The SMB Book thread

Discussion in 'SMB' started by Monty Pigeon, Jan 25, 2015.

  1. Gloster Mackem

    Gloster Mackem Central Defender

    I've found a bit of time to start reading again (6 months off work) and after going through many pages of this thread I picked up some titles to read. Many thanks to all who posted as they've been great.

    A Selfish Gene - Richard Dawkins - 8/10
    I'm not sure why I didn't pay attention in biology at school but I loved this. Apart from the chapter on game theory which I think went a but overboard.

    A thousand splendid suns - 9/10
    Wow. What a book. A great story and you really get a sense of Afghanistan for women.

    The Road - Cormac McCarthy - 8/10
    Managed to read this in a day. Loved it and was gripped by their journey. I quite enjoyed that it didn't have chapters. I only felt the last two paragraphs were lacking. I didn't quite understand them??

    Sapiens: A brief history of humankind - 10/10
    Not an easy read (as in page turner) but I think a must read for anybody who wants to understand where we are today and how we got here.

    Books still in my bag:
    Kite runner
    A girl with a dragon tattoo
    Homo Deus
    A brief history of time

    I would have brought 'A Little Life' with me but it's a bit big and I'm sure it can't get better than the first time I read it. Best thing I've ever taken away from the SMB.

    Does anyone have any recommendations of anything else to read?

    Nearly forgot, a couple of not so good books:

    Man and boy - Tony Parsons - 5/10
    An ok story with a bit of humour but a book to pass the time rather than a must read.

    Rag doll - 6/10
    Slightly better than average thriller to fill the time. Wont go out my way to read the sequel.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2018
    TartanMackem likes this.
  2. Lexingtongue

    Lexingtongue Striker

    Did I recommend A Little Life to you? Great book. If you liked The Road, you might like my novel. It was heavily influenced by it.
  3. nahwee

    nahwee Midfield

    A Short History of Nearly Everything - Bill Bryson

    Most interesting book I've read.
    as one critic put it '... it's hard to imagine a better rough guide to science'

    Can any recommend anything in a similar vein?
  4. Gloster Mackem

    Gloster Mackem Central Defender

    Unsure who recommended, I saw it mentioned a couple of times I the first 30 odd pages of this thread.
    Can I buy a paperback version? Bit of a snob when it comes to books!
  5. Lexingtongue

    Lexingtongue Striker

    There is one available in paperback but I think it's an older version of the text as all my sales came through digital on Amazon. I can look for the link if you want.
  6. I've fallen out of the habit of reading over the last 6 months and now have a backlog of about 16 books on my shelf to work through; however I would recommend Mindhunter, the book the Netflix show was based on, it's an incredible insight into the FBI profiling of serial killers in its heyday.
  7. Saturday Night & Sunday Morning - Alan Stillitoe 7/10
    Interesting insight into post war Britain in Nottingham and protagonist Arthur and his life in the bike factory, his drinking and his womanising. A lot of parallels could be drawn with the modern day showing that we've not changed much.
    Not sure if the language used is that of the time, the area it is set or just of the author but it is beautifully written in places. Think it tails off in the Sunday Morning part and whilst it was partly intentional, I think I lost a little interest. Overall well worth reading.
  8. JonnotheMackem

    JonnotheMackem Striker

    Now wait for last year - Philip k dick

    Interesting enough story, well told. Nice twists and turns, good sci fi. You know what you are getting.

  9. ouro

    ouro Striker

    Shattered Sea trilogy - very good as is is all of his work. I'd give it a solid 8/10
  10. Monty Pigeon

    Monty Pigeon Winger

    How to throw shade in a dedication: literally and metaphorically. From Jan Morris's The Oxford Book of Oxford.

  11. :lol::lol:

    Dedications are always tricky. That one is a lot more graceful than any of mine.
  12. Pants

    Pants Winger

    Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami

    I usually find that short story collections leave me cold. More misses than hits. But I enjoyed all of the ones in here to varying extents. People starving themselves to death, ambiguous snakes and some kind of pre-metamorphosis pastiche. Works for me.
    JonnotheMackem likes this.
  13. cauldbairn

    cauldbairn Central Defender

    I haven't read that but Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner is my favourite short story.
    RestlessNatives likes this.
  14. Wayne The Punk

    Wayne The Punk Striker

    Outsider by Stephen King

    He is one of my favourite authors, his character development is always very good. But even as a fan I recognise he does write some shite

    Back to his best in this one 8/10
  15. errant

    errant Striker

    How to Build a Car - 8/10

    Adrian Newey autobio in sorts - a potted history of the history of motor racing from his prospective. the Senna stuff is brief, as was their working relationship - but he makes the hidden bits of F1 and why they did what they did really interesting. gets a bit overly technical in parts but newey explains most of it and why they did what they did. warmed to the fella by the end, he's obviously a rather driven fella mind...
  16. Finally got around to reading this. I used to buy Brookmyre's books the day they came out but my interest has wained a little and when he was charging a tenner for a kindle book, I decided to wait.
    It was entertaining enough but if this was his first book, I doubt I'd be rushing to buy his next one. Plot was canny although I come from a tech background so not sure if that helped. Main characters were likeable enough although I fear there was a little author wishful thinking coming into it when Parlabane beds a fit 25 year old bi-sexual.:lol:
    On that note, I did feel there was a little bit of cliched characterisation dressed up as being interesting. The young bi-sexual boss, her transgender boss, the black female hacker etc. I don't for one minute thinking he was 'trying to be PC' but after twenty books, maybe he is running out of 'different' characters.
    Author's styles and interests evolve over time but I think Brookmyre has lost a little of what I loved about his work in the first place, it certainly lacks the humour.
    Not bad but not his best by a long way. 6/10

    As an aside, one of the major plot points in the book I am writing is in here.:evil: I know there are no new ideas but having one in my favourite author's latest book is probably a bit too close for comfort and I'll have to change it.:lol:
    Arkle likes this.
  17. Old Prestonian

    Old Prestonian Striker

    I think that you're being a bit harsh there probably on account of the enboldened bit ;). I thought it was Brookmyre's best for some time and gave it an 8/10 in my review on the thread IIRC.
    RestlessNatives likes this.
  18. :lol: Possibly, I think I was maybe harsh due to high expectations. I was hovering between a six and a seven but that plot twist probably did it for me.
  19. Monty Pigeon

    Monty Pigeon Winger

    I've read two entire books cover to cover today, which I think is a first for me. Both very short, mind. The first 130 pages, the second 76.

    Fear is the Rider by Kenneth Cook 8/10
    Chase thriller set in the Australian Outback. Gripping from the first sentence to the last. It was originally written in the 80s, and was only recently rediscovered and published.

    Turbulence by David Szalay 9/10
    Cycle of connected short stories centered on a series of flights starting and ending at Gatwick. Some of the links feel contrived, but great writing, and a book that highlights how inter-connected the world is.

    RestlessNatives likes this.
  20. Horatio Pugwash

    Horatio Pugwash Striker

    I must have read it a dozen times and my mind is still fcked when contemplating just how much "space" there is in space

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