist purity and the corruption of the world he operates in. There are also the occasional culture clashes when outside agencies such as the FBI become involved in his cases. They might not win any literary prizes but I have found them to be entertaining.
I've read a couple of Leather's 'Jack Nightingale' books and thought they were OK despite my initial reservations about the plot. I suppose if you couldn't get into the Nightingale books then you might not enjoy the supernatural undertones of the Connolly books.

Edited by tallguy, 17 July 2015 - 12:51 AM.

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#12 atlas2

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 02:43 AM

MM, I wouldn't describe the Burdett books as cerebral. There's a slightly comic element to the Somchais struggle for some sort of Bhuddist purity and the corruption of the world he operates in. There are also the occasional culture clashes when outside agencies such as the FBI become involved in his cases. They might not win any literary prizes but I have found them to be entertaining.
I've read a couple of Leather's 'Jack Nightingale' books and thought they were OK despite my initial reservations about the plot. I suppose if you couldn't get into the Nightingale books then you might not enjoy the supernatural undertones of the Connolly books.

 

I left my 'Nightingale' on a beach chair half-read.........on purpose.

 

When I commuted by train to London........I'd go through 100s of books......Everything from certain authors. Douglas Reeman, Wilbur Smith, Ed MaBain, Tom Sharp......(Had me in stitches......especially 'Porterhouse Blue', Terence Strong, Roald Dahl, Frederick Forsyth, Asimov, Herbert........And loads of one offs......

Then I started to drive in.......hardly read another book except on holidays.

 

I'm thinking of getting a kindle. How easily do they interface with MacBook Pros? Ex wife No.2  gave me one and sent me 1000s of free booksin a zip file ..........And the instructions to convert but I couldn't work it out. Sold the thing and deleted the file.

 

But some publications are only available as ibooks........'Leather' for one...... so I'm sort of more 'incentif'fied'  The way things are going books will soon just be things people put on shelves......I feel I'm being left behind. :sosad


Edited by atlas2, 17 July 2015 - 02:45 AM.

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#13 MM

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 02:52 AM

 

I'm thinking of getting a kindle. How easily do they interface with MacBook Pros? Ex wife No.2  gave me one and sent me 1000s of free booksin a zip file ..........And the instructions to convert but I couldn't work it out. Sold the thing and deleted the file.

 

But some publications are only available as ibooks........'Leather' for one...... so I'm sort of more 'incentif'fied'  The way things are going books will soon just be things people put on shelves......I feel I'm being left behind. :sosad

I don't have a Mac, but the program I use to manage my Kindle library is available for the Mac as well as the Windows system. It's called Calibre, and can be downloaded from here http://download.cnet...4-10910278.html

 

Read the reviews at this link to decide if it's for you.


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#14 keyman

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 05:13 AM

 

I left my 'Nightingale' on a beach chair half-read.........on purpose.

 

When I commuted by train to London........I'd go through 100s of books......Everything from certain authors. Douglas Reeman, Wilbur Smith, Ed MaBain, Tom Sharp......(Had me in stitches......especially 'Porterhouse Blue', Terence Strong, Roald Dahl, Frederick Forsyth, Asimov, Herbert........And loads of one offs......

Then I started to drive in.......hardly read another book except on holidays.

 

I'm thinking of getting a kindle. How easily do they interface with MacBook Pros? Ex wife No.2  gave me one and sent me 1000s of free booksin a zip file ..........And the instructions to convert but I couldn't work it out. Sold the thing and deleted the file.

 

But some publications are only available as ibooks........'Leather' for one...... so I'm sort of more 'incentif'fied'  The way things are going books will soon just be things people put on shelves......I feel I'm being left behind. :sosad

 

 

Atlas

 

I have a Macbook Pro and a Kindle and they both work fine together. 

 

 

KM


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#15 atlas2

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 05:22 AM

Thanks..... Maybe my problem was with the file she sent me...... or the problem was the human interface. It was a stormy day maybe it upset that 'cloud' thingy!!

Edited by atlas2, 17 July 2015 - 05:24 AM.

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#16 Odense

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 05:28 AM

In any case there are plenty of books (in English) available on torrents and similar.
Calibre works well - the conversion from one format to another (like .mobi > .epub) can sometimes result in errors but mostly I can ignore them.

Edited by Odense, 17 July 2015 - 05:32 AM.

