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Topic: Last Book Read...

Seeing as how we have a 'last movie seen' thread, I thought it would be nice to have a similiar post for books, as I personally am always interested in new reading materials.

I just finished reading 'Ramage and the Drumbeat' by Dudley Pope.
It's the second novel in Pope's Lord Ramage novels...the unofficial successor to C.S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower series. The writing is sharp and clean, and Nicholas Ramage is proving to be enjoyable character if not as interesting as HH himself.

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Re: Last Book Read...

Tourist Season by Carl Hiaassen.  His first novel, written in 1986 and containing his usual assortment of Florida eco-terrorists and loner protagonists.  Fun and funny, with an angry message under the surface.

Hilly...you old devil!

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Re: Last Book Read...

Re-reading Len Deighton's "Game, Set & Match" series, but am thinking about pausing after book 5 (only 100 pages to go) to read "Silverfin". Haven't decided whether to break the continuity or not.

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Re: Last Book Read...

Sadly, I haven't read a fiction book in a couple of years. Two or three summers ago I marathon-read *all* Agatha Christie novels, and a few of the short story collections. Being an avid fan of hers, I can't but recommend them... er, not Passenger to Frankfurt, however, and maybe some others.

The last book I read, which wasn't something technical necessary for my job, was Philip Gourevitch's "We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families" -- about the Rwanda Genocide 1994. Highly recommendable reading for anyone interested in current affairs. It's based on a series of interviews done in Rwanda during 1995.

Gourevitch's book whould be coupled with another book on the same subject, "The Rwanda crisis" by Gerard Prunier, which is more scholarly/academically oriented.

Prunier's book provides a thorough run-through of the historical processes leading up to 1994. Gourevitch's book gives a more journalistic account of the aftermath, survivors' recollections as well as UN's disappointing role/non-role.

---
jfm

Last edited by MAHO (18th Mar 2005 14:28)

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Re: Last Book Read...

I'm always reading something.  The last book I read was actually a novella, Henry James's The Turn of the Screw; and the last full-length book was Crichton's State of Fear, which is just plain awful.  I'm currently reading Andrew Burstein's The Passions of Andrew Jackson.  My reading list is nothing if not diverse!

Vox clamantis in deserto

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Re: Last Book Read...

Lemony Snicket's Series Of Unfortunate Events-Book One: The Bad Beginning. Good book! ajb007/smile

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Re: Last Book Read...

I've just re-read Scorpius and Brokenclaw and I've nearly finished Silverfin. Before those it was The Sixth Column by Peter Fleming.

YNWA: Justice For The 96

A spectre of my mortal soul

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Re: Last Book Read...

I recently finished reading 'Careless Love - The Unmaking of Elvis Presley' by Peter Guralnick. It's a comprehensive account of the second half of Presley's life beginning with his army service in 1958 and ending with his death in 1977.

Overall, I found it a very engrossing read, yet rather sad. The decline and fall of one of the greatest entertainers (if not the greatest) of the 20th century was truly tragic. I thoroughly recommend it to all Elvis Presley fans. And also to anyone who is interested in reading about fame, celebrity and it's consequences.

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Re: Last Book Read...

Quoting Moore Not Less:
I recently finished reading 'Careless Love - The Unmaking of Elvis Presley' by Peter Guralnick. It's a comprehensive account of the second half of Presley's life beginning with his army service in 1958 and ending with his death in 1977.

Overall, I found it a very engrossing read, yet rather sad. The decline and fall of one of the greatest entertainers (if not the greatest) of the 20th century was truly tragic. I thoroughly recommend it to all Elvis Presley fans. And also to anyone who is interested in reading about fame, celebrity and it's consequences.

Got to back you up 100%. It's a great book, and with its predecessor "Last Train To Memphis" probably the best Elvis biography we're ever likely to get. Guralnick's genuine feeling and in-depth knowledge shine out from every line.

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Re: Last Book Read...

