Something to read:) Only slightly OT:)

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Something to read:) Only slightly OT:)

Postby JMan » Wed Aug 11, 2004 10:11 pm

OK I'm hungering for words,.. having read my way through various works of Jansson (Tove, died recently), Asimov, the Pratchett series and various other things recomended to me on and off. I need more..:D

Oh and the Michael Marshal Smith books.

What is everyone reading and why? Recommendations please then I can go raid the library.. Hehe

Keeping it on topic I'm quite happy to hear about any good kidney (or renal food) books as well:)

"Dialysis! What is this? The dark ages!"
L. 'Bones' McCoy, ST"
Read my blog:)
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Postby Rachel in NY » Wed Aug 11, 2004 10:51 pm

Here's a clump of my fav authers, although i read almost anything that has print on it. i can tell you shampoo ingredients by heart, just from reading it so much. Dictionarys, manuals, bottles of stuff, cookbooks, encyclopedias, newspapers, whatever. it has text? I've read it. or will. When there's that painful gnawing inner need just yelling and attacking "give me books give me books".

John Grisham - smooth reading, and intense
Michael Chrighton- same
Tom Clancy - bit drawn out.. you might get ansy
James Patterson -each one more exciting & diff then the next.
Robert Ludlum -bit 'deep', you'll need lots of concentration

K, for something light and fun - for ALL ages, i'd recommend the "McDonald Hall Series" written by Gordon Kormon. They are absolutely hilarious, and in my opinion, the older you are, the more you'll pick up on the subtleties, the humor, the plays on words, etc. He's canadian, so Americans won't have trouble with it. Other countries - may miss out on the play on words.

10 year olds can read the book, and think its "okay". a 13 year old might even say its funny. a 40 year old won't stop laughing. He is very gifted with words, and the more well versed you are in the english language, the more fun it will be for you. Go for it!

Another such auther I've just discovered - very "gordon korman like' is "Andrew Clements". Also, kids books, but funny nevertheless. Great for when you just want/need a quickie.

That said, i'd read anything. I go to the library and pluck off the shelves. No rhyme or reason, although I have been known to pick those with more attractive and up to date covers ;) Even though you aren't supposed to judge a book by its cover. But we won't tell, right? :p
Last edited by Rachel in NY on Thu Aug 26, 2004 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby R30 » Thu Aug 12, 2004 7:49 am

If you like Terry Pratchett, then try books by Michael Moorcock. He is a fantasy writer too and I couldn't put his books down.
I have also just finished reading two books by Dave Gorman - absolutely hilarious if you need a good laugh. First book is of his travels around the world to meet other people called "Dave Gorman"... and the second, his book on his Googlewhack adventures. Recommended reading.
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My current book

Postby Julie » Thu Aug 12, 2004 10:26 am

I'm reading an amazing book at the moment by Ken Follett called The Pillars Of The Earth. Would highly recommend it.

Postby oldborris » Thu Aug 12, 2004 11:25 am

My latest acquisitions are:

Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything. I bought this 'cos I wanted to find out why I was born so beautiful and, more particularly, why I was born at all. Unfortunately, the book was silent on both questions but the bookshop refused to give me my money back.

Francis Wheen's [he writes, I think, for the Guardian] How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered The World: A Short History of Modern Delusions. It's an examination of the various cults, quackery, gurus, irrational panics [like that of the millenium], moral confusion and the epidemic of mumbo-jumbo that threatens to swamp us all. Chief among the exponents of modern mumbo-jumbo are the self-styled consultants thousands of whom are employed by the preent government at a cost of millions and millions of pounds and achieve zilch. These mumbo-jumboists "advise" on law and crime and emigration control and prisons and almost every aspect of our lives. Yet, as Wheen shows, the more they advise the more deep in the mire the country gets.

Vive La Revolution by Mark Steel [another Guardian writer] of whom Wheen {see above} says: "Steel is bolshy, belligerent and bloody hilarious." I wholeheartedly agree. I got a completely different perspective on the French Revolution from its pages - and lots of laffs.

An Intelligent Person's Guide to Atheism by Daniel Harbour. I got half way through this book before I discovered that I was not intelligent enough to understand it.

The Great American Bus Ride by Irma Kurtz. A bit of a disappointment. Before dialysis put touring out of the question for me I had long cherished the dream of exploring small town America by Greyhound so I eagerly seized on this book. But the picture Irma paints of Greyhound is of a severely down-market bus service used only by the under-arm of American society, sleazy, morose, threatening. Her aim was to cover as much of the US as possible but to see none of it. Travelling almost exclusively by night, on the few occassions she surfaced during the day it was only to catch up on sleep in some equally sleazy hotel.

