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aiden12

What's the last book you read?

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What's the last book you read? What was it about? Did you like it?

 

Do you mean read and finished, or currently reading?

 

Currently, I am reading Procopius' 'History of the Wars', which is good except for the large number of sieges and endless repetitions of the same name - I never realised that so many important figures in the history of Justinian's reign were called John (Ioannes)!!

 

I have just finished reading 'Thud' by Terry Pratchett. I would recommend all of his 'Discworld' series to anyone. Although based in a 'fantasy' world, you soon forget about that because his characters, even the non-human ones - are so, well, Human!! It's so easy to identify them and link them to people you know or have met . Brilliant.

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The last book I read was Between Two Worlds, Escape from Tyranny: Growing up in the Shadow of Saddam. This is the absolutely engrossing life story of Zainab Salbi, whose father was Saddam Hussein's personal pilot. Zainab Salbi grew up as a member of "Amo" ("Uncle") Saddam's extended family -- a "family" that was held together with threats and fear.

 

After immigrating to the U.S., Zainab Salbi became the founder and president of Women for Women International: "Supporting women in war-torn regions with financial and emotional aid, job-skills training, rights education and small business assistance so they can rebuild their lives."

 

Among the many appalling things about Saddam that Zainab tells in her book, what perhaps relates best to this board is how Saddam deliberately destroyed ancient archaeological sites in Iraq in order to create his own tasteless architectural "wonders" and private parkland, as monuments to his ego. Here is an excerpt from Zainab's book:

 

He [saddam Hussein] spent three years rebuilding King Nebuchadnezzar's Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. He was really excited about this latest of his construction projects and couldn't wait to show it to us... I had been to many historical sites, from Athens to Rio. I understood something of the importance of preserving history. I knew that the beauty of a historic site is in its age, in the accidental grace with which stones cling precariously to ruins, in the texture and even the smell of the ancient bricks. But this city was entirely new. In his determination to one-up Nebuchadnezzar, Amo had destroyed the ancient ruins. As Mama and I walked through and realized what he had done, we didn't know whether to laugh or cry. On top of the ancient bricks, which had a historic inscription on them saying "Built in the Time of Nebuchadnezzar," he had cemented thousands upon thousands of bright new yellow bricks inscribed "Built in the Time of Saddam Hussein."

 

-- Nephele

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Nothing historical right now, Robot Dreams by Isaac Asimov - Really great book if you enjoy semi-crazy sci-fi philosophy. Highly recommended. iRobot is very good too (Not even comparable with the movie, it's many short stories.)

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Parasite Menace by Weintraub

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Parasite-Menace-Sk...9041&sr=8-1

 

 

The forgotten , major role of parasites in modern disease profiles, the historical and geographic peculiarity of infection.

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I'm currently reading 'Mindware: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Cognitive Science' by Andy Clark, 'Ilium' by Dan Simmons, and I'm re-reading 'Tides of War' by Steven Pressfield.

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This will make a couple of our members happy: I'm about 2/3 of the way through Philip Matyszak's Enemies of Rome, and have also started Andrew Dalby's Languages in Danger. Right now I'm busy with beginning of teaching term business (summer session), so I'm not reading much this week. But I'll get back to them shortly!

 

Oh, and for when I can't sleep, Herodotus' Histories!

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I'm just finished reading a book called The Nemisis Files by Paul Bruce.

 

It's the true story of an SAS execution squad who worked undercover in Northern Ireland in the early 70's during the rise of the IRA.

 

Paul Bruce was a tough, idealistic young trooper in the SAS when he was dispatched to Northern Ireland. His top-secret mission: to execute IRA suspects in cold blood.

 

Bruce and three SAS comrades shot down one terrified victim after another, leaving their bodies to be buried in deep unmarked woodland graves.

 

The soldiers grew their hair long and drove ordinary cars. But they always carried pistols and sub-machine guns.

 

In this historic book the author produces maps to show where his victims lie secretly buried.

 

He also chronicles the mental breakdown of crack SAS troops, ordered to carry out the dirtiest job in a secret war.

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Good heavens - this question is akin to 'how long is a piece of string?'. I have read so many wonderful books that I could not list them all here.

 

So, we'll cut to the chase. Current reading is 'Helen of Troy' a novel by Margaret George that I picked up in the local supermarket for

Edited by The Augusta

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I'm reading the "October Horse" by Colleen McCullough - I've read all the others and this one is a little tiresome and lacks the excitement of the first few novels.

 

I liked the first one, "The First Man in Rome" the best of all, followed by its sequel, "The Grass Crown".

 

However, I've only finished a few chapters and perhaps I should wait until I've read the entire book before critiquing it.

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I'm reading the "October Horse" by Colleen McCullough - I've read all the others and this one is a little tiresome and lacks the excitement of the first few novels.

 

The October Horse? I'd recently read a journal article that described the annual race and sacrifice of the October Horse, and I mentioned it in the Animal Sacrifice topic.

 

Skarr, does McCullough's novel depict this ritual -- or did she just use "October Horse" as a likely title for a novel on Rome? I'd really be interested in reading McCullough's depiction of the ritual, if she did indeed include it in her novel.

 

-- Nephele

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From what I remember she describes at least in part the ritual. But the title is mainly about the sacrifice of the brightest political horse of the time, Caesar himself, on the ides...

 

About my latest readings well in the leisure realm they are the 4 first books of Asimov's Foundation serie and in the academic realm they are Lendon's Soldiers and Ghost and Morpeth's book on Thucydide's history

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What's the last book you read? What was it about? Did you like it?

"Giant killer" by Bertram Chandler. High quality science fiction; a very convincing depictions of an alien society.

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