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So, since we have threads on baseball books and fun sites to recommend, how about a thread on books that we've read that we'd recommend to others?

Any format, whether e-book, printed, hardback or paperback, if it's a good read, post the name of it with a description. Comedy, drama, sci-fi, whatever you like. (Beware, though, that posting a romance novel will cause some serious suspicion. :spiteful: )

I've read quite a few good books, and I'm sure I'll add them in gradually, but my most recent is the award-winning "Little Brother" by Cory Doctorow. Doctorow is co-editor of Boing Boing, as well an advocate of filesharing and an opponent of DRM. His Wikipedia page is here. The book itself is a fictional novel which probably belongs in the "Teen" category, but it's an enjoyable and somewhat educational read for all ages. The plot is based around, from Wikipedia;

several teenagers in San Francisco who, in the aftermath of a terrorist attack on the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge and BART system, defend themselves against what they see as the Department of Homeland Security's attacks on the Bill of Rights.

As an I.T. geek, I was particularly interested in the terminology Doctorow used and how persuasive and accurate his descriptions of computers and their uses were, and, for the most part, it was pretty reliable and accurate. I'm not a huge sci-fi fan, but when sitting bck and reading the book, it's quite easy to imagine how the contents and descriptions of events within the book could play out, as most are within today's computing capabilities.

There's something in the book for almost everyone though, I'd imagine. If you're a geek, you'll be interested in the computing aspect of the book. If you're a trainee lawyer, you'll be interested in the various legal aspects of the story, and how they are dealt with within the plot. If you're an action buff, you'll be interested in the various swings the stories take and how the plot progresses.

Some reception notes, again, from Wikipedia;

Cindy Dobrez in her review for Booklist said that "Doctorow’s novel blurs the lines between current and potential technologies, and readers will delight in the details of how Marcus attempts to stage a techno-revolution. Obvious parallels to Orwellian warnings and post-9/11 policies, such as the Patriot Act, will provide opportunity for classroom discussion and raise questions about our enthusiasm for technology, who monitors our school library collections, and how we contribute to our own lack of privacy." Kirkus Reviews described it as an "unapologetically didactic tribute to 1984", and that it was a "terrifying glimpse of the future--or the present." Publishers Weekly said that it was "filled with sharp dialogue and detailed descriptions of how to counteract gait-recognition cameras, arphids (radio frequency ID tags), wireless Internet tracers and other surveillance devices, this work makes its admittedly didactic point within a tautly crafted fictional framework."

I originally heard the name Cory Doctorow from "Off The Hook" in Novemeber as he was discussing his new book, "Makers", and just came across the e-book of "Little Brother" yesterday afternoon by chance, when I notice he'd released it under the Creative Commons licence, meaning you can read it free online, as well as purchasing the book if you want to. I think I found the e-book around 3pm yesterday, and had finished it by around 2am this morning, in between breaks. I'm not an especially fast reader, but I found reading the book comfortable, and the story progressed well. Also, with it being an e-book, there's a lot more temptation to keep reading just by scrolling down, whereas with a physical book you can say "I'll read to the end of this chapter and go to bed". I'll probably read his new book, "Makers", over the next week or so.

The Wikipedia page is here for the book, and you can view it, or download it, in various formats by clicking here. Enjoy!

So, what are your favourite books?

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Good thread idea Mark. And there is nothing like a good book during these long and freezing winter months that we are subjected to here in the Northeast United States.

I was introduced to Higgins after I read a book called The Eagle has Landed. It was a great book and the pages simply flew by. There was even a movie made about the book that was just as good. It starred Donald Sutherland as Liam Devlin and Michael Caine as Colonel Kurt Steiner. I even bought this movie on DVD.

Ever since that book I have read all the Higgins books I could find and each one of them I have enjoyed.

His latest work is The Wolf at the Door and it features one of my favorite fictional characters, Sean Dillon.

Check this guy's work out if you get a chance and you won't be sorry.

Oh, and no romance books from me. :wacko:

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  • 3 weeks later...

I took a bit of a break from the baseball books that I have been reading and I decided to read something non-sports related this time.

The book I finished is called The Killing Ground and it was written by Jack Higgins. You can find this book at Amazon right here. Basically anything by Higgins is something that I will read and I am never sorry that I did.

Higgins is currently writing a series of books that are centered around ex-IRA enforcer Sean Dillon, who is now working for the British Security Service antiterrorist unit under the command of Brigadier General Charles Ferguson.

To date, Higgins currently has 17 books that feature Sean Dillon.

The premise of this book is Dillon and his right hand man Billy Salter are to rescue a 13 year old girl who was kidnapped by her own grandfather and is to be married to the most feared killer in the Middle East, the Hammer of God, who just happens to be her cousin.

