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Good Books You've Read This Year


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What books have you enjoyed reading this year ? Any good recommendations to share ?

The best book I read this year was "A Confederacy of Dunces" by John Kennedy Toole. A bloody funny, cleverly written book concerning the events in the life of a bizarre, hot dog guzzling, self declared genius in New Orleans during the early 1960s. Superb. Get yourself a copy.

Also enjoyed reading "The Haunting of Hill House" by Shirley Jackson. A magnificent ghost story.

What about you then ?

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I'm reading Wild & Crazy Guys by Nick De Semlyen.  It's all about the rise of SNL in the late 70s/early 80s and all the comedians that came from it like Dan Akroyd, Chevy Chase, John Belushi and Eddie Murphy.  Pretty good if you're in to that sort of thing.

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I thought this memoir, 'Educated', of a girl growing up in an extremely Mormon family in Idaho was good...

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35133922-educated

 

I mainly read sci-fi though. The best i've read this year is 'Semiosis' - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35018907-semiosis

 

 

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Since I retired in May I've been spending a lot more time with the grandkids, so I've read the following a total of around 2500 times:

The Gruffalo
A Dark, Dark Tale
We're Going On A Bear Hunt
The Gingerbread Man
Goldilocks & The Three Bears (Ladybird version)

Spoiler alert:

Just a word of caution...although the plot of Gingerbread Man develops well, the ending may be a little upsetting for some. There is a sanitised American version though on YouTube where young Ginger lives happily ever after across the river after a dramatic rescue by a passing bird.

Edited by Huddersfield
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51 minutes ago, Huddersfield said:

Since I retired in May I've been spending a lot more time with the grandkids, so I've read the following a total of around 2500 times:

The Gruffalo
A Dark, Dark Tale
We're Going On A Bear Hunt
The Gingerbread Man
Goldilocks & The Three Bears (Ladybird version)

Spoiler alert:

Just a word of caution...although the plot of Gingerbread Man develops well, the ending may be a little upsetting for some. There is a sanitised American version though on YouTube where young Ginger lives happily ever after across the river after a dramatic rescue by a passing bird.

Agreed, it is quite a distressing story. Here's a further word of caution...don't read the Mr Men spin-off book Mr Greedy and the Gingerbread Man. Similar plot but the ending is horrific as the fella is eaten bit by bit by Mr Greedy but is still completely conscious throughout .

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4 hours ago, Dalgety Bay TA said:

Ultra by Tobias Jones is an excellent read if you like football and Italy, as I do.

Sounds up my street. Cheers. 👍 

Have you been to Genoa for a Derby? Might PM you for a bit info if you have and that's okay? 

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I really need to start reading more. I seem to go year about with reading (read loads in 18, not so much in 19).

I bought Malcom Gladwell's Speaking To Strangers book and hopefully get fired in to it.

I read a decent book in the summer about the CONFIA World Cup held in London. Forgotten Nations by Chris Deeley

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5 hours ago, Dalgety Bay TA said:

Ultra by Tobias Jones is an excellent read if you like football and Italy, as I do.

If you’re interested at all in Italian football history, I recently read ‘Erbstein: The triumph and tragedy of football's forgotten pioneer’. It’s a biography of Ernö Erbstein & looks at his life & influences set against the political backdrop of Fascism (he was Jewish) up to his death in the Superga disaster that wiped out the Torino team. A very good read. 

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Altered State - The story of ecstasy culture and acid house by Matthew Colin. An amazing book, I just wanted to be 21 again, at The Arches out my banger.

The frying pan of Spain by Colin Miller which is about the rivalry between Real Betis and Sevilla.

Chamber Music - About the Wu Tang in 36 pieces. 36 chapters dedicated to the Wu Tangs debut album 'Enter the 36 Chambers' An amazing book which really breaks down the importance of that album, not just in hip hop circles but popular culture.

Notes to A Tribe Called Quest by Hamid Abdurraqib. Not quite finished this yet but a really good history of their story alongside the author's own life and how their music impacted his upbringing and adult years.

Danish Dynamite by Rob Smyth, Lars Eriksen and Mike Gibbons. All about the Danish team of the 80's with the central theme being their team at the 1986 world cup, where by all accounts they had a genuine opportunity to win the big one.

 

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6 minutes ago, Mox said:

Altered State - The story of ecstasy culture and acid house by Matthew Colin. An amazing book, I just wanted to be 21 again, at The Arches out my banger.

The frying pan of Spain by Colin Miller which is about the rivalry between Real Betis and Sevilla.

Chamber Music - About the Wu Tang in 36 pieces. 36 chapters dedicated to the Wu Tangs debut album 'Enter the 36 Chambers' An amazing book which really breaks down the importance of that album, not just in hip hop circles but popular culture.

Notes to A Tribe Called Quest by Hamid Abdurraqib. Not quite finished this yet but a really good history of their story alongside the author's own life and how their music impacted his upbringing and adult years.

