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Posted: 03/28 2:23 AM
I used to read at least one book a week, but lately I've been having trouble finding books that interest me, so what is/are your favourite book(s)?
My favourite varies depending on which I have read most recently...
A Farewell To Arms-Hemingway
Slaughter House Five- Vonnegut
And a mention to "The Great Brain" by John D. Fitzgerald, by far my favourite series as a kid.
Author: Sister Golden Hair
Posted: 05/13 12:41 AM
Here are a few across the board:
Nixon Agionistes by Garry Wills.
Neuromancer - William Gibson
The Chaneysville Incident - David Bradley
Dune - Frank Herbert
Ubik - Philip K. Dick
The Man in the High Castle - Philip K. Dick
Miami Blues - Charles Willeford
City Primeval -- Elmore leonard
Posted: 05/13 6:39 AM
I like ray bradbury books. Recently im getting into cormac mccarthy books, tho i usually read "old" books such as the divine comedy, the stranger, the idiot ect ect.
Posted: 05/13 3:34 PM
Just re-read Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan for about the fourth time. One of my favs.
Posted: 05/20 11:57 PM
I love David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. I love King Arthur books as well. I highly recommend the Pendragon Cycle by Stephen Lawhead.
Posted: 05/28 12:48 AM
Contact - Carl Sagan
Posted: 06/11 5:14 PM
Albert Camus's. Murakami's novels are pretty decent.
Posted: 06/26 10:02 AM
Foucalt's Pendulum by Umberto Eco
Gravity's Rainbow - Thomas Pynchon
Author: non-player zealot
Posted: 06/27 2:40 AM
|RCS926 wrote: |
|I love David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. |
Posted: 07/24 2:23 AM
flowers for algernon
the kite runner
Posted: 07/24 9:47 PM
Posted: 07/24 10:57 PM
Phil Jackson "The Last Season"
Author: Don Draper
Posted: 08/07 5:45 PM
Stephen Baxter - The Time Ships
Author: Christopher C
Posted: 08/08 1:46 AM
Watchmen - Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons
Posted: 10/12 3:50 AM
Loved all of Frank Herbert's Dune Series----Hated all the movie attempts...when I get rich I'm gonna do those books some justice
Posted: 07/01 8:47 AM
Anything written by Jim Butcher, Megan Whalen Turner, or Lois McMaster Bujold. Those are more scifi/fantasy bent.
For regular fiction Life of Pi and the Kiterunner were excellent. As was Steigg Larsons GwaDT series.
Nonfiction 1776, (bleep) my dad says, and Malcolm X.
Posted: 07/02 3:50 PM
Confederacy of Dunces
Posted: 07/03 2:16 AM
Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto
Posted: 07/07 11:59 PM
Sacred Hoops by Phil Jackson
The Boys of Summer by Roger Khan
Posted: 08/16 6:10 PM
2012-2013 Los Angeles Lakers program.
In all seriousness though, Come As You Are: The Nirvana story by Michael Azerrad.
Posted: 08/16 6:14 PM
Captain Underpants 5: Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman
Posted: 10/30 8:31 PM
Stephen Ambrose - Band of Brothers
Posted: 02/06 9:46 AM
boys in the boat
Posted: 01/18 9:11 PM
East of Eden (Steinbeck)
Notes from Underground (Dostoyevsky)
Last Night in Montreal (St John Mandel)
City of Thieves (Benioff)
Posted: 04/09 1:50 AM
Street Without Joy - Bernard Fall
Starts with one of my favorite quotes:
Be men. If you are communists, go and join the Viet Minh. There are people there who fight well for a bad cause. -- Marshal de Lattre de Tassigny, Commander in Chief, Indochina, in an address to high school graduates, 11 July 1951
There is a difference between us French and Don Quixote. Don Quixote rode against windmills believing they were giants, but we ride against windmills knowing that they are windmills but doing it all the same because we think that there ought to be someone in this materialistic world who rides against windmills. -- Colonel Wainwright
Some of the rest:
Sometimes there occurs an almost irrelevant incident which, in the light of later developments, seems to have been a sign of the gods, a dreamlike warning which, if heeded, could have changed fate--or so it seems.
One such incident occurred to me in October 1953 in Cambodia, at Siem-Reap, not far away from the fabulous temples of Angkor-Wat. I had been in the field with the 5th Cambodian Autonomous Infantry Company and was now in need of transportation back to Phnom-Penh, the capital of Cambodia. Siem-Reap, a quiet and pleasant little place with two hotels catering to the tourist trade and a few French archeologists working around the ruins of Angkor, might as well have been a small garrison town in southern France, such as Avignon or Nimes.
