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The original book thread

Enter here to talk about books, art, literature, film, TV and anything else to do with popular culture.
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Firebrand
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The original book thread

#1 Post by Firebrand » July 7th, 2007, 11:32 am

There will no doubt in time be a proliferation of book threads on this new forum but I bags first place!

So what are people reading at the moment? Or what have you read recently that you would recommend.


I've just started reading 'Unbroken Spirit' which is an autobiography by an Indian muslim girl who grew up in England and was horribly abused by her father. I'm actually finding it so horrific that I find myself doubting the veracity of it in places. That probably sounds terrible and I have not the slightest doubt she was horribly abused but I wonder if there isn't an element of false memory syndrome involved and that she is confusing nightmares she had in her traumatic childhood with reality.

Has anyone else read this book?

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Alan C.
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#2 Post by Alan C. » July 7th, 2007, 12:54 pm

firebrand.
I've just started reading 'Unbroken Spirit'
I think I've read it, or if not something very similar.

I'm reading "The Chilling Stars" A new theory of climate change by Henrik Svensmark (climate physicist) and Nigel Calder (award winning science writer). Only on page 55 of 230, but it's very good.[/quote]
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

Nick
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#3 Post by Nick » July 7th, 2007, 2:34 pm

I'm intrigued why people keep reading books about child abuse. Look at the best sellers list and there are always a few in there. I can't stand soap operas either. They make me want to run screaming from the room. I have enough on my plate without taking on things that are either in the past or purely fictional. I'm completely baffled :shrug:

Dawn
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#4 Post by Dawn » July 7th, 2007, 4:09 pm

I just read Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. I really liked it.

I also just read God Is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens. What do you all think about Hitchens? People seem to either love or hate him.
Dawn

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Alan C.
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#5 Post by Alan C. » July 7th, 2007, 6:58 pm

Dawn.
What do you all think about Hitchens? People seem to either love or hate him.
I love him, especially when he's had a couple of whiskeys and has a fag (cigarette for you non Brits) in his hand.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

Dawn
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#6 Post by Dawn » July 8th, 2007, 2:08 am

Alan C. wrote:
Dawn.
What do you all think about Hitchens? People seem to either love or hate him.
I love him, especially when he's had a couple of whiskeys and has a fag (cigarette for you non Brits) in his hand.
I really like him too. I would love to invite him over to meet the in laws. :grin:
Dawn

Moose
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#7 Post by Moose » July 8th, 2007, 5:45 pm

I am reading The Far Pavilions by M M Kaye. Anyone read this? Absolutely wonderful, epic book. They made a mini series out of it in the early eighties which some of you may remember.
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain
Time to die

EF

Maria Mac
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Re: The original book thread

#8 Post by Maria Mac » July 9th, 2007, 10:36 am

Firebrand wrote: I've just started reading 'Unbroken Spirit' which is an autobiography by an Indian muslim girl who grew up in England and was horribly abused by her father. I'm actually finding it so horrific that I find myself doubting the veracity of it in places. That probably sounds terrible and I have not the slightest doubt she was horribly abused but I wonder if there isn't an element of false memory syndrome involved and that she is confusing nightmares she had in her traumatic childhood with reality.

Has anyone else read this book?
This is a brand new book that only came out a few weeks ago. Although I totally empathise with what Nick said about stories of child abuse - I avoid them like a plague - this wasn't promoted as such a story. The sub-heading was 'How a muslim girl refused to be enslaved by her culture'. When I bought it, I didn't know it would be full of stories of unimaginable physical and psychological violence. That said, I found it unputdownable and read it the whole book in less than 24 hours. (I did have a similar response to yours initially, firebrand).

I then searched for reviews of the book. I only found one mention on a blog by a very westernised muslim woman who objected strongly to the sub-heading opining that it suggested that 'muslim culture' was responsible for what this girl went through when in fact the father was a psychopath who could have been of any religion /culture. I had to think about this and decided that, although it is true, it was the culture she was raised in that kept the daughter enslaved to the psychopath. The notions that the father rules the family and that 'family honour' must be preserved at ALL costs is a feature of some other cultures. I think it's fair to say that it isn't peculiar to muslims. Aren't these notions shared by Hindus and Sikhs? Isn't orthodox judaism very patriarchal and full of misogynistic notions? I would like, at some stage, to give a lot more thought to the interface between culture and religion but I've too much on my plate at the moment.

Since that book, I've read 'Saffron Kitchen', a first novel by Yasmin Crowther, a Londoner of Anglo_Iranian parentage who draws on her knowledge of both cultures to write a spell-binding but ultimately rather sad story.

I am currently enjoying 'Carry me down' by M J Hyland, about a young Irish boy who discovers he has gift for being able to tell when people are lying - a gift that proves to be a mixed blessing.

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whitecraw
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#9 Post by whitecraw » July 10th, 2007, 9:13 pm

I'm currently reading Orhan Pamuk's Snow, which is hard going (a bit like Umberto Eco) but a great insight into the East/West, Muslim/Secularist, Asiatic/European tension from a Turkish perspective, Kate Mosse's Labyrinth, which is a pacy historical yarn about the suppression of the Cathars in the 13th century and a less fanciful treatment of modern Grail-lore than Dan Brown's awful Da Vinci Code, and a boxed set of Michael Murpurgo novels that my son got a couple of weeks ago. We're having a kind of race to see who can finish them first. He's currently winning by a nose.

