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Venom 25-06-2013 19:06:38


Originally Posted by Funko (Post 1047890)
Summary of what I know about John Adams - his beer isn't as good as Samuel Adams'

First good factoid from the book...They were cousins.

Funko 26-06-2013 08:29:23

Your government is more nepotistic than our royal family!

jsorense 26-06-2013 18:20:11


Originally Posted by Funko (Post 1047925)
Your government is more nepotistic than our royal family!

No, no its not. :coolgrin:

Funko 27-06-2013 08:47:49

Slight hyperbole. ;)

jsorense 27-06-2013 16:00:56

:eek: Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush :eek:

Funko 27-06-2013 16:01:55

Start learning the words to Oh Canada J.

zmama 27-06-2013 16:23:46

See I knew going to hockey games would be a good learning experience! And to think I just figured it was to learn to fight, not a song.

Venom 27-06-2013 17:11:35

West Virginians go to hockey games because hockey players are the only people on earth, other than babies, who have fewer teeth than they do. Makes 'em feel all superior and stuff.

zmama 27-06-2013 17:21:14

Almost true. The usual saying around here is "thank god for Mississippi" means WV ain't the worst.

jsorense 18-07-2013 21:57:12

The next novel on my shelf is a guilty, secret pleasure. The author is Carl Hiaasen and the book is titled: Bad Monkey (2013). Hiaasen has made a second career for himself by writing hysterically funny, cutting, sarcastic and absurd stories about corruption and environmental decay in Florida. I do not know how our Euro-trash readers would react to this kind of Americana but it is a lot of fun for us jaded ex hippies. :smoke:

zmama 19-07-2013 00:10:24

His stuff is fun! Plus he loved Warren Zevon so has to be a good un.

Funko 19-07-2013 07:43:22

I love it, zmama pointed me in his direction a while back. Must look for the new one.

For fans of his - have you read any Colin Bateman? Northern Irish writer in a very similar vein.

And of course Christopher Brookmyre.

zmama 19-07-2013 12:27:20

oooh thanks, didn't know of Colin Bateman!

jsorense 19-07-2013 18:27:28


Originally Posted by Funko (Post 1048343)
I love it, zmama pointed me in his direction a while back. Must look for the new one.

She is a good person, twisted, but good.:D

zmama 19-07-2013 21:11:00

Don't miss out on Christopher Brookmyre, J. I got hooked on him from Funko. Zpapa likes him, too :D

jsorense 20-07-2013 14:33:26

Which of Christopher Brookmyre's books would be a good starter for a new reader?

zmama 20-07-2013 17:10:25

"Quite Ugly One Morning" or "One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night"...but to be honest I'd pick up any :D

Funko 22-07-2013 07:39:35

Yeah, probably Quite Ugly One morning. He has two recurring lead characters and that's the first one with Jack Parlabane. They are all good, read them in order. :)

Interestingly (is it?) both Christopher Brookmyre and Colin Bateman have had books adapted for TV and starring James Nesbit. In both cases a terrible casting decision (IMO).

Funko 22-07-2013 07:45:39

For Bateman I started with Mystery Man and The Day of the Jack Russell (haven't read the last two in that series yet but they are great. About an crime fiction bookshop owner accidentally turned private eye)

Currently working through his Dan Starkey series which is also really good.

zmama 22-07-2013 14:43:48

And on a related note a DUTCH author! Janwillem van de Wetering. Born in Rotterdammit.
Vinnie turned me on to him and I think Jsorense would love him.

Pick up any of his Amsterdam cops books!

jsorense 22-07-2013 17:16:20

Too much data; my head will explode. :eek:
But thanks, I like that feeling. :D

zmama 22-07-2013 18:41:21

Oh poo, Bateman has to be ordered from the UK... Was thinking I could order from Amazon and get them in three days. Guess not.

Funko 23-07-2013 07:44:53


zmama 23-07-2013 13:48:27

Yeah, but that's mine. I wanted to get a hard copy for zpapa's vacation.

I stay at home with my minder, the fearsome Lady Rachel.

Funko 23-07-2013 14:58:57

Poor you. :(

jsorense 23-07-2013 17:06:43


Originally Posted by zmama (Post 1048388)

I stay at home with my minder, the fearsome Lady Rachel.

Just keep a supply of chocolate treats nearby. Maybe she won't bite. :nervous:

jsorense 04-08-2013 16:29:36

I just finished rereading "A Deepness in the Sky" by Vernor Vinge (1999) after at least 10 years. I must say it deserved the Hugo Award and I appreciated the book more now than I did then. I especially like how prescience it was about the ability of a despot, or state, to clandestinely spy on individuals in oppressive detail. A very good read! :bounce::bounce::bounce:

Funko 05-08-2013 07:27:48

Maybe I should give that a try, I have a feeling I was put off by your disappointment with it when it came out.