Quoting MAHO:
Sadly, I haven't read a fiction book in a couple of years. Two or three summers ago I marathon-read *all* Agatha Christie novels, and a few of the short story collections. Being an avid fan of hers, I can't but recommend them... er, not Passenger to Frankfurt, however, and maybe some others.

Ah, another Christie fan!  Personally I've found her short stories even more enjoyable in terms of focusing less on crime and more on her view of human nature.  Have you ever read any of her novels under her nom de plume Mary Westmacott?

I just finished reading Myself as Witness by James Goldman who is best known for his screenplay/play, the Lion in Winter.  It's a fictionalized account of the reign of King John Lackland (think the Magna Carta) in a more sympathetic view from the perspective of a Welsh monk chronicler.  Definitely worth reading if you're interested in medieval history and enjoyed Lion in Winter though with less of Lion's wit.

Flattery will get you nowhere, but don't stop trying.

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Re: Last Book Read...

Quoting Sir Hillary Bray:
Tourist Season by Carl Hiaassen.  His first novel, written in 1986 and containing his usual assortment of Florida eco-terrorists and loner protagonists.  Fun and funny, with an angry message under the surface.

I am reading another Hiaasen book, Sick Puppy. Sick and twisted humor.

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Re: Last Book Read...

I've been reading the Bond books. So far, I've read CR, LALD, MR, FRWL, DN, TB, YOLT, OP/TLD. Most recently I read DAF, my favorite book of the series (not film). The Spangled Mob was interesting (I live in America).

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Re: Last Book Read...

I finished reading The Da Vinci Code last weekend. It was one of the most interesting and well thought out books I've ever seen. I'm getting ready to buy Angels and Demons, hoping it has the same kind of adventure in store. I can now say that The Da Vinci Code is now on my list of top five books.

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Re: Last Book Read...

Quoting Tracy:

Ah, another Christie fan!  Personally I've found her short stories even more enjoyable in terms of focusing less on crime and more on her view of human nature.  Have you ever read any of her novels under her nom de plume Mary Westmacott?

Only one, "The rose and the yew tree", which I kind of enjoyed.

I was expecting sleazy Harlequin-type of romance drivel. Instead it was very well-written emotional drama heavily focused on emotion/romance/character. I've always liked Christie's superior skills in writing natural dialogue that doesn't feel "written" or artificial. That really shines through in book like this.

For some reason, I remember it also included some sort of mystery-cum-surprise ending -- but that was ten years ago I read it, so I might be confused about the contents.

I have two of the others, "A daughter's a daughter" and "The burden", but havn't found time to read them yet.

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jfm

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Re: Last Book Read...

Recently Read Ludlum's The Bourne Supremacy, currently reading something called SilverFinajb007/wink and plan to move onto reading the novelisation of the Steve Mcqueen movie Bullitt after that. ajb007/smile

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Re: Last Book Read...

Picked up a used paperback of Richard Matheson's The Incredible Shrinking Man. Dick Matheson's imagination and talent is the one that's incredible. Good stuff.

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Re: Last Book Read...

My most recent two for school are The Devil in The White City.  It is a split story between the architect Daniel Burnham quarrels and designs for the 1893 Worlds fair.  I enjoyed that part of the story and the other half is about a serial killer H. H. Holmes during the time.  It was pretty interesting.  I also read All The President's Men which was a good read about uncovering the Watergate Scandal.

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Re: Last Book Read...

Quoting MAHO:

Only one, "The rose and the yew tree", which I kind of enjoyed.

I was expecting sleazy Harlequin-type of romance drivel. Instead it was very well-written emotional drama heavily focused on emotion/romance/character. I've always liked Christie's superior skills in writing natural dialogue that doesn't feel "written" or artificial. That really shines through in book like this.

For some reason, I remember it also included some sort of mystery-cum-surprise ending -- but that was ten years ago I read it, so I might be confused about the contents.

I have two of the others, "A daughter's a daughter" and "The burden", but havn't found time to read them yet.

