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What book are you reading at the moment ?

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ErsatzThistle View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ErsatzThistle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Sep 2020 at 5:11am
Originally posted by Newryrep Newryrep wrote:

 
Where they not covered in canvas ?

Aye, that's right. Canvas. The pilots nicknamed them "stringbags". They did the raid on the Italian fleet at harbour in Taranto as well.

Originally posted by pre Madonna pre Madonna wrote:

Yeah, I kind of assumed that. I do have a few works of fiction by Scottish authors I want to get around to, if I can find them cheap! My 'theme' for autumm.Embarrassed


We are honoured PM ! Wink

Two off the top of my head you might (it's your call) be interested in are .....

"Crowdie & Cream : Memories of a Hebridean Childhood" by Finlay J MacDonald. This is an omnibus edition of three autobiographical books written by MacDonald (who was once a well known BBC Scotland journalist) about his early life growing up on Harris in the Western Isles. 

MacDonald grew up on a small agricultural holding (we call it a "croft") in a predominantly Gàidhlig speaking and devoutly Presbyterian environment from the late 1920s until the early 1940s. 

There's a fair amount of sadness, loneliness, disappointment, death and despair (the incident where a fake firm in Manchester cons the islands women into sending masses of highly valuable freshly spun Harris tweed to them and never pays them is infuriating) occurring on the island. Nonetheless they make the most of the good times when they happen. 

The latter half of the trilogy also deals with the very interesting and painful dilemma MacDonald faced as a a teenager. A very intelligent boy, he wants to be a journalist. Yet he also worships his father (a traumatized veteran of WW1) who works the land and the culture and way of life his family have adhered to for generations. He feels like he will be betraying them by following his dreams in spite of their urging him to "get on in the world".

MacDonald's style of writing is magnificent. A wonderful study of a people, a time and place on the edge of a great change. It's one of my favourite books. Recommended.

With regards to non-fiction, there is "The Scottish Nation - A Modern History" by T. M. Devine

This is the book to read for anyone who wants to understand just what the hell modern Scotland is all about. 

It covers the years 1700-2000. It's a staggering political, social and economic examination of Scotland through three centuries. He doesn't shy away from dealing with sectarianism, Glasgow and Edinburgh's slavery links (although his other book "Scotland's Empire" does it in much more detail) and the sad fact that a people who were outraged by the treaty of union in 1707 quickly became seduced by it until we gradually began to reawaken again in the 20th Century.

I also particularly liked his takedown of the romance and legends of the contemptable Charles Edward Stuart (aka "Bonnie Prince Charlie") who was a rank coward who wilfully abandoned his men to the mercy of an unforgiving enemy when they needed him and looked to him for leadership. In doing so set the scene for a violent cultural assault upon Scotland's Celtic heritage - Gàidhlig, Highland dress, the pipes etc. .

Devine himself is from a working class, state educated background. Not an upper middle class, privately educated historian. Like many others, he was once a pretty firm unionist who was initially sceptical of devolution but today he is a convinced supporter of Scottish independence.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MayoMark Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Sep 2020 at 8:22am
Not the quickest reader in the world. The girlfriend would power through 3 books by the time I'd finish 1!

Reading 1984 by George Orwell at the moment. Really enjoying it! 
They finally did it man... They killed my f**kin' car...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zinedine Kilbane 110 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Sep 2020 at 9:22am
Originally posted by MayoMark MayoMark wrote:

Not the quickest reader in the world. The girlfriend would power through 3 books by the time I'd finish 1!

Reading 1984 by George Orwell at the moment. Really enjoying it! 

I used to be really slow and would re-read lines/ paragraphs but have a look online, there are techniques to speed up your reading.

It makes a difference and you will find yourself reading more.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pre Madonna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Sep 2020 at 9:59am
Originally posted by ErsatzThistle ErsatzThistle wrote:

Originally posted by Newryrep Newryrep wrote:

 
Where they not covered in canvas ?

Aye, that's right. Canvas. The pilots nicknamed them "stringbags". They did the raid on the Italian fleet at harbour in Taranto as well.

Originally posted by pre Madonna pre Madonna wrote:

Yeah, I kind of assumed that. I do have a few works of fiction by Scottish authors I want to get around to, if I can find them cheap! My 'theme' for autumm.Embarrassed


We are honoured PM ! Wink

Two off the top of my head you might (it's your call) be interested in are .....

