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Found 4 results

  1. Grammath 6th February 2006 01:41 PM Books About Books I was at the Destinations show at Earl's Court over the weekend. I departed weighed down with travel brochures, plus in amongst all the Rough Guides on their stall to various farflung corners of the world I found and purchased "The Rough Guide to Cult Fiction". I also own an Encyclopaedia of Crime Fiction and two guides published by Waterstone's on these themes. Does anybody else own similar books and find them a pleasure to dip into in their own right, or useful reference works? -------------------------------------------------------- Flingo 6th February 2006 03:39 PM I often use the "Rough Guide to Teen Fiction" and there is another one that relates to Childrens Fiction which can be useful when racking your brain for something for those reluctant readers. An invaluable resource on a Library Enquiry Desk is the "Who Else Writes Like...?" book. Unfortunately it is too expensive to consider purchasing a personal copy, but I do often dip in for ideas. -------------------------------------------------- Mungus 6th February 2006 06:09 PM I have a copy of 'Seven Basic Plots: Why we tell Stories' by Christopher Booker sitting on my shelf. My recollection is slightly hazy, but as I recall, he attempts to pull together all major fiction into one of seven areas and explain how they share roots and fulfil some sort of human requirement. I'm sure Amazon summarise it better! I started reading it but suffered my usual lack of concentration and it has been back on the shelf for a while now. I really would like to get in to it again, but need a nudge. ------------------------------------------------ Hazel 6th February 2006 06:46 PM I have this languishing in my huge TBR pile, will get round to it one day, preferably before I finish my degree! ----------------------------------------------------- Claire 6th February 2006 08:17 PM I have an old copy of the Bloomsbury Good Reading Guide, which I used a lot when I first got it. It's got 100's of authors listed, with a couple of paragraphs of description of their style, genre etc, etc, and a list of what they've published. Then each one is followed by a "If you loved this author, try these", with recommendations of other books and authors you may well enjoy. I haven't used it for ages, as my TBR pile is already huge, and my mental list of stuff I want to read is even longer, but when I was first venturing out into the world of Grown Up Books, from the safety of the children's section, it was invaluable in helping me find things I might like. I've checked Amazon, and it looks like there's a new, updated version available. ------------------------------------------------------------------ Starry 6th February 2006 10:33 PM I have a book about the history of bestsellers which I've only managed to read half of as it is a little heavy going. I read "So Many Books, So Little Time" by Liza Nelson last year which was good. It is written by a fiction addict/journalist who records which books she has read during the year and what they meant to her. Interesting. And "The Child that Books Built" by Francis Spufford is on my TBR pile. That's about it I think. The Bloomsbury Good Reading Guide sounds very interesting Claire, might see if my library has a copy. As do the Rough Guides. ------------------------------------------------- Darkstar 13th May 2006 12:19 PM I read this last year and thought it was excellent; it really prompted me to think about the novels I read and how they are structured. I wrote quite a long review of the book here ------------------------------------------------ Momo 13th May 2006 12:35 PM Sounds like BGO to me. Maybe we should publish a book? ----------------------------------------------------- cummycummins 10th June 2006 12:20 PM No I just can't stand books about books. I think it just feels weird about them. I don't really like the idea of spending time reading books about books. It seems like a bit of a waste to me for some reason. ---------------------------------------------------------------- belwebb 14th June 2006 07:13 AM There is one heavily promoted book about books, 1001 books you must read in your lifetime, or something like that, fat paperback, which, for me, isn't that appealing, although the cover picture of Alex from Clockwork Orange is. I will buy, not sure when. I like the way each page is dedicated to a book and shows covershot and biog info. Waterstone's, I think, have got it at £5 off. ------------------------------------------------------------ Hazel 14th June 2006 08:10 AM Oh, I have seen that in the bookshops an it is a flaming doorstop! Quite fancied it but I am a little wary of anything that says "you MUST read". A good book about books is Ian Watt's The Rise of the Novel, or you can try Terry Eagleton's The English Novel. I quite like books about how the novel came to be - the history is fascinating. -------------------------------------------------------- belwebb 14th June 2006 09:53 AM A good book about books is Ian Watt's The Rise of the Novel, or you can try Terry Eagleton's The English Novel. I quite like books about how the novel came to be - the history is fascinating. I have read both Ian Watt's and Terry Eagleton's books on the novel and whilst both are good Terry Eagleton's is a better read, and doesn't he call for a return to the study of rhetoric? That may be in Literary theory, come to think of it. Wasn't Watt's written years ago? I like Eagleton, although his memoir, The Gatekeeper, starts off promising becomes a bit too dry. ----------------------------------------------------------- Hazel 14th June 