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#17 Parkwahn

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 05:34 AM

Catcher in the Rye,   


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#18 InternationalTraveler

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 10:34 AM

Always like a paperback and stuck to the usual thrillers with Connelly, Deaver, Clancy, Higgins, King, McNab, Patterson. 

I have to keep a list otherwise I ended up getting the same book twice and not realizing until around a hundred pages later. 

Just finished Sleepless in Bangkok by Ian Quartermaine an erotic thriller.

Next one on the list is Honarary Consul Pattaya by Barry Kenyon. 


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#19 midlifecrisis

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Posted 18 July 2015 - 01:44 AM

Some things old that I had not read before.

 

A Tale of Two Cities among other things.

 

 

 

Whenever I get the itch to read old works, the more the idea of mongering starts stimulating me.

 

If I start hankering for Shakespeare, I will know I missed the last plane there.

 

:thumbup


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#20 wacmedia

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Posted 18 July 2015 - 10:07 AM

Hi,

 

For my numerous fans on here :D , I'd recommend Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller.


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#21 Gary

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 04:29 AM

I've been on a Dean Koontz kick for the past month or so. I have a Kindle Paper White and I read every night in bed until I'm ready to fall asleep. I love Kindle. Some of his books are a little far out but still entertaining.


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#22 Fatboyfat

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 05:39 AM

Since going into retirement I have been trying to read Joyce's Ulysses, something I sort of pledged to do when I had time. I am not overly impressed and tend to be drawn to other more enjoyable tomes, such as a backlog of Viz annuals!!
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#23 ozboy

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 06:04 AM

Since I acquired a Kindle several years ago, I've found that I can read all of an author's books in a series IN ORDER, rather than scouring 2nd hand bookstores for one of the books in a series and taking whatever was available in the order it was found.

 

So, in the last few years, I've gotten stuck into several authors that have caught my attention...

 

So, going back to the acquisition of the Kindle....authors in order and their series are:

 

Stephen Hunter, the Sniper series with Bobby Lee Swaggart -- 14 books 

 

G.R.R. Martin Game of Thrones -- 5 books...months and months

 

Chris Ryan - author of the Strike Back series...SAS exploits...

 

Andy McNab - Nick Stone, ex SAS adventures...13 or so books ... good reads

 

Bernard Cornwell - Starbuck Copperhead series of 4 books about the USA Civil War - 4 books

 

I took a break and read some single books (not series), one of which was by

Tom Kratman "Caliphate", about the Islamic takeover of Europe..very interesting...let's hope it doesn't happen.

 

And finally, the series that I thought I'd never finish...

George Macdonald Fraser - Flashman Chronicles -- 12 books and I wish there were more

 

I'd have to say that the best of the last 3 years or so was the Flashman series...witty, informative, entertaining, and suspenseful. If you ever want to get a picture of the imperialism of the UK in the mid 19th century, this is the series for you. I finished book 12 last week, and now have to find something else.

 

I think I'll be trying to catch up with Bernard Cornwell's tales of pre-Norman England, but might just go for something else.

 

For the moment, however, I have just finished Midnight Train: Sidetracked, the second book in a trilogy about an Issan girl who comes to Pattaya to work...some interesting insights there, clearly written by an author (David Geoffries) who knows what he is talking about. Of course, you should read book 1 first...Midnight Train: Destination: Pattaya

 

Just yesterday, I started a book written by a pair of defense analysts, many compare it to Tom Clancy's :"RED STORM RISING". It's called GHOST FLEET, a novel of the next world war that is started by China against the USA.

 

So, if any of you are readers, fiction or otherwise, what books do you find most interesting?

For detective fiction  try James Patterson, lots of titles with some written as a series and also John Sanford has lots of books out there.


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#24 Gary

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 02:07 PM

I'm not proud of it but all my books were stolen. I downloaded about 7,000 books by paying for the high speed downloads. No way will I ever read all of them. I use Calibre and it puts them into the kindle format.


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#25 cannonball83204

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 02:29 PM

I love to read, but even in retirement don't put enough time aside to do it as much as I like.  Right now I am reading "Ride the Thunder: A Vietnam War Story of Honor and Triumph".  It is an intriguing look into the war from a USMC perspective.  It took me back to the year I spent in that war torn country and some pleasant and not so pleasant memories.  

 

CB


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