The Trouble With Islam by Irshad Manji. Totally absorbing, Irshad, herself a Muslim, describes her book as a "wake-up call for honesty and change".
It has already earned her a fatwa from the fundamentalist Muslim community. Her main thesis is that Islam is essentially an Arabic desert-born religion which has not developed to meet the needs of the world-wide religion it has now become and is in urgent need of reform. Daringly, she questions the authority of the Koran which she does not regard as the direct and unchallengable word of God. By the way, she thinks the "seventy virgins" promised to the Islamic suicide bombers is a mistranslation of the word for raisins, a rare delicacy in the desert. She anticipates with some relish the consternation of those involved in 9/11 when, on arrival in Paradise, they are presented with seventy raisins. Well, at least that deals with the question of whether the virgins remain perpetually virgin. Irshad maintains a website in which she explores these issues further and invites correspondence.

Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss. In a world where the value and necessity of punctuation is not taught or valued this book comes as a rallying call to those of us who flinch when they see a bookseller's sign reading "Book's Sold Here". Linda was inspired by the story of the panda who enters a cafe and orders lunch. He eats, produces a revolver, shoots two bullets into the air. "Why?" asks the waiter as the panda prepares to leave. "That's what a panda does.", replied the panda. "Here, look it up" he added, tossing to the waiter a badly punctuated wildlife manual. The waiter looks up "Panda" and reads: "Panda - Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves."

Farewell to God: My reasons for rejecting the Christian faith. Charles Templeton at the height of his evangelistic carreer shared mass rally platforms with Billy Graham and hosted many of his own, speaking nightly to crowds of 10,000 to 30,000 in cities across Canada, USA and Europe and addressed mass youth rallies in California's Rose Bowl , Chicago's Soildier Field and Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens and elsewhere. He was Director of Evangelism for the Presbyterian Church USA and subsequently for the National Council of Christian Churches USA. However increasing doubts about the validity of the Old Testament and that Jesus was God finally brought about a crisis of faith and eventually, after going back to his divinity college to try to resolve these doubts, he resigned from the Ministry. In this book he gives the reasons for the abandonment of his faith and challenges the validity of the core Christian beliefs. A must-read for anyone who dares to examine their belief and is not content to blindly accept just what they hear from the pulpit or to read the Bible in a totally uncritical way.
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Postby Mike » Thu Aug 12, 2004 12:18 pm

Hi Borris

those books sound really interesting I must try and get hold of a couple of them.

I'm reading The Best Democracy Money Can Buy by Greg Palast who is an investigative reporter and is a collection of stories he has written for the guardian and the BBC. It is mainly about the politics of globalisation but has a lot about the illegal removal of african-americans form the florida voter rolls and how the US media were not interested in reporting it.

also I have just read Behind the War on Terror by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed which is all about the global war on terror and the background to the conflicts in the middle east over the last 50 years or so.

I would recommend Peter Cook: A Biography by Harry thompson, very interesting reading. If you like peter cook you could also try Tragically I Was an Only Twin: The Complete Peter Cook which is a selection of writings by him from school up to his last ever interview.

Um lastly One Consciousness: An Analysis of Bill Hicks' Comedy by Paul Outhwaite. simply the greatest US comedian ever.

mike :D :lol:
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Postby susie » Thu Aug 12, 2004 12:37 pm

Have you ever read any William Gibson (Neuromancer, Virtual Light etc)?
He coined the phrase virtual reality and writes science fiction/cyberpunk novels. You might like Robert Rankin if you like the Pratchett books, the Brentwood Triangle trilogy was funny. For some deeper sci-fi fantasy try Phillip K Dick - he wrote 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep' which was made into the film 'Bladerunner', be careful what you choose because he wrote a lot of stuff just to pay the rent whilst on all kinds of drugs so some novels are not really that great, but the ones that are are amazing.

Also you might like Douglas Coupland (Microserfs, Generation X) really easy to read but quite philosophical in parts. He writes about McJobs, the dotcom revolution and the emptiness of our manufactured world but with a very human angle. Very good at capturing the zeitgeist. Microserfs follows the lives of a few friends (all geeks) who work at Microsoft and then go on to set up their own company. They buy their clothes at Gap and watch videos on fast forward.

