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Your favourite book

Enter here to talk about books, art, literature, film, TV and anything else to do with popular culture.
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Doakes
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Your favourite book

#1 Postby Doakes » November 11th, 2014, 8:24 am

Good morning, folks!

I am curious what your favourite book is and why. Why is it your favourite book and what, if anything, do you think you've taken from it that is positive and could positively affect those around you?

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Dave B
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Re: Your favourite book

#2 Postby Dave B » November 11th, 2014, 10:06 am

Impossible to say, can't think of a single book, fact or fiction, that has made an overriding impression on me!

Stuck in hospital, all of a sudden, without my hospital bag and its "standby" book, I asked the nurse if there was anything to read. She could only find a "chick-lit" novel and, giggling, handed it over. So I started to read it as I would read any other. Found that I appreciated the use of language, the inventiveness in the jokes etc. (the plot was #3, "boy-meets-girl-when-he-knocks-her-down-by-accident"), just as I do with my favourite genre (sci-fi).
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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getreal
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Re: Your favourite book

#3 Postby getreal » November 14th, 2014, 9:49 pm

Possibly The Loved One by Evelyn Waugh.

It's so sharp and observant. I love Anything by Waugh.

He has human nature down to a tee.
"It's hard to put a leash on a dog once you've put a crown on his head"-Tyrion Lannister.

Maria Mac
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Re: Your favourite book

#4 Postby Maria Mac » November 15th, 2014, 12:01 am

There have been a few novels I have read, after which I've said, 'That was the best book I've ever read'. As a child it was Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield. In my 30s it was Gaskell's Mrs Barton and in recent years it was Louis de Bernier's Bird Without Wings.

I don't particularly think I took anything particularly positive from any of them, however. The one book I can say that about is Germaine Greer's The Female Eunuch, read when I was 15 and it made me realise I was a feminist. More recently various books on pseudoscience and alternative medicine have driven me to anti-quackery activism. Best examples: Suckers by Rose Shapiro, Trick or Treatment, E. Ernst & S. Singh

What about you, Doakes?

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animist
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Re: Your favourite book

#5 Postby animist » November 16th, 2014, 9:55 am

I wonder if having a favourite book entails having read it voluntarily more than once. I think I have read Richard Dawkins's "The God Delusion" at least three times over, some of it more than that, so maybe it is my favourite book, and it certainly is the one which has influenced me most. The only other book I remember reading straight through more than once is Ursula LeGuin's novel "The Lathe of Heaven": I knew that I had enjoyed it first time but could remember little about it, so I read it again - I still don't remember much, so maybe time for yet another bash! Another novel that has influenced me, in making me feel very odd, is Kazuo Ishiguro's cloning-themed novel "Never Let Me Go". And Richard Ryder's "Victims of Science" upset me a lot by making me aware of the horrors of animal experimentation.

Mentioning Dawkins reminds me of one of my least favourite books which I actually finished reading: the retort to Dawkins by Alastair Macintyre called "The Dawkins Delusion" - I actually threw it across the floor because of its feeble attempts at argument!

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Ninny
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Re: Your favourite book

#6 Postby Ninny » November 17th, 2014, 7:53 am

Not exactly my favourite, but the book I re-read every two years is HG Wells The First Men in the Moon. It was handed out to the class when I was nine years old, and I was gob-smacked. Hadn't realized that the genre of sci-fi existed, and it was a glorious revelation.

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lewist
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Re: Your favourite book

#7 Postby lewist » November 17th, 2014, 8:23 am

It has changed over the years. When I was ten it would have been Swallows and Amazons. Ten years later, John Barth's improbable book, The Sotweed Factor. In my mid thirties The Hitch Hikers' Guide to the Galaxy took my fancy.

Now? I have lost the obsessive compulsive reading urge I once had and I'm trying to get myself reading again. On the train and ferry the other day I read a very good murder mystery, The Disappearing Typewriter by our good friend Nina Boyd. It was a cracking good read.
Carpe diem. Savour every moment.

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Altfish
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Re: Your favourite book

#8 Postby Altfish » November 17th, 2014, 8:28 am

What a difficult question as has been said before it changes.

Books I've loved through the years though (I'll probably review, update and revise this as I remember others) this is only fictional...

Winnie the Pooh
Lord of the Rings
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Smiley's People
Lots and lots of detective novels, e.g. Dalziel & Pascoe,

Factual books: -

Nick Cohen books
Richard Dawkins
Sam Harris
Railway books (I'm a bit of a train fanatic!! :D )

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Alan H
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Re: Your favourite book

#9 Postby Alan H » November 17th, 2014, 10:19 am

animist wrote:Mentioning Dawkins reminds me of one of my least favourite books which I actually finished reading: the retort to Dawkins by Alastair Macintyre called "The Dawkins Delusion" - I actually threw it across the floor because of its feeble attempts at argument!
Alister McGrath, surely? We had the misfortune to listen to a talk by him at Glasgow Philosophical Society some years ago. I metaphorically threw the book across the floor at him. He was utterly atrocious and couldn't argue his way out of a paper bag. Utterly pathetic, pompous and obnoxious.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Altfish
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Re: Your favourite book

#10 Postby Altfish » November 17th, 2014, 10:23 am

Alan H wrote:
animist wrote:Mentioning Dawkins reminds me of one of my least favourite books which I actually finished reading: the retort to Dawkins by Alastair Macintyre called "The Dawkins Delusion" - I actually threw it across the floor because of its feeble attempts at argument!
Alister McGrath, surely? We had the misfortune to listen to a talk by him at Glasgow Philosophical Society some years ago. I metaphorically threw the book across the floor at him. He was utterly atrocious and couldn't argue his way out of a paper bag. Utterly pathetic, pompous and obnoxious.