MDA 05-08-2013 16:16:00

More Harry Dresden, I have a strong preference lately for not-too-deep reading.

Funko 05-08-2013 16:16:46

The Dark Knight Returns, Frank Miller. Yeah, really good as expected.

Funko 07-08-2013 15:54:15

There appears to be a new Brookmyre out.

jsorense 26-09-2013 18:24:11

Just finishing Lawrence in Arabia, 2013. It tells the stories of the different Powers maneuvering in the Middle East during WWI. It focuses on the journey of T.E.Lawrence and the British but also follows Turk, Arab, Jewish, German, French and U.S. maneuvering. Although the text needs more maps it is an enjoyable read with a light stylistic touch. From reading this volume I have a better understanding why the Middle East is so fucked up.
Your Humble Narrator,

jsorense 23-10-2013 18:25:45

OK, time for some light reading. How about "The Road to Stalingrad" by John Erickson (1975). No it is not a Bob Hope / Bing Crosby movie. :smoke:

jsorense 24-10-2013 18:10:03

Changed my mind, it will be "When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler" by Glantz and House (1995)

jsorense 09-01-2014 03:31:48

Just started John Scalzi's "Redshirts" (2012). It even has a character named Q'eeng. Could it be?

paiktis 15-01-2014 16:35:31

dan brawn digital fortress on my phone.
it is easy, very easey and cheesy.
i get so focused traveling to work and reading this because i'm so pissed i'm going to work. also i get very focused reading this when coming back from work because i'm pissed i lost half a day at work.
i don't read it at all when i'm at home.

also, it's so funny, brown writes like he's writing a cheap love story book, you know the ones housewives buy to infuse some romance while they clean the pot.
bored married women in general are the pits, they will suck on any glimpse of excitement like a hooker on a dick.
(i said bored married women, not married women in general)

jsorense 20-01-2014 00:50:34


Originally Posted by jsorense (Post 1052656)
Just started John Scalzi's "Redshirts" (2012). It even has a character named Q'eeng. Could it be?

Finished the book and found it mildly amusing. Saw " Paul" and found it full of laughs. IMHO.

Venom 28-02-2014 14:52:54


Originally Posted by Funkodrom (Post 648730)
I don't get that at all, it's not that hard to work out. I didn't need a translator and I've never even been to Scotland.

After about 20 pages I could read it almost as fast as if it was in non-dialect English.

random thread bump!

I was digging through this thread looking for book ideas and found this post funny.

Funko 28-02-2014 14:59:31


I just finished The Quarry by Iain Banks. I'd had it since Christmas but hadn't started it because of the cancer/cancer link.

Anyway, it was really good. Funny, classic Banks.

Felt really sad when I finished that there won't be any more. :(

Venom 28-02-2014 15:31:43

well, I personally have just finished An Army at Dawn and The Day of Battle by Rick Atkinson. I need to take a little break for something lighter before I read the Guns at Last Light. Great books, but just packed with so much information that I'm a little worn out.

Also read American Sniper which was a bit disappointing. A potentially fascinating topic was pretty much turned into "then I went to X and shot a guy". Without much detail or description of the events and back story.

Venom 28-02-2014 15:36:11

Oh and I've also read The Road, and a bunch of the Vince Flynn books. Flynn's books are pulp but fun, and The Road was a bit hard to adapt to, but once I got into it, it was very moving.

jsorense 01-03-2014 02:59:48

Geez, man. I didn't know Venom could read.:eek:

Funko 03-03-2014 14:17:45

I assume it's audio books.

jsorense 11-03-2014 01:18:45

Good point Sparky.
Just finished The Long Earth (2012) by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. I had a lot of expectations when I picked this book up. Most of them were lost as I poured over the pages. Like other reviewers have said there is little Pratchett between these covers. It isn't that I didn't like the book, it was just ho hum, IMHO .

Funko 11-03-2014 08:49:07

I've been wondering whether to find that or not.

I'm in the middle of Shaman by Kim Stanley Robinson. It's good, portrait of the world in the stone age. Lots of spurting.

MOBIUS 11-03-2014 10:14:21

I read 2312 by him last year, which was very interesting. It did take me a long time to read as I kept having to go off and look stuff up as his imagining of the future gripped me far more than the story itself...

I think I need to read it again at some point.