The girl is rescued and it unleashes a chain of events that cost many lives. It's Dillon and Higgins at his best.

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What the hell. I read just one more before I return to my sports books.

This one is a famous one which I believe should be known by everyone in here. It's called The Hobbit and it was written by J.R.R. Tolkien. You can get it on Amazon right here but keep in mind that this is not the only link on Amazon for this famous book. You can purchase the exact same book for a lot more money because there are collector's editions of this book too. Since I have no desire to spend over one hundred dollars for a book I figured this link is just fine.

The Hobbit is the story of one Bilbo Baggins who has lived his entire life very comfortably in Bag End. One day he comes in contact with Gandalf the wizard and before he knows it he is serving a meal to a bunch of dwarfs who employ him as a "burglar." Their intent is to return to the Dwarf castle and take back the treasure that was stolen from them many years ago by a dragon named Smaug. This book tells the story of their long journey back to the dwarf castle, the many adventures they had along the way (both good and bad) and the final confrontation with the dragon himself.

A movie about this book is now being made and it will be released in 2011. I plan on going to it.

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The Hobbit and the follow-on Lord of the Rings trilogy is a great set of books. I remember reading these books in college. I grew up in Connecticut and went to college in Florida and needed something to occupy my time on flights home and back from school. One of my roommates let me borrow his copy of the Hobbit and it wasn't long before I was hooked.

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I love me some graphic novels, so I'll recommend:


Per Wikipedia

Taking place during Batman's early days of crime fighting, The Long Halloween tells the story of a mysterious killer named Holiday, who murders people on holidays, one each month. Working with District Attorney Harvey Dent and Lieutenant James Gordon, Batman races against the calendar as he tries to discover who Holiday is before he claims his next victim each month. The story also ties into the events that transform Harvey Dent into Batman's deadly enemy, Two-Face.

It's a great graphic novel to read as it shows just how awesome Batman is as a detective

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The Hobbit and the follow-on Lord of the Rings trilogy is a great set of books.  I remember reading these books in college.  I grew up in Connecticut and went to college in Florida and needed something to occupy my time on flights home and back from school.  One of my roommates let me borrow his copy of the Hobbit and it wasn't long before I was hooked.

I loved the Hobbit (published 1937), but even the genius that Tolkien was, you could see the incline and progression in his writing skills from there to The Lord of The Rings Trilogy, which was written between 1937 to about 1950.  I read a lot of books, mostly non-fiction, but even to this day I'm not so sure I've read anything that can compare to his mastery of the written language, and even some that he made up.   :blink:

My only regret is that he didn't have time to write more.


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  • 4 weeks later...

The next book in this list is a novel called If I Never Get Back and it was written by Darryl Brock. It can be found on Amazon right here

It's a very good book about a down on his luck reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle named Sam Fowler who somehow gets transported back in time from 1985 to 1876 and the first people he runs into is the famous Cincinnati Red Stockings,the first professional baseball team ever.

Along the way Fowler manages to make the Red Stockings roster as a substitute and he also runs into some very unsavory people too. He stops a thief from stealing the cash box at the end of one of the games for a gambler and gets himself targeted for murder for his actions.

He also ends up meeting the women of his dreams, a sister of one of his teammates named Cait, who is heavily involved in the fight for a free Ireland.

Fowler also ends up meeting the man for who he was named after, Mark Twain.

This book has many aspects to it. Time travel, supernatural, baseball and history all rolled into one. It's a book that will grab you and won't let you go until you finish it. I highly recommend it.

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Next up is Two in the Field and this is the follow up novel to If I never get back by Darryl Brock that I covered in the previous post. This book can be found on Amazon right here.

Without spoiling too much about how the previous book ended, Sam Fowler is back in present day San Francisco and is not too happy about it. He's had to go to therapy because of his insistence of spending a few months back in 1876. He's estranged from his wife and his two daughters are beginning to think he's losing his mind.

Finally to prove to his psychiatrist that Cait, the women he loved actually did exist, he gets permission to travel to Cincinnati to look her up in the records there. He is unsuccessful in doing this and begins to head back west. Unfortunately he gets into an accident on the way and when he wakes up and looks around he realizes he is not in the same place. Fowler finds out that he did get sent back in time again but instead of being sent back to 1876, he gets sent back to the year 1875.

Fowler does end up finding Cait, but she is not too pleased with him because he was gone so long and wants nothing to do with him. Eventually circumstances bring them together as they join together to help rescue Cait's son, who was kidnapped.

There's less baseball covered in this sequel but it is still a quality follow up to his first book and it ties in well with how the first one ended.

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  • 2 months later...


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