Author Topic: Favorite unheralded book  (Read 13047 times)

Online oldbike54

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Favorite unheralded book
« on: February 01, 2016, 02:20:26 PM »
 We have some Winter coming to Okieland . Have been reading more lately , currently about 1/2 way through John Cleese's autobiography , an amazing insight into English culture in the 1950's and 60's so far . Any recommendations for lesser known books , any genre , well , except for conspiracy theory stuff  :laugh:

 Dusty
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Online acogoff

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Re: Favorite unheralded book
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2016, 03:05:09 PM »
     No recommendations on a better read, but I do know that "My Hovercraft is full of Eels".  Cracks me up every time I think about that Hungarian phrasebook sketch. Always been a fan, may have to pick up that book.
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Offline fotoguzzi

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Re: Favorite unheralded book
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2016, 03:06:28 PM »
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Re: Favorite unheralded book
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2016, 03:11:19 PM »
Heralded in the U.K. but pretty much unknown in the U.S. ... If you are enjoying Cleese's So, Anyway... for its cultural insights, you might also like Alan Johnson's This Boy: A Memoir of a Childhood. The fact that Johnson is a senior politician is beside the point that he writes beautifully about growing up in a London slum: http://www.amazon.com/This-Boy-Childhood-Alan-Johnson/dp/0593069641/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1454359395&sr=8-1

Online nick949

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Re: Favorite unheralded book
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2016, 03:29:38 PM »
In a similar vein,

A Field Guide to the British: the ANGLO FILES by Sarah Lyall http://www.amazon.com/Anglo-Files-Field-Guide-British/dp/0393334767/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1454362073&sr=8-1&keywords=A+Field+Guide+to+the+British
(funny, insightful, honest - and astonishingly, she's an American) (edit: don't attach any importance to the many negative reviews on Amazon - just a bunch of whinging Brits who don't like hearing the truth).

of course, (warning SPAM alert) not a patch on my own masterpiece :
Actually, I'm English: rediscovering my homeland on foot and by motorbike (link in signature below)

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PS But if you just want a good read, it's hard to beat "The Road to Little Dribbling" by Bill Bryson
« Last Edit: February 01, 2016, 03:34:15 PM by nick949 »

Offline cloudbase

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Re: Favorite unheralded book
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2016, 04:27:02 PM »
The Wayward Bus.  I think this is Steinbeck's best work. 

Until the Sea Shall Free Them.  A journalist's look at the sinking of the Marine Electric.  A few errors of fact in there, but nothing that takes away from the power of the story.  (I got off that ship a few months before she sank.)

One Man Against the World.  A look at Richard Nixon.  It's worse than you thought.




Offline Joe A.

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Re: Favorite unheralded book
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2016, 05:52:19 PM »
oldie but a goodie: Trout Fishing in America. Richard Brautigan.
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Online old head

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Re: Favorite unheralded book
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2016, 06:05:46 PM »
there is a 10 volume set of books on the Revolutionary War if you are into that kind of historical documentary.

Prelude to Glory is the series, by Carter.

Excellent read.

author places fictional characters in the months leading up the War, and follows the War through these fictional characters.  I sure learned how pitiful our history is taught in schools, and I have a minor in History. 

anyway, very detailed and easy reading.

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Offline maquette

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Re: Favorite unheralded book
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2016, 06:06:12 PM »

 The Third Life of Grange Copeland :  Author:      Alice Walker

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Re: Favorite unheralded book
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2016, 06:11:35 PM »
I read anything I can get my hands on by 2 Florida themed writers.   Randy Wayne White's "Doc Ford" and "Hanna Smith" novels. Mystery and crime. Florida and Carribean settings. Also the madcap "Serge Storms" series by Tim Dorsey. More Florida madness about a serial killer with ethics and his stoner sidekick. (Soon  to be a film series)
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Re: Favorite unheralded book
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2016, 06:14:14 PM »
 :wink:


rob-mg

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Re: Favorite unheralded book
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2016, 06:27:32 PM »
I'm not sure that there is such a thing as an unheralded book that is worth reading, although there are lots of highly regarded books that are not widely read.

James Salter's A Sport and a Pastime is regarded by many as an American masterpiece, but how many people have actually read it?

Russell Hoban's Riddley Walker, which takes place in England after a nuclear war, is highly regarded (Anthony Burgess considered it a masterpiece), and apparently lots of filmmakers have tried (so far unsuccessfully) to turn it into a feature film, but how many people are prepared to read a book written in a made-up version of English, even if it's possible to figure out how it works after about 15 pages?

Richard Rhodes's The Making of the Atomic Bomb deservedly won the Pulitzer Prize and every other major US award, but who is aware of it today? His description of experimenting with the rods in a university gym in Chicago, and what happened in Japan, remain etched in my memory.

And then there's Flann O'Brien's At Swim-Two-Birds, a novel that, when he died, was a failure, but had the support of Dylan Thomas and Graham Greene, now regarded as a masterpiece of English literature.

My favourite read in the last year? Don Quixote. Unquestionably one of the top five novels that I have read. Why do I mention it? Because, while celebrated, very few native English speakers have ever read it. Which is a pity. It is magnificent.





« Last Edit: February 01, 2016, 06:34:49 PM by rob-mg »

Offline radguzzi

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Re: Favorite unheralded book
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2016, 06:31:55 PM »

"Blue Highways" by William Least Heat Moon
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Offline keuka4884

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Re: Favorite unheralded book
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2016, 06:35:28 PM »
The Perfect Vehicle by Melissa Pierson.
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rob-mg

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Re: Favorite unheralded book
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2016, 06:38:16 PM »
"Blue Highways" by William Least Heat Moon

Like the other books referred to so far, highly celebrated when it was published, perhaps less well-known today.