Funko 11-03-2014 10:23:45

I need to get hold of that.

have you read the Mars Trilogy? I think pretty much everyone at the SMAC forums had, but that's well worth a go too. Again, lots of inspiration to look things up.

MOBIUS 11-03-2014 11:19:25

Yes, that's how I first got into his books as I'm a bit of a Mars geek and read them pretty much as they came out. How I also got into Ben Bova as well.

He's a funny author for me as I always love his imagining of the worlds he populates his characters with and not necessarily always the story, if that makes sense.

paiktis 14-03-2014 01:03:02
should be interesting although i felt a bit dirty buying it. but i wanted to read it. my guess is that it will be a best seller
what a fucked up country we're living in sometimes

Funko 14-03-2014 08:59:13

I haven't started it yet but based on this article from Neil Gaiman I do have The Road to En-Dor to read next, which sounds incredible.

zmama 14-03-2014 15:44:34

Now I want to read it too!

Funko 14-03-2014 18:22:56


jsorense 12-04-2014 00:42:07

Fordor's Spain 2014.
Guess where we are going this year! :bounce:
Que bueno!

zmama 14-04-2014 17:16:13

The land of economical wines!

jsorense 17-04-2014 01:03:17

The land of retired Brits. :nervous:

jsorense 27-07-2014 13:24:26

"The Ocean At the End of the Lane." by Neil Gaiman. To me this book was an extended essay on the convergence of mind, memory, dreams and hallucination. It is an ambitious and complicated work that I found overall disappointing. Perhaps it was just too personal of a work to engage me. However, I will still recommend it. It is haunting.
Your humble narrator, jsorense

zmama 27-07-2014 22:24:18

Thanks, I like haunting :D

Funko 28-07-2014 11:52:02

More Heinlein and China Mieville, The number of the beast by Heinlein, which is excellent and just started Railsea by China Mieville, which is a kind of steampunk moby dick* for young adults.

*"affectionate parody" of

jsorense 13-08-2014 04:58:31

I have just finished the history "Washington's Crossing" David Hackett Fischer (2006). It is a detailed exposition of the military movements of the British and American forces in New York and New Jersey during 1776 and the beginning of 1777. This happens to have been the most critical part of the American War of Independence. The book follows the tactical movements of all participating units and gives profiles on their leaders. Washington gets the most coverage and most of the praise.
While I learned a great deal from this book I cannot recommend it to the casual history hound. There is much too much detail and the style is decidedly academic. Most of this same ground is covered in excellent fashion by McCullough's "1776" (2006). His work is almost as informative but much more readable. I would highly recommend it.
I don't think I will give the ending away if I mention that the Americans win. :bounce::bounce::bounce:

Funko 13-08-2014 10:34:24

I read Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan. Cyberpunk Detective Noir kind of thing. I loved it.

There's violence and sex, so should appeal to you lot.

jsorense 14-08-2014 04:03:19

Definitely a good read. :)

jsorense 01-09-2014 01:13:22

"A Spy Among Friends" by Ben Macintyre (2014) This book is a detailed, as much as is possible about spies, account of Kim Philby's betrayal. I found the information in this book astounding. The British, or maybe I should say English, way to run a spy agency is appalling. It makes the CIA look good, well, maybe not. If you like spy books you will like this. I still cannot but shake my head on the alcohol infused heros.

Finn Willi (5) 01-09-2014 16:48:19

Sounds good! :beer:

Funko 02-09-2014 08:20:06


Originally Posted by jsorense (Post 1057723)
I still cannot but shake my head on the alcohol infused heros.

That's what you said after you met us all in London?

jsorense 28-09-2014 02:06:46

"Good Omens" by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (2011). Well, according to this book all you know about the beginning and end of the universe is wrong so you might as well give up and laugh it off. :p

Funko 29-09-2014 08:04:47

"2011" ?

I remember including that in a paper I wrote at school in ~ 1992

Funko 29-09-2014 08:05:42

Amazing book though, I loved it and had already read it a couple of times by then. Maybe I should read it again.

Funko 29-09-2014 08:07:12

Especially as:


On December 11, 2013, both Gaiman and Pratchett posted the same picture of them together. Gaiman commented "No we are not plotting anything. Why do you think we are plotting something?" Pratchett stated "Not discussing Good Omens TV."

jsorense 29-09-2014 09:55:49

[QUOTE=Funko;1058204]"2011" ?

I remember including that in a paper I wrote at school in ~ 1992.

Would you believe 2006?

jsorense 29-09-2014 10:13:33


Originally Posted by Funko (Post 1058204)
"2011" ?

I remember including that in a paper I wrote at school in ~ 1992.

Would you believe 2006?

