The SMB Book thread

Do you remember me talking about a book I put down after two chapters (rare for me) because of the utter unbelievability of it? A heavily pregnant, nervous, and anxious woman, whose husband is away, wakes to realise that an intruder in her house who leaves a knife next to her bed and a weird note in a card...and decides that she won't call husband or the police, she'll just go back to sleep instead?

That was Snap, by Belinda Bauer. Not sure I'd pick another one on the strength of that.
I remember you telling me but didn't realise who the author was. I'd never heard of her and only picked this up because it was free. There were elements towards the end of this one which stretched belief but it wasn't related to the main story as such so I let it go.
By the views of posters on her other books, I've probably been quite lucky with this one.
 


Based in part on a fascinating true story of MI5's surveillance of Nazi sympathisers in Britain, and a long con played on them for years where they thought they were reporting to their Gestapo handler, but were actually just giving everything they knew to a MI5 agent.

I've liked everything I've read by Kate Atkinson to date, and enjoyed most of this, but felt a bit let down by the ending. Was a little rushed, and
 

Curlyteeth

Full Back


Based in part on a fascinating true story of MI5's surveillance of Nazi sympathisers in Britain, and a long con played on them for years where they thought they were reporting to their Gestapo handler, but were actually just giving everything they knew to a MI5 agent.

I've liked everything I've read by Kate Atkinson to date, and enjoyed most of this, but felt a bit let down by the ending. Was a little rushed, and
Love a bit of Kate. Going to read big sky soon
 

KENT-FTM

Midfield
Who Dares, Wins: Britain 1979 - 1982 by Dominic Sandbrook.

After a long, seven year wait, the 5th volume of 6, was finally delivered by the local courier service.

It starts in April 1979 and the 2nd series of Fawlty Towers, and ends in Spring 1982.

It's only after reading the inside cover that you realise what a fascinating period, and just 3 years at that, this was in British modern history (socially, politically and culturally) - Thatcher gaining power, Irainian Embassy siege, Falklands war, the Royal Wedding , the 81 Ashes series, Snookers height in popularity, New Romantics/Joy Division and British pop, ZX Spectrum, Austin Metro, Chariots of Fire......the list is endless. I started reading it this weekend and can say it was well worth the wait.

The next, and last volume - For Your Eyes Only : Britain 1983 - 1987 is eagerly awaited, and I hope not a 7 year wait at that.
 
The Moon's a Balloon - David Niven 9.5/10
This was another of my recent holiday reads and much has already been written about this book on the SMB. It really is a fascinating read and he led an extroadinary life from being expelled from school at the age of 10 and a half. I don't want to write too much more as it could spoil the book for others but it chronicles his days at school, in the army, as an actor in Hollywood and his personal life.
It's hilarious
 

Curlyteeth

Full Back
A closed and common orbit by becky Chambers. Second in a series although I think it could probably be read stand alone. Very enjoyable, better than the first episode. She doesn't really write big endings but the journey there was great 8/10
 

Lexingtongue

Striker
Yeah. I really enjoyed it. Started out wondering whether it was a mistake but ended with that mix of accelerating to the finish but not wanting it to end that you get with a really good book.
Got it for a quid today in a charity shop. Pristine condition, too. £18.99 that would have cost me in a proper shop.
 

Thackeray

Striker
Got it for a quid today in a charity shop. Pristine condition, too. £18.99 that would have cost me in a proper shop.
A couple of weeks ago I got: Swann's Way (Proust); Guerillas {VS Naipaul); In A Free State (VS Naipaul); The Withered Hand and other Wessex Stories (Hardy) (Hardback); The Hard Life (Flann O'Brien) (Hardback); Brick Lane (Ali); The Rat (Gunter Grass); The Best of Myles (Flann O'Brien); Wolf Hall (Mantel); Ravelstein (Saul Bellow) (hardback) and a non-fiction book about India called Shiva's Pigeon's (hardback) all for the princely sum of £9.50 at a book sale. I was quite pleased. Durham is quite good for charity book sales like.
 

Lexingtongue

Striker
A couple of weeks ago I got: Swann's Way (Proust); Guerillas {VS Naipaul); In A Free State (VS Naipaul); The Withered Hand and other Wessex Stories (Hardy) (Hardback); The Hard Life (Flann O'Brien) (Hardback); Brick Lane (Ali); The Rat (Gunter Grass); The Best of Myles (Flann O'Brien); Wolf Hall (Mantel); Ravelstein (Saul Bellow) (hardback) and a non-fiction book about India called Shiva's Pigeon's (hardback) all for the princely sum of £9.50 at a book sale. I was quite pleased. Durham is quite good for charity book sales like.
I'm sad as fuck, but I do feel quite a sense of satisfaction in buying second hand books. It's great when I stumble across one in a charity shop I've been wanting for a while.
 

Thackeray

Striker
I'm sad as fuck, but I do feel quite a sense of satisfaction in buying second hand books. It's great when I stumble across one in a charity shop I've been wanting for a while.
That Best of Myles book and The Hard Life were the find of the lot for me like, completed my FO'B set. One pund fifty for the pair. Marvellous.
 
About 2/3 of the way through Midnight's Children.

One of the best tenners I've ever spent and might prompt me to re-read The Satanic Verses as well.
 
Who is RIch? by Matthew Klam

Klam's a new author to me (this is his debut novel after a short story collection quite a while ago). Essentially, it's a story of midlife crisis and/or middle aged disappointment. The eponymous Rich is a cartoonist, who was a one time wonderkid but now holds down a steady job at a steadily failing magazine. He's married (not entirely happily) with a couple of small kids. The book is set over 4 or 5 days at an arts conference/summer school at a coastal college somewhere in New England. Beyond that, there's some witty lines, an examination of his marriage and family, a repeated dalliance with a wealthy conference attendee and a lot about the other conference staff. It's light on plot but just about engaging enough to keep you reading. Just kind of fizzles out with nothing really resolved. 6/10
 
I'm sad as fuck, but I do feel quite a sense of satisfaction in buying second hand books. It's great when I stumble across one in a charity shop I've been wanting for a while.
I'm a one for Charity bookshops. I get my spending fix now that I don't buy music and clothes very rarely.

Also, you can take a punt on stuff that you wouldn't pay full price on.

50p for Bertrand Russell's History of Western Philosophy will be the most value ever. I've read it (on and off) for over two years and still haven't got past early Middle Ages.
About 2/3 of the way through Midnight's Children.

One of the best tenners I've ever spent and might prompt me to re-read The Satanic Verses as well.
I must go back to that. I started it and lost interest very early. Have you read Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy? A fantastic read.
 
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