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Favourite Novels (and non-fiction)

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LE Greys

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Seeing as we have a 'Favourite Films' thread running, how about another for your favourite literature. The last novel I read was Frederick Forsyth's The Odessa File, with Gulliver's Travels before that. My favourite remains Nineteen-Eighty-Four. As for non-fiction (non-railway-non-fiction), I'm currently working through Andrew Chaikin's A Man on the Moon and about to start on John Sweetman's The Dambusters Raid (I also have a second edition of the Paul Brickhill book). I'm also interested in some that bridge the gaps, like Jan Zalasiewicz's The Earth After Us or Dougal Dixon's After Man, A Zoology of the Future, both of which try to use scientific methods to describe a post Human world.
 
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Bevan Price

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Don't have enough time to read fiction. Used to like sci-fi, but no single favourite.
Barely enough time to read my railway books & magazines, reference books on various subjects, etc - too much time spent photographing trains, buses, etc., using computer, watching TV, listening to music.....
.
 

Welshman

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Being recently retired, I now find I have more time for reading.

I'm currently enjoying Phil Rickman's "Merrily Watkins" novels, and I've just discovered John Grisham, and am working my way through his stories.

I'm also re-reading Colin Dexter's "Morse" novels, and noting the differences between the original stories and the more popular TV dramatisations with John Thaw and Kevin Whateley.

Simple pleasures - a trip to the library and a good read with a decent cup of coffee!
 

ATW Alex 101

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I'm a lot younger than a lot of people on here so the fiction books I read aren't really adult books and are aimed at the teen audience but my personal favourites are the likes of Harry Potter (read them all front to back) and the Alex Rider series. I also enjoy the Total Football series. (They are aimed at slightly younger than me, but they are of the same level as the older ones).

As for non-fiction, I read tons of it, mainly books about engineering, trains, history of places important to me, the history of the fire brigade, planes, emergency vehicles and general transport. I spend hours in the local library reading them and it's been known for me to spend the full day there purely reading non-fic!
 

LE Greys

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Being recently retired, I now find I have more time for reading.

I'm currently enjoying Phil Rickman's "Merrily Watkins" novels, and I've just discovered John Grisham, and am working my way through his stories.

I'm also re-reading Colin Dexter's "Morse" novels, and noting the differences between the original stories and the more popular TV dramatisations with John Thaw and Kevin Whateley.

Simple pleasures - a trip to the library and a good read with a decent cup of coffee!

I quite agree!

I have quite a lot of detective fiction around, including all the Colin Dexters and R.D. Wingfield's Frost series (the last one of which never made it onto television) and various others. Someone gave me Arthur Conan Doyle's Professor Challenger books a few years ago, rather fascinating to read what was then science fiction, especially seeing the bits where the best knowledge of the day turned out to be wrong. I'm going to have to find something by Jules Verne sooner or later, for just the same reason.
 

klambert

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Favourite fictional book is 1984, and I do believe it's due another read. I've also been reading Will Self's excellent books, Book of Dave and The Butt. His descriptive writing is like no other, his writing is both strange and vivid, it's the literary equivalent of being on drugs.

Non fictional reading matter at the moment is, Race to the North, about the story of the Tay and Forth bridges, Caledonian Railway and the North British Railway. I do think the amount of writing the author dedicates to writing about the financial matters of the two companies to be very tedious, but the book is beginning to get better, as its getting into how the Tay bridge was built.

I don't know what category, most of Charlie Brookers books would be in, but I absolutely love his writing, he is the funniest writer I have ever read.
 

D841 Roebuck

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Where to start...

Authors - John Grisham is excellent, as is Robert Goddard. Kathy Reichs' "Bones" series are excellent - however "Virals" and its sequels are garbage. Val McDermid is good, as are Ian Rankin and Peter Lovesey. Oh, and Iain Banks.

I also confess a liking for Jilly Cooper, Joanna Trollope, Rosamunde Pilcher, Mary Wesley and Marcia Willett. And Maeve Binchy and Marian Keyes.

And Tolkien of course.

And lots of others. I probably read too much.

Non-fiction - biographies, mountaineering, naval history, Wars of the Roses...
 

gnolife

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A lot of what I read is fantasy stuff, so things like Dragonriders of Pern (Anne McCaffrey), The Belgariad/The Malloreon (David Eddings), The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever (Stephen Donaldson) and The Wheel of Time (Robert Jordan) are what I tend to read. I'm also a massive fan of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series (My favourite being Mort), Douglas Adams' The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy series, and most of Stephen King's books as well (with my favourite by him being Firestarter).

My favourite book is The Redemption of Althalus by David & Leigh Eddings.
 

EM2

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I'm also a big Pratchett and Adams fan, and would add Robert Rankin and Jasper Fforde as similar authors that you would probably enjoy.
Magnus Mills is an author I'm really enjoying at the moment, Three To See The King is brilliant.
I also like a bit of crime fiction, especially Mark Billingham.

As for non-fiction, Join Me by Danny Wallace has literally changed my life. I would not be living where I am and working where I am without it.
 

