Stories: Life in Books

284 Responses

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  • Richard Llewellyn,

    Ahem, what EE Doc Smith books? (cough)

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    Books I've made sure sure kids (5 & 7) have had access to so far:
    The Very Hungry Caterpillar
    Where The Wild Things Are
    Asterix (where else will they learn latin?)
    Dr Suess (through three cheese trees three free fleas flew...)

    Books/Authors/series I will make sure they have access to over the next few years (without actually telling them to read them - no better way to put a kid off a book then telling them its a classic):
    Willard Price's 'adventure' series
    Jules Verne
    Isaac Asimov
    Arthur C Clarke
    Maurice Gee (is Under The Mountain available on DVD?)
    The Bridge to Terebitha (please don't let the movie suck)
    Charlotte's Web
    Robert Heinlein (the YA ones, save Stranger in a Strange Land til later)


    Ones for when they're more older:
    Neal Stephenson - Diamond Age, Snow Crash, esp Cryptonomicon
    William Gibson
    Stephen King
    Ronald Hugh Morrieson
    How has noone mentioned Terry Pratchett yet? For shame!
    Sherri S Tepper
    Ursula Le Guin
    Robert Heinlein
    Iain (M) Banks - Wasp Factory, Culture series, The Crow Road etc etc, probably the Whisky non-fic one too, but I haven't read it yet, Maybe RB has?

    so many years, so many books, so many good times, so many late nights with unputdownable novels...As soon as I hit post I'll think of a half dozen more that I'm ashamed not to have recalled instantly.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 841 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    And the fantasy - Tolkein of course, and Donaldson, but definitely Guy Gavriel Kay as well.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 841 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    let's not forget Tin Tin.
    i saw a book on Clutch Cargo in the shops the other day. i always found those proto-Southpark superimposed talking lips quite creepy as a kid.

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    Jeremy - I've read the 'Raw Spirit' Iain Banks love letter to whiskey, I'm not a big whiskey fan, but its well worth reading - particularly if you know Scotland, and definately if you like whiskey .....

    And on the 'please don't let the movie suck' and 'what I want my kids (also 7 and 5) to read when they are older', the Phillip Pullman 'Dark Materials' trilogy .......

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Those lips WERE creepy.

    Gosh this could go on & on - someone mentioned Safari Adventure way back, I devoured all those Willard Price Adventure books.

    Never rated Stephen King, but a sometimes collaborator of his called Peter Straub wrote the scariest book I have ever read & called it Ghost Story (there are no ghosts).

    Ursula Le Guin, I LOVE the Wizard of Earthsea Trilogy, and to invoke the old Douglas Adams joke - the fourth one was the best.

    And I liked her Left Hand of Darkness too.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    Oh yeah, Ghost Story! - that was great. Wasn't that also made into a cheesy movie?

    And speaking of Douglas Adams ...........

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    And yet more guilty pleasures ...

    Harry Harrison and the Stainless Steel Rat

    George MacDonald Fraser and Flashman

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Yes, despite a magnificent cast, Douglas Fairbanks Jr, Fred Astaire, John Houseman... the movie of Ghost Story sucked chunks.

    I'd forgotten about the Stainless Steel Rat.

    And someone should make a big TV series of the Flashman books, starting with Tom Brown's Schooldays (there was a mediocre movie starring Malcolm McDowall)

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I'd forgotten about the Stainless Steel Rat.

    Oh, me too. And Spider Robinson. Callahan's Crosstime Saloon, and Lady Slings the Booze.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4366 posts Report Reply

  • hamishm,

    Asterix is a favourite for me too. E.E.'Doc' Smith was pretty good. "The Lensmen" series in particular.

    I read the Willard Price books as well and thus learned that the male Lion roars only after feeding, knowlege that has saved my life on many occasions.

    Have to say that I have never grokked Heinlein. I can appreciate his impact but I find him very hard work.

    A recently discovered BIG impact book has been "The Man Whose Mother was a Pirate" by Margaret Mahy- now that's literature.

    Since Nov 2006 • 345 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    "Have to say that I have never grokked Heinlein"

    Aha! Because you only read Stranger in a Strange Land? It's been a long time but I remember thinking that one was like it was written by someone else entirely.

    Wasn't someone going to make a movie of it? Obviously came to nothing.

    Willard Price taught me that to escape drowning when caught by a giant clam when the tide is rising, one must saw off one's own foot. Knowledge that has saved my life more than once also.

    Still waiting to try surviving attack by a giant boa constrictor, although when a python skin was found in the Botanical Gardens some years ago I took to carrying a pocket knife, just in case.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • hamishm,

    Aha! Because you only read Stranger in a Strange Land? It's been a long time but I remember thinking that one was like it was written by someone else entirely

    No I tried some others. I have heard that comment about SSL from others and I think that my lack of grokking is a character fault of mine.

    Willard Price taught me that to escape drowning when caught by a giant clam when the tide is rising, one must saw off one's own foot.

    Crikey! Science Fiction writer John Varley, I think, taught me that when your arm is trapped under a large boulder on the moon one should freeze it with liquid oxygen and then smash it off with a spanner. You then have to grow another one.
    I wonder if you should buy a goat to distract the boa constrictor? I seem to remember something from "Amazon Adventure"...

    Since Nov 2006 • 345 posts Report Reply

  • Leopold,

    Ulysses
    Finnegans Wake

    All you need to read and reread and reread...

    Since Jan 2007 • 146 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Sob, wrist glued to forehead, large open white cuff slides to white pointed elbow, ivory sweat beaded brow leers towards the table...
    Have none of you swine (I jest) read poetry!

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Because you only read Stranger in a Strange Land? It's been a long time but I remember thinking that one was like it was written by someone else entirely.

    The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is pretty good. Some Heinlein is total unmitigated bilge, though. I'm looking at you, Number of the B(r)east...

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4366 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    "Have none of you swine (I jest) read poetry!"

    Well... I used to get Rupert Bear annuals every year.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    The problem with making Tom Brown's School Days into a film is that I don't think there is anyway that a film can adequately convey the full richness of the book - the long lyrical reflections on the changing nature of the English countryside and the aspiration of teaching young men to be fitting gentlemen MPs. If you lose all that then the story is really just Biggles Goes to School. Not that the latter isn't a fine story in it's own right.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 889 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Andrew, poets can be quite mean if they really want to...

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    i'll say. if you come any closer they'll kill themselves.

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Say, anyone read Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit?

    A good one for most ages - and a pretty neat film for a change too -

    http://www.reelviews.net/movies/t/tuck_everlasting.html

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Look, this is not the Emo bashing thread is it. PB Shelley was the bravest man in England for his time, which reminds me of a book, The Pursuit (Bio of PB Shelley) by Richard Holmes,
    http://www.amazon.com/Shelley-Pursuit-York-Review-Books/dp/1590170377
    As for Tom Brown, he should have gone to Grammar, then he really would have learned how to deal with Flashman.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    "Look, this is not the Emo bashing thread is it."

    to misquote Ms Morissette - Isn't it Byronic?

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Byron was mad, bad and dangerous to know, apparently and not nearly the poet PB is, though like PB, Byron died for his cause. Novellists quite frankly are, in the main, diletantes.
    And Andrew, if you continue to quote Alanis, our cyber friendship is over, mmmkay.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew D,

    The Worst Journey in the World, by Appsley Cherry-Garrard is fascinating, sad, amazing...I read it while living in a weeny apartment in a crowded and hot Asian city, about as far removed from a Victorian-era Antarctic expedition as it's possible to be.

    Since Feb 2007 • 3 posts Report Reply

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