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In The Garden of Beasts - Erik Larson.   Really an engrossing read so far, Mr. Larson's writing reads easily and the odd bit of wry humour at the beginning is welcome, however, I'm sure as I go along there won't be too much to smile about given the subject.  Even reading of how William E. Dodd becomes the Ambassador to Germany is nothing short of amazing.  He had really no aspirations except for a job which would provide him enough writing time to finish his Rise and Fall of the South.

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After Hearing it discussed on 'A Good Read' (BBC Radio 4) I've borrowed (and started reading)  'The Secret Agent' by Joseph Conrad.

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I am reading Kevin Bridge's autobiography just now, We Need To Talk About Kevin. I love his stand up and reading about a Glasgow childhood is quite good fun.

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I am reading Kevin Bridge's autobiography just now, We Need To Talk About Kevin. I love his stand up and reading about a Glasgow childhood is quite good fun.

I have been tempted by this too: what's he like as a writer? I read Elaine C Smith's autobiography years ago and I actually took it back to Waterstones because it was so badly written. It put me off comedians' books, maybe unfairly.

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I have been tempted by this too: what's he like as a writer? I read Elaine C Smith's autobiography years ago and I actually took it back to Waterstones because it was so badly written. It put me off comedians' books, maybe unfairly.

Eh...okay? That's a bit damning with faint praise. It's not great, he jumps about a bit and doesn't connect properly but it's like your friend just talking to you. I think it's a peculiarly Glaswegian book to read and a lot of the fun is in recognizing aspects of our shared life experiences. I wouldn't read it for the writing, put it that way!

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Starting "while the gods were sleeping" by Erwin mortier.

 

when I finish this one, I hope I will do a review of it if I do that means we'll have a review for each of the independent prize for 2015 shortlisted books

Edited by iff

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Am further on in the book In The Garden of Beasts and am finding that a lot of it seems to be taken up with the Ambassador's daughter's love affairs and descriptions of dinners. I guess I find that part a bit tedious but I suppose the author is wanting to portray how life in Berlin was as factually as possible. What was happening to the Jews certainly doesn't seem to be front and centre perhaps because there was anti Jewish sentiment in America amongst some of the politicians as well.

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Over halfway In The Garden of Beasts, can only read segments of it at a time as it gets a bit repetitive but am finding it interesting and a bit mind boggling following along the diplomatic community where people send little notes couched in diplomatic language while meaning something else entirely. There is a lot of lunching and dinnering and a lot of talk which quite often goes nowhere even though Ambassador Dodd feels that he made some very good points, seems like no one pays a lot of attention to anything he says anyway, meanwhile daughter is still enjoying lots of male attention and for want of a more polite description she is somewhat of a 'waste of space'.  This seems a bit cruel but she really is a good time girl although she shows occasional sparks of conscience and compassion.  The son is not often mentioned.

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Hello Everybody!

I am studying English and I was looking for what to read to improve my knowledge. I am happy to find this site! What wonderful recommendations! To make my contribution I would like to tell you about the last book I 've read. It has definitely become my favourite one!
Before I took this book in my hand I had never thought that the science fiction could be so absorbing! As far as I heard it's coming soon in English. I highly recommend it to all who like reading.
I won't spoil the story by saying what happens but I can say that this is the story about Artificial Intelligence as you've never seen it before!!! Adventures, travel, friendship, love and philosophy - all in one. You'll like it.
In case if you understand Russian you can find it on Vasily Klyukin's official site. Just google it :)

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The Forgotten by David Baldacci, an American author.  Main character is a military investigator currently on leave and is required by his father, who is in a VA hospital and suffering from dementia, to go to Florida to find out what is happening with his elderly sister, something strange going on in Paradise.  John Puller flies to Florida and finds that his aunt has died, supposedly from drowning in the little pond in her back yard, however he suspects that she may have been murdered.  He does what he does best and is investigating.  Baldacci writes well.

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Current in car book is Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes, a US set crime novel with supernatural overtones. Also moved onto A Clash of Kings, the second A Song of Ice and Fire book. 

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Not read anything by Sarah Hall before but have heard many good things about her latest book. Started The Wolf Border.

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A film I'm dying to see. Also a little science fiction if it's categorised  as such.

High-Rise by JG Ballard

the long way to a small angry planet by Becky Chambers

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I've just finished Collective Mind by Klyukin as a beta reader. I like it, but author decide to rewrite some moments and delete book from internet instead of that fact that Eva Longoria, Natalia Vodianova and Frederic Beigbeder consider this book worthreading! Strange man! However, writing book is infinity in some way..

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Latest audiobook is the poet Simon Armitage's Walking Home. It is a prose memoir of walking the Pennine Way from north to south (most people do it in the opposite direction, according to him) and is so called because the town where he grew up is near the southern end. He starts the trip without a penny in his pocket and funds it through giving readings in the evening.   

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A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson, I was hesititent as I so loved Life After Life and was afraid this might be a disappointment.  It's shaping up well.

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I have just started reading Still Life by Louise Penny which I believe to be the first in The Chief Inspector Gamache series. I know that this series has been popular with at least a few BGO members so was surprised when I could find no existing thread. Either such a thread does not exist or I am being particularly dense when conducting my search. Either posibility could be the case!

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"Dark Star Safari, overland from Cairo to Cape Town" Paul Theroux.

I haven't read a travel book for a very long time - except the one I ditched a few weeks ago, by the same author. This one is okay, though, and I'm enjoying it. He doesn't have a good opinion about the aid agencies' activities he encounters along the way, and he is so, so right ...

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The Lost Soldier, by Diney Costeloe - have just finished a book by her and enjoyed it immensely, can't understand why I've never heard of her before. :scratchhe

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"Yugoslavia, My Fatherland" by Goran Vojnovic

 

novels about balkan troubles remind me of my childhood as to my memory, the balkans (the Bosnian war more so that the earlier conflicts in Croatia and the Slovenian war) so the Bosnian is the earliest armed conflict I remember and seeing it on the news at nights. The Rwandan genoicide is another one that bears an early memory for me

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