2006 11:22 AM I like both the books, though some of Eagleton's theories are a little weak. I actually like the Watt book better - though as you have said in another thread he does credit Defoe as the daddy of the novel. --------------------------------------------------------------- Momo 14th June 2006 03:43 PM Any book about how something came to be is interesting, so a book about how novels started must be great. -------------------------------------------------------- My Friend Jack 14th June 2006 05:29 PM Damn right. If there's one thing guaranteed to put me off films, music, books, it's some bloody critic telling me I must watch / hear / read them! ---------------------------------------------- Tess 28th June 2006 02:09 PM I already have this and would say that it's definitely worth a look, even just for the fun of counting how many you've already read! There are some books listed which I hadn't heard of but have since read and loved so I trust the choices. It's filled with great pictures and descriptions of all the books so keeps you flicking through and many a friend has already become engrossed! As with all such lists there are going to be entries you disagree with but that's sometimes part of the fun. ---------------------------------------
  2. Repost Lady Lazarus 24th October 2006 01:08 PM 1001 books to read before you die... Just spotted this on another book board: 1001 books to read before you die. It comes from a book of the same name, apparently (discussed by The Observer here) After a quick scan through, I've only read less than 50 I'd say (probably about 40), and have another 40 or 50 on the TBR pile / list. Just wondered what people thought about these type of lists. My thoughts are just who decides what goes on these lists, and on what basis? I was pleased to see some of my favourites on there: A Suitable Boy, The Buddha of Suburbia, Great Expectations, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Never Let Me Go etc. Feel terribly inferior at not having read more on the list! And The Children's War isn't on it! After having a look at the blurb on Amazon about the book the list comes from, I rather fancy it as a Christmas gift, for myself and other people...! I thought it was JUST a book with the list in, but it turns out it's got photos, reviews and other stuff. Looks rather good. Anyone wanting to get me an early Xmas pressie, look no further Tamora 24th October 2006 01:47 PM Quote: My thoughts are just who decides what goes on these lists, and on what basis? I think these lists are great for students or pupils to get a first glimpse into literature - which are the "classics" etc. But the choice of books remains a miracle for me! It actually depends on the newspaper, the publisher or the prof/teacher which books are on it or not. That's why none of them offers "the one survey of books to read"... woofwoof 24th October 2006 02:23 PM That's a nice list! I suppose having 1000 to choose from makes it much easier to include most of the books that most people would want to put in their personal list. So who did create the list - was it a committee, a survey of people, one individual? I always think of myself as not very well read and I am quite a slow reader so I was quite pleased to find that I had read 63 of the list! (0 21C, 23 20C, 35 19C 1 18C 4 pre-18C) I wasted a few minutes just now putting the list into Excel and fiddling about with it to get the top 100 authors judged by number of entries (sorry about the word "Count" on each line): 10 J.M. Coetzee Count 10 Charles Dickens Count 9 Virginia Woolf Count 8 Samuel Beckett Count 8 Ian McEwan Count 8 Graham Greene Count 7 Thomas Hardy Count 7 Saul Bellow Count 7 Salman Rushdie Count 7 Philip Roth Count 7 J.G. Ballard Count 7 Don DeLillo Count 7 D.H. Lawrence Count 6 Thomas Bernhard Count 6 Paul Auster Count 6 Margaret Atwood Count 6 Jane Austen Count 6 Iris Murdoch Count 6 Henry James Count 6 Henry Green Count 6 Elizabeth Bowen Count 6 Edith Wharton Count 5 Émile Zola Count 5 Wyndham Lewis Count 5 Toni Morrison Count 5 Thomas Pynchon Count 5 Martin Amis Count 5 Kazuo Ishiguro Count 5 Joseph Conrad Count 5 John Banville Count 5 Ivan Turgenev Count 5 Italo Calvino Count 5 H.G. Wells Count 5 Georges Perec Count 5 George Orwell Count 5 George Eliot Count 5 Fyodor Dostoevsky Count 5 Ernest Hemingway Count 4 William Faulkner Count 4 William Burroughs Count 4 W.G. Sebald Count 4 Vladimir Nabokov Count 4 Thomas Mann Count 4 Robert Louis Stevenson Count 4 Rebecca West Count 4 Nathaniel Hawthorne Count 4 Muriel Spark Count 4 Milan Kundera Count 4 Leo Tolstoy Count 4 Joyce Carol Oates Count 4 John Fowles Count 4 Jeanette Winterson Count 4 Jean-Jacques Rousseau Count 4 Iain Banks Count 4 Herman Hesse Count 4 Heinrich Böll Count 4 Haruki Murakami Count 4 Gustave Flaubert Count 4 Evelyn Waugh Count 4 Edna O’Brien Count 4 E.M. Forster Count 4 E.L. Doctorow Count 4 Doris Lessing Count 4 Dashiell Hammett Count 4 Anthony Trollope Count 4 André Gide Count 4 Aldous Huxley Count 3 William Trevor Count 3 V.S. Naipaul Count 3 Tobias George Smollett Count 3 Sir Walter Scott Count 3 Raymond Chandler Count 3 Primo Levi Count 3 Peter Handke Count 3 Peter Ackroyd Count 3 Pat Barker Count 3 Ngugi Wa Thiong’o Count 3 Maria Edgeworth Count 3 Marguerite Duras Count 3 Kingsley Amis Count 3 José Saramago Count 3 Jonathan Swift Count 3 John Wyndham Count 3 John Updike Count 3 John Steinbeck Count 3 John Le Carré Count 3 John Irving Count 3 John Barth Count 3 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Count 3 Jean Rhys Count 3 James Kelman Count 3 James Joyce Count 3 J.G. Farrell Count 3 Iain Sinclair Count 3 Honoré de Balzac Count 3 Henry Fielding Count 3 