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Old 03-12-2018, 13:19   #1
jockosjungle
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Your Three Favourite Books of All Time

I'm not a massively high brow reader, so was wondering what books people would consider in their top three of all time. A book you could read over and over again, etc. Hopefully will pick up a few recommendations.

1. How Steeple Sinderby Wanderers won the FA Cup - JL Carr

It's not a long book and I can happily knock it off in an afternoon, which I probably do twice a year at least. A fable about a local village side winning the FA Cup as told by the secretary of the team. It's wonderfully written, full of humour and in many ways believable. It never really explains when it is set but I'd guess the 70's.

2. The Dogs of War - Frederick Forsyth - So well written, I first read it on a walking holiday in an omnibus with Day of the Jackal, which I thought would be hard to top. Weirdly detailed, enthralling to the end, and sadly I've read many of his other books in the hope one would be even half as good, but sadly not.

3. Winter - A Berlin Family 1899 - 1945 - Len Deighton - Other books seem to have followed this basic plot, follow a family over generations. But this is a great read, epic in every way and tells the story of Germany naturally through both world wars, I guess it is sort of sympathetic in a way, but gives an amazing insight into areas of history I'd not really considered in much detail, the rise of Hitler, etc. Just got the audiobook yesterday. Again like FF, a good writer, who managed to really up their game.

Anyone else care to share any such recommendations?
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Old 03-12-2018, 14:45   #2
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1) Scully - Alan Bleasdale. Read repeatedly while growing up and still read every couple of years.

2) Forged in Fury - Michael Elkine. An angry reaction to the Holocaust and what efforts were made to avenge the murders.

3) The Day of the Triffids - Forget the pointless tv remake of a few years ago, the book is a masterpiece of a sci-fi dystopian novel which continues to be influential.
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Old 03-12-2018, 19:12   #3
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1. The Lies of Locke Lamora - Scott Lynch.

2. The Blade Itself - Joe Abercrombie

3. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon - read my in-depth review of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series here - https://monkeyarkwright.wordpress.co...os-ruiz-zafon/
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Old 03-12-2018, 19:26   #4
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1. I'm gonna count this as one, since it's an integrated story, but first up would be Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy. Epic and believable tale of the first 200 years of Mars colonisation. Some sci-fi tropes thrown in to help the story along but they don't detract from the sheer "accuracy" of it.

2. Excession by Iain M Banks. I'm a big fan of the Culture series but this one is one of the most fun and the one I always go back to.

3. Smartest Guys in the Room. Very thorough and well-researched description of the Enron collapse. I'm an accountant and there's plenty WTF moments for me. Definitely the best of the business/finance true stories genre although there are a few close ones (Barbarians at the Gate, the Michael Lewis books).
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Old 04-12-2018, 12:46   #5
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Papillon - Henri Charriere - Read it when I was far too young for it, but it grabbed me and has stayed with me for 25+ years.

IT - Stephen King - Read a hardback library copy aged 11, with it propped on my knees, over a hot summer in the early 90s. Utterly gripping, and baffling for a pre-teen, but profoundly affecting.

Feet in the Clouds - Richard Askwith - a year in the life of a wannabe fell-runner's quest to run the Bob Graham Round in the Lake District. Interspersed with superbly captured notes on fell running lore.
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Old 05-12-2018, 13:52   #6
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Not sure its your taste as yours are thriller mine are more sf:

1. Harlan Ellison a 50 year retrospective. Not actually read this one but I bought the 35 yr one and it was superb. My favourite, the first third, the early works, aren't that great, nor is his humourous section in my opinion, but other than that it is jam packed full of great stories, both fiction (he wrote all kinds of fiction) and extracts from his biographies.

2. Enders Game by Orson Scott Card, a controversial choice as the writer is a mormon and has some contentious views (but then William Rees Mogg isn't doing badly at the moment) but he is a great humanist and this is a superb cant put down page turner. You may have seen the film, which somehow manages to lessen the action sequences but do the more booky sections well.

3. Wild Seed by Octavia Butler - a great read, some disturbing ideas, some really evocative prose. The story of the only two people who are immortal, one the female, a shapeshifter, the males power is not so gentle...
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Old 05-12-2018, 13:53   #7
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That's actually a really difficult one for me. Although I have always read a lot, I've tended to stick to genres (sci-fi/fantasy) and authors. Every time I've tried to explore different things I've come away a bit disappointed. So my favourite books are probably really weird and unadventurous.

If we are talking about books that I'm happy to read again and again then:

1: A Game of Thrones (George R.R. Martin)

2: X-Wing: The Official Strategy Guide (Rusel DeMaria). As well as being a really well written game guide, this enormous book also contains a compelling written narrative that integrates with the game's missions.

3: Queen - Greatest Hits II (Off The Record) full score sheet music book. Seriously. This book taught me more about playing guitar and drums than anything else I've ever come across. The presentation and attention to detail are second to none.
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Old 05-12-2018, 13:54   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonnyrepp View Post
1) Scully - Alan Bleasdale. Read repeatedly while growing up and still read every couple of years.

2) Forged in Fury - Michael Elkine. An angry reaction to the Holocaust and what efforts were made to avenge the murders.

3) The Day of the Triffids - Forget the pointless tv remake of a few years ago, the book is a masterpiece of a sci-fi dystopian novel which continues to be influential.

Try the BBC adaptation from circa 1981 instead, superb adaptation, quite faithful from what I remember.
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Old 05-12-2018, 14:47   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cliff homewood View Post
Try the BBC adaptation from circa 1981 instead, superb adaptation, quite faithful from what I remember.
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Old 06-12-2018, 11:08   #10
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Always find it difficult narrowing down any top 3 whatever, but the following trio of books have been with me most of my life and revisited often:

Neuromancer - William Gibson's original Cyberpunk novel. Beautifully descriptive world building, in the gutter underdog protagonists, some VR mind****ery and a great heist plot still make this a favourite.

Jurassic Park - Michael Crichton had a solid run of techno-thrillers during my younger years and this was at the forefront. The movie is a roller coaster edited highlights reel while the novel offers a slower unraveling cascade failure of events and predicaments.

Legend - David Gemmell's original heroic fantasy epic. Gemmell introduced me to fantasy storytelling that was less about wizards, orcs or fantastical creatures but from a more human perspective.
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Old Yesterday, 12:39   #11
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Weaveworld - Clive Barker. My favourite author and this is probably the book I've read the most times. Hoping that one day he'll actually finish the Abarat series. But I can't just have all Clive Barker books, so here are a few others...

Northern Lights / Dark Materials Trilogy - After the disappointment of the film (I mean, how can you mess up with both Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman??) I'm looking forward to the BBC version.

The Genome War: How Craig Venter Tried to Capture the Code of Life and Save the World - James Shreeve. A story of egos, patents and one of the greatest races in history. It's a great counterpart to The Common Thread by John Sulston, the story of the Government funded efforts by the Sanger Institute et al.

Apart from that, I love 1984.
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