A few French officers were still around, mainly as advisors to the newly independent Cambodian army. Their chores were light; there were no communists in the area and the handful of obsolescent "Renault" trucks and World War II-type weapons needed a minimum of maintenance and care. An assignment to Siem-Reap was as good a sinecure as could be found in Indochina in 1953 and the officers made the most of it.
When I went to the Transportation Office that afternoon at 1530, the Cambodian orderly told me apologetically that "le Lieutenant est alle au mess jouer au tennis avec le Capitaine" and that they might well stay there the rest of the afternoon. Since a convoy which I expected to catch was leaving at dawn, I decided to stroll over to the mess to get my travel documents signed there.
The Siem-Reap officers' mess was a pleasant and well kept place; with its wide Cambodian type verandahs, its parasol shaded tables and the well-manicured lawns and beautifully red-sanded tennis court, it was an exact replica of all the other colonial officers' messes from Port Said to Singapore, Saigon, or even Manila, wherever the white man had set his foot in the course of building his ephemeral empires.
I found the two officers at the tennis court, in gleaming white French square-bottomed shorts (no one in Europe would be caught dead in the ungainly Bermuda pants called "shorts" in the United States), matching Lacoste tennis shirts and knee-long socks. Their skins had lost the unhealthy pallor of the jungle and taken on the handsome bronze of the vacationer engaging in outdoor sports; their wives, seated at a neighboring table, were beautifully groomed and wore deceptively simple (but, oh, so expensive!) cotton summer dresses clearly showing the hand of a Paris designer. Both officers played in the easy style of men who knew each other's game and were less bent on winning than on getting the fun and exercise of it. Three Cambodian servants, clad in impeccable white slacks and shirts, stood respectfully in the shadow of the verandah, awaiting the call of one of the officers or women for a new cool drink.
Since the men were in the midst of a set and I had little else to do, I sat down at a neighboring table, after a courteous bow to the ladies and watched the game, gladly enjoying the atmosphere of genteel civility and forgetting for a moment the war. At the next table, the women kept up the rapid fire chatter that French women are prone to use when men are present. The two men kept up a conversation of sorts, interrupted regularly by the "plop-plop" of the tennis ball.
Then emerged from the verandah a soldier in French uniform. His small stature, brown skin and Western-type features showed him to be a Cambodian. He wore the blue field cap with the golden anchor of the Troupes Coloniales--the French "Marines"--and the three gold chevrons of a master-sergeant. On the chest above the left breast pocket of his suntan regulation shirt were three rows of multi-colored ribbons: croix de guerre with four citations, campaign ribbons with the clasps of France's every colonial campaign since the Moroccan pacification of 1926; the Italian campaign of 1943 and the drive to the Rhine of 1945. In his left hand he carried several papers crossed diagonally with a tri-colored ribbon; travel orders, like mine, which awaited the signature of one of the officers.
He remained in the shadows of the verandah's awnings until the officers had interrupted their game and had joined the two women with their drinks, then strode over in a measured military step, came stiffly to attention in a military salute, and handed the orders for himself and his squad to the captain. The captain looked up in surprise, still with a half-smile on his face from the remark he had made previously. His eyes narrowed as he understood that he was being interrupted. Obviously, he was annoyed but not really furious.
"Sergeant, you can see that I'm busy. Please wait until I have time to deal with your travel orders. Don't worry. You will have them in time for the convoy."
The sergeant stood stiffly at attention, some of his almost white hair glistening in the sun where it peeked under the cap, his wizened face betraying no emotion whatsoever.
"A vos orders, mon Capitaine." A sharp salute, a snappy about face. The incident was closed, the officers had had their drink and now resumed their game.
The sergeant resumed his watch near where the Cambodian messboys were following the game, but this time he had squatted down on his haunches, a favorite Cambodian position of repose which would leave most Europeans with partial paralysis for several hours afterwards. Almost without moving his head, he attentively followed the tennis game, his travel orders still tightly clutched in this left hand.
The sun began to settle behind the trees of the garden and a slight cooling breeze rose from the nearby Lake Tonle-Sap, Cambodia's inland sea. It was 1700.
All of a sudden, there rose from behind the trees, from the nearby French camp, the beautiful bell-clear sounds of a bugle playing "lower the flag"--the signal which, in the French Army, marks the end of the working day as the colors are struck.