Originally published in 1990. :o

zmama 29-09-2014 16:45:56

Now you make me want to read it again. I might have to buy a new copy, the old one has disappeared...probably the words wore out from all the reading!

Funko 01-10-2014 08:12:12


Originally Posted by jsorense (Post 1058215)
Originally published in 1990. :o


C.G.B. Spender 06-11-2014 20:40:58

Reading, not Reading!

C.G.B. Spender 06-11-2014 20:42:35

I read van de Weterings "Outsider in Amsterdam" again. It's nice ..

zmama 07-11-2014 00:28:46

Ah, I'll have to reread some of his. I love his atmospheres :)

jsorense 09-12-2014 10:25:02

I haven't read anything in months. What's wrong with me?

Finn Willi (5) 09-12-2014 20:06:09

Well, you read this thread, that's a start!

Funko 09-01-2015 16:25:49

Turns out Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter have written a trilogy, The Long Earth, The Long War, The Long Mars.

Only discovered them recently, half way through the second book. They are very good. Very nice Sci-Fi concept and story littered with Pratchett imagination, human observation and whimsy.

jsorense 09-01-2015 16:53:35

I have read "The Long Earth.". Some interesting concepts. But not interesting enough for me to continue. I guess I am too jaded. :violin:

zmama 09-01-2015 17:45:43

The Long Earth left me lukewarm too. I will pick up the other two... someday.

Finn Willi (5) 09-01-2015 19:16:21

...over the rainbow!

Venom 10-01-2015 04:15:52

Tried to start reading The Wheel of Time series, but I picked up the first book over the holidays when I was moving in to my new house. With everything going on, I ended up only making it about 18 pages in before I had to take it back to the library. It didn't exactly grab my attention in that time.

jsorense 11-01-2015 05:35:17

Greg is a big fan of the Wheel of Time series. I never got past book II myself. It just seem the author tried too hard not to be derivative of The Lord of the Rings and turned out a mess instead. IMHO of course. :cute:

MOBIUS 15-01-2015 13:07:50

33 pages into A Dance with Dragons

jsorense 24-01-2015 14:31:12

"It Never Snows in September." (1990) by Robert Kershaw. It is about the German army and SS view of Operation Market-Garden. It will be of interest to students of WWII. It is a detailed tactical description of German responses to the massive landings of British, American and Polish airborn troops into Holland in September, 1944. It is just OK. The writing style is academic and I knew how it was going to end. :shoot:

MOBIUS 29-01-2015 15:43:55

Hundred and something pages into A Dance with Dragons...

I am a sloooooooooooooow reader... :clueless:

jsorense 02-02-2015 00:34:16

Suggesting it is the fault of the book, not the reader, IMHO.

MOBIUS 04-02-2015 14:58:40


I do understand that, but I decided I'd better get cracking before the new GoT series comes out as I think they've about caught up...

Anyway, I do enjoy his books - up to page ~350 now

Funko 04-02-2015 16:47:49

That is the hardest going of the books due to splitting the last two into all the exciting stories in the previous book and all the boring stories in that one. TV has mixed it up rightly thinking that if half the cool characters go missing everyone would be really angry.

Fistandantilus 04-02-2015 18:19:28

Odd, I thought A Feast for Crows was the boring one of the two :lol:

Funko 05-02-2015 10:24:37

It might depend which characters you like.

Fistandantilus 05-02-2015 11:36:22

Cersei to me is the most boring one :D

jsorense 10-02-2015 07:46:28

The Last Battle: The Classic History of the Battle for Berlin. Cornelius Ryan (1966)
This is a fairly interesting book given the author had a chance to interview most of the surviving principles. I suspect that the narrative of the Soviet actions is dated since the book was written during the Cold War (are we in the second Cold War now). Still, it is a good read for a casual student of WW II.

C.G.B. Spender 10-02-2015 16:15:57

Fucking war is elsewhere now and still alive and well ... And same protagonists.

MOBIUS 16-02-2015 14:43:16

Finished part one and now 81 pages into part two. Sort of on a semi roll ATM.

zmama 16-02-2015 16:38:13

I have Ocean at the End of the Lane waiting for tonight...I read at bed time.

jsorense 17-02-2015 00:39:57

I bet you like it. I hope it doesn't give you nightmares though. :nervous:

zmama 17-02-2015 20:20:15

I do like it :D

jsorense 24-02-2015 10:51:02

Well? You must have finished by now. Gives us a review, please.

zmama 24-02-2015 17:25:22

I liked it. It's not a children's book but it captured the feelings of childhood, especially the terrors. It is on my, will read it again, list.

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