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jfm

I have read the Mary Westmacott omnibus of Absent in the Spring, Giant's Bread, and The Rose and the Yew Tree, and my favorite out of those three is Absent in the Spring.  That one has a bit of a Mrs. Dalloway feel in terms of the subject matter and the nature of the protagonist.  There are two passages in The Rose and the Yew Tree which I tend to reread the most often: the one about gingerbread and the other about Shakespeare's Iago.

If you like Christie's natural dialogue and character driven storylines, you probably like her Mr. Satterthwaite and Harlequin short stories (the Mysterious Mr. Quin and the Harlequin Tea Set and Other Stories are the two collections, though Mr. Satterthwaite reappears in Murder in Three Acts).  I tend to reread those two collections the most often.

largo_7, you might be disappointed by Dan Brown's Angels and Demons; there's far less emphasis on the secret society hunting plot, and a lot more on the battles between science and religion.  The plot is extremely similar to the Da Vinci Code, so it won't be especially surprising.

Flattery will get you nowhere, but don't stop trying.

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Re: Last Book Read...

quoting DFXX
Just finished Moonraker for the first time. I'm working my way through them all, I started with CR, then LALD and am now up to DAF.

I'm taking a Bond break for the mo though, and I've started Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.

quoting Domino
I've been reading the Bond books. So far, I've read CR, LALD, MR, FRWL, DN, TB, YOLT, OP/TLD. Most recently I read DAF, my favorite book of the series (not film). The Spangled Mob was interesting (I live in America).

I also have been reading the Bond books. Yesterday I finished Dr No. They're different to the films but I still enjoy them. Some of my mates even seem interested in them, even though they hate the films.
LALD is my favourite, with DAF and FRWL coming up with a close joint second.
I usually read thick books like Harry Potter, but altoghether I've read Harry Potter 26 times and it's become a bit of a bore. The Bond books aren't that long and it's nice to read shortish books for a change, that I can get through in a couple of weeks, instead of a couple of months.
I liked the parts in LALD when they were in Florida. I liked a lot of things about DAF. I enjoyed the parts at the races and the parts in the Casino. FRWL was different. I didn't have a specific part I liked the most. But I always leave myself at a cliffhanger, like in FRWL, I ended where Grant had just fired at Bond.
I'm taking a break from the Bond books now, and am going to read my signed addition of Jaqueline Wilson's Diamond Girls.

Last edited by FelixLeiter ♀ (30th Mar 2005 11:03)

Relax darling, I'm on top of the situation ajb007/martini

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Re: Last Book Read...

Just finished The Spell by Alan Hollinghurst, which was strangely moving, but with an underlying coldness to it.  Just as you began to empathise with a character, he revealed some sort of flaw or minus that made you rethink.  But it ended cleverly, with a redrawing of lines - there was a kind of comment on the fragility of relationships, and of the different kinds of relationships that survive.  Oh, and it had some dirty bits in it too ajb007/biggrin

Currently halfway through The Folding Star by the same author, which seems similar in theme, but more pessimistic and louche.

Founder of the Wint & Kidd Appreciation Society.

@merseytart

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Re: Last Book Read...

I just finished The Forensic Casebook by N.E. Genge. It's non-fiction, but reads as well as any fiction book.

Before that it was Broken Music by Sting.

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I finished rereading Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita for the fourth time a few days ago.  There is far more than the sexual relationship between Humbert Humbert and Dolores Haze; neither party is completely innocent or completely guilty as each manipulates the other.  The beauty of the language is absolutely spellbinding; there is no crudity in the sex or violence.  Definitely this is a classic worth reading.

Flattery will get you nowhere, but don't stop trying.

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Re: Last Book Read...

The Funhouse by Dean Koontz. It wasn't one of his better books, but it was still better than most of the other books out there.

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Re: Last Book Read...

Doubleshot by Raymond Benson - by far his best original Bond novel.

YNWA: Justice For The 96

A spectre of my mortal soul

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Re: Last Book Read...

Mostly Harmless, Douglas Adams' final entry to his Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 'trilogy'.

You can tell Adams changed quite a bit as he wrote later on in his life. While his unique brand of humor remained the same, it seems as if his writing was laced with a bit more sincere and serious observations of the world around him.