Nothing changed at the tennis court; the two officers continued to play their set, the women continued their chatter, and the messboys their silent vigil.
Only the old sergeant had moved. He was now standing stiffly at attention, his right hand raised to the cap in the flat-palmed salute of the French Army, facing in the direction from which the bugle tones came; saluting--as per regulations, France's tricolor hidden behind the trees. The rays of the setting sun shone upon the immobile brown figure, catching the gold of the anchor and of the chevrons and of one of the tiny metal stars of his ribbons.
Something very warm welled up in me. I felt like running over to the little Cambodian who had fought all his life for my country, and apologizing to him for my countrymen here who didn't care about him, and for my countrymen in France who didn't even care about their countrymen fighting in Indochina...
And in one single blinding flash, I knew that we were going to lose the war.
What the battle [Dien Bien Phu] did not provide in material achievements, it amply made up for in human (or rather inhuman) heroism. Lest one forgets--and one easily does--one-third of the garrison was Vietnamese when the battle opened in March 1954. Another 25 percent were Foreign Legionnaires, 22 percent were mainland French and 22 percent were African (mostly Moroccans). In the course of the battle, five more paratroop battalions--one Vietnamese, one Foreign Legionnaire and the other three mainland French--and three complete Airborne Surgical Detachments were parachuted into the flaming hell of the valley, bringing the share of mainland Frenchmen in the garrison up to 35 percent. Special mention should be made of the 1,530 volunteers who jumped into Dien Bien Phu as individual replacements for specialists (radiomen, gunners, etc.) who had become casualties. Of those men, 680 had never jumped from an airplane, and again, there were almost eight hundred Vietnamese among those who were dropped into the fortress. The last group of 94 volunteers was dropped in at 0520 on May 6--one day before the fortress fell. This was perhaps the best answer to those who, to this day, like to dismiss the French-trained Vietnamese forces as mere "mercenaries". For what Dien Bien Phu had to offer one day before its fall, there was just not enough money around to make it worth the fight.
There was one case, however, where two B.M.C. [Bordel Mobile de Campagne (mobile field brothel)] girls nearly ended up with the croix de guerre for services beyond the call of duty. This occurred in Lai-Chau, a French airhead 200 miles behind Communist lines, where two French battalions held out, encircled by the Viet-Minh, for more than a year. However, further north, Lai-Chau had a tiny platoon-sized outpost at Tsinh-Ho, which covered one of the approached to Lai-Chau itself.
When a B.M.C. was airlifted into Lai-Chau, Lieutenant Laurent, a tall, handsome mulatto from Martinique who combined the functions of artillery operations officer and "morale officer" for the airhead, felt that the men of Tsinh-Ho richly deserved their share of earthly joys, but the outpost could only be reached by following a treacherous 30-mile jungle path which, more often than not, was ambushed by the Viet-Minh. Laurent called the girls together, explained the situation to them--and asked for two girls to go on the trek, with an infantry commando escort. Without hesitation several of the girls volunteered and two of them were picked. They left with the commando force, equipped with jungle boots and fatigues but with their flowing robes in their knapsacks, and covered the 30 miles in a harrowing 48 hour march.
They did indeed fall into an ambush on the return trip--perhaps the Viet-Minh wanted its share, too--but behaved as coolly under fire as the seasoned troops they were and returned to Lai-Chau to the cheers of the garrison. Laurent wrote up two ringing citations for the girls and forwarded them to Northern headquarters in Hanoi. But Hanoi, mindful of the kind of flavor this episode would give to our "crusade," told Laurent in no uncertain terms that the awarding of the two medals would be "inopportune" at this time. We were all greatly disappointed, for we felt that the girls had richly earned them.
A B.M.C. was also present in the ill-fated fortress of Dien Bien Phu, and once more the girls performed heroically as auxiliary nurses, without, however, receiving the kind of publicity given the gallant French nurse, Genevieve de Gallard-Tarraubes. But many of the soldiers who were wounded in the battle will never forget the soft touch of a little brown hand or the guttural French of the little Oulad-Nails, doing their rounds in the hell of the underground dressing stations.
It remains a matter of conjecture whether the element of "vice" which they added to the war was not outweighed by the element of femininity, even of humanity, which they added to it. Official histories do not like impure heroes and even less impure heroines, but I, for one, hope that on the day when the last war will have been fought and the histories of all wars will have been written, a small scholarly footnote will at least be reserved for the girls of the B.M.C.
And after that:
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