Hanif Kureishi Count 3 Guy de Maupassant Count 3 Gertrude Stein Count Kenny_Shovel 24th October 2006 02:31 PM I surprised myself by having read 104 on the list, with about 6-7 on my shelves waiting to be read. Having said that, the list is what it is, compliled from a certain viewpoint. In this case a rather anglo-saxon, western european viewpoint. Still, interesting list. MarkC 24th October 2006 03:21 PM 44 read, 10 TBR. That filled an idle 10 minutes contemplating the arrival of jet lag. My total was helped by the presence of all the Jane Austen novels, some Hardys, some Wintersons and a fair amount of 20th Century sci-fi. Hazel 24th October 2006 03:50 PM I did quite fancy having a look at this book, but I thought it would be the kind of thing I would flick through then forget about. If it's on special offer anytime I spot it then I may indulge but otherwise I won't bother. I am always dubious of this kind of thing but it does seem like the book lovers ideal coffee table book. Barblue 24th October 2006 05:14 PM I was given this for my last birthday (60 plus) by my youngest son. As I informed him on the day, he has rather made a rod for his own back because I have only read about 40 or 50 and if I am to read them all before I die, I might have to live to be 130 or more in order to do it! He said that was the point! It made my birthday complete. David 24th October 2006 05:53 PM Is that list the same as in Boxall's book, or just by a blogging enthusiast ('ukaunz')? Anyway, an interesting collection, but occasionally odd. For instance, you can up your count by one by taking a quick read of one of the recommendations (it'll only take five minutes): A Modest Proposal - Swift Not exactly a book! Well worth a read, though. Like all lists it's very subjective but plenty of sound choices. minxminnie 24th October 2006 06:08 PM Thanks for this, as you've really cheered me up - I was surprised to see that I've read 86 of them! Still a long way off 1001... Usually I hate being told what to read in my free time, but I find this list strangely seductive. I think it's because it has lots of choice, and it's not just the usual old canon. Good to see lots of foreign authors on there, and lots of authors that I've not heard of. Flingo 24th October 2006 09:50 PM Quote: Originally Posted by Hazel If it's on special offer anytime I spot it then I may indulge but otherwise I won't bother. If you have a "British Bookshop" nearby, I don't think I've ever seen it NOT on offer! I've read 76 with about 20 more I own (not all in my house - most in my dad's!) to read, and a number on other "Must Read" lists. My count was latgely helped by the Bronte's and Douglas Adams! What a combination! Flingo 24th October 2006 09:52 PM Quote: Originally Posted by David For instance, you can up your count by one by taking a quick read of one of the recommendations (it'll only take five minutes): A Modest Proposal - Swift Not exactly a book! Well worth a read, though. And of course, we found an online link for The Yellow Wallpaper in it's thread. dumpling 25th October 2006 06:00 AM I've read 109 of them, and parts of several others. I'm not a JM Coetzee fan, though, so I'll never read the whole list! Really really nice to see Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day there -- I wouldn't have thought it makes many lists. elfstar 25th October 2006 08:00 AM I've read about a hundred. Incluing a couple of pre 1700's. In fact I think I have read something from every section!! katrina 25th October 2006 12:07 PM I've read 106 of them and have about 30 sitting on my tbr bookshelf. I would say that at least 35-40 of those books were read for university. Was an interesting list but I didn't see anything shocking coming up woofwoof 25th October 2006 05:32 PM I was just curious to see which books of Trollopes were included. Strangely they include only the last part of the Barchester novels (The last chronicle of Barsetshire). Perhaps it's worth my persevering (I've got up to part 4 of the 6) after several years on and off!
  3. This thread is for suggestions for 'other' dictionaries, in other words not your usual straight English dictionaries. This can encompass all sorts of subjects. Can you for instance recommend a music dictionary, a reverse dictionary, slang dictionary etc., I'll start off with the Cassell Dictionary of Slang by Jonathon Green (sorry no ISBN number). The following description is paraphrased from the book: This book covers the words, meanings, and where known, the origin of slang English language words from around the world, including; Britain, North America, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. It includes rhyming slang, criminal slang, swear words and slang for sex, drugs and drink. Covering slang of several centuries as well as this one and cross-references thousands of words. So do you have a dictionary you can tell us about? A Science dictionary perhaps? Music, Art, Archaeology,Technology, how about a dictionary of terms used in old or unusual crafts, like thatching, bessom making, wainwrights, etc? If you do let us know about it!
  4. My old Oxford English has served me well, but I need a new one. It's not helped by most bookshops shrinkwrapping the stock so I can't see the font or judge the paper quality or feel how the pages open in my hand or on the desk. What I'm after: - Must be hardback - Used mainly for cryptic crosswords but also for reference and browsing - "Proper" English only. What I mean is, no "modern" or "21st Century" or "World English" travesties. They say Chambers is the best, but I fancy the two volume Oxford English. Any recommendations?
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