Danish Dynamite by Rob Smyth, Lars Eriksen and Mike Gibbons. All about the Danish team of the 80's with the central theme being their team at the 1986 world cup, where by all accounts they had a genuine opportunity to win the big one.

 

Have you read Morbo?

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2 hours ago, Parklife said:

Sounds up my street. Cheers. 👍 

Have you been to Genoa for a Derby? Might PM you for a bit info if you have and that's okay? 

Sorry sir, never been that far “west” for any games in Italy. I’m mainly North East and down to Bologna and Emilia-Romagna. I’m heading back to Venezia again in March, had a great time there last November, went to a game on a boat! A few of the lads we met were in Rimini and San Marino on the Sunday. 

Seen a poster on European Football Weekends (Facebook Group) who had just been to the latest Genoa derby and said he got tickets quite easily. One of the original members of the North of Italy TA is a Samp fan but I’ve only met him once. My other mates across there, who were also with me in Rimini, will still be in contact with him and also know a fair bit so yes, if you are going to head to it, I can ask for info for you.

The books a very good read. Follows the history of Cosenza ultras but is interspersed with a lot on other notable teams, notable incidents, the swing in the politics and also the criminal element (diabolik at Lazio and Juve mafia). Some of the incidents and police stuff are nuts. There is a fair bit about the incident in Sicily which led to the “lockdown” of our game in Bari a few weeks later. Leaves you shaking your head at the outcome. 

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1 hour ago, Huddersfield said:

If you’re interested at all in Italian football history, I recently read ‘Erbstein: The triumph and tragedy of football's forgotten pioneer’. It’s a biography of Ernö Erbstein & looks at his life & influences set against the political backdrop of Fascism (he was Jewish) up to his death in the Superga disaster that wiped out the Torino team. A very good read. 

Thanks very much, will have a look for that one. 

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1 hour ago, Mox said:

Altered State - The story of ecstasy culture and acid house by Matthew Colin. An amazing book, I just wanted to be 21 again, at The Arches out my banger.

The frying pan of Spain by Colin Miller which is about the rivalry between Real Betis and Sevilla.

Chamber Music - About the Wu Tang in 36 pieces. 36 chapters dedicated to the Wu Tangs debut album 'Enter the 36 Chambers' An amazing book which really breaks down the importance of that album, not just in hip hop circles but popular culture.

Notes to A Tribe Called Quest by Hamid Abdurraqib. Not quite finished this yet but a really good history of their story alongside the author's own life and how their music impacted his upbringing and adult years.

Danish Dynamite by Rob Smyth, Lars Eriksen and Mike Gibbons. All about the Danish team of the 80's with the central theme being their team at the 1986 world cup, where by all accounts they had a genuine opportunity to win the big one.

 

Not a book but Wu-Tang - An American Saga is a great watch. Available from all the usual places 👍

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3 hours ago, Mox said:

I've never heard of it although it looks good, so it's added to the list. Cheers my man.

It’s the Spanish word describing the specific hatred/competition in a football ‘derby’. The guy travels around Spain giving the backgrounds to each city or region, as you have no doubt discovered. My favourite chapter was Seville so I’ll also give your suggestion a go 👍

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5 minutes ago, killiefaetheferry said:

It’s the Spanish word describing the specific hatred/competition in a football ‘derby’. The guy travels around Spain giving the backgrounds to each city or region, as you have no doubt discovered. My favourite chapter was Seville so I’ll also give your suggestion a go 👍

Read Morbo and a similar one about German football, Tor, years ago. Both very good.

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The only good one I can remember is Under the Skin by Michel Faber. I'd watched the film of the same name and so checked out the book, which is very different and worth a read in its own right.  They may as well be considered completely different works. You could like one and not the other and vice versa (Just about the only thing they have in common - admittedly quite a big thing - is the general scenario, main character, her occupation, and a Scottish setting but just about everything else is different.) 

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1 hour ago, ErsatzThistle said:

Alasdair Gray 1934-2019

If you have never before read "Lanark: A Life In Four Books" then do so next year. A wonderful novel.  

I've read it 2 or 3 times now.

Still don't know if i truly 'like it', but its probably the only novel I've read more than once. And whilst its not a favourite (100 Years of Solitude, Crime and Punishment, Master and Maragita, etc.), I cant see me ever going back and reading those books again. Will read Lanark again, for sure. It's some work.

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1 hour ago, Stu101 said:

I've read it 2 or 3 times now.

Still don't know if i truly 'like it', but its probably the only novel I've read more than once. And whilst its not a favourite (100 Years of Solitude, Crime and Punishment, Master and Maragita, etc.), I cant see me ever going back and reading those books again. Will read Lanark again, for sure. It's some work.

It's one of those books where you find something new every time you read it. A remarkable feat of imagination. 

Very sad that he has died. He never really made much money from his books either.

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