High Dyke

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I don't read as much as i should...or as much as the Mem does. Fictional for me is Colin Dexter Morse. As for non-fiction; church architecture, lighthouses, transport related or a little bit of military history - i must search for my copy of the Brian Hanrahan book I Counted Them All Out And I Counted Them All Back. about his experience of the Falklands War.

Otherwise if i want something to send me to sleep i start reading the various statute acts relating to Licensed Premises...in order to keep up to date. :roll:
 

hairyhandedfool

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Not much of a bookworm, but I do really like Arthur C. Clarke's 2001 and 2010, (though the latter follows on from the film of 2001 more than the book) and the previously mentioned Hitchhiker's Guide (don't let the film put you off, it's really rather good).
 

DaveNewcastle

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I see that LE Greys and klambert both enjoyed Orwell's 1984 ! One of several books by an author I have enjoyed greatly.

I wonder if you knew this story behind that vision of an authoritarian and oppresive state (which is often assumed to be intended as a critique of communism)? Orwell wrote it shortly after reading "We" by the Russian novellist and shipbuilder Yevgeny Zamyatin, who was indeed a dissenting critic of the Russian state, and very many of the themes and story elements appear in both books; you can even see complete episodes of We repeated in 1984. Orwell openly admitted being greatly inspired by "We" which was not available in English at that time. However, there's more to it than that . . . .

Zamyatin wrote "We" shortly after 2 others, "Islanders" and "Fishers of Men" and it was really a development of the ideas begun in those two books, ideas which were a critique not of Russia, but of the leafy middle-class suburb of Newcastle where he was living! (The Russian state was constructing powerful ice-breaking ships on the River Tyne). He parodied the conformity of the residents, the ruling authority of the Church, and the mindless obediance of the population - all without any overt threat of punishment for dissenters, but based on the self-control and self-regulation of a post-Victorian Christian community.

It makes a read of 1984 or We all the more interesting to know that its source is a dissenting view of our English culture; not of communism. Consider Room 101 (it's 112 in "We") not as a state-clinic/prison treatment of criminals where our deepest fears are enacted, but as a visit by the vicar where, er, our deepest fears (eternal damnation) are brought home to us!

["We" is now widely available in English translation published by Penguin Books]
 
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trentside

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I'm a big reader, and usually take advantage of days out on the railways to get a good book read. I like a variety of things, but recently I've enjoyed Andrew Pepper's series of Victorian detective novels about an ex-Bow Street Runner - great descriptions really bring the atmosphere of Victorian London to life. I've also enjoyed the works of Aravind Adiga - especially The White Tiger - for their portrayal of life in contemporary India.

The Final Solution by Michael Chabon is another good read in the detective genre, there's a strong suggestion that the main character is a very elderly Sherlock Holmes but it's never explicitly stated. It starts with a great description of the Southern Railway's third rail coming to life as an EMU approaches. It's a very short book, but well worth a read.

The Aubrey-Maturin novels by Patrick O'Brien are also brilliant for anyone with an interest in naval history. An in a similar vein, Jim Davis by John Masefield is a great 'boys adventure' story about smugglers.

As for non-fiction, I'm a big Bill Bryson fan and have most of his books - Life on a Small Island and Walk in the Woods are my favourites. I've also enjoyed some of Tony Hawks' books (not the skateboarder!), both Round Ireland with a Fridge and Piano in the Pyrenees are enjoyable reads.
 

D841 Roebuck

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A lot of what I read is fantasy stuff, so things like Dragonriders of Pern (Anne McCaffrey), The Belgariad/The Malloreon (David Eddings), The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever (Stephen Donaldson) and The Wheel of Time (Robert Jordan) are what I tend to read. I'm also a massive fan of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series (My favourite being Mort), Douglas Adams' The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy series, and most of Stephen King's books as well (with my favourite by him being Firestarter).

My favourite book is The Redemption of Althalus by David & Leigh Eddings.

Can't argue with that list (not read Robert Jordan, must look him out).

I'd put Reaper Man top of the table for Pratchett, though!

I agree in particular with "The Redemption of Althalus" being top notch - must read it again...
 

EM2

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I've made a number of very good friends through a forum for other readers of the book, and they gave me a great deal of help when I became ill, when I needed somewhere to live and when I needed a new job.
If I hadn't known these people via the book, my life could have been very different.
 

Butts

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For non-serious reading material I have always enjoyed James Herbert books from The Rats onwards.

I have his last novel Ash but have yet to read it.

As he died this year there will be no further additions to his output :cry:
 

David

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I notice there are a couple of members who like/are reading John Grisham books. My favourite of his is A Time to Kill, which is also a quality film.

Other authors I like are Tom Clancy (mainly the Jack Ryan series of novels (I'm almost at the end of A Debt of Honor (again))) and Jeffrey Archer. However ....

I'm a fairly big (ok, massive) news and information junkie. I'll read something on a website somewhere, and think that looks interesting, I'll find out a bit more about it, and start looking on the likes of Wikipedia. More often than not, I start reading through other pages linked from there and spend an hour or 2 (or 3), basically just reading and absorbing what I can, whether it was about the original subject I was looking up or not.
 

