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What are the best books you have read in 2008? And why do you like them?

 
 
dlowan
 
Reply Tue 2 Sep, 2008 01:51 am
Pretty straightforward.

It doesn't have to have been PUBLISHED in 2008...just read this year.

Any category...

But please...do give some detail about the book and what appealed to you.

Yes...I am looking for ideas!
 
McTag
 
  2  
Reply Tue 2 Sep, 2008 01:57 am
@dlowan,

Yo, d

We, my wife and I, have recently discovered and been enjoying the crime thrillers of Lee Child.

He is a best-seller I know, and I usually avoid these, but this guy I like.

I like the travel books of Bruce Chatwin, too....quite a contrast.
In Patagonia, try that if you haven't already done so.
dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Tue 2 Sep, 2008 02:01 am
@McTag,
Why do you like Lee Childs? What do you like about the travel author???


I think I have read one Childs at some point, but i can't remember it.

Isn't "In Patagonia" extremely famous, or is that a fiction piece with a similar name?
kuvasz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Sep, 2008 11:36 am
ARUNDEL
http://www.amazon.com/Arundel-Kenneth-Roberts/dp/0892723645

Kenneth Roberts' history of the March to Quebec at the start of the Revolutionary War and Aaron Burr's outstanding capacity as a leader of men.

It is often said that had Burr died on the field at the Battle of Saratoga he likely would have been honored as a Revolutionary War general only second to George Washington. The book explains why people believed so before Burr turned traitor.
0 Replies
 
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Sep, 2008 02:56 pm
@dlowan,

Lee Child has been hailed as the writer to rival Ian Fleming. He is British, but his hero has been compared to James Bond, in an updated American version, and in the criminal world, not the world of espionage

His books are spare, and pacey. Plots good, plenty of imagination and excitement. Morality with violence. Quirky, anarchic.

I find Chatwin (now deceased) enthralling, very erudite, with unusual sensitivity and insight. A little fey, carried to extremes imho in The Songlines about Australia and aboriginal society, but always readable and thought-provoking.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Tue 2 Sep, 2008 03:19 pm
@dlowan,
Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon.

Really engaging characters, creative use of language, great plot.

Plus, it's available used....
dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Wed 3 Sep, 2008 05:49 am
@DrewDad,
I have a Stephenson sitting there.......part of my long "to read" list....


McTag
 
  2  
Reply Sat 6 Sep, 2008 01:38 pm
@dlowan,

So? Is that it? Read any good books lately, dlowan?
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Sep, 2008 07:31 pm
@McTag,
I'm thinking.....

I hope this isn't it..


I have been kind of tired all year, and when I am very tired, I tend to read relative trash....

Thinking.

I'll look in my bookshelves.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Sep, 2008 10:59 pm
@dlowan,
Ok...I have been pondering...and here are a pair of quirky ones:

I love novels that take me to a place or time I know very little about, and allow me to get a real sense of those places...now the first one is, of course, a speculative novel, so who knows how accurate the view is...but I enjoyed it immensely...especially with its unusual and very cerebral main character (reminds me a bit of Vidal's "Julian", which is one of my very favourite books).

It is set before and during and after the reign of the Pharaoh Akhnaton, and covers the main nations of that time.

The Egyptian

Here's the cover blurb:

From the Publisher

First published in the United States in 1949 and widely condemned as obscene, The Egyptian outsold every other novel published that year, and remains a classic; readers worldwide have testified to its life-changing power. It is a full-bodied re-creation of a largely forgotten era in the world’s history: the Egypt of the 14th century B.C.E., when pharaohs and gods contended with the near-collapse of history’s greatest empire. This epic tale encompasses the whole of the then-known world, from Babylon to Crete, from Thebes to Jerusalem, while centering around one unforgettable figure: Sinuhe, a man of mysterious origins who rises from the depths of degradation to become personal physician to Pharaoh Akhnaton.


Another odd one is "Let the Right One in" by John Lindqvist.

Now...I don't usually go for horror or vampire stuff, but this is a truly interesting book, about a kid living in Sweden (I think) who has a young girl vampire move in next door.

My interest was piqued when I heard the author interviewed, and a discussion of very domestic issues like how she gets smelly and sick when she needs to feed and such....it is also one of those books where the characters develop, andit gives an interesting look at life in a different country.

dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Sat 6 Sep, 2008 11:08 pm
@dlowan,
I also re-read Gary Jenning's "Aztec"...which is a fascinating (though I have no idea how accurate) recreation of the Aztec empire some years before, and after, the invasion by Cortez et al.
McTag
 
  2  
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 12:22 am
@dlowan,

Well my goodness. By the sound of that, you would like the Philip Pullman books.
These sound interesting, though I don't seek out stuff like that normally for me.

I have just finished Narrow Dog to Indian River, a humourous tale of a canal voyage in the eastern USA by Terry Darlington. I enjoyed it.
dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 12:51 am
@McTag,
Hmmmmm....I HAVE the Pullman books, but I haven't read them as yet.

I am more interested in books that teach me about real places...whether now, or historically.

I haven't heard of Darlington.
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 01:00 am
@dlowan,

I heard about him (and his wife) on the BBC.

My wife is enjoying it too, laughing out loud from time to time.
0 Replies
 
McTag
 
  2  
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 03:22 am
@dlowan,

Here he is, with Mon and the narrow dog.

http://www.narrowdog.com/
Brandon9000
 
  2  
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 05:54 am
@dlowan,
"Jane Eyre." Charlotte Bronte was very clever.
dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 06:02 am
@Brandon9000,
I still love Jane Eyre....warts and all. There was a goodish BBC television serial of it that came out last year, I think.

Have you read Charlotte's others?
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 06:17 am
@dlowan,
I started "Villette," but didn't get very far, although it was cute. I have a number of personal projects these days which consume too much of my time.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 06:17 am
@McTag,
Narrow dog for narrow boats, I see.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2008 06:19 am
@Brandon9000,
What did you think especially cleaver in Jane Eyre, by the way?

I know with the time!

 

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