"Crowdie & Cream : Memories of a Hebridean Childhood" by Finlay J MacDonald. This is an omnibus edition of three autobiographical books written by MacDonald (who was once a well known BBC Scotland journalist) about his early life growing up on Harris in the Western Isles. 

MacDonald grew up on a small agricultural holding (we call it a "croft") in a predominantly Gàidhlig speaking and devoutly Presbyterian environment from the late 1920s until the early 1940s. 

There's a fair amount of sadness, loneliness, disappointment, death and despair (the incident where a fake firm in Manchester cons the islands women into sending masses of highly valuable freshly spun Harris tweed to them and never pays them is infuriating) occurring on the island. Nonetheless they make the most of the good times when they happen. 

The latter half of the trilogy also deals with the very interesting and painful dilemma MacDonald faced as a a teenager. A very intelligent boy, he wants to be a journalist. Yet he also worships his father (a traumatized veteran of WW1) who works the land and the culture and way of life his family have adhered to for generations. He feels like he will be betraying them by following his dreams in spite of their urging him to "get on in the world".

MacDonald's style of writing is magnificent. A wonderful study of a people, a time and place on the edge of a great change. It's one of my favourite books. Recommended.

With regards to non-fiction, there is "The Scottish Nation - A Modern History" by T. M. Devine

This is the book to read for anyone who wants to understand just what the hell modern Scotland is all about. 

It covers the years 1700-2000. It's a staggering political, social and economic examination of Scotland through three centuries. He doesn't shy away from dealing with sectarianism, Glasgow and Edinburgh's slavery links (although his other book "Scotland's Empire" does it in much more detail) and the sad fact that a people who were outraged by the treaty of union in 1707 quickly became seduced by it until we gradually began to reawaken again in the 20th Century.

I also particularly liked his takedown of the romance and legends of the contemptable Charles Edward Stuart (aka "Bonnie Prince Charlie") who was a rank coward who wilfully abandoned his men to the mercy of an unforgiving enemy when they needed him and looked to him for leadership. In doing so set the scene for a violent cultural assault upon Scotland's Celtic heritage - Gàidhlig, Highland dress, the pipes etc. .

Devine himself is from a working class, state educated background. Not an upper middle class, privately educated historian. Like many others, he was once a pretty firm unionist who was initially sceptical of devolution but today he is a convinced supporter of Scottish independence.
I picked up 'Crowdie and Cream' before, but the fact it is called 'Crowdie and Cream' means it can f**k right off and keep f**king off. The Outer Hebrides might appeal, but he seems a top-class ****.LOL

I am more than familiar with Devine's work, including the volume mentioned, he is an excellent historian and writer. He seems like a good bloke too.
Greed has won, big finance has won. Whatever small role elite clubs still play in the local communities from which they grew is dwarfed now by their position as global brands.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ErsatzThistle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Sep 2020 at 9:41pm
Originally posted by pre Madonna pre Madonna wrote:

I picked up 'Crowdie and Cream' before, but the fact it is called 'Crowdie and Cream' means it can f**k right off and keep f**king off. The Outer Hebrides might appeal, but he seems a top-class ****.LOL

I am more than familiar with Devine's work, including the volume mentioned, he is an excellent historian and writer. He seems like a good bloke too.

I'd definitely give Crowdie and Cream a go sometime PM. It's a lovely autobiography. "Crowdie" is a kind of cheese that was eaten by the ordinary, poor folk of the Highlands and Islands for centuries. 

You would also like how story the crofters con their factor into giving them small token rents for life in exchange for letting him build a golf course on the grazings.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pre Madonna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Sep 2020 at 9:54am
Originally posted by ErsatzThistle ErsatzThistle wrote:

Originally posted by pre Madonna pre Madonna wrote:

I picked up 'Crowdie and Cream' before, but the fact it is called 'Crowdie and Cream' means it can f**k right off and keep f**king off. The Outer Hebrides might appeal, but he seems a top-class ****.LOL

I am more than familiar with Devine's work, including the volume mentioned, he is an excellent historian and writer. He seems like a good bloke too.

I'd definitely give Crowdie and Cream a go sometime PM. It's a lovely autobiography. "Crowdie" is a kind of cheese that was eaten by the ordinary, poor folk of the Highlands and Islands for centuries. 