Heinz57

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The Stig, The Untold Story (Simon du Beaumarche) is fantastic, quite a funny and entertaining read. I also quite like Misery (Stephen King) - quite a page turner.

I think my favorite book of all time is Room 13 (Robert Swindels). We had it read to our year 5 class at school, enjoyed it so much I wanted my own copy of the book. Now thirteen odd years later I still enjoy it. I think I must have read it about sixteen times (as few as that?) and still enjoy it as much as that first time I read it at school.
 

MattRobinson

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I think my favourite book of all time is 'Animal Farm': as a self confessed leftie, it reminds me of what happens when the left goes to far. Other than that, I've got the complete works of Sherlock Holmes on my tablet, and have read that about three times. Most of the non-fiction stuff I read is about railways or physics.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
 

Cletus

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Cornelius Ryan - The Longest Day, A Bridge Too Far (where the films came from) & The Last Battle.
Frederick Forsythe - The Day Of The Jackal
John Lawton - Black Out (+ his other Inspector Troy books)
Hugh Sebag-Montefiore - Dunkirk
Christian Woolmar - The Subterranean Railway
 

Wyvern

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For anyone, but especially from Derbyshire, Stephen Booth's Cooper and Fry series.

Set in North Derbyshire, it seems well grounded in real policework but interesting and complex characters.

THere is another local author Steven Dunne whose stories are set in Derby itself but I found them more television oriented, that is to say fanciful.
 
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LE Greys

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I notice there are a couple of members who like/are reading John Grisham books. My favourite of his is A Time to Kill, which is also a quality film.

Other authors I like are Tom Clancy (mainly the Jack Ryan series of novels (I'm almost at the end of A Debt of Honor (again))) and Jeffrey Archer. However ....

I'm a fairly big (ok, massive) news and information junkie. I'll read something on a website somewhere, and think that looks interesting, I'll find out a bit more about it, and start looking on the likes of Wikipedia. More often than not, I start reading through other pages linked from there and spend an hour or 2 (or 3), basically just reading and absorbing what I can, whether it was about the original subject I was looking up or not.

Never read that on an aeroplane, it's supposed to be unlucky, at least if it's the edition with a picture of a crash on the cover (which I happen to have, the old one looks much better).
 

klambert

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I see that LE Greys and klambert both enjoyed Orwell's 1984 ! One of several books by an author I have enjoyed greatly.

I wonder if you knew this story behind that vision of an authoritarian and oppresive state (which is often assumed to be intended as a critique of communism)? Orwell wrote it shortly after reading "We" by the Russian novellist and shipbuilder Yevgeny Zamyatin, who was indeed a dissenting critic of the Russian state, and very many of the themes and story elements appear in both books; you can even see complete episodes of We repeated in 1984. Orwell openly admitted being greatly inspired by "We" which was not available in English at that time. However, there's more to it than that . . . .

Zamyatin wrote "We" shortly after 2 others, "Islanders" and "Fishers of Men" and it was really a development of the ideas begun in those two books, ideas which were a critique not of Russia, but of the leafy middle-class suburb of Newcastle where he was living! (The Russian state was constructing powerful ice-breaking ships on the River Tyne). He parodied the conformity of the residents, the ruling authority of the Church, and the mindless obediance of the population - all without any overt threat of punishment for dissenters, but based on the self-control and self-regulation of a post-Victorian Christian community.

It makes a read of 1984 or We all the more interesting to know that its source is a dissenting view of our English culture; not of communism. Consider Room 101 (it's 112 in "We") not as a state-clinic/prison treatment of criminals where our deepest fears are enacted, but as a visit by the vicar where, er, our deepest fears (eternal damnation) are brought home to us!

["We" is now widely available in English translation published by Penguin Books]

A very insightful post, thanks. I'll see if I can get hold of 'We', I don't think somehow it'll be in the library though.
 

jsimpson

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At the moment I'm reading the new Lee Child book - A wanted man.

Before that I got into some of Dan Brown's novels (hard to put down!)

Not sure I could name one book as my favorite but Saturday by Ian McEwan would come close!

I've got quite a long 'to read list' but a few from that are : Anthem by Ayn Rand, Sweet tooth - Ian McEwan (has anybody read this yet? worth a read?) a now a few more thanks to this thread!
 

Webley

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The Outsider by Albert Camus
I never tire of reading this book. I can identify with the main characters.
 

D841 Roebuck

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Earth's Children series by Jean M Auel
Anything by Rosamunde Pilcher-specially Coming Home and The Shell Seekers
Seeking the Green by Tylluan Penry
The Wicca/Sweep series by Cate Tiernan
Stonewlyde Series by Kit Berry
Impeccable taste, there!
 

Arglwydd Golau

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Re-reading 'A Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight' by Henry Williamson, 15 volumes, a wonderful read (to me anyway).
More contemporary - read 'A Song of Ice and Fire' by George RR Martin - never been particularly interested in this genre before (apart from Tolkien) but I couldn't put it down.
Generally have 2-3 books on the go - a novel, a History book and maybe a book about railways or cricket.
 
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