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whitecraw
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#10 Post by whitecraw » July 10th, 2007, 9:18 pm

Hi Nick... how's it going?

You'll be glad to hear that Irvine Welsh is currently writing a novel about child abuse. He's been writing it for about three years now, but is finding it hard going because he finds the whole subject so harrowing. He says the whole issue brings out the worst in everyone, which is the main thrust of the novel. Should be a good read!!

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Lifelinking
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#11 Post by Lifelinking » July 10th, 2007, 9:19 pm

Just finished 'Dead Air' by Ian Banks. Not my favourite book by him but an enjoyable read peppered with some good irreligious rants and genuinely funny sections.
"Who thinks the law has anything to do with justice? It's what we have because we can't have justice."
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Jem
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#12 Post by Jem » July 11th, 2007, 12:10 pm

I really enjoy clash of culture stories.

Ive just finished reading The Spirit Catches You And You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman. It's the story of a young Hmong (from Laos) child's experience with the American medical establishment and the conflict with Hmong medicne. The author doesn't take sides or proposie easy answers, she simple tells the story as it unfolds, with just enough background on history, medicine, sociology, and religion to help you understand all sides.

Titanium Wheels
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#13 Post by Titanium Wheels » July 12th, 2007, 9:18 pm

Just read "Jamaica Inn" by Daphne DuMaurier. A very fine book, I had listened to a dramatisation of "The House on the Strand" on BB7 a while ago and thought I ought to read some of her work.

Less culture, by quite a bit, I am reading one of Kathy Reich's books which are based on cases she work in Montreal as a foresnsic anthopologist and which is not for the faint hearted due to the descriptions of the corpses she has to work on. not great literature but an interesting read.
Wheelchair-Rollin' Househusband

Beki
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#14 Post by Beki » July 12th, 2007, 11:05 pm

My Mum gave me a copy of Christopher Brookmyre's latest book called "A tale etched in blood and hard, hard pencil". Not the greatest plot line, but a must read for anyone who went to Catholic school in the W of Scotland. (Actually maybe the characters exist in most scottish schools - but the reminders of learning creeds and singing hymns at assembly - OMG!) Even if you are just browsing in the bookstore - read the "Glossary" at the end of the book which explans some of the lesser known w coast terminology. It had me in stitches. Such as:

"a boat-hoose" - a privately owned dwelling
"heid" - uppermost division of the human body, containing the brains, except in the case of Old Firm supporters. (see "erse").

and much more......

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Alan C.
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#15 Post by Alan C. » July 13th, 2007, 12:17 am

Beki.
"a boat-hoose" - a privately owned dwelling
"heid" - uppermost division of the human body, containing the brains, except in the case of Old Firm supporters. (see "erse").
:hilarity: I'll see if it's in our library, if it's not I'll order it.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

Malcolm
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#16 Post by Malcolm » July 17th, 2007, 5:06 pm

The last book I read was 'A History of Pi' by Petr Beckmann. It's about the history of our understanding of pi that's really a history of intellectual freedom. I recommend this book if you like historical narrative and cranky, opinionated narrators.

:thumbsup:

Zoe
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#17 Post by Zoe » July 18th, 2007, 7:01 am

My most recent book was The Invisible Wall by Harry Bernstein. Loved it!

It's a memoir about his impoverished Jewish childhood in Stockport in the second decade of the last century. Brilliant at illustrating the barriers that religion and culture can erect between even people living in the same street.

lewist
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#18 Post by lewist » July 18th, 2007, 8:59 am

Two books - The Steep Approach to Garbadale by Ian Banks. I didn't think it was his best but it was a good read nonetheless. At least I finished it, unlike...

Until I find you by John Irving. I have been hooked on Irving's books since I picked up The Hotel New Hampshire in the library, simply because I have a friend who lived in New Hampshire at the time. I was captivated by the style, the storyline, the family, just everything, and others of his books have been equally good.

This latest offering I found very put-downable; the story of Jack Burns and his tattoo artist mother, Alice, and their search for the boy's father, William, a virtuoso organist, takes us round places we have visited with Irving before, and some others but the characters are not well developed and I for one just wasn't gripped by the story. I didn't get to page 200 of the 900 plus before deciding to call it a day.

Bryn
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#19 Post by Bryn » July 24th, 2007, 11:15 am

I've just finished reading The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe. Written in 1967, it's a sort of non-fiction novel about Ken Kesey (the guy who wrote One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) and what he did in the 60s. It unlocks the era for those of us who missed it and captures the hippie world view and lifestyle brilliantly. Recommended.

Titanium Wheels
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#20 Post by Titanium Wheels » July 24th, 2007, 11:34 am

Oh dear, Bryn, I lioved through that period! I must be getting old.

I have just moved on the Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier but only just started.

I am keenly awaiting the next Inspector Rebus book by Ian Rankin. It came out last year in hard back but waiting for it in paperback. Should be here any day .
Wheelchair-Rollin' Househusband

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