Offline cruzziguzzi

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Re: Favorite unheralded book
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2016, 06:52:39 PM »
     No recommendations on a better read, but I do know that "My Hovercraft is full of Eels".  Cracks me up every time I think about that Hungarian phrasebook sketch. Always been a fan, may have to pick up that book.

We used to work that into every possible daily dialogue session when I took Czech in the Army:

vae vznedlo je pln hořů...


A book? Find Del Vecchio's "The Thirteenth Valley" Simply heartbreaking. One of the very few novels which I've read more than three times.

"Never So Few" by Chamales - outstanding and so much better than the Sinatra vehicle.

"Warpath and Bivouac". Finnerty's tale of being "imbedded" before it was a "thing. From the Chicago Times - he was with Crook"s fascinating campaign following the events of 1876.

"Fup" and more - "Not Fade Away". Two fantastical tales from Jim Dodge. Easy and very, very fun reads.

Track down Andrew Vachss and start his "Burke" books from the first, "Flood". Dark anti-hero, he.


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Online oldbike54

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Re: Favorite unheralded book
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2016, 06:55:32 PM »
The Perfect Vehicle by Melissa Pierson.

 
 
"Blue Highways" by William Least Heat Moon

 Both really good books  :thumb:

 Dusty
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Re: Favorite unheralded book
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2016, 07:40:14 PM »

Offline mandoguzzi

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Re: Favorite unheralded book
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2016, 07:44:17 PM »
Dusty...if you're interested in the decline of the Brit aristocracy (1950's-1070's), you might like Julian Fellowes' "past Imperfect". a bit long but he's a great writer (Downton Abbey). Interesting book.

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Re: Favorite unheralded book
« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2016, 07:49:09 PM »
Dusty...if you're interested in the decline of the Brit aristocracy (1950's-1070's), you might like Julian Fellowes' "past Imperfect". a bit long but he's a great writer (Downton Abbey). Interesting book.

 I am interested in all manner of things . Amazing how a good writer can take a seemingly boring subject and make it interesting . Thanks for the replies folks , better get busy . Keep it coming .

 Dusty
« Last Edit: February 01, 2016, 07:54:37 PM by oldbike54 »
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Offline mandoguzzi

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Re: Favorite unheralded book
« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2016, 07:49:39 PM »
that would be 1940 to 1970

Online oldbike54

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Re: Favorite unheralded book
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2016, 07:55:36 PM »
that would be 1940 to 1970

 Kind of figured that  :laugh:

  Dusty
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Online Robert

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Re: Favorite unheralded book
« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2016, 08:03:51 PM »
Citizen Soldiers
Troops on the ground in Europe from D-day to VE-day.

Explains to me why Dad never talked about it.  And why his collection of his few war souvenirs and his medals were nowhere to be found when my siblings and I cleaned up Mom and his house when they were both gone.


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Re: Favorite unheralded book
« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2016, 08:19:53 PM »
Another heralded book that few people have actually read.

War and Peace.

Took me four tries. The trick is to get past the first 50 pages, chock full of Russian names, and not worry about any of them. Just plow through it.

Once I got that far, I couldn't put it down. It took over my life and I wound up reading it in a week.

Without doubt, the finest novel that I have ever read.

A week or so ago, the BBC started airing a TV serial version that is getting great reviews.

Which is great, but the novel is so powerful.

« Last Edit: February 01, 2016, 08:33:53 PM by rob-mg »

Online oldbike54

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Re: Favorite unheralded book
« Reply #24 on: February 01, 2016, 08:34:03 PM »
 Oh hell Rob , I've started W&P at least once a decade since high school . 30 pages, confusion sets in, the book gets away .

 Dusty
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Re: Favorite unheralded book
« Reply #25 on: February 01, 2016, 08:44:14 PM »
Oh hell Rob , I've started W&P at least once a decade since high school . 30 pages, confusion sets in, the book gets away .

 Dusty

I so understand. Power through the first 50 pages and don't worry about who is who or what is going on. These pages aren't particularly important, and shortly after Tolstoy starts focusing on individual characters, and starts hitting the narrative, at which point the book (for me at least) is un-put-downable.

And if one has any interest in Napoleon, and what happened during that era, this is not just great writing, but essential reading.

Beyond that, make sure you use a translation that works for you.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2016, 09:09:57 PM by rob-mg »

Offline Yukonica

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Re: Favorite unheralded book
« Reply #26 on: February 01, 2016, 08:58:22 PM »
I have 172,000 books in my small library. Read several of them. (Liaison to Community Libraries for Yukon Territory).
You want fiction? Try on 'Bees' for a bit of Britain. My favourite recent book? 'Stealing Speed'. Yeah... that one. I'm buying a copy to put int the public collection.
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Offline trippah

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Re: Favorite unheralded book
« Reply #27 on: February 01, 2016, 09:16:47 PM »
and for a lengthy Winter killing read; Thomas Mann's "The Magic Mountain" takes you to new heights. :laugh:

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Re: Favorite unheralded book
« Reply #28 on: February 01, 2016, 09:17:46 PM »
 Connie , no doubt I need to read Stealing Speed . Is it more about Walter Kaaden , or Degner and Suzuki ?

 Dusty
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Offline Sasquatch Jim

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Re: Favorite unheralded book
« Reply #29 on: February 01, 2016, 09:20:06 PM »
 Setting Free the bears ---- A motorcycle adventure story set in Europe.  Part in the sixties and a pre history set during WW2 in the Balkens.  A sort of double story.  One of my favorites.
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