You would also like how story the crofters con their factor into giving them small token rents for life in exchange for letting him build a golf course on the grazings.
Names of books are important and that sort of twee sh*te in titles can do one. As I said, from what can be gleaned of him online he seems a ****. 
Greed has won, big finance has won. Whatever small role elite clubs still play in the local communities from which they grew is dwarfed now by their position as global brands.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ErsatzThistle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Sep 2020 at 10:23am
Originally posted by pre Madonna pre Madonna wrote:

Names of books are important and that sort of twee sh*te in titles can do one. As I said, from what can be gleaned of him online he seems a ****. 

PM, just out of interest what exactly did you read about MacDonald online ? I'm beginning to fear you may have confused him with someone else. MacDonald was a popular figure on BBC Scotland prior to his sudden death in 1987. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baldrick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Sep 2020 at 10:24am
Finished Champagne Football like a lot of people on here.   Great book. Well recommend it.  

Dublin the Chaos Years. 

Names Heard long Ago Jonathan Wilson about Hungarian football.  


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pre Madonna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Sep 2020 at 11:37am
Originally posted by ErsatzThistle ErsatzThistle wrote:

Originally posted by pre Madonna pre Madonna wrote:

Names of books are important and that sort of twee sh*te in titles can do one. As I said, from what can be gleaned of him online he seems a ****. 

PM, just out of interest what exactly did you read about MacDonald online ? I'm beginning to fear you may have confused him with someone else. MacDonald was a popular figure on BBC Scotland prior to his sudden death in 1987. 
Just a few extracts. I find it all very twee and, if I was Scottish, quite patronising.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ErsatzThistle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Sep 2020 at 12:08pm
Originally posted by pre Madonna pre Madonna wrote:

Originally posted by ErsatzThistle ErsatzThistle wrote:

Originally posted by pre Madonna pre Madonna wrote:

Names of books are important and that sort of twee sh*te in titles can do one. As I said, from what can be gleaned of him online he seems a ****. 

PM, just out of interest what exactly did you read about MacDonald online ? I'm beginning to fear you may have confused him with someone else. MacDonald was a popular figure on BBC Scotland prior to his sudden death in 1987. 
Just a few extracts. I find it all very twee and, if I was Scottish, quite patronising.

Respectfully, I'll have to disagree there if I may PM. I didn't find his writing patronising. 

It's all about culture. The way of life and the traditions practiced in the Western Isles were once very different from that of mainland Scotland. 

The emphasis on family and religion (Lewis and Harris are devoutly Presbyterian whilst Barra* and South Uist are devoutly Roman Catholic) was far greater than anywhere else in Scotland. Many islanders also felt a real kind of mystical connection with the land they worked and the sea they lived by. The great Celtic tradition of local elders passing on to others stories which were true and false was also still strong in MacDonald's youth. 

All this is what affected him and it shows in his work. MacDonald as I said felt very conflicted about breaking the link with his family and their traditional way of life on the croft. He even says that although he achieved his dream of becoming a journalist, he never shook off the guilt about not following his father and wondered if he had really done the right thing.

Anyway, whilst I'm waiting for my order to come through at Waterstones I'll be going through some of W. B. Yeat's works in the meantime. One of Ireland's greatest Clap

*Barra was once declared to be "the most Scottish place on earth" in some weird survey LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pre Madonna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Sep 2020 at 12:20pm
People take things in different ways. Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flanno7hi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Sep 2020 at 1:26pm
Originally posted by MayoMark MayoMark wrote:

Not the quickest reader in the world. The girlfriend would power through 3 books by the time I'd finish 1!

Reading 1984 by George Orwell at the moment. Really enjoying it! 
If you are enjoying 1984 is recommended Fahrenheit 451 when you finish.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pre Madonna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Sep 2020 at 1:30pm
'Brave New World' too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote McG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Sep 2020 at 6:41pm
Wrong thread 

Edited by McG - 27 Sep 2020 at 6:41pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hotlips_Hoolahan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Sep 2020 at 6:48pm
Reading The Martini Shot by George Pelecanos [writer on The Wire]. It's a collection of seven short stories and one novella. I've finished the seven short stories and they're hit and miss. He's much more suited to writing full-length fiction.

As always his dialogue is very authentic, especially when it comes to writing street characters. Street poetry is how I've heard The Wire being described and Pelecanos books are similarly inclined.

I used to read a lot of Michael Connelly books but they look prosaic compared to Pelecanos. Hoping to read more James Ellroy and get started on Richard Price, too.
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