The SMB Book thread

jacko100

Striker


9/10

Excellent book set in both 1985 and 2015. 1985 setting deals with a group of mostly gay men living their lives in Chicago and trying to cope with the aids epidemic. 2015 setting deals with a mother trying to locate her missing daughter in Paris.

Really excellent book that looks set to be made into a tv series.
 

errant

Striker
I'm around 3/4 through David Niven's autobiography The Moons a balloon. Arguably the best autobiography I've read
i've got this vague thing in the back of my head about niven, half a story almost... that he would name drop the some person in every film he ever made? got no idea of the context though...
 

T_Bone

Striker
I’ve just finished Clough by Taylor. I asked my son to get me it for Xmas. He ordered it from W H Smith and it arrived three weeks after Christmas.
A really insightful look into how the pair of them worked. Compared to newer books it seems a bit niaive but a good read none the less.
 

T_Bone

Striker
I was also bought Robbie Fowler’s book. Give it a miss.
I was also bought a book about Alexander The Great and Patti Boyd, I’ll let you know.
 
Last edited:

WCC

Central Defender
Just finished reading Sniper One by Sgt Dan Mills about the battle of CIMIC House, very good read.
 

buckowski

Full Back
The grey bastards by Jonathon french, excellent writing, edgy but coherent dialogue between characters, good world building story

Anyone who enjoyed joe Abercrombies’ the first law trilogy should like this, similar type of stuff.
 

Boris Bear

Striker
Halfway through 'Can't Hurt Me' by David Goggins. So far he seems a bit self absorbed and I'm not getting why this has rave reviews yet
 

Monty Pigeon

Striker
Middle England by Jonathan Coe 9/10
The state of the nation from the 2012 Olympics to 2018, Brexit and all. The characters previously featured in The Rotters' Club and Closed Circle. You don't need to read either of them before this (I hadn't), but you'll probably want to afterwards. Often very funny, but ultimately a sad evocation of what's happened to our country in the last eight years.

 

zwartekat

Striker
Middle England by Jonathan Coe 9/10
The state of the nation from the 2012 Olympics to 2018, Brexit and all. The characters previously featured in The Rotters' Club and Closed Circle. You don't need to read either of them before this (I hadn't), but you'll probably want to afterwards. Often very funny, but ultimately a sad evocation of what's happened to our country in the last eight years.

Definitely worth reading all three. The Rotters Club, in particular, is a great read if you're of a certain age (Jonathan Coe was a couple of years ahead of me at Uni).

Recent reads include:

The Post Office by Charles Bukowski - Nothing much happens other than the protaganist drinks, gambles, has various women and works for the Post Office :D. Obviously biographical to some extent it's actually quite engaging and a good read. 8/10

Before We Was We by Madness - Their growing up and early days in their own words. Feels like a group of ads reminiscing down the pub and none the worse for that. Actually quite interesting on what is was like growing up in Central / North London at the time. 7/10

The Last Continent by Terry Pratchett - I'd never read and Discworld novels until last year so usually have one on the go (in chronological order of publication) with other stuff. This was one of the less engaging of the series and took a bit longer than usual. Not much point in criticising as they are what they are but for this one 6/10.

N-W by Zadie Smith - I usually enjoy Zadie Smith's books while getting the feeling that they don't really go anywhere. This was no different although since her novels are generally ruminations on ordinary lives I guess that isn't necessarily a criticism. 7/10

The Ministry of Truth: A Biography of George Orwell's 1984 by Dorian Lynskey - Thoroughly enjoyable examination of the influence that 1984 has wielded across society. Any fans of Orwell will want to read it but interesting enough to keep the attention of any casual reader. 9/10
 

calmac

Midfield
I've finally got around to starting Middlemarch. Finding it a bit of a plod to be honest but only a few pages in.
Keep going....it develops superbly!!
Transcription by Kate Atkinson.

Based on real life MI5 operations during the Second World War to entrap, and ultimately arrest, Nazi sympathisers living in Britain.

It's very pedestrian in parts with not enough flourishes of great writing to make it a page turner. It smacks of an established writer being able to get published simply by trading off her previous works.

It's certainly not bad, but it's not memorable either. 6.5/10
Disappointing to hear. Most of her books so far have been great!
 
Last edited:
Transcription by Kate Atkinson.

Based on real life MI5 operations during the Second World War to entrap, and ultimately arrest, Nazi sympathisers living in Britain.

It's very pedestrian in parts with not enough flourishes of great writing to make it a page turner. It smacks of an established writer being able to get published simply by trading off her previous works.

It's certainly not bad, but it's not memorable either. 6.5/10
My wife has read all the Kate Atkinson stuff - reckons she's brilliant. I might have to get round to reading some.
I'm looking for The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe. Don't suppose you saw it? Even second hand on Amazon it seems to be as expensive as a new copy for some reason.
Great book (so is The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test) - the astronauts/test pilots were fucking mental! Up on the lash until 4am, then doing supersonic test flights at 7!
 
Last edited:
Middle England by Jonathan Coe 9/10
The state of the nation from the 2012 Olympics to 2018, Brexit and all. The characters previously featured in The Rotters' Club and Closed Circle. You don't need to read either of them before this (I hadn't), but you'll probably want to afterwards. Often very funny, but ultimately a sad evocation of what's happened to our country in the last eight years.

I read the Rotters Club back in about 2006 IIRC and I enjoyed it. I'll add Middle England to the list.
 

Top