If you want to carry on with Nordic authors after Tove Jansson (I've only ever read the Moomin books but they are wonderful), you could try Peter Hoeg (Borderliners, Miss Smilla's Feeling For Snow).

Hope you find something good

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Postby bluemoon » Thu Aug 12, 2004 6:10 pm

Stephen Baxtor Timeships and Evolution. Fantastic!

PS Great to have some non kidney related links - lets have some more!
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Postby Rik » Fri Aug 13, 2004 9:37 am

Property of the NHS
Now Please Wash Your Hands

... Author Unknown

it was on the NHS toilet roll when I last visited ... it held my attention at the pull of every sheet!!!!!

now if you will excuse me I will get back to my lastest book bought for me ... its been holding my attention for hours ...

hmm?? ... now where did I put my crayons?? ...

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Postby amanda in CA » Fri Aug 13, 2004 4:55 pm

My favourite? all books by Barbara Cartland, so deep, so meaningful, can't get enough of them! - only kidding, did you really believe me for a minute? For fantasy fiction, loved the Belgariad and books that follow on, the characters are so well described. I also love thrillers - Patricia Cornwell is one of my favourite writers. I read Silence of the Lambs way before it was made into a movie. I like the books by Anna Shrieve (a bit girly for some of you). Amanda
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To Rik

Postby Anne in Va » Fri Aug 13, 2004 5:27 pm

Hey Rik, is the NHS toilet roll still like waxed paper or has it softened over the years?

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Postby Pam » Fri Aug 13, 2004 5:57 pm

If you like suspense, you have to read some of Frank Peretti's books! He puts things into words that help you see some of life's unseen problems and entities. I am up late at night reading his novels, which, by the way, have truth in their context.
I also like Francine Rivers-a good one is "Redeeming Love"...although I usually shy away from "romance" novels, this one is much more than that!
I have one book in my "library" which I have started and not yet finished called, "The Puzzle People-Memoirs of A Transplant Surgeon" by Thomas E. Starzl. Kind of gives the view of being on the other side of the scalpel so to speak. I DO like Christian authors and many of them write excellent novels filled with excitement-you have to put your opinions aside as to whether or not you believe in God (I do, although I respect those of you who do not) and their books are still good reading either way.
Rachel, I am like you-I read everything! Sometimes I even read some of the work I, myself, have written! :roll: I am not as good, however, as most anyone else is. :wink: I think most of us who read voraciously do try our hand at being the author! Have any of you?
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To Pam

Postby Anne in Va » Fri Aug 13, 2004 7:31 pm


Have you read any books by Bodie and Brock Thoene? If not, give their series "Zion Covenant" a try. I think you will enjoy them. The series begins with the book "Vienna Prelude." That series is followed by the "Zion Chronicles" series. If you have not read them, they will keep you busy for a while!

Also have you read the Jan Karon "Mittford" series? I loved them.
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Postby oldborris » Sat Aug 14, 2004 1:36 pm

Amanda wrote: My favourite? all books by Barbara Cartland, so deep, so meaningful, can't get enough of them

Oh Amanda: don't do that again. I had a heart attack just before I got to the line in which you said you were only joking and I am not sure if I have yet recovered.

When writing earlier about the books I am con-currently reading I forgot to include The Nuts and Bolts of Life by Paul Heiney[www.suttonpublishing.]. This is the utterly absorbing and fascinating story of the father of the kidney dialysis machine, William Kolfe. who in Nazi-occupied Holland struggled to complete his dream of inventing a kidney machine. Made with farm implements from wood hewed and fashioned by a local farmer who worked in constant fear of discovery and arrest it had also to be operated in secret [all medical devices, even experimental, were for the use of Germans only]. Kolfe only intended his fearsomely primitive machine as a temporary help to acute kidney failure patients while their kidneys recovered their normal function. But he had to struggle, not only against the Nazi's but also against his colleagues who thought he was attempting the impossible and, worse, against continual failure for his first 18 patients died. But he never gave up even tho' his work in his hospital kept him busy all day and he had to restrict his dialysis work to long weary nights. But he lived to see the developement of the modern dialysis machine which keeps patients alive indefinitely. Thanks to him I am alive today. Thanks a lot, Billy boy!
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Postby Rik » Mon Aug 16, 2004 9:37 am

Anne ..
it has softened over the years ... though not by much ...
but I think thats because too many people were taking in home to rub down the woodwork and stuff when decorating instead of buying sand paper!!!!!!!
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