Yes, speaks through his nose. A creep.

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animist
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Re: Your favourite book

#11 Postby animist » November 17th, 2014, 10:55 am

Altfish wrote:
animist wrote:Mentioning Dawkins reminds me of one of my least favourite books which I actually finished reading: the retort to Dawkins by Alastair Macintyre called "The Dawkins Delusion" - I actually threw it across the floor because of its feeble attempts at argument!
Alister McGrath, surely? We had the misfortune to listen to a talk by him at Glasgow Philosophical Society some years ago. I metaphorically threw the book across the floor at him. He was utterly atrocious and couldn't argue his way out of a paper bag. Utterly pathetic, pompous and obnoxious.
oops, yes, well spotted. Alasdair MacIntyre is a philosopher, but he did not write "The Dawkins Delusion" :laughter:

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Alan H
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Re: Your favourite book

#12 Postby Alan H » November 17th, 2014, 10:56 am

animist wrote:
Altfish wrote:
animist wrote:Mentioning Dawkins reminds me of one of my least favourite books which I actually finished reading: the retort to Dawkins by Alastair Macintyre called "The Dawkins Delusion" - I actually threw it across the floor because of its feeble attempts at argument!
Alister McGrath, surely? We had the misfortune to listen to a talk by him at Glasgow Philosophical Society some years ago. I metaphorically threw the book across the floor at him. He was utterly atrocious and couldn't argue his way out of a paper bag. Utterly pathetic, pompous and obnoxious.
oops, yes, well spotted. MacIntyre is a philosopher, but he did not write "The Dawkins Delusion" :laughter:
It would almost certainly have been a better book. One by Jeffrey Archer would be a better book...
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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animist
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Re: Your favourite book

#13 Postby animist » November 17th, 2014, 11:30 am

Alan H wrote:
animist wrote:oops, yes, well spotted. MacIntyre is a philosopher, but he did not write "The Dawkins Delusion" :laughter:
It would almost certainly have been a better book. One by Jeffrey Archer would be a better book...
:hilarity:

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Ninny
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Re: Your favourite book

#14 Postby Ninny » November 18th, 2014, 7:42 am

Lewist! I love you! Would you like to become my head of marketing? Thanks for the plug, much appreciated! :love:

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lewist
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Re: Your favourite book

#15 Postby lewist » November 18th, 2014, 8:19 am

Ninny wrote:Lewist! I love you! Would you like to become my head of marketing? Thanks for the plug, much appreciated! :love:
I take it we can negotiate a six figure salary? :laughter:

I enjoyed the book. It was a cracking good read.
Carpe diem. Savour every moment.

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Ninny
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Re: Your favourite book

#16 Postby Ninny » November 18th, 2014, 11:35 am

Thank you so much, and for the lovely review! I'm working hard at no 3 in the series, Death of a Cabman.
Not sure about the six-figures, but I will send you a free copy of D of a C when I have one (probably not for several months, though.)
:smile:

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lewist
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Re: Your favourite book

#17 Postby lewist » November 18th, 2014, 3:33 pm

Ninny wrote:Thank you so much, and for the lovely review! I'm working hard at no 3 in the series, Death of a Cabman.
Not sure about the six-figures, but I will send you a free copy of D of a C when I have one (probably not for several months, though.)
:smile:
Gosh, thank you!
Carpe diem. Savour every moment.

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Altfish
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Re: Your favourite book

#18 Postby Altfish » November 18th, 2014, 7:45 pm

lewist wrote:
Ninny wrote:Lewist! I love you! Would you like to become my head of marketing? Thanks for the plug, much appreciated! :love:
I take it we can negotiate a six figure salary? :laughter:

I enjoyed the book. It was a cracking good read.

I shall have a look, always on the look out for new books.

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Alan H
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Re: Your favourite book

#19 Postby Alan H » November 18th, 2014, 7:53 pm

Not forgetting Ninny's other books now available to order on her fantastic website! :D
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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getreal
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Re: Your favourite book

#20 Postby getreal » November 18th, 2014, 9:48 pm

Since we are including childhood,..

My favourite was far and away, the Malory Towers books by Enid Blyton. How I wished I went to that school! A swimming pool fashioned out of the coastal rocks, replenished twice a day from the seawater. What's not to like?


I, too, read the Female Eunuch and was blown away by it. I must have been 14 or 15ish as well.

I also love Muriel Spark, though I find some of her short stories perplexing. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is definatly in my top 3 books of all time.
"It's hard to put a leash on a dog once you've put a crown on his head"-Tyrion Lannister.


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